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My Hobby: Rescuing plants from the clearance section

 
Posts: 75
Location: Nara, Japan
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My favorite part of going to town, besides the beach, is checking the garden department clearance sections of our two hardware stores.

Plants that are a bit awkward looking or have past peak blooming (wow they come with seeds!) will often go on sale. There is very high turn around and we are in a climate where you can garden all year round, so many plants end up on the clearance shelf.

The plant may be sold as an annual, but I know it is in fact perennial. Or it may look dead, but I'm pretty confident I can bring it back.

It's finally cooled down enough that plants can sit in the yard for a day and not dry out, so we made the rounds yesterday and found:

Lavender for about 50 cents each
Rosemary for a dollar each
a mixed pot with at least 7 viable plants in it for 5 dollars
and some flowers to try in the deer taste testing garden for 30 cents each

We saw blueberries had gone down to 4 dollars, but I like to wait til they get to 2 dollars each.

What sad, sorry plants have you rescued from clearance or wherever and nursed back to health?
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clearance plants on shelf
typical clearance shelf
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our full cart
 
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Location: western NY (Erie County), USA
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This post reminds me to try doing this next year! A few years ago I bought a hydrangea for $2.98, down from the original $16.98. It was a few months past peak selling and planting season and it "had seen better days." I took it home and planted it and it did OK for a while; did not survive replanting it elsewhere. Our mistake. Next year I may try again, the big chain stores usually have a clearance rack full of nice things no one else wanted after a few months.
 
Amy Arnett
Posts: 75
Location: Nara, Japan
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Nice one, Paul! That's like 80 percent off!

We went to pick up a friend in the big city today, so naturally, we stopped at a few hardware store garden centers on the way.

The big "gets", as they say here, were:

one acacia, rare to see and expensive normally, taller than me for ten bucks down from thirty!

one eucalyptus also ten bucks down from thirty. Yeah I already have one, but they are hard to find here and it called to me...

also the usual for this time of year: lots of dollar lavender and three dollar olives, with fruit!
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Today's haul in the back of our van. You can see we left plenty of room for our friend's luggage...
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Hard to see as it was already dark, the tall acacia barely fitting comfortably, hovering over the car seat.
 
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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This is awesome.  I do as much plant rescuing as I can, but I don't get very often to the places that do discounting on half-dead plants.

Last year I bought a bagged $15 goji berry bush for a couple of bucks that seemed dead, but knowing gojis are desert survivors, I potted it up and it came back nicely.  

This year I got a decorative flowering sage in a one quart pot for a buck; it's been doing extremely well.  I also bought 4+ large rosemary plants in two quart pots for $2-ish each; there was some death, but in pruning back the survivors I got sprigs to start new plants from, and several of those new starts are thriving.

One failure was a bunch of pond plants, sold as roots and rhizomes in little peat moss baggies (to be submerged in your pond to "plant" them) locked inside paper cups with plastic domes that contained fake little plastic versions of the plant that ought to grow.  These overmarketed overpackaged garbages were $12 apiece in the spring, but I bought half a dozen when the dropped to $.50 on clearance.  I knew they had dried out badly but I hoped a few would come back to life in my pond.  Sadly, nope.
 
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I have had 2 bad experiences. One just made me angry.

All.those bare root trees that stores sell for $12. I offered to buy all the leftovers (they leafed out) at 50% off. They said no. They would rather trash them and file a defective claim on them. Their words. Oh my.

The other was a hanging basket strawberry.  I replanted it and it took off. I got a dozen runners and planted a bed with the dozen strawberry plants i got. They bloomed with red flowers which was odd. It turned out to be an ornamental. Never heard of such a thing with a strawberry. It never fruited. Lol.
 
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