My peony is in full bloom and has black spots on some leaves. Should I spray with a fungicide now or wait until it's done blooming? I'm assuming this is a fungal disease(?). This is my first peony and I don't know much about them.
I don't think you need to spray at all. You could remove affected leaves now and certainly don't let the leaves die back into the soil. Botrytis, if that's what it is, will spread in wet conditions, so maybe spray if you have wet weather. Otherwise, only spray if you get problems very early in the season that might threaten the flowers. You could chop the whole plant to the ground in a few weeks time anyway.
Thanks for your response Shrubs n Bulbs. Do most people cut their peony down after it blooms? I was thinking most left it for the foilage, plus does this help next years blooms? I don't know - I am new at this. If I cut it back will the blooms next year be smaller? This year they were too big and long for their stems and flopped even with support.
Interestingly enough, people have treated peonies in different ways, often with the same end result. Ie., the most oft-recommended is to allow it to maintain the foliage after bloom in order to help increase the rhizomes. However many have reported that for years, they routinely mowed their herbaceous peonies down to the ground not long after bloom and still have floriforous plants every spring. I expect that this is a testament to the strength of established peonies.
If yours is in fact infected, I would remove any infected stems, buds, and leaves and discard in the trash, even if you have to cut the whole thing down to do it. That way you get a jump on reducing and hopefully eliminating any problems next year with overwintering pathogens, etc.
We have had black spots on our peonies. We were told by nurseries to use the same thing that we use for apple scab that we spray our flowering crab trees. It used to be called Daconil by Ortho but has since changed names. New name is Garden Disease Control by Ortho. We were also told to cut off on sections that have black spot and burn them. They are very infectous to the rest of the plant. They should not be left on the ground anywhere. We did have good luck with this. The spraying has to be very early in the spring when they are starting to come up or it is too late. This year we did not spray but we have had drought conditions and we have not had any black spots . Either way, spots or not they always come up next year and are fine. If they develop black spot it usually after the blooms. If we see any before that it is minor. Good luck what ever you try.
Wow. That's informative. I've got plenty of black spots on mine. They are near the strawberry bed, which also has the black spots. I can't help but wonder if one did it to the other.
The fungi is in the air and soil. Plants can provide a growing place for the fungi but without the right conditions should not pass back and forth to each other. The passing back and forth is done by wind, splashing water, anything that touches one then the other.
Removing the effected leaves if you can will help prevent more damage this year.
I have a question, I have two small children, and I have black leaves on my peony and I see my strawberries and now my crab apple have them as well, I rid pf some of the leaves already with my bare hands, is this fungis a daner to humans?