Buy Perennials Early - How To Select And Save Before Planting. Photo

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Buy Perennials Early - How To Select And Save Before Planting. Photo
Buy Perennials Early - How To Select And Save Before Planting. Photo
Video: Buy Perennials Early - How To Select And Save Before Planting. Photo
Video: 5 Tips for Planting a New Flower Bed // Garden Answer 2023, February

All gardeners are well aware that it is most practical to acquire planting material for ornamental plants at a time when the seedlings can be planted as quickly as possible in a permanent place. But in most large supermarkets, planting material appears on the shelves almost in January-February. And already in March, the assortment becomes so rich that it can be really difficult to refrain from buying. In this article, I would like to consider the advisability of buying early and share ways to preserve ornamental plants before planting them in the garden.

Buying perennials early - how to choose and save before planting
Buying perennials early - how to choose and save before planting


  • Should you buy perennials in February-March?
  • Tuberous, bulbous and bulbous-bulbous perennials
  • Rhizome perennials
  • Ornamental shrubs and vines

Should you buy perennials in February-March?

This strategy for marketers is understandable. The New Years are far behind us, purchasing power is declining, and why not offer the buyer something that is very difficult to resist?

That is why we, going to buy bread and milk, often bring colorful bags from the store with various roots inside. Well, if you manage to keep the acquisition until spring - that's how lucky. The responsibility for this falls on the shoulders of the impatient gardener.

The most important advantage of early purchase of planting material for ornamental plants is the availability of a rich assortment in stores, which allows you to purchase interesting rare varieties. When the snow melts and a stable heat is established, then you can come to the store for a "hat analysis". Interesting plants and original varieties never sit on the shelves and are disassembled the fastest. Therefore, in many cases it still makes sense to visit the garden department in late winter or early spring.

The conditions of keeping in supermarkets are often far from what plants need, so there is a possibility that the rhizomes will simply dry out or, conversely, become covered with mold. But most likely they will begin to grow intensively, and due to a lack of light in the future they will be severely depleted or even die. Therefore, if you really really need a particular flower, you need to buy it as soon as possible in order to try to preserve it yourself.

Separate tuberous perennials with a long growing season, for example, tuberous begonia, it's time to buy it in February-March, in order to immediately plant them in bowls for germination. Finally, there are many rhizomatous plants that can safely tolerate hibernation in a regular refrigerator until warm days.

In this case, it makes no sense to delay the purchase if you have space in the vegetable section. Therefore, let's first figure out which plants can be safely kept in a dormant state, and which ones will require attention and care in order to safely save them until spring.

The rhizomes of many plants will calmly endure hibernation in a regular refrigerator until warm days
The rhizomes of many plants will calmly endure hibernation in a regular refrigerator until warm days

Tuberous, bulbous and bulbous-bulbous perennials

Selection and storage of rhizomes of tuberous begonia

Usually, rhizomes of numerous varieties of tuberous begonia appear on the market first. And this is quite justified, because the germination of begonia usually begins at the end of winter. Begonia tubers are best bought towards the end of February or early March. At this time, the plants are already beginning to wake up, and the most viable specimen can be selected.

The outlined buds should be looked for in that part of the tuber where there is a noticeable depression, but the convex part is the bottom, where the roots are subsequently formed. Depending on the variety, the buds can be white or pink. When choosing a tuber, you should also pay attention to the size and weight of the tuber. It is better to give preference to medium-sized tubers (more than 4 cm, but not more than 8 cm), since too large tubers usually belong to older plants that bloom worse.

By weight, the tubers should not be too light, as this may indicate that they were very dry during storage. A healthy tuber should have a firm consistency and an even brown color, free of suspicious spots, plaque and soft areas.

Selection and storage of dahlia root tubers

Dahlias are stored in the vegetable section of the refrigerator without any problems, so you can buy them at any time, as soon as the desired varieties are on sale.

When choosing root-tubers, it is important to pay attention to the fact that the nodules are not torn off from the stem, since in this case they usually do not germinate. It is best to look for fresh renewal buds near the stem to ensure that the root is alive. But their absence at the beginning of spring is not critical, the main thing is that the root-tubers are full-bodied and do not look dry and wrinkled.

Without any problems, in the vegetable section of the refrigerator or basement, you can overexpose before planting for germination of canna, tigridia, gladioli, crocosmia, acidander, anemones, ranunculus and some other flowers. Freesia can be left at low room temperature. But it makes sense to immediately plant its corms in bowls in February-March, since freesia will bloom only 5-6 months after planting.

All of the above plants can be stored in a refrigerator or in a cool basement at a temperature of + 4 … + 6 degrees in the same package with peat, where they were on sale. But for greater reliability, it is better to remove the planting material and wrap the roots in several layers of newspaper or put the bulbs in a paper bag. It is important to inspect tubers and bulbs for rot and stains before storing and remove suspicious tubers.

Dahlia sprouts at the junction of the tuber with the stem, so the torn nodule will not germinate
Dahlia sprouts at the junction of the tuber with the stem, so the torn nodule will not germinate

Lily bulbs - selection and storage prior to planting

Lily bulbs deserve a separate discussion. Almost all types of lilies can be kept in the refrigerator for a short time, but it is better that such storage does not last longer than a month.

It should be noted that species, oriental lilies, and Martagon lilies react worst to long-term storage in the refrigerator. At the same time, in the latter, the upper scales begin to dry, and then the sprout itself. In order not to lose planting material, the above lilies should not be in a cool basement or refrigerator for more than two weeks.

Lily bulbs can be purchased with or without young shoots' beaks. It may seem counterintuitive, but non-sprouted lilies are also better not to be stored for a long time (no more than a month), since they will need a longer period of warmth to allow them to wake up.

After a month of overexposure in cool conditions, it is better to plant the bulbs in half-liter cups, after which the plantings are put back into the refrigerator. It is possible to transfer lilies to a warm bright place after the sprouts have grown 15 cm. Before planting in the ground, it is better to protect the plant from too bright sun.

Usually, the hand intuitively reaches for the largest green bush, but it will be easier to keep the least awakened sections
Usually, the hand intuitively reaches for the largest green bush, but it will be easier to keep the least awakened sections

Rhizome perennials

Most perennials are sold in perforated bags filled with peat. The transparency of such packages allows you to clearly see what is inside. After you have "laid eyes" on the bright image in the front picture, do not put the first package that comes across in the basket, but turn it over with the back side and examine what is in the package.

In some cases, the package may no longer contain anything, since either the spine is completely dry, or (which happens most often) someone has already profited from the "badly lying" product. It is safest if the rhizome has a small green bud. But, at the same time, there is a possibility that such planting material will be worse stored in the refrigerator, and the root will have to be immediately planted in a container.

Long overgrown branches are also not a good option. A plant that has begun to grow rapidly has no place in the refrigerator, it needs moist soil and enough light and warmth, and not coolness and dry peat.

Plants with thick, fleshy rhizomes are best kept in the refrigerator or in a cool basement, since they have accumulated a sufficient supply of moisture and nutrients and are not afraid of a long dormant period. These decorative perennials primarily include: astilbe, hosts, daylilies, badans, tradescantia, black cohosh, volzhanki, rogers and some others.

These crops can be safely bought in late winter or early spring and stored almost until the very planting in the ground. But in early to mid-April, it is still desirable to plant the planting material in separate pots. These perennials are well preserved in store packaging, but for safety reasons, you can put them in paper bags or wrap them in a couple of layers in newspaper.

Another group of perennials has a weaker root system that is difficult to withstand the harsh storage conditions in a shipping bag. Such perennials include geykhera, various bells, sage, veronica, brunner, carnation, delphinium, geranium, swimsuit, phlox and many others.

In order to successfully store such plants, you need to create favorable conditions for the root system. For this, the rhizomes are planted in pots of a suitable size. If there are traces of rot on the parcels, then it is better to completely remove individual affected roots or cut off with a sharp knife, and powder the cut points with charcoal.

If you suspect a disease, before planting, it is better to pickle the planting material in a fungicide solution, for example, with Maxim. After processing, a universal peat substrate is poured into the container up to about half, then a cut with straightened roots is placed, and only after that the container is carefully covered with earth to the level of the root collar.

After planting, the soil should be gently tamped and lightly watered. Such plantings are placed in a dry and dark room with a temperature not exceeding +5 degrees (in a refrigerator, a cool basement or on a frost-free loggia) until April.

If there is not enough space in the refrigerator, containers with plants can be immediately placed on the window. Of course, in this case, perennials will immediately grow and they may need additional lighting, as well as protection against spider mites, which gladly attack weakened plants.

Their flowering in this case will be early, but not abundant. Nevertheless, in any case, this is a more optimal way to store such perennials than to send them to the refrigerator and hope for a miracle.

It is better not to store a delen that has grown in the refrigerator for more than a month
It is better not to store a delen that has grown in the refrigerator for more than a month

Ornamental shrubs and vines

Roses, hydrangeas, weigels and other flowering or decorative deciduous shrubs with barely swollen buds or in a completely dormant state after purchase must be removed from the cardboard packaging and the entire bush should be wrapped in two layers of newspaper. In this form, the seedlings can be sent to the refrigerator for about 1-1.5 months.

It is important to lay the bushes for storage in a horizontal position, as this slows down the flow of sap and stops the opening of the buds. However, keep in mind that the more awake buds are on the bush, the less time it is desirable for them to spend in a cool place. In any case, in early to mid-April, it is better to remove the shrubs from storage, plant them in bowls and put them on the windowsill.

If you have purchased bushes with overgrown shoots, then sending them to the refrigerator is unacceptable. The only way out in this situation is to transplant the seedlings into a more spacious container and put them in the coolest and brightest place in the house, and it is better to remove the buds that the plant forms.

Peonies - selection and storage of rhizomes

Peonies with unawakened buds can also be overexposed in the refrigerator. As a rule, peonies are sold in plastic bags, lightly sprinkled with peat. Before storing, the rhizome must be removed and carefully inspected for rot or mold, rotten places must be cut out, and the sections must be treated with brilliant green or sprinkled with crushed coal.

Delenki with suspicious plaque should be pre-etched in an antifungal agent. After that, the rhizome is again placed in the transport bag and covered with additional soil so that the root is completely buried in the ground. It is better to slightly moisten the plant "planted" in this way from a spray bottle. In this form, the delenki are stored in the refrigerator until mid-spring.

If you have purchased a plant that is rapidly growing, then it is better not to risk it by sending it cool. There are a lot of nutrients in the juicy rhizome of peony, and even the lack of light and low temperature will not stop the growth of shoots, but the stems will turn out to be weak, pale and crooked, they can become moldy and rot. Therefore, peonies with large sprouts are immediately planted in a container and placed on a cool windowsill.

The grown vines break easily against the edges of the package
The grown vines break easily against the edges of the package

Vines - selection of planting material and storage

Various decorative and fruit vines, such as actinidia, lemongrass, grapes, woodworm and others, are best taken home from the store as soon as possible. But wait until the buds of the commercially available plants wake up in order to be guaranteed to select a viable specimen, and then you can make a purchase.

During their stay in the store, such plants grow pale thin stems, which are intertwined between adjacent seedlings and break over the edges of cardboard packages. And the transportation of a bush with long brittle stems will also be difficult. Therefore, it is better to let the liana wake up in your home.

It is recommended to immediately transplant the seedling into a more spacious pot, 2-3 times the size of the shipping container, this volume should be enough for the plant before planting in the ground. In the pot, it is better to immediately install a support for indoor flowers so that the young shoots have something to hold on to.

In the cold season, the seedling is kept in the lightest and coolest window as a normal houseplant. As a rule, serious problems with overexposure do not arise, with the exception of a possible attack by a spider mite, which is important to notice in time by regularly examining the reverse side of the leaves.

After planting the seedling in the ground, it is very important to shade the plant for the first two weeks, since the leaves are not used to such intense sunlight and can get a serious burn.

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