Peony with dead bulbs

Asked May 12, 2019, 12:10 PM EDT

I have had this problem two years in a row. Beautiful buds have a hole in the middle and die. They are in an appropriate place I believe as I have many buds. This year I dusted them, including the buds with a multipurpose dust. They are sticky which I read they are supposed to be. I do not see ants on them. Another site said they have blight. I’m just not sure what is happening. Also I have two more peonies in the yard with more shade. One is blooming but last year they developed the same problem after a few flowers.

Jackson County Oregon peonies

1 Response

Thank you for your question. Although a positive diagnosis would be possible only with an examination, I suspect your peony has botrytis, a fungal infection described here: https://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/host-disease/peony-paeonia-spp-botrytis-blight

Note that the recommendation is to reduce water on them, since that is important to fungi to grow. Also note that the only chemical available to homeowners is Monterey Liqui-Cop, which should be used strictly in accordance with label directions.

But, before you apply anything, you might want to take some dead/dying buds and visit your county Extension office, whose website is here: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/sorec

Good luck!