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Old 09-24-2010, 03:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Germinating tree peony seeds

4 months ago I put some tree peony seeds in a zip lock bag with a wet paper towel and finally 7 of them are starting to sprout. I've read somewhere that they require a dormancy period to keep on growing so is it best to just grow them outside in the soil now that they have germinated or should I try to keep them inside by the window?

Has anyone else tried growing tree peonies from seed?

I just noticed them and their roots are growing pretty fast for being dormant for so long.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Thumbs up Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

Very cool! I think what you're doing will be just fine.


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Old 09-24-2010, 08:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

Hopefully all 50 of them will germinate, but I'll probably put some into a seed-rack as they germinate and others straight into the soil outside just to give them different conditions. They are supposed to be one of the hardest types of seed to germinate and require multiple dormancy periods so it's not that easy.
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

Most of them have germinated by now and I've been sticking them in my garden bed hoping they will get a nice dormancy period in order to germinate next spring.

Should I keep a few indoors in the warmth, or do they absolutely need the 2nd dormancy to germinate?
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my picture website is http://www.flickr.com/photos/31489820@N02/

http://stevespeonygarden.blogspot.com/
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

WOW! that is neat......i never even have seen seeds on peony's, let along seen one germinating.
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

They have a near 100% germination rate however they do take a bit of work to get to germinate. I had to drown them in orange juice for a couple days, then dis-infect them with bleach and have them in mild water for a few minutes, cleansing it many times, then put them in paper towels.

They still took me 4 months to germinate and it looks like they will only put out a root at this stage. They require another dormancy cycle to actually make their leaves which is ideal at this time since I can plant them outside where it is getting cooler and hopefully I'll get many seedlings come up next spring.
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my picture website is http://www.flickr.com/photos/31489820@N02/

http://stevespeonygarden.blogspot.com/
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Joy Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

Congrats on your success, Steve!



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Old 10-25-2011, 11:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

One of the lessons I have learned about the germination of tree peony seeds is to never move them during the summer, or when they are still growing because I lost a bunch of them however I still have well more than enough for myself since I started with a decent number of seeds. I lost a large plant as well as many seedlings, and found out later that the only real good time to transplant them is around now when they are fairly dormant.

Hundreds of seeds have since been planted and should be sprouting next spring or the following one, and I have also done a plant trade with cricket hill gardens to obtain a few more species of tree peonies which are now planted.

Here's my updated thread on these guys.
Steve's garden: Update on the tree peonies seedlings and grafted plants
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I'm in zone 6 upstate NY, specialize in growing temperate cold hardy bamboos(mainly phyllostachys) and starting to get into bananas.

my picture website is http://www.flickr.com/photos/31489820@N02/

http://stevespeonygarden.blogspot.com/
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Question Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

Hi, Steve,

Thank you for sharing your knowledge on germinating peony seeds and others. This thread has been very informational.

Peony was brought to my attention by someone at bananas.org. I've seen the seed packet at a local store, but I've no idea whay type of peony it was. Have you ever tried germinating peony seeds from a seed packet? I generally have less success geminating flower seeds from Burpee's or other vender's seed packets than the fresh seeds I collect myself. It would be great if you can tell me more about your experience with store-bought peony seeds.

Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

I've never seen tree peony seeds sold at stores before in packets, but I get mine off of eBay where I can get pretty good deals on lots of seeds. What I find is that fresh seeds that haven't dried out that were recently harvested ie, when I go to my neighbors yard and take their seed pods to grow them, they tend to sprout the following spring. Now when I buy them from somewhere, they tend to let the seeds dry, and then the germination usually takes a little longer so I may end up getting leaves either during the summer or it may be another year in the spring. Other than that TP seeds generally have a good germination rate 50% or higher depending on how fresh the seeds are.


The way I plant them is simple. I simple take a screw driver and make 2 inch deep holes to drop each individual seed a few inches away from each other so when they sprout, it's easier to transplant them in the fall once they go dormant. If you want to try growing tree peonies for yourself, I would recommend this seller or any of the other ones that sell a variety of seeds, in the same packet so you don't end up with all the same color.
Free shipping 100 Chinese Tree peony seeds(mixed color) | eBay
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my picture website is http://www.flickr.com/photos/31489820@N02/

http://stevespeonygarden.blogspot.com/
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

Steve,

Thank you! You have been more than helpful.

A few of my neighbor also have peonies, but I never tried collecting their seeds because of the color. It was an Asian grocery store that I had seen the peony seed packet. I'm not sure whether other Asian stores carry them or not.

You are right about the colors one can get from a seed packet. I germinated carnations from a Burpee seed packet last year. The picture on the packet shows all different colors, but they all came out pink. It was disappointing.

I wish you continuous success with your peony seedlings and thanks again.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

No problem.

All it takes is a little bit of patience, and these little plants will grow into beautiful flowering shrubs with TLC. It's probably more worth it to wait 4 years for lots of flowers as opposed to buying them at 30-500$ per plant.

Here's a nice blog which has very good information from an expert which is perhaps much better than what I can explain as a beginner with TPs. The most important thing that I can't stress enough is that these seedlings cannot be moved until they go dormant well into fall since they are not resistant to stress at all, even when they appear woody & developed already in the summer. They need to be dormant before transplanting.

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I'm in zone 6 upstate NY, specialize in growing temperate cold hardy bamboos(mainly phyllostachys) and starting to get into bananas.

my picture website is http://www.flickr.com/photos/31489820@N02/

http://stevespeonygarden.blogspot.com/
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

Just for people who are wondering how it looks, here are tree peony seeds that sprouted back in April.
The most important part about growing these is to make sure they are not moved until they go dormant in the fall,
and to ensure that they get good sunlight.


Here's just about how they look before being moved to their own spot in the garden. I would recommend transplanting October or later.
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I'm in zone 6 upstate NY, specialize in growing temperate cold hardy bamboos(mainly phyllostachys) and starting to get into bananas.

my picture website is http://www.flickr.com/photos/31489820@N02/

http://stevespeonygarden.blogspot.com/

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Old 10-31-2011, 10:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Smile Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

Hello, Steve,

How drought tolerant are TPs? What are the mature width and height? With the severe summer drought in the last few years, it's hard to grow anything new.

And thank you for the pretty peony seedling pictures and the transplanting information.
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

TPs are supposed to thrive in dry climates once they are well established and I think the average size at maturity is 4ft tallX 4ft wide, some get bigger, some smaller. I believe TPs are ideal for a dry climate since they originated from dry climates.

If you look around the neighborhood, you might find someone you can get seeds off of(I hit the jackpot since I found someone with a TP collection), since the cheapest you can get them off eBay is around $0.10 per seed with a seller from China, but freshly harvested seeds are almost sure to sprout the next spring.

I'm sure the first year is probably going to be lackluster when you start from seeds since they usually only make 1-2 leaves, but be assured that they are storing energy, and growing underground in preparation for some explosive growth the following spring. Some of my seedlings have 3 buds on their woody stem already.
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I'm in zone 6 upstate NY, specialize in growing temperate cold hardy bamboos(mainly phyllostachys) and starting to get into bananas.

my picture website is http://www.flickr.com/photos/31489820@N02/

http://stevespeonygarden.blogspot.com/
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Wink Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

Very encouraging and great information, Steve.


Are peony susceptible to many insects problems? From my own experience of growing vegetable and fruit vines in the last few years, they are infested with bugs. I typically get no harvest after three months of keeping them watered. I know I can count on googling to get some answers, but it's always conducive to hear your first-hand experience as I often get mixed answers when surfing on the web.

My neighbors' tree peonies are not well cared for. Collecting seeds would be an issue and plus, I only saw one color in the neighborhood that interests me. I do know the owner, though. There will be no problem of collecting her seeds or cuttings for my first try when I'm ready. I don't believe TP's are hard to grow from cuttings, either. Most of other plants' cuttings I've tried rooted successfully without rooting hormones. As long as seeds or cuttings are fresh, they are easy to germinate or root, provided that other conditions, moisture, temperature, etc, are right. Have you even tried rooting TP cuttings?
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:14 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

I don't think insects or deer really harm TPs at all, but there are fungal diseases which younger plants are very vulnerable to if the area is not kept dry and sanitary. I think the disease is called botrytis which is similar to dampening off in young seedlings.

I've never tried rooting cuttings before however I do have an idea of building a raised bed box over the entire TP so that soil can be backfilled onto it, and then the buds on the TP can become shoots which also send roots down as well, and once there are many roots formed, each of these shoots can become a new division in the fall once they are hardened off. This is basically a form of air layering, but with the entire plant, and I think it's better to cut off all the fower buds as they require a lot of energy to produce. I think cuttings don't always have that great of a success rate starting with no roots, and they may take a lot longer to become established plants. I just like them being well rooted before creating the separation which should happen perhaps mid September.

Here's a forum thread of someone who took cuttings successfully so I do believe it works.
Tree peony cutting, new root produced - Peonies Forum - GardenWeb
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I'm in zone 6 upstate NY, specialize in growing temperate cold hardy bamboos(mainly phyllostachys) and starting to get into bananas.

my picture website is http://www.flickr.com/photos/31489820@N02/

http://stevespeonygarden.blogspot.com/
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:01 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Mail Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

Yes, air layering and germinating from seeds are the preferred ways of propergating peonies accordong to some youtube videos I watched a while ago. And yes, I typically have to wait a year or more to plant some plants I rooted from cuttings as the root system are weak. After the long wait, some will still die after being planted in the ground if I don't keep a vigilant watch on them. I've recently lost a gardenia I rooted and planted two years ago. As the nearby pomegrante tree becomes more established, it hardly get any sun, and I waited too long before transplanting it.

Thank you for the link and have a nice day!
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

Another lesson I've learned about growing TP seeds is that they need to be planted a few inches deep to avoid getting washed up during the rain since some of the more shallow ones are coming up. Having them planted too close to the surface also makes them prone to freezes so I might have to add a little bit of leaf mulch to protect these guys. On some of them with plain out exposed roots, I had to add more soil over it to protect it for winter.

The fresh seeds that are barely below the surface seem to have some germinating already since soil temperatures are dropping through the 50s now for november, and perhaps more will break their dormancy through december, but with a couple thousand seeds in the ground, I do expect a few hundred to germinate next year. I believe that all of the ones that break their dormancy in the fall are the ones that will end up turning into healthy seedlings next spring. They are pretty intersting seeds because some of them will make roots within a couple of weeks while others may take a couple years to come out of dormancy depending on the freshness, species and time of year they are planted.

The ones that break their dormancy in the spring might not thrive, or may have to wait until the following season the sprout leaves. I currently have probably a couple dozen species of TP seeds in my garden beds from multiple sources so it will be very fun to see what comes up.
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I'm in zone 6 upstate NY, specialize in growing temperate cold hardy bamboos(mainly phyllostachys) and starting to get into bananas.

my picture website is http://www.flickr.com/photos/31489820@N02/

http://stevespeonygarden.blogspot.com/

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Old 02-23-2012, 03:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Germinating tree peony seeds

Just in case anyone was wondering, the earliest tree peony seedlings are starting to come up. There are only 4 so far, but I'm expecting a lot more. I just need to make sure they are never moved until around september when they have woody stems if they sprout too close together. Their leaves should be fully grown by some time in April, at least for the ones that germinate pretty early like these.





Here's one from last year.
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I'm in zone 6 upstate NY, specialize in growing temperate cold hardy bamboos(mainly phyllostachys) and starting to get into bananas.

my picture website is http://www.flickr.com/photos/31489820@N02/

http://stevespeonygarden.blogspot.com/
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