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.
Fern Leaf P.tenuifolias & Hybrids
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
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.
Some additional info.
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.
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
Windchimes just grabbed me. Do you know the parentage for the cross? It would look really nice in the middle of the reds.
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!
This message was edited Apr 8, 2010 10:09 AM
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). :)
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!
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*
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.
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.