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Beginner Gardening Questions: Can I move a peony bush just as it is coming up?

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Forum: Beginner Gardening QuestionsReplies: 6, Views: 93
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Rankin, IL
(Zone 6a)

March 26, 2012
10:45 AM

Post #9057704

I have a really pretty fern type peony growing in a very inconvenient place and would like to move it - the stems are currently about 3-4 iches high (just tall enough to notice as I was mowing this week-end). Do I need to wait until it has bloomed and died down or can I dig it up now and move it?
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

March 26, 2012
12:32 PM

Post #9057831

I don't know if you got the reply I sent Jroo, but here goes again, there are folks who say you cant move Peony's as they will stop flowering for years, others say move them IF they are in the wrong situation and will be destroyed if left in situ, so as I have already moved several, here is the best way to go.
You must have the prepared hole dug in the new area for planting, add some manure (well rotted) to this, add some multi purpose feed to the soil removed and used for refilling.
Next cut a wade circle around the root area of the peony to be moved, use a sharp spade, do remember these plants have huge wide tuberous roots like banana shaped and you should be trying NOT to brake those off, once you have dug the circle you keep cutting deeper and deeper till you can lift the whole plant out the ground.
Place this onto a sack, large piece of plastic sheeting etc and either lift or drag this over to new area made ready for re-planting,
Don't bury any peony deep, they like to be more or less on top or just under the top soil in no more allowing the tubers to bake in the sun as this helps get them into sending up flowering stems as well as foliage stems.
Make sure you give plenty water as you don't want these huge tubers to dry out, they are greedy plants for food ?manure compost and a handful of blood-fish-bone meal as this is a slow release feed and sustains these large plants right through the season, once the foliage has reached about a foot high, I like to give support for the rest of the season as the flower-heads are heavy especially when it rains.
The peony just might not flower this year but you should get foliage, next year add feed again and rake it in, keep watering in growing season and you should enjoy plenty of beautiful flowers the following year. I placÚ a cane into the soil at planting time so I don't stand on the plants in spring when there is bare soil and you cant remember exactly where you planted the tubers.
Good luck, hope this helps you out. WeeNel.
Greenfield, OH
(Zone 6a)

March 29, 2012
12:25 PM

Post #9062088

I too have heard that you should not move peonies but I have done it successfully with no troubles. In fact, I moved a peony that wouldn't bloom (I think it was originally planted to deep) and now its a monster of a plant.
You gotta do what you gotta do. Just remember, its your garden

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brainerd, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 29, 2012
12:39 PM

Post #9062097

I have moved several that hadnt bloomed in years. I just did it last fall, and they are starting to pop. I dont know if I will get flowers on them or not this year.
Other years I have moved when I felt like it - between April and July - all with success.
Brillion, WI

April 22, 2012
5:30 PM

Post #9093361

Peonies have to have the crowns 2 inches below the soil or they will not bloom.
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

April 22, 2012
6:03 PM

Post #9093401

Errr... to clarify (and to restate what WeeNel said), peonies need to planted with their growing points ("eyes") very shallowly buried - 1/2" to 1" below the top of the soil is fine, even in this cold climate. Otherwise, blooming is hampered. Anyway, "shallow" is the message though the number need not be exact. ;-)

This message was edited Apr 22, 2012 6:05 PM
brainerd, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 22, 2012
7:13 PM

Post #9093524

the ones I moved last fall are now over a foot tall..havent looked close enough to see if they have buds yet or not. Im just glad to see those little red "legs" all over the garden :)

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