Peonies are one of my favorite flowers. Like most flowers there is such a variety of color, number of petals and blooming time to explore. This year I am working on moving our garden more towards bushes and easy care – meaning less weeding. What better plant to experiment with than a peony?
For the last two years ( Fall 2020 to Spring 2021) I tried my hand at growing peonies from seed. Sept 23, 2020 I gathered seeds and then put them in a plastic baggie with a paper towel. They were kept moist until Feb 4, 2021 when I planted them into the rain gutters. Needless to say I was THRILLED when some seeds started showing their heads. About 10 plants were showing out of 60. Two weeks later I looked again and even more are showing their beautiful green heads.
My long term goal is to move these precious plants into larger pots and then the ground this fall where I can baby them. Many will be given away as gifts, but not for a few years.
In reflection I was really concerned about starting peonies from seed. I did lots of research and worried about ‘the right way’ to raise peonies from seed. I forgot the basic rule – “Life wants to live”. Most plants are not dependent on EXACTLY the right environment to live. They can adjust to my mistakes. Out of 60 seeds I have 20 plants. I believe most were lost because I harvested the seeds to early. I should have waited until the pods started to split. And that is exactly what I am doing this year. I am learning patience (not something I am known for).
A social media friend, Amanda Walsh, asked about mold. I did not have an issue with mold. Maybe that was because I used a paper towel with the seeds. When a seed looked like it was going to fail I removed it.
What will I do different this year? This fall I am waiting longer to harvest the seeds. I may tie paper bags on the seed heads so I do not have to worry about losing seeds. Plus, I plan on splitting my seeds into different groups.
- Type of plant harvested from
- Split those into two groups
- Half to plant in a prepared bed in the garden
- Half to start in the office again