Re-planting a peony

Asked September 28, 2019, 2:24 PM EDT

Hello, We have a peony bush that was planted in a large pot when we first got it (summer of 2017). We would like to move it to a space in the garden (in the ground). When is the best time to do so? The bush is healthy (as far as we know) - it has bloomed each year.

Baltimore County Maryland

5 Responses

Fall is a good time for planting...normally. Right now we are in a drought situation with many places not receiving rain in 8 weeks.
If you are moving the peony to a place where you can keep it watered during establishment, go ahead. If you can't, wait until we get some precipitation.
They are going to need an area with full sun/light shade and good soil (additions of compost to the whole area is good, and be sure not to plant it deeper than it is in the pot. Planted too deeply (with buds more than 1-2" deep) and they will stop blooming.


Thank you. When you say we will need to keep the peony watered during establishment, can you be a little more specific? Would we water to soaking the surrounding soil every day? Every other day? Do we just dampen the soil?

Thank you again for your help.

Give the peony a thorough watering when you plant it. Then check your soil every couple of days for the first month after planting. If you feel the soil about four inches down and it feels warm and dry to the touch, water again. If the soil feels cool and moist, you can hold off on watering. The goal should be to give the plant even moisture, but you don't want it to be sitting in soil that is too wet (which can lead to root rot).

Another general guideline or rule of thumb is to apply one inch of water each week. You can use a rain gauge to determine how much water is being applied or set up a can near your plant to determine how much water is coming from a sprinkler to measure it.

Regular watering will be most important in the first year until your plant establishes a healthy root system into the native soil.


Thank you. I very much appreciate your helpful advice.