The Q&A Archives: separating peonies

Question: I have had my 4 large peony plants for 7 or 8 years. I would like to share with a neighbor. When and how, do I go about doing this? (I live in Denver, CO)

Answer: Late August or early September are the right months for digging and dividing your peonies. After digging up the peony, shake gently to remove loose soil from the root system. Take some foliage and some roots with each division. Each fleshy root division should have at least 3 to 5 "eyes." The "eyes" actually look more like pink noses and are the shoots for the next season. The "eyes" should be planted about one to two inches deep. If planted too deeply, the plant will produce foliage and no flowers. Plants should be spaced about 2 to 3 feet apart. Mulch with shredded bark or pine needles in early winter.

Peonies appreciate well-drained soil with an abundance of organic matter. Plants will flower better in full sun, but will tolerate some shade. Light shade will keep some flower colors from fading.

Best wishes with your peonies!

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