What does a peony tubular look like underground and when is the best time to split and divide?
A peony tubular is brittle to remove from the soil and heavy to lift. The video below explains parts of the peony plant.
The best time to divide is in Autumn through to Winter. Remember peonies can only be grown in certain parts of Australia, usually the cooler climate regions. Just google what weather zone your area is in to find out more.
3-5 eyes is optimal, with at least one large 8 inch root or equivalent in smaller ones.
Be gentle with your peony plant when lifting, as the roots have a tendency to break off which can be frustrating, especially when you have calculated a good number of divisions from one plant, only to find it is lacking root.
We sold dormant tubulars last year, and I had another team member up at the patch helping me lift peonies out of the ground. Much easier with two people. You will have a more success with help.
Just watch when you lift. If the ground is really moist, the soil may be heavy which will make it harder, however if there has been no rain in the last several days thoroughly soak if dry a few days before.
Trim stems before lifting and make a large circle with a spade outwards from the plant. Ease your way around with a pitch fork and you will feel when you are touching the plant and hear when the plant is being lifted. Watch out if you hear a "crack" which usually means that you have broken a root.
Re-plant straight away if possible.