I have no success with Home Depot plants. I was told by a local nursery that the growers are under so much pressure that they give their plants super fertilizer to force fast growth and when you get them home they slowly wither and die. Sure enough all my veggies are under or no producers. I tried everything to get any vegetable to grow. Even cucumbers would come up, put a few out and then die. I then went to local nursery bought a few small starters and they are doing great. The cost is minimal and what could be more expensive then putting all the effort into something with no success. For what, a buck or two? Flowers and bedding plants are the same. They live but I don't get half the blooms or growth as when I bought them. Besides I found 1 and 5 gallon plants to be the same price or cheaper at local nurseries. You can't trust Home Depot on price or quality.
I do both also- around this time my husband and I cruise nurseries and the home improvement stores and look at all the plants- if I see something I'd like to try, I'll get it at either. We have beautiful nurseries, and a lowes, etc, I've gotten plants at both. Nurseries will be more likely to have something unusual. Last year I picked up a false indigo that had two years of growth because they had bothered to over winter it rather than throw it away- it's huge! And lovely! But lowes probably wouldn't do that. Actually, my grocery store, Kroger, gets a few huge and unusual perennials every year. I look forward to seeing what they come up with. Giant sedum last year, and crocosmia.
I work for Sawyer Nursery which brings perennials into the home depot stores in Indiana marked and they are good quality plants. Buying plants from anywhere requires a knowledge of what plant goes where in your yard. Read the tags, If you don't know research first before you plant. Soil preparation, proper watering this all goes hand and hand in caring for plants. Look for bugs infesting any plants you get, where ever you buy plants. If a plant goes bad when you get it home and plant it, it does not mean it was a bad plant it might be the way it is planted (do deep or not deep enough) or the way it is cared for. I buy plants from different garden centers.
I buy annuals and some plants from Lowes and Home Depot, however Lowes has a better selection on plants, but HD has a better selection of Palm Trees and pots. I go the nursery for different items, like today I went and bought all my veggies at a nursery because they have a wider selection then the big stores. HD & Lowes is my mulch and soil place. Sometimes I even order online, it's easier if they have pre-planned gardens, I actually take my magazine to the nursery with me, and look for the plants there, so I won't have to order online. Either way, I love shopping for plants everywhere!!
Believe it or not, every now and then I find a good buy at Jewel. I purchased tomato plants at Jewel for $1 a piece and they are growing extremely well. They've been outside from the beginning (1 week before Mother's Day), in large planters.
javagirl- you know there's a pot brewing somewhere...
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Every spring I hit Home Depot, Walmart, Fleet Farm, AND the four local nurseries. Sometimes I'm surprised that the nurseries are actually less money than the big stores. This Thursday we're going to a plant sale at the senior center - they have a ton of everything - and cheap! Also love the local garden club's sales this time of year, too. You can usually find more unusual plants there.
Swapping is my favorite way of getting new plants. I have actually approached people in their yards while I was out walking and saw a plant I liked and asked them about trading. A number of peope have agreed or just given me a start.
I do the same as DARKWING and SERENEMOM71, but in the Spring, check at your local farmers market or, I have a family owned grocery store near me that carries wonderful plants with good prices til about June 1st. In these beautiful Ozarks can't find a packet of Nicotania to save me. I should start my own from seed!
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For specialty plants, & for varieties of Hosta's that HD, Lowes or WM doesn't carry, I go to a local nursery. What I buy from the nursery is usually a little more expensive, but they seem to be higher quality. For the basics, I will buy from Lowes, Wal-mart or parking lot greenhouses. I'm not a fan of HD plants, in my area they have a limited selection of plants.
Now this was interesting...today I learned that while the prices on flowers at the local nursery are much higher than HD or Lowe's, the veggies and herbs were the same price!
BTW, if you are in the military, including retired, both HD and Lowe's will knock 10% off with a military ID. While HD sets a limit...it's fairly high...I want to say up to a $3,000 purchase, Lowe's does not. You may want to check with your local store.
I agree in principle, the difference being I will never drop a dime at Home Depot or Walmart again (they are on my boycott list for very good reasons but it's personal so I won't go there), so I won't spend any money there unless there is no other option. I will even pay more to go elsewhere. Which is really saying something.
Cindy I agree with you for the most part. For common plants you can usually get the best price at the large warehouse type stores. If you can find out what days they get their plant deliveries it really helps to get the plants in good shape. Nurseries tend to have a much bigger variety and will even sometimes order in what you are interested in.
I love the idea of supporting local business but I will also go to Lowe's. HD is too pricey in my area for the quality of plants. Lowe's has a better selection too I think. I went to a huge plant show today but was very disappointed with the selection believe it or not. I was searching for Victoria Blue Salvia and Heliotrope and couldn't find either amongst the 25 or so vendors there so I ended up going to my local nursury. Go figure!
Edited by: DSQUARED3 at: 5/8/2010 (19:16)
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I'd appreciate your opinion on buying plants at Home Depot/Lowe's vs. more expensive nurseries. I tend to buy a lot from HD or Lowe's because they are cheaper, most of the time do really well for me, and they will refund your money within a year if they don't do well. When you are plant happy, the value is hard to beat.
On the other hand, nurseries or garden centers have a much better selection and may be grown locally. I'm starting to buy the old standbys (purple coneflower....) at Home Depot and then going to nurseries when I want a little more excitement.
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