Sunday, August 23, 2009

There's a Fungus Among Us!

I just noticed yesterday while I was out doing some weeding that my peony foliage has become infected with some nasty white stuff.

Remember when it looked like this?

Innocent and pure

It now looks like this.



So before I accused it of being the Paris Hilton of peonies I decided to do some research. I found out that my peony is infected with......


I have several choices:

1. Shun it for being a promiscuous, dirty, little flower.

2. Chemically treat it into oblivion therefore tainting my ground, my water source and possibly killing the entire city. (I just can't have that on my conscience right now.)

3. Look to see if there are any organic treatments which will bring harmony to Nature and peace to the Middle East. **Cue singing birds and rainbows**.

You're right! I chose #2!

I mean I chose #3!

There is a great organic gardening forum at and there were several suggestions which are as follows:

1. Spray with a 50/50 solution of non-fat milk and water
2. Spray with a solution of chamomile tea (mmmm...chamomile)
3. Spray plant with a solution of 1 tsp baking soda and 1 quart of water (every 5 days)
4. Removal and disposal of any affected leaves (the plant will grow back in the spring and most likely not be affected by the mildew but leaving it on can lead to plant disfigurement...whatever that means..."I am not a monstah!").

So how did this happen? Essentially it looks like the humidity of the summer may have been the main culprit as well as the way in which I watered it. Some more advanced gardeners say that watering the peony at the root is best instead of over the plant...did I say that in my previous peony post and not follow my own advice? (*looking back to May 16th). No! I didn't...ahh well...gardening is always a learning process!

I think I might try the baking soda and water mixture just because I have those things in the house. If all else fails I will cut the sucker down. I will keep you posted!

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