Field of Science

Winning the plant lottery

You don't shop at big box stores for the best plants.  Sometimes even the labelling is iffy and the plants are not necessarily in the best condition. So TPP seldom shops in such stores, but then 2 years ago, a big box was the only store, the only nursery, the only plant purveyor who had red currant plants. While shopping for something else, TPP was lured by the end of season plant sale, and there were some nicely shaped magnolia shrubs for $20. And the label said, Magnolia x loebneri, which TPP did not have.  Generally this magnolia is similar to star magnolia, which is one of the parents, and it isn't easy to tell them apart in the vegetative condition. But for $20 the worst that could happen would be you get another star magnolia cheaply and the shrubs had a nice shape and they were in good shape for the time of year. It also goes without saying, that when it comes to new plants, all gardeners are basically cheapskates always looking for a deal. Well, this spring the new magnolia is waking up, and the flowers are a lovely pink. Yes! It's like winning the plant lottery. Generally, Loebner's magnolia does have pinkish petals, but this particular plant has really pink flowers and is quite handsome, especially for $20.

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