Articles about Peony seedlings
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Sunday, April 29, 2018

2018 Those Are Some TALL Peonies!!!

No, this is not a tall tale. I really have noticed that several peonies have grown taller this year than I've ever remembered them growing before. I guess the weather created just the right mix of conditions needed to make them sprout higher than ever. One of my peony seedlings was almost up to my chest. That's pretty tall considering I'm 5'7''. Two of my peony seedlings in my peony seedling bed grew to be 44 inches. I'm not sure if being crowded had anything to do with the peony seedlings growing tall, but Peony 'Paul M. Wild' also grew very high this year, and that one is definitely not crowded. We must have had just the right mix of temperatures, amount of rain, combined with the daylight hours of the new spring season that some peonies really just liked. Has anyone else noticed any very tall herbaceous peonies in their garden this year?

Peony Seedling 44" Tall

Peony Seedling 44" Tall

Peony 'Paul M. Wild' 44" Tall

Peony 'Paul M. Wild' (on right)
Near Other Normal Height Peonies

Thursday, April 5, 2018

2018 Third Peony Bloom of the Season - P. Rockii Lavender Tree Peony Seedling

P. Rockii Lavender Seedling

The 3rd peony bloom of the season opened today, well, almost. It didn't quite open all the way. So I guess a bit of the excitement will be saved for tomorrow, but I got to see the full bud on this peony today, and the beautiful lavender color of its petals. The awesome lavender color on this one excites me, as well as the fact that it seems to be so vigorous, blooming much sooner than its siblings, and growing much taller and faster as well. This P. rockii seedling is actually from some seed I bought on Ebay, 2013 Tree Peony P. Rockii Seeds on Ebay, which turned out to be 2013 P. Rockii Peony Seeds from Cricket Hill Garden. It is the first P. rockii tree peony to bloom for me ever. It first bloomed last year, but I mostly missed it, just saw a few petals dropping after the bloom. I have been growing P. rockii's that I bought as plants (from 3 separate sources) longer than this seedling has existed, and they've still never bloomed. This P. Rockii lavender seedling actually has 2 buds on it this year. So I will get the chance to see two blooms on it!

P. Rockii Lavender Seedling with 2 Buds

Sunday, March 4, 2018

2018 P. Rockii Peony Seedling Has 2 Buds in Second Year of Bloom

Paeonia rockii Seedling with 2 Buds

A Paeonia rockii seedling from a batch of seed I got in 2013 from Ebay, 2013 P. Rockii Peony Seeds from Cricket Hill Garden, has 2 buds on it. The rest of the seedlings from this batch of seed have yet to bloom. It had one bud and bloom on it last year in 2017, but I missed seeing it and photographing it until the flower was mostly gone. So I can't wait to see what it actually looks like this year. Considering this P. rockii tree peony is still growing in my peony seedling bed very close to its siblings and is still growing so well and so quickly, speaks very highly of its vigor. Hopefully I will get a chance to move it to a better home this fall, so that I can allow it to mature with more space for its roots to grow in. I will keep you posted on its flowers. Spring will be here before we know it!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

2017 Tree Peony Seeds from Canada Sprout!

I was beginning to wonder if any of those 2016 Paeonia rockii Purple Tree Peony Seeds that were sent to me as a replacement for the 2015 Purple Peony Rockii Seeds from Ebay Canada were going to sprout. Since none of the seeds from the original batch sprouted, I was worried that the second batch might not sprout either. However it seems the second batch of seeds were good because I now have 5 baby P. rockii tree peony seedlings from the second batch of seeds! How exciting! I am curious to see if any of these grow into a lovely purple flower with dark purple flares like the mother plant. Now that the seeds have actually sprouted, the only thing to do now is wait for a bloom! :-)

P. rockii Seeds Sprout

Friday, May 5, 2017

2017 Red Tree Peony Seeds Sprout!

Red Tree Peony Seedlings Sign

Remember those red tree peony seeds I planted this past fall, 2016 Planting Red Tree Peony Seeds from Georgia? Well, I was beginning to think that they weren't coming up, that perhaps there were not actually viable. However about 2 weeks ago, I finally noticed a few green things popping up in that spot (that weren't weeds). LOL! So far I have 6 baby tree peony seedlings from those 2016 Red Tree Peony Seeds from SP Reader in GA. I'm guessing a few more peony seedlings may still pop up. If not this year, then perhaps next spring. We shall see!

Red Tree Peony Seedlings

Red Tree Peony Seedlings

Red Tree Peony Seedlings

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

Sunday, May 1, 2016

2016 Peonies for Spring Carolina Plant Swap

Southern Peony Seedlings for the Plant Swap

Yesterday was the Spring Carolina Plant Swap, and I spent the morning digging some of my most successful plants that needed a bit of dividing for donation to the plant swap. This is one of my favorite gardening events besides the American Peony Society Convention (which is coming up in less than one month!) This Carolina Plant Swap event happens twice a year, and I usually try to make it to at least one per year, two if I can. It is a great way to try plants you wouldn't normally grow (or pay for), and some plants that grow really well in your area, and even some plants you've never seen before! I always try to bring a couple peonies to help increase interest in the plant here in the South. Peonies can and do grow well here in the South - the biggest key is not planting the roots too deep. If you'd like to find a garden swap in your area to exchange plants (and hopefully help spread the love of peonies), I'd recommend signing up for an account on, (previously GardenWeb, now called Houzz), finding the forum for your area and then looking at the Exchange forum, which is listed as a Related forum at the top of the page. Good Luck!

Southern Peony Pink Peony Seedlings

Sunday, November 15, 2015

2015 Yellow Tree Peony from the UK Arrives

Yellow Tree Peony From UK Mailing Tube

The Yellow Tree Peony Seedling from UK on Ebay arrived this past week, and I got it planted right away, which was good since its packaging wasn't very secure. It arrived in a half tube with a small pint sized plastic plant pot taped to the bottom of the tube. When I cut the tape to separate the tube from the plastic pot, I discovered that the rootball of the tree peony was no longer inside the plastic pot. It had apparently been jostled during shipment and there was no plastic, tape, or rubber bands - nothing to keep the plant inside its pot. The rootball was dry and the foliage obviously no longer looked like the foliage in the auction picture. However I got it planted straight away the same day it arrived. Since it has been raining here for several weeks now, the soil is nice and moist. So hopefully this will give the plant an opportunity to get some much needed nutrients and adapt itself to our climate before our harsh summer weather hits.

Yellow Tree Peony from UK

On the bright side, it looks like its roots are quite a bit more established than the Purple Tree Peony Seedlings From Ebay UK that I got in 2013. Those purple tree peony seedlings appeared to be first year seedlings. This yellow tree peony looks to be at least a second year seedling, as its roots system is much more extensive. Hopefully this extended system of moisture and nutrient absorbers will give this tiny tree peony a much better chance of survival. The bent and broken foliage looks a little roughed up from shipment. However I'm guessing the foliage won't last much longer here anyway. So I'll probably remove that soon anyway and let this plant concentrate it efforts below the soil.

Yellow Tree Peony from UK Planted

Monday, November 2, 2015

2015 Yellow Tree Peony Seedling from UK on Ebay

When I happened to see this Yellow Tree Peony from the UK on Ebay, I couldn't resist buying it. I put it on my watch list last week and decided to purchase it yesterday. I'm hoping it will have a better chance of surviving than the Purple Tree Peony Seedlings From Ebay UK I purchased in 2013. I purchased two of those hoping at least one would survive. However they arrived in the middle of our Southern summer, which did not give them an adequate chance of survival. They were unable to settle in and become established before experiencing our heat and sometimes dry conditions during summer. Sadly they did not survive. Unfortunately those purple tree peonies went dormant right away when they experienced our hot summer, and one of them got New Fall Growth on Purple English Tree Peony. This new growth was killed in the fall/winter, and unfortunately neither of these seedlings came back in the spring. I am hoping this yellow tree peony will have a better chance since it is arriving in the fall. Hopefully it will go dormant and stay dormant until spring. This yellow tree peony also looks a little larger than those purple tree peonies were, which seemed to be first year seedlings. This one looks like at least a second year seedling. Let's hope the size of the plant and the season help this one live!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2015 Transplant Promising Hot Pink Double Seedling

This year I had another peony of interest to me, a 2015 New Hot Pink Double in Peony Seedling Test Bed. Now that it's fall and a great time of year to plant (and transplant) peonies, it was time for me to dig it up and separate it from the other peony seedlings. I found the peony plant that I'd marked with a white twist tie earlier in the year, and dug it gently out from its neighbors.

Hot Pink Double Peony Seedling Marked with White Twist Tie

Luckily it was on the last row of peony seedlings at the end of its row. So it was a little easier to extract with neighbors on only two sides. This time when digging it out, I didn't accidentally snap any of its roots - like I did when I transplanted my first promising peony seedling last year, 2014 Transplant Lavender Ruffles Peony Seedling. So hopefully that will give it a little easier transition to its new home.
Foliage and Root System of
Hot Pink Double Peony Seedling
Hot Pink Double Peony Seedling

As you can see it had two good size stems this year and lots of baby storage roots starting to form. There were also buds forming for next year's growth. I moved this peony from my original peony seedling bed into my newer peony seedling test bed where I could monitor it more closely and give it a little bit more room to grow. I planted it near my 2015 Lavender Ruffles Peony Seedling, which I'd already cut back for the year since its foliage had already gone dormant. I also cut back the foliage of this peony after moving it to hopefully cut down on its transplant shock and prevent it from diverting energy into keeping alive foliage that would soon be cut off anyway.

Transplanted Hot Pink Double Peony Seedling
Next to Lavender Ruffles Peony Seedling in Seedling Test Bed

Friday, May 8, 2015

2015 Lavender Ruffles Peony Seedling Becomes Double

Lavender Ruffles Peony Becomes Double

It looks the like my Favorite Peony Seedling a Semi-Double Pink Violet that I had from my peony seedling garden last year has become a double. It was a semi double lavender pink peony in my peony seedling bed that I nicknamed Lavender Ruffles last year. I Transplanted Lavender Ruffles Peony Seedling last fall to a less crowded peony seedling bed so I could keep a better eye on it. It is a seedling of Peony 'Lavender Princess'. This peony has bright green foliage and multiple buds per stem. However I'm not sure if the plant has enough energy to open more than one bloom this year. Perhaps next year I'll get multiple blooms. Oh how exciting to grow a brand new unique plant with unique genes! I can't wait to see how many petals this royal beauty has next year!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

2014 Transplant Lavender Ruffles Peony Seedling

Peony Seedling Test Bed

This is a current picture of my peony seedling test bed. I wanted to transplant my Favorite Peony Seedling - Semi-Double Pink Violet (which I have nicknamed Peony 'Lavender Ruffles') from this peony seedling bed to a place where it will have more room to grow. The Peony 'Lavender Ruffles' is the peony with the light green foliage to the right of the peony with the powdery mildew. Considering its close proximity to the other peonies affected by the powdery mildew and the fact that it has not totally succumbed to the disease, it seems fairly disease resistant.
Peony 'Lavender Ruffles'
Peony 'Lavender Ruffles'
Fall Foliage

The foliage of Peony 'Lavender Ruffles' has an interesting pattern in the fall. It appears to be green edged in gold. The plant is also fertile as well. As you can see from the empty seed pod, it produced seeds in its first year of bloom. After digging up the peony plant, the roots and crown appear to be neat with long storage roots emanating from the crown.
Peony 'Lavender Ruffles'
Seed Pod
Peony 'Lavender Ruffles'
Dug Up

Next I removed the foliage with some pruners before replanting the roots. I moved this peony from my peony seedling bed to my peony seedling test bed. It will have much more room to grow in its new location, and allow me to evaluate it more closely. I also added a garden label beside the roots so that I can find it next spring. When replanting the peony, I accidentally broke off one of its storage roots. I hope it will still bloom again next year. If it does it will have overcome an extra challenge! I can't wait to see how its ruffled lavender blooms look next year!

Peony 'Lavender Ruffles' Pruned and Replanted

Friday, May 16, 2014

2014 Favorite Peony Seedling - Semi-Double Pink Violet

Oh! I love it! My favorite peony seedling to bloom this year. It is a child of Peony 'Lavender Princess', and it was planted it 2008, and it first bloomed this year. The bloom is 6 inches in size, and the color of its blooms is RHS 75C Pink Violet. I will definitely have to keep watch over this one to see if it has potential. I haven't seen one on the market quite like this, and I love its multitude of lavender petals. We'll see how well it increases and how disease resistant it is. I'm also curious to see if the bloom form changes next year on a more mature plant. This year there are over 35 petals with a very tight center of yellow stamens. If it is fertile and produces seed well, then it may be a good breeding plant as well.

Favorite Peony Seedling Bloom
Pink Violet Semi-Double Peony

2008 Seedling of Peony 'Lavender Princess'

Peony Seedling Bed

Saturday, May 10, 2014

2014 Chinese Tree Peony Seeds from Ebay Sprouted

As I said in my last post about peony seedlings, Peony Seedlings from Cricket Hill - P. Rockii, Ebay seems to be the place to buy peony seeds. This is a photo of the Chinese tree peony seedlings that sprouted from the peony seeds I bought on Ebay in the fall. Here is what they looked like when the Chinese Tree Peony Seeds Started to Sprout in March. So as you can see they have grown quite a bit since then. Also there are several more varieties growing now. In March only two of the varieties had sprouted, the blue (P3) and the green (P4). Now 5 out of the 6 colors have sprouted - black (P2), blue (P3), green (P4), pink (P5), and red (P6). The only seeds that haven't sprouted from this group are the white (P1). Aside from the white seeds which didn't germinate, the germination rates ranged from 10% (2 out of 20) for the red to 40% (8 out of 20) for the blue. The overall germination rate was 20% (24 out of 120). However considering the price I paid for these Chinese Tree Peony Seeds from Ebay ($2.50, shipping included), I think that's an awesome deal for 24 baby tree peonies. :-)

Friday, May 9, 2014

2014 First Unique Herbaceous Peony Seedling Blooms

Peony Seedling of
Peony 'Pink Princess'
Peony Seedling of
Peony 'Lady Alexandra Duff'

Well, my First Peony Seedlings bloomed for the first time this year. How exciting to see unique peony blooms that no one else has seen before. I can't say they are the best blooms I've ever seen, but they definitely are colorful. They are also certainly fun to watch open. The first peony seedling to bloom is a seedling of Peony 'Pink Princess', and the second peony seedling to bloom is a seedling of Peony 'Lady Alexandra Duff'. As you can see there are still lots more buds that have yet to open. So I am still very excited to see all of the new peony faces that have yet to greet me. If nothing else, it makes me want to grow more peonies from seed! Even if the majority of these peonies do not turn out to be registration worthy peonies, at least I will have lots of peonies to share at the fall garden swap, just another way to share my love of peonies. :-)

Peony Seedling Bed Blooms on the First Day

Peony Seedling Bed Blooms on the Second Day

Friday, May 2, 2014

2014 Peony Seedlings from Cricket Hill - P. Rockii

Of all the seeds I've purchased, I have to say that the Tree Peony P. Rockii Seeds on Ebay from Cricket Hill Garden are definitely the most viable. Their germination rate is 17 out of 20, that's 85%! That is a fantastic germination rate, considering the best I usually get from species peony seeds from the APS Seed Sale is 30-40% (and sometimes 0%). That is over twice the germination rate. Perhaps the seeds were fresher since they were sent directly from the grower. I'm very excited to have all of these P. rockii seedlings. Now I'll be able to select the best of the best for my climate, the fastest growing, the most disease resistant, the most floriferous, the best foliage, the best blooms, etc.

P. Rockii Peony Seedlings from Ebay, Cricket Hill Garden

I'm sad to say that the 105 Ali Express Chinese Tree Peony Seeds did not sprout at all. I'm beginning to wonder if the reports of boiled peony seeds from China are true, or perhaps they were just too old to sprout. It is curious since they were all so carefully labeled. Perhaps another year in the ground will soften their casings, and they can sprout a root this fall. We'll see if any of them sprout a leaf next spring... It seems like Ebay is the place to buy tree peony seeds. The Chinese Peony Seeds from Ebay actually did well germinating this spring. One of the colors (P3 Blue) actually had an 8 out of 20 germination rate, which is 40%. It's not the most impressive, but considering none of the 105 Chinese seeds I purchased from Ali Express sprouted, it's pretty good.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2014 First Peony Seedlings to Bloom This Spring!

Well, it almost happened last spring. I had my First Peony Seedling with a Developing Bud last spring, and sadly it never matured, First Peony Seedling Develops Immature Bud. However this year, I'm sure I will see some original blooms from my peony seedling bed. There are already 4 different plants with buds on them and the buds are growing larger by the day! Last year the peony plant with a bud on it was a seedling of 'Lady Alexandra Duff'. This year, there are two peony plants from 'Pink Princess' and two peony plants from 'Lady Alexandra Duff' with buds on them. So there are at least 4 plants with buds on them already. Some of the peony seedlings' foliage is still emerging so there may be more buds to come. I am so excited to see my first blooms from peonies I grew from seed from my own garden. I will definitely keep you posted on the progress and will be sure to post photos of the blooms as well!

2008 Peony Seedlings

Peony Seedling Buds