Autumn Jobs - Dividing Peonies
Peonies have been my favourite flowers for as long as I can remember. Luxurious, elegantly blousy and all too fleeting, Much to the annoyance of many a bride they are available only for a few weeks each summer. They do however make the most perfect cut flowers, lasting up to 10 days in a vase – longer than roses. They are said to be difficult and sulky to grow but if planted correctly actually need very little care and will provide annual blooms for 50 years. ( As I am short of 50 and my Peonies are even younger than I am I am actually yet to prove this but have been reliably informed)
Autumn is the perfect time to divide your Peonies. Firstly remove the foliage and then carefully lift the clump. You will then be able to remove or wash off the soil to expose the roots and growth buds. Using a sharp knife, remove sections of the crown with at least three dormant growth buds on each with attached roots.
These sections can then be replanted with the buds sitting a few centimetres below ground level and watered in. The most important thing when planting Peonies is that they are not planted too deeply as otherwise they will fail to flower. Plant a few centimetres below the surface of the soil between October and March. They will tolerate a little light shade but to give the best blooms they do need full sun. This is also the best time of year to move them if you need to. Many people think that they do not like being moved but just plant them at the right depth and they will flower for a good many years. They will take a couple of years to settle down and establish but will be well worth the wait.
To learn more about planting visit my spring time blog Spring is in the air.