I think i killed it :(

marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern OntarioSeptember 12, 2012

People have talked about moving peonies like it was something easy to do. Today, i tried to move one up a foot so it was out of the shade, and i'm sure i killed it. I tried to dig up a large root ball but there was no way. I was slicing through huge tubers over an inch wide. Poor thing - i kept saying "I'm sorry!" to it over and over again. I socked the water to it once it was in its new home and it's supposed to rain tomorrow so it will get more water, but honestly, i think it's done for. This one is about 8 years old or so. There's another one i wanted to move as well, for the same reason, but it's about 20 years old and i'm really afraid of killing it too. It was my first plant ever, so i really want to keep it alive, but the cedar trees in back of that bed have overshadowed it and i'd like to get it more into the sun. Is there an easier way - besides cutting down the cedars, i mean! (that would be my solution, but dh would object a bit!)

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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

It'll probably be okay. I never get all the roots out when I move peonies either. And the good news is, if it does die chances are you will get re-growth from the root pieces left behind. I always do. You could dig them up and try again if you have to, although you won't have flowers for a few years.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 10:44PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Hope you're right! Boy, if i planted all those roots, i could just about go into business! LOL

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 11:17PM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

I know how you feel. I tried to dig out a mature peony once. It was seriously hard work and I really butchered it in the process. But I potted up a whole bunch of the pieces and sunk them in the garden. In the spring every one came up and I sold them all at my plant sale.
So I bet yours will survive, though it may take a while to return to its former glory.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 9:45AM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

I can so relate...after my experience, I decided people weren't digging and dividing peonies the size of mine. I had to give up getting it out (after mangling it) and only 1 of the pieces survived the process. A few years later the main one was back in its glory, but it was an awful lot of work to nearly lose the most striking plant in the garden!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:48AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I looked at it today and it seems all right. I don't know what i'll do about the older plant next summer. It's right in the shade now. Maybe i'll just lop off all the cedar's branches on that side. Think dh will notice? LOL

Good idea about selling the pieces at your plant sale. Our Hort. Society does a plant sale this spring, so i could pot them up for that. Thanks for the idea!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:43PM
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Pudge 2b

I'll bet it survives just fine. I hate, hate, hate digging up peonies so mostly I just garden around them. But if my willow trees get any taller and shade out that back border where most of the peonies are planted then I won't have much choice in the matter.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:57AM
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