The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Peonies

Question: I have a couple of peonies that I would like to dig up and transplant. What is the best way and time of year to do this?

Answer: Peonies should be transplanted in the fall. Plant them in a full sun location with rich soil that is evenly moist yet well drained. Since peonies are long lived, good planting is important. They will normally not bloom for the next year or two after being moved.

When selecting the new planting spot, allow ample space for each plant to reach its mature size without crowding so they have space and also have good air circulation. Loosen the soil over a wide area and about 18 inches deep to encourage rooting.

When you dig the peonies, take as much of the root system as you possibly can. Replant them so the eyes or growth tips are only about one to two inches deep, no deeper -- make sure they do not settle too deeply. Water thoroughly to eliminate air pockets, then mulch with several inches of organic mulch. After planting, keep the soil evenly moist until the ground freezes and water deeply during dry spells next year. Do not fertilize until next spring.

Here is more information you may find helpful, including suggestions for dividing if you want to increase the number of plants. You may need to cut and paste the complete url to make it work correctly.

Good luck with your project!

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