Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show: Peony Division
Whatever your peony pronunciation proclivity, soon will be the time to dig and divide them! Wait for the tops to be killed by frost, cut the stems to near ground level then, using a spading fork, dig out the rhizomes.
Make sure you dig a hole wider than the plant to avoid damaging the root system. Take out the entire clump with as much of the root system as possible, cut it into smaller pieces, leaving at least 3 to 5 eyes per division. This part’s very important, without those eyes, you won’t have a plant.
The above photo comes from Viette’s Beautiful Gardens. Check out the link for step by step pictures and instructions.
Prepare your new site by mixing in several inches of compost into the top 12 inches of soil. Replant your division, keeping the eyes no more than 1 to 2 inches below the soil surface. Again, this is a very important step. If you plant too deeply, you won’t see blooms. Water thoroughly and keep watered until the ground freezes. Mulch your new divisions with a couple of inches of pine needles, straw, wood chips or chopped leaves.