Bare root perennials

It’s kind of been like Christmas here with packages arriving from the online shopping I did in January. I do a mix of shopping locally and online just because of what I am looking for and price, to be honest. I did try a couple of new companies this year, so I’ll report on how those did during the growing season.

I had ordered from Michigan Bulb for the first time. Reviews on them are pretty mixed, so I guess you can get lucky or not. I was a little hesitant to order for that reason, but willing to give them a try since they had some of what I was looking for on sale.

They included a free plant, which is always nice. This is obviously not a bare root, but a little plug:


It’s a chrysanthemum. I’ve only bought fall mums – never any of the spring planted ones, so this will be fun. It was a little too early and cold to put this one outside, so I potted it up in a little container to start its growth inside.

I had also ordered an azalea and it was just a small plug, pretty much bare root. I should have gotten a picture of that as well, but I decided to also pot that  up just for the best chance of survival. It put on leaves very quickly, but I should have known someone in the house might take a nibble – even though this was on a window sill in the kitchen where she stays away from for the most part.


Nibble, nibble. This is why I can’t have nice things! My seedlings have been in the spare bedroom with the door closed to keep her away from them, but I didn’t think she would go for something up high. Guess I was wrong. I’ve been putting this on top of the fridge when it comes in at night so she can’t get to it anymore.

Anyway, this is how my other bare roots came.


Just in some potting mix and in a plastic bag. The first time I bought a bare root, it was unnerving to be sent what looks like a heap of dead plant material, but dormancy is just that. The plants are sleeping and can take the shipping this way, amazingly. I have sent out bare root to people as well. It just saves money on shipping to not send soil (not to mention other things in the soil).

I am trying some red hot pokers again, aka torch lilies (Kniphofia). I tried these a few years ago and they never flowered and died after the second year. Not exactly sure why I am trying again…


These are easy to plant because you can see what’s what.

I also have some foxgloves. I have another order of foxgloves from American Meadows coming next month and I forget if they are bare root or potted. Probably potted if they are shipping in May. Anyway, these are harder to figure out:


There are 3 plants in that mess.

Hopefully these will do well. I have to change the spot they were going to be in now that our fence is gone! I am waiting until tomorrow to plant these in the ground. We have one more really cold night and then it won’t be so bad, so I didn’t want to take the chance of them freezing newly planted.

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One thought on “Bare root perennials

  1. You are more adventurous than me. I just feel like I need to see the plant and usually the color of the bloom before I buy it. I might order some bulbs for the fall, although Costco has a bigger variety every year. The lilies I got for the spring planting were really nice sized bulbs.

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