Dormant Plants Offer Many Advantages
When you landscape with dormant plants, you take advantage of their natural life cycle. In the fall, plants let go of foliage and flowers and store large reserves of carbohydrates. In the winter, they reduce their metabolic activity to survive cold temperatures and snowfall. In their dormant stage, they often appear lifeless. In reality, they're just getting ready to emerge in the spring bigger and better than before. That's why shipping plants in their dormant state is the best way to deliver a healthy, ready-to-grow plant.
A fast-growing landscape shrub starts with the roots! Dormant plants, like the K. van Bourgondien shrub on the left, have healthy, fibrous root systems, unlike the pot-bound example on the right.
This large, well-hydrated, dormant iris rhizome will emerge when the conditions are right. The dry foliage on it won't cause any issues.
Dormant plants and bulbs offer landscapers a distinct advantage over potted plants. An actively growing potted plant is much more sensitive to weather conditions. Before planting outside, you must make sure the conditions are just right—not too sunny and not too cold—or the potted plant may suffer or even die. Bareroots and bulbs give you a longer planting window. This makes them great for landscapers who are often juggling planting with mowing and other maintenance projects. Bareroots and bulbs leaf out when the timing and temperatures are right—and they perform better and mature more quickly than potted plants.
Not only is a dormant plant best for planting, it's best for shipping, too. We learned many years ago there's no more reliable way to provide our customers with healthy, ready-to-grow products.
Dormant plants are the better choice for landscapers. Here's why:
By planting ornamentals in a dormant state, you'll grow healthier plants with more vibrant displays.
The roots on this peony are well developed. No worries about it being pot-bound. While this peony's buds are ready to explode with growth, they aren't breaking growth yet.
There are lots of reasons for landscapers to plant dormant perennials and bulbs rather than potted plants.
Patience is the key to growing dormant plants. Rest assured, your patience will be rewarded. With time, your plants will emerge from their humble beginnings and flourish.
Just remember that when your package arrives, the dormant plants and bulbs may be discolored and look disfigured. They are not dead or in poor health. Like people, plants come in all sizes and shapes. This does not limit their potential.
For homeowners accustomed to seeing live, potted plants, dormant roots can be a different experience. Instead of seeing leafed out and blooming plants, they may be unsettled to see dried up plant material. You may need to educate them that perfectly healthy dormant plants look this way. Iris rhizomes are a good example:
Shipping States of Healthy Iris Rhizomes
Depending on the time of year they're shipped, dormant plants can arrive in different stages. Iris rhizomes are a perfect example. If shipped early, they may still have some green foliage. If shipped later, the foliage may be dried. All will perform equally well after planting.
Here's a quick guide to determine if your dormant plant is healthy and ready to plant.