Peonies forum: Cricket Hill Garden Info on Frost Hardiness of New Growths

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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Mar 3, 2017 9:29 AM CST
Hi everyone! Just want to share this important info from Cricket Hill that I receive from them as a regular subscriber. Hopefully this info will help to alleviate any worries that you may have about the new growths on your peonies with regards to freezing weather they may be exposed to this weekend.

"Frost Hardiness of New Growth

New growth on peonies is quite freeze tolerant. If you have less than 3'' of new growth, there is no need for concern, even if temperatures dip down into the teens (as is forecast for this weekend here in Connecticut). Once significant new growth begins, damage will be avoided so long as temperatures do not go below the low 20s. If you do feel the need to protect new growth, and upturned pail or barrel is often the best protection against overnight lows. For larger tree peony specimens, creating a teepee with wooden stakes and wrapping this with a tarp or agricultural row cover (reemay) is a good option. Just to reiterate, these measures should only be considered if there is a significant amount of new growth and the temperatures are going into the low 20s.

Checking for Winter Heaving of Roots
Winter can be trying on peonies, particularly for the newly planted, less-than-ideally sited or poorly mulched. Flower buds can withstand sub-zero temperatures, but the continuous freezing and thawing cycles of mild winters can result in what is known as heaving. This term refers to the force produced by a layer of ice forming beneath the surface of the soil. The expansion of this ice pushes a layer of soil upwards. The cumulative effects of this process can be quite pronounced, particularly after a winter like this year, with many periods of freezing and thawing. It is frost heaving which is responsible for delivering us a fresh crop of 'Connecticut potatoes' each spring, as rocks come up to the surface. So as you begin your spring clean up, inspect your peonies for signs of heaving. Be sure to cover up exposed roots with soil. See our full article on this topic here." https://www.treepeony.com/page...
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Mar 3, 2017 10:28 AM CST
Karen, I got that same email and it really made me feel better.
I am going to measure my new growth on my TP's when I get home.
I had another week of exceptional growth.
LG -I have a little garden in which to walk and immensity in which to dream.
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Roses Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs
Region: Georgia Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias
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Cem9165
Mar 3, 2017 3:37 PM CST
Karen, thanks for this useful information. However, I had stem and bud damage the last time we got below freezing last week on Dad, Sunny Girl, Do Tell and PHC Sad

When we left GA today, we had frost in some areas. It's getting even colder tonight, so I may be having a not so nice peony season.

Several my peonies are 8-12+ inches tall, with big buds, all left uncovered.
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

author unknown
Name: Anya
Fairbanks, AK (Zone 3b)
Cat Lover
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anyagoro
Mar 3, 2017 4:29 PM CST
Karen, I am sorry that this frost damages your peony. I hope they will recover and bloom nicely. Crossing Fingers!
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Mar 3, 2017 6:44 PM CST
I think that you mean Annette, Anya. I am sorry Annette that your peonies had sustained a great deal of damage from this cold blast. It is heading my way as I write this. I am not covering them up since they have pretty short growths, less than 3". From the above info from Cricket Hill, I think my peonies are ok. Can I ask how low did your temps drop down to that your peonies got damaged?
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Roses Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs
Region: Georgia Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias
Image
Cem9165
Mar 3, 2017 8:18 PM CST
Karen, we were at 33 degrees when I got up Sunday morning, so I suspect we got below freezing before then. Individual outer stems or buds were damaged, not the entire plants. We live north of the city, so we can get 5-10 degrees cooler than the predicted temps.

I don't know why I'm letting the weather bother me so much this year, I didn't really pay attention to it until the past few winters, and I was happy with the blooms that I got. It looks like it will be in the low 30's tonight, we'll see how everything does on Sunday when I get back.

Good luck with your plants during this cooler phase of temps. Smiling
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

author unknown
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
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LizinElizabeth
Mar 3, 2017 8:48 PM CST
I have had frost damage before on Sunny Girl and Do Tell and I still have not gotten PHC to grow, mainly because of frost damage and those aren't typically very big when we get our last big freeze of the season. Dad is planted in a completely different area and has done great so far....I'm starting to think that a lot of my problems are with the amount of shade some of my beds get in the spring as the vast majority of the issue I have are from that one bed.....Does the bed that these peonies are in get more morning shade, Annette? Maybe we have the same issue with some peonies that need to warm up faster after bad weather.
LizB
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Roses Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs
Region: Georgia Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias
Image
Cem9165
Mar 3, 2017 9:09 PM CST
Yes Liz the plants are partially shaded. Do Tell gets sun mid morning, and PHC (in my walkway bed), Dad and SG (potted on my deck) don't get the sun until in the afternoon.
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

author unknown
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Mar 3, 2017 10:12 PM CST
I had to cover last night and tonight. My tree Peony's new growth is longer than three inches so we shall see how it fares. The low is forecasted to be 26-29° Saturday morning.
LG -I have a little garden in which to walk and immensity in which to dream.
Name: Anya
Fairbanks, AK (Zone 3b)
Cat Lover
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anyagoro
Mar 3, 2017 11:34 PM CST
Thanks Karen, sorry Annette for my mistake. You all have such a long growing season, I do hope the peonies will recover during late spring-summer. Maybe side buds will take over the damaged one.
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
Image
Mieko2
Mar 4, 2017 6:05 AM CST
Annette, in my case it bothers me because we only get one chance with peonies. If we don't get to see a bloom this year we have a long wait until next year.
I have already vowed to take more photos of mine this year. I look through last year's peony photos and I didn't take enough photos!!
LG -I have a little garden in which to walk and immensity in which to dream.
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Roses Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs
Region: Georgia Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias
Image
Cem9165
Mar 4, 2017 7:36 AM CST
No worries Anya!

I agree regarding the long growing season. We'll see how the plants are doing when I get back home Crossing Fingers! !

Lg, I hope your trees and plants did well overnight! I'm looking forward to more of your pics this spring.

It was 30 degrees in GA when I checked the temp earlier this morning, so no telling how low it got last night. It's up to 36 degrees now.

"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

author unknown
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
Image
Mieko2
Mar 5, 2017 7:43 AM CST
Hi Annette,
27°F here Saturday morning. It was sunny and got up to 68°F quickly.

I'm sorry that you had a little damage on your peonies. I hope they grow out of it.
LG -I have a little garden in which to walk and immensity in which to dream.
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Roses Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs
Region: Georgia Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias
Image
Cem9165
Mar 5, 2017 8:54 AM CST
Thanks Lg! The plants that were left uncovered seem to be fine this weekend. The damage that I have now occurred last weekend.
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

author unknown

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