Martagons from Van Bourgondien?

lady_fern(z6 IN)February 4, 2007

I've been wanting to purchase some martagon lilies for years now. Van Bourgondien has a sale $25 off a $50 order, so I'm considering getting them. I know Van Bourgondien doesn't have the best reputation, but their customer service has been ok in my experience. My concern is that the martagon lilie they list are described as "wild" lilies with small blossoms. Is that typical? Or are they selling lilies that are inferior to what I could get from others? The plain martagon lilies are 12.99 each and 'Album' is 13.99 each. These prices are half what others offer martagon lilies for, which is another reason I'm concerned. I'm always looking for a bargain, but I've learned that "bargain" plants can be eyesores in the garden! Thanks for your advice and experience! Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: martagon lilies at Van Bourgondien

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tsbccowboy(Minnesota zone 4B)

Garden Watchdog does not paint a very optimistic picture of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Watchdog - Van Bourgondien review

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 10:10AM
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hld6(z7 MD)

Hi Kim,

Brent and Becky's has both Martagon and Martagon "Mrs. Backhouse" for sale in their Summer 2007 catalog -at very good prices. But, be forewarned, Martagon often doesn't come up the first (or even second) season. It doesn't like to be transplanted. Also good prices usually means smaller bulbs. That's OK IF you don't mind waiting for them to perform up to potential. What's not OK is if a cheap price means poor quality (sick, diseased, or poor condition). If you really want them to bloom this year you should probably go for larger more expensive bulbs to increase your odds. And even then, the truth is some species lilies are incredibly easy (Regale, Speciosum) and some require more patience (Martagon, Candidum, etc.,).

The Martagon I bought from Brent and Becky's last spring looked healthy and in good condition but, as expected, didn't come up. I did however grow bulblets from a couple of loose scales in the package. They leafed out (after I vernalized them in the refrigerator for 4 weeks) without any sign of disease or virus. Virus' are transmitted to scaled bulblets so the mature bulbs I received from Brent and Becky's are in all likelyhood virus free. I won't be able to tell you more than this until this spring when the should (hopefully) come up.


Here is a link that might be useful: Garden watchdog - Brent & Beck's review

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 7:30PM
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Hi Lady_fern,
I had mixed experience with VB. One out of my three orders from them was really good. Another one was absolutely terrible - two plants were dead upon arrival, two lily bulbs were 10cm instead of 16-18cm advertised. They issued store credit for the dead plants WITHOUT SHIPMENT COST. When I asked why they do so, they answered that they sent me these dead plants and therefore spent the money I paid for shipment. Go figure... Last time I spoke with them the customer service guy told me that it is their policy to not return money and to not replace bad plants for all Internet purchases. Do not try to find their policy on their website; it is not there. They will make it up for you every time you call them. You were lucky with their customer service. For me it was the worst experience with a customer service ever.
I would definitely go with Brent&Becky's.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 11:08AM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

All martagon lily flowers are naturally small compared to nearly all other true lilies. That is what VB are talking about, not that those particular bulbs will produce small flowers (as oppose to other martagon bulbs).

But I think it is safe to say that the more trama a martagon bulb has been through (i.e. time out of soil, dehydration, warm temps, etc. [whatever else etc. there is]), the more likely the bulb will sit for a season without sending up growth. If it has been in storage (through the winter) until spring, the trama is substantial, and I would be very surprised if you saw any above ground growth that same season.

My two or three dealings with VB have been satisfactory. Although (and perhaps to my shame), I do not worry so much about size of materials as some. However I do demand good health.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 5:16PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

I ordered martagon lilies from VB last year. THey never came up at all!! (were absolutely tiny when shipped) I called, they said they would resend new bulbs, but never did. I now refuse to buy anything from them.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 5:41PM
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