Peony Tips for June
G. W. PEYTON
Sping was a long time
coming this year. As a result it now looks as though
few Peonies will be in bloom north of the Potomac and
Ohio Rivers before June. Attention is called to the
May Peony Tips, many of which are also applicable to
Cultivate often enough
to keep weeds down and the soil loose. Water in abundance
is necessary for the finest bloom and proper plant development.
Remove all faded blooms
promptly. Do not allow seed to mature unless you need
it. Trim the plants back slightly to make them more
presentable in the summer garden, but never cut them
down to the ground until late fall.
Choose varieties now.
Blooming time is the best time to select varieties
for fall planting. Visit one or more good Peony collections.
Choose the types, colors and habits you like best and
buy accordingly. New varieties have been introduced
by the hundreds in the past twenty years. Many improvements
have been made in singles and Japs. Better colors, better
habits and better bloomers have come.
Insects do little damage
to Peonies as a rule. Ants visit the buds because of
the honey they exude, and they sometimes carry disease.
Borers occasionally enter a stalk and cause it to collapse.
Damage is usually done before we know the borer is there.
Rose bugs in infested communities do much damage to
blooms. Use any remedy you may know. Thrips destroy
many blooms, especially the very double late flowers.
Diseases take their toll
sometimes. Prevention is the best cure. Clean grounds
and cultivation do more than chemicals to prevent trouble.
Use occasional sprayings of Bordeaux to be on the safe
When leaves wilt. Watch
your plants and if you see leaves wilting, don't wait
until they discolor and die, but find out the cause.
It may be just lack of water. If so, supply it. A mole
may have burrowed under your plant and left it suspended
in his burrow. Investigate, fill the burrow, and destroy
the mole, if possible. One of several root rots may
have attacked your plant. Examine the root and if it
shows signs of disease, dig the plant, cut out all diseased
parts, disinfect the root with formaldehyde, a quarter
of a cup to 3 gallons of water, leaving the root in
the solution for two or three hours, and plant in fresh
soil. Burn the diseased parts of the root. If the plant
is very badly affected or an inexpensive one, burn it.
Leaf spot. Several
kinds of leaf spot may appear, which Bordeaux will prevent.
Diseased leaves should be removed and burned, if they
are not too numerous, but do not cut down the leafage
too much as these spots do not permanently injure the
plant unless they take complete possession of it. Be
sure to burn all leaves and stems in the fall. Small
oval spots often come on the stems, but they are not
fatal. Crowded plants and smothering with weeds are
the most frequent causes of diseases of leaves and stems.
These causes are easily removed.
White fungus. Often
in dry weather a white fungus-like growth will spread
over the roots. This is said not to be dangerous. It
was much in evidence last year. But it does affect the
stems and crowns, making them look like rotted wood
of a yellowish hue. Again the only remedy is good cultivation
and treating infected roots if you wish with the formaldehyde
or bichloride solutions.