temporary storage of peony roots and other transplanting issues

mary4b(4b WI)October 15, 2004

Hi there...

I'm finally getting the old peonies out of the yard where they have been full of weeds that I just couldn't remove.

We transplanted some roots immediately but I'm in the process of creating another bed right now and need to "hold" some of them...should I keep them in a bucket of water for a few days, or keep them in a box with some soil shoveled over them...what's the easiest and best way to keep them "unplanted" for about 1 week? I'm in Wisconsin, weather is cool and rainy this coming week.

Also, regarding the transplanting. I was able to get some HUGE roots, up to 12" deep and other much smaller ones. Unfortunately, the number of eyes was very uneven per root...some have more than 6 but many smaller ones only have ONE eye. SHould I plant a couple of smaller ones together, or will this only create competition and slower growth.

Likewise, where the roots are just huge, is it better to cut part off or should we dig the hole bigger and plant all that is there, no matter how huge?

Finally, I know about not planting the eyes too deep...I plan to put about 3" or partially composted bark mulch on this bed. Should I then leave the eyes peaking above the soil and include the mulch as part of the "depth" equasion?

Thank you!

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Sleestack90(z6 OH)

I'm in the same boat Mary; I was haphazard in my digging technique, and ended up with many small root fragments with only one eye.

I was wondering if I were to plant these in containers and keep them under flourescent lights indoors for a few weeks, would this give them a chance to build feeder roots, or would they think it was spring? Or are they just doomed? Also, when I move them outside, would the drastic change in temperature cause problems? I plan on removing them from their containers during the outdoor transport.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2004 at 10:21PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

If you temporarily pot them, I would leave them outside to go dormant. You shouldn't need to bring them inside.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2004 at 11:27AM
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Don't store them in water. Keep them in soil which is barely moist until you can replant. I would probably agree that they should stay outdoors instead of bringing them indoors.

As to planting smaller pieces together. You can always do this. You may end up having to divide faster, but if you have 3 small pieces of the same kind, I would plant them 6-8" apart in a small triangle.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2004 at 2:19PM
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john_4b(z4b WI)

If the small broken pieces don't have an eye (or new bud) attached, it is unlikely that they will even grow, much less bloom. I would store the tubers in a pot with some soil, outside in a garage, and plant them this fall with the eyes no deeper than 2 inches below the soil level in their final planting hole. Water well after planting.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 11:18AM
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If you have good size roots with no eyes I would still keep them. It is possible that advanticous eyes may appear. It is worth the trouble to plant or pot them until they either grow or fade away. Al

    Bookmark   October 28, 2004 at 9:56AM
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Sleestack90(z6 OH)

Well, I kept them in pots outside all winter(after 6 weeks inside in an attempt to grow feeder roots), and I planted them in early spring.

After lying dormant for almost four weeks, all of my transplants have now sprouted! They're tiny in comparison to last year, but they're in a better place and will do better in the long run.

BTW, a separate peony, transplanted this spring, is now 3 separate monstrous peonies, all ready to flower. I'm doing all my transplanting in the spring from now on.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2005 at 9:52PM
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