Small Perennials in Garden Centre

MayLaneMayLane Posts: 173

Is it worth buying the small perennials I saw in the garden centre today?  They were outside but is it too soon to buy them? About two inches tall. 



  • LearnincurveLearnincurve Posts: 291

    Short answer: No

    Slightly longer answer: No they will die in the frost, you could put them in a heated greenhouse but they will still be in stock at the same price in two months time.  Dobbies did this last year as well.  Sell them early, don’t mark them as for greenhouse and then sell them again when the first lot die. 

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 12,627

    Only if they are cheaper than usual and you have a cold frame. I've kept young perennials over winter in a cold frame, if they are hardy perennials they don't need a heated greenhouse. I pot them on first to give them a bit more insulation. Another thing I did before I had a cold frame was to bury the pots in the veg garden to keep the roots warmer. Hardy perennials live in the ground outside all year round so should be OK, but if suppliers are selling them now they might have brought them on in a greenhouse so they will be more tender.

  • MayLaneMayLane Posts: 173

    I'll wait then. I planted a fair bit in the autumn and now can't remember where I planted things so I guess I should wait to see what comes up anyway and plug gaps with my seeds. 

  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653

    I usually buy them at this time of year or in October, if they are outside at the GC they should be fine - most they sell are hardy to the UK. Pot them on, it's a cost effective way of having plants for next year 

  • MayLaneMayLane Posts: 173
    Do you think it is worth buying them yet and do you think they are likely to flower this year?  I am still waiting for my foxglove and honesty to flower which I grew from seed in 2016. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 18,395
    Waitrose have "4 for £10" on hardly perennials. Nothing fancy, lupins, hollyhocks, foxgloves, Oriental poppies I noticed. 
    They're kept outside overnight and seem fine the next day so I see no reason why they wouldn't be equally fine tucked in a sheltered spot in the garden.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 4,508
    Do small foxglove plugs get munched by slugs and snails often? I've kept mine inside so far because I am inundated by the darling beasts and don't want my recently bought silver beauties to disappear overnight if planted out.
  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653
    Agree with Hosta, it isn't too late. I'll be ordering more for click & collect from a local GC at the end of March. 

    They don't seem number 1 target Firefly but I have had weaker ones nibbled. They'd much rather go after the early delphinium or lupin shoots here. 
  • MayLaneMayLane Posts: 173
    If my foxglove finally flower this year do I have to plant seeds this year for a display next year? 
  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 1,274
    edited 12 March
    It worth buying small plants in 9cm /1 litre if you need a lot of plants or your budgeting, I would pot them on when they fill the pot into 1.5 - 2 litre pot then either pot on again pend what it is how susceptible it is to pests, or plant out into the garden. Same with plug plants just keep potting on until they big enough to plant out. I buy larger plants now cause the garden relatively full and I like the instant impact. 

    Slug will go for foxgloves but not a favourite they wont touch a larger plant, aphids are more likely, sow your foxgloves around late May - June for flowers next year.
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