How to Propagate Intersectional Peonies in Alaska

Overview

The intersectional peonies are a fabulous flower for growing in your home garden. They need little care and come back bigger and better each year, sending up massive bunches of incredible blossoms. If you are planning on growing peonies in Alaska, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the best places in the world for peonies. In fact, officials are considering using peonies as their first international agricultural export business. You can propagate them by seed, but that takes a long time and is usually reserved for introducing new cultivars.

Step 1

Cut the peony plant back at the end of your growing season. This might be late July or August, depending on where in Alaska you live. The plant part will die back over the winter anyway, so this will not harm the plant. Cut it right down to the surface of the soil with your pruning shears.

Step 2

Insert your garden fork into the soil about six to eight inches back from the crown of the plant and work your way around. If your intersectional peonies are growing in a row, you will only be able to get the shovel under the plant from the front and the back. Lift the root mass up from the soil and flip it on its side.

Step 3

Shake off the excess soil and hose down the roots. This will help you to see where you are cutting. Set them aside to wilt overnight. You can skip this wait if you are in a rush but the roots will be much more brittle and you run the risk of breaking them.

Step 4

Cut off sections of the the mass to divide it by cutting straight down through the crown or top of the plant, making sure to keep two or three growth buds in each section along with their roots. Extra-long roots can be trimmed back to eight inches. Each of these sections will be a new plant.

Step 5

Plant your new sections of intersectional peonies right away in their new spot, or store them in damp sawdust until you are ready to plant. Don't let them sit for more than three or four days or you run the risk of them drying out. They need to sit at two inches below the surface of the soil. Any higher and they might freeze, any deeper and they might rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Garden fork
  • Sharp knife
  • Hose

References

  • Peony - A Future Crop For Alaska?
  • Researchers Study Money-Making Flowers
Keywords: intersectional peonies, roots, divide

About this Author

Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and eHow.com. Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.