Moved my 7 year old Karl Rosenfeld, yikes!

Laisan(z8 PNW sunset 5)October 8, 2005

After waiting for it to produce more than 6 flowers for each of the past 4 years and following the advice from this forum, I did the deed. I dug it up and moved it to an even sunnier spot and made sure the eyes were less than 2 inches below the soil/surface. The odd thing when I started to dig (thinking that the roots may be massive) was that I got this one almost solid mass, shaped like the one gallon square pot it came in seven years ago. Is this plant doomed to always be a low producer with its constrained root system?

The original bed was double dug and amended with cow manure. I know I took the plastic pot off of the plant when first planted (in spring). My friend was standing there, telling me not to do it, to keep it in it's pot and wait until fall to plant it. So I was really careful not to disturb the roots when I took it out of the pot and planted it.

The new bed was double dug last year, had compost added, and grew some weeds before being prepped for Karl. Any insight on his future? I'm a little impatient with him and could use the real estate for another peony if he isn't going to put out.

Thanks in advance,


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Dig him back up and give him a good bath. Then try and separate the roots and replant. You may have several plants from that clump.

Depending on you soil conditions this is what happens to most plant not just peonies when you did a hole and put amendments in the hole and not the surounging area. I used to do this and then wondered why the plants failed. A short version of what happened is that you created a pot by digging and incorporating material just in that area. If you have "good" prepared beds this method will work. If (and I know others will throw up their hands in horror) you have thick soil just dig the hole, cut with a knife or shovel ridges in the side of the hole, add a very little fertilizer to the bottom of hole and material taken out of hole (placing on an old sheet or tarp to mix will work), plant. This method allows the roots a lighten soil to establish roots in then the roots will push into the surrounding soil. The amend the soil in the hole makes the plant want to use the amended soil up before moving into the surrounding area.

Now that you do have the amended bed to replant in I think your first baby will do very well after you remove some of the twisted root material. You can give the extra to a friend and make them happy to by sharing the wealth.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 12:59PM
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After you wash all the soil off the roots let the roots rest for a few hours before you start to divide them and they will be limp and allow you to bend them around without suddenly breaking. Al

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 10:16PM
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I'm pretty sure this isn't recommended, but I've been through the same issues...I added some triple phosphate, then about three inches of amended soil, and planted on top of that.

The following spring (2006) I'm enjoying a very full set of blooms. Spectacular!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 8:07PM
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