Xeric and stylish gardening in San Antonio, Texas

$$ Big plants or little plants…this is the question on my mind today…$$

A nice little before and after picture on this rainy San Antonio day…

BEFORE: Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Hill Hardy’ on January 11th when I planted them – got the plants for $1

AFTER: Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Hill Hardy’ on May 7th – 4 months later.  They are very healthy and pretty large for spring.

You know, sometimes it is nice to buy big mature plants, but the question remains as to whether or not it is worth it.  I would love to go out and buy bigger specimens, but I wonder if momentum in the garden would be lost…and if things would be planted any quicker in the end???  Saving for those big plants would mean planting less often (for me).  Buying smaller plants means getting a lot more things in the ground and growing.  I just can’t help but think I would rather have all my plants growing and adapting to their new home sooner rather than nothing in the ground while saving big bucks for big plants.  Just my thoughts for today…

What do you think?



  1. You’re doing the right thing! Small plants establish much quicker than large ones and will often catch up to a larger plant in a year, especially perennials which are much, much better small. OK if you want a tree, then maybe it’s worth investing in a larger specimen, but you’ll have to water it for 3 years at least summer and maybe winter too. Christina

    • COOOoooool! This question has been something I have gone back and forth on so many times (maybe because I always buy the small plants and wish I could buy the bigger ones when I see others at the cashier buying big beautiful specimens). Thanks Christina! – xericstyle

  2. Salma Quraishi

    Depends on your goals. If you have vision, patience, want to nurture and that’s where you get your reward, then small is ideal. If your target is to enjoy living in a filled out space and can’t bear the thought of 3 years of sparseness (often the beginner’s approach) then big is more gratifying. So far my bigger plants have have done much better than the bitty ones. Mostly because big ones can handle a chomping by deer (jerks).

    • Deer!!!! Grrrrrrrrr! They are relentless! It is always important to consider the person and the LOCATION….every garden and homeowner has their own unique nature for sure! And gardens that are in areas with “pet” deer are TRICKY. You certainly have a lot of good points Salma, especially regarding gardening for deer. You also made a GREAT call wanting the large foxtail ferns for your garden – they pack a big punch. Sometimes it is important having something larger and more finished looking to keep the momentum going for the folks that are more results oriented or clients. You would not want to leave a client with a garden that was all puny – balance is important ….but even still never more important than pleasing your client and lets face it, in that case, bigger is always better for the overall vision. Thank you for your input, you make excellent points. – xericstyle

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