A neighbour had a mature peony - beautiful deep pink/red (we don't know name) and wanted it removed. I'd enviously admired it just over the fence for years. It was carefully dug up by a landscaping gardener but was so large he had to divide it into half a dozen sections, each with big roots and tubers(?). I was given a couple to see if I could transplant them without them dying off.
I left two divisions with large sections of root still attached in a bucket of water for a day and overnight. I then put good garden compost in overlarge holes and planted both. I've left them with some of the stems and leaves still on at the moment. I've read that moving peonies can be very tricky and that if you transplant sections it can be years before they 'take' (if you're lucky) and a long time before you might achieve blooms.
Here's a photo of what I've re-planted. I'm thinking success will me a bit of a miracle. I'm also wondering if I ought to cut the stems to the ground to give the roots a chance.
Does anyone have any advice or experience of doing this? I'm not hopeful at all but I just wanted to try something as it was a beautiful plant in the next door garden and I couldn't bear to think of it all going to the rubbish heap.
Forgot to say - and maybe it's irrelevant - I haven't staked the existing stems as I didn't want to hit the roots so they do look floppy. After 4 days they are still green so far.
The normal time to transplant these is when they are dormant, in late winter.
I would keep watering. The leaves will probably die down soon anyway. Good luck.
i agree you just might be lucky.
Thanks fidgetbones for reply. Yes, I'd read that from autumn was the ideal time to transplant but as they were being removed immediately from next door's garden I was stuck with having to plant them now.
Yes, I'll try to be sensible with the watering and just watch and wait - probably until I'm a gnarled tree myself!
Cut off foiliage ???
I wouldn't cut off the foliage, let it die down naturally. The following RHS site gives good information:
Good luck, they really are beautiful!
Update from last year (2013). Did as advised last year and left the foliage. Chopped it to ground in February and here are both of the transplanted sections May 1st 2014. Your advice was spot on and the one which had the larger remaining root attachments has 3 buds (bottom photo) which I'm amazed and pleased to see. Thanks everyone.
That's good to see Yarrow.
In the sticks near Peterborough
Let us have a picture when it comes into flower and one of us may be able to identify which variety you've got. I have about five or six peonies in my garden. Always look forward to them flowering.