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I have two tree peonies, and I think I'm hooked! One was purchased at a local plant sale with no name other than 'purple.' I bought it with two flowers on it, and they were beautiful. Having done some reading, I believe it to be a Japanese, or Moutan-type tree peony. The other is a yellow, 'Alhambra', which I bought from Klehms Song Sparrow last year (they don't offer that variety this year). As I look at sources, it seems like prices are all over the map. Would anyone care to share their favorite sources and why? I know most of the time you get what you pay for, but not always . . .
(The photo is one I took at a botanic garden of 'Hohki')
Klehm's and Solaris Farms are my favorites. William Seidl has helped Solaris Farms launch a fine tree peony program and he has years and years of experience and a true love of the tree peony. Tree peonies are amazing plants...good to know I am not alone in getting hooked on them. They are a real treasure.
Thanks for your post, Magnolialover (by the way, I love magnolias too! I have planted Elizabeth, White Rose, Leonard Messel, Royal Star, Centennial, Marilynn, Betty, some other loebneri-stellata crosses, and more!). But getting back to Tree Peonies, Solaris Farms is one source I'm not familiar with. I will check them out! Thanks for mentioning them! I have a hankering to try one of the Daphnis hybrids, after having read about him from googling his name, but I have never seen one 'in real life.' I'm sure they're amazing.
I will be posting some photos of the Japanese ones I shot at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens soon. Most were in bloom on May 1st when I went (the collection is from Japan), and were incredibly beautiful.
I agree with magnolialover Solaris Farms has beautiful tree peonies and the are big plants.I ordered Age of Gold last year and Golden ERA both will have many blooms this year,they also sent me a bonus tree peony hybirdized by William Seidl which was huge also.
Wow, minotpeonies, that sounds great! How nice to get a bonus plant, as well.
I just went ahead and ordered a couple of Tree Ponies from Klehm's . . . 'Hephestos' and 'Banquet.' Can't wait 'til next year when they bloom! I'm putting mine in a mixed perennial border.
I noticed that most sources offer plants only in the Fall, which is a difficult time for me to plant, but I may have to add to the collection then from some of the other sellers! Solaris has some beautiful photos -- their photo of Hephestos was what prompted me to try it!
Please be aware that Hephestos will make a very large plant and leave room for it. The one at Linda Hall Library here used to be over 6 foot tall and about the same wide before several ice storms and the Easter freeze reduced it in size. It is about up to 4 feet now. If you can site it so the sun will shine through the petals during some part of the day you have a real treat in store.
Thanks for the tip, ah3815, that is VERY helpful. 6x6 is a lot of space in a mixed border! I may have to reconsider location for this plant.
I've noticed that many of the tree peony source websites don't go into detail about growth habit or ultimate size of the plant, unfortunately. I think many of us are so mesmerized by these flowers we sometimes forget there can be a rather large plant attached to them!
I've read some posts in other sites about planting grafts many inches below the soil surface so the plant can develop its own roots. I'd hate to feel like I'm burying a plant alive, but I certainly feel a plant is (most of the time) better on it's own roots. I would imagine one could then divide the plant at some point if a duplicate is desired?
Does anyone know if grafting is preferable to layering when propagating these plants, or is it simply a quicker method?
Most of the time the graft dies as the tree peony portion sends out it's own roots so burying is best. Since the stem has both root and foliage cells by planting it deep any stems that come up would be able to be removed from the main stem with out damage to the main plant.
Grafting is quicker but layering is easier for the person who does not want many of one plant. One thing that apparently helps in layering is to nick the bark in several places where you are layering.
I did see a branch rooting pot? that you place on the stem after nicking the bark filled with rooting medium and it snaps around the limb.
I would suggest if you have never grafted and want only a couple of plants try the layering first.
Thanks again for your comments, ah3815. I have seen those layering pots as well, and thought I would give them a try at some point.
There were some informative photos at the Solaris Farms website -- photos of the TP stock they sell, which clearly shows the difference between stock and scion, with roots coming from both. They even suggest the possiblity of digging up the plants a couple years down the road and removing the stock, if it hasn't already died.
Interesting plants! And beautiful, of course, too!
I just got a yellow tree peony. There is a combination nursery/bakery near my home. It caters to "weekenders" and visitors, so its prices are on the high side. They had several peonies, but the one that caught my eye was a double yellow tree peony. I admired it several weeks ago while it was blooming while walking back from the post office. I wandered by on Friday, and the yellow peony was sitting by the door with a tag "for sale, originally $45, now $20." I thought about it. I offered the clerk $10. Sold. Lucky me.
Now I am checking out the forum for tips on planting and culture.
It had already set seed pods. I cut the stalks off and have them in a paper bag drying. I will also research starting them from seed, as an experiment. I love growing things from seed, especially when they actually grow!
I didn't take pictures of the plant and roots, yet, but will.
Great story, GardenQuilts! Lucky you indeed! I would love to find some bargains like that! I think seed to flower for these plants can take about 5 years, but yes, it is satisfying to grow plants from seed.
If you have already cut the seed pods off you will not have seeds. It is best to wait until the pod starts to split. Almost everyone makes this mistake at trying to hurry Mother Nature but she has her own time schedule.
I cut the seed pod and stalk so that the new plant would concentrate its energy on growing roots and settling in when I planted it. I put the pods in a brown paper bag to ripen. They were green and firm, but not split. If I cut them too early, I'll try again next year.