Why My Peony Leaves Curling? How to Fix?


peony leaves curling causes

Are your peony leaves curling? If so, it’s essential to understand the reasons behind this phenomenon to ensure your plants’ continued health and beauty. Peony leaves curling can be caused by various factors, including environmental conditions, pests, diseases, nutrient imbalances, and cultural practices. By identifying the specific cause, you can implement preventative measures and effective treatments to address the issue. Prompt action will help your peony plants regain vitality, showcasing vibrant foliage and magnificent blooms. In this article, we will explore the causes of peony leaves curling and provide valuable insights on prevention and treatment strategies for optimal plant health.

peony leaves curling fix

Environmental Factors

Temperature Extremes

Extreme hot and cold temperature fluctuations can cause peony leaves to curl. High temperatures can lead to leaf stress and dehydration, while cold temperatures can cause the leaves to curl and become brittle. To protect your peonies, provide adequate shade during hot periods and consider mulching around the plants to insulate the roots during colder seasons.

Wind Exposure

Excessive exposure to strong winds can cause peony leaves to curl. The wind strips moisture from the leaves, leading to dehydration and curling. Consider planting peonies in areas shielded from strong winds or use windbreaks, such as hedges or fences, to protect them.

Pests and Diseases

Leaf Blight

Leaf blight, caused by the fungus Cladosporium paeoniae, can result in leaf curling and browning. The disease typically appears as dark spots with concentric rings on the leaves. To prevent leaf blight, ensure proper air circulation around the plants, promptly remove and destroy infected foliage, and apply fungicides as recommended.

Viral Infections

Certain viral infections, such as peony ring spot virus, can cause leaf curling in peonies. Infected plants exhibit distorted and mottled leaves. Unfortunately, there is no cure for viral infections. If your peony is affected, removing and destroying the infected plant is best to prevent further spread to healthy plants.

Nutrient Imbalances

Calcium Deficiency

A lack of calcium in the soil can lead to peony leaf curling. Calcium deficiency affects the cell walls, causing them to weaken and resulting in curled leaves. Following soil test recommendations, add amendments like gypsum or agricultural lime to ensure your soil has sufficient calcium.

pH Imbalance

Peonies prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil. Imbalances in soil pH can affect nutrient availability and lead to leaf curling. Test your soil’s pH and adjust it within the appropriate range, typically between 6.0 and 7.0, using organic amendments if necessary.

Cultural Practices

Improper Planting Depth

Planting peonies too deep or too shallow can result in leaf curling. Follow the recommended planting depth guidelines, ensuring that the eyes of the peony roots are just below the soil surface; this allows for proper growth and prevents stress on the plant.


Excessive use of nitrogen-rich fertilizers can cause peony leaves to curl. High nitrogen levels promote rapid leaf growth, leading to weak, curled foliage. Use balanced fertilizers formulated explicitly for peonies and follow the recommended application rates.


In conclusion, understanding the causes and taking appropriate measures for curling peony leaves is vital for your plants’ overall health and appearance. By addressing environmental factors, managing pests and diseases, balancing nutrient levels, and practicing proper cultural techniques, you can prevent and treat peony leaves curling effectively. Timely intervention and care will help your peonies flourish, showcasing their stunning blooms and vibrant foliage. Remember to monitor your plants regularly, provide optimal growing conditions, and seek professional advice when needed. With proper attention and care, you can ensure that peony leaves remain healthy, uncurled, and contribute to the beauty of your garden.


What does an overwatered peony look like?

An overwatered peony will exhibit specific visual indicators to help you identify the issue. Here are some signs to look out for:

Yellowing Leaves: Overwatering can cause the leaves of a peony plant to turn yellow, starting from the base and progressing toward the tips. A limp or wilted appearance may accompany the yellowing.

Drooping Stems: The stems of an overwatered peony may become weak and droop, unable to support the weight of the blooms.

Root Rot: Excessive moisture can lead to waterlogged soil, which creates a favorable environment for root rot. If you notice a foul smell or dark, mushy roots when examining the plant’s root system, it may be a sign of overwatering.

Lack of New Growth: Overwatering can inhibit new growth, causing stunted or minimal development of leaves, buds, and flowers.

To prevent overwatering, ensure that the soil is well-draining, and water your peony plants only when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Adjust your watering schedule based on weather conditions and the specific needs of your peonies.

Why are my peony leaves drying?

Drying or wilting leaves in peony plants can be attributed to several factors. Here are some possible reasons:

Underwatering: Insufficient water supply can cause the leaves of peonies to dry out and become wilted. Check the soil moisture regularly and water your plants deeply when the top inch of the soil feels dry.

Environmental Stress: Extreme heat, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, or dry air can lead to leaf drying in peonies. Providing shade during the hottest part of the day and ensuring adequate humidity levels can help alleviate these stressors.

Fungal Infections: Certain fungal diseases, such as botrytis blight or powdery mildew, can cause peony leaves to dry out and appear shriveled. These diseases thrive in humid conditions. To prevent fungal infections, promptly maintain good air circulation, remove any infected foliage, and consider using appropriate fungicides.

Pests: Pest infestations, such as aphids or spider mites, can cause leaves to dry and wilt as they suck out the plant’s juices. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests, and take appropriate measures to control them.

Nutrient Deficiencies: Imbalances or deficiencies in essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, can lead to leaf drying. Conduct a soil test to determine any nutrient deficiencies and provide appropriate fertilization to address the issue.

By addressing the underlying cause of leaf drying and providing the necessary care, such as proper watering, appropriate environmental conditions, pest control, and nutrient management, you can help restore the health and vigor of your peony plants, allowing them to thrive with vibrant and lush foliage.