Peonies forum: Does anyone grow Molly The Witch? Is it worth it ?

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Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
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AlexUnder
Sep 13, 2015 10:22 AM CST
Contemplating about buying one, but based on old threads it is tricky to grow and takes ages to get established. Please share your experience if you do - together with pictures of snouts, flowers and seeds...

Thanks!
Name: Linda
southern Minn. (Zone 4b)
Hostas Peonies Cat Lover Daylilies Garden Procrastinator Region: Minnesota
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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alwaysbehindMN
Sep 13, 2015 5:49 PM CST
Yes! It is definitely worth it! I have not found it "tricky to grow", but it does take a while to bloom. I acquired mine in fall of 2004, it bloomed the first time (4 flowers) in 2008. Since then it has always bloomed reliably in early May, sometimes my first peony to bloom. I have never taken a picture of its emerging shoots, but here are pictures of clump in bloom, single flower, and red seeds after the pods split open in the fall.






Thumb of 2015-09-13/alwaysbehindMN/ccf302


Thumb of 2015-09-13/alwaysbehindMN/4c7384 close-up of a single bud

Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
Image
AlexUnder
Sep 13, 2015 6:53 PM CST
Hi Linda,
Very nice pictures. Did did you plant it full sun or part shade? Anything different from growing lactiflora? And how many days flowers last on average?
[Last edited by AlexUnder - Sep 13, 2015 6:54 PM (+)]
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Name: Linda
southern Minn. (Zone 4b)
Hostas Peonies Cat Lover Daylilies Garden Procrastinator Region: Minnesota
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
alwaysbehindMN
Sep 13, 2015 7:46 PM CST
Alex- Some afternoon light shade. I haven't done anything different, except I don't deadhead it because I like the red seed pods in the fall. I just went out and looked at it and lo and behold, it has given me 2 shiny black seeds this year!!!! Can you or anyone else tell me what to do with those seeds. Do they need refrigeration or would our normal Minnesota winter give them enough cold if I plant them this fall? How deep? If they fell to the ground naturally, wouldn't leaf cover be all they had? I've never tried to start any kind of peony seeds before. I've never noticed anything unusual about how long flowers last. And I've never cut them to bring in the house.
Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
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AlexUnder
Sep 13, 2015 8:51 PM CST
I never tried to grow peonies from seed, but I've heard that sometimes it is better to plant seeds right away once the pods are opened and they are still soft. If you let seeds to harden it will take extra year for it to germinate and you will need to scarify it . Again, second hand knowledge.
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Tomato Heads Pollen collector Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Cat Lover
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Seed Starter Region: Wisconsin
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magnolialover
Sep 14, 2015 7:42 AM CST

Moderator

Planting fresh seed is your best bet for the fastest germination. Poke finger in ground where you want it and drop seed, cover with a bit of soil, water in then add a bit of mulch for protection, mark your spot and watch for developments! Depending on the seed, it can take two years to germinate, but with fresh seed, my experience says one year. What do you have to lose in trying? Just be patient as they take several years to bloom from seed. Every year you put off trying this, is one year further you are from a flower. So don't wait, start today! Hurray!

Tracey
Name: Linda
southern Minn. (Zone 4b)
Hostas Peonies Cat Lover Daylilies Garden Procrastinator Region: Minnesota
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
alwaysbehindMN
Sep 14, 2015 1:02 PM CST
Thank you, Alex! For bringing up this topic... it caused me to go out and look at my 'mloko.' and then notice the two ripe seeds, which I probably would never have seen otherwise! And thank you, Alex and Tracy, for your advice on planting those two precious seeds!
I just planted them in two different spots in my heritage iris bed. Hopefully, one or both will germinate, and then I can easily move any iris that are too close to a new location. I will let you all (anyone interested) know the results next spring, or maybe spring of 2017...
Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
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AlexUnder
Sep 14, 2015 2:18 PM CST
Welcome! It is really funny how things work sometimes. Thanks for sharing those wonderful pictures!
Name: Linda
southern Minn. (Zone 4b)
Hostas Peonies Cat Lover Daylilies Garden Procrastinator Region: Minnesota
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
alwaysbehindMN
Apr 25, 2016 9:30 AM CST
Alex and Tracey- Both seeds germinated!!!! Now all I have to do is keep those tiny shoots alive this season and surely they will come up again in 2017 bigger and stronger. Anything special I should do in caring for them? We had a hard rain last night and they seem fine this morning without any special protection.
Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
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AlexUnder
Apr 25, 2016 2:41 PM CST
May be put a tomato cage with chicken wire so someone will not cut or chew it Smiling It is really nice to hear that they germinated and on 1st year! Thumbs up

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