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Get your money's worth when buying plants and shrubs

Plant shopping? It's best to buy from an independent garden center or nursery (a place that raises its own stuff).

May 8, 2019

Shop around and you'll find that prices for plants vary greatly from place to place.

"Some of these stores charge five times more than the lowest priced stores for the same type of size of products," said Kevin Brasler, executive editor at Checkbook.org. "The lowest prices were offered by Fred Meyer, Home Depot and Lowe's. Their prices were far lower than most of the other stores in the area."

But those chains also got very poor scores for quality of plants and advice in the Checkbook survey.

"So, this is one of the few topics that we cover at Checkbook.org where we find there's actually a relationship between what you pay and what you get," Brasler said.

So what's the advice someone looking for high-quality plants?

"You're probably going to be better off shopping at an independent garden center or even a garden nursery, a place that actually raises its own stuff," Brasler told me.

By the way, if you buy an expensive plant and something goes wrong, go back and see if you can get a refund or replacement. Checkbook found that many garden centers will help you.

Checkbook.org is a subscriber-based, non-profit rating and education service to help you make smarter choices. As a courtesy to listeners, the ratings for Puget Sound area garden centers and nurseries are available by using this link until June 15, 2019.

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