Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Plant Failures and Nursery’s


I was reading a posting written by Ed from “Tales From the Mountain” about his tender Dahlias surprisingly over wintering outdoors with out any effects and their return this spring, and of a hardy plant that had failed to return even with the mild winter they  had experienced.
That got me to thinking about my own plants and that I had not spotted a few new plants that were planted last summer or in the fall, and I had planted several. So I gathered up my many lists of plants and where they were planted and went out to the beds to find the new plants.
I was astounded at the number of my own plants that had not thrived and returned after the mild winter that we also had had here in Ohio.
So this is a posting on my plant failures and what nurseries are going to replace them and which are not. To a gardener how a nursery responds to guaranteed plants is very important and I am glad to report that most are glad to replace plants that have failed in the first year. With the age of blogging and sharing of information and facts it could also help get a nursery more customers or none.

Platycodon Astra Pink
The ‘Atra Pink’ bellflowers has not returned and looks quite dead along with…

Shockwave Variegated tall Phlox

the new variegated tall phlox ‘Shockwave’. I had gotten both of them from ‘Lone Willow Farms’. I contacted the nursery but they would not replace them, just to let you gardeners know. So I will not be purchasing from them in the future.

Pink Ruffles Oriental Poppy

I had ordered some lilies from ‘The Lily Pad’ and they are all growing wonderful this spring. Since I cannot seem to get poppies to grow from seeds for me I purchased  two poppies from them and one of them failed but they are kindly giving me a refund for the one that failed so I will be back to purchase from them in the future.

Sunrise Echinacea
One of the new Coneflowers ‘Sunrise’ from ‘Gorge Top Gardens

Double Scoop Raspberry Echinacea

and ‘Double Scoop Raspberry’ from ‘Burpee’ have also failed and I have yet to hear from them on replacements.

Meadow Sweet

From ‘Prairie Moon Nursery’ who has native plants I had purchased three Filipedula rubra ‘Queen of the Prairie’, Meadow Sweet plants. Only one is growing this spring but it was not due to the grade of plants they had sent nor where they were planted because they were in a sunny location with good drainage. It was just one of those things that happen that puzzles a gardener. They are replacing them which I am thrilled about so I will be back to get more native plants from them in the future.

Echinacea Green Envy

Every year I order a few plants from ‘Michigan Bulb Company’ because they have reasonable priced plants, but they are small, and sometimes they do not make it. But they have a wonderful guarantee policy on their plants and have always replace them for me over the years. So if I want a plant they offer and am willing to wait until it grows to maturity I am never afraid to order from them.

Raspberry Truffle Echinacea

Also remember the Raspberry Truffle Coneflower that I adored last summer for it beautiful growth and blooms in its first year? Well it is still missing in action but I am still hoping it will sprout out yet. If not another one will be purchased because I loved this flower.

Almost Black Rose

I also lost the ‘Almost Black’  rose bush that I had had for several years. I do not know why it decided to die on me over the winter. So a new rose to replace it in the Rose Garden has been ordered.

Brindle Beauty

There are several irises and lilies to rule as survivors or failures but I will have to wait until they bloom to make certain they all have survived.
So there were several lost plants this winter and why they were lost in such a mild winter is very puzzling. I guess we all lose plants sometimes despite our best efforts but this year it was especially  surprising.
Did you have any failures in your garden this spring?
Happy Gardening,


Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Brindle Beauty is spectacular. V

Rosie Leavesnbloom said...

I am still waiting to see if some of my herbaceous plants some of them are very slow to appear this year despite us having a much milder winter here. Kudos to those suppliers who are willing to refund you - good will like that goes a long way and every business needs repeat customers.

Karen said...

Hi Lona, very interesting list of what did not survive the winter and which nurseries are backing up their plants.

I lost four dwarf Alberta spruces, three mugho pines and a Birdsnest spruce. Go figure? All of them were over ten years old. I don't know yet how many perennials are no-shows but I hope there won't be too many more.

Maybe warm winters aren't such a good thing. I'm still wondering if the plants didn't go fully dormant and then weren't able to get moisture from the soil when it did freeze for awhile.

Great post, Lona!

T Opdycke said...'s so hard to lose such beautiful plants! That Raspberry Truffle Echinacea is stunning! I hope it's down there waiting for warm weather to be a sure thing.

I learned many years ago that a mild winter without a nice blanket of snow can be far more detrimental to plants than a hard winter. When temps go up and down the ground freezes and thaws causing it to heave and harm root systems ultimately killing the plants. I don't know if this could be the reason for some of your plant loss, but thought I'd throw it out there.

Now to find that gorgeous echinacea for my flower bed.

elaine rickett said...

I planted a Pasque flower last year that has not returned this year, which I am very sad about, but I never thought that you could actually ask for replacements - I doubt that would happen here, maybe I should give it a try.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

I know what you mean Lona, some of the most hardy varieties do not return like my Banana Creme Shasta and Blue Sunshine Geranium. My Shockwave Phlox did return as did all my other phlox.

I am concerned because they are predicting a possible freeze tomorrow night.


~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

I am being pleasantly surprised by the plants that I thought had died but are returning. However, there are some I'm certain are gone. One year, I needed to replace some shrubs that didn't survive. The store required that I dig them up and bring them in. That's fair but I sure felt weird dragging two dead shrubs to the store. Another nursery I like to buy from has a great return policy. Worth a couple extra bucks to know it will be covered. That iris is beautiful with the "paint splashes" of color. I hope it blooms for you.

Bernie H said...

Losses in the garden is something I'm very familiar with. I lose most during the wet season here, mostly because of the high humidity, the torrential rain and flooding, and lack of sunshine.

The notion of replacing plants that do not thrive is not a familiar one to the nurseries in my part of the world. They don't have a guarantee policy on their plants. Once you've bought from them, it's all up to you.

Shabby Cottage Collectibles said...

Last year I planted so many bear root plants and lots have not come up year..the nursery said full refund or replacement in there catalog. So I'll have to see what happens. Hope you have a Happy Easter, Esther

sweetbay said...

Isn't it odd how sometimes losses don't correspond with the weather. Here mild winters usually mean more vole actvity. My cat Prissy has cottoned onto this and now spends more time hunting in the gardens right around the house, bless her.

Other plants just don't make it and it can be really frustrating.

Randy Emmitt said...


I gave up on those fancy coneflowers several years ago, none ever make it to year two for me. I have one standard purple I grew from seed that is getting huge. I know of no nurseries around here that gives replacements, Lowes but I find nothing there I want.

Sunray Gardens said...

So far everything is looking decent. All my new shrubs have blooms, but I just got a new order with almost non existent roots and I couldn't believe it. Will be dealing with that. Sorry on your losses.

Cher Sunray Gardens

A Garden of Threads said...

Hi Lona, I think the lack of snow as insulation has lead to the demise of some plants, I have also lost many plants this year. But most nurseries, in this area only guarantee their places for one growing season (summer only), so I do not get any replacements. Have a wonderful Easter weekend.

Darla said...

My balloon flower always shows up late here. Maybe some of your plants may still show up. I love reading reviews on mail order nurseries. When do you sow your poppy seeds. I noticed this year that the poppies I let reseed themselves grew MUCH better than the ones I sowed. I'm thinking they benefit from being in the elements an entire year here.

greggo said...

Only lost one bare root baptisa this winter from prairie moon. Sounds like you have some good suppliers. I haven't had too good of luck with hybrid cones either.

Stephanie said...

Hey Lona, I hope your Platycodon will return eventually. I love the big pink flowers. I had them for a while and just love to see those big pink flowers gracing our hot garden here. Have a wonderful weekend and happy sowing and gardening!

Donna said...

Well you have many of the new plants I love...those coneflowers and a few others...I have not had much beyond bulb growth due to the cold weather that came I have not had a chance to see what has lived or died...of course I spied a few new plants I might want now...especially that iris

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Hi Lona, I am sorry for all the plant material you lost. It is always so disappointing when that happens. I lost a couple Coreopsis, some Gaillardia, and surprisingly an Amsonia...which usually is so deeply rooted, even when you dig it up it comes back!
on a brighter side--- the Columbine seeds (the blue ones) that you sent me before I moved are blooming! I saved them to plant here in SC, and it took a couple years but I have blooms!! thanks so much.

The Redneck Rosarian said...

It's always disappointing to loose plants. I lost several roses this year and much of our beloved Jasmine vine that grows over our back fence. This gives us opportunities to plant new things, I guess! Have a great week!