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

  • To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
  • Subject: Re: [CHAT] Lots of questions...need help re lilies & peonies especially...
  • From: "Marge Talt" <mtalt@hort.net>
  • Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2004 05:04:23 -0400

Well, Bonnie, Kitty has posted a good reply.  I checked my saved
posts from the peony list and while all on that list agree that it is
much better to move them in fall, some posted they have moved them in
growth with no set back tho' they may not bloom this year.

Key is to get as large a rootball as possible so that you disturb the
roots as little as possible.  Water the soil the day before if it's
dry so it holds together when you dig the plant.  As you dig, slide
burlap or old sheet or some sturdy type fabric under the plant and
bring it up around the root ball; tie it securely around the all to
keep it intact for the move - in other words, B&B the plants, just
don't dig them and stick them in a bag or box.   General wisdom from
peony list is that this root ball will take two people to handle - it
will be very heavy, so line up some muscle to help you.

I would do this ASAP, before they have put on too much growth and get
them back in the ground while it's still cool - less stress on them
and less chance of breaking stems, etc.

At this time of year, peonies are making new roots that will become
feeder roots and they are brittle, so that's why you want to try to
keep as many intact as possible as those roots are what will feed the
plant this season and enable it to store food for next year's blooms.
  On some species/clones, these are formed close to the crown; on
others they are more wide spread.  

As for removing the weeds.  Leave them until you put the plants in
their new hole and then use your hose to wash them out of the root
ball, the water will help serve to settle the plants in their new
home anyway. Using water (the old hydraulic method) is always kinder
on roots as it may wash them clean but won't break them like trying
to dig out the weeds or shake them out will do.  Be sure you replant
them at the same depth they are now growing - not deeper.  Rule of
thumb with peonies is that the crown should be about an inch below
soil surface and not more or they won't bloom.

As for the potted lilies...just harden them off and plant as you
would any potted plant when the weather permits.  You want to give
them as much light as poss. in the house.  

BTW, Ceres, peony list is unanimous on not buying 'bare root' peonies
in spring.  Potted plants would be another story.  Most peonies are
sold bare root and those that are bare root in spring have generally
been held over in coolers and the potential for mishandling is
greater.  If you are buying in containerized plants at your
greenhouse, that may be why your customers aren't having problems
with them.  Just about any plant can be grown in a container and any
containerized plant can be planted about any time with success that
the ground isn't frozen .  I would imagine getting them bare root and
planted in October is iffy where you are because of weather?

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
Current Article: Battling Bambi
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> From: Bonnie & Bill Morgan <wmorgan972@ameritech.net>
> Miracles of miracles, a few brave peonies have breached the
> fighting grass and weeds and compacted earth at mother's house in
Indy.  I
> thought they were all dead.  I didn't see one of them last year at
> There aren't many of them, but a few of the family 'pass along'
peonies and
> I really do want to transplant them here in Ohio so that mother can
> enjoy them while she can.  I know they are best transplanted in the
> but hopefully the house will be long sold by then.  (Someone
renting down
> the road from mom's house moved to Indiana from California with 2
small boys
> says he's prepared to make an offer if he can get financing.)  He
> likes the LARGE fenced yard.  If I needed to transplant them this
month or
> next, what would be the best way to handle them?  How can I get rid
of the
> grasses and weeds at transplant without harming the peonies?  I
> any help you can give me with these peonies, especially.
> I stepped into my nice warm entry way where I had put some early
lily bulb
> purchases--Asiatic, I think--(discounted 3bulbs for $1.50 or
something like
> that) only to find 3' tall fully leafed stems!  On one lily, I
found 12
> buds! The middle sized one has about 10 and the "runt" has 6 or 7
> WOW!  These things grew like weeds.  The lilies out in the yard
have just
> breached the surface: that is wise when you think that we'll hit 20
> tonight as a low.  I'm looking forward to some inside action long
before my
> outdoor lilies make their brilliance known.  But then, when do I
> my full grown potted lilies?  Do I dry them out first?  Do I plant
them out
> after the last frost date?
> Now here's another question, with a low of 20 predicted for tonight
> 50's should be tomorrow's high,) and scads of daffodils in glorious
> do I make one whale of a bouquet or try to find sheets to cover
> with.  (That will take a lot of fabric!)  I never know which is
best this
> time of year.  I've done both in the past with mixed results.

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