The Q&A Archives: Sick Peoni

Question: I have 2 double red Peonis; one that I've had for about 12 years which normally does extremely well, full of gorgeous brilliant red blooms; the other is in it's second season, but hasn't had any blooms yet. This year neither of these bushes had any buds and they both have a milky white film on some of their leaves. What is this, what do I do about it and when? There are other plants in these same flower beds, within close proximity that have no problems.


Answer: I suspect the crazy oscillating spring temperatures damaged the flower buds, hence no blooms. The white sounds like mildew. This will not kill the plants although it looks unattractive. Mildew can occur under certain weather conditions. Good air circulation along with watering in the morning and avoiding wetting the foliage if you water, can help prevent it. If it is just a few leaves you can remove them now to try to stop the spread. At the end of the season after frost kills the foliage, rake up the fallen peony leaves and stems and dispose of them in the trash. Let's hope for a better season next year!

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