Peony are perennials that do not like to be disturbed and prefer to stay in the same place for a long time. That sounds easy. And it is. If you are wanting to divide older plants, the autumn is the right time. The plants are in a resting phase in which dividing and replanting is very easy.
Dig up the plant with a spade and remove the thick ball of soil, best achieved by using a soft water jet from the garden hose. The roots can now be divided into numerous parts. It is important that the European Peony (Paeonia officinalis) has a “sleeping crown bud”, meaning they can sprout out of every robust piece of root. The Common Garden Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) or also known as the Chinese Peony only sprout out of existing, highly visible crown buds. Each piece should have at least three crown buds.
Peony specialists say that the perennial crown buds should not be any deeper than three or four centimetres in the soil. Our garden expert, Engelbert Kötter goes one step further: He recommends that the plant should only be planted one or two centimetres deep at ground level. In rough areas, spruce brushwood should form a layer on top as winter protection.
If you do not already have a peony in your garden, you could now lay the foundation for one. Whether bought or divided, that are a faithful, recurring eye-catchers in your garden.
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