Anyone knows of a reliable internet source for Michelia Alba or a nursery/Garden Center in Chicago that carries it? Thanks in advance!
Hi Nixon..I remember www.worldplants.com sold them..also, www.logees.com does, too, but the last few times I ordered from Logees, was less than excited w/size and new prices.
I don't know of any garden center in Chicago that sells them, but I'd get on the phone and make calls.. for instance, have you ever shopped at Gethsemene GArdens? Or Jamacian GArdens..I love them all..Gethsemene is in Chicago..There are two JG's locations, one in Morton Grove the other in, I believe Libertyville.
2 other places that sell different/rarer plants are Ted's Nursery and Sid's Nursery..You'd have to do a search for addys..I've been to Ted's but never Sids..Both are in the sw burbs of Chicago..Of what I heard, Sid's is a bit on the pricy side, but they do sell larger plants then say, Logees or Worldplants.
Here's the number of JG in Morton Grove.. 847-967-9360 Ask for Susan..she does the ordering and knows what's available..also, if you're really determined to buy this plant, and they're sold out, ask if she'll order for you..also, ask pot size and cost..They sell everything from 4" and up..The larger the pot the more expensive.
Most of the nurseries have closed their doors since I left Chciago..don't know if they relocated or closed down..There used to be quite a few nurseries on Clark St. Hope you find the Michelia..Toni
I doubt you'll find nurseries in the Chicago area carrying michelia alba, since it's a tropical, not a hardy plant. I would strongly avoid nurseries selling michelias in small pots, like 4"; they don't do well and it'll be years before you see blooms.
A google search should find a few Florida or California growers willing to ship larger sizes; be prepared for serious shipping fees. Hope you find one!
I got my from http://www.troptrees.com/default.asp.
The owner Alan Smith is a nice, old gentleman and full of knowledge about plants.
He is in Florida, but he can ship you one at the size and price that you want.
I had visited his nursey many times and he has "a lot "
of MA .
I've had different experiences from those reported here. Jimshy reports that M. Albas in small 4" pots don't do well and would take years before they bloom. I've had many of these plants in 5" 3/4-pots and some of them had bloomed during the same summer that I got them, and most bloomed the following year, some of them still in their small pots. This plant can only be vegetatively propagated since they do not produce viable seeds, if at all. Hence any scion or cuttings used to propagate them usually come from mature trees. I still have some of them right now, though they've been through a very bad winter here in Seattle, and in the last 3 months, were neglected because I was away in CA for work. Funny, a couple of them had barely any leaves, but they had lots of blooms. I have several dozen new plants in 5" 3/4-pots that I just got from my supplier. Some of them have been transplanted in 3-gallon pots. If the weather and my work assignment keeps me here in Seattle, I can look forward to some of them blooming by Oct.
I'm keeping some of them in their 5" pots and see if I can get them to bloom anyway. I'm sending a couple of them to a friend in FL, and I suggested that he plants one of them in the ground and the other in a large pot. I'm pretty sure he's gonna get some blooms pretty quick.
In regards to troptrees.com, 4 years ago, I tried to order a 1-gallon M. Alba advertised on his website, and I got a message to call them. When I talked to Mr. Alan Smith, he told me that he didn't think he'd advertised one in a 1-gallon size but that he had 1 in a 3-gallon size. When I told him that I was interested in the 1-gal size because I live in Seattle, and that the shipping cost might be tremendous for the 3-gal size. His response was, "Well, these plants are very rare. And if you're concerned about the shipping cost for these plants, I might need to take you off my (mailing) list." I tried to explain that I was not concerned about the price of the plant, but that a 3-gal pot would cost a lot more to ship, and he hung up. He was charging, I believe, $59.99 for the 1-gal., and over $150 for the 3-gal then. Needless to say, I went somewhere else to get my plants. That plant in his 1-gal size is about the same size as the plants I get in the 5"pot on the average. Though I'll bet some of mine are even bigger. And I don't have to pay the higher shipping cost to get them.
Chong -- Thanks for the correction -- I should have said that a few nurseries tend to sell barely rooted cuttings in 4" pots that are very hard for novices or those in cold areas to keep alive. I'm really glad to hear your experience has been different, and of course we'd love to hear more about your supplier!
I also thought michelia alba and champaka don't usually bloom until they've grown to about 5-6 feet high, but obviously that's not the case. My michelia yunnanensis had one bloom at 1 foot high, so I should've gotten a clue from that.
I suspect my other michelia tree is actually a mislabled champaka started from seed, and that's why I'm still waiting for blooms -- we'll see!
Wow -- thanks for the information and tips. Chong -- I would like to know your source as well. I did get a plant here in Chicago's Chinatown and it was about a 3 foot tree and cost about $35.00
Hi nixonk - $35.00 for a 3' Michelia Alba tree is a good deal. Here is a link to Temple Garden Nursey in El Monte, California if anyone is interested. I was told they do ship. The young lady told me that she checks their email once a week, so it is best to telephone them for more infomations. This plant is worth having.