The Q&A Archives: Peony Seeds

Question: After flowering, the peony plant produces pods containing seeds at the ends of its stems. At summer's end these pods and the seeds inside have dried up. Can these seeds be planted to produce a peony plant?

Answer: Peonies are usually propagated by division in the fall. This assures that the new plants will be identical to the original. Seedlings would probably vary significantly from the parent, if in fact the seed is not sterile to begin with, and they would take a number of years to reach blooming size. In any case, most gardeners deadhead (remove the spent blooms) in the spring so that the plants will devote their energy to renewing their strength for best blooming the following year. For this reason there aren't usually any seeds to try. Having said that, there's no harm in experimenting!

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