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Grafting Tree Peonies

Posted by peonyman Zone 5, KC, Ks (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 23, 08 at 22:30

I usually do an extensive amount of grafting each fall. This past fall I grafted 18 different cultivars including some Daphnis tree peonies that I don't have in my collection. Unfortunately not all of the grafts survive however even a small percentage of survivors will make the effore well worth my while. A good number of my grafts are really looking good. It is an exciting time of the year when grafts are beginning to emerge in my pots.

I am wondering, are there others on this list that do tree peony grafting? If so what are you grafting?

It looks like the Heartland Peony Society will be doing another tree peony grafting workshop in late summer. For our area it seems the best time to graft tree peonies is in mid-August. In mid-August when you cut scions there is enough time for the plant to reconfigure lower buds into bloom buds. In fact, when you cut a terminal bloom bud scion that early in fall the branch it is taken from generally will cast 2 or 3 blooms rather than the typical single bloom per stem. This is a great way to get more tree peony plants and to increase bloom. Be aware, if a bloom bud is removed later in the fall then you loose the bloom on that branch for the next spring.


Here is a link that might be useful: Grafting Tutorial

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Grafting Tree Peonies

  • Posted by rian 7va (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 28, 08 at 8:12

In the first snowfall of last winter, one of my tree peonies was injured in a sledding accident. Given that I had an amputated twig, I found a leftover eyeless root from the last Festiva Maxima relocation and--Tah-Dah--a grafting experiment!

Since I had no idea what I was doing, I was surprised and excited to see infant peony leaves last spring. You experienced grafters will realize of course that the supposedly eyeless root took advantage of its chance. But I did have a small thrill before I recognized the FM leaves.

I would like to try again someday, hopefully armed with a little more knowledge. Leon, what herbaceous roots do you use for your grafts?

RE: Grafting Tree Peonies


Any pure P. lactiflora will work. The cheap chinese cultivars that Walmart sells all fall into this catagory and would do fine. If you use a hybrid peony to use as rootstock then those roots will more than likely be adventitious and they will cast stems.

I have a high incidence of Japanese tree peonies that are on rootstock that is adventitious but it seems that these cast stems after I have had them in the ground 2 or 3 years. Many times by that time the tree peony had a good root system of its own.

I made a mistake early on. I found a tree peony that had herbaceous stems rising from the root stock. I dug the plant, removed the nurse root and replanted the tree peony. Since the root was used as rootstock I felt it would be ideal to divide it, plant it out and later use it as rootstock. BAD MISTAKE! The root had obviously demonstrated itself to be adventitious and thereby I was selecting for adventitious roots to use as rootstock.

Hindsight is always 20/20.


RE: Grafting Tree Peonies

  • Posted by rian 7va (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 28, 08 at 13:38

Thanks Leon, I think talking about the mistakes we make is as important as sharing our successes. The stories are just as educational (and often funnier)

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