A Response from Terra Nova about Tiki Torch

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

1.) Recommended that you only purchase gallon-sized plants. They have no reports of problems with this size.
2.) Recommended that you remove the flowers early the first season so plant will establish better.
3.) If plant is small, when winter comes it won't have the reserves to make it.

This is very troubling to me. It's like they admit the plant doesn't perform like other Echinaceas. I can't believe you must buy a gallon-sized plant to be sure it will survive. No wonder I had trouble out of these.

Now I wonder what will become of my Tomato Soup, Mac 'n Cheese and Pink Poodle.

I might just dig them up and over-winter them under my grow light. That's the only thing I can think of doing. I can't buy only gallon-sized plants. Nobody is selling those around here or online!

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

Really....that is just isane advise IMO!! AS you stated, for most of us mail order is the only option and they don't sell that size and that would be way to expensive anyway with shipping. SO, that leaves us customers what choice here.....

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

I can't believe they want us to pick the buds off them. If they don't over-winter you'll never see the blooms! This is insane. I've planted seedlings in the fall of Echinaceas. Even seedlings outperformed these expensive mutants.

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

I will not be wasting money on this one I guess....I don't want to have to wait until year 2 to see blooms on an echie!!

This message was edited Jun 2, 2009 11:04 AM

Shenandoah Valley, VA

Isn't Terra Nova the only wholesale source for all these plants, the company that is propagating them? Have you considered maybe Terra Nova is the problem?

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

that was kind of my thought....

Shenandoah Valley, VA

I've gotten other plants that I know originated from TN that did very poorly. I bought nine heucherillas from Park several years ago that were a variety only TN sold, only two lived. I blamed Park but maybe the real problem was TN.

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

On Terra Nova's website they say the following about "Tiki Torch"...

"Easy to grow."

I cannot believe they give me all these instructions about how to grow it, but then say it's easy to grow today on their website.

They cannot be trusted. I won't buy anymore of their plants.

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

So which ones are not Terra Nova plants?

Southeast, MA(Zone 6b)

Well I have found it easy to grow here so far. Mine is a second year resident in my garden and has grown in size and has lots of buds already. I did not buy a plug sized plant. It was in a 4" deep pot. I would not plant a plug right out into the garden here. I also would not plant anything smaller than a one gallon size with a really good root system after the beginning of Aug. here. I learned this lesson the hard way by losing several smaller plants planted too late in the season to adjust and grow good roots before winter set in. All plants are different, some are tough as nails like the native varieties and some are like spoiled divas. If you want a plant badly enough you will follow the growers directions, if not go with a different plant. Park plants have bad reputations and I do not order from them any more. The breeders send stock and the growers should grow them on to a reasonable size but the demand is very high and people do not want to wait. All I know is my TT is doing fine now, how long who knows but I will enjoy it while it is here.

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

I have never seen the above instructions included on any plant I have bought.

Shenandoah Valley, VA

The Park plants I bought were from Terra Nova. I know because they were the only source (wholesale) at that time. And I don't know why you'd assume anyone here is talking about direct planting plugs. Yes, Park has a lousy reputation but oddly enough, everything else I bought from them that year except for the roses (J&P roses, which Park now owns, so there's another problem) and a new gaillardia, also carried by TN, did just fine.

I've certainly never heard of a grower telling someone to only buy gallon sized plants of anything, not even a shrub much less a perennial. It doesn't make any sense that everyone would have the same problems from numerous plant sources, all doing the same thing. I would have to at least suspect it was the original source of their plants.

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

I didn't plant a plug either. It was a small pot, but not any smaller than other plants are sold in. Could you post a photo of a plug? I'd like to see how small we're talking about here.

Also...I planted seeds of some coneflowers last year in the fall and left them out all winter. Paradoxa, Tenn. Coneflower and so on all survived the winter even as seedlings.

Shenandoah Valley, VA

A plug from is in a pot about two or three inches across the top and maybe 3-4 inches deep. It's a tiny plant. Actually, I think TN's plugs are 72 to a flat.

Most of the plants you buy at your local nursery, unless they propagate themselves, are from plugs they buy and grow out to a larger size. Yet I don't hear anyone making the same complaint about those plants and I haven't had problems with those plants. In fact, I have two nurseries here that sell plug sized perennials for a dollar or two and I haven't had problems with any of those either.

This page shows plug sizes for flats of 50 and 100.
http://www.kernock.co.uk/acatalog/Product_Examples.html

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

What I received wasn't a plug. It was probably the next size up from that. I got these from 2 different mail order companies last spring. They had all spring, summer, and fall to grow. They looked like healthy plants, but they just died over the winter.

It's like these plants are sick or something. They sit there and don't grow at all. I bet you could plant an Echinacea seed and it would be two to four times as big as these plants by the end of the season.

My plant that did survive is smaller than it was last year. It has two buds to bloom but it looks like very weak and small. I try not to look at it to be honest! The blooms are less than 2 inches across. They don't look like the huge blooms on the Terra Nova site.

It's confusing. Echinaceas are always dependable, tough garden plants, but these are so sickly. I've never seen anything like it. It's almost like they aren't meant to be and God is trying to make them disappear little by little. LOL.

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