@funcountess Big Box plants may be "zoned" for your area, but are probably are not grown in your area unless you live in a very small part of the SE US wherenthey grow things on huge plantations. The plants may or may not be the best specific cultiver for your area. Then they are dug, put into crates and sent to potting centers, potted then crowded onto racks and trucked to local distribution centers, held there until ordered by the stores, put in another truck and sent to the store, offloaded and tended by employees who may or may have any knowledge of plant care. Along the way, the may be subjected to heat, cold, darkness, lack of water, too much water…
Local wholesale nurseries grow their own plants or get them from a nearby grower, pot them, and deliver to the local retail nursery or the customer for sale or planting. The local growers know the best and most successful cultivars for your exact area, climate, soil type and rainfall.
Which palnts do you think would be happier and more successful?