Herbaceous Peonies

The time for digging and dividing herbaceous peonies has arrived and can be done anytime through early November. Do you have a large, old herbaceous peony clump that you would like to propagate? The best way to do this is through dividing the root system. This is a form of asexual reproduction, and yields a duplicate of the mother plant. Many plants are propagated this way such as hosta, iris and daylilies. Planting the seeds from a favorite peony variety is sexual reproduction and this will yield new plants which may not share the same attributes as the mother plant.

Dividing herbaceous peonies is fairly straight forward process with an end result that will gladden any gardener; more beautiful peonies to spread around the garden or share with friends.


  • Isopropyl alcohol and paper towels for sterilizing dividing tools
  • Garden clippers
  • Assortment of old knifes of various sizes; a paring knife and large cutting knife do well
  • Linoleum knife
  • Rubber Mallet

If all this seems a bit to much for you, there is the more primitive, but also effective method I like to call the “old farmer technique” of dividing herbaceous peonies.

Now its time to plant your new divisions. Remember that the ‘eyes’ should be no more than 2” beneath the soil (shallower in warmer climates). Check back next week for a post on planting herbaceous and tree peonies.

‘Itoh’ or intersectional peonies are also propagated by division. Since the crowns of these hybrids are very dense and woody, its best to let them dry out for at least a day before attempting to divide.

Peony farm in San Jose

2006-06-06 13:38:33 by 4peonies

If you live in the bay area, I grow over 120 varieties of herbaceous and tree peonies and they can be purchased in 5 gallon containers all year round at the farm. The roots are 2-4 years old. They can also be mail ordered if out of the bay area and shipped in the fall. Visit my web site 4irises.com and see the varieties that I grow. Visitors are always welcome and the peonies are in full bloom right now.

Peonies in pots

2006-06-06 13:30:48 by 4peonies

Peonies can very well be planted in pots but do need full sun except tree peonies that could do with part sun. Peonies can bloom in the bay area very well if planted with the top eyes at the surface level. The main reason that peonies fail to bloom is that they are planted too deeply. I grow over 120 varieties of tree and herbaceous peonies in San Jose. I sell them with at least 5 eyes in 5 gallon containers all year round. See my web site 4irises.com

Peonies from Costco?

2005-01-15 20:53:46 by greedynot

I have not been able to get herbaceous peonies to bloom. Its just not cold enough in much of the area. Where are you in the Bay Area? This is an exceptionally cold year and I am hoping again! You can try the tree peony or herbceous peonies with blooms on them in the spring. But I doubt if you can get the herbaceous ones to bloom the following year though.
Btw, its good to plant the dormant plants and allow the roots to grow before the top does. Maybe March would be a good time. But don't plant if its too wet.

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