Not every green-fingered connoisseur has the funds to buy new plants each and every season. This doesn’t however have to equate to a drab or bare garden. After all, the sign of a beautiful garden is not how much money has been spent on it, but the design, how well it’s cared for, and the choice of plants.
Good quality plants don’t have to break the bank, and with seeds, cuttings, and plant sales, a garden can be made to look like a paradise…
Top Tips for Buying Good Quality Cheap Plants
Late summer and spring sales
Many garden centers, including brick and mortar venues and online stores, host summer and spring plant sales in order to clear out inventories.
Buying plants at the end of summer and the beginning of spring is not only a great way to secure a bargain, but it’s also a fantastic time to plant an array of species.
Which cheap plants to avoid
Although you can find a number of cheap plants in the spring and summer months, not all will be good quality.
Certain shrubs will have lost their blooms, their leaves may be a little lackluster and their branches wilted or broken. In addition to this, not all plants will show their flowers, which means, you won’t know what colour you’re buying. If you have a color-scheme in mind, buying cheap plants at this time of year isn’t always a good idea.
Best cheap plants to buy
If you’re unsure what cheap plants may be best for your garden, we’ve provided some inspiration to make your choices slightly easier…
Azaleas and rhododendrons: If buying these species in the sale, they won’t have blooms, which means you won’t know what colour their flowers are, although their tags should indicate their hue.
Tropical plants: The likes of bougainvillea and hibiscus plants are always reduced at the end of summer. In order to ensure they last the winter, place them in a sunny place indoors and transplant in spring.
Annuals: These plants are reduced in late summer and early spring because they’re unable to weather the cold. As soon as the first signs of frost come, they’ll perish. With this in mind, it’s likely these plants will only survive a few months, nonetheless, they’ll add an instant injection of colour to your garden.
Plants with broken branches: Damaged plants are cheap plants all year round – just like dented cars, plants with defects (including broken branches) are great bargains. Nevertheless, one broken branch does not make a bad plant, and providing the plant looks healthy, this shouldn’t affect future growth.
Lost tags: Many garden centers will sell plants without tags for a marked-down price. Although you’ll be aware of the plant family, a plant without a tag won’t tell you the species or colour. If you have empty space in your garden to fill, buying plants without tags can save you a great deal of money.
Cuttings are one of the most prevalent and discernible ways to create new plants. You can grow them through rooting, layering, dividing, or simply by transplanting the plant.
This is a cost-effective way to add to an otherwise unembellished garden. You can take cuttings from your own plants or alternatively, the gardens’ of friends and family – provided you ask permission first!
Just as old furniture needs to be salvaged, so do plants. Unwanted plants, with the right care, can be nursed back to health, adding colour and life to plant pots, patios, or in plant beds.
Garden centers often throw away plants that have been returned, are out of season, or have broken branches, so it’s always worth asking if they have anything that they don’t intend to sell.
Choose birthday presents wisely
If you simply don’t have the funds to buy new plants, yet dream of growing your garden, when your friends and family ask you what you want for a birthday gift, ask for a plant!
That way, those gifting you can get you something you actually want and your garden can benefit too!
Instead of buying plants that have already matured, you could opt to buy a packet of seeds.
This is one of the most inexpensive ways to create a garden. From herbs to flowers, to vegetables and more exotic plant species, there are seeds to suit all.
The best thing about growing plants from scratch is that you can watch each stage of growth and enjoy a great sense of achievement when the plants are in full bloom.