When to dig itos?

flowergirl70ksJune 8, 2013

I have a Bartzella, 4 bloom seasons old. In spite of the very abnormal weather, it has been beautiful, and blooms later than the rest of my peonies. Now I'm wondering if it needs to be dug and divided. the stems are packed together. also I don't know how much fertilizer to give it. It hasn't been fertilized since I dug the planting hole.I have heard itoh's need digging every 3 to 4 years, is this true?

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Sorry Flowergirl, I've been watching for an answer to your question, too. My Itohs are blooming for the 1st time this year, hopefully someone who's had Itohs for a while will notice the post.....

They're supposed to be very easy to propagate so I'm sure you'd do no harm by splitting it but if you get the pieces too small you probably won't get blooms next year. I think I'd carefully remove the dirt from the surface of the roots and see how many eyes I could see. If enough to divide and still have large divisions I'd go for it. If you do, don't throw away any bits of root that break off. Plant them horizontally 1/2 - 1 inch deep, you could get new plants from the bits of root, too. I have a tiny bit of Scarlet Heaven in a pot with new leaves right now, there was no eye on it. I'll probably sink the pot in the ground this fall and not plant it out until next fall, just to give it more time to develop more roots.

As for fertilizer, I've never put anything out other than just general, slow release for flowers over the entire bed. If your soil is amended you're probably fine to just add to the new planting holes when you divide.

Good luck with your Bartzilla!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:12PM
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Well Thanks for answering this post, I was beginning to wonder if anyone would. Was hoping for one of the experts on here to tell me what to do. As prolific as this one seems, you would think the price would go down. do you think I should dig in the fall like the others?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 7:55AM
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That's what I plan to do. Did you see that post about stem propagating Itohs? Sounds like a safe way to make some new shrubs.....

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 10:58PM
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Itoh's are generally very hearty. If you think the plant needs to be divided, dig it up, wash the root ball off with a water hose (after the fall dormancy), and divide it into 3 to 5 eye divisions. You will have blooms in the next spring. I bought four Itoh's last spring from a local nursery that were all big enough to be divided into 3 to 4 plants each. That is 16 itoh's for the price of four plants. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 9:05PM
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