Peonies forum: 2014 Fern Leaf Peonies

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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 19, 2014 11:51 AM CST
Beginning a new thread to track the progress of the fern leaf peonies. Also, a demonstration of the ease of dividing and replanting them. All of mine, except for the 3 species types, have been divided and moved several times. All the doubles originated from one single eyed plant passed down to my wife from her grandmother a little over 30 years ago. The singles came from one plant from Spring Hill about 10 years ago. The primary requirements for success are sunlight and well-drained soil. These pics are all different plants.
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Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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LizinElizabeth
Mar 19, 2014 5:01 PM CST
Wow, Jerry! I actually fell in love with the fernleaf peonies after seeing your thread here last spring, planted several from different growers as well as some hybrids last fall. Hopefully they'll be up far enough to take pictures soon!!!

How many plants do you have now and are they in the same bed? Must be absolutely beautiful when they bloom....
Liz
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 19, 2014 5:28 PM CST
I have 15 different plants in various stages of growth. Most are 2013 replants. The only one out of the ordinary is the P.tenuifolia ssp.lithophile which I purchased from Klehm's in 2012. They haven't offered any since then so it may be extra scarce. I am anxious for the bloom this year to see them all together. I consolidated all the fernies into one raised bed but have a couple of hybrids separately. Early Scout and Windchimes are similar in that they are red singles but the foliage is different. I always encourage everyone to try at least one fern leaf because they are so unusual. In my area, no one had ever heard of them.

Some new plants may bloom the first year but I normally pinch the blossoms after I see they are what they are supposed to be. They need all their energy to create good roots and extra eyes for the following year. Be sure to post pics as your's progress through the Spring.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 19, 2014 5:52 PM CST
This is an early evening pic of the FL bed with a couple of regular peonies to the rear. The FL area is 5x12. I need to remove more of the sand as it dries to make certain there are no new stems covered too deeply.
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A pic from last fall when I first covered all the fernies with some sand for the winter. Sand was chosen instead of mulch since they cannot tolerate any more moisture retention than absolutely necessary.


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[Last edited by Oldgardenrose - Mar 19, 2014 5:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 25, 2014 7:59 AM CST
We had a light dusting of snow last night with temps of the past two nights down into the twenties. One more night of near 20° then warmer weather is on the way. I will see how tough these plants really are by the end of the week.
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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 28, 2014 11:34 AM CST
A couple of pics of the more mature clumps of singles. Looks like they survived the hard freezes.
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Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
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Cem9165
Mar 28, 2014 6:26 PM CST
I'm glad your plants weren't damaged by the cold weather. It just tells you how resilient these plants are. My Merry Mayshine did fine this week with nights in the 20's. The bud still appears healthy.

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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 29, 2014 8:51 AM CST
I have had severe damage only when the flower buds were in the process of opening. I think mine will be ok now. The extended snow cover in the Northeast can be a blessing as far as protecting plants.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 29, 2014 6:22 PM CST
This pic is from last year, April 27. Something to look forward to for next month. The bed was overcrowded with 4 clumps in about a 4 foot diameter raised bed. This is where my last year's divisions came from to be moved into a larger bed.
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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Apr 4, 2014 11:00 AM CST
Update on the fernies. All are showing new green so the freeze did little harm.
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The FL hybrid, Early Scout, is coming along nicely. Should see blooms by May 1.


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Name: Diann
Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Ticker
Apr 4, 2014 12:15 PM CST

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Oh Jerry, you have the best crop of Fernies there is!! I tip my hat to you. I have ground that has thawed where the sun shines on it all day, but anything on the north side of a building is frozen harder than a rock. I can't wait to see my Ferenies emerge this year, hopefully at least by July. Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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LizinElizabeth
Apr 4, 2014 3:00 PM CST
Can't wait to see your blooms, Jerry!! Can you post a picture of your Wind Chimes when it blooms this spring? It's one I've had on my list for a while but haven't found a seller yet, I'll get it eventually, though!
Liz
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Apr 4, 2014 8:24 PM CST
I purchased mine from Hidden Springs Flower Farm in 2010 for $24.95. Had bad luck the first spring when strong winds broke off the stem before it could bloom. Then it languished in a shady spot as another bush, a magnolia, spread too much. I transplanted it into its own raised bed last fall and is now showing 5 or 6 eyes. It should bloom this year.

Edit: I just checked HSFF's website and they do not have Wind Chimes for sale this year. I recall they had a 'collection' of 5 fern leafs and hybrids but it is no longer listed for this year. They are my go to vendor for species and fern leafs/fern leaf hybrids. Check their site very early next year and place your order then. They seem to sell out before midyear. You could e-mail them now and find out if they expect to have Wind Chimes next season.

http://www.hiddenspringsflowerfarm.com
[Last edited by Oldgardenrose - Apr 4, 2014 8:42 PM (+)]
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Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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LizinElizabeth
Apr 5, 2014 9:40 AM CST
Thanks, Jerry. Hidden Springs is one of the first peony growers to update their offerings for the following year, I'll certainly keep an eye out for it next winter! I actually looked it up after seeing a mention of it on one of your postings last spring and fell in love; it's certainly worth the wait! Hope you get blooms this spring!
Liz
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Apr 5, 2014 9:42 AM CST
Today's pic of Windchimes. Looks promising for blooms.
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
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Oberon46
Apr 5, 2014 9:49 AM CST
I have one that is supposed to be a fernleaf but I don't believe it. The leaves look just like regular ones but it blooms the third week of June like clockwork and it is in an area that doesn't get full sun. I want to move it but am afraid I might hurt it. Since it is getting bigger stemwise I guess it is okay. But it usually only has 5-9 buds and only 2-3 open up at a time. I wonder if I did move it if it would bloom more prolifically.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Apr 5, 2014 6:40 PM CST
The fernies require full sun as much as possible. Some vendors leave out the part of the name of fern leaf hybrid and just call them fern leafs. The hybrid leaves should be somewhere between the very fine leaves of fernies and the much larger leaves of the standard types. All the fern leaf peonies which I have seen always have the very fine leaves, probably not more than about 1/8th inch.

Another pic of my fern leaf section after some cold nights.
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
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Oberon46
Apr 6, 2014 2:26 PM CST
So what is that topsoil. It looks like sand?
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
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Oldgardenrose
Apr 6, 2014 2:43 PM CST
It is sand which I used to protect the plants over winter. I plant peonies very shallow and the eyes can be above the surface of the normal bed during the winter. Easy to brush away with a paintbrush in the spring.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Apr 6, 2014 4:26 PM CST
My peonies come up into beds of ice. I used to worry about it but it doesn't seem to faze them. If I can drain them a little I do, but mostly I just let nature do it's thing. As I add mulch and compost around the garden the peonies seem to be getting deeper in little dished out earth. I don't bring any of that up to the plant but leave about 12" around the same height from the original planting level.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)

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