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Clearance plants - savings thrill

Posted by kandm 8b (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 20, 08 at 17:20

The past few weeks I have had a lot of luck finding plants on the clearance aisle at Lowes. Whoever the vendors are here, they are very over zealous about what they consider to be a damaged plant. Besides that, no one seems to venture into the clearance section at my local store, it's all the way in the back, yet the deals are amazing.

I found big beautiful Boston Ferns and Hydrangeas for $4. Jackson Perkins roses with multiple canes for $6, pansy *flats* for $3, day liles for $2. OMGosh, the deals. They were rolled around in the wind was the reason for being on clearance (hahahaha). All of these things were snapped up and are doing fine in my garden. The day lilies especially got me, they all had multiple healthy buds on them but were marked as clearance.

I remember the older woman behind me heard the clerk telling me the prices for the different plants and was amazed. She heard $6 for the JP roses and couldn't contain her self. lol

Any other stories about your best deal on plants/garden stuff?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Clearance plants - savings thrill

Nothing thrills me like a bargain too. Way to go! You are in zone 8 and I am in 5 so there are no bargains here this early. What the big box stores do is to put all plants in the sun and wind, even shade plants, then not water them until they are all withered and dry or completely dead. So sad to see that happen but every year it is the same. But I did get a free plant from my neighbor today, does that count? She bought a potted Hydrangea and let it go dry. Saw me working outside and brought it to me. I put it in a dishpan and top and bottom watered it, left it to soak for 10 minutes. I can bring it back and will have another Hydrangea, that will make 22!
Enjoy your bargains, bet you feel like you won the lottery!
trowelgal


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The thing that got me was that these plants were all healthy. I didn't believe they were on clearance, I had my boyfriend "guard " the stuff until I found a manager to confirm it lol.


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Longtime lurker, learner and cheapskate here who just HAD to post about Lowes... I swung in last weekend after picking up gorgeous free plants from a generous friend met here in our local forum (and hit a few great yard sales in between too). Drove home feeling I'd won the lottery; a very healthy J&P rose just starting to bud for 50 cents, gallon multi blue clematis for $4, knock out roses for $2, grapes $2, same for asiatic lillies I cut and put in vase then planted... I forced myself to pass up the $4 hydrangea as I've had poor results w/all mopheads, but they too were worth it just for the current cut flowers. Other annuals and ground covers, boxed peonies and clematis too... Lowes is well worth checking out!

Happy frugal gardening to all and sincere thanks for the tips and motivation/inspiration!
Leslie


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OMG I need to go to Lowes!!!!!!!!


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For the past year, I have had a deal with a Lowes where I live. If they put racks of clearance together and call me with a good price for it all, I will haul every bit of it away, including the dead stuff (I want that dirt!). It has cut their work drastically, they are able to write off the plants in a way that saves them a lot of money, and their other customers are shopping the pretty and expensive plants instead of going straight to clearance. Some weeks I get 10 racks of plants, and, depending on what it is, I pay anywhere from $10-$50 per rack. Once I get it home, I take out the plants I want to keep, dump the dead stuff in the compost heap and put the good dirt in the gardens or landscaping. Then I divide up the rest into "units" and call out people I know want buttloads of plants cheap. I am only after the money I spent on the plants + maybe an extra $10-20 a week for gas and the time involved in getting it all to my house. It usually works out to a pickup truck full of plants for $20. I have a "Free Plants for Nice People" sign for the stuff no one wants - usually giant landscaping shrubs or indoor tropicals.

Find the manager at your Lowes when there are a lot of clearance racks and ask them if she/he can give you a price for an entire rack of plants. It never hurts to try! I've gotten probably $10K-15K in plants free in the past year. It's crazy!


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Lowes really is having some bargains with clearances early in the season now. I've gotten small tree saplings for a penny each, flats of impatiens and periwinkle for $0.25 -
a quarter for the entire flat which only needed water. I've picked up perennials for 50 cents each, too. Hanging baskets for a dollar looked almost dead, but after some thorough watering, I have beautiful fuschia, New Guinea, and petunia bakets in ornamental victorian hanging pots. Most of these are going to charity, including plant sales for the American Cancer Society and plant sales for the preservation of natural areas. So, in a way, Lowes has made it possible to help fund good works.


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I picked up a $25 Knock Out Rose for $3 last week and I picked up a bunch of Hydrangea's which originally sold for $15 each for $1 each.


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Home Depot recently had an online sale for roses, 6.50 plus free shipping on Park Seed and JP bare root roses. I got Chrysler Imperial, Memorial Day, America, Tropicana, Midas Touch, Living Easy and Purple Passion. Mine would have been $90 plus shipping. The sale was mentioned on the rose forum and a few days later everything was sold out lol.


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Everything on the clearance cart at Lowe's last week said a dollar...I picked up a gallon pot of lantana that was perfect except someone had dropped and bent the pot. I bought some dirt and something else that I can't remember, and the clerk did not even charge me for the plant.

There was tons of other stuff that just needed to be watered and dead headed...not a thing wrong with it. If I'd had somewhere for it to go, I'd have picked up more stuff.


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I've gotten great stuff, too. Last year I got about 10 flats of annuals for $10. That was about a dime a pop.

Does anyone think there's a better day/night/time to go?


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I like to go during the middle afternoon, it seems that is when the vender's are there setting the stuff aside for clearance.


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well, i have to tell you - I went to Home Depot today to get some supplies for tiling the floor - NO plants on clearnance. I was quite disappointed....we are getting a lowe's here soon though - hopefully next year will be better!


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Where do you find these clearance racks? If it wasn't 10pm here I'd be racing over to Lowe's right now! Do you just ask an employee or is it pretty obvious? Thanks for the tip, I love a deal! And if it dies, no big loss, right?


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I feel SO dumb reading this thread. I just ordered from Park Seed - LL hydrangea, Fatal Attraction coneflower, Jackmanii clematis. Paid $15 for Limelight in a 1-qt container, and I've read here on GW of people paying $3 for LL in a 3-gallon container!!!! Why so much more for such a smaller plant and is it ever worth buying from these companies or should I just chuck the catalogs? I feel ripped off!


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Yodio, you never know what you will find on clearance. If there is some particular plant I really want, I think it is worth buying from whatever full price place I can find that carries it. That may be a local nursery or it may be mail order. Some of the unusual things may never show up locally at any price and driving all over to find it certainly isn't frugal. Over time, you may learn the sale cycles at specialty stores and catalogs and may be able to get the unusual at better prices then.

Around here we have some great garden centers and I would buy there over mail order anyday...sale, clearance, or full price. However, not everyone has a good selection nearby and mail order can be great for them.

Clearance is great if you do not have particular items in mind and have the time to deal with a bargain whenever you find it.


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Thanks, naturegirl. Actually, we have great nurseries in the area too, in addition to Lowes & Home Depot. I guess I got suckered in by the gorgeous photos and descriptions on the website. Also, I don't understand the small sizes from Park? Is that b/c it's not cost-effective to mail huge items... So then seems like it would always be better to buy local. Well, live and learn!


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Glad to see that people are finding great deals at Lowe's! I was in one of the local ones about 2 days ago and wasn't impressed with the Clearance. Most of the prices were only about $0.50 cheaper then the regular priced healthy (looking) plants. Maybe it was just an off day, now I'm feeling the urge to go back and check again!


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Why so much more for such a smaller plant and is it ever worth buying from these companies or should I just chuck the catalogs?

Sometimes, it is.The trick is to learn to judge when that is, and it's different for everybody.

If it were me (and it has been) I wouldn't hesitate to snap up bedraggled looking annuals at a good price. And just yesterday I bought a flat of overwatered Veronica repens because I knew it was fully capable of making a complete recovery as it's very vigorous and grows new root systems easily.

On the other hand, if I were shopping for a specific long-term plant (like a shrub, tree or long-lived perennial such as peony or baptisia) I would be more reluctant to pay less on something cut-rate. When I install perennials I've planned on (as opposed to impulse buys) I swallow paying a premium price from a good nursery because I've seen for myself how fast they take off and how tough they are. Plus I get a guarantee and advice from employees who really know plants.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes a good deal is really a good deal, so I check out anything that looks like it could turn out to be a score. (My local fruit stand has the most gorgeous gallon perennials this spring, fresh delivered, healthy roots, $5 apiece, I feel like I should pinch myself.)

But sometimes plants on clearance racks have been subjected to damage that they have a hard time recovering from. I could buy a shrub that's in a bigger container for less money, but maybe its root system is really limping and it's going to take years to catch up to a smaller and more expensive shrub with a healthier root system. Maybe it'll even croak on me through the winter and then however little I paid for it, that's wasted money (plus the time and energy invested in it).

On the other hand maybe I pay top dollar for a "potted" rose at a well-known local nursery and find out after I buy it that it was just plopped in that pot last week, and I might as well have paid half as much and bought a bareroot rose because there's no root development at all. That's happened to me.

And then, some people don't mind or even enjoy raising a tiny shrub or tree from a cutting or eensy-weensy bareroot baby. Not me. I lack that patience. Also, I plan my beds carefully so if I buy a plant I've been counting on having that plant in that spot -- for some people it's not as big a deal to lose a cheap plant and replace it with another cheap plant.

There really is no way to get around it: you have to learn what's going to make a difference, and how much, to what plants more than others, and decide whether it's worth it to you. Then you can figure out what's a good deal and as an informed consumer, not ever feel ripped off.

Kristin


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RE: Clearance plants - savings thrill

I have been stopping by Lowes clearance rack for a couple of weeks since I found this thread. I haven't found any 50 cent plants but I have bought astilbes, bleeding heart, and several other perennials in 8" pots for 1/2 price. Most of them looked as good as the plants inside the greenhouse. Thanks for the tip!!!!


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  • Posted by gee8ch zone 9 SoCali (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 13, 08 at 13:24

How do you go about finding a Lowes in your area? Phone book no help, here. Have lots of Home Depots (but they won't reduce plants for clearance, rather have them die, since they claim they get credit back!) But no nearby Lowes. I would be willing to travel, but where? Live in the Pasadena, CA area. TIA Gloria


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G, try this website to locate the Lowe's closest to you.

www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=frameSet&url=stores.lowes.com/lowes


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I just got some k/o roses for 3.00 a piece, and they're doing quite well. You just have to go there and check it out.
I agree with whoever said, some things you just don't chintz on. I'll happily pay more for something that's top quality, and often do when it's something specific, but I like a deal as much as anyone.
I do grow alot from seed and bare-root too, but I do have patience for that I guess.
Happy hunting!


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I've been stopping in to my local Lowe's every other week or so. I've gotten to know the PlantMan (now there's a superhero!) pretty well. He offered me the entire clearance rack for $20!!!! This is including a 6 foot palm with a single sunburned frond, multiple blooming orchids as well as a number of other things. I almost cried when I had to tell him no. :( I live in a very very small apartment that I already share with a roommate, a cat and about 50 pots of houseplants...*sigh*


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Today I got a 5 gallon beautiful pink champagne clematis for $7, regular price $20. It looks very healthy. I've also gotten astilbe very cheap, grasses. And saw 2 very good oakleaf hydrangeas very cheap but someone got to it before me. When I have some free time, I just go in and browse, and see if there is a bargain that I can use in my garden. I will start looking for hanging baskets, never thought of that, the basket is worth a few dollars, and hopefully I can revive the plant too. Thanks for that tip.


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I was eyeing the clearance at Lowes because my friend told me she has great luck with it. I noticed a lot of the clearance are just plants that are past bloom time. I could have perused and purchased, but my 4-year-old was screaming the whole time that he wanted to "go back to the white car" and go to "The Store" (Target). He was an utter embarassment and eventually, I had to forgo the plant shopping and cave in to his demands. Maybe tomorrow. *shrug*


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RE: Clearance plants - savings thrill

scorpio,
I keep a few sugar free dum-dums in my purse for times when I need little boys to sit in the cart snd be pacient while mommy shops. They sell them in huge bags in the candy isle of walmart, grocery markets etc. Our understanding is that he will sit in the cart and behave, and he can have 1 lolly while mummy gets the shopping done.
No I don't feel guilty about the bribing, and he's learning that he must compromise by being calm and quiet to get his lolly.


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RE: Clearance plants - savings thrill

Right On!

I get that giddy feeling too when I find great bargains, whether at garden centers or thrift stores. The more money I keep in my pocket, the more I can treat myself to a nice dinner, movie, treats for my beloved pets or whatever my heart desires.

Be careful though with these bargains, I once got two large fern trees from our local grocier; they were so beautiful. Found out that they both were infested with bugs, which in turn, infested my established plants too. One was eventually stolen off my balcony, hope they enjoyed the bugs, the other died eventually.

I use to work in the lawn and garden section of Wal-Mart and know very well how they neglect the plants; I took it upon myself to water the cactus and other various plants rather then see them die.


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Hi,
I saw today in Walmart, plants like Lantanas for $1.45 each.
I just was out of cash from back to school supplies, if not I would have gotten all six of them. They had beautiful flowers, though the plant looked like it fell of the shelf and got squished. Talking about bargains I got oops paint at Home Depot for 5.00 each gallon. We bought eight gallons of different colors. Now, you have to look for a long time. It took me 6 months to find the colors I wanted, but it was worth it. Now in summer vacation I have been painting my home, week by week. I am even trading paints with someone else.


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A few weeks ago, I found several varieties of Caladium tubers for 5-10 cents apiece! I wasn't sure if they were still good or not, so I bought 20 for a dollar, and planted them. Most have sprouted, so I just went Monday and got 300+ more!! lol


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I got a croton from walmart for something like 2 and a half dollars.

Oddly enough, despite being kept in a place where it wasn't getting any natural light, it's done fine. No real spider mite problems from what I can tell, it's doulbed or tripled in size, and since going outside for the summer it's gotten really nice and pretty.

So basically, it's like the ones you usually see being sold for 13 dollars, now.

I've also had luck at lowes getting distress plants, including a Pregnant Onion (which has never done anything interesting ever) for sixty cents, and a pteris mayii for a dollar or so. Pteris mayii seems impossible to kill. Honestly, the one there wasn't even that bad. It just needed the dead pruned out of it. Actually, it also had some scales, but getting rid of scales just involves sqishing them for half an hour then moving the plant to better conditions so they don't flare up again.

Then again sometimes they have cycads covered in mealy bugs on their distressed plant rack and stuff that's pretty much incredibly dead so it varies.

Awesome deal I got at an Anderson's this year, though. All of their tropicals were on sale, including bananas. So I got a five gallon bucket of Dwarf Cavendishes for eleven bucks. This amounts to about two dollars a plant. The ten gallon planters of basjoos were 22 and had something like ten plants in them. I don't know how it is for anyone else, but you usually pay, here, about ten bucks for a single, ten inch tall dwarf cavendish. Not ten for five 3' tall plants (with a bunch of pups that I never even bothered counting, by the way).


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Up here in Canada, folks, the bargains are on as well

Lucky for me, as I am just about a year in this current property and now have some flower beds prepared and edged. Ready for the bargains.

Today we hit three garden centers spent a total of just under $40.00 and got many many plants.
Plants to put in the gravel and rock around my pond. Two of them being cerastiuni alpinum which grows even in Newfoundland and Blue Moss Phlox bought two of each wish I would have purchased more now that I look at them on line)

Roses, lilies, clematis, (Nicobe) asters, an interesting plant to try- Chinese Pagoda Primrose (PRimula violii)
Three of those dinner plate hibiscus that are hardy enough up here. Didn`t bring in all the tags naming the plants yet.

Yes it feels like winning a lottery. We where further north than Barrie, where I live rather up in the Gravenhurst area.

Had a nice lunch out and didn`t mind paying for my daughter and myself, (Big spender right)


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This afternoon, I bought 2 flats at our friendly small town nursery on sale. Each flat has 18 4-inch pots, & they were on sale for $10 -- that works out to 55 cents per plant.

The best part is that they are perfect for us. My grandmother and I are each working on building butterfly/hummingbird gardens at our homes. The flats were of mixed lantana and salvia Victoria Blue, both of which are a) perennial for our area, and b) attractive to butterflies and hummies!

Yippee!


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  • Posted by bencjedi 6 - Central Kentucky (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 15, 08 at 13:10

I got an Acer palmatum Assorted Japanese Maple for $7 at Lowes the other day (normally $49.98), but evidently someone kicked over the pot and broke the root ball. The leaves were not wilted or anything, so I grabbed the deal and just added more potting soil and watered thoroughly til I figure out where to plant it.

I invite people to kick over more pots of expensive trees, so I get them cheap. :)


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Wow, good deal on the plant...wish I could find one that cheap...I want a JM, they are too $$$ unless you can get a deal like you did!

WTG!!
:) NCGG


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  • Posted by bencjedi 6 - Central Kentucky (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 15, 08 at 17:21

You could try growing them from seed, though they are not true representations of the Japanese Maple variety. I am actually trying this myself with intent to have some cheap, pretty trees someday. We'll see. It takes an awfully long time for the seeds to sprout. Took about 6 months for the first 3 out of 25 seeds to germinate in the ziplock bag in my refrigerator. I was hoping some of the more mature Japanese Maple trees at the store happened to drop seeds. I'll clean up the 'mess'. :)

That reminds me.. Meijer was throwing away lots of annuals that didn't look too bad at all the other day. I guess they have their corporate orders. If I were not in such a hurry, I would have asked for them, but suspect they would have said they were not allowed to sell them or something.


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Leslie (beagler1776),

Could you please tell me at what Lowe's you found these bargains? I am also in MD.

Thanks in advance.


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Poorly managed stores are my dream....

The HD is actually very well managed, but I did score a $25 Viburnum for $3. I also got three $79(!!!) altheas for $10 each. Got large double knockout roses for $10 each, too.

My Lowes is HORRIBLY managed. I hate going inside. But......outdoor lawn and garden? Love it. I've bought all but one shrub there 75%+ off. Awesome.


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About two weeks ago I found a really healthy eureka palm tree laying on it's side in the clearance area. It said $5 but I talked them down to $2.50. Also, got a bunch of large, healthy junipers in 2 quart pots for $1 each. I splurged a little and bought a grafted white rose on clearance as well. It wasn't a fantastic deal, $7.50 but there were a bunch of buds. It has been blooming it's head off, so I guess it was worth it.


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If you live by a real nursery, try parking your car close to their trash bins, casually walk by, and you will be amazed at the wonderful plants they throw away that you can take home for free! You can get some great cuttings to root yourself out there also. Have fun!


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Just went to my local HD and asked about plants that were too old or going to throw away. The lady told me that they were all put in a trash bin INSIDE the store so that people can not get to them. They destroy them all. I am so sad :-(

Mary


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If you have cash in your pocket, you will NOT be able to bargain with a department store! Try that same effort with a family owned nursery!! I bet you are successful!!


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Please. Go over to Walmart. I live in Southern California, and I am not sure if all Walmarts have this deal. I do NOT work for them and am not touting them. It pains me how they treat their plants. They have 1 quart citrus for $12.50. Not on sale. Regular price. BUT they do NOT water. These trees need you to buy them!! They neglect them terribly. I bought 4. One Bearss Lime, One Improved Meyer Lemon, One Ruby Red Grapefruit, and one Valencia Orange. They are in those 3" x 12" 1 quart things. Dry as a bone. Mine are OK now. I got 3 a few days ago, went back and got the final one. Mine have a shot of water, a kiss of epsom salts, and a mulch of coffee grinds.

We are lucky in California to be able to grow citrus easily. I am in the desert, and they grow like weeds here. But Walmart wants to kill them, it appears. Maybe they will and you can get them on sale, dead, for cheap! Better to go get them NOW!!


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I picked up a container rose (1 gal) JFK today at Wal-Mart for $5.50!


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Love Lowes!
Bought daylilies that are normally $4 each at 80 something cents a piece (they accepted my coupon for $10 off when you spend $25 or more).
They frequently have clearance items.


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I just bought some bare root natives at Lowes. I like to got there in October and buy up their sad plants by the flat full. I can wittle them down to 85% off if I buy everything. They're in a hurry to get the Christmas stuff out.


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Oddly enough, in my area, we have a Lowe's and a Home Depot right across from one another. I go into Lowe's at least once a week, as its on the easy side of the highway for me. There has never been a clearance rack at that Lowe's, and believe me, I've looked. But today I thought I'd forget easy, and so I went to Home Depot. Low and behold, not only did they have a clearance rack, but this very nice lady was putting up PERFECT hydrangea's that I couldn't find one problem with, (and, after learning from this site, I checked to make sure it wasn't root-bound, etc) that I got for $3, even, and a cute red veined fitonnia for $3, and an ixora for $3. I was so happy!


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This evening I came across Lowe's nursery clearance rack for the very first time. I had no idea nurseries have clearance racks. I saw 50 written on a bunch of petunia pots. Since there were so many I could not believe they were any different from the others that were to be sold. Since I arrived pretty late. I assumed it was for inventory purposes (overstock). Then, I noticed the little flaws on some of the flowers. When I say little, I mean little. For the most part it was damages caused by the sun and lack of water by the store. So fifty-cents for petunias and $1.50 for full size new guinea impatiens. I got a total of 20 petunias and 10 new guinea impatiens all under $30.00.


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Old thread, but I thought I'd share my savings thrill.

Stopped by Lowe's the other week and searched everywhere for the clearance section. Turned out that they moved it to the back where it was dark... and for good reason, I suppose. There had to have been over 10 large carts (those tall, rolling, sheleved ones) packed with plants. I got astilbe, which had already bloomed and looked a little spent, for $1.99, wave petunias that looked a little rugged for $1.99, large zinnia pots for $.99, small lantanas for $.99, a japanese painted fern - $.99, african daisies - $2.99, and several random plants all under $4 each. They're all doing great in the yard! I now stop by two or three times a week just to check up on the clearance racks. Sometimes it's worth it just to snag the seed pods.

Yesterday, I thought about what stores would have bulbs and seeds on sale now, and remembered the boxes of lilies, peonies, gladioli, and calla lilies at BJ's Wholesale (usually around $9.99). I had a hunch today, and as it so happened I needed to stop by anyway... turns out I was right! All their boxed bulbs and bare roots were $.99. Unfortunately, the lilies, peonies, and gladioli were gone (at all the other stores too), but I made out great! 5 astilbe, 1 raspberry, 1 dicentra, 2 hosta, 4 echinacea, 24 dahlia, 10 daylilies for $9. It's late for planting, but I'm sure I can get some of them to survive the winter if I get them in the ground now.

Now I can't wait to stumble upon a seed clearance.


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A vendor's input

Ello, ello, friendly neighborhood Resource Plus vendor here. Long story short, we're the people in charge of marking down plants at Lowes, and so here's how it works.
(Located at the Orem, Utah location by the way.)

It used to be that we could mark the 'distressed' plants down to whatever we wanted. Now, however, we have to follow the 1,3,5 rule. If $0-$4.99, it goes to $1. $5-$9.99 goes to $3, and $10-$14.99 goes to $5. Anything 15+ goes down by 50%. Now, if these don't sell fast enough, THEN we get to mark them down more, usually by about 50% off the current price each week.

As for choosing which plants to mark down, it varies. I personally usually wait until the plants actually need some TLC to look good. My manager wants them marked if dying. If dead, diseased, or bugged, we are required by law and company policy to dispose of them in the trash compactor. Stupid, I know, as I have seen many savable trees, bushes, and flowers (not to mention benches, cabinets, toilets, ect...) crushed. But we CANNOT give them away. Don't ask.

That bit about Home Depot getting credit back? It's true. They expect their plants to die, and are little better than Walmart about watering. This is not just me supporting Lowe's (as being seasonal does not bring loyalty), but from actual experience as a gardener. I don't like HD plants, never will. The success rate has just been too low. Walmart is fine if you catch them before they die of drought.

(And yes, we will make deals on mass buys of clearance. We want them gone.)

If you have any other questions about the program, let me know. I'll gladly help. And if you are near the Orem, Utah Lowes, pop in and say hi to the vendor.

This post was edited by CinderSparx on Wed, Sep 17, 14 at 18:52


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RE: Clearance plants - savings thrill

Well that explains why I am seeing the $1, $3 and $5 clearance plants this year when I didn't see that last year. Thanks for the helpful posting.


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