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Re: Lots of questions...need help re lilies & peonies especially...

Ceres, Bonnie,
One would purchase new peonies in fall, not spring.  I'd never trust one
purchased in spring, though they would have a chance of making it.
Peonies channel all their effort and energy into producing growth in the
spring, so should not be dug then.  However, if it must be done in spring,
you can, but it will be debilitating to the plant and you'll most likely
sacrifice bloom for that year.
From Fine Gardening May 1991:
"Peonies are best planted when they are dormant and before the ground
freezes.  They are slow growing plants.  If planted in warms spring weather,
shoots grow before the roots become established, and the plants soon wither
and die....Pot grown peonies can be set in the ground any time, providing
they have an abundance of fine roots to help them survive the transplant."

That said, I do know people who have dug peonies in spring that have
survived.  If you have to do it now, it would be best to get a larger root
ball than you might for another perennial.  However, Bonnie's plants sound
pretty old and this may be difficult to do.  I would suggest asking the new
owners if you might return in fall and dig and divide the plants then,
replanting a nice division for them as well.

Any grasses and weeds that have worked their way into the plant's midsection
will need to be carefully extricated by hand.

Re potted lilies.  I've not dealt with them myself, but I would think you
could keep them in their pots and continue to water them.  Lily bulbs never
go completely dormant and should not be allowed to dry out.  I think I would
acclimate them to the outdoors slowly later this month and then plant them -
carefully without breaking the stem if still green.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Cersgarden@aol.com>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Sunday, April 04, 2004 7:54 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Lots of questions...need help re lilies & peonies

> Bonnie, if you were purchasing a new peony you would be planting in the
> spring so I can't believe you will harm the plant however it may have
affect on
> this years bloom.  What do you have to lose?  How nice to have a keepsake
> your mothers garden.
>     I have way to many daffs to worry about covering them.  What will be,
> will be.
>         Ceres
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Support hort.net -- join the hort.net fund drive!
> http://www.hort.net/funds/

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