[NAFEX] dividing peonies

Ginda Fisher list at ginda.us
Mon Jun 15 20:22:54 EDT 2009

On Jun 7, 2009, at 9:44 PM, Jerrydana5 at aol.com wrote:

> Do to some construction, we had to dig up 3 beautiful peony plants.   
> They have hardly wilted, despite being out of the ground for 2 weeks  
> due to having lots of soil on the roots.  Now I am ready to re-plant  
> them and I'd like to split the clumps as they are quite large and  
> because I can have twice as many plants.  I remember my folks just  
> splitting peonies by jabbing a shovel thro the middle of the root  
> clump and ending up with two clumps.  Can I do this in the middle of  
> June, with clumps covered with soil?  Or should I leave them as one  
> clump and just replant them as a whole?  jerry in southern Indiana

Peonies are best transplanted and divided in the fall.  Towards the  
end of the summer they concentrate their energy in the big roots.   
Over the winter those roots sprout lots of little feeder roots that  
are disrupted by spring transplanting.

However, peonies are very tough plants, and I've heard lots of stories  
about them being successfully moved at other seasons.  Many peony  
growers believe that big old clumps of peonies transplant better if  
you divide them, because dividing them rejuvinates them, and young  
plants are more adaptable.  Of course, that's fall advice.  Still, I  
think it is probably safe, and maybe even optimal for you to divide  
your plants before re-planting them.

Best of luck,
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