If you could tell the nurseries something, what would it be?

Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)April 9, 2010

I would say bring back the small 12 packs of bedding plants. I don't want the big 4 inch single ones and besides, it's not cost effective for your CUSTOMER!

In addition, get some potting soil that is SOIL, not woodchips. We already have alkaline soil in most of Texas and we don't need more JUNK to make it even more alkaline!

Also, on caladiums... last year it was 18 per pack for X price, this year it's 12 per pack for the SAME price! Isn't that stealing from your customer? Keep things the same quantity and increase the price if you have to...at least you'd be honest.

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Stop selling Japanese honeysuckle.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 7:53PM
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Diversify--you can find the same plants at several nurseries. If you don't want the same-old, same-old, you have to travel or order online.
Also, check your stock. Root-bound plants need to be potted up. If you can't do that, put them on a discount table where gardeners can buy them at a reduced price, take them home, and give them the care they need.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 8:27PM
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I don't want big box-type plants! If only they'd have more natives, butterfly host plants, xeriscape and habitat plants.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 9:14PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Well, I guess there are things that could be improved upon such as those mentioned above, but I can't think of anything to add to the list right now, so my message would be to thank Rainbow Gardens for the tremendous variety of plants they sell, from fruit trees to natives to veggies to seeds to roses to popular plants, and for their knowledgeable, helpful staff.

I'd thank Antique Rose Emporium for planting out all the varieties of easy to grow roses old and new so we can see how they look in the landscape and for the excellent companion plants they sell, and the fabulously designed display gardens, as well as their friendly helpful staff.

I'd thank Schumachers for bringing in heat and drought tolerant plants from all over the world, as well as unusual varieties that I've seen nowhere else, and selling them to the public at wholesale prices, and then putting wholesale on sale!

I'd thank Lowes for having a sale table instead of throwing their past prime plants in the dumpster. It keeps me going in there and once in a while I even buy a regular priced plant :-)

I could go on, but enough for now.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 9:27PM
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I wish they would get more 1 gallon topical plants, seems like all the plants I would really want are all in 5 gallon pots. The only tropical plant you can get in 1 gallon are hibiscus. Schumachers Hill Country Nursery back in the 90's, before the owner got sick, sold the 1 gallon pots, they had everything they had in the 5 gallon pots. That was fun shopping back then. They grew everything from cuttings, and most of the plants I bought were tropicals from Africa.When I would go there would be large vans with ladies from Houston, and other Texas cities, that would come down on a field trip just to buy plants. It was worth it, I only had to go 40 miles, I only wish it would be like that again. Those were the fun days. Barbra,

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 9:35PM
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freshair2townsquare(z7/8, D/FW)

put someone in the garden center that knows something about gardening!!!!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 10:03PM
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I would really like it if they organized their stock better- you might find the rose section, and think they don't carry the rose you want, then find it on the other side of the nursery! I think it would be a friendlier way to approach it if they organized by categories- ground covers, annuals, perennials, tropicals, vines, etc. Instead, it pretty much looks like they get a truck in, and unload it wherever they think it will look halfway decent. At least they do here in Houston.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 12:58AM
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First, after your orchids have been one the shelves and water for a week, take them down and put them on the sale shelf...They're already losing their roots in gagnum moss by that point. Second, exotic angel mislabels their plants and you overprice them...toss them back to the distributor or put them on sale. Third, Red-tip photinia's hate our alkaline soil and get chloriosis so stop selling them. Ditto on azaleas and gardenias unless you wanna hire someone to teach people how use them in container gardens. Next, this is texas and who the heck wants a mild jalapeno? Stop selling them. Finally, get some jungle cacti in now and then. Its not so much that I dont like schlums and easter cacti but a 6 inch hanging basket of say "Padre" or Rattail cactus would bring people in.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 4:03AM
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Carry vegetable plants that are in the correct season and variety for planting in our area.

Grow some of the fruit and nut trees that do well locally so people can see for themselves how they do in the area.

Have print-outs on all the plants they carry and sell or at least a website where the buyer can go to download all information pertaining to each plant.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 12:20PM
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That is a good idea, Wally.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 12:48PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Just like Roselee, I would thank Antique Rose Emporium for their inspiring gardens and selection of plants that do well in our climate. Great staff and seminars on helpful topics. Their realistic prices and variety ensure I never leave without buying something.

The same with Rainbow Gardens. Great staff and selection. They know what works here.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 5:13PM
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Stop selling varieties that don't grow here without lots of extra work and soil amendments, such as Magnolias, Azaleas, Hydrangeas in Austin! I just shake my head and laugh at those poor gullible souls buying that stuff. This is the main reason I patronize local nurseries like Natural Gardener and Barton Springs Nursery instead of the big box stores.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 6:24PM
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In the fashion of Will Rogers - I never saw a nursery that I did not like, or at least like something that they had. If the prices are beyond my budget I usually get ideas. If there is anything that I would tell them, it is "thank you for catering to my love of gardening and for all the hard work associated with running such a business."

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 12:21AM
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I agree that they (mainly big boxes, but not exclusively)are doing a disservice by carrying plants that aren't well suited to the area due to soils like Camellias, Azaleas, Hydrangeas and Gardenias or climate such as Citrus or Palm variaties such as Queens and Pygmy Dates.

Also, stop sealling junk trees like Silver Maple and AZ Ash!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 1:54AM
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weeeelllllll...I'd go a bit easy on some of the nurseries concerning citrus. At least here in San Antonio, we can grow satsumas, grapefruit, and improved meyers lemon. I dig Rainbow Gardens but they sell mango, lychee, annona, starfruit, dragonfruit and papaya trees and all those are really sensitive to cold. Dr. Stein told us in MG class that alot of people are weekend orchardist's and think they're gonna be Johnny Appleseed because they have a nice weekend to plant stuff and see all these fruit trees.

I agree with what Freshair is saying too. Wouldn't hurt to have someone there that'll tell you what you can and cant grow. OT story...I was at Lowe's today and this D*****bag "Landscape Designer" was following this lady around tell her that yes those would survive our winter's (jades and aeoniums) and that these were in the cactus family(sedums) and that this would produce nice tall cactus for her front area (saguaro). All this and he passed over every single prickly pear variety they had available and told here she needed to buy miracle grow soil for the cactus she did buy.

On a further OT, a few years ago I struggled to find a reliable online source for Opuntia Santa-Rita (purple prickly pear) and finally got one pad for like 10 bucks. Now Lowes sells multi-padded gallon size ones for like 8 bucks. Just my luck

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 2:44AM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Rainbow Gardens carries things that don't do well here in the ground, but if you ask they will tell you what the problems are with any plant. Some of their customers like to winter plants over in containers and so on.

I like Lowes because there are a lot of great bargains if you've done your research. Just recently cleaned out the clearance rack of Columbine for pennies on the dollar. It can be a bit misleading if you are new to gardening though.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 10:39AM
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Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)

One more thing. PLEASE don't put styrofoam in your plants or potting mix! It's so bad for the earth and doesn't break down.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 4:45PM
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rick_mcdaniel(Lewisville, TX)

1. Cool season plants are not a good investment here, for early spring. They don't last long enough.

2. The new SunPatiens, are the only variety that should be sold in Texas.

3. Why can't I ever find Laura Bush Petunias????

4. My gardening book disagrees with many hang tags on plants. The gardening book is usually right.

5. "Evergreen" in only zone 10-12, does not mean "evergreen" to me. It means "tropical".....not suited to other zones.

6. Caladiums should be sold in 50 and 100 bulb packages. (For less, of course.)

7. All tropicals should be clearly marked...."Must overwinter indoors, or in a greenhouse", except in zones 10-12.

There's probably a lot more.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 3:54PM
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I'm sure most nursery decisions are made on the basis of the bottom line, i.e. if people weren't buying a particular item, nurseries wouldn't carry it. So I have a bit of a problem complaining about selection.

That said, I do wish plant tags would contain more information. I suppose it isn't cost-effective to have more comprehensive tags printed up for less-popular plants, but I can wish for the moon just like everyone else. ;-)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 10:33PM
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Enough with the Live Oaks and Bradford Pears. Start carrying more variety of trees such as: Mexican White Oak, Bur Oak (needs to be good quality - NOT root bound in the pot), Mexican Buckeye, Desert Willow, Texas Ash, etc. Also would be nice to have available in smaller sizes (~5 gal).

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 10:34PM
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I would say stop selling invasive non-native species plants. Only one nursery around here had someone who was knowledgeable enough to tell me that certain plants were not good for our environment, Weatherford Gardens. Everyone else sells these plants regardless of their invasive nature.

Also, educate your employees before you put them out on the selling floor or yards. If I have a question about a plant, I just hate to get a blank stare from an ignorant person who doesn't even know if the plant needs sun or shade, water or dry, annual or perinneal. Grrr.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 7:58AM
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Gosh, yes, please no more invasive plants! Even though I prefer natives for my landscaping, I concede that some non-natives behave themselves (crepe myrtle, boxwood, etc), but please no more privet, nandina, Japanese honeysuckle, Chinaberry, Tree of Heaven, Chinese tallow, and ESPECIALLY BERMUDAGRASS. (I know, everyone loves Bermudagrass, but have you ever tried to get Bermudagrass out of a vegetable garden?)

A lot of these plants are on the USDA list of noxious weeds, so maybe stores shouldn't sell them. It seems kind of counterproductive to have gardeners, farmers, ranchers, park rangers, and land managers going to great trouble and expense trying to get rid of these plants while at the same time bunches of people keep selling, buying, and planting them everywhere.

Also, what's with the generic fruit trees? I saw a bunch of Home Depot ads for fruit trees recently, but when I went to the store to check them out, they didn't have variety names, or chill hours, or even COLORS listed! It was all "apple tree", "pear tree", "peach tree" etc. I think even the most ignorant about horticulture would know there's more than one kind of apple and would at least want to know if they're getting a green apple or a red apple, even if they don't know what varieties will grow here. I've never grown fruit before, so maybe this is normal, but it looks like when I do decide to put some fruit trees in I'll have to go mailorder.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 10:59AM
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I'll add my two cents about selling plants that are adapted for the area.

I also wonder why the big box stores can provide plumbing, electrical, etc experts but not gardening experts.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 12:54PM
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Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)

LABELS! So we know what we are buying!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 1:19AM
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this is all marketing mistakes--
big stores buy from central locations for ALL their areas--they buy in bulk from suppliers and are not interested apparently in becoming "local" nurseries

there are times I can find someone working in the garden dept who does know about plants but often I know more than the person I am asking and I don't know a lot about gardening...

there are some local nurseries in my area--Tarrant county--and I try to use them as much as I can...but the downside to local/smaller nurseries is often bigger prices for things--not just plants

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 10:10AM
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Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)

I'm going to add: labels STUCK TO THE POT not a little poke-in stick, especially on vegetables! How many times have I purchased green peppers and gotten banana peppers!!!!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 4:49PM
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I'd like to see them sell plants for the fall garden. Even the private nurseries in our area don't have anything for the fall garden. Anything I want to plant, like tomatoes, have to be started by me either from seed or from cuttings.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 12:47PM
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redrac(9 NW Houston)

If you are selling fruit trees list the rootstock and the chill hours if applicable. Too many of them just throw out whatever they can buy cheap, if it dies, they won't buy from you again. Better to sell the good stuff on the right rootstock and best for the area climate.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 8:56PM
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Now that I've seen it done in an actual bonafide production/propagation greenhouse, I have a new pet peeve: veggie plants that shouldn't be sold early. Every year I see Lowes, Home depot and even rainbow gardens selling 6 packs of veggies with only one set of true leaves. It takes 2 weeks from sowing for those leaves to appear. Stop doing that! Let the plants grow a week or two more.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 11:53PM
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the number one thing I would tell them
WATER BEFORE YOU OPEN! I understand some things may need to be watered more than once. But really, when I walk in at 2pm and you are just starting to water, and I can't go to this or that area because of the sprinklers or knee deep water it does not help your sales! Plus I think you are an idiot watering at 2pm in the middle of summer in Texas and do I really want to buy a plant from an idiot?

That and do not carry fruit trees that need chill hours(we have NONE), plants that will grow in Minnesota, or Kansas for that matter and bearded iris! Carry mulch, soil, etc. from local sources.

Big box stores only have garden centers to pull in customers, they figure while you are picking up potting soil you'll say hey! I need a new table saw and pick that up while you are there. Stores try to draw you in and keep you there by any means possible.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 11:24AM
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