Transplanting Peonies

Centennial, CO(Zone 5a)

It has been a while since I was on this forum but knew where to go when I had a question. My neighbor has offered me his four peony bushes. They have been right where they are currently planted for the past ten years-so they are well established. Everything I have read says wait until the fall, but that is not an option (long story). Any suggestions on how to be successful with these plants? I still consider myself a newbie and this will be my first attempt with peonies. They are about 6-8 inches tall right now. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Denver Metro Area, CO(Zone 5a)

Hi kd,
I transplanted some heirloom peonies in the spring (yrs. ago, before I knew Sept. was the right time) and they survived. You might want to divide the clumps so that the shock is not from the transplant, but from the division. The peonies I dug had huge taproots which I did not take with the clump/division. If there is no other option as to when you dig these, what have you got to lose in trying? ;)
Good luck,

Littleton, CO

You've probably already transplanted the peonies but in case you haven't, it's important to plant peony eyes no more than a half inch below the soil. I would be careful not to replant the bushes deeper than they were planted before. I would also do one more thing - might or might not help. Go to the drugstore and find a bottle of liquid Vitamin B-1 - they used to sell it at Rite Aid for a couple bucks a bottle. Mix 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of the b-1 into one gallon of water, and pour one gallon on each bush. I'd wait until a nice warm day and pour it on early. The b-1 helps the roots settle down and acclimate. I actually do this with all new bush plantings - roses, whatever. NO fertilizer on peonies until the fall.

Have fun -

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

I helped my Mother plant some peonies that she got from my Aunt's yard. I carefully checked the depth on mine, and made sure the eyes/sprouts were "up" and the roots down. Mom planted hers by taking out a spade full of dirt, tossing a chunk of plant in the hole, and putting the spadeful of dirt back on top. This was over ten years ago. The ones I planted correctly never bloomed and eventually disappeared. Mom's thrived, and are currently covered with buds. There is no moral to this story, except maybe you can do everything wrong and still get lucky.

Reno, NV(Zone 5a)

From necessity we have moved peonies at different times of the year. Try to get as much root as possible, and if they are very large divide them into smaller sections. We actually moved one large bush last summer and got four new clumps. Good luck

Centennial, CO(Zone 5a)

I had to laugh at your post(and myself once again)-I tend to read and research a topic to death before making a move and when I started gardening it was no different. I checked out tons of books, googled until my eyes were crossed and lurked in this forum for months until my husand finally asked me when I going to actually plant something? During all this I asked my sister's mother in law (who has one of the most beautiful gardens on earth) what was the secret to her success. She said "If I like it I plant it, if it grows-yea!, if it dies I try something else." And then looked at me like "whats your problem?" Sometimes I forget to quit thinking and just enjoy gardening!
:) kd

Centennial, CO(Zone 5a)

kd, I love that! I tend to do a little of both (researching vs. winging it) and winging it is always more fun!

Glenwood Springs, CO(Zone 5b)

Amen Sisters!

I have a library of plant & soil books...but I know very little about gardening in Colorado compared to what I learned gardening for 37 years in southern California where the choices were virtually unlimited. No tulips or apples. We are good to go on the macadamia nuts, avocados, passion fruit, citrus, etc. Ummmm, shark steaks with FRESH boysenberry/lime glaze.

I lost some agastches this year I think due to the severe cold in October. I have some plants coming from HCG so I will plug in a few Salvias! Does any garden stay the same? Hopefully they just keep getting nicer.

Blessings on all of your gardens!


Littleton, CO

I'm curious. I have planted additional types of peonies in different years. Some of them are getting very big. Let's say I wanted to divide the roots to start more bushes to give them away. How would you do that step by step. Are there any restrictions with dividing and starting peonies that are under patent? Like with roses you aren't supposed to start new ones from patented bushes.

Also, since there are so many Colorado folks on this thread, have nay of you tried to plant a peony tree? Any advice? .

Is dividing a peony root like dividing a bearded iris rhizome?


Glenwood Springs, CO(Zone 5b)

I would venture to guess that any increase you harvest through division is yours to do with as you wish, except selling them if they are under patent.

The American Peony Society has this to say about dividing peonies:

Good luck!


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