Ask a Question forum: moving an established peony

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Name: Margy Stinson
Huntington, IN - near Fort Way (Zone 5b)
help moving an established peony
Sep 16, 2017 1:47 PM CST
I have an old peony that needs to be moved. The last time we tried to move an established peony it was a huge task. It had an enormous root ball and was very heavy. Getting it from where it was living to the next location and setting it into the new location at the correct depth was a big, big task. Any suggestions?
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Sep 16, 2017 5:36 PM CST
First, wait until its foliage is dying back in the cooler weather to move it, if you can. Prepare the new spot for it before you dig it up so it will be out of the ground for the shortest time possible. I'm not sure if it matters but I would try to have it facing the same direction as it was in the old spot, so make a note or tie a ribbon on it denoting the south side of the plant (or whichever side you choose).

Dig all around it, and get under it as best you can leaving as big a root ball as possible. Get a plastic tarp and maneuver it under the plant. It will probably take two or three people to lift it out of its hole using the corners of the tarp, but then you should be able to just slide it on the tarp to the new location with very little harm to the root ball. Wrap the tarp around it if you'll be going up or down hill so it won't slide off.

I'm sure you know, peonies don't like to be disturbed so be as quick and non-disruptive to the plant as you can.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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