zone 3 tree peony?

natrldsastr(z3 SW MT)July 1, 2005

I don't normally hang here but have been lurking cause peonies do grow here, and are blooming! My ? is about a Kinkaku I planted 2 years ago and seems to be getting established. I'm thinking I may need to mulch VERY high up so I can get growth from higher on plant next year, but otherwise its looking good. But will this thing ever bloom? How long should I have to wait for blooms on tree peony? Am I asking too much for my zone and altitude? I'm really crossing my fingers for blooms next year.

thanx, JoAnne

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peonyman(Zone 5, Lawrence, Ks)

JoAnne, I think it took about 3 years for my Kinkaku (the proper names is Souvenir de Maxime Cornu) to bloom. Just be patient. I assume that this was a grafted plant. I do hope that you planted it deeply when you planted. I would not put mulch up on the stem of the plant.

I have used landscaping timbers to build a small retaining wall of 3 inches around tree peonies to raise the ground level. These plants were located on an incline and it looked rather natural to raise the ground level around the plants in this way.

If your plant is not planted deep enough to have a minimum of 2 inches of the stem below the soil then this fall you could dig and reset the plant lower. If you do this at the proper time of the year it would not set the plant back.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2005 at 11:29PM
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borde(MT z 4)

Hi Joanne,
I live in Montana too, and planted a tree peony about 3-5 years ago, and I think it might even have been the one you planted as it was a japanese type, and started with a K. Mine has never bloomed either. I wondered it I had planted it too close to another shub, or is the ground is not just right. I find that the plant seems to grow a little bigger each year, but so far no blooms.

I know that's not much help. Actually, this is the first year, I have ever had any peoneis bloom, see the message about mislabeled plants.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 9:49AM
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natrldsastr(z3 SW MT)

thanx for your replies, guess my real question would be what is everyones opinion on whether I can ever get blooms in this zone. I found some plants to be hardy, and continue to grow every year, but I don't have time enough for blooms. Maximillian sunflower, and Autumn Joy sedum are two. Plants look great, but about the time they try to set blooms it freezes. How long a season do tree peonies need for blooms?

thanx JoAnne

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 8:07PM
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linden_ab(AB Canada z3)

Zone 3 is very borderline for having success with blooms on a tree peony. I live in a zone3/4 region where tree peonies survive however the flower buds form on last years wood so, if this wood is frozen or winterkilled ,you are unlikely to get any bloom. So, depending on the location, the severity of the winter and how much protection and fussing you want to do, will determine how successful you will be at having flowers. Generally, the bloom will be in late spring to early summer, it is not a late blooming plant like autumn joy sedum.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 12:32AM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

Thanks Linden, just what I was going to say. If you look at your tree peony you should already see buds set for next year's growth including flowers. If these buds get damaged over the winter, and that is quite likely in zone 3, then you might not get flowers.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 1:24PM
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Try blocking direct sunlight during the winter to prevent the plant from thinking spring has came. Use a shield a couple of feet away from the plant but blocking the sun. This will keep the plant cooler longer and may prevent premature opening of the buds.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 6:06PM
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Exactly what linden ab said. I put a wire cage around mine- fill with straw and then tie a lawn/leaf bag over the whole contraption. Has protected the buds through -30 for me and I have had blooms since starting this procedure.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 2:57PM
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I was meaning if you don't use the wire cage or even if you do when the weather warms up and you remove the filler. You want to try to convence the peony that it is cooler than it really is by removing the heat of the direct sun. If you leave the wire cage filled until all danger of frost is over the plant may develop rot. I try to as the weather warms remove some of the mulch allowing the plant to warm naturally. If the plant tries to break dormancy too soon make artifical shade. I believe Cricket Hill??? sells Japanese looking umberellas for that function but tall shutters or anything else to block the sun should work as well but not be as pretty.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 12:11AM
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