Most people are more than happy to simply grow some peony plants in their garden and enjoy them. There are many cultivars to choose from, different in many ways: flower form, color, height, stem strength, blooming time, health, number of stems, fragrance, leaf form, and so on. The impressive number of available cultivars has been built up over hundreds of years and it is still increasing as hybridizers all over the world are working with peonies. Nate Bremer (interviewed here on Southern Peony), from Solaris Farms (Wisconsin, USA), is such an active hybridizer with many recent introductions by his hand. You can check the peony registry at the American Peony Society (APS) to see a list of his introductions. He has written an excellent introduction to hybridizing with peonies and if you’re only slightly interested in trying to grow your own cultivar one day this might be the last nudge you need to go about it 🙂

Nate Bremer’s nursery, click to visit.

If you start with it, you might as well join the APS as they have lots of information about peonies and hybridizing. Most hybridizers are part of it anyway and next to that they are the official registration authority for new cultivars. There are also some facebook groups that bring together peony hybridizers, although we can only recommend them half-heartedly. And last, though not least, you can also join the ‘hybridizer’s corner’ group on this site, where there are several active hybridizers.

You can click on any image to enlarge it and from there on you can easily click the arrows to go to the next slide.

Many thanks to Nate Bremer for allowing us to publish this here.

If you’d like to download a pdf-file of this: Peonies From Seed – Nate Bremer PDF

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    • #26363

      If you’d like to comment on this article, please do so below, your replies will be available both in the forum and under the article itself.
      [Read the full article: Peonies from seed]

    • #26449
      Bob
      Participant

      It’s clear that a lot of work went into producing this guide, so thanks go to Nate for the effort involved, along with the knowledge as well.

    • #27696
      Sarah Bucko
      Participant

      I appreciate all of this amazing information. I am in the process of trying to germinate some Molly the Witch seeds. I had them in moist vermiculite for three months in a warm spot, three months in the refrigerator, and then I potted the seeds up according to the directions with gravel at the bottom, soil, sand and then chicken grit at the top. They have been in a warm place for the last three months again. I noticed that some have developed small roots but no shoots yet. Should I put them back in the refrigerator or move them outside to a cold frame (we have pretty variable weather this time of year, zone 5)? Thanks for any and all advice.

    • #27714

      I guess the three months in a warm spot was good. That will have broken the first dormancy of the roots. But these roots will normally only start growing at intermediate temperatures, thus somewhere 10-15°C, not at low temperatures in the refrigerator. At intermediate temperature, which is lower than the ‘warm spot’ they will grow rapidly in a few weeks time. When they are several cm long, you can then place them into a cold spot for some months to break second dormance so that the plumule will appear when you place them in a warm spot again. From what you’ve written I deduct that you’ve gone straight from warm to cold without the intermediate temperature. When the roots are not yet there or are too small, the first leaf (plumule) will not appear when placed in a warm spot again. Some seeds have developed their first roots you say. If they are long enough (minimum 2 cm), you can now place them in cold again to break dormancy. After this those will grow when placed in a warm spot again. The others are best placed in a spot with intermediate temperatures for the roots to appear after which you can give the cold temperature again and then move them to the heat. Alternatively if you leave them outside, they will simply receive warmer temperatures, in Fall they’ll develop their roots and after Winter they’ll grow. At least that’s my experience, but species differ in their precise requirements and after many years I still have rather variable results myself. Good luck!

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