Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Propagating some Tree peonies

I visited Cricket Hill Gardens last weekend, and came back with some seeds and scions. I have germinated them from seed successfully in the past so it shouldn't be a problem this time around with fresh seeds.

These are supposed to be white Rockii tree peonies.

They are supposed to germinate next spring since they are still yellowish and have their moisture.






I clip off a piece of the shell with a nail clipper, and space them about 2 inches apart so they won't compete when they germinate.




I then push them down about 1 inch, and I intend to keep these inside my greenhouse where it won't get that cold over the winter.




Here are my materials for grafting. I have my bucket, bleach, grafting knife, paper towels, rubber bands, or grafting tape which both work fine for grafting.




According to Dan Furman's blog, they can be grafted in a few ways as shown in the following link. The big thing appears to be that the cambium layers of the root stock and scion need to line up in order to take. http://crickethillgarden.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/grafting-tree-peonies/http://crickethillgarden.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/grafting-tree-peonies/





It should also be at least 5 inches in length, but I think the main point is that the nurse root needs to have enough starches to power a decent sized plant, given that it takes successfully.

The scions are drenched in 10% bleach with water for 10 minutes, dried and then washed off to be ready for grafting.





Here are some of the grafts in action.





I find it easier to just cut a slit through the middle of the nurse root, then slide in the scion. I made sure these were clean cuts and that both sides were as even as possible so that the scion layer from both the root stock and scion can sit flush.




After I finished the grafts, I put them in a tin tray and filled it up with sand that is just barely enough moisture as too much can cause them to rot.




There are some newspapers to keep the moisture in. The tray is on a reptile heating pad, and I will try to get the sane temperatures around 90F for healing which should take 5-7 days. I was fortunate enough for my neighbor to allow me to dig some of her peonies out for nurse roots which are necessary for grafting. Hopefully many of these will take. If anyone has any advice, please feel free to comment.

22 comments:

  1. How do you know if the grafts are "healed"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly I don't know. I believe that they will fuse together so that there is some connection when I check them out in another week, but I think I'm leaving the grafting tape or rubber bands on to see if they sprout which should happen some time in March if they have taken successfully.

      It would be pretty cool if a majority of them end up taking. I tried my best to graft them well so lets hope it all goes well.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for responding. It is really exciting to see the development and progress of all the peonies projects that you have done over the years on your blog. I am really thrilled that you are taking on this project of growing tree peonies from grafts and seeds. I wish you a lot of success on both methods. And thank you so much for sharing your experiences and knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll try to keep up on the updates. The grafting is kind of fun. Perhaps I'll do more of them. I just ran out of grafting tape so I'll have to wait a few days.

      Delete
    2. I removed tape from a few of them, and found that most of them have taken with the exception of 6 which failed as the cambium layers never fused together. The fusion actually happens within less than a day however it is better to keep them around to form a stronger bond over about a week or so. Another way to tell is that the buds will turn soft and kind of dry out when they fail.

      Delete
  3. When you plant your grafts, do you keep the rubber bands on? When do you remove the rubber bands?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just leave them on just in case something can knock them loose, but I think it's faster to use grafting tape. Are you trying some for yourself as well? It is usually pretty easy to tell what has taken and what has failed after a few days.

      In using the rubberband, I usually make the cut on the root stock, put the rubber band on, then slide in the scion and try to get it to the point where cambiums line up.

      I'm finding that the scions that are too tiny tend to fail easily, and the skinnier nurse roots seem to be better, but it's been a small sample size so far.

      Delete
  4. Yes, I would like to try making a few grafts. I had a peony root that broke off the mother plant and I wanted to use it to root a peony tree that I have. I had only one graft done so far using this root with grafting tape not rubber band. I do not know if it took but the bud was still firm after 5 days. I planted it today without taking the tape out. I hope the graft took. Thanks for the info that you have here. It gave me some confidence to try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a complete newbie at this, but I've found that grafting is not all that hard, and seems to be a very efficient way to multiply the peonies you already have. I have come up with a better method which involves putting them in a big zip lock bag with moist sand on the bottom, and zipping it up to heal for 4-5 days.

      Here's what I'm talking about

      http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz246/stevelau1911/DSC08556_zps496f1c7d.jpg

      What kind of tree peony do you have? Most of mine are Japanese tree peonies. Some are Chinese, but I really haven't paid attention to their names.

      Delete
    2. I have a couple Japanese tree peonies. I have been looking at some Chinese tree peonies to add to my garden but have not decided on what to get yet.

      Delete
    3. If you have some species I don't have yet that I think looks beautiful, we could probably trade. Do you happen to have any neighbors or someone you can get herbaceous roots from?

      Yes, I do have Japanese and Chinese tree peonies and I'm taking grafts on quite a few of them this fall.

      Delete
  5. I would be happy to trade with you when the plants make more growths than what are currently on them. They are all first year plants. There are not many stems to take scions from. In fact, I haven't seen a flower on them yet. I will let you know when I have them available. Since you can graft them, you do not need to pay $30-$40 for a tree as that has been what I am paying. I am really interested to cross a rockii with a lutea hybrid peony as some lutea hybrids rebloom. The only lutea hybrid I know that sometimes reblooms is High Noon though I do not know if it is fertile or not. I just ordered a red Chinese peony tree Wu Jin Yao Hui and a rockii tree peony Bai Xiu Qiu. I do not know if these are fertile but they seem to have nice colors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's definitely no need to pay $30-$40 when you can produce them by yourself.

      Once you know how to match up the cambium layers, keep stuff sanitary, and heal these grafts, you can just make more of what you already have. I just hope most of them sprout shoots and thrive next spring.

      I haven't gotten to the point of hybridization yet, but I would like to get into that later. I'm out of root stock now, but with this knowledge, I should have lots of tree peonies in the future.

      cheers

      Delete
  6. Have you planted your grafts yet? How deep do you plant them? Do you plant your grafts in the soil or potted?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the ones that still had firm buds after the healing, I potted them up 1-7 plants per pot depending on the size of the pot and size of the grafted plants. I tried to get the graft point 2-5 inches in soil depth so they can hopefully start growing their own tree peony roots right away which can happen depending on the species.

      I don't have big raised mounds or anything for good drainage so my only choice now is to grow them in pots. Did you make some grafts too?

      Delete
  7. I did about 3 grafts since the first graft I did after I saw your post. I think my first one was successful though the 3 later ones are iffy. I planted them in the soil.anyway. Cricket Hill website says that they should be covered with plastic when the weather gets consistently cold. I will let you know if they show any growths in the spring. I do not grow anything well in the pot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I intend to cover mine up with plastic once average temperatures start getting below freezing as I know they don't really like big temperature swings, but that should be a ways away.

      If you have enough tree peonies, it should be fine to do more than 3 grafts just to ensure that you have some take. Anyways I've done some pretty odd experiments with grafting. In the past, I've successfully rooted tree peony branches so grafting should be easier.

      Some of them, I'm purposely doing with no eyes, while I'm also doing one with a 5lb herbaceous root which is attached to a bigger 1ft long scion branch with about 8 buds to see if that turns into a huge plant right off the bat.

      Delete
  8. I forgot to add that one of the later graft I did was a scion grafted onto an itoh root. I wonder if it takes easier and grows better with an itoh root or it maybe a totally bad idea if the root starts to grow itoh stems. I reallly do not know until I grow it for couple of years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've done that too on some of them, but one thing that Dan from Cricket hill garden showed me is grafting itoh peony buds that have some cambium attached to them right back onto the itoh peony roots. I did a few of those and the buds are still firm on them so I'm guessing that there's a good chance of taking eh?

      I also did experimentation with grafting itoh peony stems onto herbaceous nurse roots.


      I have quite a bit of peonies around so I really don't care if I waste it because it will regenerate next year anyways.

      Delete
  9. Boy, you are really fearless and adventurous. Now that you mention about grafting an itoh bud onto an itoh root, I so happen to have a itoh root that broke off when I divided it. I may as well make another plant by grafting a stem onto this piece of root.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz246/stevelau1911/peonies/DSC08776.jpg?t=1338681456

      Here's the link to the photo of the itoh bud with no tuber mass at all turning into a little plant which rooted out and actually took. This wasn't even put into agar in a sterile environment to grow. I don't really recommend this method, but if you have too many eyes, this is a viable propagation method.

      Delete
  10. I was hoping you would show what your peony sprouts look like. I planted about 30 of them and I can't tell if they are weeds or if they are sprouts. Guess I wait and see :) Thanks for tips.

    ReplyDelete