Husker Hort

A Nebraska View of Horticulture

Scored a ‘Good Deal’

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We have all been there. It’s the end of the growing season or the beginning of the next and there is this plant whose price is just too good to pass up.


It’s a catch 22. The plant is priced that way for a reason.  Whether it was held over from the previous year or sat on the lot all season, proceed with caution and be prepared to do a little more work in the long run.

I scored such a ‘good deal’ myself. This spirea was a leftover from the year before and the price was too good to pass up. When I got it home it needed some TLC and low expectations.

I removed the plant from the pot and checked the roots. This one was really root bound, which was to be expected.

I had to cut some of the roots to keep them from circling around like they were still in the pot and roughed up the root ball to try to spread the roots out.


Using the soil knife to rough up the root ball









Once it was roughed up it was time to focus on the planting hole. It was as deep as the container, but wider than the pot. It was also place far enough away from the deck and the house so that if it does reach mature size it will have plenty of room.



Dig a million dollar hole for a $10 (or less) shrub


Then it was time to place the plant in the hole. Made sure the plant was planted at about the same depth as in the pot. Used a shovel handle to see how I did. Then it was time to backfill with the original soil and water.


I don’t have high expectations for this shrub, but that is half the fun. Trying something out to see if I can make it work is what it is all about. When time comes that I really want a plant, I will be the first one at the nursery in the spring to have my pick, but for now this experimental ‘good deal’ will work nicely.

Author: Elizabeth Exstrom

A Nebraska Extension Educator out of Hall County with a focus in horticulture and sustainable landscapes.

One thought on “Scored a ‘Good Deal’

  1. Most of my plants are “rescue” or shared, great fun!

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