Fern leaf peony

bklevarSeptember 10, 2005

I purchased a fern leaf peony in the spring. It grew and part of it turned brown about 3 weeks after the green foliage appeared. The rest of the foliage died down a few weeks ago. I decided to move it to a better spot so I dug the hole and then with a larger shovel tried to dig a good portion of the area I thought it was in. After it was planted I dug through the soil and found one larger tuber and a smaller one. Unfortunately I had speared a bit off the end of the large one with the shovel. Looking at the tubers I didn't really see any eyes, just a bit of root. Anyway I planted both tubers. Do you think I killed my plant by transplanting it. I hope not.

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I don't think you killed it, but fernleaf peony is slow growing, even by peony standards, and you just possibly set yours back for year or two.
Also, keep in mind for the future that of all peonies fernleaf is the first to appear and bloom and it also will be the first to go dormant (brown foliage).
Ideal planting location for P. tenuifolia is where it will be in full sun in a spring and in dappled shade in a summer. In such case it will retain its handsome foliage till end of September.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 1:17PM
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peonyman(Zone 5, Lawrence, Ks)

A fernleaf peony does go dormant earlier than other peonies. However the first year you should expect it to go dormant even earlier than other fernleafs that have been in the ground more than one year. And, spring planting a fernleaf peony would even make a first year plant have less root to support summer growth.

I would bet your plant will be fine. You do need to leave it in one location for several years to see it in all its glory.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 2:24PM
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Thank you for all your answers to my post. The reason I moved the peony in the first place was I thought it was too close to a small dogwood tree and it would eventually not get enough sun so I moved it where it would get sun and no shade. Now I'm wondering if I made the right move. In the above post it said fernleaf peonies like spring sun but dappled shade in summer. There's no dappled shade where I placed it now. Oh well, I am going to leave it alone and hope for the best. Thanks to all who answered my question.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 8:17PM
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linden_ab(AB Canada z3)

Your peony will probaly be fine, I have had one in full sun for many years, it has gotten quite huge, but it started out a very sickly looking thing and each year just got a little better. P is for patience, peonies can take several years to get established but they are well worth the wait. My fernleaf is up so early in the spring, it often goes through quite a few frosty nights and just keeps on blooming, it is beautiful!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 4:41PM
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lggano(z4 MT)

I was given a fern leaf peony start quite a few years ago and it has bloomed nicely in spring sun/ summer light shade. Then the friend who gave it to me moved and asked for a start from my plant. I made a mess of it, chopping off several roots, etc. My plant didn't show any ill effects. Meanwhile, my friend can't remember where she put the 4 or 5 pieces I gave her; hopefully, they will bloom someday. My peony doesn't go dormant here, possibly because it is cool at night almost all summer. Good Luck and have patience.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 8:51PM
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