Peonies forum: Red Charm roots but no pips.

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Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs Region: Georgia
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Cem9165
Oct 17, 2016 4:07 PM CST
My peony Red Charm was planted in fall of 2011. It has bloomed twice in the past, but this year, there was no growth from the plant.

Today, I decided to dig in the area where Red Charm was planted, and I came across all of these healthy tubers, some of which I broke in the digging process D'Oh! but I noticed none of the roots had any pips.

It was buried much deeper than I planted it. We've had severe rain storms over the years, and I suspect soil just washed over the tubers over time and buried them.

My question is, is this plant still viable, and will more pips grow on these tubers over time?
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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Oct 17, 2016 5:37 PM CST
From the way you describe it, your crown may have rotted away. If there are no crown with eyes, then I think the plant is done. However, if Red Charm roots are adventitious, they will regenerate eyes and grow from the tubers. I don't know if RC is adventitious, but it does not hurt to try. Just bury the roots about 2" under soil level and watch for sprouts next spring. If you get pips coming up in the area that you plant these tubers, then RC is adventious. I just checked the peony database and someone noted that RC roots are adventious but they may take two years to form eyes.
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs Region: Georgia
Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias Roses
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Cem9165
Oct 17, 2016 7:25 PM CST
Thanks for the info Karen! I'm going to replant the tubers more shallowly and see what happens.
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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Oct 17, 2016 7:26 PM CST
This is one of those times to cut your losses. Red Charm is listed from Hollingsworth for $24. The roots you have will seldom recreate eyes and crowns after wasting 2 or 3 years of frustration. The question you should answer is why the poor blooming of your plant. Normally, one can expect to see at least a blossom or two the first year with possibly a doubling each succeeding year. Too deep or too much water can stunt and eventually destroy the crown. In a warm climate, the soil does not chill very deeply in the Winter so the peonies must be planted very shallow. Just barely cover the eyes for the first year and do not mulch. I have had many peonies with eyes protruding above the ground in the Winter. Sometimes I cover them with an inch of sand for physical protection, not temperature.
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs Region: Georgia
Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias Roses
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Cem9165
Oct 17, 2016 8:24 PM CST
Thanks for the input Jerry, I greatly appreciate it. I'm going to leave the roots where they are, I won't be putting another peony plant in the same area.

I already have 3 other red peonies, Dad, Felix Crousse, and General MacMahon that I'll be planting in the garden, so I won't be ordering Red Charm again.

I've been planting my peonies shallowly, however, over time some of them do get covered by soil, pine needles, and decaying leaves that get washed over them when we have our heavy rains. My back garden where most of my peonies are planted is slightly sloped, so some plants get more affected than others. I periodically have to uncover them throughout the year, and definitely in the fall when I fertilize them.
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
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Oberon46
Oct 17, 2016 9:07 PM CST
We habitually have peonies with eyes showing in the fall above ground (of course.) I don't do anything with them, as in protection, and they seem to do fine. If it is an especially nice fall it is like the plant things it is time to grow again. I dug up Border Charm and left it in buckets (six pieces) for several weeks. Just couldn't get to it. Threw some dirt on it to keep it from totally drying out. When I finally got to dumping them out, several had eyes. I planted the two best in the front new bed and the eyes are at or above ground level. It was that or bury them more than the 2". I believe they will be just fine. And we have some long cold winters.

Guess my point is that peonies are pretty tough plants (most of them) and can take quite a bit of abuse before totally cocking their toes up.
"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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