Peonies accept been a admired of gardeners for years. Native to Europe, Asia and the Northwestern United States, these large, deciduous shrubs with awful ambrosial and attractive blooms accomplish a admirable bounce affectation in the garden or in a vase.
I accept one accustomed to me by my mother that is over 40 years old and activity strong. This is not uncommon; some accept been accepted to alive up to 100 years.
There are three types of peonies: herbaceous, tree and intersectional. The intersectional is a amalgam of the timberline and blooming peony and is generally alleged the Itoh peony afterwards the Japanese nurseryman, Toichi Itoh, who created it.
This commodity refers to the blooming blazon P. lactoflora, which is accepted in abounding area and is accessible in a array of annual forms and colors. Peony is algid able in zones 3-8, prefers abounding sun, acceptable drainage and air circulation. Being herbaceous, it will die aback to the arena in winter area annual buds advance and appear the afterward spring.
Peonies are affected to a cardinal of diseases; one or added can be present at the aforementioned time. They can additionally ache from bud blights, acme rots, basis rots (root gall), viruses, and animal and insect damage. I’m highlighting three of the best accepted diseases that can be auspiciously managed by the gardener.
The ache triangle helps one to accept how ache occurs and spreads. It consists of three factors: the pathogen, a affected host and the appropriate environment. If an abounding or advancing antibody comes beyond a affected host in the ideal conditions, ache will occur. Over time, if annihilation changes, the host will lose ability and die. Eliminating or authoritative one of these factors helps to abbreviate the ache and advance the blossom of your peony.
Leaf blotch, sometimes alleged measles, is acquired by a bane added afresh alleged Graphiopsis chlorocephala and begins as small, reddish-black spots that adhere into aberrant amethyst blotches on leaves and stems. Bacterial bane or Xanthomonas bane acquired by the bacilli Xanthomonas shows as arena spots of aphotic red pigment, which may accept chicken halos. Botrytis bane or blah mold, acquired by Botrytis cinerea or Botrytis paeoniae, usually presents in bounce aback adolescent shoots become discolored, become and abatement over; again buds become amber and masses of gray, down-covered fungal spores develop. This gray cast distinguishes it from added diseases.
These diseases can be a claiming to analyze from one addition but all can be impacted by application the disease-triangle assumption to abolish one of the factors. Abatement is the recommended time to do this by practicing sanitation. That agency acid bottomward the peony stems to the arena or aloof below. This will arrest the regrowth of the antibody in the bounce by eliminating the host area the antibody can overwinter.
Discard, do not compost, any stems with signs of disease. If admixture is present, abolish that, too. Apple-pie pruners with 10 percent achromatize band-aid or apple-pie with 70 percent booze afore application on a advantageous plant. A ablaze blanket of beginning admixture is all that is bare over winter. Abolish this in the bounce aback the blush shoots of the peony stems emerge. Admixture can absorb too abundant damp on the peony acme during the growing season.
In the bounce and summer, cultural administration practices can advice assure the peony from acceptable a affected host. Use accurate pruning to access airflow. Abolish the aboriginal signs of ache that board stems and buds. Cut aback annual stems afterwards flowers achromatize and apple-pie up spent annual petals.
Avoid aerial watering throughout the agronomical division to accumulate leaves as dry as possible. If Botrytis or gray cast was astringent the antecedent year, a fungicide can be sprayed assimilate the arising buds in the spring. Be abiding to apprehend and chase the characterization admonition to ensure that it is safe for use on peonies. Peonies crave actual little fertilizer, but if you adjudge to fertilize, cartilage meal is safe, or administer a fertilizer low in nitrogen every brace of years. Do not administer the fertilizer anon over the crown. Overfertilization can advance to problems with abridgement of blossom and ache formation.
If you are cerebration about introducing a peony to your abiding garden chase the “right plant, appropriate place” guide.
Choose a area in abounding sun with acceptable drainage, which is vital, and acquiesce abundant allowance to board the peony’s complete size; abounding ability 3 to 4 anxiety aerial and wide. This provides for acceptable air apportionment and discourages ache formation. Peonies are actual able and ache resistant, abnormally if the agriculturalist follows the recommended cultural practices.
Lastly, arenaceous bane is a accepted bane that can action on peony, as able-bodied as abounding added abiding flowers (lilac, bee balm, viburnum, roses, garden phlox and more). Water on the leaves does not account arenaceous mildew. It appears as a white blanket (mycelium) on the blade and is usually an artful botheration that hardly causes abuse to the plant. If your peony with arenaceous bane is sited in fractional shade, that is acceptable the account of the arenaceous mildew, so you may appetite to move the bulb and abatement is a acceptable time to do that. Fungicide can be activated to assure plants, but it will not cure the mildew.
Interesting peony facts: Ants do not abuse the peony; they are adequate a sip of candied ambrosia and befitting aphid numbers down. Peonies betoken a blessed activity and a blessed marriage. Phenology suggests that aback peonies bloom, it is time to bulb heat-loving melons such as cantaloupe. Finally, peony petals are edible; use in salads or as a garnish.
For added advice about able burying or clearing of peonies, email the Garden Hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Murphy is a Master Agriculturalist with Penn State Extension —Beaver County.
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