The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Peonies

Question: What time of the year do I transplant my peony bushes and how do I go about doing it? When we bought the house, they were already here and I don't know what I am doing. Thank you. Robin Dennison North Lewisburg, OH

Answer: Transplant your peony bushes in the fall. If possible, select a site with well-drained soil in full sun. Light shade will be alright as long as the area is not full of tree roots. The planting hole should be about 2 ft in diameter and 1 1/2 ft deep. Add lots of peat moss or leaf mold. (Do not use manure since it may make the roots rot and foster disease.) For each plant, mix a double handful of bone meal with the soil. Set the tops of the buds of the crown no more than 2 inches below the surface of the soil...any deeper and they will not flower. In heavy clay soil plant them 1 inch deep. Twice a year, in early spring and fall, sprinkle a handful of bone meal around each plant and scratch it into the soil. Peonies usually take 3-5 years to attain mature size. There may be no blossoms the first year and only a few the second season.

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