Peonies forum: 2012 Fern Leaf Peonies

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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Jan 27, 2012 5:31 PM CST
It is early but I wanted to present a running account of the life of fern leaf peonies for those who have never grown them. Pictures spaced about 2 weeks apart should show the progression from eyes to bloom.

Pics 1, 3 and 4 are known double reds. 2 and 6 are unknown from tiny starts not bloomed yet. 5 is an unknown which had good foliage last year but did not bloom. 7 and 8 are known single reds which have bloomed profusely in the past. The last is a new known species single red from Hidden Springs which should bloom this year.
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Name: Diann
Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Ticker
Jan 28, 2012 4:46 PM CST

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Thanks Jerry, as always, the information you provide to this group is always helpful. :)
[Last edited by Ticker - Jan 28, 2012 11:55 PM (+)]
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Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
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Cem9165
Jan 28, 2012 10:35 PM CST
Thanks for posting these pictures. I planted my first fern leaf last fall, so I'll be able to compare your pictures to see how it should progress.
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Jan 29, 2012 8:31 AM CST
This will be an unusual Spring. I can't recall a warmer January so February can be expected to be extra cold. A hard freeze during the time the buds are beginning to open will prevent blooming. Crossing my fingers.

Alana
Jan 30, 2012 9:36 PM CST
Won't prevent damage from a really hard freeze but putting sheets on top of the crown during the dangerous dips can help prevent some damage.

It is always best to keep a stack of old clean sheets for doing this. The clean is important because if you use in a moldy area the spores could transfer if they become dampened
AH
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jan 30, 2012 9:43 PM CST
I just stumbled across this thread. Are you guys talking about Paeonia tenuifolia (probably misspelled Sad ) ? I've been trying to find one of those....that I could afford, that is. Just wondering about possible sources. I think the one I'm looking for is Rubra flora plena, maybe??
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Jan 30, 2012 10:29 PM CST
Paeonia tenuifolia rubra flora plena or flore plena is the correct designation for the fern leaf double red. I just ordered one from Harvey Buchite who is one of the biggies in the American Peony Society, owner of the Hidden Springs Flower Farm. The fern leaf peonies do not multiply as fast as the common lactifloras so they are scarce and therefore expensive. My cost was $45, paid in advance, and $11.50 shipping. P.tenuifolia, the single red, is a bit cheaper. These are both species plants. I mentioned on another thread he has a P.tenuifolia rosea for $125.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Jan 30, 2012 10:38 PM CST
I tried mounding an inch or so of sandy soil over the buds when they first appeared last fall and they just grew back up to the surface. Those little buggers want to see the early warm sunlight. I haven't worked out the details on how best to protect them. I have some new 1/2 inch foam carpet pad or some landscape material made of what appears to be fiberglass much like a compressed furnace filter which would keep the snow and ice off but still let them breathe.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jan 30, 2012 10:39 PM CST
Thanks, Jerry.
Sigh, still just a bit beyond my budget given my iffy growing conditions. One of these days..........
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Jan 30, 2012 10:48 PM CST
People just do not dig and divide them very often. I have moved mine for experimenting but it is just not a good idea to treat them the same as regular peonies. They require nearly full sun and very well-drained soil. Wet, heavy soil is a guaranteed killer.

Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jan 31, 2012 10:16 AM CST
My neighbor has one that she brought with her from Alaska, which is how I became acquainted with them. So I know they'll grow in this area, but the only places I have to plant things where the dogs or goats won't destroy them aren't quite suitable. We do have one area that we're thinking about reworking, and DH was talking about fencing that area off, so it may be a possibility.

It sounds like you're concerned about them breaking ground too soon? What about just covering them with some straw? Or would that get too soggy?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Jan 31, 2012 12:34 PM CST
They are rugged enough that the plant is not damaged, just the buds if frozen. I had some which had eyes above ground and were hit with -5 F and were not damaged. It is just this very warm late winter which will surely be followed by cold weather that is the problem. They insist upon being early so there is not much to be done to prevent late damage. This pic was taken 03-25-11. Some damaged buds but the plant did not even notice the cold snow.
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I have some tulips and daffodils 3 inches tall already. They will probably be frozen before they bloom.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
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Oldgardenrose
Feb 13, 2012 3:44 PM CST
Fern leaf progress report. Not much to add. Sat morn temp was 15. Highs of 25 and 32 since then. Possible 3-4 inches of snow forecasted for tonight. Back to high 40s midweek. Pics listed in the same order as before.
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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 4, 2012 1:50 PM CST
Rain has washed some of the mounded soil away from the eyes. You can see most of these were planted very shallow to allow for the settling of the soil as the humus material decays. That is one of the effects of making raised beds. I use bagged humus, very fine bark mulch, and sandy potting soil all stirred in a wheelbarrow. I can add an inch or so over the roots and not cover them so deeply after the stems die out this fall. Pictures in the same sequence.
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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 4, 2012 1:59 PM CST
'Early Scout'. A hybrid fern leaf by P.tenuifolia & P. 'Richard Carvel'. Very early to bloom with attractive foliage. There are several crosses such as this which are sometimes sold as fern leaf. The leaves are somewhere in size between the fern leaf and common peonies.
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Name: doglover
Illinois (Zone 5a)
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doglover
Mar 5, 2012 2:08 PM CST
Do you know a source for white fern-leaf peonies? I have the ones above and Early Scout and an unknow cut-leaf. I was told there is a white fern leaf. Anyone know?
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 5, 2012 3:13 PM CST
Paeonia tenuifolia alba has been mentioned in several peony sites but the link below is more scientific than general info and it indicates 'alba' could be a faded 'rosea'.

http://www.peonies.org/P_tenuifolia.html
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 18, 2012 10:44 AM CST
We are having very unusually warm weather. Pics in same sequence.
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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 19, 2012 2:41 PM CST
First FL bloom of the season. Last year it was April 13.
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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
Mar 19, 2012 7:32 PM CST

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Jerry, what zone are you in? I've barely got pips peeking out of the ground.

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