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Disturbing a newly planted Peony

I planted my first Peony Saturday, 10/15/16 and I planted the roots straight down but the eyes are 2" under the soil. I'm concerned that I planted it wrong - that I should have laid it on it's side with it's eyes 2' under soil. Is it OK to disturb it to reposition it? Or should I just leave it alone?



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    I think it's too deep, buds should point up, just below the surface. 

  • nutcutlet, thank you! Yes, the eyes are pointing up, all of them and they are 2" under here in Indiana. My biggest concern is in repositioning it - will doing so be detrimental to the plant at all? Thank you so much for your reply!

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,877

    It won't have grown any roots in such a short period so you should be ok to dig it up and replant it.  Do as Nut says and replant it with the eyes facing upwards and no more than an inch below the surface.  They usually refuse to flower if planted too deep.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thank you, Bob! That sounds right, about the roots. I'm just wondering why so many sites say to plant them 2" for Indiana climate? I am going to reposition it now, though. Thank you, again, Bob!

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,877

    I assume it's to protect against frost losgood.  To help with that you could put a couple of inches of compost or bark chippings over the top during the coldest part of winter which will protect the roots from freezing then carefully remove it once the hardest frosts have passed.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Yes, Bob, it is to protect against frost. I just now read an article that says for Zone 6 (IN), plant 1 inch below. So, 1" it will be. image

    About compost: I'm using leaf compost as mulch but the wind blows it onto my plants. Many articles say to keep the compost 6" away from the center of the plant, but I can't keep it in place. Do you or does anyone have any ideas about what I can use with the leaf compost to keep it in place? I've thought about composted cow manure on top of it, or plastic, but it would need to be stapled to the ground.

    Thank you!

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,347

    You'd probably need to mix enough wet material with your leaf mould to keep it from moving around, but just keep it away from the crown. It might be better with a heavier mulch of something like gravel instead, losgood. As Bob says, you don't want anything damp sitting permanently over the crown, so a wet mulch is fine everywhere else but not directly on the middle. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    I grew up with Peony's and have my own now, love them. My way is not to cut off the old foliage once the leaves have dried up leave it as a frost guard and it works, putting mulch on the root can cause rotting, I mulch around the root in a circle and leave the rest to the worms who work it into the ground.

    They do need a southwest placing, late morning and afternoon sun is what they like, water round a new planting say a bucket every few days for a month unless it is cold. I wake mine in spring by again mulching around the plant with a mix of compost and granular fertiliser not touching the top of the root ball. A new plant can take a year or so to flower so if it only shows leaf the first couple of years it is building up reserves. One of mine took six years then only one flower now it is a full grown plant with a mass of flowers, you may have to stake the plant when it flowers by putting several stakes in the ground and stringing them across, if you do this early the leaves cover the supports. Hope this helps.


  • sanjy67sanjy67 Posts: 1,007

    i recently dig mine up, it's three years old and replanted it in the same spot as the soil level has gone up over the past few years, i got one flower last year but will i have set it back to year 1 by disturbing it and bringing the crown back up to soil level?

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Hi Sanjy, I consider Peony's or paeonia as I call them to be the Grand Ladies of the flowering garden, they do their own thing only when they think they will do it, We doff our caps and wait for that smile as they flower. They do not like being moved though I have moved them taking care to never sink the root ball below the level it was at. One sulked for two years then flowered fully, another came back with a few more flowers each year and now blooms for England. Each has its own way of doing things we just care for them and await results, as I said Ladies need to be obeyed or is that pampered and obeyed, I do both it works for me.


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