Peonies forum: Weird Weather of 2017 and Fall

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Name: Gary Ray
North Carolina (Zone 7b)
Oct 15, 2017 3:03 PM CST
This has to be the most weird weather year I can remember. Fires, tornados, hurricanes galore, and late spring freezes. Early in the year it was fear for my peonies based on late hard freezes. Today I went out to blow leaves, pull weeds etc and look what I found.

This is one of my tree peonies. It was the most damaged by the late freeze this past spring. It had gone dormant and completely lost its leaves early. I trimmed off the dead parts and it started growing again. If you look closely, there are 4 flower buds. So I started checking my other plants.
Thumb of 2017-10-15/graycrna4u/b45480
Another tree peony. New growth, no buds
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Another tree peony. New growth, no buds
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Itoh Singing In The Rain. In addition to blooming with a purple and yellow bloom this spring, it is showing new growth. If you look closely, there is a bud.
Thumb of 2017-10-15/graycrna4u/d6838e
I am afraid to ask what else can happen this year. I will post pics if they make it to bloom. Have a while before we get a hard freeze.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
Oct 15, 2017 3:28 PM CST
@graycrna4u, I was just coming in to post about this when I saw your thread. I'm in north-central Massachusetts. We didn't seem to have any strange weather in the spring, but summer was unusually mild. About a month ago, all my grape hyacinths started coming up! I have full greenery on every single one but no flower buds.

My peonies, with one exception, are not shrinking from the fall weather as expected, and the leaves are vibrant green. They even have a tiny bit of new growth! And I've noticed that several other plants are acting like winter has ended! I'm talking pansies and Johnny Jump Ups! And there are BUDS on my Sensitive Partridge Pea! Flower buds! And I'm only now just picking the seed pods from them!

Like you, we haven't had a hard freeze yet. I'm also wondering whether my plants will make it through the winter. And the wild rabbits are acting strange too. They're nibbling on things they're not supposed to like and then just leaving the broken stalks on the ground. I'm wondering if they're experiencing a shortage of food in their natural habitat?

My heart goes out to everyone who is suffering from the recent events and I have to echo your words. I really am afraid and wondering how crops will be affected. I'm sure we'll at least be seeing the price of wine rise. Confused
AKA Joey.
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Oct 15, 2017 5:32 PM CST
I can handle a few plants not surviving, but the price of wine going up:(
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 15, 2017 7:13 PM CST
I cut back 2 beds of peonies today and found new growth on several Itohs. In the spring I thought I’d lost 3 tree peonies as there was no growth but 2 of them put out leaves late in the summer. We had a blizzard late May and we’ve already had a hard freeze in Oct with snow....the temps went from mid 70s to mid 20s within 8 hours, then back to 70s 2 days later. Unfortunately this isn’t an unusual year for us.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oct 17, 2017 10:12 AM CST
I keep forgetting you are at a higher elevation so explains how your weather is somewhat more severe than ours. We are having hard freezes every night. I planted some tulips and daffys yesterday and the ground is frozen down several inches. Seems almost like the top layer is thawing in the late afternoon making me think the ground is less frozen that it really is. Once I get through the top few inches the ground is hard. Will make planting the last four peonies a little more difficult. I think I will dig the holes and store dirt in the garage. Will pick the plants (roots) up tomorrow at noon and plant later in the day.

I also see growth just on the surface of the soil. Not unusual. One year there were pips a couple of inches up the stems. Doesn't seem to hurt them.
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Oct 17, 2017 11:17 AM CST
Some of my peonies look ok, others with mildew and a few completely brown. This is normal.

I usually cut the ugly ones down first and do the others later.

I have one bed that is mostly peonies that I have mowed in the past (couple of times), but I will probably just cut by hand this year

Weather has been great this fall for a glass or two of white wine at lunch:)

Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Oct 17, 2017 11:26 AM CST
My weather has turned a bit cold now but so far nothing unusual for this early fall time. It is actually pretty nice this year.

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