Growing from seed?

vettin(z6b Northern VA)June 3, 2011

Any suggestions please? Have open pollinated seeds, still green. When should I collect them, do I need to stratify them? Any recommended medium to start them in? All advice and suggestions are appreciated!

Thank you.

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Are you in yahoo peony group? This topic was discussed there reccently.
Are your seeds herbaceous or tree? All our experience is with tps.
As soon as pods split open (late august here), immediately collect seeds into damp peat. Then store seeds in your basement at about 60 deg F. About two months later, roots will form.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 9:11PM
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I grow these guys from seed a lot. Tree peonies usually germinate when they are planted in the fall if you harvest then while they are still fresh and plump.

I just collected a few hundred Tree peony seeds of many different varieties from my neighbor's yard which are going into my flower beds tomorrow, and if I'm lucky, some of them will germinate either next spring or summer of 2012. I know some may take another year, but it's all about patience, and they do have pretty good germination rates as long as they are planted straight in the ground. I usually plant them each at least 3 inches apart and 1.5 inches deep. I have found that they usually grow the strongest when they are planted in a natural environment as opposed to indoors under lights, and artificial dormancy periods.

Here is a link that might be useful: latest update on tree peonies

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 9:56PM
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I tried to post on your blog but Typepad did not like me. SO
I am familiar with most of your cultivars except for Phoenix hairpin. Can you provide some information concerning it. A group of us love Phoenix white, Fen Dan Bai, P. osti and wish it was used for breeding. Apparently in China it is considered a weed plant and look down at. I am told that there is a club in China just for this family of tp's

We might want to move to a new thread as any message posted here will be sent to the original poster

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 8:24PM
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Here's the description of phoenix hairpin.
Phoenix Hairpin- Chai Tou Feng

Rockii Chinese tree peony, 6 yrs. old. With foliage this specimen is 3.5 ft tall and 3ft wide. At maturity, 4-5 years after planting, it will nearly double in width and height. Exquisite 9- inch double flowers in a burning shade of rouge tinted purple accented by deep maroon rockii flares. Extremely fragrant, more sweet than spicy. One of our favorite plants, sure to attract attention in any garden. Order and reserve for fall planting. Free shipping in the continental U. S.

I think you need to have a google account to type on my blogs. I am kind of a newbie on growing TPs, but I have learned how to germinate them so I'll be mass producing these guys for fun, and also because I have access to my neighbor's seeds. I could go ahead and try grafts, but that's a lot of work so I'll stick with seeds for now. Plus I don't really want to look like I'm taking too much.

Here'a how it looks when you have new TP seeds germinating

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 9:41PM
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Congrats on your seedlings. Questions:
Have you tried growing tp seedlings in pots? Our 2009 seedlings seem happy in 2 gal pots, and songsparrow sells tps in pots, so the apprpach seems doable.
Have you succeeded in cross pollenating Daphnis hybrid tps? Our hyb tps have produced no seeds so far, maybe because plants are immature.They are spposedly fertile.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 9:53PM
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I really don't see a difference between the TP seedlings growing in pots VS in the ground as long as they get enough growing room, sunlight and water. I do have some growing in pots and they are about the same.

I also get my seeds from my neighbors and I have no idea what species they are, but they are around 3ft tall, looking fairly mature. Most people with TPs don't really care for making more plants so that's when I go in for the harvest.

I may have hundreds of TP seedlings emerge next year. The idea is to let them germinate, they are spaced about 3 or more inches apart now. Once they go dormant around the end of September, I can dig them up, and perhaps put them in a flower bed where they can be spaced further apart, or better yet, plant them up in 1-5 gallon sized pots. A 1 gallon pot will handle a 2 year old TP seedling fine, and I believe it takes a 2-3 gallon pot to handle the roots of a 3 year old TP seedling.

These guys are super hardy so keeping these pots under a tarp during the winter is more than enough to over-winter them. Given they are cold hardy to zone 3(-40F), there's no need to even tarp them however tarping them will help moderate the temperature and accelerate the process of building up growth hormones during their dormancy period.

Anyways if you don't have direct access to fresh TP seeds, you can always just buy them off eBay, or many seed websites

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 10:39PM
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Dave Leon P. is also trying to cross Daphinis hybrids so you might want to talk to him. Sometimes he has posted on here but has been having computer problems.

Probably my soil but the few tree peony and other seedlings that emerged I moved to their own area about three years ago. They do not seem to be changing size or form.

Rick Rogers at Brothers grows all of his tree peonies in pots. I think he told me that his first ones were 5 gallon buckets because he could not afford better.

One thing with pots is that here or any place that has wind a cover must be placed over the pots to keep the animals out. Have collected screen windows on trash day for this.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 10:43PM
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If you've paid attention to my posts, I guess you can already figure that I have plenty of seedlings, grafted plants, and near a thousand TP seeds of various species already planted, but I could always use more.

Does anyone here have any extra seeds that the don't need?

Here is a link that might be useful: Germinating tree peony seeds

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 10:44PM
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Tp seeds available: red x gc; gc op. Red is a wine red semidouble moutan; gc is a series of our own seedlings, mostly blush semidoubles with deep pink centers, a photo of one was posted here couple yrs ago
These seeds are now sprouting roots, so they are certainly viable.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 10:03AM
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I know I'll probably have hundreds of TP seeds emerging next year and the year after, but it's always fun to have even more if anyone has TPs that they don't want. I might take a walk or bike ride to see if I find another jackpot, where there's a house with lots of TPs I can harvest from.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 11:11AM
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If it can get below 0F, maybe even -10F in extreme cases, do potted first year tree peonies need to be protected in anyway or are they as hardy as blueberries and can take the cold?

I have some tiny potted seedlings and I need to know if I can simply leave them sitting around over winter without any protection.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 12:53AM
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Many of our first yr seedlings are in half gal pots; getting these to
survive their first winter is difficult.
2009 seedlings spent their first winter in unheated garage; all survived; you must water occasionally.
2010 seedlings spent their first winter along east foundation of house, covered with chopped leaves; only about 10% survived;
they were not watered at all.
Some 2011 seedlings were buried in trench in garden; we will see how this works.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 3:04PM
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I guess that means that they need to be buried into the ground and tarped over to be on the safe side. There is snow cover all year here so burying them into the ground should do the trick, but I would rather be even safer and add some tarps since I have them available.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 3:42PM
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Will tarps keep plants from getting water?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 7:10PM
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I've used tarps on many other different plants such as blueberries, bamboos, palms, etc and when the tarp is on top of the plant, the soil will not lose water especially over the colder months so I believe it should work just the same with TPs.

The key is that it allows the plants to be insulated by the warmth of the soil, and the snow provides another layer of insulation so I believe a fairly hardy plant like a tree peony can get through winter with a plastic or commercial cloth tarp when there are single digits or below in the forecast.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 7:44PM
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If anyone wants some 2011 tp seeds, let me know.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 2:00PM
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I would definitely want some even though I have hundreds already planted. I want to make sure I get a good variety of them coming up so I can have a massive collection. My email is

May I ask what kind of tree peonies you have?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 1:01AM
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There is a large difference between youn tp's and older ones. The young ones have not developed the woody structure like the plants mentioned so laying plastic on top unless the plastic is elevated probably would cause rot. A tarp depending on type of material could work, perhaps.

I hope you have a large area to transplant to because you will need it.

Dave should have more tp's than me as at last count had 75+. Some have apparently died this year but have about 12 needing to go into ground. We just had our first good rain since the first of Sept but before the rain our soil was rock hard.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 10:54PM
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I definitely have a lot of planting space for tree peonies, but I prefer to pot grow them until they flower and then I'll see where I want to put them.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 1:19AM
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do you have anymore tp seeds that i can have?


    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 11:43AM
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You might be able to get them on eBay. I've bidded on 50 seeds for 0.99 cents many times, but the more common one is the 20 seeds for 0.99 which is much easier to win at the minimal price.

No matter what, tp seeds planted now will have to wait until the spring of 2013, possibly 2014, but I think it is well worth the investment.

I think tps are probably my favorite plant right now.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 3:18PM
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Sorry, our seeds were planted last fall and some are now germinating. More will be available next Aug-Sep.
In meantime, check and
click on seeds. They will supposedly post "a new list of available seeds during first quarter 2012.""

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 6:53PM
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I have lots of tree peony seeds coming up by now and the bigger ones are waking up as well so I took a bunch of pictures for my latest blog.

One thing I learned after seeing some of them get frost damage is that it is better to plant the seeds a little bit deeper so they don't come up as soon, and due to losing a bunch of them last year, I'm definitely not going to transplant any of them no matter how close they are to each other until the fall because they are bad at handling transplant shock.

Here is a link that might be useful: My peony blog

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 6:38PM
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It is about time to plant another round of tree peony seeds.

This time, I'm going with the tibetian yellow tree peony which is supposed to be the tallest type of tree peony at the expense of smaller flowers.

In any case, I have included some updates on the tree peony seedlings as of last week.

Here is a link that might be useful: seedlings going dormant

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:19PM
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