Can anyone help me with it? What do I have here?

styxpatron(5a)May 28, 2013

I found two tiny sprouts near my herbaceous peony, which has been there for 7 years and I inherited it last year and I didn't plant any more baby peony. I am not sure what the sprouts are. My friend thought it looks like baby peony. What do you think?

Thank you.

Maggie

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styxpatron(5a)

a closer look of the sprout

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 8:35PM
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KarenPA_6b

Do you have a tree peony or an Itoh peony plant close to where these shoots are coming up? If there is a treepeony close to where these young shoots are coming up and the leaves on these peony shoots differ from the leaves of the tree peony then these peony plants are mostly likely sucker peonies from the herbaceous roots from which the tree peony was started with. These sucker peony shoots should be removed so that they do not overtake your tree peony and possibly strangle your peony tree to death. If you have an Itoh peony in this area, and the leaves on the Itoh peony plant match with the ones of the younger peony shoots, then it is OK to leave them be.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 9:56PM
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styxpatron(5a)

Hi Kousa, thanks for your detailed reply. This is strange because I don't think I have either tree or Itoh peony. When I inherited the garden last year, there was only herbaceous peony, nothing else. My friend dug up some plants from her garden and planted in my garden this spring and she has tree peony. But she didn't split her tree peony to me.

Could it be something else if it is not peony?

Thanks again.

Maggie

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 6:54AM
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terrene(5b MA)

That looks like a little peony to me, and it could be a seedling. They do make seeds, and people do propagate them from seed, although I hear it's pretty slow (that's okay if you have a lot of patience). A sure way you could find out is to dig up the small plant and check the root system. Seedlings have an intact little root system all of their own (so cute!). If it's a sucker or piece of root from a larger plant, you can see that too.

I've never tried growing Peonies from seed but mine don't make seeds anyway because I deadhead them religiously.

This post was edited by terrene on Wed, May 29, 13 at 12:51

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 12:48PM
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jayco(5b NY)

I sometimes get offshoots from the mother plant (herbaceous peonies). Wait until it gets larger and then you can transplant it to wherever you like.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 1:01PM
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styxpatron(5a)

Hi Terrene,

Thank you so so much for your reply. I think you are right. I didn't deadhead the peony until very late ( can't remember the exact month, but could be early Oct). Maybe the seeds dropped in the soil and start to grow this year! How exciting!

I won't dig the tiny plants up since I am afraid I might hurt the root system ( although I reeeeally want to ).

Thanks again.

Maggie

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 1:55PM
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styxpatron(5a)

Hi Jayco,

Thanks for your reply. I will keep an eye on those two tiny shoots. They seem grow very slow.....

Maggie

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 1:57PM
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KarenPA_6b

The reason I ask whether you have a tree peony or an Itoh peony nearby is because I notice the brown woody stem behind the shoots. Is that a woody peony stem?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 7:25PM
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styxpatron(5a)

Hi Kousa,

actually I don't have any woody stem plant. I know it sounds strange and it probably because of the angle.

If these are peony seedlings, when is the best time to transplant them? Do I have to wait a couple of years?

Thanks again

Maggie

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 9:36AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Hi Maggie,

The best time to transplant Peonies is usually around mid-fall when they are mostly dormant. You could dig it up and gently check the root system then and transplant it to a new spot. It won't do any harm.

If it's a seedling, it might be something interesting. Although it will probably take years to bloom.

I usually just put the little peonies I find here and there in the side bed with the big guys. Give em a sprinkle of compost each year and forget about them. It's possible that one of those could be a seedling too, now that I think of it!

This post was edited by terrene on Thu, May 30, 13 at 9:50

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 9:42AM
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styxpatron(5a)

Hi Terrene,

Thanks for your reply :) That is really helpful indeed. This is my first year doing gardening and I got a lot to learn :P

I will leave those baby peonies for now and dig them up in mid-fall (can't wait now...) Can I put those two seedlings together in a side bed besides my lilac or rose sharon? (since there isn't much space around the mother peony) How much space shall I leave between those two?

Thanks for your time and patience. I do appreciate it.

Enjoy your day.

Maggie

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:31AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Hi Styx,

Since Peonies are a tidy, clumping, very long-lived plant, that slowly expands in circumference over time, I use them in more orderly beds. Lilac and Rose of Sharon both become large and sometime ungainly shrubs. Common Lilac suckers, so it might end up competing with the Peony. I might put a large peony in such a position (several feet away), but the babies are too small. You could put them in a more protected temporary location so they can put on some size for a couple years, before moving them to a final spot.

Here is that "side bed" by the tenant's door. I don't even stake these guys because nobody really sees them. But the previous owner had planted a lot of Peony starts in odd places, and I find a small bit here and there, so this was a good place to place the extra peonies.

There are about a dozen separate plants in this bed of various sizes. In the lower left corner you can see one of the small ones. I have no idea what cultivar the little ones are, or if they're seedlings or leftover roots from larger plants. We'll see!

That's a Festiva Maxima that just started blooming yesterday. :)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 12:19PM
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styxpatron(5a)

Hello Terrene,

It is always so nice to read your detailed reply. You know what? I was so surprised to find the third baby peony pop up this morning! Down below is the picture, and those babies are in the red smaller circles. Now you can have a clear view about the location.

Actually it is really weird to find little ones in that place, because the previous owner only have the mother peony and the flower bed was quite small (the larger circle in red). The rest place was weedy and the soil was very compact. I dug up and enlarged the flower bed about a month ago.

So I mean, even if there were peony seeds dropped on the ground before, I doubt they can germinate given the soil condition. So how could these seedlings start growing this year? How come I didn't harm the seeds when I dug up and enlarged the flower bed?

I will upload my front and side flower bed pictures and I wish you could kindly give me some suggestion where should I transplant those little guys this fall or next.

Thank you so so so much!

Maggie

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 6:46PM
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styxpatron(5a)

a closer look of the baby

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 6:48PM
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styxpatron(5a)

the side bed 1

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 6:51PM
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styxpatron(5a)

side bed 2

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 6:52PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Maggie,

That pic does look like a baby peony and it is very cute! Now I cannot be 100% sure because I've personally not grown them from seed, but I've grown many plants from seed and that is what I would imagine a baby peony to look like. :)

Your beds look tidy and pretty much full. In other words, the perennials you have planted will probably fill in the space in those beds, if not perhaps outgrow them eventually. I think the small peonies that you've circled look like they are already spaced pretty well. They are not fast growers so they won't overwhelm that space any time soon. They might be fine where they are? Maybe move the one that's closest to the big peony a bit farther out.

My thoughts as for why you would have seedlings suddenly germinate. Seeds can lay dormant in the soil for many years.
This is sometimes called the "seed bank". Some seeds have a durable seed coat that protects the embryo inside very well, and so they lay in wait in the soil. Digging or disturbing the soil can bring seeds to surface that have lain dormant for decades - literally!

it sounds like the previous owner may not have bothered to deadhead the peony. It may have flopped over and gone to seed and dropped the seeds in the immediate area over the years. Perhaps when you dug and expanded the bed, you inadvertantly brought seeds to the surface into a position where they could readily germinate. But this is just a theory.

Gardening is often a happy and interesting experiment!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 9:25PM
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styxpatron(5a)

Hello Terrene,

Thank you for your reply and your theory does make sense. You are right, my beds are all pretty much full. I might start another two more beds at backyard and transplant some shade-love plants back.

Your Festiva Maxima looks just gorgeous! We got a lot of rain here these two days and my peonies are blooming now:)

Maggie

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 11:24AM
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