i was at walmart today and saw an awesome product i never saw. prior to this its all kinds of plants in bags of dirt. rootings and flower bulbs. most were 2-4 of whatever type for $5.98. 3 hosta roots for $5.98 right off a warm shelf IN dirt i think is a no brainer. not worth it to go to wholesale mailorder when can walk right over to walmart and look at it. some of the flowers had nice green healthy blooms on them. well i thought they looked awesome and wanted to pass that on and if yer thinkin of buyin go there first and then like me try out a smaller order at the online sites to fill in the spots u want with more rare plants not available locally...scot
Those are called bare root plants, you have to be very careful buying those. I have bought several of the hostas, ferns and even daylilies like that from Lowe's and Walmart. You need to make sure you feel the roots or bulbs that are inside the bags. Many times they will be complete dried out and there is almost nothing left to plant. So always feel them, you want good solid fat bulbs or roots. When they mark these down at the end of the season you can count on most of them being dried up, but they are normally so cheap then you can risk it. I have had good luck this year with Christmas Ferns, Tennessee Ostrich Ferns and I have had a couple of Cinnamon ferns to sprout. I have had none of the hostas come up yet, but none of the ones in the garden have come up yet either so I am thinking it is just a little early to judge those.
I've bought those same type of plants in the past (mainly because they cost very little) and seedfork is right, very few of those rooted pants are viable at the point of sale, I've purchased Poppies, Lily's, Dahlias, and loads of others, but after several trips home to plant these roots, there is normally just a few BIT'S of root, all dried up and even the sand or soil these so called roots are sold while inside the bag, I would imagine that someone somewhere has had a plant that they were able to grow from this type of purchase however these planting successes are few and far between.
I never buy plants now-a-days unless they are healthy, in pots with good root system and I know the people selling them are genuinely interested in helping me choose the plants I want and know they will survive, I think we all learn lessons about gardening and these lessons come in all shapes and sizes, after lot's of years, I'm still learning about gardening.
Hope this helps you for future plant purchases, IF you go ahead, just make sure the packages contain living plants.
Happy gardening WeeNel.
Bare root plants can be a good option and are often less expensive because there's no cost for pots, potting soil, the labor to plant and maintain. However. . . bare root plants are dormant. Or should be. So the best way to get these is mailorder from a nursery that has proper holding facilities; temperature- and humidity-controlled rooms where the plants can be held in cool, dormant states.
Dormant plants "wake up" and start to grow when they are moved to sites with warmer temps (60+ degrees) which means they start growing in the plastic bags at the big box stores for weeks before you find them. No sunlight, no water, in peat (no nutrients) = not good. Buying bare root plants from retail stores is risky, at best.