Key to buying any supermarket plants is to get them on the day they come in before they dry out. Aldi , Lidl do plants as offers not as regular stock. So normally you can get good plants for a couple of days and dying slowly after that. Maybe they don't want plants dripping water on the checkout belts, I really do not know. Maybe if enough people write to them, you can post on their web sites, they might decide to water them.
I'm kind of torn between wanting to buy them because they are cheap to buy and knowing that they take away the bread and butter of the garden centres who do look after their plants have a wide range in stock when you want to buy them.
There is a relatively short season for buying plants particularly annuals. This year seems like its turning into another disaster for garden centres by August many places will be looking at the balance sheet and seeing if there is enough left to tide them through another long cold winter.
If we lose our garden centres are we going to be forced to buy plants at the wrong time, just to have something available to put out at the right time. The growing season is not the same nationally, If you ever worked picking daffs. You would start initially in Cornwall and finish in Scotland
Ok this gives cut flowers for a couple of months but when it comes to growing plants the Supermarkets will buy for the whole chain at the same time. Which puts plants on the shelves at less than optimal times for a good number of people, never mind the fact the stocking is planned in advance.
The nurserys recommend plants to stock for garden centres under the category looking good so your local GC should be bringing in stock at the right time.
Are we being foolish buying plants at the wrong time in order to save a little? After all in real terms it might be the cost of a couple of pints or a takeaway meal. If your spending serious money, a garden centre will normally be prepared to give a little discount, as a matter of good will. Hard to decide isn't it.