99-cent Perennials at Canadian Tire

dianasan(z5a Mtl)May 15, 2010

I dropped by Canadian Tire to check out the weekly specials and was pleasantly surprised by the selection of 99-cent perennials. I got several plants which are hard to find in my area such as, Lobelia Cardinalis and Helenium. I also picked up various Rudbeckia and Galardia cultivars or hybrids and Campanula (Canterbury Bells).

I had started a bed on the side of my property two summers ago and didn't know what to plant there. I prefer buying smaller, inexpensive plants until I can gauge the growing habits and the way a plant will look in a given space and if I'm not pleased with it I'll get rid of it or move it to that area of my garden which I call "Plant Limbo". If I do like it, I will sometimes invest in a larger specimen of the same plant.

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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Hmmmm.... I might just have to head out there and see if there is anything I "need".

Keep a good eye on your Lobelia cardinalis over the winter - protect it really well if you want it to have a chance of coming back! I have tried it a couple of times with cheap Can Tire plants and it has never survived. It is generally considered not hardy in this area.

It's worth it to keep trying though, with prices that good! I might give it another try if my CT has any left.

BP

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 10:46AM
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dianasan(z5a Mtl)

The first time I bought an L Cardinalis was about 10 years ago before I moved to my new house. The plant didn't even make it to its first winter. I planted the ones I got on Friday in the bog around my pond. LCs love damp soil so I'm hoping for better results this time round. We'll see.

Hope you found something interesting at CT, Bonnie.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 9:37AM
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aquilegia6(5 PEI)

I was amazed to find a foxtail lily, Eremurus 'Cleopatra', at my local Canadian Tire. It was in a one gallon pot for 5.99! I snapped it up right away, as the store here doesn't have a great reputation for keeping things alive...

Also, I have a Lobelia 'Fan Rose' that is coming back for its third year. It's beautiful with dark red leaves and bright pink flowers. It's in a very boggy clay soil that many other plants don't do well in.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 9:52AM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Well, all the cheap ones were in pretty bad shape and were the regular common ones I already have or don't want. This Can Tire used to be a really good one years ago, but now they have mostly generic stuff, and it's not well looked after.

I did rescue a white Incarvillea delavayi(Hardy Gloxinia) from their pricier plant section. They obviously have multiple suppliers. Some plants have very different pots and labels - they are somewhat more unusual and in MUCH better shape.

I know I'm taking a gamble with the Incarvillea, since it's not really hardy here, and even if it does make it, it's so short lived. But I looooove the leaves.

BP

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 12:25PM
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ianna(Z5b)

that is interesting because I too bought one lobelia cardinales and it didn't survive the following year. These are supposed to be hardy to zone 3 and will live for 7 years. So it's a mystery why they didn't survive in my yard.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 1:05PM
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dianasan(z5a Mtl)

I hope I have as much success with my Lobelia as you, aquilegia.

I remember buying an Incarvillia at a Garden Expo in Ottawa about 12 years ago or so. It didn't survive the winter. I wonder if it would survive being potted up and stored in a unheated garage or cold cellar for the winter?

BTW, I started planting my little perennials from CT and the next morning I would find that they had been loped off. I couldn't figure out if it was skunks, bunnies or squirrels.

Today my neighbor tells me that her tulips and other perennials have been ravaged by voles. I went to check out the bed around her patio and noticed extensive damage and tunneling. I believe that some of her voles decided to form another colony over in my yard.

I have some holes and tunnels around my concrete deck too, but I assumed it was because of the toads which have been living there the past few years -- in fact, I spotted one sneaking in under there just the other day. Guess they've got new roommates this summer.

At least now I know what I'm up against.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 1:05AM
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ianna(Z5b)

dianasan

Oh oh...best call the pest control. This is something you wouldn't be able to solve yourself.
Ianna

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 3:35PM
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dianasan(z5a Mtl)

Actually, we did solve the problem once before. The houses in our division were built on farm land and when we moved into our house, we noticed voles living under our deck. We managed to eradicate them, but it appears our neighbour didn't do the same and now she has a major infestation and some of them decided to form a new colony under my deck.

I've already put some bait down their tunnels and given my neighbour some too so hopefully we'll be rid of them for good this time.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 10:46PM
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dianasan(z5a Mtl)

It's pretty much the end of summer and I must say I'm very pleased with the performance of the 99-cent perennials I bought back in May at Canadian Tire.

The Rudbeckias did extremely well, especially the Indian Summer and Double Daisy. I'll be collecting seeds and starting additional plants for my other border next year. I also really love R. Goldilocks because it's more compact than the others and performed much better than R. Maya (from Rona) which was actually very disappointing. I'll be sowing more Goldilocks also.

The 2 delphiniums I bought are blooming for a second time now and I have high hopes that they'll survive the winter. Same for the Lobelia Cardinalis which are still in bloom. I'll be mulching them and covering them with a styrofoam cone over the winter.

I'm very pleased with my Gailardias. The ones I got for 99 cents actually did better than those that I paid more. I will be moving G. Burgundy because it's too tall to remain where it's now growing, and I hope to collect seed from G. Goblin and starting more plants.

There is also a Heliopsis which is just over 2 feet high and has been blooming profusely for a couple of months now, and a Coreopsis which hasn't bloomed yet, but seems quite vigorous. I'm sure it'll bloom next summer.

I'm somewhat disappointed with the 6 Heleniums I bought. They are presently in full blooms and are quite stunning, but they are just too tall and need staking. I prefer more compact plants in my beds. I might give them to my brother who is clearing some land for a summer place or I might transplant them to a new spot next year.

Overall, I think the 99-cent perennials were a great bargain. For the price of a few flats of annuals, I was able to fill up some empty spots in my garden, try out some new plants and I fall in love again with some old favorites that I hadn't grown for many years.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 4:42PM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

Yup, sometimes the bargain plants turn out to be the best, and if they don't do well, you haven't invested a lot of money on them. I usually buy quite a few discounted plants or bulbs (e.g.finished blooming potted lilies)in the fall sales. These aren't always a success in the garden, but most of them do just fine and the prices are reasonable.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 11:17AM
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