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What does "bare root" mean?

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

Just curious, but I am having a bit of a disagreement with a vendor. I've purchased "bare root" plants before, and they are just that, a dormant plant with the roots bare. Well, this vendor sold me a "two year" bare root peony, and what I received was a tubor. Nothiing about or below. No roots other than a chunk of tuber. No eyes on the tuber either. When I explained this, I was told (literally) that "duh, that's what bare root means!" I thought bare root was some type of root, with something actually growing from it, or something left over from growing (maybe a dormant stalk). But this is what I'd call a bulb or tuber, not a two year plant. Since they are giving me the run around, I've called twice, and each time I'm told that I've not waited long enough, first they said to call back in three weeks, and I did, now they they tell me to wait another 2 weeks...

Please, if anyone can help clarify what they expect with a bare root plant. Perhaps all the other vendors with whom I've done business misunderstood bare root and sent me the wrong thing? Maybe they were just overly generous? If there is no growth, why is it not referred to as a bulb or tuber? if the extension office is unable to find an eye on it, will it ever grow? Are they wrong too? Just want some ammo before I blast this company. I never ever give negative reviews of business, because anyone can have a bad day and it can really cause damage to a rep, but this company has more than exasperated my patience and I do think that the condescending attitude that "duh, that's a bare root" was more than I'm willing to let slip. I'm still angry and this was from a call on Friday. Two days to cool off, still angry, definately need to pursue. ;-)

Madison, MS

I'm not sure about the tuber being considered a bare root or not - what kind of plant was it? But for me the attitude of the customer service, especially the remark they made to you - I mean "duh", PLEASE! How can they expect to keep a business running with that kind of service! I would definately leave that in the feedback even if the tuber ends up being the correct thing.

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

Peonys.
I'm not pleased, they have a negative rating in watch dog. There are some positive ratings, but it's funny. When you look at the positives they were posted the day the person became members, and that is the only activity they had. Join to post positive then never come back? I'm thinking it's a scam, that the company is posting the positives.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Which company? (We can and do look for "unusual activity".)

But as to your original question, I'd have to agree with the vendor - I would call a dormant peony tuber "bareroot", too - meaning it is not in a container surrounded by dirt. The peony tubers I've purchased have been just as you described - no topgrowth (although "eyes" should be present) and the tuber should look fresh and plump, not shrivelled or desiccated.

Eupora, MS

Deb,
In the first place if someone said DUH to me I think I would ask to speak to their supervisor..I think things like that get on my nerves more as I get older..I worked with all kinds of people in the medical field for over 25 yrs. and that's not appropiate..just plain RUDE!! To change the subject, but still on it too, does anyone have luck with peonies and if so..enlighten me a little..mine never do anything and they are not too deep..I know Felder Rushing says they are really not for our area, but I don't take all he says to heart..Please don't tell him that..LOL..I'm one that doesn't pay attention much to zones or anything else if I want something, but Just can't get the trick to peonies!!
Carolyn

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

Well, the other vendor who advertised bare root plants sent the same as the companies who sent bareroot roses. Roots that were bare, something besides a chunk of tater. LOL. We'll see, I have to call back in 10 days to confirm that they still have not started to grow.

My neighbor across the street has peonies that she says she doesn't do anything special for. She'll pick up the blooms in the spring and try and stake them up, cause they get so huge, but other than that, she really does not do anything. :-)

These are some that were tubers with little green sprouts starting out of the eyes when I planted them 6 weeks ago (same time as the eyeless bareroot chunks).

Thumbnail by justdeb
Eupora, MS

Hi Deb,
Maybe mine just haven't had time to establish to bloom as I moved them..maybe I need to be patient..some plants take more time to establish than others.I don't know if you saw my post on the RU for a variegated shell ginger, but hope you have one to spare..please take a look at my list and see if you want anything.
Carolyn

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

:-)
Thank you for the offer. I don't have any variegated ginger, but if I have anything that you'd like, please, speak up. :-)
I do think that they take a few years to establish and bloom. I'm willing to wait for blooms. I'm thrilled that they started to grow. I need something that will stay green after the bloom, for in front of my lillies.

I'll see what happens with these, but they have done well, in my opinion, considering that there was no growth outside of the sprig of green, when they were planted 6 weeks ago. They are in pots, as I did not know what to expect.

Eupora, MS

Woops, must have been someone else that posted on the ginger..being new..it's hard to follow the post..sure thought it was you..I have found that my peonies die back after the weather gets hot..does your neighbor's not..all in our area do?
Carolyn

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

No, hers are doing fine. I'll take a picture tomorrow or Thursday and post for you. They are along her walkway in her front yard.
Not to worry on the confusion. I have the same problem, and to exasperate the situation, every has their username and then a real name that they sometimes share....
so much to keep straight. ;-)
I opted not to name my kids. I'm not good with names. I just numbered them. So much easier...

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

I bet you talk about dead parrots, too don't you.

Judy

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

It's not dead, it's just sleeping...
;-)

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

Now everyone is shaking their heads and wondering what in the world we're talking about....

Trust me for all of you who are not computer programmers, you don't want to know, but I'll tell you, it's an English Comedy Series named Monty Python. I personally could never understand the addiciton or how a group of programmers could discuss one of the skits for hours on end.

Judy

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

What??? Everybody doesn't know Monty?

Ahhhhh....It's good to be the king....
;-)

(better hide before I exasperate Judy) LOL

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

Never!!!

Judy

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

LOL
You are so good to translate for us. More than once I was too embarassed to admit I was lost and you saved me. :-)

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