Tuesday, March 13, 2018

2018 Late Snow and Freezing Temps on Popped Peonies

You know that most recent Nor'easter? Well, it seems this one went more east than north. I guess this year will be another opportunity to see which early peonies' buds get blasted (like in 2015 Saunders Peony Varieties Frozen Bud Blast) by yet another round of extremely cold weather after weeks of above freezing temperatures. This was the scene last night as I arrived home after picking up my daughter - snow covering peonies that were already growing, some over a foot and a half high!

Southern Peonies Popped & Covered in Snow

After about another hour of heavy snow, the snow-covered sprouted peonies looked like this - leaning stems, sad looking and hung over by the loads of icy precipitation. Let's hope the damage is temporary. The snow should melt well tomorrow, but it looks like those stems and buds are going to have another challenge facing them. Now the weather forecast is calling for 4 out of the next 5 nights to have below freezing temperatures, with 3 of those nights in the 20s! Yikes!

Southern Peonies Covered in Snow with Hung Over Stems

Most of the intersectionals are not quite as high as some of the herbaceous peonies, but they have already started to pop up too. I'm hoping they will not be as affected as the early peonies, but I know from experience that a late freeze can definitely have an effect on them, 2016 Intersectional Peonies Suffered Frozen Bud Blast. Many of my intersectional peonies are much more mature this year, so if we do get a bud killing winter blast, I should be able to rate many more of them this year.

Southern Intersectional Peony Covered in Snow


  1. So how did things turn out with this ? We often get the same thing here, and generally things are fine as far as bloom goes, but the carpals on those same blooms can be injured to the point where they don't make seeds. My feeling has always been that growing conditions prior to frosts like this can make a big difference in how things turn out too.

    1. Bob,

      We did have some damage, but we also did have some blooms. When I tried to look back on the records, it seems I missed too big of a chunk of my bloom season this year (when I went to China). So I wasn't able to collect enough data points to give a good definitive answer on this.

      Hopefully I will be able to capture more data next time. (Better yet - hopefully we won't have such a big late freeze this year so I get more blooms and less bud blast. I like blooms!) :D