Local Home Despot had summer bulbs out, I succumbed

linnea56(z5 IL)March 4, 2010

I cant actually pretend I resisted. Considering I drove there on purpose on the way home from an appointment, without any flimsy excuse of needing any form of hardware. It was a sunny day, that was one excuse. I needed a reward, that was the other. I know I will have to store the dahlias in the cold basement for a while before I can even start them indoors. I can at least say, they certainly werenÂt picked over.

I got:


Garden Wonder ÂredÂdecorativeÂ30"

StarÂs Favorite Âpink and creamÂcactusÂ.40"

Strawberry Ice ÂpinkÂ.dinnerplateÂ.36-48"

Vancouver Âstreaky FuchsiaÂdinnerplateÂ.36 Â 48"

Sky Angel Âwhite with purple tipsÂdecorativeÂ36-48"

I could tell some were the same kinds they had last year. I did get StarÂs Favorite last year, really liked it. That was my only repeat. Actually I had Strawberry Ice too, but I donÂt remember what it looked like, it started blooming too late. I do recall it did not look like the picture. Strawberry Ice and Vancouver were packaged together. Another Strawberry Ice packaged alone had a picture that was nothing like that on the combo pack. I will probably get more at some different store later. I still need some deep wine red: so will have to keep looking. They had Arabian Night, which I had last year and didnÂt like. Tall, tall plant, too-small flowers. Yellow center too big, not enough rows of petals. (How picky I amÂ)

I also got:

Lilies: I will cross post this section in Lilies too.

Commander in Chief ÂredÂthink itÂs an asiaticÂ42 -48"

Triumphator Âwhite with deep pink centerÂtrumpetÂ3 to 4 feet

Pink Heaven Âlight solid pinkÂtrumpetÂ.3 to 4 feet

I think I remember people saying Commander in Chief was good. I like reds that are not orangey. If this one IS orangey, please tell me! I moved a dozen + Monte Negro last year because they were the wrong shade of red. I need reds that can get along with pink, which means cool blue-reds, not hot orange reds. I picked the least sprouted of the packages, but it was sprouted. I will have to figure out how to slow them down. Store them on the cold basement floor? Even colder garage?

Triumphator and Pink Heaven were bagged together, labeled as Trumpet. They didnÂt look like Trumpets to me, and looking through the Brent and BeckyÂs catalog I saw them both in there, labeled as LOÂs, Longiflorum-Oriental hybrids. I donÂt have any LOs. (Well, until now). I donÂt even have any trumpets except one I planted in fall 08 (Pink Perfection), it grew OK last summer (short, 3 flowers), but it is probably too soon to tell if it really likes it where I put it.

If anyone can tell me more about what they DO like, please do.

Also got:

Canna Durban Â.orange flowerÂred/gold/green striped leavesÂis supposed to be short, at 30"

Daylily El Desperado Â.pale yellow with wine eye and a little wine outline on some petals.

IÂve never successfully grown cannas and gotten them to bloom. I picked this because it has nice leaves, so if blooms never show up, itÂll be alright.

I canÂt say WHY I bought the daylily. I have never bought a bagged hardware store daylily before. I recognized the name and the picture and remembered that I had liked it before when I saw other peopleÂs pictures. I checked all the bags in the bin, squinted through the green plastic, and picked one obviously alive but not too long leaved yet. I picked one that had a great air of enthusiasm, yet did not appear to be too reckless.

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I see that I have more self control than your self. lol

I have been to the same sales rack at least 4 times. I am going to buy some of the same plants that you bought, But I am covered up with a remodeling job of a house that I am going to sell. I am new at this so I don't know anything except what the pictures show. I have been on this forum for a couple of weeks. If I spend the money for the plants I want to dig them up and plant them each year.

From what I can find out on here many of them will not come back next year unless they are dug and stored. I am just about finished with the construction of my garden, the "hardscape". I had some plants growing last year, but this year I want some color. Below is a link to my garden:


I know how to build things, but almost nothing about plants. I am trying to learn.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 6:26AM
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Nancy zone 6

I guess I need to head back to Home Depot. I haven't bought any dahlias yet, but I'm sure I will. I was there last week & remember eyeing Star's Favorite, you've convinced me to get that one at least :) I don't remember seeing those lilies, except maybe Commander in Chief. I tend to try to buy lilies I don't have. I didn't buy Commander in Chief because I thought it looked too much like a couple I have. I do have Monte Negro, but mine is a deep maroon. I am surprised that yours is scarlet. You will like the daylily, it is just an excellent daylily. I've not had a lot of luck with those packaged daylilies myself, but I haven't bought them since the ones I bought all turned out to be different varieties than they were supposed to be. Didn't buy from HD though, but one of their competitors.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 7:51AM
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Lucky you !!! I haven't seen any dahlias at my HD and for some reson the dahlias don't grow well for me here. However I did get some bulbs from them. I got Freesia, Ranunculus, Iris, Sprekelia, Amarillys belladona, Agapanthus and Tigridias. They had gladiolus as well but I've got way too many glads planted already so I passed on them.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:09AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Ngraham, I did hesitate over the Commander in Chief. Too many lilies in the bag, too. I would rather buy onesies. If they ARE asiatics I will be up to my ears in that variety in no time anyway. I wonder why they always seem to be sold in multiples? Now if they were begonias, why, then Id need a bag full. (I DID need begonias, and those were one per bag!) I can buy them one at a time at my local lily society, but the price will be at a premium too. I have wondered about my Monte Negro. I have seen others post pictures here and mine does look a bit different. On mine the petals are narrow, too. Thats one thing I really dont like in a lily. Thanks for the encouragement about the daylily choice. I have no idea where Ill put this poor plant. I will probably have to pot it up too: I dont think it will hold out until May for me.

About Star's Favorite: its a tall rangy one, floppy stemmed too. (I dont really have any all day sun, that may factor in) I needed my tallest stakes for it. But it produced more flowers than any other I had last year. Individual flowers had beautiful form, too. I like to cut individual flowers and put them singly into ikebana holders. When a flower stands alone perfect form is more important. There are several varieties with names beginning with "Stars" : I tried one that is more solid pink but it did not produce nearly as well.

rolacoy: in your zone 8 the dahlias might even over winter in the ground. The lilies might need vernalization. Ive never lived anywhere but Zone 5 so take certain things for granted: like which bulbs will work for me. Maybe there is a targeted forum for your part of the country. I have a cousin who moved from Chicago to Texas (I forget where in Texas). I know she cant grow tulips, but iris and daylilies do phenomenally well. She is the only person I know personally with whom Ive compared notes.

Roly, I have not tried most of those. Freesia, Ranunculus, Sprekelia, Amarillys belladona, Agapanthus and Tigridias. I know they had some but I tend to skim over the ones I know nothing about. In my zone Im not sure I could get most of those going. I am always tempted by Anemone de Caen but they are not hardy here, and I dont know how they take to digging up and replanting like the dahlias do. I dont have luck keeping dahlias over but re-buy them every year. Begonias I can keep over: trying callas this year too.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:45AM
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Glad to see that I'm not the only one who succumbed to the temptation. In my case I went easy and bought a bag of Red King Humbert Cannas and a bag of Crocosmia - both of which are destined to go in or around my pond (the Canna in constant-moist soil, the Crocosmia outside the liner). The Canna came in a solid green bag so I was unable to check out the tubers before-hand, but I did open it up and check 'em out when I got home. I was very pleased to find 5 huge tubers with minimal new growth packed in some pleasant-feeling peat (i.e. it had some moisture, but didn't feel bone-dry) - put it all back in the bag and stuck it in a cold part of the basement until planting time.

This was in direct contrast to the selections that Lowe's had - Lowe's had their bulbs in clear plastic bags, more tubers to a bag but much smaller in size, and the majority of the Cannas that I looked at were packed in what looked like sawdust and were either soaked, fungused, blackened, and/or actively growing! They also didn't have nearly the selection that Home Depot had (in Cannas, Dalhias, Lilies, or Elephant Ears (Colocasia)).

This'll be the first year that I've tried both - most everything is new when you're a relative newbie to most gardening activities - so we'll just have to see how it works out. Last year's big success was a clearance-shelf Colocasia that I placed in my pond - I pulled it up back in Nov to overwinter and it's still surviving along with all 4 of the off-shoots. I think I'll let 'em go dormant next winter, though.

- Mike

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 12:00PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Im really tempted to try Colocasia. I dont have a pond or anything like that. Not sure where Id put it. My garden is pretty well stuffedeven before you count what I just bought. Though Ive seen the tubers in the stores, Ive never seen the actual plant growing. I need to get a handle on how big they really are.

That is a good tip to check the bags. I bought a bag of 2 canna but didnt open anything up, just stashed it in the basement. I talked to the people at home depot when I was there: they had just gotten it in a few days ago. Nothing that I handled (when peering into the bags looking for small shoots for dahlias, to prove they were alive, and shoots not too long, if lilies) looked dry but I didnt check the cannas. I should probably cut a slit in the bags of everything, to discourage rot.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 1:41PM
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I ran, not walked to Lowes after reading this post and they do have nice variety of bulbs as well as fruit bushes. I picked out some salmon color gladiolus but can't seem to find a soft pink anywhere. I also went to Home depot but their selection was poor. Maybe I will try the one in the next town that's bigger. I just wish I could get my hands in the dirt already. Sigh*

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 2:27PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Yes, the selection varies a lot. My local HD has much less than this store. I used to think they all had the same stuff. I had daily radiation treatments last fall in the same town as this other HD. I used to feel depressed after going so went about once a week to this store to cheer myself up. And needing to get them planted within a limited period of time kept me active and outside when the treatments made me tired. As retail therapy it was cheaper than buying clothes, which I know a lot of women would do. Next spring I look forward to seeing some amazing things bloom, that came out of a bad but necessary experience.

There was a Lowes way out in the country that I used to pass going to and from grad school. At least 70 miles from my house. They had an amazing garden center, both perennials and bulbs. I filled a couple of beds from that store. That was when it was a fairly new chain in Illinois. When one opened only 15 minutes from my house I was ecstatic. I thought I was going to be scoring big time. But this one has only the most ordinary nursery stock and the bulbs were a joke. One rack, tulips "yellow" or "red, daffodils "Assorted" . Harumph!

Now if I pass a Lowes or HD out of my area I try to stop, knowing what they have may well be different.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 4:05PM
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