Peonies forum: Peony eyes?

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Name: Nancy
Bowling Green Kentucky (Zone 6b)
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alilyfan
Oct 21, 2017 1:36 PM CST
I have grown some old peonies for years, and added a few common varieties from box stores here & there. They have always done well with little care. Three or 4 years ago I really got into peonies & have added several more since then. I was cleaning out some garden beds & noticed large buds well above the ground level. I had cut the plants back a week or ago, didn't notice this then. I've never noticed this in past years, but possibly I just wasn't looking at the right time? Is this something I should be concerned about? Should I cover with some leaves, add soil, or just let them alone?
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
Oct 21, 2017 1:56 PM CST
I’ve had that happen before if the weather warms up after I cut back and divided Peonies. As long as you haven’t changed the planting depth I’d leave them alone.
LizB
Name: Nancy
Bowling Green Kentucky (Zone 6b)
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alilyfan
Oct 21, 2017 3:43 PM CST
Thanks Liz, it has been such odd weather this year so I guess my peonies are confused, so am I for that matter.
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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frankrichards16
Oct 21, 2017 3:44 PM CST
I agree with Liz.

My Itoh peonies usually have buds above ground. I have cut back above the buds, but they do not survive the Michigan winter. However this is not a problem. Buds below ground survive and do their thing.

This year, when I cut down peonies for the winter, I just cut to ground level and ignore the buds above ground.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Oct 21, 2017 11:00 PM CST
A year or so everyone was talking of buds above ground and even inches up the stems. Mine did the same but even with our winters they were fine come spring. Not to worry. Peonies are hearty souls and will thrive.
Name: Nancy
Bowling Green Kentucky (Zone 6b)
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alilyfan
Oct 22, 2017 6:30 AM CST
I didn't mention, but the main one I was concerned with was Singing in the Rain. It bloomed the first time in spring 2016, but didn't bloom this spring. We had an up & down spring this year, warm very early, then cold again, many of my peonies did not do well & one old one did not bloom at all. I really want blooms from Singing in the Rain next spring. Buds are several inches on the stem on that one as you mentioned, so I was very concerned. I noticed it in a couple of my older ones too, but not to that extent. Thanks so much for confirming for me that they will be ok
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
Oct 22, 2017 7:23 AM CST
In the warmer zones you can get growth from those stem buds, I don’t remember anyone in zone 6 getting any, though. Itohs aren’t supposed to be as sensitive to planting depth as herbaceous so covering them wouldn’t be as much of an issue but any additional covering needs to be done carefully so stem rot isn’t encouraged...the stem buds never do anything here in zone 4b so I leave them exposed.
I also had several Itohs that didn’t bloom this spring, think the late May blizzard was to blame, mostly those that flower latest. Hoping for more blooms next spring!
LizB
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Oct 23, 2017 1:36 PM CST
Liz, if you covered the pips in the spring to protect them from sun and wind, I wonder if they would be okay. Scott Reath told me one time that he had peonies sitting in snow in many springs and they were just fine. I wonder if the little buds are like rhododendrons in that they don't care about cold, just get dried out from sun and wind. I only ever covered my largest rhody clear up to April and it flowers beautifully, whereas before if left uncovered the buds just turned brown and withered in the spring - even after coming through the winter just fine. So this year I have covered all three rhodys (azaleas don't seem to care) and my two tree peonies. I am so hoping Shimane Cho Juraku blooms next spring. It has several buds. It is wrapped in special stuff like I used on the big rhody. Others are simply wrapped in layers of burlap. Trying not to entire the @#$%^@$#%^@$ mice back to my garden.
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Oct 23, 2017 4:04 PM CST
I am Zone 7a in Middle Tennessee. Most of my Itohs keep buds on the stems through the winter and I just leave them exposed to the elements. Occasionally they will actually sprout up into a branch when they break dormancy! I don’t worry about them. One way or another they do just fine.

For what it is worth, my Singing in the Rain produced ugly blooms last Spring and I blame it on the weird weather.

D'Oh!
LG -I have a little garden in which to walk and immensity in which to dream.
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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frankrichards16
Oct 23, 2017 5:35 PM CST
I planted singing in the rain this year, will post results:)
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
Oct 23, 2017 8:36 PM CST
I leave them covered, Mary. Most are mulched with pine straw, doesn’t Matt down like most, Peonies seem to like it.
LizB

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