Friday, May 22, 2020

2020 How to Make a Peony Support Ring from a Tomato Cage

Peony 'White Cap' in Dire Need of Support

Day after day, I just couldn't take looking at it this way anymore. This Peony 'White Cap' just kept blooming and blooming. I thought at some point it would just quit blooming and I wouldn't have to watch the blooms keep opening on the ground, but it just kept blooming and blooming. Even days after I went to the store to purchase a tomato cage did I finally get around to messing with this plant, and it was still blooming (granted it was almost finished, but still blooming).

Carefully Putting Tomato Cage on Peony 'White Cap'

I thought I might need to trim the bottom of this tomato cage to make it a suitable support for my Peony 'White Cap', but this peony was so tall and my tomato cage was so short, that it worked out just right! I purchased the 33-in Galvanized Steel Wire Round Tomato Cage from my local home improvement hardware store - Lowe's. This particular tomato cage came with 3 support rings on it, which did make it a little tricky to get on my plant, but I was able to finally get it on there. First I gathered up all of the stems, and put them as close together as possible so that I could fit the flowers through the bottom ring of the tomato cage, then the second ring.

Peony 'White Cap' Fully Supported

After that the foliage was kind of in the way. So I had to wiggle and jiggle the tomato cage on a bit, carefully putting each leaflet through the bottom ring of the cage. I was able to start pushing the cage into the ground a bit, adjusting the leaves up through the cage, pushing the cage down a bit, adjusting the leaves, repeating until the tomato cage is at the desired height needed to support the peony. I must say this Peony 'White Cap' does look so much better when the flowers are up higher, making them easier to see their lovely contrasting blooms and smell their fragrance!

Peony 'White Cap' The Next Day

I will also admit that this was not the most ideal time to add support for this peony. Next year I will put the support out before the foliage emerges so that it can grow into the support rings naturally (and I can help make sure that it does). The peony seemed to work great in this size tomato cage, but it looks like Lowe's also sells a short 30" version with only 2 support rings if you think that might be more to your liking. As you can see I took a photo of the plant the day after I added the support and some of the foliage had started to adjust to the correct positioning (after being on the ground so long, the foliage was also growing sideways). I also captured this gorgeous bloom photo of Peony 'White Cap' which looked like it had regained some moisture overnight.

Peony 'White Cap' Bloom

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