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Not a Charity Shop find. However, you can still get bargains if you keep your eyes open.
Went to a well known Garden Centre on Sunday to buy more compost to fill all our pots, but also some bedding to prettify our pots for the Autumn/Winter Season. We walked towards the entrance and there on a table labelled house plants (we’ll come back to that) was a plethora of pot plants, all marked down from £5.00 to £0.50p. Yes you read that correctly, a discount of £4.50 on these particular pot plants, in 8″ pots.
Platycodon Astra, A what? I had never heard of it, so a quick look up on Google provided me with the answer. It’s known as a Chinese Balloon Flower, and is a Perennial plant, that can be overwintered outside in the UK. Result!!
Not a houseplant (as stated at the table I found it on) but an outside plant that comes up every year if they are treated properly. Not bad for 50p!!
So if it survives the winter I got a decent plant that will reward me every year. If not, well it didn’t break the bank did it.
I think the plant I got is the Pink version of the Platycodon Astra. Which will look very pretty next spring/summer. Why were they discounted? They’d finished flowering so weren’t so wanted by the masses. They had quite a few left over as there were at least 10 on the table.
Yes they were mislabelled as houseplants, however, I have been sold Thanksgiving Cactus in March as Easter Cactus by the same Garden Centre, so they don’t always know what’s what, at that point I did, so I knew what I bought for Mothers Day for myself was not going to flower until November!
A quick search on Google will usually bring up the right plant, and best of all, the information I got was straight from our very own RHS, so a reliable source.
If you’ve got a new garden, or you don’t know if you can grow certain plants where you are, use this as a bench mark, yes you need to be patient, but believe me it’s worth it. I very rarely pay full price for any plant unless it’s bedding. Why? because you can get amazing discounts just because the plants are no longer flowering, and therefore do not sell as well or as fast, so they discount the price.
We bought a white clematis last Autumn. Planted it Last Autumn. In the Spring it was absoloutley covered in the pretty white flowers that the label promised. Because it had had time to settle over the autumn and winter before it started it’s growth phase again. This was discounted as it had died back and had no flowers left on it apart from the picture on the label. A £15 Clematis, cost us £5 because the Garden Centre needed to shift it to make room for more stock for the Autumn Season. It pays to be patient.
This also happens with Houseplants and Orchids if you keep your eyes open. I bought 3 mini Orchids on holiday two years ago, they cost me £6 for all 3 so £2 each. I reflowered one in the October and it was still in flower at the end of February. I don’t believe the other two were capable of flowering when I bought them, but they are now both growing roots at a rapid rate of knots, and we are now approaching flower spike season for the Phalaenopsis Orchid types as they tend to flower between Dec and March, and can sometimes flower more than once and for a long time.
I also bought an Orchid that is a different type on New Years Day this year, no flower, so discounted from £14 to £4. It hasn’t flowered yet for me, but I’ll just let it get on with it and see what happens, you never know it might flower just after Christmas!
If you want to know more about my Houseplants and Orchids click the button labelled HappyPhalOrchid at the top of the page and it will take you straight to my YouTube channel.
Being patient can save you money, and make your house and garden beautiful!!