Peonies near the top of the list of the world’s most beloved cut flowers. Although they can be tricky to grow in South Africa due to their chilly climate requirements, there are a few lucky areas that can make these plants part of their garden backdrop for years and years. 

Perennial plants often need to be divided after a certain amount of time due to overcrowding or sparse growth. As peonies remain compact with a limited spread, this does not apply. But there are many more reasons you may want to divide your peonies, from propagating to moving them to a new part of the garden. 

Peonies are typically propagated from late summer to autumn once they have finished flowering. They need to be transplanted before any chance of frost so they have ample time to settle in. Grab your gloves, secateurs and a garden fork to get started. 

The first step in dividing is cutting at the stems back to the ground, making removal much easier. Use a fork to loosen the soil around the base, avoiding damage to any of the precious roots. Then, slowly lift the entire plant out at once. 

Wash all the soil around the roots off with a hosepipe or brush. Look for areas with several buds or eyes and section out parts with at least three – preferably more for stronger growth after planting. Cut into the roots with a sharp and disinfected knife, making as clean a cut as possible for quick recovery. 

Leave these sections out on a piece of newspaper in a dry area for a couple of days to seal. This limits chances of rotting at planting time. Then, replant your divisions with the correct spacing according to your variety and wait till next season for them to sprout. 



Tips For A Successful Cut Flower Garden


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