Peonies forum: Dividing Itohs

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Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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LizinElizabeth
Sep 4, 2015 5:03 AM CST
I've joined a few peony groups on Facebook in the last few weeks and it's been enlightening. A newer peony gardener posted a pic of what I thought was a pretty typical Itoh division and much more experienced peony growers told him to cut off most of that woody mass and to plant the resulting division's woody parts oriented around 90 degrees from what it was before to make the root longer horizontally rather than vertically--supposed to encourage feeder root growth from that woody part. Cutting off the majority of an Itoh root scares me! Do any of you divide your Itohs that way? I'm trying it with at least 1 root this year but would love to hear your experiences and opinions.
Liz
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Sep 4, 2015 6:13 AM CST
I have to move a 3 year itoh peony Bartzella soon. I don't know what the plant will look like underneath. It is going to be interesting. I will take pics and share them here, Liz. Thanks for starting this thread so we can learn from each other.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Sep 4, 2015 8:04 AM CST
I had not heard of that and look forward to more replies on this.
Name: Lily Martagon
Du Page County Illinois (Zone 5a)
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sgardener
Sep 4, 2015 8:18 AM CST
I have to move Kopper Kettle also. I planted it too shallow the roots are showing. Thanks to Solaris Farm's cultural info.
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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LizinElizabeth
Sep 4, 2015 9:39 AM CST
Me either, Caroline. And I have to replant both Bartzillas and Callie's Memory for the same reason, Lily! And I'm looking forward to seeing your Bartzilla roots, Karen, mine have languished in the same spot for 2 years now with very little to show. Maybe I'll have to post those pics so everyone can see the folly of poor planting!
I wish I could move the entire thread from Facebook to here but the pictures weren't mine and I don't want to offend anyone there--I think I'm going to learn a LOT from them! If anyone wants to join I can provide the group names, though.
Liz
Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
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AlexUnder
Sep 4, 2015 11:37 AM CST
Did not hear about 90 degrees, but 45 degrees for sure. I think it makes more sense as eyes will be formed at the right distance from the surface.
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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magnolialover
Sep 4, 2015 6:44 PM CST

Moderator

I just transplanted Bart. Boy was that tough to get out of the ground. It was in competition with a hydrangea that was much smaller when they were planted several feet from each other. I ended up getting three separate plants out of it. One larger and two smaller ones. It's actually A lot easier to go in at that 45+ degree angle as compared to straight down because you would end up digging a huge hole ! Even after a trim of roots. Dividing peonies, not a favorite pastime of mine. Hilarious!
Tracey
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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LizinElizabeth
Sep 4, 2015 10:43 PM CST
You're right, Tracey, it is a monumental chore when you have a big one to divide, especially with competing roots. A single plant can be an all day thing....
Liz
Name: Diann
Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Ticker
Sep 10, 2015 12:55 PM CST

Moderator

Tracey, have you ever moved a tree peony?
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Tomato Heads Pollen collector Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Cat Lover
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magnolialover
Sep 10, 2015 2:18 PM CST

Moderator

Yes! I did once. The roots must have gone all the way to China. It was that moment that I realized moving anything else to accommodate the tree peony growth would have been well worth it, no matter how many bulbs and plants needed to be dug. It did survive the move but let me know it that first spring afterwards by producing one bloom, just enough to make me aware that I hadn't killed.

ITOHs seem to inherit more of the root depth from the tree peony side of the gene pool or so it seems.
Tracey
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Sep 10, 2015 7:41 PM CST
Wow, I am dreading the move of my Bartzella already. It sounds formidable! Wonder how big of a circumference do I need to dig to get to all the roots?
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Tomato Heads Pollen collector Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Cat Lover
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Seed Starter Region: Wisconsin
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magnolialover
Sep 10, 2015 7:46 PM CST

Moderator

Dig wide and dig deep.
Tracey
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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LizinElizabeth
Sep 10, 2015 8:25 PM CST
I've always heard dig as wide as the plant was, Karen, and at least 2' deep. Good luck with it!
Liz
Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
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AlexUnder
Sep 11, 2015 1:53 PM CST
Wow! 2' deep ! Feeling better that I planted some of the on slope - easier to dig out if I need to. But that's probably right for a very old specimen. I divided 3-4 year old Itoh plants and their roots were quite reasonable in fact.
[Last edited by AlexUnder - Sep 13, 2015 12:31 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Sep 23, 2015 6:45 PM CST
Sorry everyone. I don't have any pics to share. My brother and his buddy helped me dug up the itoh, and replanted the Bartzella for me while I was at work. I told him to wait for me but he couldn't because his buddy had only that day free.
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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LizinElizabeth
Sep 24, 2015 4:31 PM CST
You've got to take your free labor where and when you can get it, Karen! I'd have done the same......
Liz
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Sep 24, 2015 4:38 PM CST
I tell you what Liz. They did a super job! There was hardly any broken roots. So now I got one small plant and one huge plant.
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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LizinElizabeth
Sep 24, 2015 8:49 PM CST
That worked out well, then! I'm glad I don't have any dividing left to do this year, just planting the new ones as they come in.....
Liz
Name: Lily Martagon
Du Page County Illinois (Zone 5a)
Tropicals I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Peonies Region: Illinois Enjoys or suffers cold winters Seed Starter
Region: United States of America Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Lilies Irises Hostas
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sgardener
Sep 26, 2015 7:06 PM CST
I dug Kopper Kettle and Yumi this evening. The clump I am digging in the pics is of Yumi. On the picnic table, KK is on the left and Yumi is on the right. These two were added to my garden in the spring of 2012. Based from the roots I dug, KK is a slow grower.
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Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
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AlexUnder
Sep 26, 2015 7:21 PM CST
What is the smallest plant on the left? Or is it part of KK?

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