What Types of Peonies Do You Grow?

alex_z7(7 AL)June 29, 2005

I've been reading a lot about peonies again recently and am wondering what everyone's experiences are with peonies in Alabama.

I have had success with Sarah Bernhardt for a few years now, she keeps growing bigger and better every year.

Do you feel that the warning against doubles in the South are accurate? On the Peonies forum, a gentleman who has grown peonies for years warned against doubles and later bloomers in the South. (He is also z7, is in NC.) Do your experiences suggest that, too? What varieties have you had success with?

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Mimi_Carol(35121 - AL)

I have no idea what my peony is but it has been doing well for about 5 years. However, this year it is losing its bottom leaves at a rapid pace. The leaves turn sort of gray and are still soft but they are basically "dead". I don't know what the problem is.

Is it a fungus of some sort? Will my rose black-spot spray provide a "cure" for my peony?

On a lighter note, Auburn University is doing a study on peonies for the south - some fairly major research it seems to me. They have asked for people that have peonies that have thrived for several years (5 or more?) to contact the researchers so they can do tests on that variety to see what makes it thrive in the humid, hot, warm-wintered south. You could probably find out how to contact them on the Auburn University website. I think the story is that one of the guys found some peonies in Korea? that were growing wonderfully well in the same type environment we have in most deep-south states, brought some back and is now developing the variety or varieties.

Might be worth checking into.
Have a great Independence Day!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 5:41PM
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I have 3-4 doubles and they do well for me here in Huntsville. Also have the fern leafed one with bright red blooms. a tree peony and 3 singles. my doubles actually bloom first, well, the dark pink one does then the pale pink ones. I crave one of the yellow ones, but they cost the earth( $99.00) in Wayside Gardens Catalogue.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 9:00PM
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My ree peony bloomed the first year, and stopped. It has healthy foliage every year, but no blooms. It is planted with eyes about 1/2 below soil, in a spot with 4 hours of direct sun a day, (next to Zinnias, roses, dianthus which all bloom adequately). When do I dig it up and sell it? It cost $50 from White flowers farm.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 10:20AM
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I only wish I knew. I have a pale pink one about 6-8 inches across that is fully double. I have a large white one with petals around the edges and lots of stamens in the center. I have a small fuschia red one that is double. These came from my mother's dear neighbor to her and when mother sold her house, I dug them for my garden. I traded for some a few years ago but they have yet to bloom. If I ever move, they are coming with me.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 6:19PM
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ratlette(Central AL)

I have had success with Festiva Maxima, Sara Bernhardt, and Shirley Temple. Currently, I am trying a lovely yellow from Petals from the Past in Jemison that cost me a mere $15.00. I will post results this spring . . .

My mother in law has had lovely success with some singles that remain nameless - but they are early bloomers.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2006 at 8:09PM
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pjzkat(7b/8a AL)

This is wonderful! I moved down from Iowa 6 years ago and haven't had success to this point with peonies, but they're one of my favorites. I'll definately look into those varietes.

Any recommendations for soil prep? We've amended quite a bit along the perimeter of our yard, but still have lots and lots of clay.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 1:35PM
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My neighbor here in the Birmingham area has some kind of double pink peony that is absolutely beautiful!! It seems to get bigger and bigger every year. She has 3 clumps of these.

Now...she says her mother planted these about 15 years ago.
I know for a FACT they've been there 10, which is when we moved into the neighborhood. It looks like a Sarah Bernhart.
But I'm not sure exactly what it is.....

Thank you for the info on Auburns study. I will be sure to tell her. I'd like to know myself what kind of peony this is!!!!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 10:23AM
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Does anyone know why my Peonies that where a deep dark pink thwe first couple years are now blossoming as a pale pink!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 4:22PM
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I am just learning about Peonies - and want to grow them in Birmingham, AL. Does anyone have any advice? What is Sarah Bernhardt? Is this a type of Peony?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 10:53AM
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Hi Alex!

While 'Festiva Maxima' has been disappointing for me, 'Karl Rosenfield' performs very well. This will be my third season growing both. I think this far south growing peonies is trial & error, with micro-climates playing a large role in their success or failure.

Below is a link to a picture of 'Karl Rosenfield', a beautiful, very fragrant double....

Here is a link that might be useful: 'Karl Rosenfield' peony

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 6:56PM
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I am just south of Birmingham. For those of you that are nearby with peonies, I was wondering how long they bloom? Is it a short period or long period?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 8:15PM
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