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Science-based gardening information, videos, & resources created for Colorado communities with support from Green Industry.

2021 – Misleading Plant Advertisements   arrow

After a long winter indoors, gardeners yearn for spring and the growing season. Magazines fill with enticing pictures of flowers and sumptuous looking vegetables just waiting to be planted. It is hard to resist wanting to try that new variety. Some ads are obviously misleading with pictures of plants with unbelievable growth; whereas with other ads it may be more difficult to determine if the plant would be worth a try.

One way to help make purchasing decisions is to carefully check the zone that plant is supposed to be grown in. If the description is for a perennial in zone 2 to 8, you shouldn’t expect success in Colorado. Read descriptions carefully for words like tropical, heat and humidity, prefers humid moist soil, semi hardy, damp, or other indications of a different climate than that in Colorado. Special trees and lawn grass seed mixtures are also heavily advertised with hard-to-believe results. Check with your local nursery to verify the authenticity of these ads or call your local extension office for advice.

An often-advertised tree tomato growing 15 feet tall or more will not produce fruit under normal conditions in Colorado. The fruit is not juicy and it doesn’t taste like a tomato. Don’t be disappointed by expecting over-hyped plant advertisements. Exercise common sense and rely on the experience of other Colorado gardeners. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

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