Rushville Republican

Agriculture

July 19, 2013

July: In the grow

Question and answer

(Continued)

A. This looks to be indigobush amorpha, Amorpha fruiticosa, a native but frequently weedy (invasive) plant. While the flowers are interesting, the plants put on a tremendous seed crop, resulting in uninvited specimens. In fact, this species is banned/quarantined in some states. Might be best to remove this from your collection before it gets out of control.

Q. We have a problem with our peonies. They have been here for years. They used to be big and bloom like crazy. For years, they have not done anything. They are real thin bushes with no blooms. One is really bushy, but no blooms. We did have one flower this year. They are in the sun most of the day. Can you tell us anything to do for them? We miss our peonies. - VM

A. Peonies notoriously produce a lot of foliage with little or no flowers if they are either too shady or, more commonly, when planted too deep. Adding mulch annually or leaf litter from nearby trees can effectively make the tubers too deep. Since you mention that they used to flower well and are in the sun most of the day, your plants would likely benefit from lifting and resetting at the proper depth. Lift the plants in late summer or early fall, and replant so that the buds on the tubers are no deeper than two inches.

B. Rosie Lerner is a Purdue Extension consumer horticulturist.

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