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How to divide intersectional and tree peonies

comments (2) September 12th, 2012 in blogs
Antonio_Reis Antonio Reis, Product Manager
17 users recommend

Bartzella is a popular intersectional peony.
Shima Nishiki is a lovely tree peony.
Always imagine the cuts you will make before getting to work.
Bartzella is a popular intersectional peony. Click the image to enlarge.

'Bartzella' is a popular intersectional peony.

Photo: Jennifer Benner

Herbaceous peonies are just one of the three types of peonies out there. Two relations, intersectional and tree peonies, can be divided in fall like their herbaceous cousins. When it comes to tree peonies, only multistemmed types are divisible. Multistemmed tree peonies send up many shoots, so they can be broken up with a few stems to each division. Single-stem tree peonies have just one woody trunk, which can't be sliced in half.

To divide a tree or intersectional peony, dig it up, put it under a tarp the night before cutting, and replant it after division, with its eyes 2 to 3 inches below the soil surface. The differences, however, crop up in the actual division of the plants.

Easy, right? Just be aware of the differences between intersectional and tree peonies when it comes to the actual division process.

 

Look intersectionals in the eyes before making divides

Intersectional, or Itoh, peonies (named for Toichi Itoh, their original propagator) can be cut apart at the most narrow connections between larger pieces of root, each at least 6 inches long.

'Bartzella' is a popular intersectional peony. Visualize the cuts that will free up divisions.

Cut the intersectional at a thin point between larger sections, as you would if you wanted just a bit of a large ginger root in the kitchen.

As you visualize the cuts, remember that intersectionals send up new stems every spring, so they have eyes like herbaceous peonies do. Leave at least three eyes on each new division to ensure stems and flowers the following year.

Make your cuts with an old but sharp knife.   Each division has at least three eyes (pictured, insets) that will become stems and flowers.

Continue to the next page to find out how to divide tree peonies.





Comments (2)

Antonio_Reis writes: Good catch tatwood, thanks for the heads up! It looks like 'Kinkaku' was mislabeled at the garden where we photographed it. Posted: 8:52 am on September 17th
tatwood writes: Nice article, and helpful, but the pink peony in the photo is an herbaceous specimen, not the double apricot tree peony cultivar 'Kinkaku.' Posted: 7:21 am on September 17th
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