powdery mildew - cut back ENTIRE plant to ground level .. ?
Hi, Both of my peony plants have completely succumbed to what appears to be mildew (possibly botrytis, but I can't tell). I'll post more pictures later, but the whole plant is covered with velvety white stuff. Some stalks have fallen over flat on the ground! I've read on this and other websites "cut (infested) stalks back". (e.g. http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/450/450-602/450-602.html see cultural control.) If the *ENTIRE* plant is pretty much infected and therefore cut back to the ground level, does the plant then shoot out entirely new stems from the root next spring ... !!! ??? (If so, these plants hold the key to the fountain of youth?! :) Other than the sanitary precautions, do I need to take steps to protect the plant (essentially just the root system and stalks jutting out at ground level) - such as wrap the remaining stalks in burlap over the winter etc?