can i transplant peonies in early spring (zone 6/7)?

newbieshelley(Washington D.C.)March 6, 2012

If I want to save some well grown peonies, I need to act fast to transplant some bulbs from zone 6/7 into the same zone.

We have had a very warm winter and some perennials have started blooming early. With this in mind, should I go ahead and dig up my peonies now? Should I transplant them into my new yard now? Or just dig them up and store them someplace for a few more weeks until the threat of frost is over?

I do want to get them before late May.

Thanks in advance.

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franknjim

You can but chances are good that it won't bloom again until the following year. Everything I have read online says to do it in the fall.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 10:05AM
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hmacgarden

I wouldn't unless you're moving and have no choice.
Peonies dug & replanted in the spring tend to sulk for a few years...they are much happier and respond by blooming the following spring if transplanted in the fall ( not too deep, this is often the reason they don't bloom )
Heather

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 12:33PM
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Nancy zone 6

I gather than you don't have the option to wait til fall, so if it were me, I would try to dig them now before they leaf out, leaving as much soil as I could around them & transplant them into their permanent spot immediately. Of course, if these are really old clumps this would be hard, but I would try to keep as much intact as possible, not dividing them now.
I know all the rules say they won't bloom the following year if you move them in the spring, but I have divided them a couple of times-before I knew about the rules-& they bloomed remarkably well the following spring. Keep in mind that some varieties may adapt more easily.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 1:41PM
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newbieshelley(Washington D.C.)

Thanks for the feedback thus far.
No, I can't wait until fall. My question was more about doing it now versus later next month when there is less chance for frost, but likely they will have begun to root.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 8:27PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I am in a different zone but agree with rgraham. I dug and moved an old peony from this garden to another in January and noticed several stems now growing, complete with flower buds. Al

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 11:35AM
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jeanne

I traded with another GWer last February. She dug two varieties of peonies, hosed the soil off, packed them and mailed them to me in Ohio, and they both bloomed for me just fine.

I think as long as you intend to care for your plants after digging them they should be perfectly okay. I hope you took ngraham's advice, she is a wise gardener.

Jeanne

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 9:04PM
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gardenbear1(6 Ma.)

I'm in zone 5 and had to move 3 of my peonies last month. they are growing fast and doing well, I wouldn't have moved them but I'm putting in a new water line and they had to come out, I'm hoping they will still bloom.

Bear

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 10:33PM
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wiley0(4a)

Mine in zone 4 were dug up in Mid April and are now getting a second good drenching of rain...as long as the roots adjust and accept the move, I can wait till next year and see how they do. and post about them then. I found out yesterday that there will be five kids in that back yard...they wouldn't have stood a chance of surviving there.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 1:07AM
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Campanula UK Z8

yeah, I had to dig up a large herbaceous peony last March - it was horrible, loads of the rhizome broke off, fat roots everywhere but in the rootball. Anyway, we replanted and it put up leaves but not a flower. This year though, there are 6 fat buds. These are tough plants and carry a lot of energy in those white tuberous roots.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 5:02PM
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