Peony bloom season has come and gone here in Oregon. We had an early spring, with the first buds blooming on March 27th and the last few buds opening this week, giving us over 10 weeks of bloom this year.
What to do next? I'll be deadheading peonies for awhile - one stem at a time. I move up and down each row with a bucket, clipping the stems just below the old flower blossom. I leave a few here and there, so they can set seed. Over the years, I've made a list of the the seed setters, so I am not saving stems on varieties that don't produce seed. Our peonies produce an abundance of seed, if we let them; and when we take the time to sow it in the fall, it readily sprouts for us the following spring and/or the second spring. It is exciting to see a seedling produce it's first flower, as like children, no two are exactly the same. We always anticipate the next, best peony plant - with exceptional fragrance and strong stems, no doubt. Sometimes they are really attractive and promising; other times they just don't do it for you. The flower can exhibit additional characteristics the second and third year; so, don't discard a one year old seedling that you don't care for. It may bloom into something special as it matures. If you allow your peonies to set seed, look for the pods to open in August, when you can place the seed in the ground. Water to keep moist until the fall rains come and in the spring check for tiny seedlings.
Our peony farm is now closed for the season, except by appointment for purchasing potted peony plants (contact us at 503-393-7999 or email@example.com). Bare root peonies for fall planting may be ordered online or via telephone. Peony roots will be shipped in September and October. Some selections are limited, so order early for your choice peonies.
Thank you to all of our farm visitors this season. As always, you are a joy to meet and we appreciate your business.
Wishing you a wonderful summer,