Recent deals at HD and Lowes

deburn(6 - Boston MA)January 23, 2012

I found several plants at good prices recently and wanted to share in case anyone else was interested. All of them were at HD, except for a large Aglaenoma that Lowes was selling for 6.98, compared to 24.98.

I got the following plants from multiple HD stores (I thought all HD stores would have the same prices, but it looks like each store discounts individually):

* Hanging Christmas Cactus for 7.00 normally 15.00, but just today I saw another HD had the same size plants for 2.00, but not in hangers!

* Ponytail palms for 2.50. These were in 4" pots but the bases (trunks?) were large and plump

* I got a postcard from their Garden Club (or whatever it's called) that was a buy one get one free, so of course I had to use it :-)

* I also got a bonsai for 5.00 because it was in bad shape

There were a couple of others, but can't remember right now. These were all in the Boston area - not sure what it's like around the country

Here is a link that might be useful: My 5.00 bonsai from HD

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Great score! I'm on my way to work, but the bonsai was misidentified for you on the bonsai forum. It's Ficus macrocarpa - a different species from microcarpa, as identified ...... commonly, it's ginseng ficus.

For cultural preferences & general care, follow the link below.

Way to go! ;-)


Here is a link that might be useful: More about Ficus in containers if you click me ....

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 7:48AM
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Deburn..You really lucked out. Do you know if these plants had been sitting around or did HD get a new shipment?

I stopped at two HD's last week; their cupboards were bare. lol.

What a deal on the bonsai. It's Ficus microcarpa. Home Depot labels it 'Green Island' or 'Green Island Ficus.' F. microcarpa's 'pre-shaped and in bonsi containers,' normally sell for 19.99 'small' and 29.99 for 'larger.' Shaped and potted.

I'm not felling well, otherwise I'd go to HD, but I doubt either store have these remarkable sales. Before marking down, our HD's toss and write off.

BTW, Deburn, while at HD, did you see their beautiful, extra-large Orange-Flowering Orchids??? OMG!! Problem is they wanted hoo. Toni

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 3:04PM
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deburn(6 - Boston MA)

Thanks Al! I have read that link before, but will do so in more detail now that I have a ficus :-) Do you agree that I should slip pot the bonsai, and do you have any suggestions on how to do so? ie treat it like I would a regular houseplant or differently because it's a bonsai?

Thanks Toni. I found those deals by going to 5 different HDs in my area and only two of them had these sales. The CC I guess because Christmas is over, but still the other HDs were selling them for the regular price of 15 bucks.

The bonsai was in bad shape so I spoke to one of the staff and asked if he would consider reducing it because of it's condition. The scanned price was 20.00 so he offered it to me for 10.00. I pointed out a couple of areas that were pretty bad and said I was thinking of paying 5.00 and he said deal!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 7:57PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If that's the pot the plant came in, I'd make a guess that the plant was knocked from the shelf & the bonsai pot it was originally in, probably a cascade pot, was broken. It looks like perhaps an employee might have picked up the plant & scooped up some peat moss from a broken bag & planted the plant in a handy pot with the peat as soil.

Even though summer is the best time to repot Ficus other than carica, the hardy fig, I would still repot now. I don't think the plant has much of a future in the soil it's in. Fortunately, the bulbous storage roots of the ginseng ficus will serve the plant well if you DO decide to repot now. Recovery will be slow, but it's better than allowing the plant to continue it's obvious decline.

A free-draining soil that's durable is the best choice, as your plant will probably not be repotted again until summer of '13. Wait about 2 weeks after repotting before you fertilize. If the plant starts to shed foliage, don't panic, but you might want to consider tenting the plant if it does. Macrocarpa is well adapted to dry conditions but with the poor root system, a little help might be a good idea.

Keep the plant warm. Soil temperatures in the 70-75* range are best. If your house is cooler, siting the plant on a propagation mat would be helpful and should raise soil temps by about 10* warmer than ambient temperature.

The only other thing you need is patience, and to remember you're working on tree time, not people time ..... and maybe the ability to resist photographing the roots once repotted. ;-)

Best luck.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Deburn, Wow, you really were determined going to 5 HD's, lol.

There's only two HD's near our house; neither had Thanksgiving/Christmas Cactus this last holiday...before or after Christmas.
Instead they ordered hundreds of Poinsettias which are still waiting to be purchased..Good luck.

However, bonsais are another story. They have several doing terrible. Not in a growing pot like yours though. Wonder if I call a manager or gh employee, and try making a deal, although I'm a little shy, so don't know if I can actually bargain, lol.

They also have Standard Azaleas and Gardenias I'd love to have but they're priced at 29.00. They've been sitting around a long time...all flowers are dead, half are leaning and/or falling from their pots.

How do I ask for a discount? lol Toni

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 3:11PM
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deburn(6 - Boston MA)

Well, I did get carried away a bit, Toni :-) but it's not as bad as it sounds! There are 2 HDs near me, one near my son's school and one near my office.

Once I realized that different HDs price their plants differently I decided to visit more to see what other deals I could find :-) I used to think that you could only get deals with Lowe's clearance rack

Re the discount, just be matter of fact about it. Take the plant that you want to them, point out that it's in bad shape and that you're willing to pay x.xx to take it off their hands.

Worse case they'll say no, but most likely they'll discount it a lot. This was the first time I've tried somethign like that I was ok with walking away if he didn't reduce the price, so that helped. Let me know if you try it!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 9:35PM
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deburn(6 - Boston MA)

Al, I don't know what the correlation is between room temp and soil temp, but my house is pretty cool, ~ 65 when I'm at home, and the heat's off when I'm not at home, so it goes down to 55

I had not planned on buying a heat mat, but I think I can swing 23.00 which is what Amazon sells them for, but it seems like you need to also buy a thermostat (and a timer?) and that costs another 31.00 which might be a problem

1. What size should the new pot be? Current pot is 6" I believe
2. Should any of the roots be exposed, and if yes, how much?
3. Should I prune the roots, and if so, how much? 50%?
4. By tenting, do you mean covering it up with transparent plastic to increase humidity? I have a humidifier running about 8 hours a day 10 feet away from it
5. How soon do I water after the repot?

I will be using "Al's Gritty Mix" tm :-) which I've been using since soon after joining this forum! It's under a 8.5" CFL clamp light for 14 hours a day


    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 9:58PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

1) Soil temperature is more important than air temperature, but it's best if you can keep air temperatures above 60* and soil temperatures at least 10* cooler. Tropical ficus trees are unable to carry on photosynthesis with any degree of efficiency at temperatures much below 60*, and will be relying almost entirely on their energy reserves at temperatures below 55. Because of the characteristics of the root system of your tree's species, it IS able to store a lot of energy in the roots and cambium, but in looking at the roots in the picture, I'm fearful there are already some dead areas in the roots. I'll let you decide. I do have some extra mats, and I could loan you one, but by the time we shipped it both ways it might make more sense to buy one - if YOU think you need it. I'm the last to want you to have to jump through a bunch of hoops unless you think it justifies the potential gain.

2) In the second picture, you can see 2 roots growing straight down from the crotch formed by the two roots that are much larger. I would use a pot deep enough that you can cover where those 2 downward growing roots emerge. If you can manage it, plant at an angle so the other root that terminates in the air is in the soil - mound the soil up over that root if possible. If you don't get some contact with the soil and new roots, the tree will absorb what it can from that root and shed it.

3) No - don't prune any roots (or leaves). When you remove the old soil, be as careful as you can not to break the roots.

4) If it sheds leaves, I would tent. Of course, you need to decide if it's worth going through all the trouble to save a $5 tree. I'm advising as though you want to. I think your tree is circling the drain, but it has an excellent chance to recover. The humidifier is great!

5) Keep roots moist during the repot & water copiously as soon as you're finished. If I were you, I would use a wick through the drain hole to use as a 'tell'. If you THINK the plant needs water, feel the wick right where it exits the pot. If it's damp, wait until the wick is dry - there will still be moisture in the soil. If you make the gritty mix properly, it's almost impossible to over-water, but it's better not to tempt fate when working weak trees. I water my succulents every 3 days, right along with 90% of my other trees & plants, and I've yet to lose one. All are extremely healthy.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 10:32PM
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deburn(6 - Boston MA)

Thanks for the loan offer Al, but I think a heat mat is something worth investing in. The only question I have* is whether a thermostat is required

The heat mat I'm thinking of getting is from Hydrofarm and in their instructions they say "To maintain stability in the root zone temperature we recommend a digital Heat Mat Thermostat"

If the answer is yes, do you know of a decent one that is less expensive than the Hydrofarm MTPRTC Digital Thermostat For Heat Mats which is 31.00?


* re heat mats; I'll address the rest later

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydrofarm Heat Mat

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 10:48PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

A thermostat isn't required, but it can be helpful. Generally speaking, a propagation mat will raise soil temperatures approximately 10* above ambient temperatures, so w/o a thermostat, you would want to refrain from using it once ambient temperatures reach >68*. It's your call.

in the past, /i have built little boxes & put small light bulbs in them with various venting schemes to warm up a root zone. A 15W incandescent would be more than enough heat. If you're handy, you could even set it up on a dimmer or rheostat.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 1:53PM
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deburn(6 - Boston MA)

Ambient temps in my home arent ever reaching more than 68* in the winter on a regular basis :-) so it doesn't sound like I need a thermostat

However, my birthday is coming up and my very nice girlfriend is buying the Hydrofarm T5 Growlight System, heat mat and thermostat as my birthday present!

Should make the winter more bearable :-)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:04PM
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I too have gotten very good deals from lowes. I got a white bird of paradise and bromeliad for 1.00, a healthy 10 imperial red philo for 3.00 spider plants for .50 cents. a one leaf moonlight philo for .50 cents when I got home I gently pulled then out the pot and the roots were healthy and white the bird of paradise had simply outgrown the pot and they had African violets for .25 cents but since I can not grow those for anything i left those in the store.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 2:00AM
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Deburn, Pre-Happy Birthday..Nice g/f..She's a keeper.. :)
Think positive..Spring, 7 wks away. YES!!!!!

Sony, you too got great bargains..Red Philos for 3.00!! BOP. 1.00! GReat prices..Wish we had a nearby Lowes. Toni

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:30AM
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deburn(6 - Boston MA)

Thanks Toni! I'm getting the first installment of my present - the heat mat - tomorrow. Very excited. That's the most important one because of the heat, but I'm looking forward to the light stand next week too!

Sonya, now you've made me want to go to Lowes :-)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:26PM
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Deburn, is the heat mat included with the Hydrofarm T5?

I Googled your new Happy Birthday system. Features didn't mention a heating mat or stand.
What type of stand are you getting?

One reason I'm asking is..I have a heating mat, and mini green house, but no stand.. What's the stands height and do they come in different sizes?

I feeling like sowing seeds AND going to Lowes. lol. Too bad Lowes is too far a drive..

In the fridge are Bottle Palm and Begonia luxurians seeds waiting to be sowed. Hope they're fertile, received last summer.
Without a stand, finding a good location is a problem.

Did you go to Lowes? Toni

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:46AM
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deburn(6 - Boston MA)

Toni, it doesn't come with a heating mat; that's a separate purchase. It also doesn't come with a stand, so you have to have something to keep it on.

I happen to have a short bookshelf that are the perfect size so that's what I'm going to use. I've attached a link to the one I'm getting

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydrofarm Light System

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:05PM
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Morning Deburn...The light system is really nice and a great price. The only thing I don't understand is...please go back and read Product Features and Product Details, 'size.'

Either or, it's width is perfect size. Wish I'd have seen your system instead of the one I bought.
Got my heating matt at Amazon, 2-3 yrs ago..Still works.

Are you going to use your new system for seedlings, cuttings?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:49AM
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deburn(6 - Boston MA)

HI Al and everyone, I was finally able to repot the bonsai this weekend, but I'm not at home right now so I can't post pics.

Al, it's been a while since I last did a gritty mix, but I finally got around to locating where I'd kept all the ingredients since the last time!

I forgot about the wick till after I did the repot, unfortunately. I did it on Sunday, and at least as of this morning it hadn't lost any leaves. It's under a T5 grow light and it's on a heating mat. I'll post pics in the next couple of days - this girlfriend thing takes a lot of time :-)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:01PM
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deburn(6 - Boston MA)

Toni, I am trying to germinate a few old murraya paniculata seeds I have, but mainly it's being used for plants that I a) like a lot, b) need light and heat, and c) some that are sickly or not doing that well.

One downside to the grow light is that it's only one tube and I don't think that covers a lot of area in terms of width. It also uses a 3 pin plug which doesn't fit the timer I have so I need to get another one.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:05PM
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Hey your last line--this girlfriend thing takes a lot of
Don't forget it was she who bought you a really nice gift. lol.

Deburn, are green/red berries that grow after Murraya flowers, seeds? If so, do you sow the entire berry, 'after it's mature/red,' or are smaller seeds inside the berry?

Two of my units take two bulbs, the others, one..Since your kit takes one bulb, go with a Gro-Light..

Home Depot sells one Gro-Light type, 'at least our nearest HD,' but many nurseries, 'local and online' sell different varieties. For instance, Gro-light for flowering plants, a second for foliage types.

Do you mean two prong plug with a ground? Another item you can buy at most hardware stores. Prongs are slipped into the adapter, 'adapter has a hole for ground.' The adapter then fits in a two-prong, standard outlet. No biggie..Adapters are usually under 2.00.

So, have you set up your kit? Toni

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 1:56PM
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