Can I dig up and divide a large clump of peonies, if so when, do I then just cut them into individual clumps with a spade.
They are best split when they are dormant, in the late winter /early Spring. Each section has to have a bud. You can use a spade. Make sure the divisions are planted at the same depth. If you bury it too deep it will not flower. Generally peonies only need splitting about once every 25 years.
Thanks for your reply, these peonies are about 12 years old, will I lose them if I split them in this winter.
No you shouldn't lose them. They may sulk for a year after splitting and not flower for a couple of years.
Thanks I will have to think about that, if I moved the whole clump to a different position would that be better than dividing them.
My personal experience of dividing well established peonies is that for several years they have sulked and punished me by not flowering The sections that I left behind in the original positions are ok though
Thanks for your post other gardeners on this forum have said the same thing, I may just leave them where they are.
It may depend on the variety. I have some common but beautiful dark red ones that grew at my in-laws' place for donkey's years but had to be dug up for building work. The clump, dug up while in full growth, fell apart, and I didn't have much hope for them but every piece survived and flowered the next year. I have moved some and given pieces away and all are going strong many years later. More delicate varieties do sulk but I have always found they recover within a couple of years.