Peony is a gorgeous fragrant flower that decorates any flower garden and looks great in flower arrangements and festive bouquets. The most popular breeding method for this plant is by dividing the bush. The method of propagation by seeds is most often used in the work of breeders when developing new varieties. One significant drawback of this method is that the first flowering of peonies grown from seeds does not occur until the fifth year of the plant’s life. Knowing and taking into account all the subtleties of seed reproduction of this flowering culture, you can get the desired result without special experience in floriculture..
Peony seeds features
The process of germination of peony seeds takes a long time and requires a lot of patience, since their embryo has a special structure. The first seedlings can appear only a year after sowing the seeds, because the seeds need a two-stage stratification. To speed up this process, experienced florists recommend using only seeds collected in their area for planting. The optimal time for collecting planting material is from August 15 to September 15. At this time, the seeds are not yet fully ripe, which is very important for their further use..
The collected seed material must be immediately planted on flower beds, deepening it into the soil by 5 cm. This planting allows the seeds to go through two stages of stratification. The first warm stage is being in soil with a temperature of 15 to 30 degrees Celsius. The second cold stage is being in soil with a temperature of 5 to 10 degrees Celsius for 1.5-2 months (before the onset of winter cold weather). Having passed this “treatment”, most of the seeds will germinate the next season, and the rest – in another year..
Seed Germination Tips
In order to speed up the process of the appearance of seedlings from seeds, you need to know a few secrets about the stratification procedure from experienced breeders and professional florists..
The thermal stage of stratification will be of better quality if the peony seeds are exposed to variable temperatures throughout the day. In the daytime it is 25-30 degrees, at night – about 15.
At the cold stage of stratification, it is necessary to perform several additional laborious manipulations that will accelerate the germination of seeds for a whole year..
It is very important that roots appear in the peony seeds at the heat stage. Only after their appearance can one proceed to the cold stage. The procedure will require a growth regulator (gibberellic acid solution), which is recommended to treat the hypocotyl by applying a bandage soaked in the prepared solution. To do this, you will need to open the seeds, apply a “bandage” to a specific area of the stem and cover them with a glass or plastic cap for about 7 days. During this time (at a temperature of 5 to 10 degrees Celsius and constant humidity), the seedlings will have a bud, after which they can be transferred to a room with a temperature of 15 to 20 degrees Celsius for further development..
The procedure can be repeated if, after a week, the growth bud on the seeds has not formed..
Germination of purchased peony seeds
Before sowing, purchased seeds must be poured with warm water and left for two days to soak, which will contribute to their quickest hatching. For winter sowing of seeds, you will need a heating pad with a temperature controller and flat dishes with wet sand. The dishes with the sown seeds are placed on a heating pad and warmed up in stages: in the daytime – up to 30 degrees, and at night – up to 15. This heat treatment continues for a month. Watering is carried out regularly by spraying sand from a fine spray.
You can proceed to the second stage (cold) after the roots appear on the seeds. First, the seed is transplanted into fertile soil (into another container), and then the temperature is maintained from 5 to 10 degrees Celsius until the first leaves appear. The final stage of growing peony seedlings is to maintain room temperature in the growing room and timely moisten the soil before transferring the seedlings to a permanent place (to open beds) from about 15 to 30 August.