Peonies forum: Late Planted Peonies

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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Dec 13, 2017 6:59 AM CST
Here is a tip to encourage root growth for late planted peonies. If you live in a zone with cold winters such as mine (zone 6 or lower), late planted peonies may benefit from a thick layer of mulch or other materials to keep the soil warm for a month. Last year, I bought 3 peonies on clearance from Adelman. They were planted in early December. I placed bags of leaves above the Lemon Chiffon and Anne Oveson to keep the soil warm for 6 weeks. Then I removed the bags so the roots would get the cold exposure they needed to produce potential buds. I think the bags helped to keep the soil warm so that the late planted roots were able to grow feeder roots which helped the plants grow better and bloomed the following year. I got two flowers on my Lemon Chiffon and one on my Anne OVeson this past spring.
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
Hostas Roses Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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csandt
Dec 13, 2017 7:49 AM CST
kousa said:Here is a tip to encourage root growth for late planted peonies. If you live in a zone with cold winters such as mine (zone 6 or lower), late planted peonies may benefit from a thick layer of mulch or other materials to keep the soil warm for a month. Last year, I bought 3 peonies on clearance from Adelman. They were planted in early December. I placed bags of leaves above the Lemon Chiffon and Anne Oveson to keep the soil warm for 6 weeks. Then I removed the bags so the roots would get the cold exposure they needed to produce potential buds. I think the bags helped to keep the soil warm so that the late planted roots were able to grow feeder roots which helped the plants grow better and bloomed the following year. I got two flowers on my Lemon Chiffon and one on my Anne OVeson this past spring.


You have such good ideas, Karen! The bag of mulch makes removal so easy when the time is right.
Carol H. Sandt

“Once you stop learning, you start dying.” – Albert Einstein
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Dec 13, 2017 10:02 AM CST
Great idea. Not sure how well it would work in a zone 4 but anything that might help them grow a bit in the fall, early winter, is worth doing. Too late now. Wonder if keeping the last two in large flower pots in the garage for two weeks in damp soil before putting outside will help. Not damp enough to cause rot, but enough to maybe encourage some growth.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Dec 13, 2017 7:59 PM CST
I am not sure if it would work for your zone 4, Mary. Maybe your area is too cold for this to work. It does not hurt to try though. I have done this based on Cricket Hill Peony website peony growth information which said that peony roots will continue to grow feeder roots as long as the soil is 40F and above. I think if a peony root has large eyes and a good root system, it will bloom whether it grows feeder roots or not. Though having the plant put out as much as feeder roots as possible will help to reduce the hit/blow to the plant when it does bloom the following spring.

Though planted in early Dec., Lemon Chiffon had 3 buds the following spring.

Thumb of 2017-12-14/kousa/9a394c

Anne Ovenson also planted at the same time, was able to produce one bloom.
Thumb of 2017-12-14/kousa/5df8cc

Old Faithful which was planted the same time did not bloom. I did not put bag of leaves over OF. It could be that it's just a slow grower and takes time to get established to bloom.

[Last edited by kousa - Dec 13, 2017 8:10 PM (+)]
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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 14, 2017 5:45 PM CST
Old Faithful is supposed to be a slower grower, probably why. I read somewhere that it's a good idea to use extra soil on top of late planted Peonies, mound a bit and brush away in the spring. I did that this time as well as adding pine straw.
LizB
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Dec 14, 2017 7:49 PM CST
Me too. The extra soil at last. I should have raked out the pine straw from Damien's huge pine tree. Been dropping needles for years. Also under the mughos
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Dec 15, 2017 3:45 AM CST
Old Faithful has been a big disappointment for me. I bought another one this Fall from a different supplier.

I saw a clump at the APS Convention in Louisville that was stunning and I won't give up until I have a plant that looks like it did! Unfortunately I did not get a photo of it!

LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
kousa
Dec 15, 2017 8:05 AM CST
csandt said:

You have such good ideas, Karen! The bag of mulch makes removal so easy when the time is right.


Thanks, Carol but I wish I can take credit for this. I picked up the idea from the Dahlia forum a few years ago. Someone shared that they used trash bags filled with leaves to protect their dahlias from winter freeze. So now I am using these leaves filled bags to protect everything from peonies, roses, fruit trees to tender bulbs like bletillas, gladiolus, lycoris, and tuberosas. They don't look nice but they sure do a good job at protecting the plants without the leaves blowing everywhere.

Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
kousa
Dec 15, 2017 8:16 AM CST
I got it after seeing Alex's pic of it last year! It was so gorgeous! I also saw another pic from a different gardener of Old Faithful as a mature plant that just sent my heart aflutter. I hope that I got a good root from Adelman Peonies. Looking forward to a few blooms next year.

@mantisOH, if you see this post, would you be so kind as sharing your pic of Old Faithful here that you posted earlier this year at Houzz? Also can you share where you purchased this Old Faithful root?
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
Hostas Roses Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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csandt
Dec 15, 2017 8:44 AM CST
kousa said:

Thanks, Carol but I wish I can take credit for this. I picked up the idea from the Dahlia forum a few years ago. Someone shared that they used trash bags filled with leaves to protect their dahlias from winter freeze. So now I am using these leaves filled bags to protect everything from peonies, roses, fruit trees to tender bulbs like bletillas, gladiolus, lycoris, and tuberosas. They don't look nice but they sure do a good job at protecting the plants without the leaves blowing everywhere.



Karen,

I think you definitrly do deserve credit for sharing this excellent idea, whatever its origin!

A couple of years ago you shared the idea of putting bulb fertilizer on peonies in early spring as soon as new growth appeared. I did that, and WOW! What a difference that made! Even some of the peonies that I planted the previous fall bloomed! And the established plants looked better than ever! Please keep sharing your excellent ideas!

Thumb of 2017-12-15/csandt/de1887

Carol H. Sandt

“Once you stop learning, you start dying.” – Albert Einstein
Name: Anya
Fairbanks, AK (Zone 3b)
Cat Lover
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anyagoro
Dec 15, 2017 2:13 PM CST
I planted Old Faithful (purchased from Solaris) in the fall 2016 and it bloomed last summer. I was amazed how strong the plant looked though there were only 2 stems. I definitely can wait for a few years before it grows into a good clump and hope fore the same quality of blooms in future.
Thumb of 2017-12-15/anyagoro/26d5d4

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Dec 15, 2017 4:30 PM CST
We have had rain with snow melting all around. Now it is cooling down with snow the next several days. glad of that as there is little cover for my plants
Name: Anya
Fairbanks, AK (Zone 3b)
Cat Lover
Image
anyagoro
Dec 15, 2017 5:47 PM CST
Our winter has been too warm also and they don't predict any cold weather in the next 10 days. Blinking
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Dec 15, 2017 6:30 PM CST
Well, good for me I guess. Going to be there for Christmas. Maybe we could get together for coffee?? Thumbs up
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
kousa
Dec 16, 2017 2:03 PM CST
Wow, what a gorgeous border showcasing peonies, Carol! I wouldn't mind waking up to be greeted by such a view everyday. Smiling Smiling Your OF bloom is just perfection, Anya! I hope mine will give me such nice blooms next year and the years to come.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Dec 16, 2017 2:52 PM CST
I am hoping that the way I planted my new peonies this fall will look nearly as lovely as yours Carol. Instead of a specimen sort of planting, each peony rather by itself among lots of other plants, I have planted about 3-4' apart, staggered in two beds. There is room for other plants like columbine, iris, poppies that are not thick but will fill in the spaces between. The bloom dates of the peonies vary greatly so should last a long time.
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
Hostas Roses Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
csandt
Dec 16, 2017 4:59 PM CST
Thank you for liking my shrub and peony border, Karen and Mary Stella.

You can't see them in this photo, but there are lots of Buzz Sky Blue butterfly bushes interspersed among the peonies. I cut the butterfly bushes down to about a foot tall in early spring, and then they flower in summer after the peonies have finished. There are also some Siberian irises and oriental poppies here and there among the peonies. It is amazing how crowded this border has become. I started it Labor Day weekend of 2014, and most of the peonies you see in this photo were planted that fall.
Carol H. Sandt

“Once you stop learning, you start dying.” – Albert Einstein
Name: Anya
Fairbanks, AK (Zone 3b)
Cat Lover
Image
anyagoro
Dec 16, 2017 7:32 PM CST
Carol, this is amazing! Planted in the fall 2014 and grown so fast! This perennial border with peonies looks so lavish! Peonies are happy in your garden and give you many gorgeous flowers! Mine are still struggling Smiling
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Dec 16, 2017 7:44 PM CST
I am thinking I need to find a draping grass to front my beds. I would have to put down 2x4x6" bricks in front to keep the lawn grass back from the existing rock fronts (which are only about 8" tall as they have sunk into the lawn). The soft look of the draping grass is really attractive. Might also discourage the growth of chickweed in the rock front.
Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
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AlexUnder
Dec 17, 2017 1:57 PM CST
I divided OF into 3 pieces - 2 reasonable ones and one small as I moved house in the fall ( and pretty much most of peonies as well ). We will see how they will behave next year. Most of them I moved as is, some certain damages to the root system, but some were divided. Divided OF went to the the front yard as it has some health problem and I do not want it to stay with other peonies for too long. My new place lot is more compact but more open as there is no big trees in the back yard. Should be good for peonies, tomatoes and cukes. View is not great, but I planted small yews for future hedge - it may take 5-8 years to be the right height, but I think it worth it. Not big fan of trying to keep plant smaller that they suppose to be - too much effort at the end.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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