Brown Spots on My Coral Charm Peony
Advice for the Home Gardener from the Help Desk of the
UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County
Response from the Help Desk: Thank you for contacting the UC Master Gardener Program Help Desk about your Coral Charm Peony
The brown areas you are seeing on your flowers are most likely the result of a fungus. The most common fungal disease on peonies, especially herbaceous peonies like Coral Charm, is botrytis blight (Botrytis cinerea). Botrytis blight can cause flowers to become discolored. It can also cause buds to soften, which may be why you might find that the flower bud is also squishy. If this is botrytis, you are seeing it in a mild form.
like all fungus diseases, botrytis is most likely to occur in wet, humid weather. To help prevent the problem from spreading, make sure you remove and destroy any fallen leaves or other debris under the plants. Place the debris in your green bin or trash. Avoid putting it in your compost pile. Prune out and dispose of any dying tissue you may find on the plants. Avoid use of sprinklers or other overhead watering. If possible, irrigate early in the morning to allow foliage to dry more quickly. If these new plants have dense foliage, you may want to prune some of the canopy to provide better air circulation.
If the plants fail to thrive and you need to replant, consider waiting until the fall. Autumn is the best time to plant peonies.
For more information on preventing botrytis blight, see http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/PLANTS/DISEASES/botrytis.html
For general information on growing peonies, see http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/FLOWERS/peony.html
Good luck with your new peonies. Let's hope that the warmer and drier summer weather helps your peonies return to health
Please let us know if you have further questions
Help Desk of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County (ECS)
Note: The UC Master Gardeners Program of Contra Costa's Help Desk is available year-round to answer your gardening questions. Except for a few holidays, we're open every week, Monday through Thursday for walk-ins from 9:00 am to Noon at 75 Santa Barbara Road, 2d Floor, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. We can also be reached via telephone: (925) 646-6586, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/Ask_Us/ MGCC Blogs can be found at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/HortCoCo/ You can also subscribe to the Blog (http://ucanr.edu/blogs/CCMGBlog/)./span>