Dividing Peony Plants in Your Garden

By Allyn Paul, filed under Landscape Tips.

Peony are well known for their full, round flowers. These beautiful stems work great in cut arrangements as well as looking stunning on the bush. If you are growing peonies and would like a few extra plants, consider dividing them. Remember, peonies don’t need regular division like tulips or daffodils. If you don’t want to divide them, don’t. However, if you do wish to divide, the process is pretty straightforward. Here is a simple tutorial if you need some help knowing what to do.

Digging Peony

Peonies should be divided in the early fall. September is ideal, however in warmer climates you can safely divide through October.

Dividing peonies is simple. To begin, trim the plant back as close to ground level as possible. There is no need to keep a few inches of stem.

Once the plant has been trimmed back, loosely dig around the entire plant with a shovel. Be careful. It is important to get the plant out of the ground without cutting or damaging the roots. Once the majority of the plant is out of the ground, rinse away any excess soil using clean water.

Dividing Peony

Use a sharp, clean knife to cut the peony plant into sections. There are a few things to keep in mind while doing this. Each plant will need several eyes to grow properly. You can find these eyes by looking at the top of the plant. Each eye will turn into plant growth come spring and usually will look like a pink or pale green cluster or nub. As you divide make sure that each division has at least three eyes. The more eyes, the larger the plant will be. Each division also needs a good solid section of root. Use your knife to slice the peony into sections for replanting.

Once the plants are split, they should be planted immediately. This will give them time to begin establishing roots before it gets too cold. Plant them in holes so that the top of the eyes just barely peek out from under the soil. Top with mulch if desired.

Nothing is more beautiful than a peony in bloom. These beautiful plants only flower for a few short weeks, so if you grow peonies, make sure not to miss it. These blooms are beautiful and should be appreciated whenever possible.


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