Lowes stuff -- too early!

lynnt(Z7 MD)February 20, 2005

I went to Lowes last night to get some metal fence stakes -- their annual onslaught of boxed plants is in, and they have some nice things, if they're accurately labeled. But it's at least a month too soon for most of this stuff! Clematis (about seven kinds), cannas (including two stripey leaved varieties for about what I paid Horn Cannas) daylilies, asiatic and oriental lilies, calladiums, convallaria, minor bulbs, the works.

I couldn't resist. I came home with a package of five canna Durban (another name for Tropicanna) at a bit more than a dollar apiece, plus white oriental lilies with dark-orange and yellow streaks that should match it well, and a dark-red daylily with a gold throat to set them both off. And a couple kinds of curly-leaf red caladium I'd not seen before. All these things except the daylily will keep in their bags of peat until mid-April, the earliest I'd consider putting tender plants out...

We may be Zone 7, but this is jumping the gun! Still, would you rather let these cuties molder at the store, or buy them now and let them mold in your own garage?


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Have you had good results with boxed stuff from Lowe's? I always look at it, think about pigs and pokes, and go away without buying anything.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 8:17AM
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I've had reasonable success with the "Big Box" hardware store plants if I get them as soon as they come off the truck. Unfortunately, if they hang around for long they are often neglected and I won't buy them later unless they are a super good bargain.

Our extension agent says to "buy from green" when it comes to plant material, meaning from a nursery or real garden center that knows how to take care of their plants for the long haul. I've found this to be a good practice, especially later in the season.

Sandy (who has a JP rose moldering in her coolish utility room till planting time! LOL)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 8:32AM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I worked at a garden center, and it is very tedious and time-consuming to water those boxed plants. Buy them now and take care of them yourself so you know it's done right. Or wait until the potted plants come in at the proper time.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 5:09PM
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I agree - if you happen to come across something cheap & nice that you want - buy it now. You are bound to take care of it better than the store will.

Let's face it - we've already had some daytime temps here in VA in the 50's - even the 60's. You can either store your treasures - keeping an eye out for mold - or pot them up yourself temporarily.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 6:17PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

I was in Lowe's this weekend as well and was amazed that they already have so many boxed plants. I bought strawberries. Altho it says on the box to plant them right away, I'll pot them up and keep them in an unheated room.

They all looked so healthy but they won't look like that in a month.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 10:38AM
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Could not pass up Bell of Woking Clematis. It's on the cold light table. Will be fine til spring.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 10:51AM
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gardenpaws_VA(z7 NoVA)

I had to laugh at their ad and display which somehow managed to lump all boxed/bagged plants as "bulbs"! Clematis? Blueberries? Hosta? I never heard these were bulbs! LOL
On the other hand, I found an agastache there which I don't have, so they'll be going into a seed flat tonight (slow growers).

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 5:29PM
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ewepoor(Maryland 6a)

A few years ago Lowes and Home Depot were bring in at low prices tree peonys....from China. Has any seen these lately anywhere.....they were of good quality...

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 9:20AM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

I have been to a couple Costco stores that were stocking tree peonies. $8.50 each, I think

- Brent

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 10:46AM
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I was happy to see that Lowe's has caladium tubers already. This weekend I snapped up a couple of bags of my favorite: Gingerland....I glimpsed flats of pansies through the glass window to the outdoor section, but made myself steer clear. When I bought pansies from Lowe's in the fall, they all keeled over within 2 weeks, while the ones I got from Southern States and another local nursery at the same time are doing just fine. Ditto with mums and a cyclamen. They look gorgeous until I get 'em home, and then they quickly give up the ghost no matter how much TLC they're given. Could just be me, or maybe I'm getting them when they've already been stressed to their max.

I've never had a problem with Lowe's bulbs or tubers, however, so that's what I (try to!) limit myself to when I cruise through the plant offerings!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 11:47AM
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I purchased a few of the black raspberries/rhubarb and repotted them up next day. I am guessing if you get any of these to pot them up till the ground thaws. As I type it is snowing away outside.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 2:18PM
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Filbert(7 VA)

One word of caution. Several nurseries keep their container stock in cozy green houses and then set them outside at their stores. These plants have fully leafed out and look great while all the plants in your garden are still bare. I guess it helps them sell plants. But don't assume that these plants can handle the cool weather and won't suffer from the many freezes yet to come. I think it's a disservice to sell these plants so early.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 1:58PM
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myloki(7 Va)

I've bought these dormant bareroot plants many times with good success. I buy them right away so they are not lounging around a warm store too long. The perennials I keep outside so they do not break dormancy until I can pot them up. The more marginal plants like cannas and caladiums, I would keep in a cool place indoors until the weather is more consistently warm.
I normally pot mine up and grow them on for a few months before placing them in the garden since they are fairly small and easily lost in the suffle.
My favorites to buy this way are bleeding hearts, daylilies, peonies, and Japanese anemone.
So far, the only problems I've had were when I tried to plant directly in the garden - they just couldn't compete. I also bought some raspberries once and while most established in 2-3 years and have been great producers (and the birds don't eat em!) there were a couple of mis-identified plants in the bunch that turned out to be very bitter, thorny, and rampant blackberries (understock?)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 11:09AM
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reginak(z7 Maryland)

Yesterday I went to Lowes and found Carolina Jessamine among the boxed plants. They had them in a relatively cool spot -- the entrance, between the two sets of doors -- but nonetheless they'd already been blooming. Bought one to grow over my front porch. I know I can't plant it out for another month and a half or so, so I guess I'll put it in a pot. Since it's already bloomed, I guess it's too late to try to keep it dormant! But I'll put it in a cool room anyway, not too bright, & keep it watered, unless y'all advise me otherwise.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 6:59AM
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slubberdegulion(z7 VA)

I couldn't resist either...shame, shame! I was innocently buying seeds to winter sow (or otherwise) and saw a peony I wanted last fall and couldn't afford then. I know it will grumble and look sad this year and not bloom much next year (it's pretty small), but the PRICE!! Also, I had to have a lily-of-the-valley, which I will most likely never see again. They go into the ground full of promises to be invasive and then slink away in the night. I've had mixed luck with Lowe's clematis. And don't get me started on the "bags of dust" line of natives.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 9:47PM
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