The Best Way To Save Money On Hydrangeas For The Garden

Falling in love with a flower and purchasing the plants is a bit like having kids; they're cute when they're small, and with dedication, the right nutrients, and a ton of money, they eventually blossom into their full beauty. If you're a beginner hydrangea gardener, you may not know that they are among the world's more expensive plants. Although you can purchase large amounts of individual flowers at wholesale prices, individual stems can cost $5 each, and a shrub can cost from $35 and into the hundreds for a small tree in full bloom. But a fantastic way to save money on hydrangeas is to buy plants with no blooms in April instead of more mature plants with blossoms in June.

Timing is important for hydrangeas to flourish. They should normally be planted in late spring, well after the danger of the last frost has passed, or early fall, before the ground gets too cold, often about six weeks before the first cold snap. Though some gardeners like to purchase hydrangeas in bloom, the secret sauce to getting a superb, lower-cost deal, like a ten-dollar plant versus a $40 plant, is to buy early and get a plant without blooms. 

Slow and steady wins the race

You can't expect a garden to blossom overnight, but there's tremendous satisfaction in nurturing plants from seedling to full adulthood, and eventually, your tenacity will pay off in a blaze of color. When buying a baby plant, we recommend you inspect it first to make sure there is visible new, aka green, growth. Look for green buds popping out anywhere along the stems or the beginnings of leaves poking through the soil. The stems should be sturdy and, well, alive. Hydrangeas are perennials, and a baby could take from a few months to two to five years to produce blossoms. 

When it comes to what size to buy, a larger plant (two-gallon or bigger) might yield blooms faster than quart-sized or gallon-sized plants. But if you're feeling impatient, know that in the first year or so, you'll want your hydrangeas to develop a robust root system anyway for maximum longevity. With proper pruning, they can last from ten to 20 years. That's an incredible return on a ten-dollar investment! Some good places to find hydrangeas include Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, and your local nurseries. Though you can actually buy hydrangea plants online at Target and online florists, we recommend you check them out in person instead.