Articles about Peony hybridizing
Showing posts with label hybridizing. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

2019 Peony Pollen Collection Tubes

I finally found something decent to put my tree peony pollen in, as I mentioned in my hybridizing article, 2019 Peony Hybridizing Season is Here! I bought these plastic tubes with screw on lids on Amazon last year. I didn't actually use them last year, though, as I purchased them right after tree peony season was over (and I decided I needed something better than just aluminum foil to save and store my pollen in). I have really been putting them to good use this year. I have collected 7 types of tree peony pollen so far this year - 'Angel Choir', 'Angel Emily', 'KC Red', 'Lavender Hill', 'Lavender Grace', 'Sahohime', and 'Shimadaijin'. I am so glad I purchased them, as they have really come in handy. I take them out into the garden when I want to pollinate some flowers, and then return them to the fridge when I am done.


Tree Peony Pollen in Plastic Tubes

I have been keeping them in the fridge with the lids off, but I plan to put the lids on and freeze them when I'm done with my hybridizing season for use in future years if I need them. At first I just put a little piece of tape on the lid with the pollen name on it, but then I also labeled the bottles too (so I will know what the pollen is when the lid is off). Also having the name on the lid and the bottle makes sure I don't intermix the pollen by putting the wrong lid on the wrong bottle. I also plan to write the year on them before I put them in the freezer, so I can keep track of how old they are, in case I need to throw some out in the future. If you'd like to get your own tubes for pollen collection, just search for "dime coin tubes". Yes, these are actually meant to hold coins! If you want to adjust the size to fit your needs, just look for the coin size you would prefer for your bottle circumference. Happy Pollinating!

Friday, April 19, 2019

2019 Peony Hybridizing Season is Here!


Bagged Peony 'Martha W.'

It's that time! Time to hybridize peonies!! Somehow between my new job, shuttling kids to/from school, homework, housework, etc. I have found a bit of time to start this important task of hybridizing my peonies! Perhaps it was my first success in hybridizing, getting my own intersectional peonies to finally germinate this year, 2019 I Finally DID IT! My First Intersectional Peony Seedling-s!, that propels me forward during this super busy time in my life. I am grateful to have this opportunity, and will do my best to make the most of it.


Bagged Pollinated Peony

This year was a little different than previous hybridizing years, in that my tree peony bloom season did not really overlap with my early herbaceous peony bloom season. Most years, I am able to harvest fresh pollen directly off of some of my tree peonies to pollinate the herbaceous peonies with. Not this year! This year, the only tree peony that is still in bloom with my herbaceous peonies is Tree Peony 'Angel Emily'. So this year, I saved most of my tree peony pollen in tubes in the fridge. (Luckily I had already purchased the tubes last year on Amazon.) I was planning to use the tubes (instead of aluminum foil) to freeze the pollen for use in future years as well. I will likely freeze any leftover refrigerated pollen this year to use in subsequent bloom seasons - which does work. Both of the intersectional peony seedlings that are now growing in my garden were made with pollen frozen from a previous year.


Bagged Pollinated Peony

I am planning to go outside now to pollinate a few more ripened buds this morning before work. However I am worried about the approaching storm today. I'm not sure if any of the hybridizing work I would do today will hold. The weather reports say we are expecting tornadoes, damaging winds, and possible flooding today. Perhaps I will bag a couple with paper bags today. Or perhaps I'll just go outside and remove these sheer bags (that were from 2 days ago, in hopes their pollination is complete) to make sure these pollinated peonies don't stay too soggy. Who knows? These could all be a wash, and I will start fresh on Saturday, after these severe storms have passed. We shall see...


Bagged Pollinated Peony

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

2019 I Finally DID IT! My First Intersectional Peony Seedling-s!

I can't believe it. I think just when you finally give up on something, it actually happens. Self doubt creeps in, you start second guessing all of your steps, trying to figure out where you went wrong, and begin to wonder if you will ever reach your goal. You start to think it may never happen, and then it does. All of the hard work you've put in all along begins to pay off. Those thoughts of failure suddenly turn into realizations of success! As soon as that goal is reached, the next one starts to materialize. There is always something new to strive for...


Intersectional Peony Seedling
'Martha W.' X Nate Bremer's Rainbow


Peony Seedlings 2017 Sign
'Martha W.' X Nate Bremer's Rainbow

Somehow after years of trying, an intentional peony cross of mine finally succeeded. These two particular intersectional seedlings started out as just a happen chance idea in 2016. During the 2016 APS Peony Convention Tour of Solaris Farms, I was learning quite a lot from Don Smith, and he asked Nate if he would allow him to collect tree peony pollen from his farm, and Nate graciously invited us to collect as much pollen as we liked. Don shared a few of his envelopes with me, and I went to work, following his lead. My eyes and heart led me towards the lavender and purple colored tree peonies. Tree Peony 'Wisteria Reflections' was blooming at the time of our visit, and this was one I collected pollen from and saved it in a separate envelope. Since Don Smith didn't have many envelopes to spare, I collected lots more pollen from a wide range of tree peony colors and put it all in one envelope, which I later labeled "Nate Bremer's Rainbow". :-)


Intersectional Peony Seedling - 'Martha W.' X 'Wisteria Reflections'


Intersectional Peony Seedling
'Martha W.' X 'Wisteria Reflections'

Since my bloom season was over by the time I got home, I froze the pollen in my freezer for use the next year. That was almost 3 years ago now, and I am just now seeing the fruits of that pollen. Also it looks like I planted the seeds a bit late that year in late November, 2017 Intersectional Peony Hybridizing Efforts. So maybe if I'd planted them sooner they would have sprouted a year earlier, but who knows? I am just happy I actually got it right this time, unlike the first year I got a seedling to sprout. The only thing that sprouted that year was an accidental herbaceous peony, 2017 First Intersectional Hybrid Seedling Sprouts!. The foliage of that first sprout and these is very obviously different. That 2017 sprout had very rounded foliage with a few "pest" notches where something had eaten a few bites out of each leaf, whereas these 2019 sprouts clearly have deeper cut notched foliage that is reminiscent of tree peonies. The coloring is also different. The 2017 seedling had more red colored foliage upon sprouting with a thicker substance. These 2019 seedlings have a very intersectional grayish colored overcast to them. Very exciting! Also you never know what that first herbaceous sprout from 2017 might be good for, perhaps a good future parent. Sometimes things happen for a reason...

Sunday, November 11, 2018

2018 Southern Peony Seedlings

Well, this year was a gorgeous year to capture some peony seedling photos. The neatest thing about seedlings is knowing that no one else in the world had the same peony as you. Deciding which ones are good enough to share with the world (and hopefully convince others of that same idea) is the hard part. I'm not sure how close I am into my first foray in that arena, but I thought I'd give you all a taste of what's growing in my peony seedling beds right now that excites me... These peonies are in order of bloom date.


Peony Seedling: P. Rockii Lavender


Bloom Date: Week 1 (Very Early)
RHS Color: Pink Violet 75C
Seed Planted: 2013
First Year Bloomed: 2017
Parents: Unknown (Purchased Seed)


P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony Seedling

This gorgeous P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony Seedling came from seed I purchased on Ebay from Cricket Hill Garden in 2013. It was the very first plant to bloom from the seeds they sent me. It actually first bloomed last year in 2017 (and somehow I missed getting an open bloom photo in its first year of bloom). Its first year sprouting was in 2014. So it bloomed in just 3 years! Also of all the seedlings they sent me, this one is the tallest. So this early blooming activity and increased height and size compared to its siblings really speaks to its vigor. I am planning to move this one this fall to a spot with more room, and a bit more sun to see what it can really do! This peony is a delight to grow since it is a very early bloomer, being only the 3rd peony of all my varieties to bloom in the spring. This gorgeous lavender pink color so early in the season is a welcome sight for sore eyes! Also none of the buds (so far) have suffered from a late spring frost. Wow! (Although it has only bloomed 2 years now, so I will have to continue to track its blooming habits.)

2013 P. Rockii Peony Seeds from Cricket Hill Garden
2018 P. Rockii Peony Seedling Has 2 Buds in Second Year of Bloom
2018 Third Peony Bloom of the Season - P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony Seedling


P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony Seedling


P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony Seedling



Peony Seedling: Early Pale Pink Double


Bloom Date: Week 3 (Early Mid)
RHS Color: Not Yet Rated
Seed Planted: 2008
First Year Bloomed: ? (first year double 2018)
Parents: 'Lavender Princess' X ?


Pale Pink Double Peony Seedling (Early)

I know this bloom photo looks a bit sad. I'm not sure if I caught a great photo of it or not. I'm hoping once I move this one it might do better. So the flower itself is not what interests me the most on this one, especially since this is the first time I've seen it bloom double. The most interesting thing about this seedling is the fact that it was the only double blooming in my yard at the time, April 22, 2018. No other double had yet to bloom. So this makes it seem like a rare occurrence to get such an early blooming lactiflora peony. Since this was the first year I've seen it bloom double, I need to move it to see if it continues to bloom double and bloom so early in the season. Also the flower and bush form needs to be checked when it is growing with adequate space.


Early Pale Pink Double Peony Seedling
at Bottom Center of Peony Seedling Bed



Peony Seedling: Mid Light Pink Semi-Double


Bloom Date: Week 5 (Mid Late)
RHS Color: Not Yet Rated
Seed Planted: ?
First Year Bloomed: ?
Parents: ?


Light Pink Semi-Double Peony Seedling (Mid)

This peony is also an early blooming seedling, this one being semi-double. It seems I failed to mark and capture data on this peony this year. So I'll need to pay better attention to it this spring to check the location and identity of this seedling. The semi-double light pink bloom is just gorgeous, and I can't wait to see how this one develops (and how the bush looks with lots of blooms on it). In this photo it kind of reminds me of Peony 'Silvia Saunders' (which I do not yet grow, so have only seen in photographs).


Peony Seedling: Mid White Anemone


Bloom Date: Week 5 (Mid Late)
RHS Color: White 155D
Seed Planted: 2013
First Year Bloomed: 2018
Parents: 'Pink Princess' X ?


White Anemone Peony Seedling (Mid)
1st Day Bloom

This pretty white peony seemed to 'pop' out of nowhere. This peony was the first to herbaceous seedling to bloom in my newer seedling bed, which I started planting in 2013. It is a cute anemone type peony, and it kind of reminds me of a white 'Gay Paree'. This is the first year it has bloomed, so I'm curious to see if it will change form next year.


White Anemone Peony Seedling (Mid)
2nd Day Bloom



Peony Seedling: Mid Late 'Lavender Ruffles' Semi-Double to Double


Bloom Date: Week 5-6 (Mid Late to Late)
RHS Color: Purple Pink N74C
Seed Planted: 2008
First Year Bloomed: 2014
Parents: 'Lavender Princess' X ?


'Lavender Ruffles' Peony Seedling

This peony which I've nicknamed 'Lavender Ruffles' has been a longtime favorite seedling of mine. It first impressed me with a semi-double bloom in 2014. Since that time it has been double and then back to semi-double and then it has even had some double, some semi-double on the same bush. I can't wait to see what it does next year! Maybe I will divide it next year to see how well it does with propagation. Peony 'Lavender Ruffles' is a seedling of 'Lavender Princess' from 2008. This peony is a later blooming peony. It is so nice to have a color like 'Lavender' with so many petals at a later time in the season! This peony seems to be quite floriferous with several blooms on each stem. Despite the multitude of blooms, the flowers seem to be able to stay off the ground. This one seems to be quite promising!

2014 Favorite Peony Seedling - Semi-Double Pink Violet
2014 Transplant Lavender Ruffles Peony Seedling
2015 Lavender Ruffles Peony Seedling Becomes Double


'Lavender Ruffles' Peony Seedling


'Lavender Ruffles' Peony Seedling


'Lavender Ruffles' Peony Seedling



Peony Seedling: Mid Late Light Pink Double


Bloom Date: Week 6 (Late)
RHS Color: Not Yet Rated
Seed Planted: ?
First Year Bloomed: ?
Parents: ?


Light Pink Double Peony Seedling

This peony is newly double for me. I'm not sure exactly when it started blooming, but it did have 3 large size very double blooms all on one stem this year. The flowers were so big and so heavy that all three of the massively-petaled flowers weighed down the single stem they were carried on until they bent the stem under their weight. I'm not sure if I noticed these blooms upon first opening. So I didn't bother taking a color reading until perhaps next year. It looks like I need to capture a few more data points about this seedling too.


Peony Seedling: Mid Late Hot Pink Double / Bomb


Bloom Date: Week 6 (Late)
RHS Color: Not Yet Rated
Seed Planted:
First Year Bloomed:
Parents: ?

This peony has a nice bright hot pink color (which I haven't seem to have color matched yet), and I like how late it blooms, but I'm just not sure about how well it can keep the flowers off the ground. I like that it has a late bloom season to add some color to the garden when the other peonies have finished. It kind of reminds me of 'Karl Rosenfield'. So I'd like to see how this one might be able to differentiate itself. My 'Karl Rosenfield' seems to be very susceptible to black spot/blight. Let's hope this peony is a bit more resistant.

2015 New Hot Pink Double in Peony Seedling Test Bed
2015 Transplant Promising Hot Pink Double Seedling


Hot Pink Double / Bomb Peony Seedling


Hot Pink Double / Bomb Peony Seedling Buds


Hot Pink Double / Bomb Peony Seedling

Monday, November 5, 2018

2018 Dismal Seed Production Year


Empty Peony 'Martha W.' Seed Pods

It was a very dismal year for seed production, especially for the intersectional hybrids I'm working on. I actually got zero seeds! (Zero!), which is very disappointing considering I used so many different varieties of tree peony pollen this year, many frozen and several fresh too! I'm guessing it must have something to do with the weather, since the seed production on many of my other lactiflora peonies was almost nil as well. When I look back at the weather history for April of this year - 2018, it looks like most nights were in the 40s and 50s, but we did get a few 30s later in the month. On 4/17 it was 33°, on 4/20 it was 34°, on 4/21 it was 37°, and on 4/30 it was 36°. Even my Peony 'Green Lotus' and Peony 'Pink Spritzer' (which are usually loaded with seeds) produced nothing as well. The seed pods on my Peony 'Martha W.' plants grew and swelled normally (as if they were incubating lots of fresh black seeds), but when they popped open there was nothing inside but tiny, black failed seeds. Oh well, I guess there's always another opportunity next year, and there's still hoping some of the seeds from previous years (2016 First Intersectional Peony Seeds! and 2017 Intersectional Peony Hybridizing Efforts) will germinate this spring. We shall see...

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

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 Intersectional Peony Hybridizing Efforts

I meant to keep better records this year, I really did, but I didn't. Oh, well. I'm just lucky I got them in the ground! I know I had three types of intersectional peony crosses that were successful in producing seed this year: Peony 'Martha W.' X Tree Peony 'Angel Emily', Peony 'Martha W.' X Tree Peony 'Wisteria Reflections', and Peony 'Martha W.' X Nate Bremer's Rainbow (Tree Peony Pollen Mix). I wasn't able to get any seed from my Peony 'Lemon Chiffon' this year. It didn't have a good year for blooms. I can't remember if it was the cold or the rain, but Mother Nature got the blooms this year, and I wasn't able to hybridize with them. Hopefully better luck this coming spring...

Intersectional Peony Seed Harvest

I also can't remember how many of each seed I got/planted. I know the intersectional peony seed harvest count was much higher this year than last year. Last year I had 7 seeds with my first ever First Intersectional Peony Seeds!. This year, there were probably more than 30 seeds (20+ from Nate Bremer's Rainbow, 5+ from 'Angel Emily', and 5+ from 'Wisteria Reflections'). I harvested them at the end of July, but I didn't get them planted until about a month ago (late November). I think I waited a bit too long to plant them, as some of them had cracked open already. (Maybe those weren't the viable seeds anyway. Who knows???) The Tree Peony 'Wisteria Reflections' pollen and the Nate Bremer's Rainbow tree peony pollen were frozen from the 2016 APS Peony Convention Tour of Solaris Farms. The Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' pollen was fresh from my own tree peony that I've been growing since 2014. I'm guessing the turnout won't be great, but I still can't wait to see what comes up this spring. Maybe some of my 2016 intersectional seeds will sprout this year too! Happy New Year, everyone!

Intersectional Peony Seed Planting

Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017 In Love with Tree Peony 'Angel Emily'


Tree Peony 'Angel Emily'

I can't help it! I'm in love! Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' is the best tree peony I've ever grown. Not that I have grown that many of them (but I have grown a few - at least tried to grow and tried and tried). Okay, I've killed a couple tree peonies along the way, and it seems like none of them really ever want to get established, but Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' is a totally different story! This tree peony actually grows and grows and grows bigger each year - and more beautiful, with more blossoms on it. This year it actually had 3 blooms on it, and they were all this gorgeous shade of lavender. One of the blooms had already finished, and these two blooms opened a bit later.

Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' Blooms

It's like this tree peony grows how tree peonies are actually supposed to grow. I haven't quite had a tree peony yet to impress me. Sometimes I'd get a couple blooms the first year from the grafted stems of a tree peony, then I'd get no blooms, then the plant might get smaller, or sometimes just grow the same size as it was the year before (very dissappointing). However Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' has been a totally different story. I think it had a bud on it the first year, but it didn't mature, the next year had no buds, but the bush got larger and larger. You could tell it was adapting and growing. The next year (this year), the bush was even larger and had three blooms on it. I can't wait to see what it does next year!

Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' Bloom

I was even able to use some fresh pollen from this gorgeous tree peony to pollinate the blooms on my herbaceous Peony 'Martha W.' during the 2017 Good Peony Hybridizing Weather we had last week. So even if the year old pollen I had in the freezer doesn't work, at least I will have tried some fresh pollen too! We will see which pollen actually does a better job at producing seeds. It would be great to get some intersectional peony seeds from this cross, especially since lavender and purple are my favorite colors. :-) We shall see...

Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' Bush

Thursday, April 20, 2017

2017 Good Peony Hybridizing Weather


Pollinated Peony Bloom Protected by Sheer Bag

I'm not sure how, but somehow this week I have managed to get up early enough every day for the last week to get my pollen out of the freezer, go outside with a trash can, scissors, pollen, and bags/tags to work on hybridizing Peony 'Martha W.' - all before getting the kids ready and out the door for school/preschool and then getting myself ready for work! :-D I think my first failure - 2017 Intersectional Peony Hybridizing Failure - has made me even more determined to succeed.

Frozen Pollen and Bags for Protection

The weather has mostly cooperated. It has been quite dry now for a couple of weeks. Doing this hybridzing work to remove the petals and stamens and then applying a pollen to the stigmas for all these days in a row, and has made me come to appreciate the dry weather we've been having. I wouldn't want all of this pollen to just get washed right off! However the non-hybridizing, peony grower side of me keeps wishing for the rain!

First Day Peony Crosses Protected By Paper Bags

Many of the peonies in my garden are still growing leaves and flower buds and need additional moisture to grow well. The pollen I've been using is frozen from pollen I collected last year at the convention during the 2016 APS Peony Convention Tour of Solaris Farms. Nate Bremer very generously told all of his visitors that they were welcome to collect as much pollen as the would like. So I'm hoping that some of this tree peony pollen that has been frozen for one year is still good! Only time will tell.

Second Day Peony Crosses Protected By Sheer Bags

I have been keeping the pollinated blooms protected with a paper bag the first day and then a breathable, transparent bag the second day. I'm hoping this helps the pollination rates. Last year I used only the paper bags, and left them on the plant for much too long. I believe this had a negative impact on the number of fertilized seeds that were able to develop. Let hope this idea - sparked by Nate's mention that he was using cotton muslin bags as an experiment - will work!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

2017 New Peony Seedling 'Pink Zebra'


Peony 'Pink Zebra'

Wow! What a surprise to find this interesting animal in my peony bed this week. This peony had quite an interesting pattern on it with light and dark pink stripes that extend all the way down the petal. I don't think I've seen anything quite like it. It kind of reminds me of a pink zebra! So for now, I have nicknamed it Peony 'Pink Zebra'. I will definitely be moving this one to my peony seedling test bed to keep a closer eye on it next year. I am wondering if it will keep the stripes next year.

Pink Striped Petal Herbaceous Peony

I'm also wondering if it will be as floriferous as its mother, an unknown white peony that is the most floriferous peony I've ever grown! It was sold to me as Peony 'Seraphim', but obviously it is not. The APS Cultivar Registry for 'Seraphim' clearly states "Less tall than Chalice, with flowers not so huge. Abundant bloomer. White single. Earlier than Chalice." This peony is definitely an abundant bloomer and a white single form peony. However this plant blooms about 10 days later than 'Chalice'. Whoever it is, I hope its babies will inherit that floriferousness that fills that plant like their mother. I will be curious to see how many blooms appear on Peony 'Pink Zebra' in the next few springs!

Unknown White Floriferous Peony
Peony 'Pink Zebra''s Mother

Friday, April 14, 2017

2017 Intersectional Peony Hybridizing Failure

I don't think I need an expert opinion to see that this seedling looks like an herbaceous peony. That's too bad. It was so exciting when I first saw this baby pop up 2017 First Intersectional Hybrid Seedling Sprouts!, and was wondering what it might look like someday. I guess I can still wonder, but the results probably won't be what I was hoping for. Oh, well. It looks like it is time to get back to work. This year's hybridizing season is upon us. The peonies are starting to bloom, and its time to try to make some new crosses! If at first you don't succeed, try, try again! (until you do!). :-)

Intersectional Hybridizing Attempt Failed

Friday, March 24, 2017

2017 First Intersectional Hybrid Seedling Sprouts!


First Intersectional Hybrid Seedling Sprouts

I can't believe it! Yesterday when I was pulling a few weeds from the bed near the house, I noticed something! Something special. Something I'd been waiting on. Something that was taking so long, I thought it might not come until next year - My First Intersectional Hybrid Seedling Sprout! Wow! That is just an amazing feeling! I did it (with some help from my friends). I can't believe it. I am so excited!!! Now I feel like I have a lot more responsibility. It almost feels like a have another child, and I need to make sure it becomes an adult, watch over it, help it grow, and make sure it stays out of trouble. LOL!

Peony 'Martha W.' Intersectional Seedlings 2016 Sign

Since I've never seen an intersectional peony hybrid seedling before, I guess I cannot be sure that this is definitely a tree/herbaceous peony hybrid. However just looking at the foliage, it seems a little different than my regular herbaceous peony seedlings. The edges of the foliage seems a little less even, and the leaf substance seems a little more billowy and rounded. I will get an expert opinion to double check. If you missed the beginning of this intersectional peony journey, and you'd like to read up on the process to get to this, you might want to read up on a few of my previous posts - 2015 Hybridizing Peony Martha W., 2016 Intersectional Peony Hybridizing Seed Pods, 2016 First Intersectional Peony Seeds!, 2016 Planting First Intersectional Peony Seeds.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 Transplant Late Blooming Dark Pink Herbaceous Peony

Transplanted Peony of Interest's
Pink Bud
Transplanted Peony's
Faded Tag

I know it is super late in the season (read: past the season) to transplant peonies. However, I took advantage of the 62° day we had this week (now that the snow and ice has melted) to transplant a peony that looked promising to me last spring. It is a dark pink herbaceous peony, and I had tagged it as "WATCH LATE BLOOMER" at the end of the peony bloom season. It was particularly interesting to me because it was the only peony blooming after all of the other peonies in the bed had finished blooming. That is a valuable peony to have. I am curious to see when and how it blooms next spring. So I moved it from a crowded seedling bed to a less crowded seedling bed. Since I missed getting pictures of the blooms last spring, I will be sure to get some photos of its flowers when it blooms.

Transplanted Peony's Roots and Brown Stem

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2016 First Intersectional Peony Seeds!


First Intersectional Peony Seeds from Peony 'Martha W.'

Well, the seed pods from my first intersectional peony crosses (herbaceous peony X tree peony) finally popped open, and I found (drum roll, please - dun tah duh duh) - 7 seeds! I know it's not a lot, but it's something! Now I'm just trying to figure out where to plant them. I want to make sure they all live, but I'm definitely not up for keeping them indoors with grow lights. So I'm going to have to figure out the safest, most fertile, and most likely to germinate place to grow them. I'm thinking it should be somewhere close to the house so that they will be more protected from wildlife and also have soil with more moisture since the ground near the house gets some extra water run off from rain storms.

Failed Intersectional Seed Pod on Peony 'Martha W.'

Not all of the seed pods that swelled actually produced seed. There were some that swelled, but when they popped open, it was obvious that there were no viable seeds inside. The seed pod developed, but the seeds did not. You can see inside the failed seeds pods miniature seed like vessels hanging from each side of the pod wall. However even though not all swollen pods produced seed, I was able to successfully produce seed on two different herbaceous peony mother plants - Peony 'Martha W.' and Peony 'Lemon Chiffon'. There were 5 seeds from Peony 'Martha W.' and 2 seeds from Peony 'Lemon Chiffon'.

Peony 'Lemon Chiffon' with Tree Peony Pollen Tag

I can't wait to see what kinds of plants these seeds grow into. It just seems wild thinking about the unique genetic code that lies within each of these tiny seeds. I am so excited to see them sprout! Also these seeds were hybridized with tree peony pollen that was given to me. This year at the 2016 American Peony Society Convention, I was able to collect some tree peony pollen of my own, most of it coming from the 2016 APS Peony Convention Tour of Solaris Farms. There were a rainbow of tree peonies blooming in those beautiful gardens. It will be very exciting to see what and how many intersectional peony seeds I will be able to generate next year from the tree peony pollen I collected this year.

First Intersectional Peony Seeds from Peony 'Lemon Chiffon'