Pick Your Plants Prudently

Are you pondering new plantings for your spring landscape? Nurseries offer a range of plant sizes to accommodate your varying needs, including budget and landscaping goals.

Before you begin your project, consider the advantages and disadvantages, such as plant watering requirements, of your options.

  • Small plants are budget-friendly. Four-inch perennials can be purchased for less than $5 each, allowing you to stock up and save your dollars for other garden needs such as mulch, edging and tools. Going this route, however, requires more patience. Achieving a mature and finished-looking landscape may take several months or even years. Smaller plants also are inherently weaker and susceptible to damage.
  • Large plants provide instant gratification. When purchased in 1 gallon or larger pots, they create a bed that is more mature in appearance. Of course, larger plants are more costly and difficult to transport. We would all love to plant a tree and see it cast a blanket of soothing shade within a few short years. But double-digit-sized pots can cost several hundred dollars, not to mention digging the large hole for a large tree may be an entire weekend project.
  • Choosing the right size plant is rooted in careful planning. Know your budget and know your gardening goals, such as a recreational landscape versus an aesthetically pleasing one, before making a trip to the nursery.

As always, we encourage you to choose low-water plants. If you’re still unsure about how to proceed, speak to your local nursery professional or have a SAWS Conservation consultant visit your home to guide you through the planning process.

Picture of Erin Conant
Erin Conant
Erin Conant has a passion for all things related to plants. Our former SAWS conservation consultant is now at home with her family passionately establishing their own urban farm and spreading the word of water conservation.
Dig Deeper

Find expert advice on garden basics, landscape design, watering and year-round maintenance.