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    Transplanting and Dividing Peonies .     

Pink Hawaiian Coral

Peonies can be left alone for years if planted correctly.  However, it is sometimes necessary to transplant peonies.  They can be shaded by large trees and flower poorly, old plants get overcrowded and flowering declines.  Poor drainage can also cause problems with rot.  Digging, transplanting and dividing peonies in these situations will greatly improve the health and  flowering of the plants. The best time to divide a peony is in the fall.  In our zone seven location, we like to divide plants in October.  The rains start here normally by late October, so the newly planted roots receive water in a timely manner.

These are the steps we use to divide plants.   Carefully dig around the plant at the drip line, and under it.  Gently lift the plant out of the ground.  Wash the soil off the roots.  Trim off the top foliage close to the crown.  If the crown area has five eyes or less, simply trim the storage roots to approximately six inches, and replant. If the plant has six eyes or more, the plant should be divided.  Use a short knife to divide the plant so that each division has at least two eyes, and six inches of storage root.  Replant following the care and planting instructions listed on our site.

      Below is a brief outline with pictures to aid you in dividing your plants: 

digging peony plant picture Dig around plant at drip line, and under it.
washing peony root picture  Wash off soil on root.
cutting peony foliage picture  Remove foliage just above crown.
peony root and cutting knife picture  Use a short knife to divide root.
divided peony picture  Each root division should have at least two eyes and six inches of storage root.

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