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Divide Peonies

Peonies will bloom happliy for decades without ever becoming overgrown or crowded. But sometimes it becomes necessary to dig up and divide clumps. Fall is the best time to transplant peonies. Wait until after a hard frost, and then follow these simple steps.

Wed, 29 Jan 2014|

-Peonies will bloom happily for decades without ever becoming overgrown or crowded, but sometimes it becomes necessary to dig up and divide clumps. Fall is the best time to transplant peonies. Wait until after a hard frost and then follow these simple steps. Start by cutting bad stems to the ground and tossing them in the trash. Next, dig up the clump, inserting a spade into the soil around the entire perimeter of the plant until the crown and roots lift easily out of the ground. Remove soil from the roots to reveal the underground plant parts. There should be large tuberous roots, small fibrous roots, a crown, and eyes at the top of the crown. One mother plant can be divided into many new plants. With a garden knife or hand pruners, cut through the crown, making sure that each section has one healthy tuberous root and 3 to 5 eyes. Dig a shallow hole and place a division with eyes facing up. Cover with an inch and a half of soil. Replant these sections 3 feet apart in a semi well-drained site. Planting peonies too deeply can reduce blooming. Water thoroughly after planting and keep the soil moist until the ground freezes then surround the plant with 4 inches of mulch to protect against [unk] and vine. Patience is a virtue with peonies. Divisions need a couple of years to get established before they'll begin to flower. Once they start, you'll be rewarded with extravagant blooms for many years.