Janet Barnard-Gilbert. 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. This allows the transplants to establish their roots long before the following winter’s frosts. Take the pieces you have divided from the larger clump and shake off excess soil. We have some peonies around the place – my very favorite flower. Firstly dig the plant out of the ground. Early fall is another great time to divide perennials, especially peonies. complement each other in perennial flower gardens, with the peonies blooming in early summer and the daylilies remaining in bloom through mid-to-late summer. Water the soil after planting to settle it and then spread a 2-inch mulch layer over the ground to conserve moisture and insulate the new divisions. For best growth, peonies need well-drained soil that’s rich in organic matter. on Oct 27, 2017. Shake or wash off the soil, then carefully pull the clump apart. They recover slowly after division, and they may not flower for a full year afterward. This can be any time from October to February. The herbaceous peonies bloom early to mid-summer in most places. Helpful. Similar to irises (Iris germanica), which grow in USDA zones 3 through 10, peonies have specialized root systems (or modified stems) called rhizomes that grow horizontally underground and store energy for the plant during the dormant months each year. 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. The best time is in late summer and autumn. Use pruners to cut back the existing stems and stalks on your plant before you divide it. Everything has its season and for dividing perennials, that season is fall. How to divide a peony. The only way to multiply peony plants is to divide peonies. ), Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale) and Siberian iris (Iris siberica) are best divided in the fall. To make sure to allow plants time to put down roots before winter arrives, divide … Once divided you can share them with friends and family. Finally, intersectional peonies are a cross between tree and herbaceous peonies. Spring is also better suited to plants that are a touch tender; Many spring-flowering plants, such as irises, are best divided in summer (Jun-Aug) after flowering when they produce new roots; How to divide perennials . You only need to divide peonies if you want additional plants to enlarge the garden. They can easily live for 100 years or more in the same spot and will be only become more beautiful with time. If root systems are damaged within one to two years, the plant will die. First, you need to use a sharp spade and dig around the peony plant. 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. They have a more delicate root system than the typical herbaceous peony and require a more gentle handling. 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. It is not a good idea to divide plants in the heat of summer. This is when the plant will be dormant, making it safer to move it to another spot. With a sharp shovel and a half hour to spare, you can spread their loveliness around the landscape for other generations to enjoy. Begin by trimming down the stems and greens of your peony plant. Dividing. If you missed my post on exactly how crazy I am over peonies, check it out. 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. In the fall before the first frost is when I did it. When dividing perennials like iris, which tend to form self-strangling clumps, you usually dig up the entire plant, divide it and then replant the smaller clumps. Peonies have been successfully taken up and replanted at any season of the year. Late summer to early fall, whenever that is where you live. Cut the roots apart with a knife sterilized in one part bleach and nine parts water. Helpful. Both plants can benefit from periodic division to expand the bed or prevent overcrowding if it's done at the right time. Peony plants should be very well established before you even consider dividing them. 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. Take the pieces you have divided from the larger clump and shake off excess soil. 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. Depending on its age, you might need a fork or a spade. The fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers, a rare fusion of fluff and majesty, the peony is now coming into bloom. In fact, they are generally best left undisturbed and moved only when necessary. Perennials with fleshy roots such as peonies (Paeonia spp. The best time to divide peonies is late summer (September in the Northern Hemisphere) or early fall. The best time for propagating peonies is in autumn, after plants have become dormant. Divide peony clumps following a summer when flowering is not abundant, every few years.. Divide and replant them in the fall for best performance. I find moving or dividing peony at this time of year reduces the likelihood of heat stress, but still gives the transplant time to become reestablished before winter. Yes, fall is the right season for dividing herbaceous peonies (Paeonia lactiflora and others), but I have to stress right from the start there is no obligation here: peonies don’t need division. Once you have removed sizable sections, cover the remaining clump back over with soil and press firmly. The second type of peony is the tree peony, which is a woody-stemmed shrub that loses its leaves in the fall. Plant peony roots with the top 1 inch below the soil surface, and plant daylily roots at the same depth they were planted previously. Divide peonies in fall after the foliage begins to die back naturally but before frost. and daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) Heather Ridge tends her own gardens in Boulder, Colo., but loves traveling the world to sample soils, study plants and get her hands dirty whenever possible. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. We often use a mini-digger! Similar to irises (Iris germanica), which grow in USDA zones 3 through 10, peonies have specialized root systems (or modified stems) called rhizomes that grow horizontally underground and store energy for the plant during the dormant months each year. I would definitely get it done now, though. Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Replant so that eyes are about an inch deep and allow 3 feet between each plant. Posted on December 7, 2013 by Brenda Ibey. You want to be sure to dig up as much of the root as possible. Before transplanting peonies, prepare the new planting hole. Both plants thrive in well-drained but rich soil in a location that receives all-day direct sunlight. Aim to transplant the peonies in the fall. In early fall, there is less heat stress on your plants than there is at the height of summer. Here’s how to grow peonies and get the best peony flowers in your garden. If it becomes necessary to move or divide a peony, care should be used because if done improperly, the plant may never flower again. In warmer climates where you have not had a hard frost, you may leave some of the stems for appearance, but cutting back fully makes the division process easier. Choose a planting site with full sun (six to eight hours per day), except in southern and southwestern regions, where afternoon shade is ideal. Discover (and save!) Peonies rarely require division, so you can go 10 or more years before disturbing a healthy clump of plants.

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