Peonies forum: Early eyes

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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Nov 21, 2011 11:53 AM CST
First 2 pics are of a fern leaf double red. The third is of what may be 'Karl Rosenfeld or Rosenfield'. The KR is a mature plant of probably 6 or 7 years. It may need to be dug next fall and divided since some of the roots are above ground level. I seem to recall an article in an APS bulletin discussing the fact that peonies will seek their own depth after the first year. I plant all of mine just below the surface due to our mild winters but it lets them push up eyes a bit early. An application of coarse cypress mulch seems to slow them down and helps avoid late spring freezes.
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Name: Diann
Iowa (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover Region: Iowa Hostas
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Ticker
Nov 22, 2011 10:16 PM CST

Moderator

Didn't you have the same thing happen last year, Jerry?
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Nov 23, 2011 5:03 PM CST
This pic is from Mar 25 of this year. The prior December, one of the partially opened eyes was hit with a -5 one night. They are tough little buggers but can be hurt by a hard freeze in late spring when the buds begin to open. I had one where the flower was frozen and did not open fully.
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Name: Jan
Hustisford, WI
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Daylilies Dog Lover Irises Region: United States of America
Region: Wisconsin
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philljm
Apr 1, 2012 10:15 AM CST
I picked up three peonies from Cubits last fall: Hot Chocolate, Coral Sunset & Bartzella, and I am so excited, all three are coming up! I have never grown peonies before, but grew up with them as a child.

Anything I should do right now? fertilize. etc? or just let them be. They are in raised bed that was put together last summer, so it had compost then. ~Jan
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Apr 1, 2012 12:28 PM CST
The Bartzella is a fairly expensive Itoh intersectional so should be handled with caution. I think a light application of a balanced 12-12-12 or something like a 9-25-25 now and in late summer would be good for the other two. This is a link to a nursery with recommendations for the treatment of Itohs.

http://www.ilovepeonies.com/About_ITOHS.html
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Apr 1, 2012 4:04 PM CST
I've had Bartzella for a few years now. Only thing I did was give it extra water in the hottest driest part of the summer. It doubled in size the the next spring and had over 30 flowers. This year is looking like a repeat of last year. The only thing I do in the spring is cut back the dead stems. Make sure they are dead though as the stems do not all die back to the ground like the herbaceous peonies do. Please try and ignore the weeds but this picture shows Bartzella the first spring after planting. I planted it the spring of 2010 and this was taken last spring 2011.
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[Last edited by bearsearch - Apr 1, 2012 4:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Apr 1, 2012 5:11 PM CST
They can go as high as $175-$200 each so I did not want to give advice on something I know nothing about. Nice to hear from Canada. Do you know a DG member with a handle of Fancyvan? She had several peonies.
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Apr 1, 2012 5:51 PM CST
No I don't know any of the DG members from Canada. I'm really surprised that they are still pricing some of the Itohs that high. Yes the new intros I can see but I bought Bartzella for $50.00 and it wasn't on sale. I also got Morning Lilac for the same price. I get mine at a local garden centre and the prices are very reasonable but I still see them from the mail order nurseries for $75 and up for dinky single eyed bits of root( My little rant for the day). Angry
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Apr 1, 2012 6:17 PM CST
I must have been thinking of old prices. I checked 3 major nurseries and found $80, $90, and $95. Yellow peonies commanded a premium at one time.
Name: Diann
Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Ticker
Apr 1, 2012 8:59 PM CST

Moderator

Bartzella has come down in price in the past several years. Itoh's are notorious for being growing monsters. I was once told that one should divide them every three to four years or plan on dividing it with a chainsaw if you wait much longer than that. :)

Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Apr 1, 2012 9:18 PM CST
Another thought on that would be to place them where there is adequate room and let them do what they do best. I tend to let my specimen plants do their thing ( with some control of course) and adjust the smaller plantings around to suit the changing space and conditions.

Alana
Apr 2, 2012 7:38 PM CST
If left in place and not divided most intersectionals will start going downhill after about 5 years. Most will dig up at this point and divide. I personally do not know of anyone that has left in place longer than 10 years and that person complained to me that they felt lucky if they had one bloom.

I am waiting to see what happens as the plants stay in place. Herbaceous peonies will hollow out their roots in that length of time. No scientific evidence to back it up but I believe that the regular peonies when left in place for years utilize the fungi in the decayed material as food or they would decline as most plants will when left in one place for years.

With the necessity to refresh the potting medium treating as pot plants seem to be the best usage for the intersectionals. As with many potted plants the roots should be trimmed and best portions kept at repotting.
AH
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Apr 2, 2012 7:47 PM CST
I did not know that! Thanks for the info, I guess I'll have to make a note to divide mine in a couple years. What about the tree peonies? Can they remain or will they have to be dug and divided as well?
Name: Jan
Hustisford, WI
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Daylilies Dog Lover Irises Region: United States of America
Region: Wisconsin
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philljm
Apr 2, 2012 7:50 PM CST
They are in a raised bed that is nowhere near full or overcrowded - so they have plenty of room to grow. (unlike my other beds, which are full before I even start planting in them)

The Bartzella was expensive compared to the others I purchased, but since I picked it up from Mama Jacks cubits co-op, I didn't feel it was too expensive compared to the cost of it anywhere else. And the roots were AWESOME.

Great advice here, thanks so much everyone. And Brian, thanks for posting the photos ~Jan
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Apr 2, 2012 8:04 PM CST
Alana has an interesting idea of older herbaceous peony roots. I have seen the large, hollow roots filled with what appeared to be soil and just a shell of live material on part of the root. I always wondered why they rotted so quickly and can now understand how the crown utilizes them for food. The new solid roots are attached to the rotted root so I suppose they use the live shell to exchange food back and forth. I will pay more attention the next time I dig.

Alana
Apr 2, 2012 10:39 PM CST
Tree Peonies can be left in place for years. Friend of mine received a call about one that was over 100 years old somewhere in the Eastern seaboard that needed attention. Being a true custodian of his clients information he would not tell me where except in the Eastern US.

The idea of the relationship of the rot appearing stuff is just from my observation. It would be nice if someone would actually study it and the relationship and growth of certain types of peonies in various soils and climates. We have all probably had plants, not just peonies, that struggled in one area but did well in another. Also wet winter vs dry winter, as some areas have rain in one season but not another. Different peonies should do better if their parentage came from those types of areas. In doing so people could have a better idea what could grow best in their area.

Notice I stated "could grow best" not would grow best as plants have their own ideas of where they are happiest.
AH
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Apr 3, 2012 7:03 AM CST
Pic of healthy roots attached to old hollowed roots. Should be about 6 - 7 years old.
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Name: Shannon
Burkeville,Va (Zone 7a)
The House on the Hill Gardens
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Shannon
Apr 3, 2012 7:17 AM CST
Wow Brian I just love Lovey dubby your Bartzella.. I just receivd my first Itoh peony Old Rose Dandy Thumbs up
Hopefully it will do as well as yours. Im potting it up in a 2 gallon pot for now until we
move & get settled. Its small so it will have alot of room in the pot.

One question ? I have quite a few peony babies in pots. Shoudl they be fed ? If so How
much ?


The horse is God's gift to mankind. ~Arabian Proverb
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Apr 3, 2012 9:34 AM CST
I am experiencing major zone envy with all your pictures!
Nothing showing in my yard.
I did pick up a Karl Rosenfield at Home Depot,
and it is in a warm bathroom sprouting its little heart out!
Name: Diann
Iowa (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover Region: Iowa Hostas
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Ticker
Apr 6, 2012 9:26 AM CST

Moderator

Caroline, don't feel bad about not having anything show up yet. All my stuff is up and we got a freeze last night and well, a lot of the plants are not happy little campers this morning.

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