Freeze damage information wanted

maifleur01April 9, 2007

The Heartland Peony Society is requesting that people report how their peonies are after the current freeze.

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I love to hear how other peonies, especially tree peonies
do after the long freeze.

My herbaceous ones show no visible damage.

With my tree peonies, the ones that leaves out have the
most damage. The ones that are just starting show no

After the second cold day, one of my tree peony that
leaves out completely looked bad. The leaves drooped
and looked frozen even after the sun's out. I went
and cover all of my tps.
Some I covered w/ new mulch, some I cover w/ big container w/ holes (like the recycling
bins). I took the plastics off during the
day but left the mulch on. After several days,
I noticed that the plastic coverings didn't seem to
make any difference in protecting the leaves of the tps.
Some just seem hardier than others. I figure since
they have holes, the temp got really cold anyways, the plants
just didn't suffer from the strong wind that we
have had here. I removed all the mulch yesterday as the weather
was warming up and found 3 of them that leaved out and
mulched seem completely gone. As of today, the ones that
looked damaged but not mulches seem to be looking better.

My tps are all very young. If they don't flower this
year, I wouldn't know whether age or weather was the factor.
My primary goal was to protect the plants so they survive,
flowers are secondary.

In conclusion, if I had to do it again, I would not
cover the plants w/ mulch. I probably would just
provide some wind protection and let nature take its
course. My protection seem not to make any difference,
in the best case :(

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 6:44PM
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Cover plants with mulch but not plastic. Plastic will keep moisture in which can then freeze.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 10:30PM
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maifleur, by plastic, I mean plastic containers w/
holes so the plants can breath. I used the recycling
bins and large plastic pots. The ones that
looked really bad were the ones that leaved out and
that I covered w/ mulch. I planted them last spring.
Do you think it was the right thing to do? The ones
that I covered w/ plastic containers didn't look as

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 11:31PM
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I'd be curious what those "cold" temperatures were for actual readings and having many days barely above freezing and lots of nights in the twenties, I see mine have continued growing despite the cold weather and have absolutely no damage. I was guessing twenties for lows once leaves are more advanced in growth would cause considerably more damage however. BTW, I'm in roughly the same zone in Michigan and I doubt the weather there has been much colder than ours has been!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 12:49PM
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16F at my house Kansas City North others ranged from 14-21F But this was a continuing freeze starting at about 26 and going lower every day. The real problem at least for my area was that this was preceeded by weeks of 70's and 80's and one day maybe in the low 90's. The daytime temperatures during most of this chill time was in the 40's and low 50's.

By the way zones really are only a measure of the temperatures not growing conditions. Too many people rely on them for plant purchases. My friends in the west live in zone 7-8 but can not raise some of the plants designated for that zone because they have strong salt breezes.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 5:19PM
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