moving peonies now???

mpaninop(6)May 28, 2010

Hi all! I am new as a member here, but have perused these boards for advice for years.

Anyway, we have these big, fluffy white peonies that came with our house. They are planted on the E-NE side of the house. They only get about 5 hours of sunlight before the sun goes over the roofline and they are in shade the rest of the day. They bloom well enough, but of course they are leggy and fall over even with the cages. In short, they are in the wrong place.

Now, I know fall would be the best time to move them. But here I just picked up two flowering quince for a song at a clearance sale. I think they would do well in that site, and would make a much more sensible foundation planting.

The peonies are blooming right now of course.

Would it be the end of the world if I cut them down to about 12" and moved them to a sunnier spot right now so that I can get the quince in? Even if they didn't bloom next spring, I could live with that. I just don't want to kill them. Any suggestions?

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As you probably know the problem with moving them now is they would not have a lot of "feeder" roots & the hotter summer weather might stress the plant. But if you were careful to see they were watered sufficiently & prepared the soil nice & loose so the roots could "take off" again, they would probably be ok. Oh, well, what's the worst that could happen? They'd die - can be replaced - & it's fun to pick out new ones heheh!
I have planted many a root in springtime in large 18" pots, and kept them on my patio so I would remember to water them, then planted in fall, and they've done great!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 11:11AM
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Moving will not cure the legginess. What you have are peonies that were used in the cut flower trade. At one time that was basically it as far as peonies went unless you knew someone that grew shorter ones. The advantage of the long stems were for the lady of the house to be able to make large scented arrangements for the house.

You can move them if you wish but you are aware that flower quinces need to be clipped every year? I have one that is in deeper shade than it should be and each year will send out branches that are 6-8 or more feet long.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 11:14PM
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Thanks so much for clueing me in to the cause of the legginess. That does change the calculus a bit. I'll keep mulling this over and maybe will find a better solution that suits all the plants better. If the peonies are going to be falling all over themselves anyway, then a better solution is probably to invest in sturdier cages and put the quince in the sunnier spot!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 1:37PM
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I did not know about the feeder root problem so now if I do decide to move them, at least I am prepared to do a better job of it.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 4:58PM
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