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Need second opinion about Tree Peony planting

Posted by suel41452 z6b-7aVA (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 7, 09 at 12:17

I bought a Japanese Tree Peony in bloom last spring. I babied it in a pot thru summer & fall until it went dormant - but due to a back injury was unable to plant it in fall as I'd planned.
Since fall, I've kept it in an unheated shed & watered once a month. I called a radio gardening Q&A show this morning, and the host said I should plant it this March. Any second opinions from you all?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need second opinion about Tree Peony planting

Suel, I'm in zone 5 and can only apply an answer to this zone. I would plant it in late April/early May, but your zone 7 might possibly call for the peony to be planted in March....albeit, I'd say late March.
It really comes down to whether you can work your soil comfortably. If there is still ice crystals in the soil, I suggest you wait another few days, a week.
Its a perennial, so if you normally plant perennials in March I'd say your advice was correct.

RE: Need second opinion about Tree Peony planting

Suel. I usually pot up my tree peonies for the first year, as soon as possible, here in VA. I have a bad back, also...
The ones in the ground for many years, ('Higurashi' is already starting to break dormancy!) & yours may as well be planted if your ground isn't frozen solid, if you can have someone help. Unless of course it's been indoors too long & is actually leafing out already.
You don't want the leaves to freeze, or a flower develop toosoon, only to be frozen by getting conitinued severely low temps..
Outdoors, they grow at a rather slow rate, whereby the buds/leaves seem unaffected by light frost.
Even the one fron from Michigan Bulb Co. (cv. "Heaven Scent"?) is breaking dormancy & I can see it has a first flower bud appearing & still is/has been potted all though the winter & was bought mail order, last spring & stayed outside all winter, unprotected.
Try to keep the graft union, below soil level, so as that it can grow it's own roots enventually, unless that is, it was purchsaed as an actual division & not grafted...

RE: Need second opinion about Tree Peony planting

I'm in Annapolis and just planted 3 of them that were in pots. No reason not to plant unless you can't work the soil since they've been acclimated to outdoor temps. These things are tough, no need to baby them here. I already have two that put out the most amazing flowers I've seen around here -- that's why I got more on sale last year.

RE: Need second opinion about Tree Peony planting

Thanks to all for your comments! I decided to go ahead & plant like everyone advised. It's still alive & beginning to "sprout", so hopefully all should go well! Sue

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