One of the main elements of the landscape is the use of plants. Plants provide interesting places for the eye to dwell, as well as providing soothing scenery and even contributing to the energy efficiency of a home. Unfortunately, the costs associated with purchasing plants for use in your landscape can be rather steep. In order to save money and use you landscape budget wisely, it is important to buy cheap plants.
Just because a plant is cheap, however, does not mean that it is low quality. Be sure that the plant you are buying is free of disease, and that it is in generally good health. Purchasing a plant for a rock bottom price may only result in you having to go out and buy another plant if your wilted or diseased “find” dies shortly after planting. Planting can be a traumatic thing, so you want a plant that will survive and then flourish.
Another thing to keep in mind when purchasing inexpensive plants is to think about the maintenance costs on down the road. A cheap plant may in actuality end up having a great many care needs. You may spend more taking care of the plant than is worth the savings of an initial bargain.
Where to Buy
Inexpensive plants can be found in a variety of places. Most people buy them at big box home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. There are even plants available at some WalMart and Kmart stores. These plants are often very cheap, but many of them have not received proper care, and may not be healthy enough to survive planting. One sliver of peace of mind that stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s offer is that these places offer guarantees of up to one year, so if your plant dies, you can be compensated.
Nurseries are great places to find healthy, professionally cared for plants. These are a little more expensive, but they are often of a higher quality. If you are looking for a bargain at a nursery, they can still be found, however.
Many nurseries have a clearance table full of unpopular plants or plants that they plan to discontinue carrying. These are often discounted dramatically. Additionally, going to end of season sales can help you find good prices on the plants that nurseries have to offer. Most nurseries also provide plant guarantees, and you can receive expert help and advice if you are a novice.
The Internet also offers cheap plant deals. It is possible to order online and have your plants shipped. Online providers often provide a variety of seeds and starts that can be shipped without incurring too much damage, and that are very inexpensive. Check to see if your online plant provider has a guarantee, however, and make sure that the costs of shipping do not make the plants more expensive.
Seeds and Starts
Other ways that you can reduce your plant buying costs is to choose plants that are seeds or starts. These are available online or in stores and nurseries. A packet of seeds costs less than a start, and starts cost significantly less than plants that are already growing.
Choosing smaller plants not only reduces the amount of money that you pay up front, but it also reduces the amount of money you pay later in maintenance. Mature plants require more care when they are first planted, and they also require more water and maintenance. So, while you do not have to purchase tiny plants, you can purchase plants that are off to a good start but that have not reached maturity.
Related to the idea of choosing plants that are smaller, is selecting slower growing plants. While these may take longer to fill in your landscape, if you plan accordingly you can save a great deal of money and still have an attractive yard. Rapidly growing plants require more care and the maintenance costs are often much more than the costs associated with their slower growing counterparts. Choosing slow growing plants is a great way to save money in the long run.
Looking for cheap plants for landscape can be a fun adventure as you search for the best deal. Just remember that the best deal is not always the cheapest plant. The best deal is a plant that is reasonably priced, healthy, and has low cost maintenance requirements.