Dividing Peonies in Fall


Q: My peonies have overgrown their space. When can I divide them?

A: Fall is the best time to divide and transplant peonies. Although peonies do not require regular division, when they begin to overtake an area or you find them growing in too much shade, it is time to move them. Plants transplanted in the fall will have plenty of time to establish their roots and still produce spring blooms. Dig up a clump of roots, carefully separating it from the main plant. Leave healthy stems and leaves attached. Using a sharp knife, cut divisions with at least three to five buds, referred to as eyes. The eyes will grow into next year’s shoots. Plant the divisions approximately 1 inch deep. Planting them deeper prevents the plants from blooming next year. Transplants take approximately three years to exhibit full blooms.

Please contact Plant Information Service at (847) 835-0972 or plantinfo@chicagobotanic.org for additional information.