Collecting Peony seeds

lakesidegardner(Zn 6 / NJ)August 22, 2009

In our garden, we have a pink peony "bush" with the flowers dried off. The flowers have left behind three seed pods per flower and are currently brown. I mean to ask, is it desirable to cut open the pods and hope that the seeds are ripe, or wait until the pods split open, then collect the seeds? Is there a surefire sign?

Thanks for helping.

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remy_gw

Hi,
The pods will begin to split. Don't try to open them ahead of time. Good seed will be like black shiny peas. Sometimes you will see tiny seeds(I once received these in trade.) They are no good. For some reason the seed making process went awry after pod formation.
Remy

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 8:49AM
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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

My peonies are about to bloom. How long after should I look for the pods to form? I'm assuming these are seeds I'll collect soon instead of in the fall.

Caryl

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 10:22PM
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remy_gw

Hi Caryl,
Yes, it will be in summer. Just keep checking on the pods every once in awhile. As I said, they will begin to open when the seeds are ripe.
Oh I did find out that some peonies have other colored seeds so don't let an odd color throw you off.
Remy

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 11:04PM
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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

Thanks Remy. This is my first year collecting seed so I've got tons of questions. I'll be using the search option a lot, but probably also bugging you folks on this exchange.

Caryl

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 10:28AM
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remy_gw

Caryl,
Don't feel bad for bugging anyone especially after doing a search! Remember I or anyone else is answering because they want to help : )
Remy

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 8:23PM
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tomva(7-central virginia)

does anyone know how long these seed are viable for and how long germination is,I'm guessing they need cold stratification.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 5:32PM
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remy_gw

Tom,
I'm not sure how long they are viable for. I do know they need to be sown like 3 months before frost and left out all winter. So winter sowing in and of itself is not good enough. They are strange in that they will break dormancy during the warm part before frost, but they must go through a cold period to complete the germination process.
Remy

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 6:07PM
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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

So Remy, I plant them about August if our last frost is Oct. and leave them out all winter? Mine won't reseed because there's mulch over weedblock underneath them, so I need to collect the seed and do them in a container.

Caryl

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 10:21AM
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remy_gw

Hi Caryl,
Yes, plant them in a container. Use one big enough that the soil won't dry out between watering during those frost free months. It doesn't have to be huge, just don't use little perennial starter pots, yogurt cups, etc. Treat it like your other potted plants.
Remy

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 1:06PM
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caryltoo Z7/SE PA

Thanks.

Caryl

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 2:53PM
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