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I'm amazed at the price of perennial plug plants. They are not cheap, usually will not flower until next year and are pathetically small
I recently bought 2 agastaches for £6 99 each plus £7 99 postage. I could have bought 3 plugs for £14 99 plus £4 99 postage....this was the cheapest I found. My plants are large and bushy and about to flower. The plugs would not have arrived yet, will not flower until next year and would cost almost as much
My agastaches will be split in autumn to produce several large plants to flower next year.
Amyone argue a good case for PERENNIAL plug plants?
I only buy them when there is some sort of offer on that makes them cheaper. Having said that I have had quite a good success rate with them - and some do flower in the first year. Clematis from plugs always do far better for me than the GC ones.
An annual, but I bought some tiny, tiny plugs of gazanias in spring... almost too small to ease out and pot on. About £5 for 50. Almost all now great plants.
Saw a single Gazania in a pot today in the GC for £6.99p. Ouch!
I bought some blue poppies from T &M at £15 for 3 plants. I got 3 plugs, one of which died immediately, 2 were potted on into ericaceous compost, struggled through the summer and then never emerged in spring. I then went to the garden centre and bought 2 plants in 6 in pots which flowered within 6 weeks. ( £5.99 each.) One flowered blue, one was purple. I took seeds off both. The blue ones havn't germinated but I 've got 12 plants from the purple seeds. I won't buy plugs again by post. Can we start a campaign to get a picture of the plug size as well as the example plant in catalogues?
Ah, gazanias locally are very cheap. I can get full size plants in flower for £1.
I really refer to perennials that won't flower this year. My point is that a plant in a 2 or 3 litre pot can produce 3 reasonable size plants now....very often, e.g. Rudbeckia .....or many more in the autumn. And, this year is not devoid of flower in the meantime?
Support your local garden centre. They've has a rotten spring.
Sorry V. didn't mean to divert attention from your rant. I ordered, several years ago, several plants/plugs from T&M which they said would flower that year. I was sceptical but decided to give it a try. How wrong I was. Stuff arrived late, if at all, and I had several unsuitable substitutes, and ended up with a large number of lavenders having ordered various yellow and red perennials!! The flowers I was sent were so different to my order that I asked for all my money back, which was done. I haven't had anything to do with T&M since, on principle.
The small plants sent out by Chrysanthemums Direct are excellent and should flower first year as most are late flowerers.
The price for your plugs does seem exorbitant, especially as you pay postage anyway. I paid £12 for 3 largish perrenials todayin the GC, which are already in flower.
They only time i ever buy them is when they are "free" so basically the 48 plugs for a fiver type offers.
The best ones i've gotten are the recent 48 lavenders offer, these are probably the strongest little plants i've had from T&M. I've got a stoney bank to plant so they will eventually go in there, probably after a year in the greenhouse though.
Many of the offers though are daft, as they usually contain things that are so easy to grow from seed (foxgloves, echinecea etc) that you'd be better off germinating your own on a windowsil.
Must admit i fell for the plum poppies T&M are selling recently but only because i had a fiver off voucher, like everything else they are tiny, but as i have a greenhouse they will be ok. They really should say they all need to be overwintered in at least a cold frame though as without a greenhouse or coldframe you'd have no chance.
Correction!!... 3 plants for £10... 1.5L size.
I have just complained to J Parkers , I sent for an oriental poppy collection These looked lovely in the catalogue . £12 96 for 4 . plus about £4 p. p.
Okey I thought to myself I dont expect them to be massive plants but even if they are only a couple of inches they will grow on quickly and at least once I have them they will grow each year , make a good clump that I can split in future years . So when they arrived I couldnt believe what they had sent Im sure they had got mixed up or something . I got 4 bits of very dried up rubbish that I supposed was root at one time, root in a bag of 3 tblsp of powdery compost ( Yes I did measure it ! ) The longest bit was 3 inches long . So planted these bits as instructed in my border of sandy soil with well rotted manure ( which describes my soil conditions to the " T " ).That was 3 weeks ago , checked today and even the 3 inch bit of dried up root has dissintegrated. . I have just emailed them . When you think the size of a poppy plant and then they send you a bit of root for xnumber of pounds - crikey! they are making a fortune. I feel that when they are sending root cuttings it should be stated in the description of the plant .
, Picking up the thread of plug plants I get mine from jersy direct, and Im well satisfied - free postage too !
But I also agree with fidgetbones , the garden centers so at least you see what your getting.
The agastaches were new ones. Expected to pay more. They are not readily available in large pots so to get them now and to see them flower soon is lovely
I do agree about supporting locally.....I always check with local nurseries first ....I enjoy the chat and exchanges of experiemces with the growers too. One grower even calls ME sometimes to look at a plant or two.
for me, it's going to be plants of flowering size this summer. Next year is too long
I find with perenials they will always be poor from mail order. I keep an eye out while on my trips and if I spy something nice, I'll knock the door and ask for a root cutting in autumn. It always helps when I tell them the stock I can offer too! This year I've really gone mad with the seeds, everyday I'm primping, watering, pricking out and potting on. Running out of space, so hopefully make a good few quid at table-top sales and carboots over next month or so. Use the cash to spend on pots, exotic equipment, compost and poly pots! Oh and I made the mistake of offering to grow 200 russian giant for my daughter's primary school to sell!