It’s important, so every year about this time we remind you that a simple fall clean-up will do wonders for the health of your iris and peonies.
PEONIES – Although they’re generally care-free, peonies can be afflicted by powdery mildew and other fungal diseases.
To prevent disease spores from overwintering, (a) cut stems as close to the ground as possible, and (b) carefully bag everything as you go and throw it in the trash, not the compost.
For best results, do this EARLIER rather than later. It’s okay if the leaves are still green, but if you wait until they’re dry and brittle, bits and pieces will break off and you’ll never find them all. (Yes, I learned this the hard way.)
IRIS – Fall is also the best time to control iris borers which hatch in spring from eggs laid the year before on iris foliage and similar stuff nearby.
To destroy them, wait until AFTER a hard frost kills the adult moths and then (a) cut back all leaves to a couple of inches and (b) remove, bag, and trash – don’t compost – the clippings and any nearby foliage, debris, or mulch.
Pretty easy, right? And remember, healthier plants grow better and bloom more!