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How to Replant Peonies

By Charmayne Smith ; Updated September 21, 2017

Peonies are hardy perennials that grow in a range of colors. These fragrant flowers are long lasting and can bloom for up to 100 years. The peony grows in three variations: herbaceous, tree peony and intersectional. Though they are easily cultivated and mostly trouble free, peonies are partial to their replanting and repotting processes.

Replant your peonies in the early fall. Peonies do not like to be disturbed but will accept a transfer after they have completed their growing season. Water the peonies generously before uprooting the plants. This will help to loosen the soil and prepare the roots for transfer.

Dig up the peonies gently. Be sure to handle the root system with care. Gently remove the excessive soil from the roots and place them on the mat or paper in which you will complete the replanting process.

Divide the peonies by separating the root system. Use a sharp knife or scissors to carefully separate the roots. Clean the knife with a wood-based alcohol to ensure that you do not infect the roots with disease or infection. Make sure that each division maintains three to five buds and a good amount of root.

Plant the newly-divided peonies immediately to prevent the drying of the roots. Dig a hole for the peonies that is large enough to cover the entire root system. The buds should lie no more than two inches below the surface. Cover the hole firmly with soil and ensure that the soil drains well.

Water the peonies thoroughly and immediately after replanting. Be sure not to over-water the peonies, however, as they cannot tolerate wet feet and long periods of saturation.

Apply a thick layer of mulch over the newly-planted flowers. This will provide ample protection for the peonies as they enter the winter season. The mulch layer should be at two to four inches thick. Remove the mulch in the early spring.

Fertilize your newly-planted peonies in the early spring. Use a fertilizer that is high in potassium. The fertilizer should include phosphorous and nitrogen in lower levels. Do not expect the peonies to have full blooms during the first year after replanting. The flowers often need time to store their energy before they provide a full bloom.


Things You Will Need

  • Scissors
  • Wood alcohol
  • Fertilizer

About the Author


Writing professionally since 2004, Charmayne Smith focuses on corporate materials such as training manuals, business plans, grant applications and technical manuals. Smith's articles have appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and on various websites, drawing on her extensive experience in corporate management and property/casualty insurance.