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Newly ordered plant already has foliage and flowers

It’s completely beyond dormancy break and looks like it has been grown in a greenhouse. They are fragaria vesca ‘Alexandria‘. Is this bad? We still have frosts until mid April. It’s even flowering. And since they started their active stage so early does that mean they will go dormant early on in the season ?



Comments (19)

  • Campanula UK Z8

    Mine are green all year round, Heruga. They are resilient and vigorous little plants with a tenacious will to live. Maybe try a 2 week period of 'hardening off' - outside in the day, under cover at night. Then pop them in the ground - they are not remotely frost tender and will grow away at once. You could also nip the flowering stems off until they are reasonably well rooted in their garden space. (although I would generally only do this for my strawberries in the fruit garden).

  • Heruga (6b/7a NJ)

    Ok I’ll do that. You say only fruit garden but I am growing this for ornamental purposes so does that mean I don’t have to remove the flowers? I know they need root establishment and fruit production kind of hinders that. If I don’t nip off the flowers and allow it to fruit their first year will they be stressed and grow very slowly or become weak and vulnerable to pests/fungus?

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    No one is going around snipping off flowers or removing first year fruit on plants that grow feral. And they manage quite well.

    Overthinking again :-)

  • Jay 6a Chicago

    I suppose the plant is tough enough that you don't need to clip the flowers, but if it was me, I'd clip them just so the plants will send more energy to the roots. You were on the right track with your thinking. There's only a few flowers lol.

  • Heruga (6b/7a NJ)

    That is true... every plant I bought these years I let them flower in their first year. I think the plant fruit being edible made me But then again thats no different than an inedible plant fruit/seed such as irises flowering and going to seed. So why is it that just because a plant fruit is edible people recommend clipping off all the flowers for the first 2-3 years? Like blueberries, persimmons, and citrus. What is the point? Why not just treat it like the rest of your ornamental plants and enjoy fruits the first year? Root won't establish well with fruit production? Well then how do all those ornamentals do well without their flowers being clipped? Going a little off topic here but I always wondered this.

  • Jay 6a Chicago

    Well, I don't grow any fruit trees ,but I've never heard you're supposed to clip all the flowers for the 1st 2 or 3 years??? Cutting off the blooms to direct energy to the roots applies for all plants (afaik), not just fruiting plants, but also ornamentals. If I do clip the flowers off the things I'm planting, it's just for that one time only. Once they're in the ground I let them flower normally. I think some people cut some of the blooms off their fruit trees so that the remaining fruit grows bigger.

  • Heruga (6b/7a NJ)

    Right?? Thats exactly why I'm confused. Just because a plant produces edible fruit why clip their flowers for the first 1-3 years but not any other plant? If you look up blueberries and clipping off flowers you'll see a whole bunch of websites/articles that tell you to do so so that the plant can produce stronger more robust stems before you allow them to fruit. Some examples here : https://www.hortmag.com/plants/plants-we-love/pinching-is-the-key-to-maximizing-blueberry-harvests

    https://gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/13919/should-i-pinch-my-blueberry-bushes-for-the-first-year


  • Jay 6a Chicago

    Heruga you are right. I've never heard about that before, and I've never grown blueberries. I did see in the second article that they mentioned doing it with strawberries too.

  • Heruga (6b/7a NJ)

    I grow a lot of fruit so I hear this a lot but I really don't see the significance in this.

  • Jay 6a Chicago

    It seems like it would a big pain to defruit a whole tree. One of the reasons I've never grown blueberries is because I think they are a lot of work. I usually remove flowers when planting store bought annuals. They grow them so that they are full of blooms at selling time. I take most of the flowers off just before planting, to give them a better start. I do it with things like Salvia splendens and marigolds.

  • laceyvail

    "One of the reasons I've never grown blueberries is because I think they are a lot of work."

    Huh? Blueberries are the least work of any edible I grow. There's simply nothing to do except pick the fruit. True, every few years near the end of winter I remove some of the oldest stems. And I do renew the mulch. But that's it. What kind of work do you think blueberries require, Jay?

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    if these were first year seedlings .. and they are not ... i could see focusing energy on growing a root mass ... but yours have at least a full year of growth... and presumably a good root mass for what you see above.. so i wouldnt bother ...


    anyway .. you are hardening it off to TEMPS .... since you presume greenhouse grown ...


    once the soil warms.. you can get them in the ground ... and just watch the night temps ... and if anything severe comes along.. just cover them at night ... any plain old cardboard box would work .. we just want to keep ice crystals off the tissue ... once hardened off temps shouldnt matter... as noted.. it should otherwise be a bulletproof plant for your zone ...


    i have seen very young fruit trees put out bloom.. and then either fail to pollinate.. or later abort the fruit ... and i just presumed the transplant didnt have a mature enough root mass to sustain the fruit thru fruit maturity ... thats just observation.. more than any expertise with fruit production ... but one thing for sure... though i might love me trees.. i wouldnt be out there fondling them to remove fruit/flowers.. lol ...


    ken

  • Campanula UK Z8

    Ah, shouldn't have mentioned chopping flowers...but I ONLY do this for my newly bought, first year edible strawbs (Fragaria x annassa)...not for the little wildlings, which, once planted, are rampant and immortal. Fwiw, the alpine strawberries root from runners and are immediately off, flowering in weeks, producing little strawberries with zero attention from me - they root all alongside my greenhouse, in the cracks between paving, sneaking into adjacent pots...these are not miffy divas in any sense of the word. Just don't stress, Heruga...and pop them in the soil (doubt even a hardening off is required tbh).

    With Ken and GG on this.


  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    Just so all are aware.....flowers are not removed from first year fruit trees. But any forming fruit typically is. And this is for young, first year trees only. Larger, more mature trees newly planted are often allowed to go ahead and fruit although if production is excessive, thinning is done. But thinning is done routinely on established fruit trees anyway.

    Whether or not a new plant is allowed to flower or produce fruit/seed depends on the plant and how developed its root system may be. Unless you are buyng little bare root starts, there is no need to remove blueberries either......larger plants typically produce berries in the nursery setting and they are never removed! Provided you have the right conditions for them, blueberries are extremely easy to grow!!

  • Heruga (6b/7a NJ)

    Ok that cleared up my confusion on this matter. Campanula, but it’s said that fragaria vesca ‘Alexandria ‘ does not produce runners and is clump forming ? I’m growing that, not the wild form. Also I find blueberries moderate maintenance. I grow 2 in pots and they are quite big and heavy. One was affected by stem canker so I had to cut it all the way down to the point the canker was not present. I had to lay patio bricks on my yard and set these guys on it so I could install fence posts around it and cover the whole thing with net so birds won’t get it. It was annoying when I had to go back and forth opening and closing the net everytime for harvest.

  • Campanula UK Z8

    Right, Heruga, just so - 'Alexandria' is a more mannerly plant than the over-enthusiastic running wildling...but even so, these are tough wee plants.

    Blueberries are only no effort if you are growing in an acidic bog - for the rest of us, it thrives in an extremely acidic soil (so a no-go for me) and likes to be kept damp all the time (another no hoper for me).

    I don't think we can hold to hard and fast rules in gardening because it is am art as well as a science. Obviously, stuff like plant nutrition, soil science, hardiness and so on, can be learned by reading, experimenting, talking to others...but an awful lot is so site specific and subject to our particular tastes and expectations. Try not to stress too much, Heruga. It is always infuriating when a plant fails to thrive but death opens opportunities and plants are generally not $$$$. I have been gardening for a while (not as long as many on here) but still feel, in many ways, I am wandering in the dark, still a novice...it is a process.

  • mxk3

    Those are nice-looking transplants! "Alexandria" is indeed clump-forming; I have a few myself. I cannot rave enough about Fragaria (clumping types) -- they are superb ground covers, which is the reason I grow them, and they are quite charming with the small flowers and fruit on the plant at the same time. I don't care about the fruit, though -- it's tasty but they are tiny, and it's too much work for me to bother bending way down to get a tiny prickling of flavor. These are not frou-frou plants, they're pretty tough. They'll be fine; you can just leave them on the windowsill until it's time to harden them off.

  • Heruga (6b/7a NJ)

    I don't think we can hold to hard and fast rules in gardening because it is am art as well as a science. Obviously, stuff like plant nutrition, soil science, hardiness and so on, can be learned by reading, experimenting, talking to others...but an awful lot is so site specific and subject to our particular tastes and expectations. Try not to stress too much, Heruga. It is always infuriating when a plant fails to thrive but death opens opportunities and plants are generally not $$$$. I have been gardening for a while (not as long as many on here) but still feel, in many ways, I am wandering in the dark, still a novice...it is a process.

    I am starting to realize that. Many things written on the internet about plants simply don't turn out to be true! From now on I will only use info on the internet as a generalization and not a definite go to thing.

  • Campanula UK Z8

    Ken has always been an advocate of the DIY method of learning...and he is right inasmuch as it is usually the failures which stick in our minds...and offer the most potent lessons in gardening. When you have murdered a few thousand innocent plants, you truly assess just what you are (or should be) doing.

    I remember hearing Roy Lancaster, a first rate plant discoverer and gardener, bemoaning his many, many failed attempts to breed and grow a particular mahonia...and finally concluding that there are mysterious life forces which resist our efforts to replicate conditions...because the skein of life is interdependent...and always more complex than soil acidity, light levels, heat and water (the stuff we can control). I have certainly sown seeds which will only germinate when sown in situ, not too far from the mother plant, and have to conclude that it requires certain bacteria, fungi and stimulation from an already existing community...which is not likely to be found in a pot of sterile seed mix. Led me down some interesting pathways - most notably, a tendency to throw a handful of 'live' soil from under the trees in my local graveyard or collected on the allotment, just to kickstart some micro-life. Totally unscientific and wild guesswork - as valid a method as any in gardening.

    Apols for rambling. Last weekend of 6Nations Rugby so sat at PC wasting time instead of being outside having at it.

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