Fri, 30 Jul 2004 23:52:33 PDT
I have grown Peonies successfully in Los Angeles and now in Los Gatos.  There 
are a few tricks.  They were my father's favorite and I took some from his 
garden in Kansas where they still grow 12 years after he is gone.
They don't like to be moved so when you move them, you must care for them for 
a few years before they will bloom for you.  I purchase a junk food jello in 
a plastic jello mold from the grocerers to use.  For 6 weeks in the winter, 
every night, I  dump the a frozen ice ring over the remaining peony stalk or 
marker where the peony stalk should be.  Then I refill the plastic jello ring 
with water, put it back in the freezer to be used the next night.  If you do this 
for 6 weeks, they will bloom for you.  I still have 1 clump in the ground 
that bloomed this year as it has every year.  Over the years we have moved 3 
times with them so I have lost some.  I honestly think they died because they were 
in pots and I didn't water them correctly.   I do have a friend here who has 
a few plants in his garden and they have bloomed but not regularly.  I don't 
know if he goes to this trouble or not.  But he is in a different area and may 
get more chill hours.
Carolyn in Los Gatos, CA

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