Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How to divide Peonies

Peonies do not like to be moved. That said, there are times when you have to move a peony, or divide a peony. It was planted too deep or planted in the wrong place, it has outgrown its present location, or it is not performing well.

An overgrown, poorly producing peony need to get divided. Most growers use the Crown Division technique to accomplish this.

How to divide Peonies

  1. Carefully push away the soil surrounding the peony to get a visual on the root system.

  2. Using a shovel, push it straight down to get as much of the roots as possible.

  3. Lift the plant out.

  4. Hose down the plant, getting rid of the soil from the roots. This will also help you see where to make the separations.

  5. Let the root rest anywhere from several hours to day to soften it. It is brittle at this point. Might have to cover it to avoid drying out.

  6. Prepare your working area.

    • Steady table

    • Sharp short knife

    • Water source with hose

    • Garden Cutter

    • Some newsprint or peat moss, barely moist

  7. Inspect the plant to see the interconnection of the roots to the eyes. This will help you get a clean cut.

  8. Trim back the tuberous roots to 6-8 inches from the crown.

  9. Using a sharp knife, cut section, making sure you have 3-5 eyes in each division.

  10. You can either plant the division right away in a suitable location or hold the new division in barely moist peat moss or newsprint. Make sure it is kept away from direct sun if you do this.

Here's a sample of the root with eyes.

Here are some samples of the divided root. Just think - more peony plants!

Or plant it in pots to give away as Christmas present to a fellow Peony Lover!

Do not expect the new division to flower the first year. If new buds appear, it is advisable to nip off flower buds to allow the plant to develop its root system during the 1st year.

Watch the step by step illustration of "How to Divide Peonies" on You Tube.

There's still time to Order Your Peonies for this Fall 2010

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