Peony collapse

laceyvail(6A, WV)September 7, 2007

My peony 'Raspberry Sundae' collapsed last night. It's been in the ground 10 or 11 years, and although we're in a severe drought none of the other plants within 6 feet of it are suffering, including Peony 'Sword Dance', Achillea 'Summer wine', Calamints, Malva alcea fastigiata, daylilies. No sign of botrytis either in the peony.

There may be some vole activity in the area, but if so, it's nothing like the infestation I had last winter in the same bed, and the peonies were untouched through that.

So, what diseases are peonies subject to, and what might have caused the collapse?

Thanks for your help.

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Dig a root and see what it looks like then report back. There is a disease that causes collapse in several plants but I think you will find that the roots have been either eaten away below the ground or have been undermined by the voles so that they have not been in contact with the soil except at the edges of the plant. You may need to replant

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 8:57PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Thanks for your response. After I posted this, I watered for a long time and the peony recovered, but I suspect that deep down there is some vole/mole activity which added to the problem because, as I posted, none of the nearby plants are suffering.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 5:25AM
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Even though the roots are not being eaten they may be suffering from the tunneling causing much of the roots to be in air. Pick a safe distance away from the peony and probe to see if there is a lot of open space in the soil. Al

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 9:54AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

I think that the roots probably are being exposed deep down, but there's very little I can do. The bed is heavily planted, and my gardens have HUGE rocks in them that the moles/voles like. I know that area has been a mole haven for years before voles moved in as well.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 5:45AM
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Do what you can to collapse the tunnels. I would shove a hose down a hole made with the probe into a tunnel area and turn on lots of water while continuing to probe in the area and collapsing the tunnels. Al

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 9:43AM
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