Wandered through a local big box over the weekend.. looking for plants (lowes)
Noticed they have they Easter displays out, some really nice potted
raise big leafed hydrangeas myself... so I'm looking and it suddenly dawned on
These look like branches that have been cut off a blooming bush and stuck into a
Duhh... no wonder a lot of them will never grow... they're CUTTINGS, in full
all the leaves. For years I always though these were actually rooted plants
grow in the container until they could be planted...... boy am I dumb !!!
It took me years to figure out that all those colorful holiday season
also just cuttings taking off a blooming bush...no wonder they die after the
Anyway... continued out to the shrubs and azaleas. Saw some nice specimen
glossy foliage, white flowers. Checked the fact tag and saw these beauties
for hardiness zone 8. The store is in zone 6. No way they would survive the
And they have a complete display of encore azaleas, maybe a dozen different
varieties, none of which have a hardiness zone listed on the plants, but are
actually zone 7's or higher and will not overwinter here.
It makes me think about all the 'weekend' gardeners who will buy these
them in the ground and then wonder why they don't survive. Sure they have a one
year warranty (store credit only) but who can find a receipt after a few
You would think the big box stores would be more careful in what they sell. I
guess making a buck is more important. Perhaps this is also why a lot of
people feel they don't have a 'green' thumb.
Peter (who used to not have a 'green' thumb, but is slowly improving thanks to
On Apr 7, 7:40 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
one of the other things you're seeing right now are also what I call
"non-hardy azalea's and tender hydrangea's. They're hothouse grown
and forced to provide flowers at Easter time, out of their season of
flowering. Easter lilies as a matter of fact are a wonderful
example. I, myself, am planning to wait until the weekend to see if
Lowe's or Ho-Me Despot reduces their Easter lilies to zip doodle
prices due to the blossoms starting to demise, because I know that
once planted, they will return and not bloom until their true blooming
time of almost June!! Pottingshed gave me an Easter lily years ago
and alas it was among the victims of the mindless betrayal but after
sitting quietly in my rich soil for a couple of years, it righted
itself and started showing itself and only was just gaining it's wind
to wow me with incredible blossoms equal to greenhouse quality but not
Easter, but more like after Mother's day and well into June.
Something I more appreciated later on. I will replace what I lost
through their absurd reduction of prices. Not something from Beverly
(Pottingshed) but in memory of her's.
On matters of their selections, yes, a lot of stuff isn't hardy, and
one of the reasons they offer that "unconditional guarantee" and you
can take a dead plant back within a year (annual or perennial) is
because the nurseries that have contracts with them grow the plants on
huge scale and it's not worth it to worry about something that didn't
make it when a weekend gardener kills it or it dies from just not
being hardy. Too often the plants at Lowes and Despot are root bound,
or haven't had time to develop adequate roots at all to ensure
survival. I take overgrown pots of perennials and score or cut their
roots carefully to "loosen up their feet " so to speak and hope they
don't shock and die of too much room when I free them from their
boundaries and containers. They're all overfed and forced to grow
faster than they normally would to accomodate the overly demanding
weekend and sometimes eager gardener. I have sometimes even cut off
the bottom "foot" root piece of a container plant to try and get it to
spread itself out and survive. It works sometimes , sometimes not.
Sticks in the soil isn't always the rule, but I HAVE bought plants
from box stores and taken them home and plugged them into the raised
beds to discover that they were "bumped up" (potted into the next size
up) and hadn't had time to fill the pots with roots in time to sell.
And they didn't always survive, so I can see why you'd think that the
hydrangea's were just sticks in soil. I've seen what it appeared to
be. I agree with Veet, poinsettia's have to be stick grown or slips
to get the huge demand out there by Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Greenhouses start their poinsettia's in July! I worked a greenhouse
one summer and we got bundles of the new poinsettia's that were going
to be the new in vogue plants in lots of 50- 100 and we dipped each
end into root-tone and then stuck them into four inch pots of starting
mix with osmocote (sierra in bulk was the same time release food) and
they had them on tables that got spray mists. By a three week period
of time, we'd stuck thousands of them, and they were amazing to see
the different growth levels. By time to bump them into one gallon and
three gallon pots, they were forming their bracts. I learned to do
several shrubs by twig starting just from doing the poinsettia's that
year many decades ago.
My beloved Deutzia that John Skeffington started me from soft wood
cutting (new growth) was a CodsAll Pink double that I almost wasn't
able to find to replace when I lost it last spring to the great
betrayal. But thanks to Forest Farms, I've not only found it, I
ordered two of them and have them sitting out back ready to go into my
last home when we find it. They also have the Spirea billardii that I
loved, and I will get one or two of those as well from Forest Farms.
By the way, Gardengal, your Diablo ninebark has leaves on it!!!
Thanks!! anything you have to divide, I'm open to anything at
all........me mailing address is reliable for at least a couple more
madgardener up in the green bowl gardening in containers zone 7a,
Sunset zone 36 experiencing Dogwood Winter at the moment! whose tree
peonies are full of buds!
On Tue, 7 Apr 2009 21:41:30 -0700 (PDT), email@example.com wrote:
Very useful information madgardener !! Extremely useful..... Thanks for
sharing. You've given a lot of ideas and information about preserving
and using 'holiday' plants for general gardening....
You reminded me to check my nursery container plants to see if they require
I've got my eyes on the hynacinths and easter lillies.... merits a quick trip
to all 4
big box stores late on easter sunday or early monday am. At the very least,
know the bulbs are good and what color the plants are.
It must be fascinating to work in a greenhouse or nursery !! Plenty of space
to fill with plants, plenty of plants to take care of and maybe even a lot
of display landscaping to design and build.
Maryland Zone 6.... marginal 7... depending upon how the wind blows....
Temps are mid 50's to 60's during the day... and freezing to low 40's at night.
Early morning walk around diary...
8 container peonies are coming up fine... surrounded by an
assortment of daylillies.
4 new Columbines are beginning to develop buds.
Just transplanted another 8 peonies in the ground. 5 of them are already
reaching for the sky, the other 3 should be breaking through.
Daff's are in full bloom, Massed plantings in both front and rear of house.
Tulips have buds,
Hydrangeas are budding leaves
Maples and Sycamore are beginning to bud.
Container Floribunda Roses are coming up,
Hosta's are coming up and beginning to leaf
Just transplanted another 15 Yucca. they're taking hold.
The deer stopped munching the euonymous, so they're beginning to fill out
Carmellias are still flowering,
Bleeding hearts and Lillies of the Valley are beginning to flower.
Forsynthias are yellow,
Hollies Bushes are looking good. Glossy leaves... very compact.
Canadian Geese up on the pond came over for a quick bite to eat.
Groundhogs are beginning to appear. Saw a small one yesterday.
3 English Hollies are officially declared dead, my bad.... left them out over
winter without proper cover or moisture... they were holiday container plants...
have been kept indoors and watered until the root ball developed more. Now I
Two arborvitae destroyed by deer. Bark and branches are gone. They will require
a lot of
TLC in hopes of regrowing.
Canna in pots.outdoors on sunny days, indoors at night. Growing but need
Rose of Sharon shrubs looking good...no dead branches, firmly rooted.
Trimmed off the Crepe Myrtle... they're set to bloom about mid July.
Carpet roses are coming up....
Pachasandra is beginning to bloom.
3 container Tree Roses are beginning to bud.
Rototilled the garden this past weekend.... mixed in a load of compost,
leaf mulch, fertilizer and lime. Covered with plastic to keep the weeds
from growing It'll be another two weeks before last frost date. April 25 -
In the process of building a small stone berm to terrace off an incline
and need to level an 8' x 8' stone walkway to install a fountain.
Three Blue Angel and one Guacomole Hosta will be shipping next
monday (thanks to recommendations from other members !!).... can't wait !!
It must be springtime....
On Apr 9, 12:45 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
thanks Peter! That was a wonderful update on your spring arrivals! I
long to just have another place of our own to just tuck in the
survival's in their containers. I guess the ultimate betrayal did me
a favor by the sheer numbers of tens and tens of mature and maturing
and hard to replace perennials I lost by last September. it would
REALLY look like a holding address for wayward nursery plants!
I have been taking pictures of the blooming babies that have wowed and
humbled me by their unexpected but happy reappearance when I thought
some were forever lost to me. I still long to hear the peepers
"weeping" their love calls.......and Friday when we were looking at a
house that had woods, I saw a huge Pileted red headed woodpecker that
was at least a foot in height! I miss the wide variety of flying
today I spotted a hidden botanical tulip, Tarda, that was nestled in a
pot quietly opening her bud. And the scrounged "Stars of Bethelehem"
are everywhere. I dug up a few tubers and tucked them into the large
20 gallon pots of tree peonies I saved at the bulldozed house last
late fall. All those tree peonies are full of buds!!
I will post an update spring ramble, you've inspired me! thanks!!
madgardener container gardening and enjoying the magic of it all in
upper Northeastern Tennessee, zone 7a, Sunset zone 36 in the green
bowl, nestled against the Cherokee National Forest and Appalachian
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