Peonies can live a very long time with minimal care. They
use their leaves to manufacture food and grow strong roots.
Over time they can become crowded and deeply rooted. You
may notice a decline in blooms, if so then it may be time
to divide your peony.
Peonies set blooms for next year during the summer so fall
is the best time to do any dividing. Digging a mature plant
requires a sharp shovel. When plant has been removed from
ground wash away soil and check for broken or rotted roots.
Once the root-ball has been checked use a sharp knife to cut
away chunks of root with 3-5 eyes per division.(these will
look like the eyes of a potato) Dig a generous sized hole
and loosen soil at bottom, place soil in a mound until the
crown sits 2” below soil level(peonies resent being planted
too deep) and back fill with soil. Mix in some compost or
other amendments before backfilling.
There may be no blooms the first spring or very few, plants
will recover after 2 – 3 years.
Plants should be placed in full sun for best results but will
survive with fewer blooms in semi shade. Place a peony ring or
tomato cage where you have planted and put a name tag on
ring/cage to mark where they are.
I will post pictures when available.