The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Peonies

Question: Hi there! I transplanted 2 peonies this spring. I would like to transplant them again in the fall. I live in zone 7. The leaves on my peonies look like the edges are burnt. What is causing this? Also when I replant them how deep & exactly what kind of sun do they like? How often should I water them. Will they bloom next year or will it take 2 years to bloom? I know they are sensitive to moving them around. As always thanks so much for your time! I love your website!!

Answer: Crispy leaves can indicate water stress or over fertilization. Peonies grow best in full sunshine and should be planted or transplanted while they're dormant, to avoid the stress and shock of transplanting. They really resent having their roots disturbed and can sulk for years if moved at the wrong time. The first frost will kill the tops down. When that happens, you can cut away the dead foliage and move the plants. Try to plant them at the same soil level that they were growing before. Be sure to plant peonies in deep, rich, moist soil. Dig a hole at least 1 1/2 feet deep (roots go this far down!) and amend the soil with lots of organic matter to help loosen the soil and to retain moisture. Then backfill, planting the root clump so that the eyes are no deeper than 2-3 inches under the surface of the soil. Water the roots in well after transplanting to help settle the soil. How often you'll need to water during the growing season really depends upon the weather and your soil type. A good rule of thumb is to water deeply once each week. If you're not sure how well your soil holds moisture, try watering deeply and then waiting 3-4 days. Dig a hole down in the soil near the roots and see how moist the soil is. If it's still moist 3 inches beneath the surface, you won't need to water for a few more days. If it's dry 3 inches below the surface, it's time to water. After a while you'll get a feel about how often you'll need to water your peonies.

Glad you like the website and that it is helpful to you. Good luck with your move!

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