tree peony

(Question)

I would like to transfer my tree peony which is too near the driveway and gets knocked… When and how should I do this. it is about 10 years old and fuchsia in colour. Thanks

(Answer)

How lucky that you have been able to enjoy this  beautiful plant for such a long time, it sounds as if it’s very happy in it’s current location. I understand why you want to move it, however know that peonies really do not like to be transplanted once established but with proper technique it can be done.

Tree peonies are long-lived, hardy shrubs that bloom on “old wood” (wood that has formed the previous season). They prefer neutral, humus rich soils, but they will tolerate slightly acid or slightly alkaline soils

When growing tree peonies good drainage is essential. Ideally, transplant to a sunny position.  Tree peonies will tolerate light shade, but the plants may become straggly growing towards light

The best time to transplant tree peonies is in the fall when the plants have become dormant. To lift your established tree peony, begin at least eighteen inches from the base of the stem, loosen the plant from the soil with a large garden fork, work your way around the plant, and gently pry it from the ground. The roots will be deep and tough. Have burlap ready to help secure the root ball. Cut off any remaining leaves being careful not to remove what will become next years woody stem. Plant immediately and water in well. Note that when moving a tree peony it will sulk for a while and will take take several years for it to return to its previous health.

Here are some excellent articles on growing and transplanting peonies: www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profilePID=711 , www.finegardening.com/how-divide-intersectional-and-tree-peonies

Good luck and continue enjoyment of this lovely shrub.