Peonies too deep, forever????

jan_on zone 5bMay 30, 2012

I have two peonies that are quite old - planted in about 1980. They have never bloomed prolifically like the old farmhouse varieties of my childhood, but since the foliage stays nice and green and healthy and they demand no maintenance beyond occasional compost and fall pruning, they have always managed to keep their spots in my garden. I suspect they might be planted too deep, but after that many years can't they figure it out and work their way up to where they want to be. DON'T THEY EVEN TRY???? (They get lots of sun, and the reasonable soil supports lots of other plants)

Jan

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calistoga_al

Jan if you are expecting your peonies to crawl up to the surface, give it up. Peonies can be dug and replanted, or just raised in place. If you think they are too deep they probably are, and this fall would be the time to raise them up. Al

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 9:46AM
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pembroke(6--Louisville KY)

Jan: I also planted some too deep and after a couple of freezes and thaws (2 years) they came back and started blooming again. 1980 is a long time. I'd probably dig and divide and plant shallower (1 1/2 inch below top of soil). Pembroke

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 2:49PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

When I bought my house decades ago, I inherited a peony that almost never bloomed. It probably was in sunshine long ago--before the oak trees became BIG trees, and it probably had been slowly sinking in that same old spot that was actually becoming too wet when it rained since water could collect there.

Last year, I finally got around to digging it up with a big rootball and moving it (laboriously) to a new hole about 10 feet away--where it got much more sunshine and was placed higher up.

Anyway, short version of this tale is that that decades-old almost non-blooming peony in one year--in its new site and properly planted--turned completely around. This is what it looked like this year:

I think it was worth all the work--don't you?

By the way, I'm guessing it is Bowl of Beauty, but some other forumers think it might be Cora Stubbs. That's possible too.

Kate

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 8:54PM
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hala2012(5b)

Good job Kate :)...it looks lovely.
Here is a site I came across of peony names:

http://www.theplantexpert.com/peonies/PeonyList.html
I checked online on images of peonies, it seems more closer to "Cora Stubbs".
Hala, Toronto, Canada

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 4:47PM
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jan_on zone 5b

Ok Al, this fall I will get out there with fork and shovel and raise those beasts, see if I can scare them! Pembroke - you suggested dividing. Would that really give them a boost? - I don't have space for more plants, and these aren't the great hulking specimens I remember from my childhood in old farm gardens.
Kate - mine will never be as pretty as yours, no matter what I do to them!
Thanks for the info.
Jan

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 8:39PM
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pembroke(6--Louisville KY)

I suggested dividing which would cause you to put your new roots into a shallower (one to one and half inch depth) and sunny location. Pembroke

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 5:31PM
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jayco(5b NY)

Dublinbay, those are lovely but they sure don't look like my Bowl of Beauty!

BoB has a spikier center, not so much of a ball of petals, and is yellower.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 3:15PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Thank you jayco for that additional information. I guess I'll settle for now that that peony is (maybe) Cora Stubbs. Too bad--I really liked the name "Bowl of Beauty." Oh well, the blooms are lovely, regardless of what we call them.

Kate

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 4:02PM
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freki(5a)

It might be Gay Paree, also.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:27PM
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stevelau1911

I really doubt peonies can stay too deep year after year. I am currently observing tuber formation and buds forming on one of my test plants. The stem itself seems to have the ability to become the root system if it is deep enough.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 11:14AM
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