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Managing Botrytis Blight in the Garden

Brown buds that fail to open on peonies and some roses, especially the white and pink flowered varieties are likely the result of Botrytis Blight also known as Gray Mold.

This fungal disease is most common in cool rainy as well as humid weather.  The disease attacks a variety of ornamental and edible plants and often is specific to the plant part infected.

The bud blast and flower blights we see here may also occur on mums, dahlias, dogwood, geraniums, hydrangea, marigolds, and sunflowers.

Look for the fuzzy gray growth and small black specs on the dead tissue.

Remove infected parts and place in a paper bag for disposal.  And don’t compost.  Only clean up during dry weather as moisture helps spread the blight.

Ongoing sanitation, fall clean up and better weather is usually enough to keep this disease under control.

A bit more information: Several other fungal diseases can cause spots on the leaves and stems of peonies.  These spots can be round and circular or irregular in shape.  Stem cankers, sunken discolored areas, can cause twisting and even death of the stem.  Sanitation is usually enough to manage these diseases on healthy established plants.

Upcoming Webinars & Appearances


May 18, 2022
Food Gardening
in Gardens or Containers

West Bend, WI
(in-person)

May 28, 2022
Rose Care 101
Ebert's Greenhouse Village, Ixonia, WI
(in-person)

June 1, 2022
Creating a Pollinator Paradise
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June 15, 2022
Supporting Native Bees
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June 18, 2022
Wonderful World of Hydrangeas
Ebert's Greenhouse Village, Ixonia, WI
(in-person event)

June 22, 2022
Maintaining Your Landscape
with Pollinators in Mind

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