Ask a Question forum: Potted peony plant dying

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Salt Lake City, UT
Maddieconnolly
Jul 19, 2017 4:49 PM CST
I purchased a "Bowl of Cream" herbaceous peony plant from the nursery and potted it this spring. It had four blooms and looked very healthy and green. It started going down hill with bloom buds that seemed like they wanted to open, but browned and quickly died. Also, the leaves started turning brown and dying. I trimmed off all the dead leaves and branches and moved it out of the full direct sun. Now it gets a couple hours of sun in the morning. I live in Salt Lake City, UT & Zone 6b to 7b (some source variation). We've had a hot 90-100+ deg summer so I thought the heat may have been killing it. It looks like new leaves want to grow in, but are also dying. Any ideas on what's wrong? How can I save it before it dies completely?
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jul 19, 2017 6:56 PM CST
Welcome! from the other end of the Great Basin.

Two thoughts:

Peony are shade plants - mine get a couple hours of sun in the morning and that's it.

Peony may be one of those plants that can't handle hot roots. In a container in Salt Lake, I'm not sure how you would keep them cool.
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Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Jul 20, 2017 6:00 AM CST
Being potted just this spring and coming from a nursery, your peony is concentrating on growing roots. It's likely gotten too much sun. My peonies lose some of the blooms if it gets too hot. They just dry up and don't open. You say it's getting 2 or so hours of sun so I would leave it where you have it.

Is there a place you can put it in the ground this fall? Most of mine are in full sun locations and do very well. Don't lose hope and toss it if it loses most or all of its leaves. Peonies are pretty tough.

Also, Welcome! from West Valley!
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
Pour vivre parmi les fleurs
Irises Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Butterflies Birds
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hummingbirder Plant Identifier
Image
Zencat
Jul 20, 2017 6:04 AM CST
One more thing, your plant looks like it was watered from above onto the leaves. Is this right? I would water just the soil and try not to wet the leaves.

How deeply did you bury it? Peonies like their rhizomes to bake in the sun.
[Last edited by Zencat - Jul 20, 2017 6:05 AM (+)]
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