Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2015 Peony Experiment - Planting 2 Year Old Root

Label of Peony Root Box with Postmark 10/22/2013

So this wasn't really an intentional experiment, more like an accidental experiment... I apparently purchased this peony root, Peony 'Silver Dawn Mix', with the best of intentions in the APS Convention Auction. However little did I know that by the time the root arrived I would be experiencing morning sickness that not only caused me to cancel my Fall Harvest party that year, but also kept these peonies in their box in my garage waiting to be planted for two years! This box has been sitting there and sitting there and sitting there, and after a while I kept debating in my head whether to trash the box or open it. It has been sitting there so long I kind of forgot how long it had been there. I was thinking it had only been one year, but then I looked at the date on the box 10/22/2013 - almost two years to the day! Well, I decided to open it and see what was in there.
Peony Root Box
from 2 Years Ago
Opening Peony Root Box
from 2 Years Ago

Wow, I must tell you that Oregon Perennial did a spectacular job of packing this peony. I expected it to be either covered in mold or completely disintegrated, or both! However it was neither! The box contained a beautiful peony root inside a plastic bag filled with peat moss. It almost seemed as if it was shipped this year! It has started to grow a few small, white feeder roots and the buds were perfectly visible, not even sprouted one bit. It seems to have survived in a happy semi-dormant state in this box in my garage for two years so far.

2 Year Old Peony 'Silver Dawn Mix' Root
in a Bag of Peat Moss Inside of the Box

2 Year Old Peony 'Silver Dawn Mix' Root

So I planted it, and hence this experiment. I am a little afraid it might wake up in our warm, sunny fall and start to grow, only to be killed by the first frost. However I am crossing my fingers and hoping for the best that it survives (and hopefully stays dormant until spring)! I'll let you know how this "experiment" turns out... ;-)

Planting 2 Year Old Peony 'Silver Dawn Mix' Root

1 comment:

  1. I've had the same experience, and it really does have to do with the packing I think. Too little moisture to the peat, and they will dry out. Too much, and they will sprout. Just the right amount, and they stay in a sort of suspended animation. There is probably some sort of change to the…whatever it is that makes up the food substance of the root, but it really is amazing how good they can look after such a long time, if given the right storage conditions.