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Help! Can I move my poor peony?

Posted by txyellowstang z8 TX (My Page) on
Sat, May 14, 05 at 13:01

I made the beginners mistake of not realizing how huge a hollyhock can get! Last year it did not get over two feet tall and didn't bloom. My peony didn't get over a foot tall. Now the HH is over 6 feet tall and probably 4 feet wide and has just overtaken the poor peony. The peony is still around 12 inches or less right now. If I move it right now will I hurt it? If the only thing it will do it mess up the bloom that's okay, I just don't want to kill it! Or do you think that it will be okay where it is for the season and that I should wait until fall? Actually, will the hollyhock come back next spring...this is it's second season and I deadhead...?

But about the peony.

In the pic is it on the lower right just poking it's head out from under the hollyhock, close to the nandina.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hollyhock!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help! Can I move my poor peony?

  • Posted by Lindac Iowa Z 5/4 (My Page) on
    Sat, May 14, 05 at 14:11

If your peony was just new last year....don't move it....they don't like to be moved at all....they are 50 year plants. Wait until fall or next spring and move the holly hock instead....if it lives. Most of them are biannuals and unless it seeds some this year you won't have a hollyhock next year....but you will have a peony.
Linda C

RE: Help! Can I move my poor peony?

Don't feel badly TX...I did the same thing. :)

RE: Help! Can I move my poor peony?

At some point you may need to widen your garden as the paeony bulks up. You can anticipate your clump getting to two feet plus in diameter.

You can move paeonies but they have brittle roots and can show their displeasure by sulking for quite some time. Better to let them settle in, enjoy the feasts of compost you add over the summer, and the dashes of dolomite, and prepare to flower like queens come Spring.

RE: Help! Can I move my poor peony?

Best to move Peonys in late fall. I dread the job, but must do the same thing this year. Mine will be getting divided to make a much bigger bed. They were just plunked into the soil when we moved, so I need to "prepare" them a proper home. It has only taken me 16 years or so to get around to it. LOL Told you I dreaded it.

RE: Help! Can I move my poor peony?

Here is a peony follow up question...

My friend just moved into a house and doesn't want her peonies. Her husband is going to dig them all up and plant grass .... so sad. so i told her that i would come get them. So any harm reducing i can do when i have no choice but to move them in the heat of summer???

RE: Help! Can I move my poor peony?

Have them watered well the week before and have the holes ready before you go get them. Keep them well watered through the rest of this summer. I'd recommend a partially shaded area, morning sun. As I type this, it occurs to me that providing light shade for the rest of the summer might not be a bad idea- a roof of some old sheer curtains or something.

I wouldn't add any fertilizer this year. Don't expect them to bloom for a year or two.

More Thoughts

I have some other thoughts-
Take as much soil with the plants as you can, and wrap the root ball in wet paper and put them in a plastic bag for transport.

Put them in the back seat and have the AC on- don't transport them in the open bed of a pick-up without a tarp, or in the trunk- it's too hot,and the wind will dry them out more.

RE: Help! Can I move my poor peony?

Txyellowstang: If you want to let the hollyhock go and not reseed, and you want the peony to stay where it is, try trimming some of the HH leaves off the top of the peony. They really like full sun, and the growth will be stunted if it doesn't get it.

Amber KC: I don't blame you for wanting them! Especially if they're going to destroy! Be sure you don't replant too deep... they won't flower at all (much less 3+yrs) if they don't get that good winter cold! And water, water, water! (but don't drown!)

I transplanted and divided a really large white peony that was growing at a house I bought (now a rental, hence the moving to new house with me!) in February or March of 2004... as soon as I saw the "eyes" poking out of the ground. It was probably 15-20 years old and was on the SE corner of the house. I left a small piece there, gave a piece to the neighbor across the street, and put the other 2 pieces at the end of my front walk in full sun. It bloomed that May. If it's healthy and transplanted well, you just COULD get blooms the first year, and it's darn well worth the try!!

RE: Help! Can I move my poor peony?

I had to get rid of a peony a few weeks ago, right in the middle of horrible heat spell. I took a very large rootball, even though some smaller side shoots did manage to split off from the main clump) and potted them in a pots, and moved them into the shade. No problems whatsoever; no wilt, no sulking. I had given them to a friend of mine. Granted, they might not bloom next year, but they'll be fine eventually. I have another that I need to move, eventually, but I'm definitely going to wait until possibly September to move it.

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