Sunday, August 4, 2013

2013 Peony Seed Pods & Peony Seed Collecting

Peony Seed Pod Full of Seeds

It's that time of year! Peony seed collecting time! Peony seeds are so easy to collect since they're so huge! The beautiful seeds pods start to burst open this time of year revealing those large, shiny, black seeds. Not all of my seed pods are mature yet. Some of them are not quite ripe and have not yet opened. Some others failed to be pollinated, and these too have not opened, but are generally smaller. Several of the seeds pods were opened, yet unfertilized and dry. I cut back these unfertilized empty seed pods, along with any blight I noticed near the top of the stem and discarded. For the seeds that were fertilized and ripened, ready to be picked, I collected these yesterday and put them in bags labeled with the plant variety and year. I plan to plant them out today, to hopefully give them a head start. If they are able to send out a root shoot this fall, then I may actually get a leaf next spring! So far this year I have collected seed from these peonies: 'Cream Delight', 'Early White', 'Gilbert Barthelot', 'Honor', 'Okinawa', 'Paula Fay', 'Pink Luau', 'Pink Princess', 'Roy Pehrson's Best Yellow', 'Salmon Dream', and 'White Cap'.

Failed Peony Seed Pod, No Seeds

Not all peonies will set seed. Some hybrids may be so crossed (like 2 species) and mutated (like full doubles), that it is impossible for them to set seed. Some plants set excessive amounts of seed! These plants may be useful for hybridizing, provided their qualities are suitable to your hybridizing goals. Even if you're just a backyard gardener who wants to grow something new, growing a peony from seed can be quite exciting and also an exercise in patience, to see what your baby (peony) will look like! :-)


  1. Some of my Japanese tree peony seeds have nice seed pods too, but still haven't opened up so I don't dare plant them yet.

    1. Steve,

      Nice! I'd love to see how many you get to germinate and what the flowers look like on any of your seedlings! :-)