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These are also first year transplants. Amazing how they put up great stalks. Probably hybrid single reds. There is a true P.tenuifolia single red in the middle background but it is small in it's first year.
I usually don't appear till it starts warming up too. : ) LOL It's been a long cold winter and I'm ready for a nice warm spring. :) I'll be waiting for your pictures to start! (I still have the fireplace going most nights).
Cathy, the common ways for a fernie to lose it's vigor is shade and heavy, soggy soil. According to Hidden Springs Flower Farms, they will die out if they do not get ample sunlight (Mr. Buchite says FULL SUN and well-drained soil are best) since they are native to open fields. Mine will have some early morning shade when the trees leaf out but there will be more than a half day of direct sunlight.
I just finished my raised beds last fall before transplanting them from a temp bed. I have transplanted them twice in two years without any apparent damage--in fact there may have been a gain of the heirloom double.
If your's are the true fern leafs, they have a delicate root system requiring careful digging in order to prevent damage. More about that later when it is the proper time to move them which should be September.
This peony gets a lot of sun and should have pretty good drainage. It is an early bloomer and gets full before being overshadowed by other growth. Although we have had LOTS of spring rain both this year and last, iIn fact, the lilies and herbaceous peonies thrive in that location. Since it is an alpine plant, would it do better near a rock, where the soil would be more shallow? Also, should I expect it to spread like herbaceous peonies or remain the same size?
This is a bud from the last time it bloomed. It is definitely a fern leaf peony.
"overshadowed by other growth" may be an issue. Being so small, they can be shaded by almost any other plant. Depth is another issue. I always plant my eys either less than inch or just level with the surface and mound a bit of light soil over them during winter.
They should have small buds almost when they break the surface if they are going to bloom. Wait a couple more weeks and you should know for certain if they are going to bloom. If not, I would plan another place for them. Some people put them in raised rock gardens.
Thanks Rose, if they don't bud up soon, I'll wait til they're fully grown and plan to move them. They are not overshadowed by other growth, and the former owner planted them, and they might be a bit deep. I planted allthe herbaceous peonies about and inch to and inch and a half, so I guess it might be the same for these guys. I've a few very sunny spots not spoken for.
I wanted to thank you last night, and the internet went down, but I'm always happy for the wisdom you share.
Hi OGR, love your fernies and your garden squirrel :-) That is a great shot. And Maxine, your clump of fernies is fantastic. Speaking of fernies, the one you sent me a couple of years ago sent up leaves first year and maybe one flower - last year no blooms at all and the plant wasn't looking too good - and I am glad to say that this year it is MUCH bigger and I have two flowers! Guess it took a year to get settled in.
OGR, here are my Early Scouts I accidentally planted on top of my daffodils two or three years ago. I posted last year as I got three blooms I think - you said you thought it was a tenuifolia variety I thought...and this year I have even more - and they're getting bigger - this shot is from today - I have to get the out of there I have decided! No way to move the daffs really without disturbing the peonies.
Early Scout is a fern leaf hybrid (Auten 1952). Merry Mayshine and Little Red Gem are a couple more. From what I can read, they are a tenuifolia/lactiflora cross. There are probably more hybrids called fern leaf. I go by the root system to id the true fernies, both singles and doubles.
I bought my Early Scout from Hidden Springs last year and it is off to a good start. I wish I had more room to have the selection you have. Between irises, spring bulbs and a half dozen roses I have problems with space. Everytime I find a good spot for another peony, my wife picks out a shrub tree.
I only have a 100 x 100 lot with a small 28 x 70 house in the middle. Almost all the back yard has heavy shade from neighbors' trees. The north side is too narrow and shady except for a few hostas. I added a 5 1/2 x 24 raised bed in the front and on the south side. With all the odds and ends plus some temp iris beds, there is not a lot of room left with a canadian maple in the front. I will be able to squeeze in a couple of the old, scented peonies this fall. With the 11 maturing peonies, some duplicates, and about 5 juveniles, all lactifloras, I am running out of peony space. I must save some prime room for possibly more fernies or fern hybrids.
Just ordered one from Hidden Springs (new for 2010) $24.95 + $11.50 s&h.
Quick check indicates a debate whether it is a hybrid or species. Don't care, I want one. Last year I dallied a few days too long to order a species red double and they had sold out. The thing about HS is you can add to your order and save a lot on s&h.
I have never seen a fern leaf peony in person before. What are the pros and cons of fern leaf versus the herbaceous kinds, other than the obvious difference in leaf structure? I noticed that there are some brilliant reds that are quite lovely.
They bloom earlier in the spring. Colors only red single and double and I seem to recall there might be a white and/or a pink. Lovely ferny foliage however it never looks so nice as herbacious peony foliage later in the year. And the roots are diffeent.
Usually very expensive ( around here at least) because I think they are slow to grow . I got mine from the yard of an elderly aunt and no idea how old it is! Pretty big too but I just don't want to split it!
I lost my big ferney in 2008. It was a the year of the flood in Eastern Iowa and even where I lived high on a hill the ground was saturated and I had a siberian iris crowding it and it just died off on me. I was heart sick. But I have since replaced it with several others, but it will take a long time before they get as big as it was.. *sigh*
A lot has been said about the number of eyes and size of clumps when planting the regular peonies. With the fernies and some of the hybrids, that is not necessarily a major factor. This one only had one tiny eye, not much larger than the tip of a lead pencil, and survived. Closeup of the pic indicates non-fernie leaves, probably a restart of one I had which was similar to Smouthi.
Hopefully, it will survive the summer and put down some roots for a decent start next year.
Final pic of the singles. I will snip the blooms off in order for them to conserve energy for storage and build new eyes for next year. Works best with first year peonies. There is an apparent double between the two larger singles. Need to wait until it blooms to be certain.
Double red in the shade of my shadow. Gives a more accurate coloration. The doubles are darker red than the singles. These will all be snipped also. Pays dividends with first year plants for stronger growth for next year.
This is the only other FL I have. A true species P.tenuifolia from Hidden Springs, H. Buchite, purchased last fall. These can be expected to grow and advance very slowly so I will be happy with a bloom next year.
Yeah, you are just that much further south that your stuff is will come into its prime a couple three weeks be for mine will even think about it.. Oh well, at least we get to see everybodys peonies in waves and not just all at once. :)
I think there are all kinds of variables. In 6b in my yard, the only thing that will bloom in 3 weeks (minimum) are the tree peonies.
We have 5 established herbaceous (double) peonies in one garden, nine plants in another garden, 4 younger plants in a third garden, 3 more in another spot, and another 5 scattered throughout. A couple are 12-18 inches high, and some are just poking through the dirt. Around here, peonies are referred to as Memorial Day plants, but last year, they did not bloom before the beginning of June.
OGRose, there is no sight of a bud on my fernleaf peony. I'm really contemplating moving it soon.
We have had almost perfect weather lately. Totally cold Jan/Feb/early Mar then really nice, sunny days since except for a few rains. I am at the southern edge of 5b and northern edge of 6a. 6b should be a bit warmer than here but you folks have had more than your share of bad weather on the eastern side. I think sunshine is more important that temperature for the fernies.
As far as not having buds on your fernies, try to take some clear pics of the foliage closeup. Shade and depth are the only reasons I can come up with to explain them being very late.
Very interesting thread with good information on cultural needs Oldgardenrose.
I wish I had this information earlier because my fernleaf didn't bloom and wilted the first three years I had it.
When I moved it to the vegetable/herb garden that has a raised bed it started to thrive.
It seems to like the sunnier drier spot among the lavenders and garlic.
Three years latter I have 9 buds this year.
Gam's I'm sorry, that nice clump of fernys was yours. It is a lovely clump. Please excuse me, I'm not always this oblivious, I had a wisdom tooth pulled the other day and it's not been the most pleasant experience.
OGR and anyone else, I am POSITIVE I have to move my fernleaf peony. Should I expect the roots to look like my herbaceous peony roots? And should I do it now or wait till September? The peony in front of it (and overshadowing it) has already bloomed, but it did not even sprout until the fernleaf was up and bushy.
The fern leaf should always bloom weeks before the common lactifloras. They should be planted in full sun, if possible. I reasoned the sun requirement was due to their fine leaf structure but there may be other considerations. They will go dormant and turn brown in late summer before the lactifloras. Wait until then before you move them. They will have a delicate root system if they are true original fernies. Some of the look alike hybrids will have larger meaty roots much like the standard types. I will try to back up and find the thread about the best way to dig them.