Asked on Feb 23, 2012

Better to transplant peonies this Spring or wait until Fall

Terri JDouglas HuntJoan H


They have become overly shaded over the years by a nearby bush/tree and now we have installed a fence that requires they be moved. Should I try to do this now, or wait until Fall? I realize if they are left there this Spring they may not bloom and thrive, but will they be permanently harmed?
6 answers
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Feb 23, 2012

    I would move them now.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Feb 24, 2012

    I hate to disagree with Four Seasons, but I would wait until next fall, after the first frost. Peonies resent being moved, and the best time to do so is when they start to go dormant. Be prepared for them to sulk for awhile after you do move them. If they've been in that spot for a number of years, they have acclimated gradually to the reduced light and are not going to be permanently harmed by one more season like that. Check out this article from the Iowa State University Extension Service:

  • Charlene S
    on Feb 24, 2012

    It depends where you live. I live in Northeast Pa. and it is recommended to transplant peonies in the fall. If you do it in the spring it takes a couple years for them to bloom again. I know this because I was impatient and tried.

  • Joan H
    on Feb 24, 2012

    Thanks all for your input. My biggest concern is the fence is now RIGHT in front of them (almost on top of them), so they will get even less light then they were getting before - I didn't know if one season like that would hurt them significantly...

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Feb 25, 2012

    I guess it depends on how heavy the shade is, Joan. You risk some decline from that, but if you move them now, you may well not have any flowers for a couple of years.

  • Terri J
    on Mar 10, 2012

    @ Charlene, is it just me or are you to anxious for spring to arrive permanently in PA? I see all these gorgeous landscapes, and I am thinking "if only I knew for sure winter is gone!"

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