Are Plants Expensive?

by Ben Bowen

How Much Do Plants Cost in Portland?

Shore pine, pruned in the Japanese style: $2000+

Shore pine, pruned in the Japanese style: $2000+

Plants are a key element of almost everything we do. If you look back through the blog you will see plants I love and plants I hate, even where to buy plants and who to have care for them. However, plants often surprise clients who are new to landscaping.

Not how great they are, but how expensive they are!

ere in Portland, Oregon a typical 1 gallon shrub or grass can be $12-$20. A 5 gallon shrub or tree can easily be $40-$60. A flat of 4" walkable ground cover is $60-$75.

Take these prices, add delivery, add planting, add warranty and you start to get the picture. A plant budget just doesn't go as far as some would expect. Does this mean that plants are expensive? Are plants a poor value?

The Value of Plants

Plants may not be cheap, but you have to consider the lifetime of benefits they provide:

  • Well chosen plants will never go out of style.
  • Well cared for plants do not get worn out.
  • Like humans, plants gain character over time.
  • They change and adapt, taking on a personality that helps to define your landscape.

Some plants actually become very valuable over time.

Here in the Pacific Northwest we have Japanese maples that are decades old. Some of these are worth thousands of dollars! Not a bad investment, especially when you consider the enjoyment they deliver every day.

Do Plants Cost Too Much?

Plants will be a major part of a landscape budget. However, unlike so many things on your property, they improve with age and grow in value. My advice: choose your plants wisely, take care of them well, and you will never regret a penny.

Japanese laceleaf maple. This tree was valued so highly that it was preserved when the home was demolished!

Japanese laceleaf maple. This tree was valued so highly that it was preserved when the home was demolished!