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Apr 17, 2021 10:31 AM CST
Thread OP

Why are they so expensive?
Apr 17, 2021 12:26 PM CST
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7b)
Butterflies Garden Photography Hostas Hummingbirder Peonies Region: Tennessee
Forum moderator
Hi Lil,
It is supply and demand. The ones that have been around for 100 years are cheap. New varieties that are not grown by a lot of folks are more expensive.
LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
Apr 18, 2021 10:48 AM CST
Name: Top
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Dahlias Daylilies Hummingbirder Irises Region: Missouri Peonies
Seed Starter Zinnias
There are also varieties that almost go extinct / dark and are available in limited quantities often from oversea sources. Other varieties are very slow growers.

Peonies are kind of weird. Varieties from the 1800's are still available - you don't see that in a lot of other plants, some, but not many. Anyhow, new varieties depend quite a lot on the initial grower(s) to popularize the cultivar. Some very good peonies can get largely overlooked and then get 'discovered' and become popular rather unexpectedly and prices climb with demand. I honestly think that a couple of really good photos can also increase demand - it goes back to promotion.

The return of perennials in the spring can feel like once again seeing an old friend
Apr 18, 2021 11:59 PM CST
Name: Nick
Edmonton, Canada (Zone 3b)
Things take a long time and a lot of work in the world of peonies. Twenty years can pass from the time a seed goes into the ground to the time that plant has reached levels of propagation suitable for commerce. That's a huge time investment and a significant chunk of someone's life. When it comes to peonies I have generally learned not to say that plants are too expensive, but rather that at times they are out of my budget.

Sometimes I actually find it incredible that some plants are sold for as little as $15 - $20 from reputable vendors. I think that anyone who has spent a considerable amount of time dividing peonies might agree that their time alone is worth more than that price tag.
Apr 23, 2021 11:47 AM CST
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Region: Canadian Peonies Irises Daylilies Hybridizer Bulbs
Seller of Garden Stuff Plant and/or Seed Trader Bee Lover Birds Keeper of Koi
You have all given me an opportunity to express my opinion on some of the 'cheaper' peonies - I believe that many of those have been tissue cultured; as such they will not necessarily grow or flower the same as the cultivar that provided its cells. This is why, when I became a serious grower of peonies, I only bought from peony specialists/hybridizers. They messed up a lot of daylilies this way and we all know how so many different hosta varieties came to be - because they tissue cultured the **** out of them. Grumbling
OK - that's today's grumble over Whistling
Apr 23, 2021 3:12 PM CST
Name: Liz Best
Columbiana Alabama (Zone 8a)
Annuals Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises
Hummingbirder Dragonflies Dog Lover Daylilies Bee Lover Birds
I've actually not had a lot of trouble with tissue cultured peonies—the only plant that I grow that I know that I've gotten them from that source. A lot of my old ones were from Select + in Canada—all of theirs were tissue cultured. Also talked to one of the hybridizers who introduced a lot of the popular ones out there for sale now and he said almost all of his original stock was tissue cultured to have enough to sell. All of the Ratt intros that we see in the states probably started out that way as well.
I'm sure there are sources that aren't as scrupulous as others and that have issues, I've certainly not had any success with those tiny things from Michigan Bulb and such but others have performed incredibly.
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