How to Transplant Peonies in the Fall
Although peonies are usually happy to grow in the same spot for many years, there are times that it becomes necessary to transplant a peony to a new home. Transplanting peonies isn’t difficult, and with proper care, the relocated peony should do just fine. Your transplanted peony plant may rest for the first couple of years, but by the third or fourth year, the peony should be back to full production and blooming in all its glory.
Things You’ll Need
- Decomposed manure or compost
- Spade or garden fork
- Prepare the new spot before you dig the peony. Select a spot with full-day sunshine and well-drained soil. Dig the soil to a depth of 18 to 24 inches, then mix in 2 to 3 inches of decayed manure or compost.
- Prune your peony plant down nearly to ground level. Leave only 3 to 4 inches of stems intact.
- Dig the peony, using a spade or a garden fork. Dig straight down about 10 to 12 inches, working in a circle around the peony, then dig under the plant. Use the spade to pry the peony carefully from the ground, leaving as many roots intact as possible.
- Dig a hole in the prepared spot. The hole should allow plenty of width to accommodate the peony’s root ball. Place the peony in the hole with the buds, or eyes, no more than 2 inches below the surface of the soil. The buds will be easy to see at the base of the plant. Fill the hole around the roots with the removed soil, then tamp the soil lightly around the roots.
- Water the transplanted peony deeply enough to thoroughly saturate the soil around the roots.
- Spread 2 to 4 inches of mulch such as straw or pine needles around the peony in November. Mulch will protect the peony from possible damage caused by freezing and thawing of the soil.