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Do Peonies Spread on Their Own?

Do Peonies Spread on Their Own?

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Peony plants are very popular and you might see them in many gardens in your neighborhood. You see peonies pretty commonly because of how big and fluffy peony flowers are.

A peony plant is going to be very fragrant overall, and the flowers that the plant produces come in a wide range of colors. You’ll find many different peony flower sizes and forms as well.

They’re also popular because of how resilient they are, and this makes them pretty easy to care for when you’re a beginner. You might be thinking of adding some peonies to your garden area some time soon.

Many people wonder whether peonies spread before they decide to purchase them. You want to be able to plan ahead so that you can make enough room for them, and you also want to know if you need to look out for anything.

Keep reading to learn more about peonies and whether or not they spread. You’ll also get more information about what you can do to get the best results when propagating peonies.

What Does Spreading Mean?

Field Of Peonies

The first thing that’s important to address is exactly what spreading means. If you’re new to caring for plants, then you might not be as familiar with terms such as this.

Generally, spreading is when a plant tries to branch out and spread to different areas. A spreading plant might try to grow out a bit or drop seeds so that it can move out from its current location.

People like to know about how certain plants spread because they need to plan for whether or not the plant will be fine in a particular spot. For example, you don’t want to put a plant that spreads too close to other plants because it could cause issues.

Spreading can also be used to refer to how far the plant spreads out in general. For instance, it could be talking about how wide the plant is or how wide it will get when it reaches maturity.

You want to be sure that you’re talking about the right thing when you’re using terms such as spreading. You’ll be able to learn about both things by reading on.

The Spread of Peonies

Blooming Peonies

In this section, the spread of peonies will be referring to the overall width of the peonies. This is talking about how the peony plants will spread out to help you plan where to place them in your garden or yard.

The common peony types that you see people putting in their yards are known as herbaceous peonies. They grow as tall as three feet and have a spread of between two and four feet depending on various factors.

Sometimes you’ll see tree peonies being utilized in people’s yards, too. These are a bit different and the spread can differ wildly depending on the tree.

Some tree peonies can grow as tall as seven feet, though, and you should have a lot of space for them in case they do spread a bit. Find a good spot with enough room no matter if you’re planting tree peonies or herbaceous peonies.

Do Peonies Spread Out for Propagation?

No, peonies will not spread out and create new plants on their own. You might look at your peonies one day and notice that it has gotten quite big and spread out pretty far.

In this situation, the best thing that you can do if you’d like to have more peony plants is to divide them. This is a way that you can assist propagation and it’s the best way to propagate herbaceous peonies.

You can’t really encourage peonies to spread or anything such as that. It’s just best to wait until the peony plant has gotten bigger before you do anything at all.

The only way that you can make more peony plants is to divide them. This isn’t necessarily a hard process, but you will want to learn about it so that you can do things right.

Keep reading to learn about how to divide peony plants so that you can have more plants. This will allow you to put peonies in different parts of your garden if you wish to do so.

How to Divide Peonies

Hand Shovel In Dirt

Dividing peonies won’t be overly difficult, but you are going to need a good spade to get started. Use a sharp handheld spade to dig around the peony plant while being careful not to harm the roots.

The idea is to dig up as much of the root of the plant as you can. Going slowly and watching out for the root will help you to get better results than going fast and being careless.

When you’ve managed to get the roots out of the ground you’ll want to take a bit of time to hose them off. Once the roots are clean, you’ll be able to examine them and look for crown buds.

Crown buds are going to be the spots where you’ll be able to divide the plant. This is the part that comes through the ground when you take the time to plant them, and they can form a new peony plant.

It’s said that leaving the roots in the shade will make them soften up a tad. This might help you when it comes to making cuts, and doing something to make the process easier is certainly a good thing.

The actual act of cutting and propagating the peonies should be performed with a very sharp knife. It’d be hard to get clean cuts using a dull knife and you might run the risk of harming the plant.

Get a sharp knife and try to cut the roots back six inches from the crown. Each plant that you want to create is going to have to possess a crown, and you’ll need to keep this in mind when deciding where to cut and how many peony plants you can create.

Ensure that each piece that you create has one bud at a minimum. It’s said that it’s better to have three crown buds, but it will work okay so long as there’s one crown bud visible.

Now you just keep dividing the peonies until you have as many as you want or you’ve made all that can with the number of crown buds that are present. It’s really all about making careful, precise cuts while being mindful of the crown buds.

Planting the Peonies

Planting Peonies

Planting the peonies is basically only going to require you to find a good spot where peonies can thrive. Find an area with good air circulation where the peonies can get at least six hours of sun each day.

If you live in a hot area, then you might need to plant them somewhere that will give the plants protection from the harshness of the afternoon sun. Typically, peonies will be fine with the sun, but people living in USDA zones 8 and 9 will have to be careful.

When planting your buds, make sure that the bud pieces are only under about two inches of soil. If you go deeper than that, then the buds might have a hard time breaking the surface and growing.

Now you just need to care for the peonies as normal and things should be fine. This is a pretty easy process that allows you to create many plants over time.

If you’re looking to have more plants in your garden and your yard, then this is a neat thing to look into. It doesn’t take a lot of skill, and even a novice can divide peonies so long as they’re being careful about things.

General Peony Care Tips

Pink Peonies

If you want to get the best results when you’re growing peonies, then you should remember to plant them in moist soil that drains well. This will allow them to get the water that they need without getting too soggy.

When the soil in your yard doesn’t drain well, it might be necessary to change the soil before planting peonies. You can prepare a soil mix for the peonies that drains better than the standard soil on your property.

If you happen to buy tree peonies, then know that they need to be planted fairly deep. Always water the plants as thoroughly as you can after planting them whether you’re planting herbaceous or tree peonies.

Final Thoughts

Now you know everything that you need to know about spreading peonies and peony propagation. If you want to have more peony plants in your yard, then peony propagation will be a very handy thing to utilize.

You can divide peony plants at different times of the year, but it’s said that doing it while the peonies are dormant is for the best. This means that you can divide peonies in the very early spring or in the autumn.

This isn’t something that is too difficult, but you’ll still need to go about things the right way. You’re going to need to use a sharp handheld spade to dig the peonies up, and you’ll also need a sharp knife to make precise cuts.

Be sure to thoroughly examine the roots so that you can make good decisions about where to cut the peonies. If you do this, then you should be able to make many peony plants without it being an issue.

Remember that each section that you make will need to possess one crown bud or it won’t be able to create a new peony plant. As long as you keep this in mind, you’re going to be impressed with the results.

Even newcomers can have a good time doing this so long as they’re willing to take it slow. Don’t rush yourself and continue to make good decisions so that you can enjoy lots of peony plants in your garden area.

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Melody Wilson

Wednesday 6th of July 2022

Very informative. Thank you. I am a novice gardener. I am currently preparing the area for my peony planting this fall. I have a big concern as the area I plan to plant the tuber is infested with lily of the valley roots.

What I did on the lily was cut all the leaves, drench the are with water for easy digging. The following day, I started digging the root out by using this root layer shovel and turned the soil up for the time being until ready for disposal. Then, my next move is to smother them by placing thick black plastic bag (construction ml) with heavy support and top them with mulch. Hopefully, this will be enough time (3 months or so) to choke the rhizomes.

My question is, since it is not guaranteed that I will be able to completely get rid these nuisance rhizomes, is it possible to use a good size planter with the bottom cut-out as a barrier around the tuber to prevent the lily of the valley rhizomes to crawl back and invade the peony plant?

Thanking you in advance for your help and assistance in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Melody Niagara Ontario Cananda

P. Holt

Sunday 24th of October 2021

When dividing and replanting peonies, will all of the new divisions ascwell as the original plant take 3 years to becomecestablishedcaga8n?

Gail K. Byrnes

Thursday 26th of August 2021

Thank you for the precise description. I think it would have helped to have a video.