tips to divide peonys

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

I have a row of HUGE peonys. I really don't want them so big. I don't want to dig up the whole thing though either, because I think it could be bad on them. So I was wondering about getting a large knife, hand saw? and cut them down through the middle and then scoop out one side all the way down the row. Then I could just back fill the soil where I take them out. Is that a stupid idea? They are just so big, I don't know if I CAN dig them all the way up. They are probably 4 feet wide, 12 feet long. The old fashioned double whites that smell really strong. They have multiple branching, and slightly light pink petals around the outside. Then a really full doulbe puff in the middle, that is huge.

any advice?

Lisbon, IA(Zone 5a)

Don't do it till fall. So, you're going to dig two feet of a four feet swath of peony? Got a back hoe? Remember, once you dig them you need to divide them down. Good luck and have fun.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

No I wouldn't need to divide them down any further? Each bush is individual, I don't think they are grown together much. I just wanted to know if anyone has succesfully divided them by just digging out one side, and not having to dig up the whole thing. I have moved them before when they were very large, but I just dug up the whole thing, and then planted the whole thing in a different spot.

yes, I know to wait till fall. Too hot now anyway to be outside too much.

Kansas City, MO

It can be done by using a very sharp shovel. You may find that what you are wanting to remove is just a hollowed out root. If it is as long as it has some eyes and a few roots it can be replanted. It can take several years to develop the normal root structure.

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