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Moving plants

Not the ideal time to be doing this, I realise, but we are moving in two weeks time and I am taking some plants with me. Please can anyone tell me if peonies will object to being dug up and divided now, and whether I can risk digging up some shrubs I planted last summer. Thanks for your help.


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,400

    Does the new owner know you're taking those plants?  If not, they belong to them not you.

    That said, if you water the plants thoroughly the evening before you want to dig them up and let them soak their roots, they will come up more easily and with less damage to the root ball.   Place them immediately in pots with fresh compost and keep them out of direct sun but in plenty of light and let them have time to recover and start growing fresh roots.   This will also give you time to prepare their new planting sites.  If you're pushed for space, wrap their roots in damp newspaper and tie up in a plastic bag till you can get them into pots or the ground in their new home.

    Peonies don't mind being moved but are sensitive to planting depth so make sure they are planted at the same depth.   Make sure you have dead headed them so they don't waste energy on seeds.   The shrubs will do better if you can remove some of the top growth to reduce stress on the roots so shorten or thin the stems.

    Keep them watered well so they don't stress between being dug up and getting established again.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Peony are ordinarily divided in the autumn.  It's not going to make a lot of difference.   Remember that peony need a neutral or acid soil depending on the variety.  Not alkaline though.

    With regard to your shrubs... it depends on what they are.

  • cathy43cathy43 Posts: 373

    Have to agree, take as much soil and rootball as possible, if you dont have a big enough pot use 4 big binliners inside each other with a board underneath to carry it. If the new buyer wants to keep the plants I used a window box trough to take loads of slips, this was easier to transport than a lot of small pots and easier to water

    If you can talk a friend into keeping them for you through the move it would be ideal, a mover set a birdbath on a shrub I had lifted and completely squashed it!

  • paulk2paulk2 Posts: 184

    NorthernLass2 and Verdun - you are both right: straight from the horses mouth...

    "Tree peonies prefer neutral, humus rich soils, but they will tolerate slightly acid or slightly alkaline soils"

    Mine are excellent in my acid soil image

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