Fri, 02 Jun 2006 23:12:48 PDT
Angela, my father always grew beautiful peonies so I love them.  They  are 
not easy to grow in California.  I keep one peony plant.  They do  not like to 
be moved around or have their roots disturbed and when that happens  they may 
not bloom for a few years.  During the winter months here it is  not cold 
enough,  I purchase one of those cheap plastic jello rings  from the grocery store, 
eat or throw out the jello.  Fill the ring with  water, slide it in the 
freezer.  Every night for 6 weeks pull the ring of  ice out, dump it out of the 
container and around the stem, stalk, marker  or whatever is visible of your 
peony plant location.  Fill the  plastic container up with water and put it back 
in the freezer.  If you  miss a night or two it won't matter but this does seem 
to help with a bit of  chilling.  
My peony plant is in bloom now and it is worth it.  
Also about those very expensive tree peonies that cost  $150 or  more.  If 
you can afford one, fine, if you can't, locate a cheaper source  that sells 
younger plants for a price you can tolerate and just plant it, ice it  and assume 
neither the $150 plant or the $29 plant are going to bloom for a  few years.  
By the time the plant is ready to bloom it will be  larger.   
Carolyn Craft in Los Gatos, CA

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