Gardening Articles


INTERSECTIONAL OR ITOH PEONIES

Intersectional (or Itoh) peonies are the hottest new addition to the peony world.  After nearly 40 years of failed attempts, plant breeder Toichi Itoh finally succeeded in crossing a tree peony (shrub type) with a herbaceous or lactiflora (dormant). 

So--Are Intersectional Peonies Really An Improvement Over Existing Forms? Noteworthy VarietiesCaring for Intersectional Peonies

Intersectional peonies are vigorous and rapid growers, much more so than tree peonies and often more so than herbaceous or lactiflora types.  Within a few years, a good-sized root division will produce several blooms and in three to four years may become the highlight of your garden.  These peonies require the same care as any other (see care discussion in FAQ) and will thrive with good drainage and in full sun.

Propagation of IntersectionalsTissue-Cultured Intersectionals

Tissue-cultured plants represent a tradeoff between a lower price for what has up until recently been a very expensive investment and the chance that your plant will not quite be what you expected it to be.

Despite claims to the otherwise, tissue-cultured plants are not always exact copies of their parent.  So be cautioned that the blooms or other characteristics on these plants may not be identical to those of the original parent and in some case will be inferior replicas.  For the average gardener who will likely be unfamiliar with the appearance of the original, this may not matter and a fair approximation will be good enough. 

Additionally, you need to be aware that tissue-cultured peonies commonly sold are often much smaller than those from root divisions and will take longer to produce blooming plants, at least one year and sometimes two.

Why Buy a Private Stock Intersectional Peony 

All of my peonies have been propagated by root division from the original cross and have been purchased from specialty nurseries that take great pride in selling the genuine version.  In the case of Garden Treasure, my starts come from Hollingsworth Nursery, which bred this beautiful variety. 

Any plant you receive from me will be a large root division with numerous eyes, will come directly from my own stock, and will be fairly priced.  These plants are guaranteed to be true to form and absolutely as fresh from the field as they can possibly be.  You will not be disappointed! 


ORIENPET LILIES

What Is an Orienpet Lily?

That said, because of their parentage, Orienpets will never be as absolutely hardy as Asiatics, which represent the gold standard for cold tolerance and reliability.  However, I have grown and field-tested numerous of these beautiful new lilies for several years and have found that many increase in size over time and even slowly reproduce.

A few companies market Orienpets as tree lilies, so called because they have the potential to grow up to 6 feet tall with very thick woody stems.  However, like all other temperate zone lilies, Orienpets become completely dormant every fall with no live top growth remaining.  It also should be noted that many Orienpet lilies will often not grow as tall in Montana as they might in milder climates such as the Northwest.

Planting and Growing Tips

  • All lilies like a lot of sun and a well-drained soil.  Be sure to mix in plenty of high-grade compost with your lilies when you plant them.  And try to avoid planting them in extremely heavy soils that are slow to drain.
  • Fertilize your lilies in the spring with a slow release fertilizer such as Osmocote.  Also, because much of our soil east of the Divide is somewhat alkaline, you may need to supplement with an amendment containing iron and sulfur.
  • Orienpets should be planted as a bare bulb in the spring only or as well-rooted pot plants up to about the 1st of September.  They should not be planted as a bulb in the fall because they will not have time to adequately reestablish their root system.
  • After Orienpets finish blooming, which will be around the 3rd week of August, be sure to immediately cut off the seed heads to allow the plant to fully place its energy production on building up the bulb for the next season.  However, leave as much green foliage as possible until the plant yellows and becomes dormant in the fall.
  • Mulch your Orienpet in late fall after the ground freezes hard with loose straw or wood chips up to 6 or 8 inches in depth.  This will help ensure that your plant will come back and bloom beautifully the next year.

Proven Performers in Helena, Montana

    • Northern Carillon
    • Easter Morn
    • American Spirit
    • Leslie Woodriff
    • Scheherazade

Why Buy a Private Stock Orienpet Lily?

I sell only potted plants that have been extremely well rooted in under field conditions.  Because these lilies are not greenhouse grown, they are hardened off thoroughly and will bloom this year in sync with their natural growing season.  All of my plants are thoroughly checked for (viral vectors) aphids and botrytis, which are controlled organically  Any variety I sell has been or is currently being tested outdoors in my test plots to determine its reliability in Montana.

I guarantee that the plants you buy from Private Stock Perennials will be full of vigor and primed to reach their potential this year and for many years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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