The plants you receive in your parcel are as much as possible in the dormant stage.
The great advantage of shipping garden products in the dormant stage is that they can tolerate much more than plants which are already in the growing and flowering stage. Plants that are transplanted during the growing and flowering stage are much more vulnerable. They require much more care and even given extra care, we often see them deteriorate after planting. That’s the reason why we do our utmost to ship our plants during their natural dormant stage. If we think it necessary, we even prolong the dormant period by storing the plants longer at a low temperature.
Shipping in the dormant stage is better for the plant and consequently for you too! However, a plant in its dormant stage does, unfortunately, not look at its best! This is, of course, quite logical. Almost all plants die down to the soil surface in autumn and winter. The dead leaves often serve to protect the underground root system from cold and frost. They rot away or get mouldy in the wet winter-months.
This is, indeed, the natural function of the leaves but you might think that we supply rotten or mouldy plants. With some plants you might even think that you receive propagating pots of soil only.
How can you judge if you have received good quality? We regret, of course, that we cannot send you the plants looking their best. If we did, it would not be in your interest. It is, as a matter of fact, not wise to act against nature.
That’s why we prefer to give you the following useful tips. They will enable you to judge the quality of the plants easily and instantly. You need not wait for the growing and flowering period.
TIPS Take the propagating pot in your hand and turn it upside down. Loosen the root ball by tapping the bottom of the pot several times and carefully remove the pot from the root ball (as the pictures illustrate below). Attention: If you plant immediately, you need not put the root ball back into the pot!
The quality of the root ball determines the quality of the plant you have bought. The following pictures give an impression of the quality you may expect.
This image show a badly developed rootball.
The roots should clearly show in the whole root ball. As a matter of fact, they keep the root ball together. If you compare several varieties, you will see that not all plants have the same roots. That’s because they are of different species. The differences between plants are not limited to the parts above the soil (stems, leaves, flower and growing habit). Some varieties have thicker roots than others. That doesn’t tell much about the quality.
What counts is the well-rooted root ball as a whole. The larger it is – so the more roots – the better and the stronger the plant will be. The larger propagating pots which we use for our plants for several years now have the aim to cultivate a larger plant of better quality.
This does not mean that a plant in a larger pot is automatically a better plant! A very small plant in a large pot is really not better than a very small plant in a small pot. The quality of the plant in a larger pot will only be better if that plant has been given the time to grow into a larger and stronger plant in that larger pot than would have been possible in a small pot.
P.S. Plant these garden products (and the rest) as soon as possible! If they are not stored under optimum conditions, the quality can quickly deteriorate!