Peony shoots

texasgrl2324April 15, 2013

Hi! I'm new to gardening. I planted peony bulbs in early spring (I know, I know) and one of them just shot up a beautiful little red shoot. I was looking at the other spots where i planted and one has about 6 teeny tiny pale pink shoots coming up. My concern is that they are kind of laying in the soil. They have barely peeked through. Is this normal? The other shoot is so thick, red & it's straight as can be. Just wondering if those other little teeny shoots are normal or I'd something happened to them.

Also what should I expect from this season? I didn't expect them to grow at all since I planted them in the spring instead of the fall.


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Here is the one that is red & thick

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 12:23AM
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Are they the same variety? They all bloom in spring but some are significantly earlier than others...could be as easy as that. And it's okay to plant them in the spring, lots of the mail order companies send out bareroot peonies in the spring and they do fine.
As long as the one that isn't growing as fast isn't planted too deep you'll probably see it start popping up soon. Was it a container bought plant or bareroot? Do you know how deep the base of the eyes are? If it was bought in a container, did you move soil away from the roots/eyes to judge how deep to plant?

Even if it was planted a bit too deep you can probably carefully scratch away some soil to expose the eyes some, I do the same with the heavy layer of mulch in my garden beds each spring. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 10:05PM
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Thank you so much for your reply! Can you see the teeny pale pink shoots (?) in the first pic? I was wondering if that's normal since they are so small and laying kind of flat... The other one is so thick & red, although i didn't notice it before it was like that. I planted them with only 1 inch of soil on top. It is either a Sarah Bernhardt or Emily debatene. I am mostly wondering if those teeny shoots in the first pic look normal? They are right in the middle of the photo About 6 of them and very pale pink/green. I just didn't want it to be where the eyes are exposed and it causes them to die... Just not sure what's
Going on. I added arrows to point out the shoots on the pic so it's more clearly.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 10:33PM
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With the chunks of partly burned material surrounding the eyes and their appearance it appears that the peony may have been burned. Hopefully they were not cooked by the black material.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 11:15PM
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I think it is best to provide some shade to spring planted peonies. I planted some peonies in spring last year: the ones in the shade did much better than the ones out in full sun because the young tender shoots got fried in the heat. In the fall, I moved the plants in the shade to their permanent location in full sun. But since your bulbs have started growing, it is best not to move them now. If you can provide some shade for it like maybe an umbrella positioned at an angle that shade it from the afternoon sun, that may help. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 12:11AM
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Oh no! So is there no chance of them growing? They were buried with only 1 inch of soil covering the top and once I saw my other red shoot, I started inspecting the other places where I planted. This is when I noticed those pale pink eyes/shoots whatever they are. I wasn't sure if they were uncovered or if they were growing. I'm kinda bummed... I thought they were starting to grow but then I started to second guess it because they look so different then the red shoot on my other plant :(

So it looks like they are dead? Should I dig it up?

They do get afternoon shade.

Thanks for helping me out

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 12:22AM
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Wait, so are those my "eyes" that somehow got uncovered? Or have they actually grown up? I'm so confused haha (last picture with arrows)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 1:02AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I don't know what you started with, but if they were mine, I would wash away some of the soil covering the buds. You don't mention your zone, but I would not be concerned about the cold damage to the buds. The heat would worry me and some shade would be appropriate. Bare roots I will pot up the first year to gain root mass and strength before planting in the ground. Al

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:58AM
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Sorry. I'm in zone 8. They get lots of morning sun and then afternoon shade. So I should expose the 6 little buds more? I planted the bulbs in march and each had about 3-5 eyes

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:31AM
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I just checked it and it seems like the 1 inch of soil I had covered over it has blown away ( we had some very windy days). When I touch around the little eyes I can kind of move the whole area so I'm thinking its the actual bulb with the eyes exposed from the soil. I can't tell if the eyes are dead or not. What should I do?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Since it doesn't seem to be rooting well (if the whole thing shifts a lot when you touch the eyes), I think I'd follow Al's advice and put that one in a pot, keep it in partial shade and baby it for a while so you can control its environment easily. Just make sure you use good potting soil so you have good drainage. Peonies are kinda hard to kill but letting it get completely dry before it roots in well or keeping it in boggy soil will definitely do it in. If you have a good permanent spot for it plant it there in the fall. I don't think I'd put the eyes an inch deep in zone 8, though. I don't think I have mine an inch deep in zone 5 although they're covered with a couple of inches of mulch during the winter.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:07PM
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Ahhhh i wish I could post a video haha it would be much easier....the whole thing doesn't move a lot I meant that when i touched the ground around the eyes it felt more like the crown then just soil (more woodsy). So Im thinking they were uncovered in these windy days we've been having. Should I cover them back up or up root them and plant them in a pot or just leave them exposed? They eyes are pink and green but have no clue on how to tell if they are dead or not. They do get a lot of afternoon shade. I have one plant that has shot up a red shoot and it's growing daily higher and higher, two
Plants where nothing can be seen yet, and this one that has those eyes exposed. So not sure what to do with that one.

Thanks everyone for all your help and suggestions. This can be a little stressful as I really really want them to succeed :)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 1:27AM
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Here are my peony roots coming up. I have got them from walmart/Lowes last year. I am planted them in ground. and there is no sign of shoots last year. I thought they were dead. I dig them whole area and spread the soil all over.
This year they were coming up all over in my yard. I take them out carefully and planted them at one place.

Now I do have Karl rosenfield
sarah bernhardt,
madame emile debatene
and one more variety.

Hope i will see the blooms.

I have no experience with peonies. How long they take to bloom? I am waiting on their blooms.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 12:50PM
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If they're going to bloom this year you'll probably see tiny buds forming really soon, looks like you have some good growth. It normally takes a couple of years for the smaller roots to get big enough to bloom, though. If not this spring, probably next! They're worth waiting for.....

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 11:27PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

bunti I don't expect you will have bloom this year. Tiny buds may form and then drop off. Your shoots don't look strong enough for flowers. Peony do not like to be dug and moved. Leave them in one place with rich soil with vegetative matter for best growth, AND bloom. Al

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 12:20PM
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My NE Iowa grandmother had about 30-50 peonies in a row & they must have been over 50 years old then & were SO beautiful! She always saved her dishwater & poured it over the peonies... why? have no idea, but she said it was 'good for them'! Here in New Mexico zone 7 & an altitude of a mile high we get to minus 18 a few times & in high 90's usually (occasionally a 100 or so) and dry! I planted peonies at various locations but found the best (& current) location was near an old Iowa Staghorn Sumac that gives some sheltered shade in the hot afternoons. I have 27 peony bushes now up & full of buds ... can't wait to see them open! Because of the low humnidity the wonderful peony fragrance I love is not as much here. I have & prefer the old double favorites like Sarah Barnhart, etc. Peonies (like my rhubarb!) seem to love cold, freezing winters & do best under those conditions. Here, some pour ice over the peony beds in mild winters. I love the peony/ant friendship!
Good luck with your peonies & many years of beautiful flowers which you will enjoy! You were lucky to get those packaged roots to grow so quickly & so well!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 6:14PM
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Based on those pictures, it looks like those other buds are simply dormant, and may stay dormant until next year as your clump only has enough energy to put out 1 shoot. Don't worry about it too much. As long as that 1 shoot stays nice and green all throughout summer, then you should get multiple shoots coming up the following spring, many which should have flower buds.

I just attached a blog with a sample of my peonies at about the same stage in development as yours, but most of them are likely 1 year ahead. I do have a pretty big variety of peonies so they may all look different.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sample of my peony collection

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 11:15PM
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