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Peonies: Fern Leaf P.tenuifolias & Hybrids

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2010
12:22 PM

Post #7677163

First year transplant. Not long before it will bloom. Not certain but it appears to be one of my divisions of an old hand-me-down double red.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2010
12:29 PM

Post #7677180

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.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2010
12:34 PM

Post #7677192

Early Scout first year.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2010
6:02 PM

Post #7677855

This is the only real problem I have with my fernies in the raised beds. He digs to find the acorns he hid last fall.

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Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2010
5:40 PM

Post #7679982

Very nice OGR! You are several weeks ahead of me..
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 4, 2010
6:10 PM

Post #7680033

I was wondering when you would appear. The weather has warmed more than usual after a colder than usual February which is perfect for peonies. Crossed fingers to scare away any late freezes.

I started this thread for the fern leaf and fern hybrid growers to post a series of pics. The wee ones become lost in the lactifloras. Mine are a little early but a cold spell will slow them down.
Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2010
7:18 PM

Post #7680173

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).
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

April 4, 2010
9:28 PM

Post #7680470

I tried to post a few moments ago, and the post died.

My fern leaf peony is about 1 1/2 to 2 inches high, and I don't think it has bloomed since around May or June 2007 (see photo).

The tree peonies and herbaceous peonies thrive in the same areas. Does anyone have any ideas? Can I move this peony, divide it or feed it?

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cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

April 4, 2010
11:44 PM

Post #7680595

This is the current situation. They always start out OK and get nice and full. I wonder if this will be te year they bloom or if they want a new home.

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Maxine
Western, WI
(Zone 4a)

April 5, 2010
4:16 AM

Post #7680747

One of my old fern leaf peonies from last yr.

Maxine

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 5, 2010
7:14 AM

Post #7681094

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.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 5, 2010
7:20 AM

Post #7681099

Ticker, that is one nice clump. I think Fancy from Canada had one about that size. They need to be where people can see them. Most gardeners around here have no idea of the fernies.
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

April 5, 2010
11:04 AM

Post #7681638

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.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 5, 2010
11:33 AM

Post #7681690

"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.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2010
4:28 PM

Post #7685018

Slowly but surely they are making progress. We have had a week of nice weather except for a lot of wind.

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cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

April 6, 2010
6:10 PM

Post #7685263

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.
SteveIndy
Greenwood, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2010
6:39 PM

Post #7685345

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.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2010
7:22 PM

Post #7685465

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.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2010
8:07 PM

Post #7685602

Some additional info.

http://www.paeonia.com/html/peonies/articles/aug02.htm
Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 7, 2010
8:41 AM

Post #7686551

How much lawn do you have? :) How much lawn do you need? :)
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2010
1:33 PM

Post #7687212

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.

Work in progress.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2010
1:36 PM

Post #7687218

More work.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2010
1:43 PM

Post #7687234

Older tulip/daffodil bed.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2010
1:49 PM

Post #7687246

One of the permanent fernie beds.

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fancyvan
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

April 7, 2010
2:14 PM

Post #7687315

Oh OGR you have lots of space - just start getting rid of all that grass!

I have not been following this thread but I saw my name mentioned a ways back so here is my fern leaf from another time. At the moment it is up about an inch,

I put in some F.L. hybrids two years ago and they all did nicely last year, not very big but all flowered. (Early Scout,Little Red Gem and Windchimes; Merry Mayshine last fall))



This message was edited Apr 7, 2010 3:16 PM

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fancyvan
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

April 7, 2010
2:18 PM

Post #7687330

Windchimes last year.

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fancyvan
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

April 7, 2010
2:21 PM

Post #7687336

Little Red Gem

(I think, have a bad habit of not labelling my pics!)

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2010
2:47 PM

Post #7687382

Windchimes just grabbed me. Do you know the parentage for the cross? It would look really nice in the middle of the reds.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2010
3:25 PM

Post #7687475

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.
Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 7, 2010
7:47 PM

Post #7688166

Heh heh, somebody's got the peony fever! :) LOL Welcome to our addiction! LOL and I agree with Fancy, you have way too much grass. If you're worried about space get rid of that green!!

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fancyvan
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

April 7, 2010
8:24 PM

Post #7688246

http://www.paeo.de/aaa/05676.html

Some information about Wind Chimes. Obviously some debate!
soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2010
10:45 PM

Post #7688468

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.
fancyvan
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

April 8, 2010
7:09 AM

Post #7688886

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!

This message was edited Apr 8, 2010 10:09 AM
Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 8, 2010
9:53 AM

Post #7689430

Fancy, I would only split it to ensure that I had back-ups in case anything happened to it. (said in my best voice of doom). :)
fancyvan
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

April 8, 2010
10:33 AM

Post #7689520

I would not split it either but I get lots of requests!

It has about 40 shoots on it this year but I can see that it could almost be split into 3 pieces!
Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 8, 2010
10:48 AM

Post #7689549

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*
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 8, 2010
12:52 PM

Post #7689815

That is one of the main reasons I put my divisions in three separate beds. You never know when a neighborhood dog the size of a small pony will decide to stroll thru your most important plants.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 10, 2010
1:29 PM

Post #7694815

First bloom of the season. Not fully open but it is a single red. Should have several more within about 3 days.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 10, 2010
1:32 PM

Post #7694822

Double red not quite ready. They seem to lag behind the singles by about 10 days.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 11, 2010
8:44 AM

Post #7696594

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.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 11, 2010
8:48 AM

Post #7696608

Another of the same type of leaf in another plot. Could get lucky and have two of the Smouthi types next year.

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Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 11, 2010
6:55 PM

Post #7698158

If anybody can get a ferny to produce, it would be you. :) Keep the pictures coming. :)
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 12, 2010
1:40 PM

Post #7700176

Best of the singles clumps.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 12, 2010
1:43 PM

Post #7700187

Wider shot of three singles.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 12, 2010
1:47 PM

Post #7700192

Doubles about to open. Had good luck with the transplants. Digging with a jet of water makes a lot of difference in the amount of small feeder roots salvaged.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 13, 2010
2:23 PM

Post #7703142

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.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 13, 2010
2:25 PM

Post #7703148

Nodding heads on the doubles.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 13, 2010
2:28 PM

Post #7703157

Double red in full sunlight.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 13, 2010
2:32 PM

Post #7703169

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.

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Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 13, 2010
7:57 PM

Post #7703949

Lovely, just lovely!
SteveIndy
Greenwood, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 14, 2010
6:55 AM

Post #7704675

Wonderful Fernies, OGR!!!
Maxine
Western, WI
(Zone 4a)

April 14, 2010
11:38 AM

Post #7705346

Mind are just budding!
Won't be long, although I do have some that haven't poked their noses up yet.
80 degrees out right now, so that should push them.

Maxine
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 15, 2010
1:23 PM

Post #7708055

Early Scout from HS last fall.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 15, 2010
1:29 PM

Post #7708064

Closeup. My last pics for the year. Will cut these blooms to preserve energy and because we are expecting some wind and rain tomorrow. No point in breaking a stem on this baby plant for nothing.

Time for someone else to show their fernies. Surely there are some blooming elsewhere.

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Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 15, 2010
2:20 PM

Post #7708173

Mine aren't anywhere close to blooming yet. They have to grow a bit more first. :) But, you can keep posting pictures of yours, I'm sure we won't mind. :)
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 15, 2010
3:56 PM

Post #7708314

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.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 15, 2010
3:59 PM

Post #7708324

Not a FL but typical of my regular peonies. Probably will not see blooms for about 3 weeks.

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Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

April 15, 2010
7:07 PM

Post #7708779

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. :)
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

April 15, 2010
11:27 PM

Post #7709229

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.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 16, 2010
5:27 AM

Post #7709487

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.

Pic taken 3-16.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 16, 2010
5:31 AM

Post #7709493

3-23 may not be the same plant but typical.

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ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

April 24, 2010
4:42 PM

Post #7733652

Would they grow in Georgia?? Those are beautiful.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 24, 2010
5:53 PM

Post #7733883

They are a cold period requiring peony just like the regular peonies. If you can grow the standard lactifloras, you should be ok for the fernies.

ridesredmule

ridesredmule
Barnesville (Charle, GA
(Zone 8b)

April 24, 2010
5:57 PM

Post #7733919

I have two reg. Plants and just planted a tree peony. Those sure are pretty. Love the leaves, so unusal. Thanks for the speedy reply.
sempervirens
Northern, NJ
(Zone 6b)

April 25, 2010
4:01 AM

Post #7734859

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.

This message was edited Apr 25, 2010 11:41 PM

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sempervirens
Northern, NJ
(Zone 6b)

April 25, 2010
4:09 AM

Post #7734866

When I bought the fernleaf it was marked as red but the flowers are really a very deep rose or a red with a blue cast.

I tried to get a photo with the correct color but you can just see a little of the rosier tones.The blooms only open when the sun hits them and it is hard to get a good photo in that bright light.

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 25, 2010
6:19 PM

Post #7736809

I would not be concerned with the exact shade of red. It is a really nice clump and will multiply with time.
Maxine
Western, WI
(Zone 4a)

May 1, 2010
1:35 PM

Post #7754742

One of my first blooming Red Fern Leaf peonies.

Maxine

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Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 1, 2010
1:56 PM

Post #7754806

That is a really nice clump. Do you know how old it is? Mine are all first year transplants so it will be a few years before they reach that size.
SteveIndy
Greenwood, IN
(Zone 5b)

May 1, 2010
1:59 PM

Post #7754815

OMG Maxine those are wonderful!!
Maxine
Western, WI
(Zone 4a)

May 1, 2010
2:02 PM

Post #7754826

I think it was planted in 92 when I started moving up my plants from the farm.

Maxine
fancyvan
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

May 1, 2010
5:02 PM

Post #7755319

Thats lovely Maxine

Mine is a double - think I maybe should bite the bullet and get a single!
marti001
Somerset, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 1, 2010
6:14 PM

Post #7755523

I'll have to add fern leaf peonies to my list to locate.
Maxine
Western, WI
(Zone 4a)

May 2, 2010
4:00 AM

Post #7756270

Another one farther out in the flower bed from the house.

Maxine

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gansurambler
Avon, NY
(Zone 5b)

May 2, 2010
6:27 PM

Post #7758396

I put a photo of my fern leaf clump on the other thread. Maybe I should have posted it here.

I also have a couple fern leaf hybrids One that I like very much is Little Red Gem.

Little Red Gem

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Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

May 2, 2010
8:29 PM

Post #7758771

OGR, that is a very nice clump. :)
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 3, 2010
4:44 AM

Post #7759272

Not mine but I can always wish. It will be years before my fernies reach the size some have posted.
Ticker
Lisbon, IA
(Zone 5a)

May 3, 2010
5:08 AM

Post #7759348

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, thanks for pointing out my mistake. :)
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

June 5, 2010
9:34 AM

Post #7860941

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.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

June 5, 2010
12:40 PM

Post #7861345

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.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

June 5, 2010
12:59 PM

Post #7861415

A discussion thread from last year. A lot of redundant info but topical nonetheless.

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1019379

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