Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2013 Chinese Peony Seeds from Ebay

Well it wasn't 3 days, but they did come pretty fast, considering they came all the way from China. The Suffruticosa Tree Peony Seeds from China I ordered from Ebay came yesterday. I also ordered a pack of pink tree peony seeds from Ebay for 99 cents (shipping included!) the day after I ordered the first set of Ebay peony seeds, and those came today. So they both arrived in 8 days! Not bad for coming from halfway across the world. I also noticed that the seeds packets came from different address in the same city (Huaian Jiangsu). That's interesting. :) Even the $2.50 seeds from Ebay came packaged as 6 separate varieties. The Ebay auction listing also tells me what color seed is inside of each of the six packages. I figured for that low of a price, all of the seeds would just be mixed together in one package. So that's nice that the different colors of seeds are separated. I can't wait until they grow and bloom. I'm so curious to see what will turn up! I'm sure the picture from the Ebay auction has been "enhanced". I've never seen a peony that blue. I'm sure it must be some shade of purple, which would be perfectly fine with me, since purple is my favorite color. :)
  • P1 white
  • P2 black
  • P3 blue
  • P4 green
  • P5 pink
  • P6 red

Tree Peony Seeds from China

99 Cent Pink Peony Seeds from China

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2013 Snow on Peonies

It is supposed to be 64 today, which is amazing since I took this snow picture a week ago today. It has actually snowed a couple of times this winter. Last winter there was no snow at all, and the weather was especially mild. Even my energy bill can tell the difference. I used 30% more electricity this winter compared to last year! Even with the warmer winter last year, we still had an excellent show of peony blooms in the spring. So I'm curious to see what the difference the extra cold will do this year. Peonies need the cold weather to form the blooms. If your winters are too warm (or your peonies are planted too deeply) they won't get enough chilling hours to generate a blooming cycle. So with the extra cool weather this year, the peonies here should have an abundance of blooms! I'm looking forward to it.

Peony 'Hillary' in the Snow

Monday, February 18, 2013

2013 Suffruticosa Tree Peony Seeds from China

On a reader's recommendation (Steve), I ordered some peony seeds from Ali Express. I wanted a nice mixture, and one of the sellers, Linlang Department Store, offered seeds from 15 named tree peony varieties (Chinese names, of course) of all different colors. So I decided to order from them. They weren't 4 cents a seed, but I'm hoping for some nice seedlings. They ended up being 12 cents a seed for 100 seeds, so $12. I also ordered a pack of mixed color seeds, no named varieties, off of Ebay for $2.50 for 120 seeds. That's about 2 cents a seed. Who knows what I would do with all of those plants if they actually came up? Tree peonies aren't even my favorite anyway, but for more than 200 p. suffruticosa seeds for less than the price of one herbaceous peony root, I figured I'd give them a try. I'm sure not all of the peony seeds will come up anyway, but this gives me a nice chance of actually getting some plants and the opportunity to see how these Chinese tree peonies will adapt to and grow in my southern climate.

Chinese Tree Peony Seeds

Sunday, February 17, 2013

2013 Questions - Purchasing Peony Plants Versus Roots

I received this question from Karen in Zone 8:
"I currently have no peonies growing in my yard, zone 8, Montgomery AL. My first question is should I even attempt to do this with our long, very hot humid summers and mild winters. I've seen several container grown peony plants for sale in nurseries here in the spring. Is this advisable to purchase a plant rather than bulbs?"

I would say that if you find a plant for sale in your local nursery, most likely the plant should grow in your zone. Most nurseries want repeat customers, and if they sell plants that don't grow well in your zone and just die, they're not likely to get to many repeat customers that way. Peonies will definitely grow in zone 8. The question of whether to purchase a peony plant or a bulb (which is really a root) depends on how much time and money you have. If you can wait a little and want to buy the peony at a lesser cost, buy the root, since the root will likely be cheaper. However it may take one or more years to see blooms depending on the size and condition of the peony roots. Conversely if you don't mind spending a little more and would rather see results sooner, buy the container plant. Usually you can find peony container plants in bud or in bloom, so you know you will have blooms this year and for many years to come! If you do find a container peony in bloom, you will also know exactly what color you are purchasing - which is not always the case with roots, which could get mixed up. Good luck with your peonies, and I'd love to see pictures!
Intersectional Peony in Container
Intersectional Peony Root

Thursday, February 14, 2013

2013 Freeze Dried Peony Petals for Weddings

I wanted to order some freeze dried rose petals for my wedding, but I was thrilled to find out that I could order freeze dried peony petals instead! Flyboy Naturals offers freeze dried peony petals that are perfectly preserved like fresh peony petals. What an awesome way to honor my favorite flower than to have my daughter toss peony petals on the beach at my wedding! Also they are environmentally friendly since they are biodegradable. :) These petals are grown in the USA. Flyboy Naturals has a nice selection of petals to choose from. So if you are looking for peony petals for your special event, I would highly recommend them! I selected the ivory peony petals, but they have lots of peony petal colors to choose from - ivory, lemon, pink, yellow, dark red, coral, and deep wine. The box I received was very nicely packaged, and the peony petals are beautiful. I can't wait to use them at my wedding!

Ivory Freeze Dried Peony Petals

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2013 Flickr Peony Photo Group

I've had an account on Flickr for a while, but I just stumbled upon their peony photo group today. It has lots of beautiful pictures. So I decided to join it. I have a few peony pictures on my Southern Peony Flickr account already, but there are so many more peony pictures in the Flickr Peonies photo group from all over the world. If you like peonies even a little, you could spend some time just looking over all of the eye candy in this photo group. Also if you like to take pictures, you might want to sign up for a Flickr account so you too can contribute to the menagerie of beautiful peony photos. :) If you click on the image and take a look at the first peony picture in the Flickr Peonies Group Pool, it is a picture of a tree peony in Japan. It looks like they built a teepee for their plant. I thought I loved peonies, but, wow, they must really love peonies to build them each a house! :D

Flickr Peony Group

Sunday, February 10, 2013

2013 Peony in Other Languages

Thinking about peonies and growing them all over the world, I wondered what the translations were for peony in other languages. These translations are credited to the translation site Babylon. Have another language to add? Please contact me. In recognition of all of Southern Peony's multinational visitors, I've just added a "Translate" option to our site to make reading in other languages easier. Also I'm interested to know how peonies are used in your country, what their value and meaning is locally and nationally where ever you are on the globe. If I get enough stories, I will try to publish some of them here. So please write in and let me know how you use peonies, who the big growers are, where peonies grow best, favorite named varieties, or whatever information you'd like to recount that tells what peonies mean to your country and/or culture!

Languages of the World
Peony in English peony, paeony
Peony in Arabic عود الصليب نباتة
Peony in Bulgarian божур
Peony in Catalan peònia
Peony in Chinese 牡丹
Peony in Croatian božur
Peony in Dutch pioenroos
Peony in French pivoine
Peony in German Pfingstrose
Peony in Greek παιωνία
Peony in Hebrew אדמוני
Peony in Hindi peony
Peony in Hungarian pünkösdi rózsa
Peony in Italian peonia
Peony in Japanese 牡丹
Peony in Korean 모란
Peony in Mongolian цээнэ цэцэг
Peony in Persian گل صد تومانی
Peony in Polish piwonia
Peony in Portuguese peônia
Peony in Romanian bujor
Peony in Russian пион
Peony in Serbian Bozur
Peony in Spanish peonía, saltaojos
Peony in Swedish pion
Peony in Thai โบตั๋น
Peony in Turkish şakayık
Peony in Ukranian Півонія
Peony in Vietnamese cây mâu đơn

Friday, February 8, 2013

2013 Peony Seeds From Hirt's Gardens

Talk about instant gratification - I ordered these seeds on Sunday, and they arrived in my mailbox on Wednesday! I must say I am impressed with Hirt's Gardens and the seeds I ordered from them on Ebay. All of the seeds were the correct number as promised except for P. banatica, which had one extra seed in it. This is what I received: P. ludlowii (2 seeds), P. mascula (5 seeds), P. officinalis banatica (5 seeds), P. tenuifolia (5 seeds), and P. wittmanniana (5 seeds). The peony seeds came with some interesting instructions. "PLACE SEED IN MOIST VERMICULITE IN PLASTIC BAG. PLACE IN WARM AREA OF THE HOUSE OUT OF THE SUN. WHEN THE ROOTS APPEAR, MOVE TO REFRIGERATOR FOR 10-12 WEEKS. TRANSPLANT WHEN SHOOT ARISE." I must admit I've never gone to that much trouble to germinate any seeds before. The most effort I've put forth is starting my vegetable seeds indoors for my vegetable garden, but no refrigeration was required. I might actually follow these instructions out of curiosity just to see what happens. I'll let you know how they do...

Peony Seeds from Hirt's Gardens

Thursday, February 7, 2013

2013 Planting APS Peony Seed Packets

Well I finally got my seeds planted yesterday from the 2012 APS Seed Sale. I know it is really late, but the ground never really freezes here anyway. So the soil is still very workable. Anyway I got all 5 varieties planted - P. ostii (10 seeds), P. rockii (5 seeds), P. rockii & P. suffruticosa mixture (5 seeds), P. suffruticosa - purple (4 seeds), and P. veitchii - pink, single (11 seeds). I soaked them overnight to try to help them germinate. I kept them in separate containers so I could keep track of the varieties. Then I planted them with peony variety name labels in my new seedling test bed, which has really nice soil. So if they will grow anywhere, that would be the place. I'll record their germination rates in the spring. Also after reading my previous post about purchasing the seeds at the 2012 APS Convention Peony Seed Sale, I realized there was one more variety, P. suffruticosa 'Kamada Nishiki' - lavender pink (5 seeds). I just found the packet of peony seeds hidden on my desk. So I'll soak those tonight and plant them tomorrow.

Soaking APS Peony Seeds

Sunday, February 3, 2013

2013 Questions - Where to Buy Peony Seeds

I received this question from Courtney in Zone 7:
"My father is interested in purchasing some peony seeds. He has always been into flowers and gardening and its evident by his yard. His favorite are peonies and he has just become interested in trying to grow them from seeds. I found your site online today after he requested that I try to find some catalogues or places where he could buy seeds. I’m not sure if you sell them or could help me in finding a place that sells them. I would appreciate your advice!"

The places that come to my mind for buying peony seeds are either on Ebay or the APS Seed Distribution Program. Doing a quick search on Ebay, there are lots of peony seeds you can buy from China. Also there are some peony seeds offered from Hirt's Gardens (based out of Ohio) on Ebay. Thanks to your inquiry, I decided to purchase a few of these seeds myself.

Peony Seeds for Sale on Ebay

You may want to check out my previous posts on the 2010 APS Peony Seed Program and 2012 APS Convention Peony Seed Sale . Also you DO need to be an APS member to participate in the APS Seed Distribution Program. The costs of the APS seeds are typically very affordable (usually $2-$3 per pack + shipping). If your father is not already a member of the American Peony Society, an APS Membership would make a great gift! I do not sell any peony seeds myself, and although I cannot personally vouch for the outcomes from any of the seeds you might buy, the costs of your endeavor should be low and the rewards great, provided you have the time. Peony seeds typically take 3-5+ years to develop into a flowering plant. I'd love to see any pictures from the fruits of your labors. Good luck! :-)

Friday, February 1, 2013

2013 Peonies with Flares

A feature that I have found quite interesting for some time is flares, small sunbursts of color that start at the center of the bloom on the peony petals and flare out. The flares can be small or large, wide or thin, long or short, and of varying colors. I used to not really like the flares, being a purist in terms of color, but in the past couple of years, I have really begun to appreciate and love the variation in color. The presence of flares is really most noticeable in single and semi double type peonies. If you like to grow peonies, here is another feature in peonies for you to collect! Some of my favorite peonies displaying colorful flares are Peony 'Bartzella' (midseason), Peony 'Firelight' (early), Peony 'Golden Frolic' (early-mid), and Peony 'Morning Lilac' (early-mid). Enjoy!
Peony 'Bartzella'
Peony 'Firelight'
Peony 'Golden Frolic'
Peony 'Morning Lilac'