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Old 11-30-2018, 01:59 PM
Status: "I hate cool and cold weather" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: 46060, Hardiness zone 5b/6a
2,249 posts, read 1,618,876 times
Reputation: 731

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Why do plant nurseries even bother selling plants that they are well aware that may not survive a particularly harsh winter in a given location?


I have noticed that some of the plant nurseries(yes even locally owned) here in the Indianapolis area have been selling shrubs and trees that are not particularly hardy to central Indiana’s climate( according to the 2012 hardiness zone map, Indianapolis is close to the cusps of zones 5b and 6a, depending on what part of the city you are in), and yet I have seen family owned plant nurseries aka locally owned sell trees and shrubs such as Southern Magnolias(Edith Bogue and Bracken’s Brown Beauty), hardy fig trees(Chicago hardy), and in a few instances I even saw one season one of those nurseries selling a crape myrtle.


So why, oh why do plant nurseries sell plants that are of only borderline hardiness or in some cases plants that they know won’t survive a given locations winter(especially without extra care and protection from the cold)?


This certainly baffles me to no end. Has anyone else on here noticed the nurseries in their location selling trees and shrubs from distant discordant hardiness zones?

Please give all your thoughts and opinions on why plant nurseries would do such a thing; all answers insightfulness and opinions on this matter are welcomed here.
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Old 11-30-2018, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Santa Monica, Ca
5,825 posts, read 3,262,488 times
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Return business? Some people like them... even though they may have a short life span?
If they keep doing it, there must be a demand. That’s all I’ve got.
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Old 11-30-2018, 02:59 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
6,164 posts, read 5,907,379 times
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It's all about demand and supply, like any other kind of service.

They sell them because consumers want them and will buy them and are willing to take their chances with them. The majority of plants come with guidelines and instructions about what are the best climates and growing conditions the plants require. It's the responsibility of the consumers to read the instructions, ask questions or do their research and understand what they are buying and what kinds of risks they may be taking.

Whatever the consumer intends to do with the plant once they get it home is not the concern of the nursery unless the product they're selling comes with a money back or replacement guarantee. The nursery's purpose is strictly to sell a commodity that is in demand and make a profit from it, it's not their place to dictate to the consumers what kinds of plants the consumers should or should not take a chance on trying to grow.

If I was to go to Nursery A and ask them to order in some mimosa trees (Albizia julibrissin) for me and they refuse to do so because this is allegedly the wrong hardiness zone for that kind of tree, Nursery A would lose all of my future business with them. I will go to Nursery B next and they will order in mimosa trees for me and not care what I do with the trees or if the trees live or die once I get them home because they are my responsibility, not the nursery's responsibility. Nursery A comes out the loser, having lost a valuable customer, and Nursery B comes out the winner having gained a valuable customer that they will profit from for many more years to come.

Nursery A already knows that is what would happen given such a scenario. Do you think Nursery A would in reality refuse my order and risk losing my business and all the profit they can make off me in the future?

.
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:24 PM
 
Location: PNW
2,284 posts, read 764,727 times
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I live in the Pacific Northwest and bougainvilleas do not thrive here. Too wet and the winters are too cold for them. But I bought a big potted one that I wintered over for a few years in the greenhouse. It died the year we had to scurry out of town to a death in the family, the temps plunged into the low-20's during the time, and we returned to the death of several plants including that one.

So, yes, a few of us do attempt the unlikely.
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:42 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
6,164 posts, read 5,907,379 times
Reputation: 10905
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckystrike1 View Post
I live in the Pacific Northwest and bougainvilleas do not thrive here. Too wet and the winters are too cold for them. But I bought a big potted one that I wintered over for a few years in the greenhouse. It died the year we had to scurry out of town to a death in the family, the temps plunged into the low-20's during the time, and we returned to the death of several plants including that one.

So, yes, a few of us do attempt the unlikely.

Same here, similar climate, and I have kept bougainvilleas here too. Bougainvilleas are commonly seen for sale in our local nurseries in the spring. Gardeners here keep them in pots, overwinter them indoors or in greenhouses, and put the pots back outside during spring to early autumn.


.
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
16,547 posts, read 7,295,575 times
Reputation: 9404
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckystrike1 View Post
I live in the Pacific Northwest and bougainvilleas do not thrive here. Too wet and the winters are too cold for them. But I bought a big potted one that I wintered over for a few years in the greenhouse. It died the year we had to scurry out of town to a death in the family, the temps plunged into the low-20's during the time, and we returned to the death of several plants including that one.

So, yes, a few of us do attempt the unlikely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
Same here, similar climate, and I have kept bougainvilleas here too. Bougainvilleas are commonly seen for sale in our local nurseries in the spring. Gardeners here keep them in pots, overwinter them indoors or in greenhouses, and put the pots back outside during spring to early autumn.
Yup. It's not the retailer's job to control the buyer's behaviors.

Every reputable nursery takes great care to provide accurate labeling, including hardiness information.

When I had the space, I frequently bought plants that were of doubtful hardiness, and if no local nursery offered a plant I wanted, I went on online to find it. I'm curious, and I liked the challenge. Why on earth would that be a retailer's business?
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:10 PM
Status: "I hate cool and cold weather" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: 46060, Hardiness zone 5b/6a
2,249 posts, read 1,618,876 times
Reputation: 731
It looks like from the vibes I am getting on this post, that even the locally owned nurseries are all about business and profits and are gradually becoming like the corporate owned big box plant nurseries such as Home Depot, Lowe’s etc, correct me if I’m wrong, but they sell plants that aren’t reliably hardy in a given zone just because people like taking risks?I guess the level of innate apathy has grown to an all time high. I suppose if I wanted to grow a tree like a southern magnolia or certain varieties of holly, I guess that I might consider it a gamble and learn through trial and error.......for a couple hundred dollars and a dead plant that fell victim to an unusually harsh winter after a doing fairly well or even thriving for a few years....
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Location: Location
6,254 posts, read 7,473,307 times
Reputation: 18002
Living in Maryland, we had a mimosa tree in the front yard. It was messy but it was pretty.

After moving to northeastern PA, I really thought about planting one in my yard. I spoke to the people at the local nursery and they told me it wouldn't live in this climate. I looked at the chart and it did look like we are a bit too north to grow a mimosa.

One day I went for a walk and a nearby house has a large mimosa tree in the front yard. During the Summer months I frequently drive down that street so I can admire the tree and let them deal with the mess.
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:24 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
6,164 posts, read 5,907,379 times
Reputation: 10905
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isleofpalms85 View Post
It looks like from the vibes I am getting on this post, that even the locally owned nurseries are all about business and profits and are gradually becoming like the corporate owned big box plant nurseries such as Home Depot, Lowe’s etc, correct me if I’m wrong, but they sell plants that aren’t reliably hardy in a given zone just because people like taking risks?I guess the level of innate apathy has grown to an all time high. I suppose if I wanted to grow a tree like a southern magnolia or certain varieties of holly, I guess that I might consider it a gamble and learn through trial and error.......for a couple hundred dollars and a dead plant that fell victim to an unusually harsh winter after a doing fairly well or even thriving for a few years....

Your complaint doesn't make sense to me. Are you suggesting that nursery owners should CONTROL their customers' purchases and only sell plants that are guaranteed to be reliable in the local outdoor climate in their location?


.
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
16,547 posts, read 7,295,575 times
Reputation: 9404
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isleofpalms85 View Post
It looks like from the vibes I am getting on this post, that even the locally owned nurseries are all about business and profits and are gradually becoming like the corporate owned big box plant nurseries such as Home Depot, Lowe’s etc, correct me if I’m wrong, but they sell plants that aren’t reliably hardy in a given zone just because people like taking risks?I guess the level of innate apathy has grown to an all time high. I suppose if I wanted to grow a tree like a southern magnolia or certain varieties of holly, I guess that I might consider it a gamble and learn through trial and error.......for a couple hundred dollars and a dead plant that fell victim to an unusually harsh winter after a doing fairly well or even thriving for a few years....
All I can tell you is that the next time, be sure to read and understand the plant label.

No one can save you from your lack of comprehension and good judgment. Not even a plant nursery.
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