The Mystery Plant from Lowes

I went to Lowes a few weeks ago and near the register was an amazing plant marked for clearance. The tag had “annual” printed on it. It certainly did not look like an annual though. It had leaves shaped like maple leaves and the color was a very deep red purple. I brought it home and then posted the picture on Dave’s Garden forum. I was hoping that maybe through some great miracle it was a redblood Japanese maple sapling. As it turns out this mystery plant is actually a red leaf hibiscus, hibiscus acetosella. Very interesting plant with some very pretty flowers. The top picture is mine, the one below are what I have to look forward to.

Pet Peeve About Plant Nurseries

WHY ISN’T THE PRICE EASY TO FIND

This is my number  1 pet peeve. Why don’t nurseries ESPECIALLY the BIG chains like Lowes and Home Depot, Wal-Mart have their plants properly labeled? I know they have signs but not everything always has a sign. In fact about 60% – 75% of these stores have no proper labels for telling the consumer the price of the plants. This bothers me because I do not like having to hunt down a worker and then follow them to the register to get the price. The workers are very busy running around placing plants out, watering and cleaning. It has to be annoying for them as well to stop and get a price. Now some stores have price check centers now. This is a brilliant idea, sadly those price checking centers are not in the gardening center. So if you want to know the price of that gorgeous knock-out rose or half dead crepe myrtle your trying to get a deal on, you have to walk way out of the gardening area. And IF one of you BIG chains is reading this, I usually lose my desire to shop at that location at that point.

Another aspect of the pricing is that Stores such as Lowes and Wal-Mart sometimes do have the price on the plant tag, but not all the time. Why isn’t there consistency? I am aware that there are different suppliers etc. but once the plant arrives at the store it needs to be properly labeled with the right price. I can bet that sales would go way up. How about taking out the old pricing guns from the early nineties and eighties? Who cares if all the plants have neon orange and yellow tags on them? I don’t mind. It makes it easy for me to find the price.

As for locally owned nurseries, it is the same problem. The prices are not clearly marked or there is absolutely no price at all. In fact some in some plant nurseries the workers have different ideas as to what the plant’s price should be! You see by simple adding a price tag not only do you lessen confusion for the customer but for the workers as well. I had a man tell me a few weeks ago he had no idea why the owner would tell me the Chitalpa cost $500 when it was in fact only $350. Hmmm that is a difference of $150!!! Thankfully Lowe’s had a Chitalpa for $68 and it was clearly labeled on the plant tag. At some of the local nurseries you have to get a worker to walk around with you and tell you how much everything costs. I will not lie to you I do ask for the prices on EVERYTHING. I want to know what the market is for specific plants. I want to know how much some of the exotics are and their name  etc, none of which is labeled on the plant mind you.  I also tell the worker before leaving that they really should have the prices on the plants because then I do not have to ask and they do not have to give me a guided tour of plant prices when they have so many other things they need to be doing.

Hmmm, this blog entry has given me an idea to start writing up some reviews on the local nurseries around town. . . . .