Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 New Peony Breaking Dormancy Too Early

Intersectional Peony 'Prairie Charm' Breaking Dormancy Too Early

This happens on occasion, new peony foliage breaking dormancy too early. It's happened before like this 2012 Newly Planted Peony Sprouting in Fall. That peony lived, but those early sprouts of foliage did not, which is not ideal since the newly divided root is wasting its limited energy reserves on foliage that does not live. Usually the new peony will live, but it will just take longer for it to become established and bloom. This situation usually occurs in peonies that are newly planted, especially here in the South since the weather is warmer here than the climate they were previously growing in. As is the case with this Intersectional Peony 'Prairie Charm' from Moscow, PA - which appears to be in growing zone 5b/6a. I am in growing zone 7b. So that is at least 1.5 growing zones to about 2 full growing zones colder than where I am.

Intersectional Peony 'Prairie Charm' With Extra Mulch

This time, I noticed the dormancy break early, and tried throwing some much over it to block the sun and hopefully keep the foliage from freezing. I am hoping that by blocking the sun, the sprout will not continue to grow, and I'm also hoping that by covering the sprout with mulch, the newly emerging foliage will be protected from the freezing cold temperatures. Our winter has been very weird this year so far. We were warm for most of December, then it finally got cold for a week or so. Then it got hot again, and now cold again. I'm guessing this is how the rest of winter will play out too. I hope this little plant will figure out that it's not time to sprout yet and stay under this new layer of mulch!

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