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  • OT: Confusion at Home Depot

    I live in Central Florida and depending who you listen to, we are Zone 9a or 9b. Today it is raining so the only thing to do is go to Home Depot. Inside their enclosed gardening center, they have a beautiful display with plants from their "Garden Club' selection. These include 3 kinds of blue berries, 2 black berries, 2 raspberries, 3 grapes and 2 strawberries. I've been wanting some blueberries so I picked one up (think it was labeled as Jersey). When I turned the package over, it said hardiness zones were 6-8. I asked three different employees why they sell things for zone 8 in a zone 9 climate and no one knew how to answer. Shame, I REALLY wanted to try growing some blue berries. So the question is am I wrong? Would these blue berries, designated for zones 6-8 thrive here in zone 9 or is Home Depot selling plants that don't have much of a chance to do well here? I did buy a Heritage Raspberry (zones 3-9).
    Edward - Edgewater, Florida (Zone 9b)
    Wish List: Holy Smokes, U. Prosciutto, Ham Rham, Labritja

  • #2
    Hey admin IT, is there a way to move this thread to the blueberry forum?

    Home depot stores have no control over what they get. It just shoes up and they sell it.

    Their employees typically know little to nothing and are a poor source for info, you may find that the plant in question is labeled wrong or the info is wrong. Even if it is correct, you are 1 in 1000 who even looked at the zoning on the box and they will all be gone in a few days.

    There is far better places to get blueberries in Florida, I would look at this as dodging a bullet.

    Hit up WillsC, I bet he has some appropriate Blueberries bushes for sale.
    Last edited by COGardener; 02-06-2016, 07:56 PM.
    Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

    “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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    • Kelby
      Kelby commented
      Editing a comment
      We can move it, Scott. I'll do it.

    • COGardener
      COGardener commented
      Editing a comment
      Awesome. .... who knew.

      Thanks Kelby!

  • #3
    I believe your biggest problem with northern varieties is a lack of chilling hours. But the experts can weigh in better here on the blueberry forum!
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

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    • #4
      I don't as a rule sell BB bushes. Sometimes we have a "group buy" but that is a lot of work for me.

      Jersey is a northern high bush. Why Home Depot and Lowes sell them here is beyond me. Same with grapes, we just can't grow northern grapes here like concords due to Pierces disease. The northern highbush just will not grow and fruit here well or at all. As Kelby said we just dont have the chill hours for it but the southern highbush BB are better anyway. Lowes and Homedepot will sell highbush BB a bit later in the year, mid March they should show up.

      Hate to say it but Heritage won't work either. If you plant it it will fruit the first year then that is it........same reason, not enough chill and the humidity and bugs will tear it apart. The only decent raspberry you can grow here and it is a black raspberry is "mysore". The fruit is good but the plants have fish hooks for thorns and it will bloom in February so very often the fruit crop is completely lost to frost. I got a decent crop 1/3 years till I gave up on them. If you want to try it I do have volunteers I can dig up and send you.
      Cutting sales start Nov 1 at 9PM eastern time as always at willsfigs.com

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      • #5
        Basically, you need to research the proper varieties for your area before you go to a big box store looking for nursery stock. You can't depend on getting the varieties that work in your area by reading their tags.
        Jennings, Southwest Louisiana, Zone 9a

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        • #6
          Thanks Wills, I would appreciate that. Something else to get me out of the house!!!
          Edward - Edgewater, Florida (Zone 9b)
          Wish List: Holy Smokes, U. Prosciutto, Ham Rham, Labritja

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          • #7
            From what I understand, northern blueberries in the deep south suffer from the heat and the lack of chill hours. Yes to the Pierce's Disease on northern grapes east of the Mississippi. That rack that you see the Jersey blueberries and Heritage raspberries on is a standard issue with the same varieties sent to all Home Depots and that is is the way it is and is a shame. Two years ago, I asked the man in charge of the buying and merchandising for HD Southern Division about this and he did not like my question. I will leave it at that.
            PPP
            Eatonton, GA zone 7b/8a

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            • #8
              At least in my area (Tampa Bay), HD is notorious for selling varieties of fruiting plants that can't grow in Florida. I think Lowes generally has a much better selection of blueberries, grapes, blackberries and figs that are suited for our climate.

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              • COGardener
                COGardener commented
                Editing a comment
                All big box stores everywhere sell whatever the DC sends them. The store has little to no control over what they get, how it is displayed nor what is on the tags. Most stores don't even own the plants, the get a commission on the sale of the plant.

                Ever notice annuals and Bi-annuals being sold as perennials? It is all marketing, and like anything else buyer beware.

                Also, many big box stores sell highly invasive species, ever see a warning on the label?

            • #9
              I'm convinced it's a marketing scam. Either the person in charge of ordering these fruit trees is just clueless or they know what there doing equals more money in the long run. You have to figure at least 80% of the fruit trees bought from HD never make it past a year. Most people have no idea what a chill hour is, the difference between northern and southern anything or how to properly feed/water/prune a tree to maturity. So when it dies with in the year or two years they end up back a HD to buy another plant. In my opinion it should be illegal! Praying on the unknowing for $. Piss poor way to run a business and speaks volumes of the top flight of HD!

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              • #10
                In Fl Jersey might leaf out by June if at all. NHB are very sensitive to lack of chilling. They need a long dormant season with at least 1000 high quality chilling hrs. They are the most chill sensitive fruit I've tried to grow. Selling them in FL is petty theft or should be. On the scale that big box stores do it I'd say felony fraud.
                Alpine, Texas 4500ft elevation Zone 7
                http://growingfruit.org/

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                • #11
                  Steve,

                  I agree completely. I once contacted Lowes to tell them the Mysore raspberry plants they sell sometimes had the wrong picture. The fruit is button shaped and black when ripe. They had on the tag a large red elongated raspberry. After moving up the chain and talking to one of Lowes corporate "horticulturists" and he arguing and than finally conceding the picture was wrong they agreed to change it. A year later I go in and see now that the picture of the fruit is indeed black but it is still a elongated 1/2 long+ berry. Last I saw they have now switched it back to the picture of the fruit as red. My guess is the change in pictures hurt sales so they switched it back.....it is deliberate fraud.
                  Cutting sales start Nov 1 at 9PM eastern time as always at willsfigs.com

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