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Re: Peony question

I was wondering, Noreen, whether they are testing the ones from the
Mediterranean zone (Italy, Greece, Spain) and southern China or
simply the herbaceous cultivars that are most widely grown and
available throughout most of the US to see how they do in Texas?  

Went back, when I read your other post, and looked at those posts I'd
saved from Peony list again.  The consensus is that peonies bred for
northern climates will not do well in the deep south...they will just
peter out after a while for lack of chilling....one post mentioned
that some deep south gardeners throw ice cubes on their peonies in
winter to increase cold for them:-)  So, Theresa, go buy a few bags
of ice and dump them on your plant this winter:-)

Seems that there even is one species, P. californica, that is native
to southern CA.  The Med. species are not easily found, but are being
grown by people in S. Florida, S. CA, Louisiana and Alabama.  Now, I
know Texas' climate is a thing apart from these in many parts of the
state and it was noted that while 'Festiva Maxima' grows and blooms
in Houston, the grower does have fungal problems brought on by the
humidity in conjunction with the heat.  This heat/humidity combo does
encourage assorted peony diseases, as well.

The plants I listed were culled from posts on the topic of growing
peonies in southern climates, so most would be worth trying to find
and try, I should think.  It appears that some of the hybrids out
there do have some Med. blood in their lineage and those would be
worth searching for and trying.

One post noted that, while there have been some efforts at
hybridizing species from warm climates, there is much work still to
be done here that could result in cultivars for the deep south.

Someone else noted that often peonies will go dormant early in really
hot climates - like in July...something to keep in mind and not panic

It was mentioned several times that tree peonies do better than
herbaceous peonies in general in the south as they do not require as
much cold to initiate flowering for the next year.

I think that anybody really interested in Peonies should sign on to
the peony list.  The people on that list really know about growing
peonies all over the world!  I only grow 5 herbaceous ones for lack
of more sunny areas to put them and have not even tried a tree peony
yet.  I do know that the singles and early bloomers generally stand
the best chance where it's hot.  All mine are early to mid - I have
not had the courage to try a late bloomer here:-)  

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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> From: TeichFlora@aol.com
> Thanks Kitty, will check into these.  I was just going by the
> that Texas A&M's horticulture experimental stations, the Master
Gardener test 
> gardens, etc. had reported.  Practically every year we hear about a
> variety of Peony that has been introduced that is supposed to be
more and 
> more heat tolerant.  So far none of these have done well in
testing.  Will 
> check to see if the varieties you mentioned are among those.  
> Thanks for the info.
> Noreen
> zone9
> Texas Gulf Coast

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