Peonies forum: Itoh Peony too deep?

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naylorchic
May 14, 2018 7:35 PM CST
Hi! I got a very large Itoh Peony root that I planted last year. It did well. I think about 4 eyes sprouted. I was hoping it would be much bigger this year. Sadly it only had one shoot this year and is smaller than last year. Since the root was so large I remember having to dig a huge hole so I'm wondering if it's too deep. Could I try to dig it up and raise it some? Or should I wait it out until fall. I'm just afraid if I wait it will be even smaller next year. What do you think?
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan (Zone 5b)

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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frankrichards16
May 14, 2018 8:20 PM CST
I would just wait. Do you have photos?

naylorchic
May 14, 2018 9:09 PM CST
@frankrichards16. Here are pics from last year in this post of my Raspberry Sundae vs the ITOH: The thread "Too late to plant a Bartzella?" in Peonies forum

Here are the same plants this year. Raspberry Sundae is the large one that was also planted bareroot last spring.


Thumb of 2018-05-15/naylorchic/a84f02


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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
May 15, 2018 7:50 PM CST
I've also had the darndest time getting Bartzella to perform here, have a dozer from Solaris 3 years ago that still hasn't bloomed. I don't think planting depth is as critical for Itohs as it is for herbaceous. Check your planting spot, make sure it's not getting too much water, especially if you have spring thaws before they start waking you don't want water sitting over them.
Peonies pretty much store up energy in the fall for spring growing. If you planted this last spring and it put up 4 stems it might've just tired itself out and is resting this year. As long as you don't have it in a bad spot (boggy, lots of shade, etc) I'd just fertilize it with something low in nitrogen after the growth is done--July or August maybe, depending on your zone, and again as soon as you see eyes popping out next spring. Give it another year or 2 before doing anything drastic. Remember---sleep, creep, leap!
LizB
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
May 16, 2018 7:04 AM CST
How deep did you plant it? If the crown is more than 6 inches deep, that could be a problem.

Like Liz said, if water pooled on it, that could cause root rot.

I had 4 Bartzellas that I got from Lowes in 2012 just bloom for the first time this year, and believe me, I have been babying the heck out of them! So it may not be anything you have done wrong.

They are so worth the effort though.

Thumb of 2018-05-16/Mieko2/84aa6b

LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.

naylorchic
May 16, 2018 10:33 AM CST
@mieko2 I remember digging the hole really deep in order to fit all the roots in. I don't think the crown was too too deep though. I dug a bit with my fingers to try to get a little bit of the soil from the top and I could feel the top of what I think used to be the old stem just under the surface. I'll try what @lizinelizabeth said. Maybe it just needs some time to recoup. That spot has sun allll day so that shouldn't be the prob. It does get extra rain in that spot bc it gets some of the runoff from our carport. It drains well though. It has quite a bit of leaf mulch that we mixed into the soil last year. The other peonies seem to love it there. I have the Miracle Gro extended release fertilizer. The granules you put around the plant. I don't know the ratios off hand though. Do you think that would work or I need something else? I also have coffee ground and we have chickens so chicken manure is plentiful lol. I think those are high nitrogen though if I'm not mistaken. Thx for your help!
Name: Anya
Fairbanks, AK (Zone 3b)
Cat Lover
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anyagoro
May 16, 2018 12:10 PM CST
I agree with everything written here. If the crown is no deeper than 6" for an Itoh then this should be be a problem. High nitrogen fertilizer stimulates the leaf growth and inhibits flower development, it is recommended to use bulb fertilizer for peonies. Other than that just try to patient and wait Smiling Roots really differ, some need more time to develop. I am sure in a few years you will be pleased with your Bartzella!

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