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Maintenance of this flowering plant?

Hello! We just moved into our home in the suburbs of Chicago. The backyard had some flower beds that were pretty overgrown with various shrubs and perennials. There is one type of plant that I cannot figure out what to do with. Since viewing the property in early June we have never seen it flower/bloom and it definitely looks like it has seen better days. Recently it has started to show some signs of life and is looking greener and more vibrant. I am wondering if anyone has any advice for me. I would like to revamp and extend these flower beds and want a pretty vibrant yet manicured look. Will these plants ever come back and fit into this vision? It seems like a shame to destroy what could be beautiful so I am coming here looking for some insight. Thank you so much for any thoughts!

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Posts: 231
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:50 pm
Location: West Kentucky

They are peonies, and that's why you haven't seen anything June through now. They most likely bloomed in May. That's the thing about peonies ~ they are spectacular in spring and then pretty much foliage until frost. After that, you can whack them down to the ground (actually, you can do that any time if they bother you ~ you're not going to kill them:). I would suggest letting them bloom again in spring and see if you like the colors. Plant something taller in behind them for late season interest. Then if you still don't like them, take them out ~ but good luck ~ peonies, especially older ones, are a bee-yatch to get out.

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

Yep peonies and agree they will be wonderful when they bloom.

For now, I would deadhead those even though they won't make seeds most of the time.

They are drought tolerant needing sandy or well drained loamy soil, have fleshy deep roots, and don't like to be moved.

I have German irises growing with mine and have added Spring blooming bulbs, wild strawberries and oriental poppies for earlier interest and am trying to get liatris to establish for summer interest. Also have some perennial sage in the area and they are all growing in an island bed anchored with dwarf magnolia and redbud. (But mine is not so neat looking and not picture-worthy :oops:)

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