Peony division  Fall 2004



Over the last few years we have had innumerable discussions regarding the moving and division of peonies.
At the risk of being repetitive I am going to give a litte "tutorial".
This week Bill and I spent quite some time lifting, moving and dividing several peony plants. Think we had six different ones which fell prey to the spade!
I will include the link to the picture album which has a few more miscellaneous shots.
Our purpose for the most part was to divide an interesting variety to pot up , sink in the ground over the winter and have for sale at our annual spring sale....people are always asking us if we have peonies and we have to say -spring is not a good time to lift and divide! We have planned ahead in this instance.
We had one lovely early , double red that was in too shady a spot, so it was simply lifted and moved. The frog peony...

Here is one of the volunteers as it was, in the wheelbarrow...trim off the foliage to about 8-10 inches or so....it could be left, but it makes minimizing eye damage harder. This clump had tag along lily of the valley, but that is another story!

Next procedure is to wash all the soil off the root mass to expose the roots and eyes...


Here it is half-done...


After being washed, you can see  every eye...


Next is the 'painful' part....the entire root mass is divided into sections with a sharp and robust knife...


The result of all that cutting is a selection of nicely eyed, root-trimmed pieces to replant...


Here is a closer look at a typical piece ready for planting... there are usually 5-8 eyes in each piece. They were potted in 1 or 2 gallon pots at the proper depth.


Removing most of the old root mass seems to stimulate very good new root development, so that the seeming lack of roots isn't a problem. When moving whole plants....damage to the roots causes more problems than the rigors of division.
Here are the candidates we chose for our onslaught...


This likely will not cover all aspects , but hopefully will give a visual to some who haven't ventured here!

PeonyDivision Fall'04


Update:  S. Bryson / September4, 2004