Peonies forum: First yr peonies - brown shoots emerging - dead?

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(Zone 4b)
msevo
May 11, 2018 7:53 PM CST
Hi everyone!

Noob here. We planted six roots last fall and one has three red pips(?), the highest one about 2 inches. Two of them have this dried brown shoot coming out of the ground instead of the red tips - does that mean they're goners? Nothing on the other three yet - I'm in zone 4b and we had a longer winter than usual.

I don't know what I did wrong but this afternoon I did see the neighbor'a cat really getting in there before I chased it away Grumbling

Any input would be great! This is definitely frustrating.

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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
May 11, 2018 8:32 PM CST
Hard to kill a peony unless the crowns become rotted or you started out with really bad roots. Are they grown in well drain spot? Maybe it is still too cold up where you are. Some peonies are just late too wake up. When temps are right, they will come up. Do you know what varieties they are? Some late blooming peonies are naturally late to appear.
(Zone 4b)
msevo
May 11, 2018 9:00 PM CST
Thank you! I thought we prepped the soil pretty well, even got out a ruler to make sure it's not planted too deeply. Ah well, I will give it a couple more weeks - it only started being in the 50F+ these last two weeks or so. I know one of the two with the brown shoots is a Sarah Bernhardt (purchased from PeonysEnvy). I did not mark the five others but we planted 2 Festiva Maximas, 2 Duchesse de Nemours, and 1 Kansas from a local farm.
Name: Anya
Fairbanks, AK (Zone 3b)
Cat Lover
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anyagoro
May 12, 2018 1:06 AM CST
Welcome! msevo! No worries! New peonies take long time to start growing, sometimes very long! Last year my Amalia Olson showed up on June 19! And quite a few in the beginning of June and we had an earlier spring than this year. I am in zone 3b so I would subtract 2 weeks for your zone. You bought roots from a good nursery (I guess) so they will grow, just give them at least 2 weeks. Thumbs 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
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LizinElizabeth
May 12, 2018 8:19 AM CST
Don't let that brown stub worry you, that's just the last remnant of last year's stems, not this year's growth. If you've had a really dry spring I'd water them a bit now, just once or twice a week, to see if you can stimulate growth. If you've had an inch or more of rain each week lately I'd just sit back and wait--DON'T try to dig to see if you can see growth. Most of us can tell you from experience you'll end up breaking off a growing tip that way! Best of luck with your new peonies!
LizB
(Zone 4b)
msevo
May 12, 2018 8:47 AM CST
Thank you so much Liz!! It's very comforting to know what the brown stub is - now it makes sense!

And yes Anya I will give it a couple more weeks.

Now I am very excited!

Thank You!
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
May 14, 2018 9:22 AM CST
I am a microclimate here in Anchorage, a zone 4 (not sure of the letter). It is interesting that Anya, who is a zone colder than me, usually catches up and surpasses me on growth. Her weather is dryer and warmer with more sun. We are cloudy although we have milder winters. Not sure I like the weather differences. After all, -40 to -50 can only last so long. Lol.
(Zone 4b)
msevo
May 15, 2018 10:42 PM CST
Oberon46 said:I am a microclimate here in Anchorage, a zone 4 (not sure of the letter). It is interesting that Anya, who is a zone colder than me, usually catches up and surpasses me on growth. Her weather is dryer and warmer with more sun. We are cloudy although we have milder winters. Not sure I like the weather differences. After all, -40 to -50 can only last so long. Lol.


Hey I am in Anchorage, AK also! First time trying to plant peonies. That is very interesting about Anya and the Fairbanks difference, lol. I'm still waiting on the other five roots to show up. I will not expect them until next month. Sticking tongue out
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
May 18, 2018 5:13 AM CST

Moderator

Welcome msevo.

The biggest problem I have ever had with peony roots are if they get too wet. Some tolerate the conditions more than others. The double fern leaf peony, as a great example has no tolerance whatsoever for a heavy, wet soil, even temporarily.

We've had a ton of rain here over the last week and the peony buds were not happy about the waterlogged soil. Buds were drooping as a response, but as the soil has dried out the last couple of days, those buds perked up. The ITOHs were of the droopiest.

I have some of my later blooming peonies just coming up now, maybe an inch or so out of the ground. The odd and rather variable weather conditions are a continual challenge for plants, even the hardiest types these days.
Tracey

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