Tree peony cuttings?

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by maggiec, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. maggiec

    maggiec Active Member

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    I have a particular peony that seems to be much nicer than others in my garden, and I would like to try to propagate it. I have no experience at all with grafting and that seems a bit beyond me. I've read of some success with simply taking cuttings. Anyone try this? Info, suggestions?

    This picture is a couple of years old. The plant is somewhat bigger now.
     

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  2. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Beautiful flowers and plant, is it named and on it's own roots ? Grafting isn't really all that difficult with most tree peonies. Takes some care the first couple of years . They are usually grafted on to herbaceous roots, in the fall, which should not send up adventitious buds. Kept at warm temperatures for about 6 weeks, then cool temperatures for another 6 weeks. Generally about a 50%+ success rate. Maybe a good peony book from the library would help. Might try ground layering a low branch. Haven't tried cuttings, hear the success rate isn't that good. Maybe other forum participants have been successful with cuttings.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
  3. Sunset Cycads

    Sunset Cycads Active Member 10 Years

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    I am no expert on peonies, although they are my favourite flower, but what about collecting and growing them from seed?
     
  4. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Not likely to come true from seed , although they could be interesting. Likely 5+ years to bloom and more to show true flower form as they can change from single flowers, to semi doubles, to heavy doubles with age. Some plants will have each form of flower blooming at the same time. Have heard of some varieties starting from cuttings of young growth, but can't remember which ones. Some are recently being started from tissue culture with some difficulties keeping them going the first year or two. Not likely practical for the home gardener and don't know if the labs will start young plants for a gardener, maybe in time as they become more successful. Division may work well with a plant on it's own roots, depending on the root formation as that is variable with different tree peonies also. Done regularly in Chinese tree peony nurseries with certain cultivars. Some forum participants may have done it . The intersectionals {herbaceous x tree peony } and herbaceous are usually divided in the fall before the roots start growing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
  5. maggiec

    maggiec Active Member

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    This peony was only marked p. suffruticosa. It was my first one, and though I and other family/friends have since planted others, I've never come across one with such large and numerous blooms. I counted about 50 last year and the flowers are twice as big as those on my other plants.
    It looks like it was grafted, and it is very upright growing, so I don't think ground layering would work. And what would be a good time? I took a cutting of daphne odora this spring that looks good as the flush of leaves seem to be still going. But I read somewhere that peony cuttings should be semi-hard wood taken in Sep.
    The bush is getting big enough to warrant a somewhat heavier pruning this year, so I might as well give it a shot. I guess I'm just curious as to whether anyone's had success and hopefully give me a few tips.
     
  6. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Maybe air layering would be worth a try, after blooming. Have used semi-hard cuttings, or scions, for grafting in Sept. and Oct. [Lutea hybrids} successfully. May try a few again this fall if time allows. Hope your daphne does well, have grafted a couple species some years ago in March on D. mezereum root stock before bud break, only about 50% successful, fungus problem. Some people have very good success doing daphne cuttings in the fall with mist and bottom heat in the greenhouse. Also hear of good success with D. arbuscula cuttings rooted in June.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2007
  7. maggiec

    maggiec Active Member

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    I finally took the time to re-examine my peony (strange to confess it's been a while as I've been so busy with other things in the garden and this plant is practically maintenance free) and found there isn't really an obvious graft union anymore. I believe the scion has rooted? So I think I will wait until fall, dig away some of the soil and do a division hopefully with part of the root system. There is one younger stem that is a good candidate as it is leaning out anyway. This division method might have a better chance of success.
     
  8. christabel

    christabel Member

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    I LOVE your peony, I have been looking for one exactly like that wth no luck. I would love to trade/sase for some cuttings. I could even come pick up . Pease let me know next time you are pruning.

    Thank you
    T
     
  9. maggiec

    maggiec Active Member

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    I am such a chicken. I set out to do my division earlier this month, picked out the section and even dug away part of the dirt. But I looked at this magnificent shrub and thought about how incredible it looked with the crazy number of blooms and decided to leave it for the time being. I just tightened up and re-enforced the support structure as the flowers get so heavy. Maybe next fall...

    Strange thing is, I found a tiny plant under the bush. At first, I thought it was a seedling, but on closer examination, it looks like it sprouted from a piece of root that was severed from the plant (I've been digging around the base of the plant). I've moved this little sprout and I'll keep an eye to see how it grows. The piece of root was about 3' deep - maybe a case of natural ground layering? It would be great if it were this easy to propagate.
     
  10. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Is it tree peony foliage, sometimes a herbaceous type comes up if a herbaceous root was used for rootstalk ?
     
  11. maggiec

    maggiec Active Member

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    I compared the foliage to the main bush - it looks the same as far as I can tell, albeit there's only 2 little leaves on the sprout. Anyway, it will be interesting to see what develops. My first thought too was that it is a sprout from the rootstalk as this would probably be more vigorous (?)

    Anyway, the good news is that, in excavating some of the dirt in my aborted division attempt, I could see what the stems and roots look like, and I'm fairly confident that I can divide successfully. There are about 8 stems and they naturally grow in sub-groups of 2-3 stems that would be easy to split from the main group as they are all well-rooted.

    Now, to find another sunny spot in my garden that can accommodate a potentially wide plant!
     
  12. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    If the stems harden up then it would be a tree peony, and next year's bud or buds would likely be obvious. Herbaceous and tree peony roots look quite different.
     

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