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Starting Peonies from Seed

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

I looked back through a couple year's worth of threads here and didn't find anything about this subject, (if there is one, please direct me to the page), so I figured I should ask: (How) Can one start Peonies from seed? Are some varieties easier to start than others? I have never had or grown a Peony in my life, so right now I don't care about them "coming true", I just want to have one. (or 2, or 3...) :)
I collected two seed pods (spent blooms with seeds) at work yesterday, and I am embarrassed to admit that I don't remember which ones they are, (I swear I'll remember to look and write the info down today!!), but I'm pretty sure they are "Tree Peonies".

Anyway, any helpful hints/tips or directions would surely be appreciated, and I'll come back later or in the morning to provide the additional information.

Thanks guys!!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Boy, you are ambitions. They take years to mature to flowering. But good luck. It would be fun just to be able to do it.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

I dunno about ambitious, but I'm certainly patient. =)

I never got a chance to get outside to look at the Peonies that I got the seed heads from, we were actually really busy today, and I got to have fun cleaning up the green house. yippeee skippeee. =/ Between the two, I didn't get to get outside to play. =(

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Yippeee skippeee? I love it!

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

I thought tree peonies could not be grown from seed. I have enough trouble getting them to grow by transplanting Let us know what you get. Many tree peonies (not all) are grafts.

You can always get cheaper herbaceous peonies in a bag at a big box store. The inexpensive ones don't have much root and only one eye, but you'll actually get peonies in 3-4 years with proper conditions. They often sell more than one plant in the package.

Kansas City, MO

The thing with tree peonies and regular peonies is that they will not be the same as their parent. Most people want to plant them thinking that they will get exact duplicates of the mother plant. You could have something nice or what looks like a dud. However even dud's would be the growers baby and some thing to brag about. Just do a search for growing peony seeds on your main search area.

You will find the cheapest peonies at the various box and hardware stores starting in January. You can also find in 4 inch boxes one year grafts of tree peonies at some stores about that same time. You can not rely on staff to know what they have so look. Probably on a metal stand on the back bottom.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Cathy, I honestly don't know anything about Peonies whatsoever, and since I didn't get a chance to check out the plants that I took the seed pods from, I'm honestly still not 100% sure they are "tree" Peonies, they might be herbaceous. I'll HAVE to check tomorrow at work. But, I'm thinking that since I work at a nursery, I can get them pretty inexpensively, or I can enjoy the challenge of trying to start something from seed (collected for free), which is my personal preference.

Ah, you are so right, "Even duds would be the growers baby", which is why I mentioned that I don't actually care if what I come up with "comes true" or not, it'll still be the success of my blood, sweat, and tears, my baby. =)

I'm sure though that my first step will have to be getting out there and making sure I know what kind of seeds I collected. DUH ME!

Kansas City, MO

Dawned on me that you never mentioned seeing the seeds, just the pods. If you can not see seeds in the partially opened pods the pods are probably sterile/have no seeds.

Will send you a Dmail.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

"Even duds would be the growers baby", which is why I mentioned that I don't actually care if what I come up with "comes true" or not, it'll still be the success of my blood, sweat, and tears, my baby. =)


Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Donna, we all love our babies, right?

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Yes we do!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Hmmmm, I'd also typed a reply to Ah, but it seems to have gotten lost. =(

I got your kind D-Mail, thank you! I'm guessing you'll have seen the reply by now. And to share with the rest of the gang, I learned that the two seed pods that I collected (and yes, there's seeds in 'em!) are from:
P Suffruticosa "Pink" (mountain tree p.), and P Lactiflora "Bowl of Beauty". I'm guessing the "lactiflora" means I can drink the milk from the petals? ;P heeheeheee

Having had to deal with 3 days of big fat computer problems, I've not had time to play outside at all, but I'll get those seeds taken care of asap, and I'll be sure to keep y'all posted on their progress. =)

Toronto, ON(Zone 6b)

I have grown tree peony from seed and of the 12 or so plants that have survived 7 years, 3 have bloomed so far. I have single white with a magenta centre and double pink. The tallest are about 3ft. and the smallest a few inches. It is not like I have stopped all of my other gardening endeavers to wait for results; time passes and a small investment in time and energy pays big dividends. I have grown hundreds of trees from seed and some have now reached 50 plus feet. Anyone who plants a tree is an optimist and optimists live longer.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

What a great attitude!

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

None of my own peonies produced seeds or I'd have tried it. Several grower sites say something about it. I saw a paragraph on the Peonys Envy Site. If you have the space in a green house, why not try it! Good luck.

Kansasville, WI(Zone 5a)

Cricket Hill has some info about growing peony seeds.

They also sell seeds in fall.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Excellent informative site, thank you Crazy! < =D

Kansasville, WI(Zone 5a)

Your welcome speediebean.

I went to the Garden Expo in Madison today. There I joined the Wisconsin Peony Society. And they were selling peony seeds !!! Of course I had to buy some :)

If anyone is interested in purchasing some tree peony seeds and herbaceous seeds, you can email Scott Parker
who is the Director and President of the club.

[email protected]

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

I would consider that.. except that I can get my own for free at work.. as long as I don't mind working for them. Which I don't. =) "Deadheading with a purpose", that's what I like to call it! < =)

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