Pests and Diseases

Prevention is Best Practice

Rascally Rabbits and Fungus ‘Amung’ Us
  • Few animals bother to eat any part of a peony. However, woody peonies may experience rabbit damage in the winter months.  Wrapping the base of the woody peony with chicken wire in the fall will prevent this.
  • The main pests of peonies are fungal diseases, namely botrytis. Botrytis may infect stems and leaves, causing blackened areas and sometimes a gray mold may be accompanied.  Prevention is the best method to avoid issues-cut herbaceous peonies to the ground as they begin to go dormant in the fall.  Remove the foliage from the garden and place it in the trash to avoid reinfection in coming seasons.  Any stems that show wilting or blackened areas should be cut out and removed to prevent spread. Fungal diseases are especially problematic during cool, wet periods in the spring.
  • Mildew has been showing up on peony foliage and stems in recent years.   Plants will appear to have a white colored coating, which can be washed off with some effort.  While this fungus is unsightly, it does not appear to be harmful.  Mildew infections are most prevalent during humid summer conditions.   Fall cleanup of the garden is helpful in preventing mildew reinfection from year to year.   Woody peonies are much less likely to experience mildew infections.

Botrytis At Stem Base Causes Wilting

Rabbit Damage (note uneaten stems)

Disease and Pest Problems?

Protect and prevent problems before they get started.