Ignorance was bliss...TP drama...

ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)April 26, 2011

I have approx. 18 tree peonies (too dark out there to count for sure lol). Until I just came to this forum, I had no clue I wasn't supposed to plant in the Spring. Oops.

Probably explains why 4 of them are still little junior samples.

Last week I planted 2 new potted TPs. One of them I was able to keep the rootball intact on (they are not too large, but do have foliage). However, one of the others broke apart and I saw that several of the delicate new roots were torn. DRAMA. LOL

I have been on here poring over posts for the last hour and reading on websites about how TPs will likely die if planted in Spring. Somehow, this happy idiot has been really lucky over the last several years b/c I think only one of mine has died and that's b/c a neighbor kid stepped on a small one and obliterated it.

Anyhooo...is there a point? Indeed....

Also last week I ordered 3 TPs from sexybloomers (I feel dirty just typing the name...) and have now ready horror stories about them, how they will be sending me dormant sticks that will never root and grow, etc.

Any chance that anyone has planted a dormant peony in the Spring and had any luck???

My first TP was one of the cheapo box numbers that I planted in Spring and it is my largest and most floriferous (my two cent word for the day) TP. Did I just get lucky?

I'd hate to think I just flushed money down the toilet. :(

Thanks for reading my manic musings and for any comfort, chastising or banishment from the royal kingdom you might provide. :)


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The plants that sexybloomers sell are one year grafted plants. The nurishment for the graft comes from the nurse root that has had a budded stem placed in contact with each other. The same as are used to grow most tree peonies in this country. They and the ones from the box stores that you purchase in the spring are fine until you become accustom to tree peony likes and dislikes.

Some nurseries will place the grafts in pots and sell them as potted plants. Most will have instructions or will tell you to plant at the depth the graft is in the pot. This is wrong. Tree peonies should be planted several inches of the stem below ground level.

The grafts will benefit from a quick soak in water before planting.

I belong to several of the peony societies but the local one Heartland Peony Society has a plant sale every other year where grafts are sold. However we try to sell only grafted two year plants. At two years the grafts have sealed and some will have roots emerging from the stem above the graft. The goal of purchasing grafted roots is to obtain reasonable priced plants that grow their own roots.

If you import tree peonies from overseas which is what sexybloomers and HPS does you must by law import young plants. Plants that have fully developed roots are available in this country from growers that either have plants to secure grafts or have grown grafted plants imported from other areas. Given the time for developement of roots these cost much more.

Although the name sexybloomers seems risque in my mind I visualize the old fashison cloth underwear that resembles the flowers on Dutchmens Breeches.

Sexy bloomers does import some cultivars that you can not purchase elsewhere. Expect to see twigs but they can grow to good sized plants.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 1:49AM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Thank you so much for your thorough response, maifleur!

I will definitely be curious to see what I receive. The auction states that the three I purchased are "is at least 3-5 years old, divided or grafted with 1 - 3 top stems." Not sure how that is all going to play out!

Well, I have now learned I need to resist my spring planting urges and wait till fall! :D

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 8:23AM
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