Peonies forum: Growing Peonies for the First Time??

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Name: Anna Rhodes
USA
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Annabelle22
Dec 4, 2017 12:42 AM CST
Hi Guys, I have always loved Peonies but since I have the opposite of a green thumb (seriously, I wouldn't be able to make weeds grow) and have always stuck to Cacti or hired a gardener to care for the plants. However, I really love flowers and while it might sound silly that I struggle to make things grow - it is really true. I want to change that though so I thought I would start with my favorite flower - Peonies.

So, for my question - is there anybody who can give me some real-life advise for growing Peonies (and keep in mind that I am really dumb when it comes to plants).

I joined this forum in order to learn from people who know much more than me, so if anybody is willing to help, that'd be great.

Thank you in advance?
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
Dec 4, 2017 1:31 AM CST
You came to the right place, Anna—welcome! First off, what zone do you live in? Most peony growers/sellers have closed down for fall 2017 sales, a few are already taking orders for fall 2018, gives you plenty of time to figure out which ones you like best and want to start with. Do you have a garden, are you planning to plant them in the ground or in pots? In the ground is easiest and we can give you instructions and advice, just need to know specifics. I do suggest that you start with good roots from a reputable seller so you'll get blooms much sooner. You'll see roots for sale in the spring from stores like Walmart, Home Depot, etc, it takes several years for those small roots to produce flowers so might not be the best to start with. You can purchase peonies in bloom at nurseries in the spring but they can be a bit tricky to keep going, hard to get the right mix of sun for the flowers without overheating the roots when they're in those little pots.
LizB
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Dec 4, 2017 9:34 AM CST
I second Liz's advice. Best to start with good roots to have success early so you won't get discouraged. Nothing does more to boost one's self confidence than seeing blooms for the first time. If the peony is planted in good soil with good drainage and good sun exposure, your peony will thrive. If your ground and soil is still workable, you can still plant peony now. Adelman peony is still shipping and they have great prices on the remainder of their offerings now. Here is their website: http://peonyparadise.com/herba... Adelman Peonies sent great roots this year - large roots with big eyes.
Name: Anya
Fairbanks, AK (Zone 3b)
Cat Lover
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anyagoro
Dec 4, 2017 3:28 PM CST
Welcome! Anna! It's great to meet one more peony lover! Anyone can grow peonies, the main things are sun and drainage. And right depth of the crown Smiling I also recommend to buy a root from Adelman's right now if the soil in your garden is not frozen. Next spring you will see first flower and you won't be able to stop adding more peonies to your collection! Hilarious! Enjoy!
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Tomato Heads Pollen collector Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Cat Lover
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magnolialover
Dec 4, 2017 8:31 PM CST

Moderator

Welcome, Anna. You have been given good advice. Not sure where you are located, but getting involved in a local Peony Society can help. Choosing cultivars(varieties) that are know to have success in your climate can help guide your selection process. For example growing in the South can be different than planting in the North.

All cultivars will benefit from well drained location and proper planting depth. Depending on how intense your heat gets in your area during bloom time, a mostly sunny location is preferred.
Tracey
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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CarolineScott
Dec 5, 2017 8:56 AM CST
I agree with the above advice as I can not always get really good roots up here. It means that I must wait years for the flowers sometimes. I agree

You will have fun growing peonies with the help of this group!
Welcome!
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Dec 5, 2017 12:32 PM CST
That is odd Caroline. I have had good success here in zone 4. Although last year I did have two or three bloomless. May be next year.
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
Dec 5, 2017 11:21 PM CST
Inconsistencies in weather are more of a factor than lowest temps, or they are here. Don't know how many times on how many plants I've lost all new growth or buds to late freezes and snow....
LizB
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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CarolineScott
Dec 6, 2017 7:18 AM CST
And the size of the root that you start with will mean whether you get blooms the following spring.
The ones from Lindsay have been good, but now she is retiring.
And the cost to order internationally are too expensive.
I am hoping that fellow who bought Parkland will be supplying good sized roots.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Dec 6, 2017 3:53 PM CST
I like Parkland roses. Very hardy
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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CarolineScott
Dec 7, 2017 8:31 AM CST
I think the fellow just bought the Parkland Peony part of the business.

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