Peonies forum: Goners?

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Bowling Green Kentucky (Zone 6b)
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alilyfan
Apr 4, 2018 9:13 AM CST
Four of my peonies are not up yet, hope I am just over nervous, but I don't think so. Coral n gold and Joker are pretty new, not bloomed before so I was really looking forward to seeing them. They were up last year by this time, even had buds, but we had a weird year last year for peonies. A couple of mature peonies did not bloom, and the other ones did not bloom well. Lavon was just planted last fall, so maybe it will yet show up? Another new one, Magical Mystery at our, is another possibile loss, but I have decided I did not label it and am watching the plant I am almost positive it is. I divided an old Sarah Bernhardt last fall and planted in several places so causes my confusion, but the leaves on this plant are different. It has a couple of nice big buds, so won't have long to wait. Oh. And Blonde vision, but that one is my fault from last summer. Anyway, I don't think I have ever lost a peony before. I don't see signs of digging or anything, so trying to think why this would happen. We have had a ton of rain, but that is spring for you. Never killed any before, they are not sitting in puddles and a couple others nearby are fine.
Any thoughts anyone?
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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frankrichards16
Apr 4, 2018 9:23 AM CST
It has been rather cool so far this spring. I am not seeing much activity with my peonies either.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
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Oldgardenrose
Apr 4, 2018 11:04 AM CST
Our temp dropped from 74 yesterday afternoon to 33 this morning. Don't worry about peonies' slow growth this Spring. I expect many freezing nights until early May.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Apr 4, 2018 11:37 AM CST
Holy Cow, Jerry. That is one huge change in one evening. I didn't think Illinois was that volatile.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
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Oldgardenrose
Apr 4, 2018 2:47 PM CST
Here we say if you don't like the weather today, just wait until tomorrow when it changes.
Bowling Green Kentucky (Zone 6b)
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alilyfan
Apr 4, 2018 3:19 PM CST
They say that here in Kentucky too🤣 it was 32 here this morning, and 71 yesterday before that nasty storm last night bringing in the cold front. Tornado touched down just north of us. No peonies in bloom, but some still look a bit droopy today. Ah, spring.
I probably should be more patient, hopefully they will all spring up soon
Last year Coral n Gold and Joker were quite a nice size, I think would have bloomed if not for the odd weather, and still looked good in the fall.
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Apr 4, 2018 8:02 PM CST
I would not give up just yet. We have not had the heat we normally get by this time of the year.
I would keep track of the dates when the emerge to use as a comparison from year to year.
LG -I have a little garden in which to walk and immensity in which to dream.
Bowling Green Kentucky (Zone 6b)
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alilyfan
Apr 5, 2018 8:21 AM CST
It has been very off and on type of year. January was exceptionally warm. Then cold for a month. March was mostly cooler than normal when I think about it, only by a few degrees, but I guess that will do it.
I do keep records of when they bloom, but will definitely add emerge dates to keep me from panicing so much next year

MTruss3
Apr 7, 2018 6:27 AM CST
We had a little snow this morning and it will continue until after lunch. The temperatures are supposed to drop into the 20s after the snow. We packed the peonies with pine straw but do we need to cover them after the snow fall when the temperatures drop down?
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Apr 7, 2018 7:14 AM CST
Welcome! M Truss,
How far up are your Peonies? Are they leafed out with buds? What zone are you in? Are these just Peonies in your garden beds, or rows of Peonies?

My early season Peonies are leafed out with buds. They will suffer the most damage and may not bloom. I am going to cover them as best as I can. I have some frost blankets that I will use, 5 gallon buckets, etc. My peonies are in garden beds.

LG -I have a little garden in which to walk and immensity in which to dream.
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
Apr 7, 2018 5:11 PM CST
If they're short enough to be covered with pine straw they should be fine. Once they leaf out and the stems get taller some varieties can be damaged but most take some snow and 30s temps just fine. Temps in the 20s or below damage more, the further developed the buds are the better chance of damage. I had several Itohs that typically bloom well not even develop buds last year, think because of a very cold blizzard in May. Thankfully the damage doesn't kill the plant, damage is typically only for the current growing season....
LizB
Bowling Green Kentucky (Zone 6b)
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alilyfan
Apr 7, 2018 7:33 PM CST
I have been out covering them the best I could. They are all in garden beds. A few are their full height and large buds, but they are in all stages. I covered the ones I especially wanted to see bloom, the new or newer ones. Many of my true lilies are up as much as 10 or 12 inches, I tried to get as many as I could covered, but was running out of stuff to cover them with. The sun came out late this afternoon and it seemed to warm up a bit. Hoping that might keep it from getting quite so cold.
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
Apr 8, 2018 6:34 PM CST
Luckily, we've not had any snow since the peonies started growing. I covered some of my peonies in the garden when we had temps in the 20's, but many others weren't covered, and they've done fine.

I did get some damaged leaves and buds on my potted peonies that were covered, but overall, the plants are also fine.

alilyfan, I would gently check the soil around where you planted your peonies. Sometimes they'll wind up deeper than you planted them, and they just need some of the soil moved from over them.

Last year, my Buckeye Bell and one of my Kansas were a no show, and this year, they're up and doing well with buds. My Command Performance buds were also damaged, and the plant didn't put up good stems. This year it is doing well with 3 stems with buds.

Welcome MTruss3, and I hope that your peonies are okay. I'm steadily learning that peonies can take much colder temps that I expected. I agree with Liz, I've used pine straw as a cover over the years, and the plants were fine.
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

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