Peonies forum: Peony

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Oct 8, 2016 3:07 AM CST
I purchased 6 bare root peony plants which are ( 2 Sarah Bernhardt -2 Monsier Jules Elie -2 Benjamine Frankline ) I planted each one in a separate big pot today after soaking the roots 30 minutes in the water. I cover the eyes 2 inches with soil. My question is: 1- what shall I do every day for them (only watering them) and what I should expect next month>? How do I know that they are growing well? 2- I read about peony tricks in zone 9 by covering the soil with ice cubes (once a week) to trick them that the winter has come. If this trick is helpful, when I should do it? Which month? And how long? 3- when shall I fertilize the soil? 4- shall i put mulch to keep the soil mostorizer all the day ? Note : I have nursery flower and i plant all of them inside the nursery ( Temp is 20-25) , I live in Zone 9b .
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Oct 8, 2016 11:33 AM CST

The only thing you can do for your Peonys now is to grow some patience. They will be up in the spring. They don't need ice cubes or fertilizer, just a long winter's nap.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oct 8, 2016 5:14 PM CST
lol Ice cubes?? That's a new one on my but then loo where I live. Tefla, if you are a zone 9, your biggest problem will be getting the peonies the cold snap they need to do well. Ice cubes won't do it. Do bury the pots though. That might help, getting them down in the cooler soil. What is your average winter like? Length? Snow cover? Low temp?
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Irises
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Oct 8, 2016 7:31 PM CST
Actually I've seen posts from peony growers in really mild climates that swear by the ice treatment, say it helps. They say that they put ice on the ground over the roots during the coldest part of their winter for additional chill. If you're in zone 9 Tefla you don't want them under 2" of soil--probably more like the eyes right at surface or only slightly covered. From what I've been able to glean (want to retire further south so I've been watching for info) the absolute minimum for peonies to grow is around 45 days of around 40 degree temps. If yours are in pots I'd suggest that you place them in the coolest spot you can find and don't water them very much right now, they're supposed to be dormant until spring so don't let the soil get really arid but too damp will cause the roots to rot. You can even place them in some shade now to keep the roots cool. Make sure the soil is very well draining as well, add sand if you need to.

Itohs are supposed to be able to grow in slightly warmer areas. There are several warmer climate species peonies that you can grow that we can't in the colder climates but none of them are the big doubles like the varieties you're attempting. The earlier blooming varieties are supposed to be the most easy for warmer climate growers to get to bloom as well, you'll probably want to watch for bloom periods if you decide to add to your collection.

There is another peony forum hosted by Houzz, I know there are a few members there in CA, some in zone 9, that say they're successful in growing peonies and getting blooms so it's not impossible. That forum isn't very active now but if I were you I'd check it out and try to message some of the members who grow in a similar zone as you--just go back over the last couple of year's posts to find the right people. Also there's the Southern Peony Blog but she's still in a colder zone than you but might have some useful info-- Don Hollingsworth also did a couple of articles on growing peonies in warm zones, I remember he suggested cutting back the foliage to force them into a dormant period for winter in areas that the cold didn't do it naturally. I think those articles are posted in the American Peony Society's archives, should be able to access that part whether you're a member or not.

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