There is an abundance of cheap garden plants suited to those on a budget; you just need to know which to choose in order to ensure healthy growth and a vibrant display.
Value, after all, is best measured by how the plant performs once it is in the ground. Here, we have plenty of gardening tips and tricks, all of which are guaranteed to help you get more for your money…
How to fill your garden with an array of plants without spending a fortune
If you know where to look, it’s extremely possible to get quality cheap garden plants at a great price. First things first, if you’re shopping at a brick-and-mortar store, shop locally.
The likes of honesty boxes and local farms will often sell cuttings at a much lower price than garden centers. You may even be able to swap cuttings with your neighbours, especially if you both have plants the other wants.
Plant fairs are also a great idea – it’s here you’ll often find an array of potted plants for extremely low prices. In addition to this, some garden centers will offer ex-display tables or a discount section, where more mature or slightly damaged plants will be available to purchase at a low cost.
Most of these cheap garden plants are in perfectly good condition and can be easily nurtured back to health.
Alternatively, start from scratch (especially if you have the time) with seeds – although they take longer to grow, they are a fraction of the cost of more mature plants.
How to make your garden bloom on a budget
With the exception of snowdrops, it’s wise to avoid buying spring bulbs that are already housed in containers, regardless of how tempting they look.
Spring bulbs are in fact best purchased and established in late summer or autumn when they are dried. If you choose to buy flowering bulbs in a pot, you’ll likely pay more than you need to.
Avoid plants that have already flowered
When looking for cheap garden plants from a garden center, avoid those that are already showcasing flowers. Asides from costing more, they’ll likely die quicker. Instead, look for plants that boast a nice healthy clump at the bottom and lots of rich green foliage.
This will essentially allow you to divide the plant in two, meaning you will get two for the price of one. Spring is the ideal time to divide plants – simply break up the plant you’ve purchased, making sure each clump has roots, and plant them in individual pots.
When the plants are established, you’ll have two or three healthy plants for the price of just one.
It’s important to remember that plants from garden centers in flower always command a significant price premium over those that are yet to flower.
Additionally, opt for perennials at the end of the season, as they are likely to boast discounted prices.
Keep on trend, and more importantly on budget, by nurturing succulents – such as crassula and haworthia. You can do this by buying a larger pot brimming with smaller plants, as opposed to an array of individual plants. When you get the pot home, simply separate them and plant them in different locations.
Keep different succulents apart though, as it can encourage insect infestations, and ensure they have plenty of water. For best results, ensure your cheap garden plants have plenty of gravel and get the correct amount of sunlight.
Avoid expensive containers
As well as sticking to a budget when it comes to buying plants, it’s also important to do likewise when it comes to containers. The likes of teacups, old boots, watering cans, buckets, and dustbins can all be used as growing vessels.
Plant both seedlings and cuttings in these containers, which cost a lot less than mature plants, and watch them grow. Repurposed containers, asides from being free, make a great garden statement.
Local buying and selling groups
Re-use spent compost. Instead of buying fresh soil every time you plant new seeds, simply re-use soil from vegetable beds. You’ll be surprised how much remains once you have removed ready-to-eat vegetables from the ground.
Whether you are looking for tools, plants, seeds, or even a shed, it’s a good idea to check your local buy and sell groups. Some of the items listed could even be free!
If people are moving house or continent, they will happily give away an array of unwanted items, provided that you are prepared to collect them.
Buy seeds online
You can find a number of respected online seed sellers, where packets are priced for as little as 50p. You’ll also find a much bigger range of products online. If you have the time and a larger space to work with, seeds are the most cost-effective option. You can achieve dozens or even hundreds of plants for just a few pounds.
It’s also an extremely rewarding experience. The likes of nasturtiums and foxgloves are great choices as both will self-seed, meaning they’ll give you free plants year after year.
If you see an incredible specimen plant with a hefty price tag, use the Internet to look into a cheaper alternative. For example, Acers can be very expensive, but you can create a similar effect with a cherry, or Amelanchier plant for a fraction of the cost.
Buy in bulk
If you have a huge garden to fill, look for cheap garden plants that you can buy in bulk! Ordering a number of plants from a warehouse or online is a cost-effective way to fill your garden for less.
It’s also important to remember that bigger shrubs, despite their size, don’t always cost more. Smaller plants can be just as expensive.
Check out the local forestry commission
For trees, it’s always a good idea to check out your local forestry commission, which will often undercut the costs of items stocked in bigger garden centers.
They’ll also sell native species during the dormant season, which again can be found for a much lower cost.
If you are on a budget, remember that summer bedding plants are an extremely expensive option. It’s a much better idea to spend money on perennials that promise to bloom year after year.
Perennials come in the shape of speedy growing plants that are extremely cost-effective– they will also allow you to create a mature-looking garden within just a couple of years.
If you’re intent on buying bedding plants, grow your own from seedlings. Foxgloves, Echinacea, Aquilegia, Dianthus, and Verbena can all be purchased easily and at low cost and will fill your garden with colour every year if looked after.
Buy smaller shrubs
It’s often more cost-effective to buy an array of smaller, cheaper plants than one large one – this is especially the case if you have a large area to fill.
The likes of flowering evergreens may initially take longer to grow, but once established, they’ll last for a long time.
Use gravel instead of grass
Gravel gardens are a much cheaper option than grass gardens and using this material is an easy way to tidy up a large area. Gravel creates a modern effect that looks good from day one!
It also allows you to get away with buying much smaller plants to place elsewhere.
Do it yourself
Instead of hiring a gardener and paying them hourly for manual labour, build your garden yourself! This is a rewarding and fun experience and one that will ensure you stay fit!
Not only will you save on gardening costs, but you’ll also save on gym costs too! Gardening is a great hobby to have and one that anyone can do if they’re willing to learn the basics.
If you’re unsure of what to plant where simply look to guide books or YouTube videos for inspiration and tutorials.
Start growing some plants. Should you prefer flowers or plants, garden centers, and online florists have an abundance of choice, many of which offer same and next day flower delivery.
Sources: housebeautiful.com, rhs.org.uk