Our attemp to dig out old peony

Joopster(5 (Chicago))September 18, 2013

Last week we dug up some old Karl peony last that previous owner planted right next to the fence. We wanted to move it away from the fence so that it can have more room next spring. The plant is older than I originally thought and the root is ginormous and my husband accidentally broke it in half. The root measured 12 inches in lengthen. At least the one that broke off. We didn't bother digging the other half out feeling that we might harm the plant rather than helping. Strangely, the 12 inches that we got out have only 1 eye. And this is the part that was very bushier side. I replanted it but have a feeling that it's going to be disappoint Spring. Anyone know why there is only 1 eye?

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If it's been there a really long time it might've needed to be divided before now. Did you have a nice sized plant there last spring or had it started to decline? I wouldn't worry too much about it breaking, I've seen posts from very experienced peony growers here that say they regularly divide peonies from the side by just cutting down through the rootball without digging it out. You'll probably get more new growth from both the transplanted and remaining parts next spring!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 9:33PM
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Joopster(5 (Chicago))

It was a decent size plant last spring. I would say 24x24 but only 3-4 flowers.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 9:22AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I have never dug an old peony without breaking it. Even when you know is is likely to break in most soils you just can't help it. When you do get a large root out and want to divide it, it is better to just leave it on the top of the ground for a day or two to let it wilt. Once wilted it will not be nearly as brittle and you will be able to unwind the roots without breaking. Al

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:55AM
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