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To move or not to move a peony

I've discovered a small peony growing in my border which is shady most of the time.  It's approx 20cm high and growing at quite a rate.  I was given a cutting by a neighbour several years ago and I remember planting it there (not knowing any better) and just forgetting about it.  I think I've either weeded it previously or it's not come up.  Anyhoo I know it won't flower there as not enough sun at all and is under trees also.  If I move it now and put it in a pot in full sun does it stand a chance? Or should I leave it where it is and see what happens?


  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,885
    I would move it, carefully, and replant. Not too deep though - that's what stops them flowering.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • brackenbracken Posts: 91
    I'd move it to a more suitable place.  They always used to say don't move them but I have moved a huge really old one splitting it to make numerous plants and it was fine. Just don't plant too deep and keep it well watered.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    Yep, the "don't move peonies" thing is a myth.  However, this isn't the best time to move one as they will usually be putting lots of energy and water into the emerging flowers, but from the description I doubt yours will be producing one at the moment, so just try and keep as much soil attached to the roots (especially the finer ones) as you can when you move it and do as the other posters say regarding re-planting depth and watering.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • thanks for all the advice @JennyJ @squireler @BobTheGardener I'll pot it carefully and hope for the best!
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    edited April 2021
    It'll need a big pot as they much prefer it in the ground, although I do grow-on new bare-root peonies in 30cm pots for a year before planting out into the garden.  Plenty of water and sun is what they like - don't let the pot get dry. :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,443
    @BobTheGardener, sorry to hijack the thread, but l have just found one coming up in a shady position. I think it must have come from a pot that l assumed had a failed peony in it.
    Is it safe to assume that it won't flower, or should l wait until later in the year and then move it ? If l move it now, should l wait until things warm up, or bite the bullet ?
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    I'd be tempted to do it next weekend as night temps are forecast to be above freezing by then, and only as long as the shoots are still small and if you can take a big rootball.
    However, it definitely isn't the best time to do it, so ideally wait until autumn if you can.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,443
    Thanks @BobTheGardener :)
    The shoots are about 6 to 9 inches high at the moment, so l might wait. On the other hand l don't always have a great deal of patience...
  • I moved my peony last autumn and I made a right hash of it!  I broke it and all sorts, was convinced it was dead but it's coming back, yay!  So I can also vouch for them tolerating being moved.
  • good to know @Crazybeelady :)

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