Antactica, Limona and Not Piquent (Guess Who!)

Noni MorrisonDecember 4, 2009


I bought 3 Antactica from Van ENgelen this year and they sure are pretty! Deep green centers and diamond dust up the gazoo! HEre is the first of them with Limona and poor feeble little Minerva. Dang, knew as soon as I saw the bud that it was going to be Minerva, not Piquent. Minerva may be prettier but this is one feeble specimen! Got her at Home Depot.

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Ooh! Antarctica is gorgeous! Great green eye!

I'm noticing this year, that the bulbs from the big box stores are of inferior quality... they're going downhill, it seems. The bulbs are smaller, more stressed, and I notice a lot of red streaking and bruising that doesn't look good.

I tried to get a Red Lion the other day... they were on sale for $3.94... but I couldn't find one bulb that I felt was worthy of buying. They were all in such pitiful condition. I opted for an Apple Blossom, so we'll see how it grows. I'm not impressed by the bulbs this year, though. You do get what you pay for!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 5:25AM
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After receiving most of my orders now, I would say that the hippie bulbs I have bought from the reputable/known bulb companies this year have been good quality ones. Very good sizes, fresh, firm and healthy bulbs. Of course, the mislabeling is another thing.

The big box stores...they "might" never change. For them, it's the $$$ that's important and not the quality. Their decision to change is all dependent on us, the buyers.

Now what could this imply?

1. 2009 Hippie harvest could have been a good one compared to the other seasons resulting in better quality bulbs.

2. Bulb companies are now ordering the better quality bulbs instead of the cheaper ones.

3. Our complaints for selling us bad quality bulbs for years are finally being heard. So please complian or let your source know that we are now "educated" Hippie growers.

4. "If you can"...Avoid being content with your $2-$3 sick/mislabeled clearance bulbs. It would seem that you are helping the poor hippies to survive but looking at it in a broader view, you are encouraging the big box stores to continue purchasing these cheap, possibly sick and mislabeled ones. If you bought a good bulb, then it's ok. I got 3 good Gilmars in WM at regular price and have no complaints about them. If you bought a bad/mislabeled bulb, complain or return. Hopefully, someday, the big box stores would rethink or stop ordering these kinds of bulbs when they are not making money of them anymore. By then, they "might" order the better quality and "true to name" ones. Bad hippie sales for the BB stores...bad Hippie sales for the cheap Hippie commercial bad quality Hippies cut out of production. PERIOD!!!

LESSON: We, the buyers, ONLY deserve the best quality Hippie bulbs. We DO NOT deserve bad/sick/mislabeled bulbs even if they were just 1 cent each.

Happy Hippie growing and blooming to all!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 6:57PM
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Noni Morrison

Mariava, I certainly agree that this Minerva is NOT what I deserve, even for $6. It is an ugly, deformed little thing, blooming on too short a stem. the 3rd bloom is only half the size of the others and I do not think there wil be a 4th one. I only bought it because I thought I could get a Piquant, a bulb I had not seen elsewhere. I don't think I will try this again. My grocery store has pretty nice ones, bought from A reputable dutch company with wholesale outlets in the US for store bulbs, but those labeled only "grown in Israel"(with no brand name to identify a company with a reputation) are not coming home with me again!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 8:20PM
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Good perspective for someone new like me, Maria. Thank you.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 8:37PM
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The statement that "you get what you pay for" is most certainly true of Hippeastrum bulbs sold in the US. The majority of bulbs from the reputable catalog companies and first rate garden centers do cost more, but they're usually worth the extra cost because the bulbs are bigger, healthier, and flower better.

Those cheap bulbs offered by the big box stores might not cost very much, but I'm noticing a definite decline in the size, health, and they seem to be not up to par when it comes to blooming.

Maria is right... if we keep buying these cheap bulbs, we are not sending the message that we only want large, healthy, top quality bulbs.

Part of the problem is that, many times, it's only the cheaper bulbs that some of us can afford to buy. So, it's like a catch 22.

It's virtually the same with any product sold, however... with a rise in popularity comes a rush to profit from that popularity. And so, the market gets flooded with inferior products as growers and sellers rush to profit.

Every year, I see the stacks of boxed kits everywhere... and I want to buy one or two because of the cheap price. But this year in particular, there's a noticeable decline in the quality... at least, there is in my area. I've never passed up the opportunity to grab a $3 bulb... but this year, I find myself doing just that!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 7:46AM
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