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Careful Planting of Nursery Plants

By clintbrown
June 4, 2012

When you purchase plants at Lowe's or other big box stores, they often are potted in potting mix that consists of mostly bark. If you don't remove some of this before planting out, the plants often will die a slow, painful death.

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Name: Wes
Ohio (Zone 6a)
May 15, 2014 10:47 PM CST
Good advice Clint.

I've had some difficulty with coneflowers and gaillardia in general but others as well. Heliopsis is a fine example. I had several volunteers from my dwarf this spring and assume it self-seeded as they were completely free from the parent plant. I did actually divide one by knife and planted it with another directly into garden soil with no hint of weakness or wilt. They're (all 3) doing very well.

I potted one small start in straight topsoil knowing it would be planted within days and another in a mix of mixes. The plant in topsoil in 4" square has not been planted as expected but it's thriving. The larger specimen planted in "the mix" suffers every day. It has good days, great days, and horrible days. It needs to be planted and nurtured soon or it'll be lost. You couldn't plant it for a stranger and walk away expecting it to survive.

I try to utilize the material my plants are grown/shipped/stored in but I tend to dig a big hole, expose a lot if not all root and get a fresh start. Hard to do with over-aged root-bound nursery stock but it's a similar approach.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Aug 13, 2015 10:52 AM CST
This explains why a nursery bought Coneflower died, but yet many are thriving in my prairie patch. Thank you for the tip. And I had not thought of the shaking those plants would have gotten in transport. :)

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