Moving peonies

Sedro-Woolley, WA(Zone 8a)

Hi everyone:

There is a small peony plant growing in my back yard and I would like to move it. When is a good time to move the plant? It didn't get any buds on it last year so I assume it's only been planted for a year. I moved into the house last February so I'm thinking I can move it soon? Any help is appreciated.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Normally you would move it in the fall. It is going into dormancy then while from here forward it is hopefully building a healthy tuber even if it doesn't bloom. That is 'conventional wisdom'.

On the other hand if it is planted too deep or has some other problem it could be living off the tuber rather than growing and it will die eventually. Really your choice. I have one I planted last fall that has not come up. I am going to dig it up to see what the problem is and will probably move it to a sunnier locale. They do need lots of sun. Minerals like Azomite (you can get at your non-boxstore nurseries) mine love and it is highly recommended by one leading nursery in Conneticut.

So it's your call but do it soon if you are going to dig it up so it can reestablish itself. Even those nurseries who ship in the spring do so early while the plants are still semi-dormant.

Oh, and plant a banana peel several inches under it. lol. I have heard that they love whatever comes from banana peels.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I dug up a bunch of peonies last April because I was moving. I put them in pots. Most of them bloomed. I then moved them from the pots back to the ground. They all tripled in size.

Can you get the entire root? I actually tore roots on peonies that are now in bud.

I would prepare your new location, dig deeply and get as much as I can, and move it now. Some of my now budding peonies have been moved three times in the last year. If you can get the whole root, so much the better!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I ended up all but pulling mine out of the ground in one piece. It was budding down there but not by the neck. Wierd. Anyway, I churned up the soil and replanted a little higher. Put on some Azomite and it will be fine. May not bloom, but no big deal. At least it will go into winter with new roots and more established than if I dug it up in the fall.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

I agree. I moved several peonies last spring. They seemed pretty small but had not performed, so I decided to move them to a sunnier location. I was amazed at the size of the roots. It was sort of like an iceberg with 10 percent above ground. The roots are woody. As soon as they were moved, they continued to flourish and most have buds this year despite the screwy northeast winter and spring temperatures. Just as Donna did, I'm sure I tore some of the roots.

Go for it!

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