Moving peony plants - Knowledgebase Question

Frederick, Ma
Question by bav0345
March 31, 2010
I have to move 2 well established peony plants to make room for a privacy fence. They are growing rapidly now and I won't move them until after they bloom (wouldn't want to miss out on my favorite flowers!). I've heard peonys don't like to be moved...what's the best plan...I've put off finishing the fence for 3 years!!! Thanks!

Answer from NGA
March 31, 2010


September is the best time to transplant established peonies. Begin by cutting the peony stems near ground level. Then carefully dig around and under each plant. Try to retain as much of the root system as possible. Promptly replant the peonies in a sunny, well-drained site.

Division of large peony clumps requires a few additional steps. After digging up the plant, gently shake the clump to remove loose soil from the root system. Using a large knife, divide the clump into sections. Each division should have at least three to five buds (eyes) and a good root system. Smaller divisions will require several years to develop into attractive plants.

When replanting, dig a hole large enough to comfortably accommodate the plant?s root system. Position the peony plant in the hole so the buds are one to two inches below the soil surface. (Peonies often fail to bloom satisfactorily if the buds are more than two inches deep.) Fill the hole with soil, firming the soil around the plant as you backfill. Then water thoroughly. Space peonies three to four feet apart.

Best wishes with the move (and the fence)!

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