Powdery substance on peony plants ? - Knowledgebase Question

Milwaukee, Wi
Avatar for stutt1117
Question by stutt1117
September 29, 2010
Normally I cut down my peony plants around this time of year and add them to my compost bin, but I am unsure what this is and if it will be harmful to the compost ?

Answer from NGA
September 29, 2010
The white powdery substance is probably powdery mildew and it's common this time of year when days and warm and nights are cool. Go ahead and cut the foliage from your peonies. You can compost the foliage if your compost is well managed and it heats up well. If yours is a passive compost pile, it won't heat up enough to kill the pathogens and you should probably put the diseased plant material in the trash. Best wishes with your garden!

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