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Moving vs. dividing

Posted by deanna_in_nh 5a/4b (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 15, 12 at 13:54

I have only been in my house 4 years. After moving from a peony-impossible warm climate, I fell in total love with three existing peonies in my garden and have increased that to 8. Now we will probably be moving, still to a peony-friendly climate. I want to take a division of some of the older ones, the ones that were here when I moved in, but I am unsure as to what to do with the newer ones. Three I got three years ago and are blooming well, but still small. The smallest one has at least six major stems coming out of the root, and then those six major stems split into smaller stems very close to the crown. I'm assuming that means it has at least six eyes. Two I got at plant swaps last year and both had too few eyes to make blooms this year. One is an unknown red, but the other is a Bowl of Beauty--oo la la! I want to be able to take these five newer ones with me. They don't add to the current garden right now and I don't want to miss out on them since I chose them (except for the unknown) especially.

I am confused about the "don't move but divide" rule for peonies. Does that mean I can never move the original plant, and can only take a division off of it? Or, does that mean I dig the whole thing up, split it into divisions, and then plant those? And, how would that work with a very young peony with less than five eyes?

I am more than willing to divide them and wait a few years until they have enough eyes to bloom. I just don't know how to move my little guys if I also have to divide them somehow.

Thank you all! Gardenweb gardeners are better than any gardening book!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Moving vs. dividing

Only three years in the ground should be no problem to move without dividing. It would be better to move in the fall when you don't have the foliage to deal with, but if that is not an option, I would simply pot them up in what ever size container is needed. The sooner you can replant the better, keep them in the shade and well watered while in the pot. Al

RE: Moving vs. dividing

Could it be better to put the roots into plastic bags with as much soil on the roots as possible? To avoid having to squeeze it info the pot which will disturb the plant more than absolutely necessary.

Moved a rather large Sarah B like this, leaving the plant with leaves and flower buds for a couple of days before planting. Planted, and it flowered nicely.

RE: Moving vs. dividing

Great! What good news you all bring. I do believe I will be able to move them in the fall. What good news that my little ones can be moved all in one piece. I will put them in a bag and keep the roots intact. Luckily, we will be moving only about 2.5 hours away, so it won't have to be something the coincides with a moving truck taking us away. I'll be able to transport them carefully. One of my little ones is a Sarah B. Very glad to have it come with me!

Thank you all!

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