Spring garden plants and flowers are now on clearance sale at significantly reduced prices, and that may or may not translate into a good deal for you. The retailers desire to get rid of the plants does not necessarily mean they are defective, but rather that their time for planting or blooming has past this season and the retailer needs the shelf space to market plants that produce vegetables or flowers in the summer. Follow these guidelines for buying clearance sale garden plants so the retailers loss will be your gardening gain.
All plants should have green, up-right, healthy-looking leaves with no discolorations. If the leaves are yellow, it means the plant has received too much water and is on the verge of drowning. If the plant has brown leaves it has not received enough water and is de-hydrated. You can nurse a garden plant back to health from either of these two issues, so go ahead and buy it at clearance price. However, if the garden plant has black spots on its leaves it has a disease and you don’t want it.
Take a look under the plant’s leaves to see if there are signs of pest infestation. Pest typically hideout under leaves to help avoid detection, and some pest are so tiny they may actually look like part of the plant, so look for tiny dots on the bottom of the leaf that are not on the leaf top.
Also inspect the leaves for holes and ragged edges, either are signs of pests feeding on the plant. Leave that plant and that particular nursery and go elsewhere to buy garden plants and flowers. If one plant is infested (clearance sale or not) usually other plants will be infested, if you bring an infested plant into your garden or home, the pests will spread there too.
Look at the soil in the container. Does it have a grayish-white substance growing on top or does it look rich and black? A grayish-white substance is mold or fungus in the soil and it will cause the plant to be unhealthy, pass on buying that clearance sale plant. Smell of the soil, does it smell soured or moldy? If so, pass it up too. Poor soil usually means a sick plant.
Look at the bottom drainage holes of the container. Are plant roots sticking out? If so, the plant is root bound, but that’s not always a bad thing. If it’s root bound, yet looks healthy on top and you can immediately re-pot it into a large pot or into the ground, take a chance on the clearance priced plant. A root bound plant has just been living in a too-small pot and needs more soil in which to stretch its roots. Gently unwind some of the roots when re-planting and be patience, the plant may be slightly stunted and need a little time to adjust.