Dividing Peonies. Often, a sharp knife is necessary to divide large, dense clumps. Choose a sunny location that gets at least six hours of sun daily that has well-draining soil and dig a hole that is large enough to hold the full root system of the newly divided pieces. With a sharp shovel and a half hour to spare, you can spread their loveliness around the landscape for other generations to enjoy. If you decide to divide your peonies, do so in the fall. Remove pieces that are at least 3 to 4 inches long. Replant so that eyes are about an inch deep and allow 3 feet between each plant. ), Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale) and Siberian iris (Iris siberica) are best divided in the fall. At that time they are dormant or going into dormancy, enabling you to have easily cared for replant material freshly fortified with stored food. As perennials go, peonies can be extremely long-lived, growing for up to 100 years. These tips can apply to all your different types of peonies. Both plants can benefit from periodic division to expand the bed or prevent overcrowding if it's done at the right time. Everything has its season and for dividing perennials, that season is fall. Watering with a general purpose fertilizer helps the new peonies establish themselves before winter. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Daylilies produce fleshy roots that break apart into several new divisions that can each grow into a healthy, flowering plant. But after 10 or 15 years, peony blooms slow down, and that’s the time for you to dig, divide, and transplant them. Avoid transplanting peonies in summer unless circumstances demand it. Pic #1 is the plant to be dug. Plant peony roots with the top 1 inch below the soil surface, and plant daylily roots at the same depth they were planted previously. For best growth, peonies need well-drained soil that’s rich in organic matter. After earning her MA from Colorado State University in Agricultural Education, she has spent the past decade teaching classes in the Plant Sciences. Transplant divided peonies and daylilies promptly after dividing them so the roots don't dry out or suffer stress. They are deer- and rabbit-resistant too, so you can usually depend on peonies to put on a beautiful spring show with their enormous, colorful flowers. Everything has its season and for dividing perennials, that season is fall. My method is to use a stream of water to remove the soil around them rather than just dig them with a fork or shovel. Loosen the soil with a trowel at least 6 inches from the base of the plants and then lever the trowel beneath the root mass and lift the plants from the ground. Cut thepeony stems near ground level in … Shake or wash off the soil, then carefully pull the clump apart. I hope that this article has answered any questions you may have had on how to grow peonies and helped to convince you that peonies are straightforward to grow and care for, giving you confidence to grow some yourselves. The best time is in late summer and autumn. When digging, cut into the rhizome with your tool to divide the clump. Nor do they appreciate gardeners fiddling with their roots. although in the Summer they look more like a shrub than a flower. In wet autumns, delay until spring. Aug 25, 2015 - This Pin was discovered by Vanessa Lochhead. If root systems are damaged within one to two years, the plant will die. Depending on its age, you might need a fork or a spade. Peonies perform best in well-drained soils in full sun. A sharp shovel or spade will do the trick, but a favorite tool for dividing perennials is the sharp, Japanese-style hori hori gardening knife. Daylilies can be divided in early spring, as new growth begins to emerge, or in late summer to early fall. In areas that experience a hard frost early in the autumn, it is best to divide all perennials at least four to six seeks before the ground freezes, making September a good choice. September and October are the best months for dividing peonies, after the long, sunny days of summer have supplied the plants with plenty of sunshine to recharge their food reserves underground. Daylilies require division every three to six years or when the clumps become crowded and the plants begin flowering poorly. You can divide daylilies at any time after they flower through early fall. For someone just stating a garden they are an ideal choice because they provide a spectacular spring and summer show with very little effort from us. First, you need to use a sharp spade and dig around the peony plant. Before transplanting peonies, prepare the new planting hole. Helpful. Dig up the entire clump with a spade. You only need to divide peonies if you want additional plants to enlarge the garden. 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