By Alyssa Abaloz
We’re getting the peony garden in Nichols Arboretum ready for its 100th anniversary in 2022.
In your own garden, autumn is the perfect time to plant bare-root peonies and divide or transplant peonies, according to Sarah Gizzi, Matthaei-Nichols peony fellow. Sarah cautions that “transplanting peonies in the summer causes a lot of stress due to the heat.”
When transplanting your peonies, make sure to dig a hole deep enough to cover all the roots and keep the eyes, or buds, no more than an inch or two beneath the surface of the soil, Gizzi advises.
There are two methods to divide a peony: “pie-slice” and “whole-plant.” The pie-slice method allows you to divide your peony’s roots without uprooting the entire plant. Using a spade, loosen a triangular section of your peony – just like a slice of pie. You want to have good roots going down, so dig down at least 8″, preferably deeper than that. Gently continue to loosen and lift the pie-division out of the ground. Shake the roots, then spray with water to remove any excess soil.
Watch a video on dividing and transplanting peonies by Carol Adelman of Adelman Peony Gardens
Intersectional, or Itoh, peony ‘Bartzella.’ Itoh peonies are crosses between herbaceous and tree peonies.