How to Transplant Peonies

Whether you’re moving or your peony isn’t blooming like it should, transplanting peonies to another location is a very simple task. This step-by-step tutorial will show how to transplant peonies.

How to transplant peonies!

When to Transplant Peonies

Ideally, peonies should be transplanted in September, October, or November after they have bloomed. Transplanting in the fall is best because peonies are approaching dormancy during those months. Peonies will experience less stress if transplanted in the fall. 

peony bushes in a row

Why Transplant Peonies

There are different reasons for transplanting peony bushes.

Lack of Growth

If your peony is failing to produce a substantial amount of blooms it may not be receiving enough sunlight. Peonies require at least 8 hours of full sun to reach their full potential. So if yours haven’t done well the past few years, it may be time to transplant them to a sunnier spot.


Some people wish to take their peonies with them when they move from one house to another. This is understandable, especially if the peonies are heirloom and there’s sentimental value.

Moving is why I transplanted twelve of my peony bushes.


If you’re wanting to thin out your peonies or increase the number of peonies in your yard. Dividing and transplanting them is the way to do it.

pink peony bush

Supplies Needed to Transplant Peonies

Transplanting a peony bush is very easy and requires only a few supplies.

  • shovel
  • container or tarp
  • compost

How to Transplant Peonies

1. Determine New Location

When determining the location for your peony, be sure the spot has the following qualities:

  • receives at least 8 hours of hours of full sun
  • the soil is well-draining
  • there’s good air circulation
  • plenty of space to grow

2. Dig Up the Peony Bush

So you can determine the size of the hole you’ll need to dig, begin by digging up the peony you wish to transplant.

When digging up the peony, you want to get as much as the root system as possible. Measure 20 inches from the center of the peony bush.

Dig straight down with the shovel, pry the root ball, remove the shovel from the soil, dig straight down, and pry the root ball. The rootball should become easy to pry and lift out of the hole with the shovel.

Don’t lift the peony by the stems. Set the peony in a container or on a tarp and transport it to the new location.

Sometimes the peony will divide itself by falling apart once it is dug up. If this happens, put the sections back together in the new hole or plant the sections in different holes or give the sections to a friend to plant.

digging up a peony bush with a shovel
How to transplant peonies. Digging up a peony bush to move it.

When we moved my peonies from our old house to our new house, I used plastic kiddie pools to transport them from one house to the other.

Peony bushes in a green plastic kiddie pool

3. Dig the Hole

Set the peony that’s being transplanted on the spot where you wish to plant it.

Using the shovel, dig straight down around the peony rootball to mark how large the hole needs to be.

Remove the rootball from the spot and dig the hole. Adjust the size and depth of the hole by placing the rootball in the hole and adjusting accordingly.

Dig the hole 2-3 inches deeper and wider than the rootball to make room for the compost/soil mix.

When putting peonies in the ground, you want to plant the eyes 2 inches below the soil surface in cold regions and 1 inch in warm zones. If you plant them too deep, they won’t grow or grow as well.

transplanting a peony bush

4. Prepare the Soil

Give your transplanted peony a great start by adding compost to the new hole. Add in some of the native soil to create a 50/50 mix. The compost will provide nourishment for the rootball.

5. Plant the Peony

Set the peony rootball into the hole on top of 2-3 inches of the compost mix. Fill in around the peony with the compost mix.

transplanted peonies

6. Water the Peony

If it’s still rather warm outside, water the peony. If you fail to water the peony, it may become stressed.

transplanted peony bushes

When to Expect Blooms After Transplanting

Your peony may not produce blooms the first blooming season after transplant. But don’t worry, the peony may need more time to get acclimated to its new location. You can expect to see great blooms the second season after transplantation.

row of pink peony bushes


Can you transplant a peony from one house to another?

Yes! You can even dig up a peony and transplant it in another state. Just make sure the rootball stays moist but not wet.

Do peonies transplant well?

Peonies transplant very well because peonies are durable plants.

How late can you transplant peonies?

You can transplant a peony as late as October or November. Don’t transplant after the first freeze.

Can you move an established peony bush?

An established peony bush is the best type of peony to move because it’s most likely to be the healthiest.

Can peonies be moved after blooming?

It’s best to move peonies after they have bloomed for the season.

How to transplant peonies reads the text overlay. Photos of peonies are in the background.

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  1. Just what I needed! We’re moving soon hopefully and I want to take all of my peonies with me!

  2. Wondering why you didn’t dig the grass out all around them?

  3. Suzanne Riviere says:

    new to the peony adventure. love them. this article takes me to the next step with transplanting. thankful for this help.

  4. Rachel Steck says:

    I probably told you already but I can remember my grandmother calling them ‘pie-nees’ when I was little. I am so happy yours made it to their new home. I hope they do well this year – can’t wait to see progress pics.

  5. Thank you for this. I have a peony bush near my front door I want to move to the backyard. My grandma had flower beds full of them growing up and I love this extra treasure at my house. Any tips on cutting them down in the fall?

    1. Sonya Boetjer says:

      Yes, I would like to know about the fall cutting also! 🙂

  6. I absolutely love peonies! My grandma had them surrounding her shed and I just recently bought myself two with Birthday money…. hoping to add a few more ?

  7. Patricia Schroll says:

    You did a wonderful job with your peonies. My mother planted a peonie years ago and with her green thumb they did well. It sounds like you have a green thumb. I also love them. They have such bright colors.
    It sounds like you are still enjoying decorating your home inside and outside. As always it’s enjoyable to see what’s knew with you and your family. I’m sure your little ones are getting big.

  8. Thanks sooo much for sharing this!!! We are in exactly the same predicament, put on market yesterday (late Spring) and realizing all articles say to do this in Fall. Appreciate so much your courage and daring do! I’m gonna try it too! Thank you!

  9. Cassandra L Pryor says:

    Thanks for sharing. My Grandmother had these growing in the front of the house. When she passed my Dad took over caring for them. My Dad has now passed and I am the one to care for them which I know nothing about but long to keep the legacy going (lol). Unfortunately I live in a duplex apartment. I did manage to move the peonies and replanted them on the side of the duplex (with the help of a friend). I just hope that I can continue to keep hem alive. I actually am looking to move soon to a house setting so that I can enjoy the plants as well as the other memorabilia from my lovely Dad and Mom (Mom passed 6mos after Daddy).

  10. Any possibility to keep a peony alive in Arizona? It’s in a half Barrell now partly under my orange tree. It came from Ohio in late April, had 2 flowers in early May. I’ve had a bit of leaf yellowing. Any suggestions?

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