Purchasing "mixed bags" from nursery catalogs

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Gayle Gayle 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #5270248 Report Abuse

    freesoulbackagain
    Participant

    Sometimes, in my favorite nursery catalogs, I see these “collections” being offered for sale. These are supposed to be a mixture of a variety of colors of one kind of flower. The photo shows a nice array of different colors of hollyhocks, for example. They usually sell them in quantities of three or more, and they, not you, choose what they send you.

    I did this last year with biennial hollyhocks. I ordered three, expecting to get at least one different color if not all three being different. Being biennial, of course, they didn’t send up flower stalks until this year.

    One didn’t survive the winter, leaving me with just the other two. One has bloomed white, and the other has buds that look like they’re going to also be white.

    What irritates me about this “mixed bag” business, where the company selects the specimens to fill your order, is that quite often, you don’t get the broad mix of colors they represent in the catalog. What you end up getting is usually all one color, and that’s usually just white!

    I think these people should allow the customer to specify what colors they want in the mixture. Otherwise, it’s a pure gamble, and you may end up with no variety, at all.

    Anyone else have this experience with these kinds of orders?

     

     


    #5270249 Report Abuse
    plantdoctorzn4
    plantdoctorzn4
    Participant

    Many years ago I ordered 50 mixed gladiolia bulbs from Michigan.  Most of them were a pale orange, a few yellow and 1 white.  I was discouraged and chalked it up to experience and have never ordered those kind of deals again.  I find the same thing sometimes with mixed seeds.

    There are some bulb companies (Netherland bulb) which tells how many of each color will be in the bundle deal….and I have found them to be true.  Charlene


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    #5270253 Report Abuse

    freesoulbackagain
    Participant

    And the problem lately has been that so few of these companies offer hollyhocks of specific colors that you can actually choose from. It seems they’re going more and more with the mixed bags. I haven’t seen the kind of deal with hollyhocks where they actually tell you they’re going to send one of each color. They just pick them randomly, and you get what you get.

    I love hollyhocks, and I go to extreme measures to protect them from being eaten by deer. The white ones are okay, but I would have preferred the diversity of a true mix.

    Also irritating is the fact that one of these outfits  indicated that hollyhocks are “deer resistant”. Not true, at all, and I told them so. I’ve caught deer eating mine, and they can strip six-foot hocks naked.

    I’m going to post a review in Dave’s Garden about this mixed bag business. If they advertise a mixture, they should send a mixture. Surely, they must know on their end what colors they’re sending. Or, maybe they don’t know? Could it be as random for them as it is for the customer?

    They probably think they make more money selling the collections, but if enough customers are disappointed by the lack of variety, they’re going to lose those sales. I’d much rather go through a catalog that offers true choices and pick out the ones I want. It may not be as fast or as convenient, but at least I know what I’m getting.

     


    #5270261 Report Abuse
    wilderness_NY_Z4
    wilderness_NY_Z4
    Participant

    Freesoul welcome to garden chat.  I don’t buy plants from catalogs.  I start most everything from seed and most of the time buy a specific color but not always.

    I don’t go for these bargain gimmicks as usually that is just what they are a gimmick to get you to buy.


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    Community Team Member wildernessny@gmail.com

    #5270262 Report Abuse
    Gayle
    Gayle
    Participant

    There is a difference between mixed & a collection.  If you buy mixed you usually get a lot of one color & maybe one or two of another color but none of them might be the one that caught your eye.If you order a collection, it tells you how many of each color you will be getting & is a much better selection.  Might cost a little more than the “Mix” but you get some of each color.

    I stopped buying mixes several years ago.


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    #5270269 Report Abuse

    freesoulbackagain
    Participant

    I would start things from seed if our growing season was long enough out here. Our season is so short that you have to grow almost everything from starts.

    I’ve never seen hollyhocks sold in the collections where they send one of each color. I’ve seen lilies sold that way, and some other plants, but not hocks.

    Well, at least I have hollyhocks this year. I found a good way to protect them from deer. Previously, they would get eaten down to nothing before they even had a chance to grow.

    This didn’t used to be a problem, until neighbors started feeding deer. Prior to the deer discovering my garden, I had beautiful hollyhocks that grew to maturity and lasted a long time, unmolested. I had some of the perennial kind that came back for five years in a row. All I had to do was cut them down to about six inches after they finished blooming, and they would put on new growth the following season.

    Hocks do self-sow, but for some reason the seeds don’t germinate for me. Maybe birds eat them?

    Hocks are supposed to be cold-hardy, down to zone 3, which is why I was surprised to find that one of mine didn’t make it through last winter. I had mulched all three of them.

     

     

     

     

     

     


    #5270285 Report Abuse

    Posynut_NY_zone4
    Participant

    I call it false advertising and it is illegal to do so.


    #5270634 Report Abuse
    bwatcher
    bwatcher
    Participant

    I am assuming you are talking about getting plants here, as you said three. I would say that they are trying to clean house and just give you what’s left to get rid of them; or it could be they give you what they have available at that very moment when they are packaging your order. I learned my lesson about buying from some of these companies. Some send you poor quality stuff, or they substitute what they have just to finish the order.

    I have double pink hollyhocks. I saw a package with double yellow in a store, and now wish I had bought them. My plant leaves look like lace due to bugs. I live in town, so don’t have the deer problem.

    I could save you some seed if you want. I had a post with pictures of my flowers and there is a picture of my double pink hollyhock.

    Mary

    Charlene knows my email address or maybe she could get it from her brother, Lair. I think he has it. I’ll check back later to see.


    #5270768 Report Abuse
    Gayle
    Gayle
    Participant

    Mary, they do it with bulbs  & rhizomes also.


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