Peonies forum→Removing first blooms

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Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
Apr 12, 2021 1:31 PM CST
There was some discussion a while ago about removing first blooms for the health of the plant...when would I take that bloom off and still see if it is true? (Is it marshmellow stage?)

Are woodies the same?

Also, how much stem should I take with the bloom?
Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener or Melonator
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SoCalGardenNut
Apr 12, 2021 2:09 PM CST
Oh no, I don't think I can do it. Not my first Lavender Hill. Good luck Annie.
2022 wishlist: Blonde Vision.
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Apr 12, 2021 2:09 PM CST

Moderator

If you were going to do it, do it the smaller the better, and no stem.

I would not want to do it on a woody peony. And I think someone said not to do it on the Itohs either.
LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
[Last edited by Mieko2 - Apr 12, 2021 2:10 PM (+)]
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Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
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AlexUnder
Apr 13, 2021 8:41 AM CST
So it is not recommended to get rid of first year Itohs buds, LG? I did not know it.
Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
Apr 13, 2021 8:53 AM CST
LG, my Kinkaku woody has 2 buds can it actually support 2 blooms as a first year from Solaris?
Name: Sulli
Philadelphia (Zone 7a)
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SulliO
Apr 13, 2021 10:40 AM CST
according to one of the commercial growers I know, they remove all buds and laterals from herbaceous during the first 3 years to establish root systems. They remove them the minute they form, when they are tiny pea sized things. I have no idea what stage the plants were in when planted of course. I wouldn't do it on anything other than herbaceous roots and for me, I can't wait to see any flower so I couldn't cut them off.

Annie, let it bloom, it will be fine-possibly will need a little extra water but they are pretty hardy plants after all!
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Apr 13, 2021 1:01 PM CST

Moderator

Annie I agree with Sulli that an herbaceous from Solaris can support two blooms.
LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Dragonflies Butterflies Bulbs Birds Bee Lover
Annuals Irises Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader
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LizinElizabeth
Apr 14, 2021 7:39 PM CST

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That advice is mainly aimed at commercial cut flower growers who are trying to get the most blooms fastest. As such it was just referring to herbaceous as there isn't as much of a cut flower market for Itohs a d tree peonies. For me in my personal garden I'd rather just let the plants mature at a pace that allows the beauty of blooms every year leading up to full maturity—unless a fairly new plant doesn't look like it can support the number of buds that form. I had a Lins peony, don't remember the name, that had 10 buds on a first year plant once, 3 mains and the rest side buds. I removed all except the first 2 main buds and it almost killed me, thought my had would clamp closed in protest...
LizB
Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener or Melonator
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SoCalGardenNut
Apr 15, 2021 9:15 AM CST
I just removed my first bud from Mackinac Grand and Red Charm. One was totally dead, I need to move it, the other did not grow, I suspect something wrong, sure enough it was. Both of these peonies are from reputable growers, one from Song Sparrow and one from Alderman's.
2022 wishlist: Blonde Vision.
Name: Nick
Edmonton, Canada (Zone 3b)
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NMay
Apr 15, 2021 12:05 PM CST
Sandsock said:when would I take that bloom off and still see if it is true? (Is it marshmellow stage?)


I think it's either one or the other, Annie. If you want to see the benefit from disbudding then it's best to do it as soon as you see a bud form and can extract it without damaging other parts of the plant. If you let it get to marshmallow stage in hopes of seeing if the plant flowers true to name, at that point you might as well let the flower open to give you a better chance at making a positive ID. The other approach, if you're keen on disbudding, is to pinch off all flower buds except for one so that you can confirm that you were sent the right plant.

I'm a believer in letting the plants choose when to flower and that they need minimal assistance from us in that regard. The only exception that would give me some pause is in a situation Liz described where you have like 10 buds on a plant in its first growing season, which has only happened once to me on a Tranquil Dove plant some years ago (all primary flowers, too!). There was a post by an Alaskan peony producer that was shared on Facebook that likened young peony plants to vulnerable babies requiring disbudding for their survival. I really don't see it that way at all and don't think they should be putting that information out in the world; in my experience these plants have been tough as nails and are capable of supporting flowers at a young age just fine.
[Last edited by NMay - Apr 15, 2021 12:15 PM (+)]
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Name: Anya
Fairbanks, AK (Zone 3a)
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anyagoro
Apr 15, 2021 3:10 PM CST
Probably the climate plays a role in this matter. In Russia people always disbud the first year peonies. In Alaska they also recommend this. I leave one bud the first season if the plant can support it to see if it is true to name and to enjoy the flower.
Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
Apr 16, 2021 8:31 AM CST
Thank you all...this is perfect information. I am excited to see my blooms, but my soil just mystifies me and I want plants to establish. I think that since most of my plants have 1, maybe 2 blooms, I'll leave them and see how it goes. The woody peony in the pot worries me...it is so small and 2 blooms...maybe I'll just find a stake a prop up the blooms and hope the plant knows what it is doing.
Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener or Melonator
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SoCalGardenNut
Apr 16, 2021 9:41 AM CST
One more dead bud removed today, Monsieur Jules Elie, this is not the bulbs I just purchased recently from Wild.
2022 wishlist: Blonde Vision.

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