Paeonia daurica ssp. mlokosewitschii and moist packing seeds

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Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-23
Paeonia daurica ssp. mlokosewitschii and moist packing seeds

I have received seeds of this from the swap.
I am curious about them coming moist packed as I have
not heard of peony seeds requiring moist packing?
I take it perhaps it is just a requirement of this one?
It only grows 30cm so may be good in rock gardens.

Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I've never gotten moist packed peony seeds either but I know they germinate readily if planted fresh. If the seeds are dry they may take a year more to germinate.

Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Here is Deno on peonies:

Paeonea (Ranunculacèae). Nicking the seeds of P. officinalis and P. suffruticosa was reported to give some promotion to germination in the first edition, but this has not been confirmed in later and more extensive experiments. P:anomala, emodi, lutea, mlkosewetschii, obovata, and vernalis germ. at 70. similar to P.officinalis. Germination consists of forming a radicle and a branching root system. This requires about 2 months after which the seedlings are given 3 months at 40. On shifting back to 70 the true leaf forms (hypogeal). Germination was hypogeal in all but P. brownii. Treatment with GA-3 gave a small increase in rate of germination in P. officinalis and P. suffruticosa.

Harvey Buchite is owner of Hidden Springs Flower Farm.  He is a long time member of our Chapter and specializes and grows more than 600 species and cultivars of peonies here in Minnesota.  His website is a great library of peonies, too:

His article, copied with permission from our newsletter:

Peonies require Two-Step Propagation Process by Member Harvey Buchite

  Peonies have a two-step germination process.  Step one
requires a warm moist period for 6—12 weeks until the
root inhibitors are broken down and a root emerges.  This
can be accomplished by placing seeds in a closable plastic
bag with moist peat or potting soil at a temperature of 85
degrees F.  Step two can only begin after roots reach
1½ to 2 inches in length.  During step two the shoot in-
hibiting hormones are broken down during a cold moist
treatment period of 1,000 hours.  That is about 6—8
weeks.  Move the plastic bag with the root sprouted seeds
to the refrigerator.  Once the sprout has emerged from the
top of the root it can be moved out of the refrigerator and
transplanted to a 4-inch pot with up to 5 plants per pot
and moved to a moderately warm and sunny or bright lo-
cation as the sprouted leaf matures.  They can be planted
out in the late summer in a partial shaded location where
they can be watered and allowed to go dormant for the
    If you are lucky enough you can plant fresh seed from
your peony plants and they will not have built up the root
inhibitor yet and will produce a root that fall if planted out
in the garden, and the winter will provide the cool treat-
ment and they will sprout in the spring.  Depending on
how dry the seeds were, germination may take up to two
seasons, so don't be in a rush. 
    You can push the growth by giving the seedlings a cool
treatment after 12 weeks of growth and force dormancy
and a flush of new growth after 6—8 weeks of the cool
treatment again.  In this way you can save one year of
growth and get bloom sooner.  Tree peonies reach bloom-
ing size more quickly than the herbaceous types because in
nature they must grow quickly to take advantage of the
limited light in the woodland environment they grow in
    Happy growing!

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I have seed of Paeonia cambessedesii.  This is one of the unusual Paeonia spp.:
after the initial warm germination, it sends up its first leaf in 40F.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-23

Thank you for the advice on peony germination and the links to growers.
I was aware of the two step process, which is similar to the martagon lily germination.
I start some of each at the same time.

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