Step-by-step: Dividing a herbaceous peony

Step-by-step: Dividing a herbaceous peony

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The peony is a mysterious flower in many ways. It has been revered in China for more than 2000 years, and has been used since ancient times in many medicinal remedies, sometimes even, it is said, "magic". To this, let us add that the pretty lady reveals her charms only twenty days during the summer, before going back to sleep barely awake. We understand better how the myth of the mysterious peony has survived for centuries. Despite too short a flowering time, it is one of the most prized perennials. Its palette of colors with subtle nuances goes from deep red to meaty white, passing by purple pink and tender yellow. Know that his apparent shyness in no way bodes well for his rusticity. Indeed, its resistance to the harshest weather conditions, its coriacity and its simplicity of maintenance make it a serious outsider if you plan to arrange your aisles of flower beds. The tufts of peonies can remain 5 or 6 years without requiring division. The best time to divide and replant peonies is in the fall. This will give them enough time to reform roots before the following spring. The tuberous roots will be exploded (separated), ensuring that there are a few buds left at the neck. It will be necessary to replant the new strains respecting the conditions accepted as favorable for the peony: good sunshine and well-drained soil, slightly clayey and rich in humus. The gesture to avoid: mulching at the foot, because the enemy of peonies is above all humidity that promotes disease. Difficulty : easy Cost : 0 € Tools required : - A spade with teeth - A shovel - A knife - A little organic fertilizer

Step 1: Cut the stems

Flowering is over, autumn is here, no need to wait for the leaves to dry out completely. In this case, this is the first step to take before performing the division.
Cut the stems 10 cm above the collar.

Step 2: Dig up the tubers

With the spade, start far enough from the base so as not to risk damaging the tubers.
Proceed methodically and meticulously. Go down as deep as possible to try to get the peony out from underneath without tearing off the main tubers.

Step 3: Divide the foot

Take a deep breath, you don't slice the head of a peony every day. Have a clean cut, taking care to balance the number of roots and the number of eyes. Ideally leave 3 or 4 buds per stem.

Step 4: Replant

Break down the soil at least 40 cm deep and take the opportunity to renew part of the soil, bringing a mixture of clay, soil enriched with compost or well decomposed manure, and possibly little extras (crushed horn , dried blood…)
Still taking care not to damage the roots, bury the base so that the buds are 2 to 4 cm underground.
Fill the hole delicately so as not to break the fragile buds, compacting regularly. After covering the entire base, the few stems that will still protrude will be enough to recall the position of the plant.

Step 5: Prepare for winter

Water in order to pack the soil around the roots, because they will continue to branch by drawing on their reserves. You can mulch the feet before the frosts, using the autumn leaves fallen on the ground which will thus contribute to the fertilization of the soil.
It can be several years before the peonies bloom again, which seems completely normal after this big stress. You will have to be patient, but the reward will only be tastier when the new flowers show up. Maybe then a tear of this "magic" remedy will flow down your cheek, who knows? Our practical gardening videos