Azaleas at Aldis

nick1427dMarch 24, 2012

Got some azaleas at aldis for $2.50 a piece. No tag came with them. Any idea on how big these get? Thought it was a good deal, very healthy looking.

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Nick, not knowing Aldis, is that a grocery store chain? Were these indoors, blooming, and not outside in a nursery type section? If blooming or close to blooming and inside, they could be greenhouse plants forced for upcoming Easter, and may not be hardy in the garden depending on where you live. It would be helpful if you could add your zone, State, to your profile....makes a big difference in the types answers you might get to growing questions.

I'm assuming you mean evergreen azaleas (as opposed to deciduous, those that lose their leaves in winter), and even if outside and hardy, with no tag there isn't any way of knowing without flowers what they could be. Best bet could be to wait until they are blooming, take a photo and post it, see if anyone can come close.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 9:18PM
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Aldi is a grocery store chain with a presence here in the Southeast. It's off my beaten path; therefore, I never patronize the chain. However, I will say that no local grocery store chain prices its hothouse azaleas as low as two-dollars-fifty-cents per plant. They run closer to ten dollars per plant in full-bloom, wrapped in foil with a bow, and ready for gift-giving. I would talk with the Aldi employee who selects the store's plants and ask him/her who supplied those azaleas. Get the nursery's telephone number, and call them to find out about the names of the cultivars.

Some of our best and largest azaleas were puchased, as liners, at the dime store for ten cents apiece back in the nineteen sixties. Others from K-Mart, Sears, and other chain stores at about the same time for around a dollar apiece. My how times have changed. Two-fifty sounds like a steal.

P. S. This was back when Woolworth's et al. sold little colorfully dyed chicks and bunnies during the Easter Season, long before squawking PETA raised its obnoxious head. One of my childhood Easter chicks grew up to become a dominant, dictatorial Easter rooster who ruled the barnyard with an iron fist.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 12:09AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Aldi is a "warehouse" supermarket that sells out of boxes. They have stores here in Pennsylvania also. They aren't known for selling plants and probably don't have the slightest idea what they are selling. These were probably house plants for Mother's day and Easter.

The original poster didn't say where he (if he is Nick) lives, so it would be a $2.50 risk to try to grow them outside. Of course, there is no guarantee that he has a green enough a thumb to raise them inside either since it is not trivial to keep them going. So my advice is enjoy them while they are still in bloom and then consider anything beyond that as a bonus if it works and no big loss if it doesn't.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 12:34PM
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I live in the stl area. Sorry for lack of additional info I was just curious if somebody else had purchased these recently WITH a tag. They had numerous colors pink purple and red, all in bloom. They look similar to my other evergreen azaleas I have planted. And yes for $2.50 I really don't care if they aren't hardy and I lose them.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 2:21PM
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I bought some, they were $3.00 near Chicago. The tag says 6" Azalea from Kurt Welss Greenhouses Inc. Here is the address... 95 Main Street Center Moriches, NY 11934 (631) 878-2500

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:49PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

The one on the left is a hydrangea, not an azalea.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7b

I just wanted to give you a heads up that Home Depot also has some tiny azaleas for $2.50. They will get 3-5 feet by 3-5 feet, according to the tag.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 8:24PM
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I realize it's a Hydrangea, I purchased it from Aldi also. I think the Azaleas are really just for the house. The Hydrangea's can be planted according to the website.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 11:34PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Grocery chains are packed with florist plants for Easter and Mother's Day. The more ruffle-y the flowers, the better! They've probably been treated with hormones to make them nice and stocky for real eye appeal. They aren't really promoted for outdoor use, which is why there is no label.

Nick, unless you are planning to gift your pretty plants, you should remove them from the 'hats' so that you can water them properly (in the sink, if you have to), and they can drain. Sitting in water wouldn't be good for them.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 9:22AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Msdeed, both the hydrangea and azaleas could be planted outside, but neither may be hardy (or flower bud hardy) in your zone depending on where you live. People often don't understand though that these have been on a strict schedule of lighting, manipulated heat, fertilizers and growth hormones to make them bloom at a particular time, with no thought to long term plant health as they aren't grown with gardens in mind....they are grown as florists offerings.

They could recover and prove to be fine in the garden, or not. In my mild 8b, I've seen the foil wrapped gift hydrangeas sometimes do quite well. One that comes to mind is a purple hued my neighbor bought for a dinner centerpiece that she later planted. When she moved it to her new home a few years later, it took three men to lift it into the truck ;)

If you are looking for garden stock, shop nurseries. If you want some temporary color indoors and would like to plant/experiment outside later, understand their performance isn't guaranteed.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:59AM
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