When to Transplant Peonies

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When to Transplant Peonies

Short Answer: The best time to transplant peonies is in the fall, ideally in September or October. This allows the plant to establish its roots in the new location before the ground freezes and while the soil is still warm. Avoid transplanting in the spring when they are emerging and starting to flower, as this can stress the plant and impact its blooming.


Peonies are known for their beautiful spring flowers. However, after 10 to 15 years, the blooms may slow down. When this happens, it’s time to dig, divide, and transplant the peonies in your garden. You can replant a portion of the original peony and its divisions in the same part of the garden or choose new locations. Herbaceous peonies are great for sharing with friends and family, making them perfect pass-along plants.

Pink Peony Paeonia

Herbaceous Peony vs. Tree Peony

Herbaceous garden peonies are relatively easy to divide and transplant. Tree peonies, however, don’t take well to being disturbed, so it’s best to leave them be.

When to Transplant Peonies

The best time to transplant herbaceous peonies is in September, when they’re past their summer growth and entering winter dormancy. But it’s also possible to dig and plant the entire root ball in the spring before the plants start to sprout new growth for the season. Disturbing peonies at any other time of the year will likely stress them out too much for them to survive.

How to Divide Peonies

First, gently dig up the plant, keeping as many roots as possible. You’ll pull up a lumpy crown with small, reddish buds (eyes) poking up from it and stringy roots trailing below. Gently shake or wash most of the soil off the roots. If the crown has at least six eyes, you can divide it to energize the peony and get more flowers in the future. Use a spade with a sharp blade to slice the crown into pieces with at least three eyes each.

Where to Transplant Peonies

Your peonies will give you the most flowers if they get at least 6 hours of sun daily. You can place them in a pinch in part shade, but you’ll see fewer flowers. As for soil, anything will do as long as it drains well. Don’t plant them where the rain puddles in your garden.

Peonies need good airflow around them to prevent powdery mildew, so dig the new holes at least three feet apart. The holes should also be wide enough to allow new roots to grow. As for depth, peonies are fussy about being planted close to the surface; the eyes should be only a couple of inches underground, or the peony will not bloom. Hold the peony crown to almost surface level and pat the freshly dug soil around the peony roots and over the top of the crown.

Caring for New Peony Transplants

After planting, water the divisions thoroughly. Peonies need to be watered weekly until the ground freezes in the fall. You must step in with your trusty garden hose if nature doesn’t supply weekly rains. In November, spread 4-6 inches of mulch over your peonies to stabilize soil temperatures through winter. In the spring, remove the mulch and spread it around your garden beds or add it to your compost pile.

Peonies are known as slow starters, so you likely won’t see maximum blooms for 2-3 years. But once they’re in gear again, the transplanted peonies will be your garden all-stars for many years.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in the USA

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
Northeast (e.g., New York, Massachusetts)Rose, Purple Lilac, Mountain LaurelSugar Maple, American Elm, White Pine
Southeast (e.g., Florida, Georgia)Orange Blossom, Cherokee Rose, Southern MagnoliaLive Oak, Spanish Moss, Saw Palmetto
Midwest (e.g., Ohio, Illinois)Carnation, Violet, Purple ConeflowerBur Oak, Prairie Grasses, Wild Bergamot
Southwest (e.g., Texas, Arizona)Bluebonnet, Saguaro Cactus Flower, Indian PaintbrushJoshua Tree, Agave, Mesquite
West (e.g., California, Washington)California Poppy, Coast Rhododendron, BitterrootGiant Sequoia, Redwood, Manzanita
Rocky Mountain (e.g., Colorado, Montana)Rocky Mountain Columbine, Bitterroot, Indian PaintbrushBlue Spruce, Aspen, Sagebrush
Great Plains (e.g., Kansas, Nebraska)Sunflower, Goldenrod, Purple ConeflowerCottonwood, Bluestem Grasses, Buffalo Grass
Pacific Northwest (e.g., Oregon, Alaska)Oregon Grape, Forget-me-not, Pacific RhododendronDouglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Ferns

This table includes the most popular flowers and plants in the USA by region, which considers a range of botanical species, including native and widely cultivated varieties.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in Australia

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
New South WalesWaratah, Bottlebrush, Flannel FlowerEucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia
VictoriaCommon Heath, Waxflower, Pink HeathMountain Ash, Silver Wattle, Victorian Blue Gum
QueenslandCooktown Orchid, Golden Penda, Umbrella Tree FlowerMoreton Bay Fig, Macadamia Nut, Queensland Bottle Tree
South AustraliaSturt's Desert Pea, Kangaroo Paw, Eucalyptus BlossomAdelaide Blue Gum, South Australian Blue Gum, Saltbush
Western AustraliaRed and Green Kangaroo Paw, Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Swan River DaisyJarrah, Marri, Karri
TasmaniaTasmanian Blue Gum, Leatherwood Flower, Tasmanian WaratahHuon Pine, Tasmanian Oak, Myrtle Beech
Northern TerritorySturt's Desert Rose, Frangipani, Desert RoseBoab, Gidgee, Spinifex
Australian Capital TerritoryRoyal Bluebell, Australian Daisy, CorreaSnow Gum, River Red Gum, Black Mountain

This table offers a basic overview of popular flowers and plants in each Australian region, focusing on a combination of state flowers, native species, and other characteristic plants. It's important to note that specific species' popularity and prevalence can vary. This table is a simplified representation. Consulting local botanical gardens or regional horticultural societies in Australia would be ideal for more detailed and accurate information.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for today.com magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.