Sick Peonies

mary_md7June 2, 2008

My peonies (6 years old, full sun, unknown cultivar given to me by a friend) came up out of the ground as usual this year. They formed few buds and had a total of only 3 flowers. They are fairly covered with a white substance that looks like powdery mildew.

What is the appropriate thing to do? Cut them to the ground now? Spray them with fungicide?

Thanks!

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

It may be too advanced to help but I would spray now with Neem or Ultrafine horticultural oil. When the plant dies back in the fall I would remove all plant material to the garbage and spray the ground well with Bordeaux mix. In the spring when the growth first starts I would do the Bordeaux again. Al

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 9:25AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Have they had more blooms than that in the 6 years they have been planted? Besides what calistoga suggested above, might they need to be lifted and planted a little more shallow?

Sue

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 10:32AM
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mary_md7

They have had dozens of flowers in the past several years, so the appearance of only three is a major change.

If I wait til fall to cut them back, will they infect nearby plants? Would it be better to cut them back now?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 6:22AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Your peony will survive if cut back now, and to prevent the spread of powdery mildew to other susceptible plants nearby that might be a good idea. Care should be taken to bag the mildewed plant material carefully to contain the spores. Now I would spray the cut back plant and the ground generously with a fungicide. Al

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 10:03AM
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