Dormant plants - Follow up and Review

Remember the dormant plants that I received early in the spring? They didn't look too promising at the time.  And to be completely honest, a lot of them didn't grow.  But the ones that did have done surprisingly well, and have me reconsidering my decision to purchase well-established plants at outrageous prices from places like Home Depot.

Here is what the Rose of Sharon plants looked like in the spring:

Twigs, that will supposedly transform into beautiful Rose of Sharon hedges

And here is what one of them looks like now:

The actual transformation - Not too shabby!

They are, in fact, rivaling the RoS that I purchased three years ago, that looks like this.

Two others in this garden area are similarly thriving. One is planted in another, less sunny location, and isn't doing as well.  So two were lost out of a total of 6.  Not bad, overall.

The hibiscus plants were what I was most excited about.  In fact, originally I wanted out backyard garden to be completely full of hibiscus plants.  If you recall, the hibiscus plants were just dirty looking roots in dormant form.

The are the rooty-looking things at the top, between the two pine-looking things

Now, the one that has flourished the most looks like this:

It's even flowering!!!

Two of the other hibiscus plants are growing nicely, although they aren't nearly as huge as this one.  A fourth one, planting away from the other five and in an area that doesn't get as much sun (like the Rose of Sharon mentioned above) is alive but not thriving nearly as much.  Sun counts, people.

The other plants that really did well were the lilies, and the purple things that I think are called Blazing Liatris.

Other plants are hanging in there, but certainly aren't flourishing by any means.  The lily of the valley, gardenias, creeping phlox, and purple ice plant are dead... yet.  But I don't have much faith that they'll make it through the winter.

Finally, the list of things that just never even had a chance.  For some reason, these plants never came out of their dormant stage, or did momentarily and then just died.  If I can track down my packing slip from this order, I will definitely be calling in the warranty on these plants, including:
- Black eyed susans (never came up at all)
- Arborvitae trees (all died)
- Blue spruce (all died)
- Candytuft (never came up at all)
- Blue oat grass (never came up at all)
- Pink dogwood (thrived for about a month, and then just randomly died)

So, I can say with certainty that I will never order any of the things on the list above ever again, and will stick to purchasing these plants in established form from Home Depot.  I also probably won't order any dormant versions of the "just hanging in there" list either.

However, I can - and will - recommend the following items, based on my relative success:
1. Red potatoes
2. Rose of Sharon hedges
3. Hibiscus
4. Mixed hybrid lilies
5. Blazing liatris

If you need of those plants, you can get amazing deals by buying them in a dormant state. All of my plants were purchased from Four Season's Nurseries.  They do have a warranty for things that don't make it, but you need to be better than me in keeping track of packing slips.

And just for fun, do you remember this picture I created as my inspiration for what I wanted this garden to look like??

Well, it now looks like this.

Not quite the look I was going for...  But we're thinking of getting new mulch next year, the triple-shred black-dyed stuff so that it doesn't fade in the sun as quickly as this stuff did.  We don't really have grass - it's more like a wheat field - so the brown mulch doesn't really stand out in our yard.

But I think that next year will be THE year for this garden.


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