The Q&A Archives: Peonies - how to split for moving

Question: How do you split peonies to transplant? We need to move ours because of a new sidewalk.

Answer: Peony plants can be divided to start new beds in late summer or fall. However, you'll want to be as gentle as possible with the peony plants; they are sensitive and may take a couple of years to bloom after dividing. Unlike many perennials, peonies can go for many years without needing dividing. To divide peonies, separate a portion of the peony clump by inserting a spade shovel and making a vertical cut into the root ball. Dig up this portion, and replan tin a carefully prepared bed. (Fill in the hole left next to the parent plant with rich soil.) Or you can dig up the entire peony plant and prune off a section of the root ball. Then replant both sections in prepared beds, taking care to plant the crowns no deeper than one and a half to two inches below the soil surface.

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