How to Propagate Peonies & Daylilies


At nurseries, you’ll find tree peonies (in fact, a shrub), which grow from roots, and herbaceous peonies, which have rhizomes with tuberous roots. You can transplant both in the fall. In spring, your herbaceous peonies will produce large flowers, but it might be several years until your tree peony blooms. Like herbaceous peonies, daylilies also reproduce through tuberous roots, making flowers that blossom on stems above clumps of foliage. The time to set bare-root daylilies in the ground depends on where you live. In mild winters, plant them in fall or winter. Otherwise, spring and summer are the best seasons.

Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need
  • Bare-root peony
  • Bare-root daylily
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Rake
  • Water
  • 5-10-5 fertilizer
  • Mulch
    1. Find a garden spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. Loamy soil with good drainage is also best. To amend your soil, about two weeks before planting, break up the ground, mix it with compost and rake it to a smooth flower bed.
    2. Dig a hole 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Use some of the topsoil you dug out to make a mound in the center of the hole.
    3. Put your rhizome on the mound and spread the roots down and out around it. The buds on the roots should be 1 inch below the soil surface. You may have to adjust your mound’s height a few times to get to the right depth. If the buds are too deep, the plant won’t bloom.
    4. Backfill the hole and firm the soil. Water thoroughly. Keep the soil moist.
    5. Deep-water your rhizome every 10 days to promote root growth while the plant is developing. Both peonies and daylilies become drought-resistant once they mature, requiring less water.
    6. Apply 2 pounds of a 5-10-5 fertilizer for every 100 square feet of flower bed in the spring. Work it into the soil without letting it touch the plant’s stems. After application, water the soil deeply.
    7. Divide the daylilies to thin your flower bed or expand them to another area. After the flowers bloom, lift the entire clump with a garden fork and separate the individual root sections. Plant them elsewhere or give to friends.

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