Peony 'eyes' in danger over winter?

agardenstateof_mindNovember 12, 2006

I browse this forum occasionally, as I have a few peonies, but now have a question. While clearing leaves out of the garden, I noticed three reddish-pink "eyes" just poking above the soil on the Karl Rosenfield peony. It was purchased late spring as root stock, spent the summer in a container and was recently transferred to the perennial bed.

I don't recall seeing eyes before winter on my other peonies, don't see any on my S. Bernhardt yet (the other is a tree peony, so don't want to compare), and am concerned that these will suffer winter damage.

Does anyone have any advice? I live in coastal NJ, USDA Zone 7.

Thanks in advance.


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Dieter2NC(z7b NC)

Here in my zone 7b gardens I plant my peonies with the eyes showing so that they will get sufficient cold and bloom well. I wouldn't think you get cold enough for the eyes to be damaged.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 6:36PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Here in my zone 5/6 all of mine are showing eyes, and always do this time of year. They have been left undisturbed for years, and each spring put on a better show than the year b4.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 10:54PM
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Thank you for your reassurances. I expect our winters are a bit more harsh North Carolina's ... but certainly not Indiana's! So I guess my newest peony is safe and I look forward to the deep red blossoms next spring. Now I'm wondering why no autumn shoots, or eyes, on the pink one; it seems to be flowering fine for its partially shaded location. As long as they're healthy and flowering, though, I'm happy.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 7:03PM
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valentina(Z5 WI)

Diane, I too think your plants will be OK, but if you're concerned that the buds will get too "cold", you could just pile some leaves or some other mulch on top of them.
If you do this, don't forget to uncover them in Spring, before they start growing.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 5:54AM
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Well, the poor peony had more to fear from the gardener than from winter. I've lost it ... literally. The marker went missing (squirrels?) and while I was zealously extending and preparing the bed for some other perennials still in containers I went too far and must have turned it under. (Sob) I raised it from a pup. Bought the root stock on impulse a little late in the season; for a long time, nothing happened and I'd about given up on it, when Lo! it began to grow and had put out nice leaves this year. Coddled it all summer in its container of good soil then transplanted to a well prepared spot in the front perennial bed, where it put out those little red buds.

On my knees in dwindling late-afternoon sun I sifted through the soil three times with my bare hands and couldn't find a trace of it ... no roots, no little red buds, nothing.

My only hope is that it's a tough little pup and isn't buried too deeply or injured too badly to put out some growth next spring so I can give it another chance ... or, perhaps more accurately, it can give me another chance.

Thanks again for your advice. I do customarily mulch the beds generously with well-shredded oak leaves; by spring, there usually isn't enough left of them to have to clear away.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 8:37PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

We are having a "cold snap". It was down to 29 locally, certainly no problem for peonies. Yesterday I sprayed my new buds and the soil around them with the Bordeaux Mixture. Last year for the first time I had a problem of Botrytis on one of my peonies. I think it was caused by a cold late spring with persistent rain. Plus not enough air circulation. I dug and moved the problem peony to a new location. Al

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 10:12AM
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What temperature is too cold for peony eyes showing? I planted my first peonies this fall and left the eyes just barely poking above the soil to ensure sufficient chill. It's not like likely that we'll get lower than 10 here this winter.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 10:44AM
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