Ever buy a plant and then decide

November 2, 2019

it gets on your nerves and so you toss it? Or am I the only nutball who this has happened to :0p. The latest is sanguisorba ("Dwarf Purple"). I love the leaves but I just don't like the plant -- there's just something about it that bugs me no matter where I put it. Guilt got the best of me, though, and ended up tucking some of it in an out-of-the-way place where it won't annoy me, but truth be told I'll probably ditch it at some point.

Comments (18)

  • nicholsworth Z6 Indianapolis

    if we're totally honest I bet all of us have had a case of buyer's remorse..I I've aged it happens less and less..probably because as I'm deciding whether to buy it I think about the work of planting it and I walk away Lol..

  • sandyslopes z5b n. UT

    I had buyer's remorse this summer when I bought an Austin rose that doesn't hold onto its flowers in the heat we have here. But, no, I couldn't trash it. Instead it's relegated to the outskirts of the yard.

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  • katob Z6ish, NE Pa

    I sometimes just get bored and toss a plant. Sometimes it even takes me a full five minutes before I decide what new things can all possibly go into the empty spot :)

    My most difficult toss was a peony which was doing just fine, but I had already divided it and three was just too much of a good thing.

  • harold100

    I got tired of the Stella D' Oros after 15 years and ripped them all out this year. Replaced them with these, Red Hot Returns. So pleased with this daylily. 2 of the 4 fans have already multiplied. I highly recommend them.

  • oursteelers 8B PNW

    I have a really hard time discarding a healthy plant. Even if I don’t really like it, I still feel obligated to keep it in the yard. I do try to put them in more out of the way places though

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    This is pretty much SOP in my world....a least with perennials:-) I'll grow 'em for a while, get tired of them or decide I don't like them and rip 'em out! I am somewhat less hasty with shrubs and trees.

    I attribute this ruthless practice as to why I am familiar with such a broad range of plants, which is a huge help to me in my business. You name it, I've probably grown it at one point in time!!

  • FrozeBudd_z4

    Love it or lose it!

    My yard is v-e-r-y large, though a plant needs to keep my attention in order not to end up in the compost pile or be given away.

  • mxk3

    See - I knew you guys would understand :0p

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA

    That is what you are supposed to do, right? It's called editing. The plants that I am most disappointed with are often new cultivars that don't live up to the hype. For instance, last fall I bought a new phlox. I must have been bored and I was looking for a new fragrant plant. Everyone online was talking about their fragrant phlox, but I always dislike a plant that struggles with powdery mildew etc., so I looked up if there were varieties that didn't. Found articles about trials and saw that 'Glamour Girl' was considered an excellent new variety with very little problems with it. Saw it at the nursery, in the fall, the foliage looked good, I bought two.

    I pulled them out this fall. [g]

    I didn't enjoy them at all. The color was just odd and I didn't like the way it played with the rest of the garden. Then the bloom cycle was very short and disappointing. I know...'first year sleep' but still. And there was NO fragrance that I could detect. Then the kiss of death, is that the foliage turned ugly at some point.

    And I don't feel bad in the least. I feel stupid actually that I keep buying new varieties and expecting success. And I don't feel bad about the money I spend, because I'm pretty thrifty and I don't buy a ton, I start a lot from seed and I just consider it the cost of gardening. And I think it is the right thing to do, to toss it rather than passing it along to someone else, when you consider it an inferior plant.

    And I did everything right, didn't I? I researched it, got a look at it in the nursery during the period of time you'd expect the mildew to show itself, bought it on sale. There's too many other things to feel bad about then to let gardening decisions be one of them. Gardening is where the happiness is layered over the other things that make us feel bad, right? [g] So I don't understand the guilt. What is that about? Why would you feel guilty, is it the money you spent or something else?

  • sunnyborders

    I must speak up for garden phlox 'Glamour Girl', having planted and maintained several dozen over the last about ten years, about half a dozen of which are in our own garden.

    My own experience with 'Glamour Girl' is that it is a superior garden phlox cultivar in a number of ways; these include it's robustness, longevity, relatively long bloom time and its mildew resistance. I like the overall shape of the plant with its sturdy stems and the height which gives it presence further back in a mixed perennial bed. I do agree that the flower colour is not that spectacular (the coral pink fades), though personally I'd plant a number of different garden phlox cultivars together to let their flower colours colours play off against each other. I too have never noticed any scent from 'Glamour Girl'.

    I don't think you can say much from a sample of one, but it's interesting to hear of different gardeners experiences, for me, especially with garden phlox and powdery mildew. Obviously some growing conditions are much better than others, but I also think that different styles of perennial gardening are relevant too. For me and in our growing conditions, plant hygiene (deadheading, thinning (including to maintain air flow), not leaving dead plant tissue on the surface) is important in the health of the garden phlox cultivars and to the show that a bed with mixed colour garden phlox puts on.


  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA

    I didn't mean to malign 'Glamour Girl' and I'm glad you spoke up to come to her defense if you have enjoyed having that plant in your garden. My point was about what I consider the acceptability of editing out any plant in your garden for any reason really. Your the only one you have to please. I could have offered up other examples but that was my most recent memory of pulling a plant.

    And in fairness, I did only give it the one season. The main reason I wanted it was for fragrance and when it didn't deliver that and the color was not working for me, I didn't see much point in trying it another season. And the end of the season foliage problems, well...I did keep in mind when I planted it, to put it where it would get good air circulation. And I normally keep up with the garden consistently, but this year, late in the summer, I was distracted with other things. I was surprised one day to go past that plant and see the foliage looking so awful. So, I can't even say what might have contributed to that issue.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    i think a lot of the plants that i ended up hating.... were gifts.. or traded plants ...

    in other words ... i was just thrilled to get a new plant .. and didnt make the effort to research them ... to be able to predict my future hatred ... lol ...


  • mazerolm_3a

    I pulled out a weeping crabapple two weeks ago. I only liked it in Spring, and the rest of the year was blah. I also pulled out all the phlox planted this Spring...the color clashed with other plantings. I won’t hesitate to pull something I don’t like, but will try to give it away if there are any takers. I do try to research plants as much as I can before purchasing, but even then, sometimes once it’s in you realize you just don’t like it.

  • FrozeBudd_z4

    I have probably tossed more phlox varieties than any other perennial. Some of those had decent attractive coloring, though not much of an overall display and or a disappointing short bloom period. Others begin flowering so late they're often useless in my short growing season. I don't mind doing some plant editing, especially when it frees up a prime location!

  • mazerolm_3a

    @FrozeBudd: plants flowering late...yes. Although I love hydrangea Limelight, I will pick a different variety the next time I buy a hydrangea. I have 6-7 Limelights, and I only saw full bloom on two of them. The others were at the broccoli stage when freezing temperatures hit. Same goes for all other plants, I will definitely pick early blooming varieties over late blooming ones from now on. Live and learn!

  • FrozeBudd_z4

    I've also had similiar results with 'Limelight' and dieback in extra severe winters, so I went and removed the things after just a few years of disappointment. You've probably have heard me mention of paniculata 'Little Lamb', it flowers weeks ahead of 'Limelight' and is also hardier. Must have had 120 blooms on my 'LL' this summer, that despite the truly ghastly overcast and wet conditions throughout the entire summer! Also, love 'Lavalamp Moonrock', though I think 'LL' is just a bit earlier.

  • deanna Maine 5b6a

    I bought a 'Flying Dragon' hardy bitter orange. I had visions of planting somewhere so that in winter I would see the snow beautifully laying on the twisted thorns. Hard for that to happen when after you buy it you find out it's BARELY hardy for your area (and you kick yourself because the same thing happened at other plants bought at that nursery). So it's stuck in its pot still. I've thought dozens of times about where to put it. Apparently the perfect spot is the garage this winter. Perhaps next year is when I punt it.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA

    FrozeBudd - thanks for that report on 'Little Lamb'. I bought 'Little Lime' last fall and I've been pleased with that in it's first season, enough so that I am moving away from mophead Hydrangeas that don't always bloom and concentrating on paniculatas from now on. I will have to check out 'Little Lamb'.

    Sorry about that experience Deanna. I hate losing a plant due to hardiness issues, so I try my best to choose plants that are hardy to one zone hardier to me, but sometimes I make a calculated choice to go with something hardy only to my zone. I just find it easier with less worry about a plant going into winter and then it's not necessary to have to think about any kind of additional effort to 'protect' it from the winter weather. I know you would think that nurseries would not sell what is not hardy in their area, but some do, I guess. Not sure why.

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