Why Does This Plant Cost So Much?

Why Does This Plant Cost So Much?

Many plants are very reasonably priced, of course. As our last blog post indicated, many plants cost less than we spend on cocktails when we go out to dinner! But other plants are more of an investment and this makes people wonder about the pricing of some varieties. These photos, taken at Iseli Nursery in Oregon, illustrate why some plants cost more. The photos show a weeping spruce over many years of growth. You can see that before this plant is even three feet tall it has been repotted several times. It has also been staked so that the leader is upright to make an attractive plant.

Not only has the tree been repotted and staked several times, but it’s been watered and fertilized as well. The grower has kept that plant and tended it for several years before it is large enough to be sent to the garden center and planted in your landscape. So next time you question the price of a plant, picture this line-up and remember the years of cultivation that have gone into your selection…not to mention the years of enjoyment that you’ll receive in the future!

For dwarf or specialty conifers in particular the grower much tend those plants for years before they are large enough to sell. So you will frequently find that plants that are slow growing cost more than plants that grow quickly.
How the tree looks from youth to adulthood at the grower. Each of these plants represents one year of growth. So the tallest plant has been at this nursery for 16 years. That’s 16 years of care that has gone into that one plant!

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