Want to start peony nursery

herbal(z7 MD)March 19, 2014

I love peonies. I'm new to growing but if someone asked me what work would I do day after day, without pay, it would be to have a peony nursery. I believe I have found my truism calling. Now that I have waxed poetic, here's my question: anyone want to mentor a newbie? Or lead me in the right direction to some mentor ship/ apprenticeship. I want to purchase 500-1000 peonies this fall to begin my nursery. I'd like to anyway, but I have many questions and lots to learn. Where do I begin? I'm in maryland, but am willing to travel.

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I'd suggest that you visit some of the larger growers and do some investigation. There is a lot to learn and it takes several years to get any return on your investment, minimum of 3-5 years before a peony can be divided, need multiples of each type to have enough to sell to be worthwhile. Are you thinking of selling all types are do you want to specialize?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 6:33PM
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Many of the vendors of peonies have two businesses: selling the roots for planting and selling flowers during bloom season. I think Fina Gardens in MN and Pure Peonies in OR do this.

If you are interested in hybridizing, this is another area that will make your nursery special as you will be offering varieties that are different from everyone else and you can get better markup that way. Perhaps you can partner up with a hybridizer(s) instead of doing the hybridizing work yourself.

The other market is a bit risky and I do not know much about it. But China has a huge inventory of peonies and many different varieties for sale. You can be an importer of peonies.

All I can say is I wish you a lot of luck in your ventures. It is a lot of work.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 7:35PM
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herbal(z7 MD)

Thank you for the well wishes. I'm excited for the challenge. I am interested in creating hybrids. I've spoken with one owner of a peony farm so far. I'd love to spend a week at one of them during the busy time just helping and absorbing all I can. The reality is that I have five kids so this has to be a part time love, but I'm committed.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:46PM
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Plan on having a job where you can spend time during the busy times of the year, bloom season and digging. You would sell more for advanced delivery if people can see them in bloom season.

Most of the people that I know who commercially grow peonies either were already commercial growers of something or started as a hobby. You will need to plan at least for large start-up costs not including plants.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 1:28AM
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