I’ll do more on this, with photos, but I wanted to get in this item from the master gardeners.
Ask the master gardeners
Q: When is the best time to transplant peonies?
A: Assuming that herbaceous peonies are the question, the best time to plant or transplant is in fall while the plant is dormant but will have time to establish roots.
Prepare your soil — peonies like well-drained and enriched soil. Dig a planting hole 2 feet across and 18 inches deep. Mix the soil with compost or well-rotted manure and fill the hole.
Plant the peonies so that the “eyes” (the dark red growth buds with white tips) are covered no more than 2 inches below the surface. Water well but gently.
Peonies will flatten with a good spring rain, especially when they’re in full flower, so be sure to use pea stakes or wire ring supports to stake them. Get the stakes in early enough so that the new growth flows easily into the metal rings.
Deadhead faded flowers. After the frost has blackened the leaves in the fall, cut off the dead foliage at ground level. If it’s infested with powdery mildew, dispose of the foliage in the trash, not the compost.
Pamela Davis, Tarrytown, master gardener, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester