Does Size Really Matter ?

Plant size at the Garden Centre can cause a dilemma when it comes to choosing the individual that we want to take home.

We may want to create some privacy for ourselves so that we can sit on our patio without being overlooked. Or there may be a view of a building that we would like to hide or diffuse from a particular view point. It is this desire for a quick fix resolution which creates the dilemma.

The temptation is therefore to buy the largest tree, conifer or shrub that we can lay our hands on. We do this because we think that although it isn’t big enough to hide the target yet, it is at least halfway there, and will then obviously get there quicker than if we bought a smaller version of the same plant. An easily understood assumption.

However, this is very often not necessarily the case. I have seen many instances where the planting of a smaller example of a tree, shrub or conifer where it outgrows its larger counterpart within a matter of 3 or 4 years. And, annoyingly it does so at a fraction of the cost !

The reason for this can be the speed with which younger and therefore smaller plants establish themselves, and are able to begin the process of putting on growth. Of course this can also be to do with many other factors.

The quality and suitability of the soil that the plant is being planted in. The lengths to which the soil has been prepared before planting.

The time of year can have a bearing on how quickly a plant will establish itself, and of course whether it is containerised or bare root – evergreens can sometimes die from drought stress in the winter because they haven’t had a chance to put out new fibrous root

So don’t just pick up the first plant you see. Consider these factors or you may regret it later.