Peonies forum: Help the sick peony plant

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Name: Pippi21
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906 (Zone 7a)
Pippi21
Aug 9, 2012 6:06 PM CST
For the past week or two, I've been noticing large brown spots/blotches on the peony foliage and this morning I went out to check it and noticing some of the leaves have a silver color(is that mold?) I did a lot of internet searches this morning and this is what it describers. It recommended using a fungicide but didn't suggest any specific one..Have you had this happen to any of your peony plants?

I can be partly to blame because as I have been watering with the garden hose, I watered the foliage too just not the soil in the flowerbed. High temperatures 90-104 for past 40 days..Tonight we just received a bad storm that produced not only thunder, lightning and hard winds and rain but hail. Lots of leaves were blown off the trees. The grass should start turning green after the rains we had this week.

Can you recommend a good fungicide or should I cut the entire plant down to the ground before Fall? I don't want to do that unless it is last resort as this peony is special. It was given to me at a plant swap in May and it was healthy when I bought it home here.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
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Oldgardenrose
Aug 9, 2012 7:27 PM CST
I have had a couple peonies develop mildew, the white powdery stuff, and just ignore it. It will soon be time to dig and divide peonies so it probably would not hurt to just cut them off. My leaves are beginning to die and I plan to cut the stems off next week just before time for the yard waste pickup. Different areas with different climates would have different dormant times. You are correct about watering though. Every time I water the leaves I see an increase in spotting and leaf damage. Others may have different opinions so you may want to ask around this forum. I like to use the leaky bucket technique to water peonies and roses. I have several 35 lb cat litter buckets which I drill a 1/4 inch hole in the narrow side right at the bottom and place it close to the crowns and fill with water. I squirts the water under the leaves and comes out slowly enough to permit soaking instead of runoff. Each bucket holds at least 5+ gallons of water. Beats standing there holding a hose.
Name: Pippi21
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906 (Zone 7a)
Pippi21
Aug 9, 2012 7:52 PM CST
Don't have a 5 gal. bucket that I don't use but why couldn't I use a gal milk jug and just refill it. I have several of those..They were going to be used for wintersowing anyhow so the drainage holes can still serve a purpose.. Thanks for the response. Now which peony is that picture of in your post? She's a beauty!
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
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Oldgardenrose
Aug 9, 2012 8:16 PM CST
Believe it or not, that is a rose not a peony. I found it growing in a wooded area and dug some roots with stems. It is a fragrant once a year bloomer, probably an old rambler. That is how I got my gardening 'handle' Oldgardenrose. It grows like crazy with suckers which become flowering canes. My favorite plant.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
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Oldgardenrose
Aug 9, 2012 8:38 PM CST
A couple pics to show it is real.

Thumb of 2012-08-10/Oldgardenrose/ce4737


Thumb of 2012-08-10/Oldgardenrose/d23c56
Name: Pippi21
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906 (Zone 7a)
Pippi21
Aug 10, 2012 1:12 AM CST
Oh my gosh! It's a beautiful and that is exactly how I like my roses to look..do you think it might have been what they call an heirloom rose? Looks like a David Austin rose to me..I don't have any of DA roses but I have seen some beauties that he sells. [url=www.Bellasrosecottage.com]www.Bellasrosecottage.com[/url] has some beauties on her blog. Check that blogspot out if you have never seen it. No drooling allowed!
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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LizinElizabeth
Aug 4, 2013 4:06 PM CST
If you're willing to put a bit of effort into startup to make watering incredibly easy later--I have all of my flower beds covered by drip heads. The 1/2 inch black tubing is easily available and inexpensive, HD sells it for $40 for 500 ft. I use 2 gallon flag style drip heads because that type are easy to handle and push into the 1/2 inch pipe, the end can be closed up with zip ties. They can be hooked up to any outdoor spigot with a simple compression fitting that has a female hose end (also available at HD or Lowes). If you only have a few heads on a line you'll want to put a pressure reducer at the spigot end. This set-up doesn't have to be buried, I have mine on top of the ground but under mulch so it doesn't stand out much until the mulch decomposes. It can be left in place over winter as long as the spigot end is disconnected (you can remove the zip tie at the distant end also, I haven't ever bothered), I've had no issues with split lines in my zone 4B/5 garden, just have to watch it the following year to make sure none of the heads are forced out by freezing. I have well over 100 peony plants, daylilies, several types of lilies, penstemon, agastache, bellflowers--all growing with the benefit of drip lines, just different gallons/hour heads to account for the amount of water each variety needs. This method works well here in Colorado because we absolutely need mulch to keep moisture in, probably wouldn't be pleasing to the eye if it couldn't be covered, but have no problems with mildew or fungus because the leaves only get wet if it rains.

Oldgardenrose, your rose bush is beautiful, wonderful find! Congratulations on the rescue of that gorgeous plant!
Liz

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