Peonies forum→Growing Tree Peonies in Pots

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Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Nov 24, 2018 5:33 PM CST

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Well today was the day I started my tree peonies in pots adventure.

Here is the pot that I'm using.
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I raised it up on two concrete wall blocks to provide better drainage and less opportunity for voles to get in the bottom. I used my drill to make drainage holes in the bottom. I went down to my Creek and layered some thin stones at the bottom to provide some weight. I mixed good Creek dirt in with potting soil that has a lot of sand in it. I did put Azomite, lime, Biostarter, and Biochar in the lowest level of the dirt.
LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Nov 24, 2018 5:46 PM CST

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Here is the tree peony that I planted in the pot: Hanakisoi. I got this in a pot at a Nursery marked down in October.


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Here it is in the top of the pot with its roots sprinkled with mycorrhizae.




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Here it is completely covered except for the tip of the uppermost bud. The reason I planted it that way is that you can see that it is a graft, with not a lot of TP stem growing above it. I want roots to form on the TP stem. I found this lucky rock down at the Creek and put it on top on the soil. Green Grin!



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I may cover this pot up whenever we are expecting heavy rains. I am concerned that it may rot in our mild, wet, winters here. On the other hand, growing above the ground will let it get more chill days! It will be a fun experiment, and I will continue to post updates.
LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Nov 24, 2018 6:03 PM CST
I am interested to see how the experiment turns out. Smiling
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Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
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LizinElizabeth
Nov 24, 2018 6:05 PM CST

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Can't wait to see how it does!
LizB
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Nov 24, 2018 6:11 PM CST

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Thanks Debra and Liz! You know that I love to chat about peonies and I will be posting updates whenever anything goes on.

I hope others growing peonies in pots will post on this thread, too!

LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Nov 24, 2018 6:19 PM CST
THanks for starting this thread LG! I will embark on the same adventure with you with my Alice Harding TP. I hope we can compare our experience down this road on this thread. Please update! Will you be putting this in the garage this year or outside in a protected area? Is there a reason you chose this pot size and style? Also is there a reason you use sand and not perlite/vermiculite?
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Nov 24, 2018 7:02 PM CST

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Hi Karen, I am planning on leaving this pot outside all the time. This first winter I may cover it up if one of our heavy rains is forecasted, as the peony is still small for the pot it is planted in.

The potting soil was a bagged mix that has sand in it. I didn't think to use perlite! I mixed this potting soil in with my natural creek soil that looks like crumbled chocolate cake!!
I'm going to plant another Tree Peony in a pot tomorrow if the weather holds, and I will add perlite to the soil mix in it.

I asked my friend for more info on her tree peonies in pots and she said she will get back to me.

I look forward to your posts about Alice Harding!!👏🏻
LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
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Cem9165
Nov 24, 2018 9:25 PM CST
LG, thanks for starting this post. I'll be interested to see the progress of your plants. I wish you and Karen all the best with your adventures, with growing tree peonies in pots.

I'll have to admit, the tree peonies that l bought from one of our local nurseries remained in their same pot that I bought them in. I did supplement by topping them off with Staygreen potting soil, and they were fertilized the same way that my peonies planted that are planted in the ground.

My older tree peonies that I recently dug up are in large pots or the larger garden bags. They were potted with Staygreen potting soil that contains fertilizer, with additional Perlite added, to prevent compaction.

I mentioned in another post that my TP Baron TB had gone dormant, and after it had been potted, it put out new leaves.

I'm in zone 7a/b, (I feel that we're more a than b due to our microclimate). I've never worried about overwintering the peonies in pots outside, I've only ever lost 1 plant.

I've done both new roots, and well as potted plants in the past. I'll have to visit my SIL to see how the newly potted plants are doing.

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Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Nov 25, 2018 4:36 AM CST

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Thanks for your input, Annette. I have that same giant bag of perlite!

I remember how pretty those TP you got at your local nursery were. I'm sure they will be fine in the pots.

The soil in the Hanakisoi I transplanted yesterday was full of vermiculite. I wonder why they used it? Does anyone have a preference of vermiculite over perlite or an explanation as to which one is better for peonies?

My friend Patricia sent me photos of her tree peonies in pots. We were trying to figure out which year we both bought TPs at a garden show. Neither of us tagged ours as they did not have names. I do know that it was before 2010. These were planted directly into large pots after purchase.

Here is a photo of hers from 2016



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Here is the other one from 2016.


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Last year we had a late freeze, and there were no blooms.
LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
[Last edited by Mieko2 - Nov 25, 2018 4:38 AM (+)]
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Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
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LizinElizabeth
Nov 25, 2018 10:59 AM CST

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But that's the beauty of pots—if you have room to store them, anyway! A plant dolly and 15 minutes and they don't have to be damaged by late frosts.
I learned the hard way with the paths I put down in my garden, give yourself a non-stepped surface to use things like wagons, dollies and wheelbarrows so you don't have to deal with the sudden drops/raises in the rolling surface!
I know Nate wrote a series of articles on tree peonies that have been published in the APS quarterly pamphlets. I need to go back and study them as when I originally read them I was more concerned about which woud adapt more easily to CO weather. Hoping to plant anything I order for fall 2019 directly in AL!
LizB
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Nov 25, 2018 12:25 PM CST

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I have completed tree peony pot #2. I did mix in perlite this time per Karen's suggestion.

Here is the pot I used. Both pots were already on hand and just needed drainage holes drilled.

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Here is the dirt I dug up from the creek side. It is so nice.


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This is the potting soil from Dollar General. No added fertilizer.

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LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Nov 25, 2018 12:32 PM CST

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Here are the tags from the plant I bought in early Summer for $36.
I am hoping someone can provide a name for "No. 30".


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Here is the washed off root system

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In the pot with mycorrhizae sprinkled on roots

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All potted up. Now I watch over it until Spring!

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LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
Name: Craig
Fort Ann, NY (Zone 5a)
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stellablue
Nov 25, 2018 12:37 PM CST
Great ideas from everyone, best of luck with your experimenting with potted trees. I am reluctant to try because of the extremely cold winters here and I have no garage. I will be potting peonies temporarily because my ground is frozen and roots arriving from Adelmans tomorrow. They will then be buried in the compost pile. From what I've seen of TP roots, they like to spread outward. It should be interesting to see how they perform. I have seen that in China it is a common practice as they will force them to bloom at different times of the year and have been successful for years.
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
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LizinElizabeth
Nov 25, 2018 12:48 PM CST

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That would be cool—forcing them to bloom at different times! LG, that flower is gorgeous, can't wait for bloom pics!
LizB
Name: Anya
Fairbanks, AK (Zone 3a)
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anyagoro
Nov 25, 2018 3:44 PM CST
LG, good luck wit this experiment! I started to think that I could try to try the same and keep a pot in the cold workshop during winter. Is a grafted plant better for a pot than a TP in its own root? I guess the original root would be much bigger and can not fit a pot. Hmm, interesting!
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Nov 25, 2018 5:13 PM CST

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Thanks for your comments Liz, Craig, and Anya. Our planting conditions are all different, so outcomes will vary.

It will be interesting to see how these perform. The Lavender one seemed to be more vigorous than Hanakisoi. Luckily I know to watch for herbaceous stalks coming up from the nurse root, and will remove that if it happens.

I think somewhere on Cricket Hills' website they have a photo of a tree Peony root system and it is amazing!!

All the own root TP I've seen are expensive, so I don't know if I would risk them in a pot until I see how these do.
LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Nov 26, 2018 9:34 AM CST
Mieko2 said:
Here is the dirt I dug up from the creek side. It is so nice.

Thumb of 2018-11-25/Mieko2/fbf421



Wow! That is some awesome soil! I think your potted peony with this soil will do spectacularly! I followed a thread on Gardenweb started by a gardener in Pakistan. In this thread he shared his experience growing roses in pots using soil from a river bank near his home. His results are amazing! THe roses love the soil so much and are so happy and healthy that they are often covered with blooms, lush foliage as well as insects and diseases free. The soil is so fertile that the roses need little else to thrive. So I think that you may get the same experience as this Pakistan gardener. Wish I have a nearby river bank that I can scoop up some fertile soil! Smiling Smiling
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Nov 26, 2018 9:37 AM CST
Mieko2 said:Here are the tags from the plant I bought in early Summer for $36.
I am hoping someone can provide a name for "No. 30".


Thumb of 2018-11-25/Mieko2/191eb9
Thumb of 2018-11-25/Mieko2/9dba33
Thumb of 2018-11-25/Mieko2/4f9959

Here is the washed off root system

Thumb of 2018-11-25/Mieko2/69c6c1

In the pot with mycorrhizae sprinkled on roots

Thumb of 2018-11-25/Mieko2/c0f7f2

All potted up. Now I watch over it until Spring!

Thumb of 2018-11-25/Mieko2/38adcb

Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Lovey dubby
From the pic, it looks like Kamata Nishiki, Kamata Fuji or Shimano Fuji. I hope that it is Kamata Nishiki!

Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
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Mieko2
Nov 26, 2018 12:55 PM CST

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Thanks for your support, Karen. I am really wishing that I had put the perlite in pot #1. So don't be surprised if I redo it with perlite mixed in this coming weekend.

I don't think it would stress the TP out if I put it directly into a bucket of water while I take the soil out and mix in the perlite. It shouldn't take more than 15-20 minutes.



LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Nov 27, 2018 2:54 PM CST
So I planted my Alice Tree Peony in a 10gal root bag that is in a 7gal pot. I don't have a 10gal pot ready. I had to trim off some roots to get it to fit as the roots are pretty long. I have a feeling that I may need to move this tree peony to a bigger pot next fall.

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