Thursday, May 3, 2018

2018 Peony Hybridizing Season is Upon Us

Peony 'Martha W.' used for Hybridizing

It's that time of year again - time to cross pollinate your peonies. The peony pictured above is Peony 'Martha W.' with some blooms already pollinated. I was able to pollinate a few flowers before I left for my trip to China with some various tree peonies in my garden. There are also still a few more side buds that have yet to bloom that I can still pollinate now that I am back before the season is over. I cut off all of the open blooms yesterday and threw them away. Then I was able to cross a few of the unopened buds that were just beginning to show some color, with my new Tree Peony 'Lavender Grace' (2018 Klehms Song Sparrow Offers Tree Peony 'Lavender Grace' on Front Page of Web Site), which bloomed for the first time for me this year. Since I purchased it from Song Sparrow, and they are in a much colder growing zone, the tree peony developed and bloomed a bit later than the rest of my tree peonies, which have already finished blooming. If you haven't yet tried crossing peonies, it is a fun way to discover new varieties. It is not as hard as you think, and once you get the hang of it, it is really easy to make some of your own crossed seeds. Give it a try, and it if you don't succeed at first, just keep trying. It will come. Try, try again!

Tree Peony 'Lavender Grace' Pollen used for Hybridizing

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