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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Shrubs ordered online

I think that at big box stores, the trick is to get them at the right time.

Not too early because they stock some things way too early for planting, then when the time is right, get there and buy the freshly stocked good looking ones before they ruin them. When they have those end of season sales, have the critical eye to spot the healthy plants and don't get lured into buying sale plants on their "last legs" unless you are sure of their survivability.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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pinksand
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Shrubs ordered online

You are so right! I couldn't believe how many plants they had out already that I'd never risk buying so early! I was just there to buy a new trellis for my clematis and wasn't prepared for so many blooms, most very much out of season.

I swear I'd never seen mountain laurels there before, just the cherry and English laurels. They seem to be broadening their selection, which is nice to see. I do have to admit I'm guilty of browsing their sales racks and have picked up some perennials that had finished blooming but otherwise looked perfectly healthy for a dollar each! I'm always shocked when I see finished annuals on the shelves though. I'm assuming the people buying them expect them to come back next year? Money down the drain! My favorite local nursery is down the street from Lowes so I always check them first and then go big box for whatever is left on my list.
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

NatureHillsNursery
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Re: Shrubs ordered online

I think the best advice I could add is to remember that not all online nurseries are alike. Look for a reputation for both quality and customer service. With all the online reviews these days, it’s easier to find trustworthy companies. As to your plants in particular, I always err on the side of caution myself. As someone else said, you were probably ok planting the shrubs, but personally I would have waited. Too many times I’ve had nurseries send me things too soon, so I just keep them in my cool garage a while until my local weather is ready to cooperate.

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pinksand
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Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Shrubs ordered online

I just wanted to give an update on my online plants.

The mountain laurels are going strong and putting out new growth. The Annabelle was putting out a lot of nice new leaves, but is still only maybe half a foot tall. I found a 3' tall Annabelle hydrangea at my favorite nursery for $22! Since I wanted more impact in my front garden I moved the little Annabelle to the backyard in the perfect spot and put the larger shrub in its place. They also had oakleaf hydrangeas for $25 (I bought mine from a nursery an hour away for $50 last year at the same size!). They said they had so many requests for them last year that they got them from a local grower this year :)

Still no sign of life on my summersweet. Do you think I should contact them for a refund or see if they'll ship a new one?
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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