The concerning points importing peony from China


In china, there are four kinds of peony. Rockii peony, Chinese Tree Peony, Herbaceous Peony and Japanese Peony

Rockii Tree Peony, the Latin name of Rokiii Tree Peony is P. Rockii, which characterized by tall plants, wide crown diameter and cold resistance can survive cold winter with minimum temperature -43centigrade without artificial protection. In this case, it’s suitable to grow in the European countries and USA. The rockii peony is originated from Gansu Zhongchuan Peony Nursery not far from Zhongchuan airport.

Chinese Tree Peony, the Latin name is Paeonia suffiuticasa, the standard of plants is 2-3 stems, 15-35cm height. For north European country we don’t recommend this type since it can't pass the cold winter, but for France, Germany and Netherlands Chinese Tree Peony can survive.

Herbaceous Peony, the Latin name is Paeonia Lactiflara , generally the standard is 2-3 buds, for  better potting effect ,4-6 bubs is better, and Herbaceous Peony is also a good choice for cutting flowers.

Japanese Peony is the favorite one by Europeans.

All the peonies are sold by color and varieties, or you can choose to buy mixed. Usually it’s more expensive to buy according to varieties, and cheaper according to color. The cheapest to buy mixed.

Delivery Time

For European countries, Rockii Tree Peony is most recommended. The next is the delivery time.

Usually only two seasons could deliver the plants, spring and autumn. If you want to buy plants, I think you should plan several monthly in advance and contact suppliers monthly in advance. Why?

1.       As you know, the amount of plants is limited for certain specification, they couldn’t be produce massively in very short time. It takes almost one year to grow.

2.       The amount of each variety is limited especially the special varieties such as the black or purple colors. If you couldn’t this season, you may wait to next season or even next year. So contact suppliers before the delivery time, they could reserve the plants for you.

3.       The European Union has the new regulations in 2010. Plants just can be exported while they are dormant. The plants you required should be shipped at latest at the end of January. So in spring, for European countries, they couldn’t import plants. The time for them to deliver is from early August to late January. If you want to make orders for your spring sale, please contact suppliers before January, and make sure the order could be delivered before January. Or it will delay your business. For other countries, the delivery time is still Spring(10 Mar-10 April) and Autumn (10 Aug-31 Jan)

Almost all of the suppliers will provide the related documents, such as invoice, packing list, contract and Phytosanitary Certificate. Phytosanitary Certificate is the most important, which will help to pass the custom when plants arrive.

Shipping Methods

In China, the shipping methods are usually EMS, DHL, Aircargo and shipping by sea.

The delivery time of each method,

EMS, 7-15days to worldwide,

DHL 2-7days to worldwide,

Aircargo 5-7days to worldwide,

shipping by sea 30-40days to worldwide.


Usually EMS is suitable for plants weight 1-20kg;

DHL suitable for 20-100kg,

Aircargo suitable for 100-1000kg,

shipping by sea for more than 4000kg.

It depends on the amount and the weight of the plants, here is a table to check the weight and then estimate the whole weight so it’s easy to choose which shipping method.

Rockii Tree Peony
more than 3stems
Chinese Peony
more than 3stems
Japanese Peony
more than 3stems
Herbaceous Peony
more than 5buds

If the supplier is located in Gansu province, usually they choose Beijing as the airport and Tianjin as the port. The buyer can decide which airport or port is convenient.

Custom Clearance

A large part of orders pass the custom smoothly. And there may be the problems as follows,

1.       Custom duty, usually whether or how much custom duty is not certain. The custom or the carrier will contact the buyer when there is custom duty, the buyer will pay it according to their instruction. But for DHL, they pay in advance and the buyer simply pays when the parcel is delivered. Usually the custom is not that strict for USA and Europeans countries except Italy. If the buyer is from Italy, you’d better ask the supplier to declare the parcel under 40$ not a gift for small parcel.

2.       Documents, if the documents are lack of or documents are not consistent, please contact the supplier as soon as possible for the copy ones, which will help to pass the custom smoothly.

3.       The worst situation is that plants have pathogenic bacteria when they come to the local Agricultural Bureau. They maybe destroy the plants or return back to the supplier. In this case, contact with supplier is also very important. When the result comes out, the buyer and the supplier will negotiate the compensation.

Feed Back

1.       Variety right to name:

In the past the buyers got mixed plants. It’s getting better and better recent years but it has to be 100%. Usually Chinese understanding of colors is different to the European. In Europe white flowers have to be white and not sometimes mixed with pale pink in opening and fading to white. Or just for example Ye Guang Bei: Some are true to color with a dark red (Chinese call it black) but some are only very close to it with a dark purplish red. That are nice plants too but its not exactly the origin variety.

2.  Quality:

The buyers have to select the quality of the plants. For example the buyers buy plants with 1-2 branches and 30 cm tall together with plants which got 3-4-5 branches and 50-60 cm tall. All in the same box and all are the same variety for the same price. Some are grafted on own roots some are grafted on lactiflora. Everything mixed. Due the big horticulture business in Europe plants got an industrial standard in the meantime. Most of the people don’t understand any more that plants are a living good and every plant is a different individual. When they are ordering plants the first to the last plant has to be nearly the same in quality.

The Japanese plants are mostly in the same size. When you are ordering 2 years plants you know exactly what you are getting. You need only 1 pot size for potting. Thats it. Some suppliers will supply plants 3 different pot sizes for the same age (small, middle and big pots). Thats worse for the wholesale business. The customers cant calculate what they will get. Even they cant calculate the freight. Most of the plants in Europe are sold as potted plants (even the several 100. thousand of plants from NL are sold potted to 100%). Freight is expensive and the wholesellers like to get as much as possible on the trucks. Plants in Europe are mostly transported on small metall trollies which called CC cars. That is a transport system which was created in Denmark and is European standard now

You can calculate about 80 Euro freight/ cc-car for shipping by truck. When plants are too big and you got only less quantity of plants on a car the freight for a single plant is getting too expensive.
zhongchuan peony nursery


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