Peonies forum: Your opinion of Do Tell

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
May 10, 2015 9:28 AM CST
I have this blooming in my yard right now. It bloomed before, and it seems like the pink color does not hold at all and it seems washed out and the petals do not hold on for more than a couple days. I am wondering if it will improve as the clump matures, so I am reluctant to remove it just yet. Does anyone grow this and what is your opinion of it, are there better ones out there or should I keep it?
Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
May 10, 2015 3:38 PM CST
I will be really interested in this because this was on my wish list!
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
[Last edited by Cookies4kids - May 10, 2015 6:23 PM (+)]
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Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
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Cem9165
May 10, 2015 6:02 PM CST
Hi Frillily,

I've grown Do Tell for several years, and I love this plant. My plant bloomed over the space of 2 weeks, after we had a lot of rain. Some of my blooms did fade slighty, but not to a complete white. I would get this plant if I didn't already have it. Here's my plant and a few of its blooms.
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author unknown
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
May 10, 2015 6:29 PM CST
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing those. My blooms are not quite that rich in color, but I just planted it 2 years ago, this is it's 2nd spring. So maybe it does just need more time.
Name: Diann
Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Ticker
May 10, 2015 6:51 PM CST

Moderator

Frilly, it needs a good 4 to 5 years to settle in for optimal bloom. Smiling At least it did for me. I tip my hat to you.
Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
May 10, 2015 7:06 PM CST
definitely keep it! although i would give it more time to mature a little. is it in morning sun or afternoon sun? I ask because this may be a hint (or not) as to why the colors look faded and washed out...? peonies are famous for getting off to slow starts, but I love them anyway! also, I hear that alfalfa meal works wonders on peonies! this year is the first time ive used it on our "Felix Crousse", which is only a three year old plant and its got 6 huge buds on it! none of them have opened yet so we're anxiously waiting for the results, to say the least! maybe its dumb luck or maybe there's something to the alfalfa meal thing. either way im very pleased with it for being such a young plant. we also fertilize it with diluted organic 5-1-1 fish emulsion once its done blooming, to encourage clump growth. stick with it!
Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
May 10, 2015 7:29 PM CST
Jason, I have 3 plants each in their second spring. How much meal do you put around each plant and how often in a year??
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
May 10, 2015 7:30 PM CST
Mine is in full sun all day. That could be why it seems lighter colored.
Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
May 10, 2015 9:02 PM CST
Karen - we began putting a cup full of meal down every 4 weeks, just as the new shoots poked through the ground. sometime around late feb. I believe...? just worked it into the surrounding soil about two inches (or whatever?) deep. its not really a "fertilizer" perse', its more of a bloom booster of sorts, due to its high concentration of amino acids and growth regulators, so theres no need to continue once its done flowering. it wont hurt to continue using it, but once the flowers all fade and drop off, thats when I switch to liquid fish; until mid august. then I stop with the fish so the plant can prepare for dormancy. Thumbs up

P.S. - alfalfa meal is great for most flowering plants; clematis, day lilies, lily bulbs, peonies, and especially roses, and ESPECIALLY dahlias!! use two full cups of alfalfa meal per dahlia bulb and you'll have blooms coming out your ears!!
[Last edited by riverman123 - May 10, 2015 9:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Linda
southern Minn. (Zone 4b)
Hostas Peonies Cat Lover Daylilies Garden Procrastinator Region: Minnesota
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alwaysbehindMN
May 10, 2015 9:06 PM CST
I absolutely love 'Do Tell'. Mine blooms prolifically and is a very pale pink which contrasts beautifully with the deep pink center!
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I think it is much prettier than the picture in the Rogers peony book! I have never noticed that the petals fall off early... It hasn't bloomed yet this year so I will have to watch for that when it blooms. I also discovered a seedling a few feet away which I think is from Do Tell, but it is a darker pink without as much contrast that I like so much. This is the 3rd year for "Do Tell Jr." (my name) and is a bigger clump with more buds so I am anxious to see it again!
Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
May 10, 2015 9:07 PM CST
great looking flowers, Linda!
Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
May 10, 2015 9:09 PM CST
Frilly - all day full sun could be the source of your fading issue, however its just an educated guess. realistically it could be caused by anything. I would try full sun in the morning, rather than all day, see how that works. good luck!
Name: Peggy
Missouri (Zone 6a)
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hazeleyes
May 23, 2015 4:42 AM CST
So pretty.
I like the faded look it adds more dimension to the plant.When some are lighter and some darker.
Now I have to added it to my ever growing wish list.Just when you think you are done....
If you would have a mind at peace, a heart that cannot harden, go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden.
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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
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gemini_sage
May 23, 2015 4:51 AM CST
Frilly, this is my 2nd year with Do Tell and my first year with blooms (4 blooming stems, so not bad). I found it faded fairly quickly too, but mine is in full sun with strong afternoon sun.

Jason, I've just jumped on the alfalfa bandwagon and been using it on my roses. Too soon to see results, but I've heard enough positive reports to convince me to try. Hadn't used it on peonies yet, but will certainly give it a try!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
May 23, 2015 8:45 AM CST
I have heard that the alfalfa pellets attract deer, has anyone experienced this? I have always been afraid to use them. We have tons of deer here, but luckily I have not lost anything too much. Did have a large buck rub the bark off of some fruit trees last fall and killed them. I can live with that. We replaced them and wrapped them this time. But eating the buds off my daylilies- THAT would mean WAR!
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
May 23, 2015 8:49 AM CST
I'll be watching this for an answer too, Frillylily! That has been a concern for me, too. Plus I thought I read that alfalfa is a good fertilizer for high nitrogen needs, not flowering plants but for greening. Are you using it in combination with other fertilizers for you roses, Neal, or am I mixing up fertilizers?
Liz
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
May 23, 2015 11:22 AM CST
I used it along with an organic fertilizer for tomatoes (2-7-4) and manure. I'm new to using it, but I keep hearing great things about it's use for blooming plants. While it does have some nitrogen, it's a pretty low number (can't recall exactly), but from what I understand, it has enzymes that enable plants to access already present nutrients. Some of the iris folks are into using it too.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
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
May 23, 2015 1:23 PM CST
Interesting! Please let us know what you think of its effectiveness, Neal. If I remember correctly it's fairly inexpensive, too--bonus!
Liz
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
May 23, 2015 5:07 PM CST
Some info on the use of alfalfa meal or pellets for plants.

http://www.rose.org/rose-care-articles/the-value-of-alfalfa/
Name: Treehugger
Hanover Twp, PA (Zone 6a)
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treehugger
May 24, 2015 4:18 PM CST
I was looking at this form to get some answers about another issue I have with Peaonies but here is my idea. I think the color washes out with time on the flowers no matter the temperature or sun exposure because my flowers on many turn lighter as they age. I'm enclosing a picture I took today of Paeonia 'Pastel Splendor'. If I submitted the top flower no one would believe this is the same as the lower one which just opened today. Sad to say age gets us all even flowers.
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