can i dig up a peonie when it is in bud ?
Thanks for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
Peonies can be dug up, divided and transplanted when the weather is cool and moist–it is generally recommended to do this in the fall. The plant is starting to go dormant; established peonies resent disturbance, so it is best to move them when they are not growing. You mention that it is “in bud”–has your peony bloomed yet this season or are you referring to what remains (the seed head) after the bloom has faded? If it hasn’t yet bloomed you might want to wait until after it blooms to dig it up. Why do you wish to dig it up? The bud that hasn’t yet flowered will certainly not do so if you were to dig the plant up now .
Do you plan to move and transplant it somewhere else? It would be best to wait until the fall to dig it up and transplant it. If you need to dig it up now, you could put it into a large enough pot to hold the tuber (root)/foliage, keep it moist and in a shady spot until the fall. Keep in mind that the peony will most likely not bloom for a year or so after transplanting.
For more information on how to transplant a peony, please see: https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/askagardener/transplanting-peonies/
You will also be able to find more information about growing peonies on the Toronto Master Gardener website. Good luck with your peony.