Got 4 tree peonies potted, can I plant now or wait till fall?

forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)May 21, 2009

We got 4 tree peonies in pots yesterday. They are 2-4 years old, the biggest one 4*4, others around 2 to 3 feet high and wide. The have done flowering but look gorgeous. The very nice lady has had them in pots but she told us it is better to grow peonies in ground.

We will plant them at the east side of the house, getting full morning sun but protected from west afternoon sun. But I read that peonies should be planted in autumn or very early spring. I wonder whether that is only true for bare foot plants? We would like to get these beauties in the ground as soon as possible since I think that will be easier for them (we have hot summer here). But if it is bad to move them now we will wait till fall.

By the way, the 4 tree peonies we got are:

Shin Shichifukujin (pink)

Kamata-nishiki (purple)

Shima-nishiki (red with white stripes)

Kinkaku (yellow/orange)

These are our first tree peonies and I'm thrilled!

Thanks for your input and happy gardening!

Changsong

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calistoga_al

These established, rooted in pots, tree peonies are ready to be planted in the ground. I like to plant them about 4 inches deeper than they were in the pot. First you should prepare the soil by digging compost into the area. I prefer to dig to about two feet deep as peonies like a good soil structure to fill with roots. Al

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 10:16AM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

Thanks Al. So it is safe to plant the established potted tree peonies in the ground now. We definitely will add lots of compost for them, and hopefully they will bloom those beautiful flowers next year!
Changsong

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 11:03AM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

We planted these tree peonies in the ground last weekend. I'm very glad that we did it, since they were all root bound already. They look very well currently and don't seem to have any shock at all. Happy gardening. Changsong

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 7:33AM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

I'm here again to update my plants. They are doing OK. All come back after the winter and each set a few buds. The first one to bloom is Shima-nishiki. But the flowers don't really show red-white strips. Instead, they are overall red but some petals have white rings at the edge.

They are very fragrant, just like typical rose fragrance, strong and pleasant. My husband thinks it is a little too strong but I like it!

The Kamata-nishiki is the biggest of all 4. But there are some herbaceous branches growing from the base. I know I should remove the herbacious branches but just can't do it with some many flower buds. (only 3 TP buds in comparison). I think I will wait till they are done blooming.

Happy gardening!

Changsong

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:10PM
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maifleur01

You may decide that you like the herbaceous blooms if you do just dig up and remove the herbaceous root. You may have to leave them if the tp does not have it's own roots. Just redig the hole and plant deeper.

Not all Shima Nishiki's have the two color blooms especially the first several years.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:48PM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

Thanks, maifleur. I'm going to wait for the herbaceous blooms to finish. Changes are I will like them. But it sounds very tricky to perform the surgery on the roots. I assume I should do this in the fall?

I don't know how old these plants are. it is likely that Shima Nishiki hasn't reached maturity. Of the 2 flowers already open, one doesn't show any white at all and the other one has only little whites. We will see later

Changsong

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 1:01PM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

Kamata-nishiki Close-up

Today Shin Shichifukujin is blooming. Very soft pale pink petal. Smells similar but not as good as Kamata-nishiki

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 8:52PM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

Kinkaku in bloom. Beautiful flower, but smells very stinky. Not only stinky but I got a headache after sniffing it :)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 8:21PM
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maifleur01

Just a word of advice about locating the tree peonies. It sounds great that the plants will get early morning sun but it causes problems in late winter. What happens is the sun hits the stems and warms the plant up. But when the air is freezing only the side the sun hits is thawed. The other side remains frozen. The area in between is the problem in that the cells are trying to thaw and freeze at the same time. In this area plant cells can burst and cause scar tissue damage the layer that provides nutrician to the plant weakening the plant.

If you can provide shade especially on the lower parts of the tp during the winter it is better for the plant. The shade can be as little as a cloth banner or latticework placed in front of them.

Don't give up on the scent as sometimes it is so overpowering that it is nasty when the flowers first open. Of course to my nose almost all of the herbaceous corals smell like re-hydrating dried fish. Very beautiful to look ate but please don't ask me to stick my nose anywhere near them.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 8:35PM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

maifleur: Thank you very much for the great tips. Next winter I'll make sure to put a cloth banner in front of the plants.

We don't have a lot of blooms on them. Only 2 or 3 blooms for each. Hopefully next year we will see more.

As to the scent, I agree it is totally subjective. My daughter thought kinkaku smells OK, but I had to rest almost an hour from the nausea after sniffing. Changsong

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 11:20PM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

The herbaceous root stock of Kamata-nishiki blooms now. The flowers are deep pink and single-double with very unpleasant smell. I removed them and hope this will encourage the Kamata-nishiki buds to open. They are still quite small.

Shin Shichifukujin, Shima-nishiki and Kinkaku all finish blooming and are setting seeds now. I will try to collect the seeds and give them a try later this year.

By the way, the strong, repelling smell of Kinkaku flower actually fades to a much more pleasant scent.

Happy gardening
Changsong

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 9:51PM
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