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Avatar for jeeyunglim
Apr 28, 2021 4:43 PM CST

Hi!

I replanted some 3 year old bowl of beauty and Sarah Bernhardt peonies from my back yard to front yard last fall as well as planted some new bulbs. They don't look healthy to me - yellow spotted leaves that are curled in and some floppy or twisted stems and lesions.

Would you know what this is and how to treat it? Or what to remove? I'm concerned there's some fungal disease in this area as I also just planted some oriental lily bulbs in the same area. We did also have a strange 30 min hail storm that damaged the new sprouts.

Thanks for your advice!

Zone 7a outside NYC

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Apr 28, 2021 5:47 PM CST
Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
I would think it looks more like over-fertilizing or weedkilling rather than something else. Did you or someone applied anything in the area this spring or previously? I've never seen anything so bad, so may be trying flush the residue with water may help. It is not a question of how nice it will look this year or next but rather about survival of the plant. I see a couple of bottles? Did you spray it with something? Or may be it is too close to the footpath and there is salt involved?
Last edited by AlexUnder Apr 28, 2021 6:04 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for jeeyunglim
Apr 28, 2021 6:22 PM CST

Hi,

Thanks for your answer! I had neem oil in the spray bottle, which was for another plant. The gardeners had applied some kind of weed killing spray on Monday around my yard due to a poison ivy infestation. I wonder if it may have traveled to my peonies? ☹️ It's going to rain tomorrow so hopefully that will wash away any traces but I'm not sure if it'll recover.

Thank you.
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Apr 29, 2021 1:01 AM CST

The spots on leaves are hail damage: nothing that can be done about it.

The contorted growth is a physiopathy, meaning not caused by a pest or disease. It can be caused by excess nitrogen in the ground, ground freezing again after the new shoots had started emerging or by stems having been cut too early last season thus not allowing the rhizome to store enough energy and hence to lack strength during the current grow season.

That final picture though... it looks like the rhizome is starting to rot underground. Have you got any drainage issues?
The Saviour.
Avatar for jeeyunglim
Apr 29, 2021 10:42 AM CST

Thanks ElPolloDiablo!

I'm planting bulbs in this area for the first time. The weather factor makes sense to me as the shoots initially looked healthy when they first emerged, but we did have a couple of freezing temp days since then. I used to have some hostas around the area. I don't recall having draining issues, but I'll watch for pooling water when we have a heavy rain and will also spread some mulch to see if that helps.

I noticed your signature says you're in the Italian Alps foothills? I imagine it must be quite beautiful there.

Thanks again for your insight!
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Apr 30, 2021 12:16 PM CST
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Region: Canadian Peonies Irises Daylilies Hybridizer Bulbs
Seller of Garden Stuff Plant and/or Seed Trader Bee Lover Birds Keeper of Koi
I have to agree with the freezing damage suggestion. Your soil looks quite dry on the surface so not sure about rot. Doesn't look like any of these stems are going to recover so I would cut them down to just below the surface and hope more stems come back this year - or next year (it will depend on the root mass of course)
Avatar for jeeyunglim
Apr 30, 2021 4:59 PM CST

That's a great idea! We had squirrels that ate one of the peonies' stems down to the stub last year and it did rebloom several weeks later. I'll cut it down tomorrow and see what happens!
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