Are my peonies planted too shallow?

deanna_in_nh(5a/4b)September 6, 2009

I have two peonies which were purchased at the same time from a local nursery in mid-June. One is Francis Ortegot and the other is Sarah Bernhardt. I live on the border of zones 4/5. Being a little nervous about having them planted too deeply, I left some of the root part exposed on the surface. I have lots and lots of mulch I can use over the winter. Will several inches of mulch (and maybe some tree boughs) protect my peonies, or do I need to add some dirt? Also, the SB I planted fairly soon after purchase, but the FO stayed in the pot it came in and I just put in the ground today. The plant looks healthy but the root part (rhizome?) was very light and part of it broke easily in my hands. It reminded me of a rhizome that had been dried out. The rhizome was clearly visible on the surface of the pot that housed it before I planted it, so it wasn't completely covered by dirt. I would think this would have helped decrease its chances of having issues. Is it supposed to feel that way? I'm including some photos of both plants so you can see what they look like as well as the rhizome (or tuber, I actually forget which type of root the peony has!) at the surface of the soil.

Until 1.5 years ago we lived in a climate that peonies difficult, if not impossible. They are very favorite flower now! There were 3 already in the garden of our house, and I purchased 3 more this year (the third may not make it--I think I mangled the eyes). I hope to have even more in the future as they are so amazingly beautiful!

Francis Ortegot planted today:

Sarah Bernhardt

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I think they look quite good, especially for this time of the year. I can't really tell where there is any root part exposed at the surface. Might you mean the red eye that is in the first pic? If so, I think it is fine. A lot of the eyes on mine are showing above ground, now that I have them trimmed back. Since you are in a colder zone, you might consider a small amount of mulch over them, maybe 1".


    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 2:59PM
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Thank you, chemocurl, for responding! If you look at the red eye in the first pic (which I hadn't even noticed, believe it or not) you'll see to the above left of it a dark hole. That is on the exposed root part. The problem is the mulch is black, which makes it hard to see where the mulch ends and root begins. All the green shoots are on an exposed root thing that rises above the black mulch.

Thanks for the help. I feel better now about the peonies! We'll see if my mangled third purchase makes with any flowers next year.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 7:33AM
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