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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:52 am
Location: Germany (Zone 8a)

Budget-friendly Perennials for a Big Space

Hello there! I'd love to get some suggestions on flowering plants that you think are good space fillers for a big garden. I went to the garden center today and spent $50 on eight lovely perennials but my heart sank when I realized it would only cover a very small space. I can't afford to spend too much money.

I'd love to get your thoughts on budget-friendly plants that look cheerful and colorful, spread out fairly speedily and are easy to care for and come back year after year. I hope that's not too long of a wish-list!

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

The budget friendliest flowers are SEEDS. You can get enormous amounts of seed for what you pay for one plant. Carpet your whole space!

In zone 8, it may be the wrong time to plant perennial seed now - you don't want to have little seedlings trying to survive the heat of summer. But many perennials do very well with seed planted in the ground in fall. The seed overwinters and sprouts in spring.

You could be thinking about what flowers will do well in your conditions (sun exposure, cold tolerance, soil type, etc) and getting the ground ready, acquire your seeds, and plant in fall. Next year all the flowers you could want!

Green Thumb
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:11 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, Zone 8, 48" annual rainfall, dry summers.

Lemondrop, I have a situation similar to yours. As RG advised, I am starting flowers from seed. I did sow some on the ground this spring. I have also started some in flats and will plant them out when they are big enough.

I'm growing snap dragons, Shasta Daisy, purple coneflower, foxglove and forget-me-not. Some are perennial, some are annuals that will self-sow.

Green Thumb
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:56 pm
Location: Southwest Louisiana

Day lillies-there are some repeat bloomers now, and they should survive in zone 8

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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

You can get more for your money when the bareroot and bulbs come in. You want to get them soon after they arrive as stores don't always store them the way they should. You can order bulbs from catalogs which cost more, but you will get a guarantee of quality bulbs and they will ship it to you at the right time for planting, you just have to make sure your bed is ready to go.
Dahlias from seed will bloom the first year, tubers will over winter and can be divided
Daylilies will produce fans on the leaves and clumps should be divided every 2-3 years
Chrisanthemums can be grown from cuttings and they make good cut flowers

Some annuals can be used now to fill in. They will last most of the summer and some of them can reseed and come back year after year.

You can get some good plants if you know where to look. Ask friends if you can get cuttings or divisions from plants they have that you like. Sometimes you can get plants at garage sales, but you may have to inspect them for well as they may not be in the best condition. Never get a plant in the dark and always isolate new plants for a month to make sure they are healthy and bug free. This includes plants from nurseries.

You don't have to fill the entire space at once. In fact, it is better that you prepare the ground first to give them the best chance of surviving.

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