Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dividing Peonies

I saw something that peony's do not like to be replanted. Well, I have a large bush of them, and now several neighbors would like to have starts from them. How do I go about digging them up. I did tell them I could not do it before December. This is when I cut them back for the winter. Should I leave maybe 4" to 6" growth on them and then cut from the outside in? Or do you have some suggestions, about where the cuttings should come from. The bottom of the bush is about 3' in diameter. They have been growing steadily for the last 20 years, without any trim back.

Anne's response:

Peony plants do not like to be disturbed. If they are to be divided the best time to do it is in September as the foliage begins to die down. Remove the soil around the plant carefully to determine where the tuberous roots are and then dig the entire clump very carefully. You want to do as little damage as possible to the tubers. Use a clean knife to separate the sections of the plant and allow the wounds to heal over before replanting them.

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