bad looking peonies

greenmulberry(5-Iowa City)September 1, 2006

Early summer I purchased a new property that has three peonies in the yard. They look just terrible. The foliage is yellowy and wimpy looking, and the flowers were poor.

I would like to move these to a nice bright sunny spot that is hopefully more to their liking (I hate where they are anyway). I believe this is the right time of year for that, correct? Any tips for digging them and to get these poor things looking good when they come back? I have never grown peonies before, I inherited a lot of plants with this new house and I am scrambling to give everything a little TLC before our frosts come.

Thanks! Laura

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Hello and welcome, peonies generally are tough. I've moved mine more than once to get them out of deepening shade. I have heavy clay soil here in VA. so I add compost and sand when I replant. Don't bury the eyes more than an inch. Cut away and get rid of the old folliage every year to reduce the chance of blight.

No matter how careful you are, you will probably wind up with more plants than you started with. Replant everything that has an eye. In a few years that single stalk will be a healthy blooming peony with many flowers. If you have too many of one kind, you can trade for others that you don't have.

Keep in touch. Let us know how it goes.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 9:09AM
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I think in your zone, 2" is the recommended depth for the eye-it is in my zone and you are colder. After the soil freezes, cover the spot with a layer of salt marsh hay or other non-packing mulch to help prevent heaving.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 8:21AM
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