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'Ludlowii' peony Reviews & Comments
Discussion id : 118-597
most recent 6 OCT 19 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 5 OCT 19 by scvirginia
I notice that the growing zones for this plant are 6b through 9b (default). That seems unlikely for a Tibetan plant, or for any peony, for that matter.

From what I have read, peonies seem to resent being grown in zones warmer than 7b or maybe 8a. There may be some species that are more heat tolerant, and I'd be interested in knowing about them, but if I do an advanced search for my zone, I get 115 pages of results, because most peonies now say 2b and warmer. If there are any peonies that can tolerate my climate, there's not much chance of my finding it.

If a peony's exact zone tolerances aren't known, shouldn't the warmest zone default be 6b or maybe 7a? Peonies that flourish in 7b or 8a seem to be the exception rather than the rule, but if I lived in 7b or 8a, I'd appreciate knowing which ones I might be able to grow.

Thoughts from actual peony growers?

Reply #1 of 4 posted 6 OCT 19 by jedmar
Our garden is in Zone 7b. No problem to grow P. ludlowii or other species, rockiis, suffruticosas, ITOH hybrids or lactifloras. There are peony nurseries in Italy who are at least in Zone 8a. Rivière, the leading peony nursery in France, is in Crest in southern France, where the minimum annual temperatures are 1-8 degrees C in January. That's Zone 10a! Maximum temperatures there are 28-29 degrees C, but last summers were way over 30. So I think the Zones which are based on minimum temperatures do not really apply.
Reply #2 of 4 posted 6 OCT 19 by scvirginia
Yes, that makes sense. I don't think U.S. hardiness zones are as useful as, say, Köppen climate classifications, and those also have their limits. When I read nursery catalogs, they tell me how hardy plants are, but what I frequently want to know is how heat-tolerant they are. Even in terms of cold-hardiness, the USDA zones only tell how cold it might get, but not how long those cold temperatures will last. The French Riviera apparently doesn't get as cold as it does here, but they may have longer winters and more chill hours?

All traces of the Auburn's Peony Project seem to have disappeared from the Internet, so it seems that it was not a success. Auburn is zone 8a. Other factors must account for why peonies don't succeed in the Southeastern U.S.; humidity, rainfall, day length, chill hours, or something else.

Reply #3 of 4 posted 6 OCT 19 by jedmar
I think rainfall is a problem. Compare the climate of Heze in China (a centre of peony growing): Hot summers with lots of rainfall, but dry winter and spring:

Comparing this to Auburn, where it seems to rain all year:

Peonies do not like having their roots soaked.
Reply #4 of 4 posted 6 OCT 19 by scvirginia
Yes, I think I read that the trials were in raised beds to allow for better drainage, but that may not be of much use in a very wet year.

It could be a combination of factors, or even a badly timed trial with an active hurricane season when the plants weren't established yet. The person who was responsible for the project has since retired, so I wouldn't even know who might have access to that information.

Discussion id : 112-907
most recent 5 OCT 19 SHOW ALL
Initial post 5 SEP 18 by Andrew from Dolton
Ten years ago I grew half a dozen plants of this peony from seed. Three I gave away and three I have grown myself, they have all made large and handsome plants by now and flower beautifully. The mother plant started to die back with whole stems just randomly collapsing. Over about four years the whole plant died. One of my plants has just started doing the same and I've just cut out three whole stem back to the base. Is the variety prone to this sort of thing or am I cultivating it wrong and is there anything I can do to stop it?
Reply #1 of 1 posted 5 OCT 19 by scvirginia
I got to your question while looking for info about this plant. I don't suppose this will help, but Kelways says this peony likes neutral to alkaline, moist, well-drained soil.

I hope you figured out what the problem was; if so, maybe post what you did to remedy the situation?

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