Tree Peony Shimanishiki

purplefirefly(z7 NC)April 18, 2005

I am looking to buy my first peony and just fell in love with this one, which Spring Hill Nursery is selling for $40. It appears to be a bareroot and I am wondering if it is a good purchase.

Does anyone have this one? Anything I should consider before buying this one? I was going to buy now and plant, but is it better to wait until fall?

I plan to put it at the end of a flowerbed that is full sun but has a tree giving it slight shade.

Here's a link to it, if anyone wants to see exactly what i"m talking about:

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peonyman(Zone 5, Lawrence, Ks)

It is a good rule of thumb to plant peonies only in the fall. I dont like to move a plant when it is the time of the year for it to bloom. I grow all of my tree peonies in full sun just because I don't have much shade. Tree peonies given afternoon shade will have flowers that last longer. The plants themselves seem to care less either way. You do need to avoid conpetition with tree roots.

I have several of these Shima Nishiki plants. One of my smaller plants will bloom in a few days and I will post a picture of the bloom. My older plant bloomed for the first time maybe 5 years ago, this is a picture of that first bloom. As you can see from my picture not all of the flowers are as striped as the one on the Springhill website. Some flowers will not have any striping at all but rather will be all pink.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 11:39PM
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purplefirefly(z7 NC)

Wow, that is still absolutely gorgeous, even without all the stripes. I did look around the web some and found a picture of an actual plant of this type, and noticed about half its flowers were solid, and I still loved it. Actually, the more I look I am folling more and more in love with peonies in general!

We have several trees in our front yard and I am fighting the roots everywhere I plant. How far away from the peony can they be without interferring? I can clear out the little ones for it, but there are some really large ones that I can't how far away would a large root have to be from the peony to not be competition?

I might have to find it a spot in the backyard where we don't have any trees.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 11:57PM
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peonyman(Zone 5, Lawrence, Ks)

Tree roots can reach a really long way, far beyond the tree's drip line. It is the tree's feeder roots that will pull moisture and nutrients from the soil. The larger roots are not really a problem in themselves.

It sounds like you are really smitten by peonies. I assure you, there seems to be no stopping place when you fall for them. Today I had more tree peonies to open. A japanese tree peony called Hoki is spectacular

Another japanese tree peony named Teni. It is very pale pink, darker toward the center.

and Kishu Caprice. This flower has been open a few days and looked bit spent today when I took the photo. Actually it is still nice.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 12:34AM
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purplefirefly(z7 NC)

I really like the Teni, will have to check into that one.

I was looking around at some other sites and found the Shimanishiki for $24, while Springhill was selling it for $40. Why would there be such a price difference? The cheaper one was at and I wondered if the quality would really warrant paying the extra money at Springhill, or if the cheaper is the same?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 8:59AM
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peonyman(Zone 5, Lawrence, Ks)


Email me please

Different companies do different things with tree peonies. Some simply buy from japan and ship to their buyers when the shipment arrives. The plants can be anywhere from 1 year grafts to 3 year grafts depending on what they order from Japan. These plants will be grafted and will still be on the herbaceous rootstock.

Other companies will purchase plants from japan and plant them out for a few years too get them growing on their own roots. A tree peony will not thrive until it is on its own roots.

Today about 5 more of my tree peonies opened. Taiyo (a nice red) is making a really nice show. One of my favorites is Shima Daijin, a tree peony that opens a true purple and fading to a nice purple/red after a few days. This is an absolutely magnificent tree peony, freely blooming with very large semi double blooms. Yachiyo Tsubaki (Eternal Camelias) is a really nice pink. This plant is only a year and a half old and has 4 blooms.

I should have taken more photos but barely had time to smell the peonies.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 11:43PM
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I have a tree Peony for about 3 yrs and I was wondering if they grow any taller than the 3 feet they are now.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 9:19AM
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kelly_cassidy(z5 E. WA St.)

I have a Shiminishaki I planted in a rather shady location April 14, 2003. (I just checked my records.) I bought it and another Japanese tree peony, both boxed and bare-root, for $14 at a local nursery. I pounced on them because of the price.

The price usually reflects whether the peony is a recent graft. Tree peonies are usually propagated by grafting onto an herbaceous peony. A very recent graft will usually be cheaper than a peony given time to develop its own roots, which might take a few years.

To encourage a tree peony to develop its own roots, it needs to planted with the graft several inches deep. My two ultra-cheap peonies actually had instructions for planting herbaceous peonies (which are planted shallowly!) on the box. I ignored the instructions, which probably would have killed the tree peony. The plants were so small, though, the Shimanishiki was barely above ground level when I planted it. It has now survived one harsh winter and one easy winter with no trouble. I think I remember it having one flower last year, and (I haven't checked it recently) if I remember correctly, it has a bud or two this year.

So, my advice: Fall is the best time for planting peonies, but you can plant them in the spring. However, it's getting awfully late for a spring planting this year. I'd wait until fall. In the meantime, try to find out from the seller how recently the peony was grafted. You can get a recent graft for a lower price, but it will be years before you get more than a bloom or two. Also, beware of sellers who sell recent grafts for more than they are worth.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 5:30PM
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    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 8:41PM
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Ken, I agree with you that there is a high loss rate from the boxed ones but for someone just wanting to try a tree peony I suggest that they start looking in the box stores for tree peonies right after the holidays. If bought early you would have a greater chance of survival than purchasing in March or April provided that the purchasers place the newly purchased plants in large pots until the ground is workable then plant in the ground.

A FYI for those buying the boxes some of the providers place a name tag either on the stem or in the loose mix. I have found that most of the ones I used to purchase this way were true to than name.

Your nursery has good plants but for a beginner not wanting to spend +$30.00 for a plant an experiment with the boxed plants is good. It allows a new to peony gardener a cheap alternative and then feeds their wants for named items.

Bye the bye, typing in all caps is considered shouting by some webbers.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 11:22PM
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