Sunday, October 3, 2010

Moving and splitting or dividing Peonies

Autumn is the best time of year for moving many plants, Peonies included. Follow these steps for moving or splitting Peonies:

Cut the foliage to the ground and dig around the plant with a trowel to un-earth the root. They have tuberous roots that resemble irises, except that they have small eyes on them that the foliage sprouts from.

The roots can be split at the forks and replanted. Dig a hole no more than eight to ten inches deep and long enough to accommodate the tuber plus about two inches all around. Since peonies like very rich soil, amend the soil in the hole with some humus or compost, and water lightly. Allow the water to drain away and place the tuber in with the eyes facing up, recover the hole with more of the amended soil.

Fertilize both the transplanted tubers and the established plants by scattering rotted manure or commercial 5-10-5 fertilizer on the area after it has been covered over. Fertilizing plants in the fall or early spring is essential for good blooms whether you are dividing or not.

I had to move a few peonies in the spring this year because the bed they were in was so choked with day lilies that I feared I would lose them. Though the plants seem to be fine in their new location they didn’t bloom this year. Even tubers that are split in the fall may not flower the next summer, but don’t worry, as long as you see foliage. The plant is working to re-establish itself and will bloom progressively better over the next few growing seasons and can continue to thrive for decades.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I wonder if I can use your pictures of how to divide, move and split peonies for an article in the Swedish garden magazine Natur&Trädgård,

    Best regards
    Lotta Flodén
    Managing Director