Canadian Peony Society Seed Exchange 2020
Societe Canadienne de la Pivoine: Exchange de graines 2020

Hello Peony Friends,

This is your last chance to participate in the 2020 seed exchange. The seed list has been updated to reflect what is currently available. Some seeds still on the list are in limited supply. Orders must be received before July 31, 2020 Seed orders are mailed out when confirmation of payment is received, but expect slow delivery from Canada Post.. Mail or email your order to John Moons, 34 Langford Church Road, Brantford, ON N3T 5L4, email

Canadian Peony Society 2020 Seed List

Updated July 2020

Bonjour amis des pivoines,

Le list des semences 2020 sont maintenant disponibles. Les commandes de semences des membres seront exécutées en premier jusqu’au 30 mars 2020. Les commandes de semences seront remplies lorsque la confirmation du paiement sera reçue. Les commandes peuvent être postées ou envoyées par courrier électronique à John Moons, 34 Langford Church Road, Brantford, ON N3T 5L4, par courriel à

Société canadienne de la pivoine liste de semences 2020 (récolte 2019)

Juillet 2020

Peony Seeds by R. Jakubowski

Peonies are heterozygous and do not come true from seeds. Named cultivars must be propagated vegetatively to retain their cultivar name.

Seeds collected from species plants have an inherent variability within the population and not all are exactly alike, even in nature. Be aware that species plants grown in the garden are subject to cross pollination with other peonies that may be in bloom at the same time, but otherwise, plants grown from species seeds remain species plants.

Peony seeds can be started indoors, but it’s a rather involved process and it has to be started in the fall to get the timing right for planting sprouted seedlings in the spring.

By late winter it is much better to delay starting peony seeds until mid-June, perhaps as late as mid-July.  The reason for this is that peony seeds have a stepped approach to germination which has evolved to maximize sprouted seeds emerging in the spring when they have the best chance for survival. Seeds need a lengthy warm moist period after which the root starts to grow with the onset of cooler fall weather. The cold of winter is needed to break down barriers which otherwise prevent initiation of shoot growth. This sequence of environmental factors must occur in that order or the seeds will not grow.

  1. In mid-June to mid-July soak the seeds in water for up to four days. Seeds which sink are considered sound and should germinate for you. Seeds which never sink are usually hollow, and not viable.
  2. Plant out in garden, or in a cold frame, 1 inch deep, 4 to 6 inches apart.
  3. Water to dampen the soil, and avoid letting it dry out, but don’t keep it constantly wet either.
  4. It is best to cover the seeded area to conserve moisture, to mark the spot, and to protect against animals digging them up. They won’t show above ground growth until the following spring, so covering won’t bother them. Use a board or flat rock or something similar.
  5. Remember to remove covering as early as you can in the spring.

 Blooms will not appear for several years. First blooms of peony seedlings are often different from those that will develop as the plant matures. Don’t judge too quickly! Some seedlings may resemble their parents, but they are not identical. New peonies can be registered with the American Peony Society. For more information on registration email

How to Germinate Peony Seeds Indoors

Collect seeds as pods begin to open. The harder the outer shell the longer the first dormancy period.

Wash the seeds in soapy water, followed by a ten minute soak in a solution of 9 parts water to 1 part household bleach. Rinse.

For seeds that have been stored, soak in clean water from one to four days. Change water at least daily. Seeds that remain floating are considered hollow, or otherwise incomplete, and unlikely to germinate. Seeds that sink to the bottom should be okay. Use these as you continue with the next step.

Place seeds in sealed plastic bag with barely moist vermiculite or peat moss.

Place sealed bag in a warm area of the house(not in sun), check them every week to see if the root has emerged, and ensure they remain moist (but not wet!)

Leave them in the warmth until the roots appear (anywhere from a few weeks to several months).

Once roots appear and are about 3cm in length, move the bag to a cool location. Temperature should be approximately 4 degrees C. (An old refrigerator is fine)

After 12 weeks, remove the bag and pot up the partially germinated seeds in a soil-less germination mix.

Depending on the time of year, you may have to place seedlings under grow lights for a few months before being able to transfer outside.

Keep seedlings under grow lights and ensure they are moist but not soggy.

Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every few weeks.

Transfer outside slowly as you would any other tender seedling. Too much sun, too rapidly, will result in burnt foliage.

Seedlings should be outside in a sunny well-drained seedbed by September at the latest.

Who We Are

We are a Society dedicated to the growth and development of Peonies. We are always looking for new members and enthusiasts to join the Society, so join us and come and share your passion!

Recent Updates

Are you attending the 2020 National Peony Show & Canadian Peony Society AGM on June 19th and 20th in Regina, Sask? See our Events page for more information

Contact Info

Canadian Peony Society
424 Godolphin Rd.
Warkworth, ON K0K 3K0