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Fern Leaf Peony

Joan Dupuis
February 20, 2005

I have seen it rated for zone 2. Does anyone from zone 4 grow this one? Comments please.

Comments (24)

  • abgardeneer

    They do fine in zone 3, if that's any help....?

  • ShirleyZ6

    I have owned a Fern leaf for years. I started growing it in zone 3 and then moved to zone 6 were it is growing fine. I think as long as it has a normal winter it should grow just about anywhere.

  • casper1

    That's funny, A "normal winter" when??? Rai

  • Joan Dupuis

    Thanks folks. I've admired pictures of them and have never seen a real one in our area, or at our local nurseries. Must look for one this year. I like the double

  • abgardeneer

    Be prepared for a shock - potted ones go for about $50-$70 around here.
    Attached is a link to a zone 2 source that sells them for $35 to $40.
    (I have no affiliation in any way with this company, but have ordered from them many times, and recommend them.)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Parkland Perennials

  • Joan Dupuis

    ABgardeneer, that's exactly where I saw it recently, but they only ship in the Fall. But if I don't see it and for a reasonable price around here, I will think of ordering it through Parkland.

  • western_meadowlark

    I bought a fernleaf peony locally two years ago and it seems to be doing okay, but isn't thriving. I'm in zone 4. I think it gets too much water in the bed it's in.

  • abgardeneer

    Yes, unless you buy a potted peony, it will mean waiting until fall, as peonies are only divided and shipped then.

  • frankc

    Seeds are also available,but at my age..........lol. Have 3 clumps which gives me a profusion of flowers.Am in zone 3. fRANK

  • Joan Dupuis

    Frankc, where are these seeds available from and how long from sprouting til flower time... ?years

  • bcgift52

    I know of a good grower in either Manitoba or was it
    Saskatchewan that sells good ones for about $15 to $20
    and she has both single and doubles. If interested,
    email me and I will search my files.

  • cailinriley

    I just ordered one from Fraser's Thimble Farm on Salt Spring Island. I know it's better to find one locally, if possible, but I couldn't pass up the price. It's $21.99 for a potted plant, so I'll get it this spring (providing they're not sold out). It has single, though, rather than double flowers, but it's a selected cultivar ("Itoba"), if that means anything. It's the leaves I'm mostly in love with, anyway.

    I also ordered (along with too many other things, but, hey, you have to make the shipping cost worth while, right?) Paeonia 'Anemoniflora' for $15.00. When I did a "Google" search, I fell in love with the stamens.

    So this year, with any luck, I'll have 2 species peonies in my garden. You can't order on-line from Fraser's, so there isn't an instant update as to availability of plants. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Fraser's Thimble Farm

  • ladylotus

    I have 3 double fern leaf peonies. One thing that I've noticed about them in my gardens, if we get a late cold spell my fern leaf peonies get nipped and the edge of the flowers turn black. Since I live in the country this happens quite frequently.

    When we have a nice spring, they are gorgeous. Even with the an early Spring, the foliage is worth the money.

  • oldpeony

    I moved to my present location almost 3 years ago. I dug up several fern leaf peonies and I transplanted them to my new location subdividing some. I now have 24 double red fern leaf peonies which had at least 2-3 beautiful flowers this spring. And they are for sale. So if anyone is in the southeast Iowa area and would like one, please e-mail me. I'm not sure what I'm going to charge, or maybe I would trade for several less expensive peonies. They don't seem to be picky here; they are in soil clay but did have some cow manure amendments when first planted here.
    I would love to just talk with anyone about fern leaf peonies. I'm bidding on a walter mains peony on the internet right now........how high should I go???

  • randy2537

    yea oldpeony I saw you wanted to get rid of your peonies. I would be willing to buy one or two. you can email at rjh_21@hotmail.com

  • jags0405

    I planted a fern leaf peony last year late spring. It appeared to have died and I don't remember if I removed it or left it but now in the area of where I planted it somethings coming up and I don't know if it's the peony. It has the same type of foliage as the fern leaf and it's yellowish green with red tips on the end. Does anyone know what they look like when they first come up in the spring?

    Thanks, Julie

  • rustypup

    from http://www.parkseed.com/ .....this plant often goes summer dormant in the heat, but will return next season.

    I just planted mine late last summer, and they didn't look well at all, but are doing quite well this spring.

  • woodnor

    I would love to grow one of these. If anyone has a root for sale please email me at woodnor1@aol.com. Thanks.

  • ubro

    Peonies do not come true from seed, so you may get a plant that is similar or maybe not. As well they can take up to a year to germinate, and another three to five years for the first blossom.

    The fernleaf is a slow grower compared to other peonies and it does die back often in the summer so I expect that is why the price remains high.

  • abgardeneer

    Species peonies do come true from seed. It is only hybrids and particular (non-species) cultivars that don't.

  • Smivies (Ontario - 5b)

    "Species peonies do come true from seed. It is only hybrids and particular (non-species) cultivars that don't."

    Not always if you have two different species, hybrids, or cultivars blooming at the same time in your garden. If bloom time overlaps, there is a good chance you'll have seeds of a new hybrid/cross. Peonies are quite promiscuous if they flower at the same time.

  • ubro

    you are right smivies, they can and will cross if given half a chance.

    According to the peony expert Martin Page, wild-collected species peony seed is more likely to produce authentic plants than nursery or botanic garden collected seed simply because they do cross easily and isolation is difficult although not impossible, he cautions to "know your source".

    Even the tree peony can cross with the herbaceous, hence the Itoh Hybrids.

  • abgardeneer

    Yes, you are right... species peonies raised on their own do come true from seed.

  • elvis

    I'm going into my 4th season with the fern leaf here in z4a. They're in well-drained soil (no clay), full sun, against the house. They bloom incredibly early, long before the herbaceous peonies, around the same time as tulips. Blooms are beautiful, but sadly each bloom is only good for 2-3 days, tops. I paid $30 a pop for them.

    While my herbaceous produce substantial amounts of seed, the fern leaf have only very small seed-type pellets in the pods. They don't look like seeds, and since I believe they are hybrid, I wouldn't collect them anyway. The plants are getting bigger each year, as they should, and the foliage lasts into fall, but they are shaded by tiger lillies, so.

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