I know that you should move peonies in the fall, but my sister is moving out of state next week. How deep do I plant?
The top of the roots should not be deeper than two inches anywhere. Here in California the top of the roots is AT ground level, if we expect regular blooming. Al
Plant them a bit high--to allow for the soil to sink down when you water and the moist soil also drags down the peony also. I grew up in peony country (up north)--we were always told to plant the eyes about 1/2 inch from the top. Water. And the eyes will end up no deeper than 1 to 1.5 inches--which was considered the ideal depth where I grew up.
You can also dig up the peony along with a big round rootball around the roots. Then ease it into a slightly bigger hole--but make sure the top (where the eyes are located) is about 1/2 inch above the soil line. Then water in slowly and deeply. That will drag the rootball down to the correct depth for growing peonies. The advantage of this method is that the peony doesn't really register that it was moved and it will often bloom the next spring, although not heavily. If you go bareroot, it will sometimes take a couple years for the peony to actually bloom.