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Re: [AZ] Most Nurseries Too Wet for Natives

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  • S. M. Henning
    ... You are entirely correct Mike, but if you were to ship your properly potted container plants to KMart, Lowes, Home Depot, WalMart, etc. they would kill the
    Message 1 of 27 , Jan 4, 2006
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      Mike Creel <mikeacreel@...> wrote:

      >That nursery needs to take a course in proper
      >selection of media for container plants. I design my
      >media and my pots so they need just once-weekly
      >watering, stay somewhat moist but airy in the root
      >zone, drain throughtly and can withstand a cloudburst
      >or sustained rain.

      You are entirely correct Mike, but if you were to ship your properly
      potted container plants to KMart, Lowes, Home Depot, WalMart, etc.
      they would kill the plants. They need plants where they can tell the
      minimum wage help to water them every day since there is not
      consistency in who is working and who is managing. We all know that
      over-watering is more fatal than under-watering, and the azalea-mill
      nurseries need to err on the dry side in their potting mixes. As
      other have stated, these places get good plants if you can get them
      before the store help kill them and can nurse them through the
      traumatic change from bark mix to soil.
      --
      Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA Zone 6

      Visit my Rhododendron and Azalea web pages at:
      http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman/rhody.html

      Also visit the Rhododendron and Azalea Bookstore at:
      http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman/rhodybooks.html
    • Mary & Bill McDavit
      Tadeusz, Yea, I looked at the photo and it looked like nothing we have, until I looked at our overlooked set of Kurume azaleas. And, we do have an old (1989)
      Message 2 of 27 , Jan 4, 2006
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        Tadeusz,
            Yea, I looked at the photo and it looked like nothing we have, until I looked at our overlooked set of Kurume azaleas.  And, we do have an old (1989) photo of the plant in bloom.  Please excuse my ignorance.  I don't know if this settles things much, but I'll send an attachment photo hereto for Mike to decide, one way or the other.  The photo is not top quality, but we may be going off on a tangent, anyway.
         
        Bill McDavit, Sunset Lakes, NC
         
         
        Subject: Re: [AZ] Mizumi? azalea

        Bill;
         
                   See the thread that I attached below about "your"  Mizu-no-yamabuki.
         
          Tadeusz.
         
         
             Buck,        Galle does list it in his
        revised edition on Page 460.  This plant is a  Domoto Kurume hybrid.  It is a pale yellowish white 1" flower, and is  slightly petaloidy.  We obtained ours from Mr. Peacock in a suburb of  Lawrenceville, GA.  It is a faithful early bloomer.    Bill McDavit - Sunset Lakes, NC - Zone 8A/B      > *Does any one know the background on Mizu No Yamabuki. It doesn't appear  in  > Galle. Its not new . I get the feeling that its been in the Washington  DC  > area for a very long time. For those who aren't familiar with it  a  general  > description would be as follows; tiny funnel shaped blooms  one half to  > three quarters inches wide,creamy white to pale yellow  depending on your  > perception. Leaves dark and shinny kurume  like  one half inch  by  three  > eights inch wide.Plant habit is some what open growing to at about  three  > feet in 15 yrs. Very flouriferous. Produces no seed and minute amounts  > of  pollen.  >  > Buck Clagett     6b     

      • Joe Schild
        Steve, You hit the nail on the head in a lot fewer words than my previous reply to the post. I was mostly piqued at the lumping of all nurseries as Bog Plant
        Message 3 of 27 , Jan 4, 2006
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          Steve,
          You hit the nail on the head in a lot fewer words than my previous reply to the post. I was mostly piqued at the lumping of all nurseries as "Bog Plant" growers. I also rejected the idea of not producing sizable plants for the landscapers. When my retail and mail order sales slumped in off season, it was the large plants sold wholesale to those folks that kept me going.
           
          I am, however, reminded of the words my mentor, Clifton Gann, who once said, "In a greenhouse or nursery, who ever is doing the watering will make or break you."  He made the  point that training staff to water correctly is the most important function a manager or owner may perform. At that time, a lot of the evergreen azaleas I purchased came from a few established garden centers, nurseries, and some from K-Mart. That was before Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowe's.  Any plants I bought from K-Mart, I waited until about May or early June, and if their staff had not killed them by then, they had to be tough and would stand almost anything. I recall buying 100 in a lot batch for fifty-cents each and the manager was glad to get rid of them.
           
          In a round about way, here is my response to Mike's question about propagating, growing and selling Stewartia in my nursery. "NO!" The reasons are many, but just a few:
          1. I operated a niche nursery specializing in azaleas and rhododendron with a few other native shrubs to wet the appetite of local customers interested in natives.
          2. I found out quickly, I could not propagate and sell everything I wanted or wished to offer, because of the limited space and propagation room. I quit propagating and selling evergreen azaleas because K-Mart, and later the other big box stores, offered them as loss leaders and I would not sell them that cheap.
          3. If I wanted to have my nursery to make a profit, I had to specialize, manly in the species azaleas and rhododendron, with a few kalmia thrown in. They were my mainstay. Any other plants I grew and sold were mainly for local consumption on a limited basis or through the TVC-ARS Chapter plant sales on wholesale consignment.
           
          Have I been able to root Stewartia? "Yes", but not on a large enough scale to to make it profitable, but just enough to keep me interested and yes, by using Mike's methods. One such plant, S. ovata var. grandiflora  I found in the N. Chickamauga Creek Gorge in 1994, has huge blooms 4.5 to 5" across with heavy texture, yellow anthers and purple filaments, with deep green leaves 4.5" x 8". The mother tree is 12' tall, very large for the species in such rugged habitat. Normal S. ovata  are growing within 30' feet of this tree and makes me think the specimen may be a Tet. Frankly, I am considering putting this plant into tissue culture to produce the numbers for distribution. I am still looking for the slides of this Stewartia and once I do and can digitize them, I will send them along to the list.
           
          Today it was 61F and very nice, something different than the normal January 4th. Going to Crossville, TN, tomorrow to see Bill Pinkerton and put a For Sale sign on our corner lot at Lake Tansi resort. No use letting the kids fight over it after we are gone, so we will take a trip or pay for the kitchen remodeling. No bets on which, according to my dear wife of 43 years. Darn, how did she put up with me so long? She must be a Saint or at least my guardian angel. Oops, sorry to get too personal. It comes with old age.
           
          Joe Schild-Hixson, TN USDA Zone 7a
          Ask a friend to join the Azalea Society of America!
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: 1/4/06 3:51:10 PM
          Subject: Re: [AZ] Most Nurseries Too Wet for Natives

          Mike Creel <mikeacreel@...> wrote:

          >That nursery needs to take a course in proper
          >selection of media for container plants.  I design my
          >media and my pots so they need just once-weekly
          >watering, stay somewhat moist but airy in the root
          >zone, drain throughtly and can withstand a cloudburst
          >or sustained rain.

          You are entirely correct Mike, but if you were to ship your properly
          potted container plants to KMart, Lowes, Home Depot, WalMart, etc.
          they would kill the plants.  They need plants where they can tell the
          minimum wage help to water them every day since there is not
          consistency in who is working and who is managing.  We all know that
          over-watering is more fatal than under-watering, and the azalea-mill
          nurseries need to err on the dry side in their potting mixes.  As
          other have stated, these places get good plants if you can get them
          before the store help kill them and can nurse them through the
          traumatic change from bark mix to soil.
          --
          Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA   USA  Zone 6

          Visit my Rhododendron and Azalea web pages at:
          http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman/rhody.html

          Also visit the Rhododendron and Azalea Bookstore at:
          http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman/rhodybooks.html
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