The first bear of the year
Getting plant names right – and up to date

Don't buy hostas from Home Depot

Hosta,Home Depot,Lowe's,wrong name, Image: © All rights reserved. Just back from a trip to Home Depot (for Brits: that's like B&Q only much much bigger).

Naturally, we took a look at the plants and found their hosta labelling in complete chaos  The two hostas in the picture (click it to enlarge) were both labelled 'Albomarginata'. And elsewhere in the display the one on the left was labelled 'Fragrant Bouquet' and the one on the right was labelled 'Golden Tiara'! Even allowing for the fact that all the plants were very soft and had clearly been forced, and for the fact that the foliage of young plants is often not typical of mature specimens - well, it's entirely possible that none of the names are right! 

So go to a specialist for your hostas.

In the interests of balance it's only fair to say that when we stopped later at Home Depot's big competitor, Lowe's, I found the one petunia with two different names. But at least one of them was right.


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The hosta issue is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to plant husbandry at the mass merchants. The box stores answer to your post would most likely be, "it's not our fault, blame our supplier." It seems no one is accountable. See my post today.

Graham Rice

It's depressing, Trey, isn't it? The fact is that they just don't care. And would it be the suppliers' fault if the boxes of one inch screws were labeled three-quarter inch screws? I don't think so. It would be fixed.

Susan Harris

Well, here's something that's depressing - HD's Garden Club is finding fans. Gardening neighbors rave about it. It's doing what the indies should and hopefully will be doing before too long - connecting online with their customers.

Graham Rice

You're right, and it doesn't take much to set something up.

I suppose one of these days I'll have to join the HD Garden Club to see what loyal customers have to say about HD. Tough to find the motivation (and the time) though.

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