digging up my peonies - HAH!

Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

My peonies had such a terrible spring, never did much this year and they had been gorgeous in previous years, big and full of flowers. Well, we had a really hot, EARLY and dry spring... never had such an early spring... so there they are with just a couple of green sprigs sticking up. I figure I'll dig them, what could it hurt? They look like they are dying anyway... so I dig and there is this HUGE mound of thick roots on each one. I am just amazed. I am replanting them in the back where the others are that DID do well. The Monsieur Jules Elie. They get a bit of shade in the back. These mounds even have little green nodes atop as if they are hoping to still make leaves. I'll let you know if they do. These are Festiva Maxima and Sarah Bernhardt. I surely thought I'd dig up a few thin, weak looking roots. Boy, was I surprised!

Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

here is a photo of one

Thumbnail by sterhill
Kansas City, MO

The green nodes are probably next years stems. However as tightly packed as the center is your plant may need to be divided. Could you post a picture of the other side of the root cluster if this is the top. My monitor shows what appears to be the bottom of the plant not the top. Would have to see the other side to make certain.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)


That is really interesting. My Festiva Maxima didn't bloom, and it's leaves turned brown. I was worried.

But I am reassured by your experience. I have a new garden, moved from an old one, and some things aren't working well, so I am moving things too.


Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I sure was thrilled to find the huge mound... thought they had died but I think the too early spring, drought and compacted soil wreaked its havoc... Here is a pix of the 'green thing' coming out and a pix showing the underside of this one.

Thumbnail by sterhill Thumbnail by sterhill
Kansas City, MO

I will correct myself. The green nodes probably were next years nodes but because of the weather conditions are starting to break domancy. Still believe the clump could use some dividing and/or removal of some root tissues.

Lovely pictures, what camera are you using. I am trying to learn the Canon I purchased for my husband and your pictures are much better than anything I have done.

Donna, sorry about having to move your plants. I had promised a Le Perle earlier year but after emerging with one stem it has disappeared so probably dead. I still need to move the plants I had in that area if it ever become damp enough to dig without using a pick.

Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Thanks - I really love my camera. It is a Casio EX-ZR100 12.1 MP - I've had Nikon and Canon and Minolta but I have never gotten such good pictures as with a Casio. This is actually my third one. I always thought Casio made watches and adding machines... look at this mantis I shot a couple of days ago. This little girl was about 2" long, excluding the legs. I like having a 'pocketbook' camera as you always have it with you. I've gotten some good shots in unexpected places because the camera was in my purse and not at home.

edited to add: use your manual focus setting. It is more trouble but you sure get better pictures.

This message was edited Jul 17, 2012 7:13 AM

Thumbnail by sterhill
Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Oh my goodness. What an incredible picture! I've photographed preying mantises but I would be embarassed to show you the pictures!

Thank you for sharing.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Sterhill, she is smiling at you! It is not really the camera; it is the photographer. I always say that the cheapest camera you have with you is better than the most fancy and expensive that you left at home. We have a Nikon that is a "never fail," but it reminds me of a story about a photographer who was invited to a friend's for dinner. After the lovely dinner, the lady of the house saw the sample photographs, she exclaimed, "you must have a wonderful camera!" The photographer replied, "the dinner was wonderful; you must have a wonderful set of pots."

Need I say much more?

On the peony front, I always refer to the woody root system as icebergs with 10% above, and 90 % below the visible aea.

Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

"the dinner was wonderful; you must have a wonderful set of pots."

hahahahahahaha - that's a good one!

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.