I have purchased some peony seeds on line from China and they came with no instructions. I have tried several ways to germinate them without success. Can any one help Thanks Peter.


  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Peony seeds need 2 periods of chilling before they'll germinate, so stick them in the freezer for a week, remove for a week then re freeze for a week then into compost. The trouble with them is the seeds on offer are usually too dry to germinate. It doesn't matter what sort of peony they are,tree or herbaceous they still need the same treatment. If you can get hold of fresh seed you'll have a higher success rate, but it's not often available. Best of luck.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,087

    They do need to be in damp compost or some other medium for the chilling. If you  put them in the fridge dry it makes a very good seed storage place.

    As Dave says, fresh is best. Off the plant, into the gritty compost and just leave it outside to get on with germinating which it will do the following spring. Once they've gone dormant it's a longer process.

    If I was using the fridge method I think I'd have them in there longer. 

  • Thanks for the info' i will try it out and re post my results. Thanks Pete.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,087

    Good luck, they're not difficult but very different to growing veg and annuals. 

    Chill is the important bit, never artificial heat

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,881

    Can take three years to germinate. Label well and leave in cold frame or up against a wall. As nut says, they don't need heat.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,087

    My own seed, and your seed as well fidget, germinated in the first spring. image

  • As others advise the seeds do need two periods of cold or stratification before they will germinate. Normally this is two winters so one week in the fridge would not be long enough and you need to keep them moist. Wrap them in damp tissue, then pop into a polythene bag before placing in the fridge for a couple of months. Take them out to warm for a month before putting them back in again. Sow any germinated seeds in gritty compost. The germination rate for dry older seeds is low compared to fresh seed. Then plants need to be about 5 years old before producing flowers.

    My tree paeony grows its own seedlings.

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