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Old September 4, 2018   #1
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Omaha Zone 5
Posts: 2,314
Default Peony Looking Awful

For the second year, my peony looked like this, a brown crinkly mess with distorted blooms. I imagine the plant is original to the late 70's built home. It was beautiful for the 6 years prior, but the entire state seems to have has been hard hit with powdery mildew and other maladies of peony. Because of the spot it is in, I doubt I could wrangle it (actually a row of 3 out).

Any ideas what to do with this area? I am not a big roundup fan but would make an exception rather than fall off a shelf trying to remove it.

- Lisa
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Peony Leaves.JPG (182.1 KB, 46 views)
File Type: jpg Peony Stem.JPG (175.4 KB, 46 views)
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Old September 5, 2018   #2
clkeiper's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ohio
Posts: 4,206

fungal disease. clean up the plant this Fall and put all the waste in a bag to remove it. you might want to spray a fungicide on the plant next year. but here is better help than me.

["Botrytis paeoniae a fungal disease more prominent especially in very wet seasons. The stems of your plant develop cankers or blacken at the base and fall over or simply wilt. Leaves may show black or brown patches and buds may turn brown and fail to open. Good culture and sanitation in the garden can help prevent or correct these problems. Plants need good drainage and air circulation, so do not crowd. Remove any affected foliage at the first sign of disease and deadhead religiously, removing all flower parts and petals from the garden. Cut off all foliage just below soil level after a killing frost in the fall and remove it and any debris from the area -- do not compost. If botrytis was present the previous spring, add a shallow layer of sand around the plants and crowns. Fungal spores overwinter at the base of the plants, and spring rains then splash the spores up onto the new shoots. Removing any debris and old foliage and covering the soil with sand helps prevent reinfection.

Life Cycle
Botrytis fungi are both saprophytic and parasitic. The spore-producing structures of the fungus develop along the base of the rotting stalks and survive in debris left in the garden over the winter. In the spring, spores form and spread to dying, wounded, or extremely soft plant tissues. As the disease progresses, a gray mold develops. The gray mold is made up of spores that are either wind-blown or splashed onto new tissues and infect."] by Don Hollingsworth, APS Director - Maryville, Missouri in cooperation with the Canadian Peony Society.
Photos & editing by Reiner Jakubowski
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Old September 5, 2018   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Brownville, Ne
Posts: 2,914

With all the rain we have been having right after all the heat and humidity, I think most peonies are looking much like your photo. After the first frost, mow the area and remove all the diseased foliage. clkeiper has it correct. It will come back OK next year.
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