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Re: Peony question

OUCH Marge, not another list to add, I'll never get off the pc.  LOL  (just 

No, actually Marge, I never got into the Peony trials.  Since the testing 
didn't work well in zone 8b I definitely knew it would not work for me, since 
the rest of Houston is considered zone 9 already and I live in a warmer 
climate than most of Houston.   I do recall that most of the trials were done 
with the tree peonies, since they were said to be more tolerant of heat, and 
new "warm climate" varieties.   I truly have no idea any specifics of what 
was tested.

I really have no clue either what type of climate conditions peonies need 
except that they need a fairly cold period. As far as humidity, most of Texas 
is dry (low humidity and low rainfall), except the  far east.   My county 
(Fort Bend) has never gotten any Peonies to test, we seem to get more of the 
tropical type plants and fruit, etc. to test.  Could well be that Harris 
County and other northern counties of Houston did.  Usually though, if 
something does well, we eventually get them also.

I appreciate the information and will keep an eye out as well as ask around 
about these peony types you mentioned.  Will let you know.

zone 9
Texas Gulf Coast

In a message dated 12/13/2002 10:23:57 PM Central Standard Time, 
mtalt@hort.net writes:

> 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
> about:-)
> 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
> mtalt@hort.net
> Editor:  Gardening in Shade
> -----------------------------------------------

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