Glory's Garden

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Transplanting tree peonies

 I have explained in the past that my Julie Friendship Rose garden is not actually filled only with roses.

There were several peonies in there along with Black-eyed Susans, a wayward burning bush, a few Irises, several Pincushion flowers and one least I think that's what it's called. I'll have to look it up to be sure.

Yellow tree peony dug out and ready for transplanting

 Anyway, so with the weather cooling considerably now--it's been going way down into the 50's overnight for the past few weeks. Yes, autumn starts here in August-- I wanted to start with the transplanting of these tree peonies and other things to make room for all the roses I want to put in the Rose bed. Makes sense, right? Well, I thought so.
Pink tree peony waiting for its new home to be weed-free
 I grabbed me a shovel and started digging. I went out from the plant's trunk a good 12-15 inches, but even with that, I snipped a few major sized roots. Oops! Hope that doesn't go and kill them. I don't rightly know how delicate a tree peony is as I've never transplanted any before. They are exactly where I planted them from day one. Back then they were tiny little things. But look at them now! They're about 3 feet high and the same or more across. Hefty plants they are now.

Pink tree peony in its new home
 Now if they are anything like regular herbaceous peonies, these tree peonies should do fine even with out all the roots intact. That's the hope anyway. Well, I'll find out eventually, won't I?

This herbaceous peony must get out too
This yellow tree peony was the first one I removed and planted in the only place that made sense...the yellow flower bed in the back yard. I suppose you're wondering why I didn't plant it there first. Well, the yellow bed was awfully crowded then. It has since had quite a few things either die--my precious and still mourned for Scotch Broom --or made such a nuisance of itself-- that blasted yellow-twig dogwood which keeps coming back no matter how many times I dig it out!-- and some things were just moved to serve better elsewhere--The Susans look much better along the chain-link fence in the side yard and the daffodils bulbs keep expanding so they get to spread the love all over the yard.

So, yes, there is room now for the tree peonies.

I'll keep an eye out and see if the roots I left behind do anything so wild as to re-sprout and give me another tree peony. Wouldn't that be wild? Stranger things have been known to happen...especially in my yard!
Severed roots...Oops!

Not having a good "pink" flower bed, the pink tree peony went into the yellow bed too. I know, I know! What am I thinking??? But what the hey? It needed a new home and there it was, an empty spot. Seemed like serendipity to me.
Yellow tree peony safely in the yellow bed
All I have to do now is remove the other peonies, the herbaceous ones, and transplant them in their own new flower bed. I'll tell you about that soon. In the meantime let's all hope my severed roots produce something. No, I'm not expecting anyone to hold their breath, but a wish or two would be nice!
Another root broke off while re-planting. Oh, bother!


  1. I enjoyed your post Glory, those tree peonies are beautiful! Now you can take the broken root and plant it in a pot of peat moss with the broken tip just barely at the surface. If you do not allow it to dry out, it should start growing, and there you have it, another tree peony...":)

  2. Ok - I have to ask. I know this article is about tree peonies, but I have to ask anyway. Is it true that if herbaceous peonies should be planted only about 1 inch below the surface or they won't bloom?

  3. Joan, I have never had a problem getting my peonies to bloom and I have never heard of that "rule". When I have the roots I plant them usually horizontally and anywhere from 3-4 inches deep with a mulch of a couple of inches, so, I'm thinking whoever told you that, doesn't know what they are talking about or my peonies simply won't listen to such hogwash! ;-)

  4. Joan, herbaceous peonies, as far as we have learned from our own experience, can be planted 3-4" deep without any problem, but once planted do NOT like to be disturbed or moved at all. If you move them they may sulk and not bloom for a couple of years, depending on how big and healthy the roots were. If you relocate them, they CAN even change bloom colour depending on the soil conditions and micro-nutrients --or change from single to double-bloom or vice versa. WE had one change from pale pink to white and from pale pink to dark pink. They LOVE to be left alone to bloom happily, they can produce blooms the size of dinner-plates when in excellent conditions. That's all I know about them other than the fact that they are beautiful things to behold....":)

  5. Ok - so I planted mine in early spring 2 years ago, about 2 inches deep. Then I added 2-4 inches of compost to all my garden areas. The peonies have never bloomed (I have never disturbed or transplanted them). How many years does it take before they bloom? Or what am I doing wrong? Everything else around them is growing and blooming wonderfully.

  6. I'm assuming the leaves do emerge every spring but no buds form? It could just be the roots you were given or you bought were rather small and just need to grow some before they bloom. The general rule for perennials is the first year they sleep, the second they creep and the third they leap. Knowing this you might want to wait one more year before giving up on the poor little thing. If still nothing happens, I'll have to send you some of my strong peony stock. After all, no garden is complete without a peony!:-)


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