Articles about Peony tree
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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

2019 American Peony Society Gold Medal Winner Tree Peony 'Angel Emily'

Tree Peony 'Angel Emily'
2019 APS Gold Medal Winner

I could not have picked a better APS Gold Medal Winner than this year's 2019 American Peony Society Gold Medal Winner - Tree Peony 'Angel Emily'. This peony was hybridized by Bill Seidl and registered by Bill Seidl and Nate Bremer in 2013. I'm wondering if this is the quickest awarded Gold Medal (in terms of registration date vs. award date). This one made it to APS Gold Medal status in just 6 years! When I first saw this peony (and discovered Solaris Farms in 2013) this tree peony was already sold out, but I just knew I had to have it (lavender being my favorite color and this thing being absolutely loaded with blooms on the web site photo). So I waited patiently for the next catalog and was able to order this one right away in 2014.

Tree Peony 'Angel Emily'
2019 APS Gold Medal Winner

Ever since this Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' has graced my garden, it has been the best growing tree peony I have ever grown (and I've tried quite a few) and been named a Southern Peony Best Performer, 2018 Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' Best Performer - Week 3. I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Seidl during the 2016 APS Convention, 2016 Peony 'Dreamtime' Pollen from Bill Seidl's Garden. He died that same year. I only wish he'd lived long enough to see one of his beauties earn the Gold Medal. Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' has never failed to disappoint me, and it quite reliable and gorgeous every year. I hope you are able to snag one for yourself (if you don't already grow one)!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

2019 Tree Peony 'KC Red' Blooms for the First Time

Tree Peony 'KC Red'

Wow! I must say I was thrilled to see the blooms open on my new Tree Peony 'KC Red'. I actually won (by bidding on) this peony in the 2018 American Peony Society Convention Auction. It was donated by Adelman Peony Gardens. The root they sent was huge, and the growth it has put on this year is evident in the high quality root they sent. It has two huge buds in its first year! I just had to capture the color of the bloom. It was a little hard to match its color to just one card, but I think the RHS "Dark Pink Red" 53C is the closest match. It's also a little hard to capture the true color of the flower. The top photo is the best representation, as the white card in the photo, helps white balance the camera. All together it is a gorgeous flower, and I would highly recommend bidding on it if it comes up in this year's APS Convention Auction, as it looks like it is already sold out at Solaris Farms this year, and I don't see it as an offering at Adelman Peony Gardens.

Tree Peony 'KC Red'

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

2019 Peony Experiments - Moving White Tree Peonies Successful

Well, I would say that my 2018 Peony Experiments - Move Mislabeled White Tree Peonies was quite successful. Perhaps it was because all of the tree peonies were very young, but all of them came through with flying colors. All of the buds that developed last fall did or will bloom this spring. I am excited to see how these tree peonies will grow in their new homes at the edge of the tree line instead of in the middle of the tree peony garden. Also I removed two very large tulip poplar tree from the tree peony garden area last fall, 2018 More Light for Tree Peonies, Sweet Gum Ball & Poplar Trees Gone! So these also are getting more light this spring than they have ever had before. So that could also be a contributing factor. Also all of these tree peonies I moved are P. Ostii seedlings. So perhaps these tree peonies are more tolerant to being moved.

P. Ostii Tree Peonies Moved Last Fall

Any way you slice it, I would say this experiment was definitely successful, and I would probably move tree peonies again in the future, especially young ones, as they seem to recover and adapt easily to their new surroundings. I can't wait to see how these young tree peonies grow and fill out (and hopefully) become covered in blooms! I think the moral of this story is that tree peonies can be moved and moved successfully. So if you are considering moving a tree peony, don't be afraid to do it (especially if the new home will have better growing conditions - like more sunlight!) Happy Growing!

P. Ostii Tree Peonies Moved Last Fall

Thursday, April 4, 2019

2019 Second Peony Bloom of the Season, Tree Peony 'Lavender Grace'

Tree Peony 'Lavender Grace'

My second peony bloom of the season opened today. I've had several other p. ostii seedlings open subsequently, aside from my 2019 First Peony Bloom of the Season!, Tree Peony 'White Phoenix'. Since all of the subsequent openings have all been unnamed seedlings, I'm not counting them. So there was actually a pretty big gap between the first and second peony blooms opening this year, from March 29th to April 4th. That's pretty much a whole week, just one day shy! I guess that means I need to keep collecting more tree peonies to fill in the gap!

Tree Peony 'Lavender Grace'
with Three Buds

I can't say I am super impressed by the lavender color in the peony (since it seems to be a bit on the pinkish side), but the color is still nice. It is also great to have such a colorful early blooming peony. I am also very excited to see how much it has grown since last year. It went from 1 bud in it first growing season last year to 4 buds in its second growing season this year! All of the buds look big and fat and healthy too (like they will all open)! As you can see it is already growing a second stem from below ground this year which also has it own bud. So it seems to be quite vigorous and floriferous. I'm looking forward to the rest of the buds opening and to seeing how it does next year as well. :-) The

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

2019 Color Showing on Tree Peony Buds

Tree Peony 'Lavender Grace'

I was excited to see some color starting to show on some of my tree peony buds today. Purple and lavender are my favorite colors so I am definitely excited to see the blooms on Tree Peony 'Lavender Grace' again this year. I just purchased and planted Tree Peony 'Lavender Grace' last year, 2018 Spring Tree Peony Planting 'Kinkaku' & 'Lavender Grace' after seeing it in 2018 Klehms Song Sparrow Offers Tree Peony 'Lavender Grace' on Front Page of Web Site. I did get to see one bud open on it last year, and this year it seems to have 3 buds growing! Let's hope all three of those buds open!

Tree Peony 'Yao Huang' 姚黃 (Yao's Yellow)

Tree Peony 'Yao Huang' was the second peony to open last year, 2018 Second Peony Bloom of the Season - 'Yao's Yellow' 姚黃 (Yao Huang), opening on the same day as Tree Peony 'White Phoenix'. This year Tree Peony 'White Phoenix' has already bloomed, now 5 days ago! These colorful tree peonies are definitely biding their time a bit more this year. My Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' already lost 3 buds this year, 2019 Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' Snapped Off! At least there are still lots more buds left, though. I think it would have had 11 buds before those 3 were snapped off. So now I guess we're down to 8 buds for this year. Oh well, 8 is better than none! I still can't wait to see them open!!!

Tree Peony 'Angel Emily'

Friday, March 29, 2019

2019 First Peony Bloom of the Season!

Yay! It's finally here! I have been anticipating this moment for quite some time, and now it is here. I thought I'd be ready this year, but for some reason I am already feeling behind. I have a large load of free mulch sitting in my driveway (which I am very thankful for), and I have a new job I just started 2 weeks ago (which I am also very thankful for), and now it is peony season (which I am also very, very thankful for). Let's just say there's a lot going on right now... I guess that's how it usually goes, though. Feast or famine. The trick is not to eat too much at the feast, I guess. (And maybe save a little for the famine...)

First Bloom of the Season
Tree Peony 'White Phoenix'

Anyway, Tree Peony 'White Phoenix' was the first peony to bloom in my garden this year, pretty much the same as last year. Tree Peony 'White Phoenix' and a dwarf red fernleaf hybrid both bloomed together on the first day of the season last year on April 2nd. So it looks like our peony season is starting just a couple days earlier this year. I don't think I saw any blooms open on the red fernleaf hybrid yet this year. Tree Peony 'Yao Huang' ('Yao's Yellow') bloomed the day after Tree Peony 'White Phoenix' last year. Tree Peony 'Yao Huang' looks like it is about to pop open. So let's see if it blooms 2nd again this year.

Monday, March 11, 2019

2019 Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' Snapped Off!

Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' Stem Missing

Oh my! Imagine my surprise yesterday when I went to check on my tree peonies, and I discovered that my favorite tree peony, Tree Peony 'Angel Emily', had been snapped off! And not just in one place, but in three places! All three of those young branches had a bud and would have later had a bloom on them, but alas my tree peony will be at least 3 blooms lighter this spring! I'm not sure what did it, but I'm guessing it was the deer. Not only did they snap it off, they didn't even bother to even eat the tender shoots, they just left them there lying on the ground as evidence.

Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' Evidence aka Broken Shoots

I was planning to put some hair out anyway since my daughter had recently cleaned her brush for me. So now I knew just what I was going to protect with it. The funny thing is none of the other tree peonies in my garden had been "sheared", not even the Tree Peony 'Lavender Hill', which sits right next to Tree Peony 'Angel Emily', which has even bigger buds on it than 'Angel Emily' right now. (I may actually get to see a bloom on that Tree Peony 'Lavender Hill' this year. Every other year the cold has killed the buds, 2018 Cold Damage Tree Peony 'Lavender Hill'. Keep your fingers crossed for me!) Also the deer had never bothered this peony or any in this area before (close to the road), so I hadn't bothered to protect it previously. I guess now I know...

Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' Three Stems Broken Off

If you have a slight problem with deer, then this trick has usually worked pretty well for me. I'm guessing if you have several herds that visit your yard frequently it may not help, but if you only get occasional visitors, this seems to work for me. Just take a small bit of hair from your hairbrushes or combs and put it around any buds you'd really like to protect. I have never had a deer mess with a bud with hair on it (so far). My grandmother used to collect hair from beauty shops and put it in old stockings to hang up in her garden, which is where I got the idea from. It has helped me keep the deer off several things they like to eat like oriental lilies, rose bushes, hydrangeas, etc.

Human Hair on Tree Peony 'Angel Emily'

I tried to cover at least a few buds on almost all of my tree peonies. So hopefully they won't get any more ideas about trying to munch on (or play with) my tree peony buds. Good thing they don't eat herbaceous peonies!!! Since I had a few broken tree peony stems with buds on them, I decided to open one up to see what an immature bud looks like during development. All of the petals are green. I guess they get their beautiful colorings later as they mature/age. Even the anthers are a bit yellowish green as well. Oh well, I guess that was neat to see. I never would have ruined a bud to look at that otherwise...

Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' Immature Bud Opened Up

Friday, February 1, 2019

2019 Tree Peonies Starting to Peek Out

Unknown White Tree Peony

It's been a month since I first snapped a few photos of my tree peonies in January, 2019 New Year Holds (Peony) Promise! Although it is only February, I can already see some movement in the buds. I'm not sure if it is the temperatures or the length of our days that they are responding to (or maybe a combination of both), but they are definitely starting to grow a bit. Although tree peonies have been slow to start taking hold for me, I am starting to enjoy growing them a bit more. Also you get to watch them come to life long before the herbaceous and intersectional peonies start to wake up. If you don't yet grow any tree peonies, I'd definitely recommend trying one or two. They are certainly entertaining in these long winter months...

Tree Peony 'White Phoenix'

Tree Peony 'Chojuraku'

Tree Peony 'Yao Huang'

Tree Peony "Chinese Pink" Seedling

Tree Peony 'Sahohime'

Monday, January 7, 2019

2019 Planting Chinese Peonies from Ebay

Chinese Tree Peony Order on Ebay

So I ordered these tree peonies on Ebay last August, and I just got around to planting them on the first of the year. I guess you could say I'm thinking these probably won't be correct. There weren't cheap, but they weren't that expensive either. Each of the orders was for 2 roots and it was $22.99 with free shipping. So I ended up with 4 roots altogether, but after opening the box and looking at the roots, I wasn't very motivated to plant them since they didn't really look like tree peonies to me. They looked like herbaceous roots. Also all 4 roots were in the same bag, and none of them were labeled for variety. I figured these were probably too good to be true, but I haven't seen anyone else offering tree peonies like these, and I actually did see the purple tree peony on my trip to China, 2018 Southern Peony Visits Shenzhou Peony Garden 神州牡丹园, (and it was my most favorite peony that I saw on the whole trip).

Chinese Purple Tree Peony

The color of the purple tree peony I photographed is not quite this blue toned (so obviously this photo was altered), but it was a lovely shade of lavender-pink-purple and it has this same "bomb" type peony flower form. So I had to try anyway since I really, really want one of those purple tree peonies. Who knows if I will ever find one, though? The roots however were a solid mass of crown with tons of eyes on them, no woody stems, and very little to no feeder roots. I'm sure they will live, but they will probably take many years to flower, and most likely they will be some type of herbaceous peony. I feel a little disappointed already, but my quest for the purple bomb type tree peony will go on, and I will just add the results of these roots to my 2018 Ebay Peony Seller Reviews, whenever they bloom and show their true colors!

'Qui Ball' Light Pink Tree Peony

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 New Year Holds (Peony) Promise!

Wow! Happy 2019! I can't believe another year is done, and another one has already begun! Although time passes quickly I am always trying to make the most of it. There is always something to tidy up (in the house or garden). Since I've had the trees removed, 2018 More Light for Tree Peonies, Sweet Gum Ball & Poplar Trees Gone!, I've finished up putting out the beautiful bright colored mulch that was left behind, 2018 Mulch for Peonies from Tree Removal, found a bit of time to move a few tree peonies, 2018 Peony Experiments - Move Mislabeled White Tree Peonies, and also tuck a few last minute peony roots into the ground. I hope you've had time to clean up your garden and finish up any last minute gardening tasks you wanted to complete as well. If not, then you've got a whole new year!

Pink Lateral Tree Peony Bud

Yellow Terminal Tree Peony Bud

Now the waiting game has begun. I am so looking forward to seeing how my tree peonies perform this year, now that they have more sun. While I'm waiting I decided to take a few photos of some of the fat tree peony buds in my garden. Yes, it is only January 1st, and some of them are already a bit fat (actually I took these photos on New Year's Eve - December 31st). By the time April rolls around, the will be about to burst. It's so nice to see the different shapes, sheath colors, and bud colors on the tree peonies. Since we don't have any actual peony blooms yet, I thought I'd entertain you with a bit of anticipation and promise for peonies in the new year, not to mention these tree peony buds are a colorful lot too!

Tree Peony Lateral Bud

Tree Peony Lateral Bud

It's also kind of neat to see how different tree peonies have different shapes and colors of buds. The yellow bud it actually from Tree Peony 'Yao's Yellow'. So its buds kind of match its flowers since they are both yellow hued. Most of these tree peony buds pictured here are white flowering tree peonies, having pink buds. The middle tree peony bud photo is of the lavender P. rockii tree peony seedling that I am starting to watch. It's buds appear to be the lightest pink of this lot. The flowers on that tree peony open a lovely shade of lavender pink. I can't wait to see it bloom again! Happy New Year!

Tree Peony Terminal Bud

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Peony Experiments - Move Mislabeled White Tree Peonies

Replanted White Tree Peony

I just had to sneak in one more project before the end of the year. This spring I tagged 4 of my tree peonies that are all white singles. Three of these were mislabeled tree peonies I bought on Ebay that I recorded in my 2018 Ebay Peony Seller Reviews. The last one was one of the tree peonies I got from Ali Express - very inexpensively, 2014 Chinese Tree Peonies from Ali Express. I couldn't just let these perfectly good tree peonies go to waste (just because they weren't the color I ordered), so I decided to reuse them as a border around the back edge of my woods behind my tree peony garden and along my garden path that leads to my outdoor covered swing. Some of these seem like P. ostii and there may be a P. rockii or two mixed in there as well.

White Tree Peony Being Replanted

Supposedly tree peonies resent being moved. So I guess you could say this might be an experiments of sorts. Since there of 4 of them, I might have a lot of built up resentment come spring, but I hope not. I'm hoping since I just removed 2 very large tulip poplars that were directly shading them, they will forgive me quickly and the additional sunshine will make up for any potentially severed roots. I tried not to sever too many roots, but a few of them did get - let's just say - "separated". I think most of them were intact. :-) I am anticipating that some of these may even bloom again this spring. I will let you know how they fare and whether I get any blooms out of them come spring.

White Tree Peony Roots

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

2018 Planting Tree Peony Seeds from Luoyang China

Peony Seeds from Luoyang China with Garden Stakes

It took me a lot longer to figure out how to label these 2018 Tree Peony Seeds from Luoyang, China than it did to actually plant them. I did get them planted last week though, before our big snow, 2018 7 Inches of Snow on Southern Peony Gardens! (just in time, I guess!) I don't know what if anything they will do, but we shall see in the spring, if not spring 2019, then spring 2020, I suppose. I ended up laminating the photos of the seeds and attaching those to some copper garden stakes I had on hand. Since they didn't have an English name printed on them, I couldn't easily print a Brother label for them. Just in case they don't do much, I didn't want to have my husband go to the trouble of trying to figure out the translation for each of them.

Chinese Tree Peony Photo Garden Stakes

So what I did to create these garden stakes was first write a number on every paper and every plastic bag (1-20) so I could keep straight which picture went with which bag of seeds. Then I scanned in all of these tree peony photos in case I need to reference them later. Then I laminated each photo with some UV resistant laminating material. Then I used gorilla tape to affix each laminated photo to the copper garden stake. I'm kind of curious to see how these hold up. Even if these peony seeds don't do much, it will be an interesting experiment to see if the photos fade or not, whether the gorilla tape withstands the elements well, and how these "photo" garden stakes hold up outside.

Copper Tree Peony Garden Stakes

Saturday, November 24, 2018

2018 Tree Peony Seeds from Luoyang, China

Tree Peony Seeds fron Luoyang, China

So there's one thing I didn't mention much about my trip to China this year, the peony seeds I purchased! I got a few here and a few there. Most of the seeds I purchased were just outside the garden gates during my 2018 Southern Peony Visits Luoyang National Peony Garden 洛阳国家牡丹园 (North). The seeds in the tiny plastic zip bags are the ones that came from the Luoyang National Peony Garden. You can see the table they had set up to sell the seeds below. I felt a bit skeptical as to whether these tree peony seeds actually came from the varieties pictured in the packets, but for 1 yuan (17 cents) for 10 packets, how can you go wrong? So I bought two different sets of them. My guess is they may be all the same variety, maybe even herbaceous or p. ostii. Who knows? I must say I am very curious, though to find out. Of course, it will probably take me five years or more to see any blooms from these.

Table of Tree Peony Seeds for Sale

Woman Selling Tree Peony Seeds

The photo above it the woman who sold me the seeds. She told my husband (in Chinese) that she and her husband have their own peony farm. I have no idea if it is true, but it sounds neat. They were also selling several varieties of potted tree (and herbaceous) peonies in full bloom as well. I wish I could have purchased a few of those tree peonies to bring back home! They also showed us how to sprout the tree peony seeds. They just used a plastic water bottle with and inch or inch and a half of water in it. I'm not sure if they put the seeds in the fridge to get them to sprout their roots first or just sprouted both the roots and the leaves in the bottle. That was certainly wild. I wish I could have found out more about how they did it. Maybe I will try a few of my seeds that way just to see what happens. I usually don't have much luck sprouting seeds that aren't in the dirt. I guess I just haven't tried or practiced it enough. I usually end up with mold of some sort.

Peony Seeds Sprouting in Water Bottle

Chinese Tree Peony Seeds

Here are a few more close up photos of the seeds I purchased (front and back of the packaging). You can click any of these photos to see a larger version. I don't know what any of them say. I guess I need to enlist my husband to help me translate them. I just can't decide if it is worth the time and effort to do so. The last time I had him take the time to meticulously translate each and every variety (and make a separate label for each), 2013 Ali Express Chinese Tree Peony Seeds, none of them sprouted!!! (I've placed more than one order for Chinese tree peony seeds in the past, and the other one from Ebay did sprout, 2013 Chinese Peony Seeds from Ebay , 2014 Chinese Tree Peony Seeds Starting to Sprout.) So who knows what these tree peony seeds will do, if they even sprout (I hope so!), or what color they will be, but I am definitely interested to find out!

Chinese Tree Peony Seeds

Chinese Tree Peony Seeds

Saturday, November 17, 2018

2018 Transplanting My First Tree Peony

P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony Bud

It was past time to move the first tree peony that I'd like to watch. That peony, a very vigorous pink-lavender P. Rockii peony is featured as the first peony in my recent 2018 Southern Peony Seedlings article. I've never moved a tree peony before, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I've always heard that tree peonies don't like to be moved. However I'm hoping this one won't be hurt since it is still a young plant and not fully established in its original location. I was a bit surprised to see that this tree peony still had some green leaves, as almost all of my other tree peonies have already died back. The first thing I did before I tried to dig it was create a planting hole for it. I also added a bit of EcoScraps fertilizer in the hole. I never fertilized the P. rockii tree peony seeds when I planted them. So I'm curious to see what this peony can do with some extra food and more sun. I decided to plant it in a nice, sunny spot right next to my bird feeder.

P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony Tagged for Watching

P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony Leaves

P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony Planting Hole

I tried to be very careful when digging it out, especially since it was very crowded (and I mean very) in original location. I put the original seeds in my peony seedling bed about 2-3 inches apart when I originally planted them. (I know, I know - that is too close, but I wasn't even sure if they would sprout or not since I'd previously not had much luck growing tree peonies from seed.) It's a wonder these tree peonies are able to grow at all, much less bloom with that much competition. However this particularly vigorous seedling was the tallest of all its siblings, and it had pretty much figured out how to beat the system. It had sent out a very long lateral root that was actually taller than the plant itself. The root was growing past all of the other sibling tree peonies out of the peony seedling bed. I tried to get all of it out, but it looks like I still lost a bit of the root at the tip.

Digging P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony

P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony Roots

P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony Root Length

P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony Stem Height

The root actually ended up being even longer than the tree peony was tall. The root (what I got of it) was 30" long! So that means it would have been even longer if I hadn't snapped the end off. The tallest stem was 28.5" tall. I'm curious to see how tall this tree peony grows with time. Since the hole I dug for the root was not 3 feet wide (or larger), I decided to dig a trench for the long lateral root next to my planting hole. Maybe that's not the best solution, but that's what I decided to do. I don't really have the time or energy to dig a hole that big anyway! I am really, really excited to see what this tree peony can do next year. I also planted a newly purchased tree peony 'Leda' that I just decided to purchase this fall from Song Sparrow near it. It won the APS Gold Medal in 2014, but I never bought it until now. I am curious to see how these two tree peonies compare as they grow...

P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony in Its New Home

Transplanted P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony