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Peonies: Tree peony advice

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Forum: PeoniesReplies: 14, Views: 181
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Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

September 12, 2009
7:10 PM

Post #7055875

I'm looking at putting a tree peony into a bed in my backyard... but I'm hesitating. The location gets full or nearly full sun (all day except very late in the afternoon). I'm in zone 7, in northern Virginia. The soil is somewhat heavy, but has been amended quite a bit with compost, etc, so it's not too bad. The issue: tree peonies are said to be sensitive to overwatering, and while I can manage to control my own watering with no problem, there's obviously nothing I can do about the rain - and it's very common around here to have rainy spells that go on for a week at a time. This is particularly common in the fall, when we have tropical storms, etc, blow through, but it happens a lot in the springtime as well.

Any thoughts on whether a tree peony would survive this kind of thing? They're kind of expensive to put in as an experiment.

Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

September 18, 2009
10:42 PM

Post #7078892

Buy a cheap one and experiment. That way your'll know. :)
Kansas City, MO

September 19, 2009
12:57 AM

Post #7079441

For a site with morning sun I would suggest a white or light colored tree peony since their petals absorb less heat from the sun and will last longer. One thing you should do is to provide some sort of shade to prevent the stems from heating up then rapidly freezing as the plant moves out of the direct sunlight. If you don't provide shade especially to newly planted, 3-4 years, the side facing the sun can warm very rapidly. This forces sap up that side only. The area that is not in the sun will not reach the same temperature so no sap will flow. The area where they me can become damaged because of the conflicting temperatures. In really cold areas the warmed side can explode when the heat of the sun is removed causing ice crystals to form in the bark zone.

Scout your nurseries now to see if they have any remaining tree peony stock on hand. Make an offer to the manager you may get a good price.

About the end of January in this area the box stores such as Lowes and Home Depot have grafted tree peonies in 4by4 boxes that are inexpensive. You just need to plant deeper than stated on box. In my store they are always on the bottom of a wire shelving unit so you have to look.

Buy Fen Dan Bai, Phoenix White, P. osti by mail order as a starter plant. This is one of the few that are sold as seedlings rather than grafts.

(Zone 5b)

October 7, 2009
4:26 PM

Post #7144604

Is Z5 too cold for Tree Peonies?
How tender are they?
I live in a rural, low spot.
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 7, 2009
6:52 PM

Post #7144989

Most tree peonies should do just fine for you. It is some of the more exotic ones that you might have trouble with.

(Zone 5b)

October 7, 2009
6:55 PM

Post #7144996

So which are "exotic ones" so I can avoid them.
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 7, 2009
6:59 PM

Post #7145007

You would have to search for those... :) You're not going to come upon them in a nursery. I don't know any names off the top of my head, but just check the zone hardiness.

(Zone 5b)

October 7, 2009
7:53 PM

Post #7145183

Okay, thanks!
Southern, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 9, 2009
12:31 AM

Post #7149534

Here in zone 5 I have grown both regular and fancier, love them all and haven't had any problems with overwintering. I do plant most of them closer to the house or in a more protected location, close to the house or out of really windy range ^_^

(Zone 5b)

October 13, 2009
1:56 AM

Post #7163258

Would they be okay planted on the east side of my house?
My west side is too shady and south too hot I suppose.
What months do they bloom in?
See my thread on which varieties I ordered.
I just read tonight that Chinese Tree Peonies are fussier
and I think what I ordered is Chinese T.P. Ugh!
Should I cancel my order?

(Zone 5b)

October 13, 2009
1:58 AM

Post #7163265

Mine are only 3 yr. old plants.
How long before they bloom?
I heard they take a long time to get established.
Southern, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 13, 2009
2:58 PM

Post #7164588

The east side would be a great location. Actually any area protected by the house would be good. A three year old plant can bloom. They do take years to establish, just like any herbacious peony. They are "patience and be rewarded plants". No harm is done in trying them. I haven't read how many you bought, but I think they will do fine, as long as they are in a more protected location, far from harsh open winter winds.

(Zone 5b)

October 13, 2009
4:35 PM

Post #7164934

Thanks much for the advice Mag!
Southern, WI
(Zone 5a)

October 13, 2009
4:52 PM

Post #7164988

And we are in a very similar climate situation, if I can do it, certainly you can ^_^ Let us know how it goes next spring.

(Zone 5b)

October 21, 2009
5:24 PM

Post #7193906

I got my first Tree Peonies today!!!
I'm very pleased with the friendly service
and Tree Peonies I received from Tree Peony Garden.
I was also happy they offered younger Tree Peonies at much more affordable prices than you typically have to pay for older Tree Peonies.
Plus for purchasing 3 Tree Peonies I was suppose to get one free herbaceous peony and they send me three free peonies!
Not sure if that was a mistake but that was very generous of them.

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