Peony Seeds: Characteristics, Ripening Time And Sowing

They are usually hard to get in stores, the seeds of the peony. But here and there in online stores you can find the seeds of some peony species. However, you also have the opportunity to harvest the seeds yourself, if peonies are already growing in the garden.

Pfingstrosen säen

Seed ripening time and harvest

The seeds of peonies are usually ripe when the foliage of the plant gradually turns reddish. This is long after the flowering period, around late summer. You should not wait too long to harvest the seeds! The ripe bellows fruits burst open and the seeds can easily fall out.

The germination capacity dries up
Since the seeds quickly lose germination capacity (especially if they dry out a lot), it is best to sow them immediately. At most, you should store them until the next spring! Therefore, seeds from the store are not particularly recommended for sowing.

External characteristics of the seeds
The fresh seeds are plump, shiny, dark brown to black in color. Their shape is difficult to describe. Each seed is unique. As a rule, they are partly roundish and partly angular. The corners are rounded and there are indentations.

Growing peonies from seed
Sowing peonies is not for the impatient. For one thing, it sometimes takes up to 2 years for the seeds to germinate. For another, it can take 5 to 10 years before the first bloom. You should therefore think twice about sowing seeds as a propagation method!

In autumn right after harvesting the seeds is the optimal time for sowing. Note: The seeds are cold germinators, which are stimulated to germinate only after a cold period of several weeks. You can do this even without a refrigerator!

See also  How To Cultivate Oregano In A Pot On The Balcony

Here’s how sowing works easiest:

  • Fill a seed tray with loose, sandy soil
  • sow several seeds flat
  • put seed trays outside
  • keep moderately moist
  • in spring: prick out as soon as germination is successful
  • place in a semi-shady location
  • plant out in autumn

The leaves that first peek out of the soil are not the cotyledons. These are the first true foliage leaves. The cotyledons are under the soil.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

    View all posts