Specials | FAQ  

Specials
Search for
 Free Brochure
 East Asian Shrubs
 Tree Peonies
 Herbaceous Peonies
 Intersectional Peonies
 Collections
 Books & Supplies
 Gift Certificates
 Collector's Corner
 Specials!
 All Categories
 Sitemap
  Need Help?
  Contact Us
  FAQ

FAQ's

Questions

What is the climatic range of Chinese tree peonies?

  How long until first blooms?
  Do Chinese tree peonies grow in pots?
  Why are Chinese tree peonies expensive?
  What is the difference between Japanese and Chinese tree peonies?
  Why do the Chinese consider the tree peony the "King of Flowers"?
What is the difference between tree and herbaceous peonies?

 

Question:

 

What is the climatic range of Chinese tree peonies?

 Answer:

They will grow from the warmest parts of zone 3 to zone 9. In the coldest regions, you can expect less height on a mature plant than one grown in more moderate climate. Additional winter protection of mulch and a wind break will help to protect the plant in zones 3 and 4. In our zone 5 garden, we only mulch the youngest plants. After growing for 4 to 5 years the plants are very hardy and don't require special winter treatment. In the warmer climates, such as southern CA or northern FL, where there is very little chill period or dormancy, it is necessary to force dormancy on the plant by trimming off the green leaves (not the stems) in November. Withhold water and let the plant rest during the months of November and December. By January, it will sprout new leaves and will bloom in early February or March.

Back to Top

 

Question:

How long until first blooms?

 Answer:

Most Chinese tree peonies bloom in their fifth year. Some of our customers tell us that their plants bloom in the first spring they have them, year four. But this is not always the case, and flowers can be immature in size and shape. They do require some patience. We also have experienced some extremely slow varieties (Pea Green) that have not bloomed until the eighth year! Remember, tree peonies can live over 100 years, so even a five year old plant is still a very young plant.

Back to Top

 

Question:

Do Chinese tree peonies grow in pots?

 Answer:

The Chinese have been doing so for more than 1000 years. It does however, take special care.

The soil mix must be especially porous:

  • 1/4 compost
  • 1/4 good garden soi.
  • 1/4 sand or pearlite
  • 1/4 leaf mold
  • Add lime to bring pH to 6.5 to 7.0.

The plants must be fed throughout the growing season. The root ball must be protected and insulated if your climate is harsh during the winter months.

Ask for our reprint-"Growing in Pots" for more details.

Back to Top

 

Question:

Why are Chinese tree peonies expensive?

 Answer:

The price varies by the ease or difficulty of propagation. Those that grow slowly are more expensive than those that grow rapidly. Those that have extraordinary large flowers (12") are rare and more costly than those that have smaller (6") flowers. The plants we ship are tended for 3 to 4 years before they are large enough to sell, and have well established roots and multiple stems.

Back to Top

 

Question:

What is the difference between Japanese and Chinese tree peonies?

 Answer:

Many Japanese tree peonies are Chinese tree peonies with Japanese names. The garden tree peony was brought to Japan from China at the beginning of the 17th century. The Japanese, in an aesthetic decision, chose to grow plants that have single or semi-double flowers, grow 4 to 6 ft. high, and (with some notable exceptions), have little or no fragrance. Chinese tree peonies range in form from single to complex double shapes, and many cultivars are fragrant.

Back to Top

 

Question:

Why do the Chinese consider the tree peony the "King of Flowers"?

 Answer:

The Chinese tree peony is the "National Flower of China". This accolade comes from a recognition of the plant's numerous flowers, and that the color of the flowers defy representation even in photos or watercolors. In bloom they have a luminous quality as well as subtle shades and tone that gives them the appearance of being made of silk. The envelope of fragrance from older plants is an experience that stays with a garden visitor long after they have left the garden. They are also extremely long lived plants, with reports from China of plants living for more that two centuries.

Back to Top

 

Question:

What is the difference between tree and herbaceous peonies?

 Answer:

Tree peonies are very long lived woody shrubs that grow to about 4 ft. tall and wide. They prefer a part sun location. They have long fibrous roots and woody stems.The woody branches are not cut down in fall, because they have buds formed for spring blooms. Flowers are very large and usually require no staking.They are known as Paeonia suffruticosa, though this botanical name is under question. Tree peony varieties are almost all hybrids of several species tree peonies found in China.Tree peonies do not require a freeze to bloom, but do need a winter dormancy.

Herbaceous peonies are more familiar to gardeners. They are perennial plants that grow from a bulbous, fleshy root. The green stems produce long stemmed flowers which require support. In the fall, when the weather freezes, the plant dies back to the ground, but comes back faithfully every year.Herbaceous peonies need full sun, and must have a definite freezing period in winter to bloom.

Back to Top

 
Home Shop About Us My Account Customer Service Learn Links Contact