Peonies can be a star of your flowerbed with their big splashy blossoms and lush, green foliage. They usually can grow in the same spot for many years and prefer not to be transplanted. But it's sometimes necessary to relocate a peony bush. Transplant peonies in the fall, and make sure their new home gets at least six hours of sunlight each day.
Plan to move the peony after the first hard frost. This will allow the plant to absorb the nutrients it needs to get through the winter, and will increase the likelihood that the peony will survive the move.
Cut the peony bush to the ground, then use a shovel to dig a circle around the peony bush. Be sure to make the circle large enough so you won't cut into the roots more than necessary.
Lift the peony bush out of the soil with a shovel. Work slowly and carefully, retaining as much of the roots as possible.
Dig a hole for the peony in the new location, and plant the bush as soon as possible. The bush should be planted at about the same soil depth as it was before the transplant. Refill the hole with soil, and tamp it down firmly around the roots.
Water the peony deeply; add more soil if the plant settles. Feed the peony an all-purpose fertilizer, following the manufacturer's instructions.
Spread a 3- to 4-in. layer of straw, peat moss, grass clippings or other mulch around the peony bush. The mulch will conserve moisture and insulate the soil.