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Whether you plan to hire a professional or do the work on your own, a plant selection guide when planning your landscape design can help you choose the proper size and type of plants for your project. There are many plant characteristics to consider when selecting what will become a permanent part of your landscaping: growth rate, growth habit, dormancy pattern, blooming cycle, sun exposure, etc. So, when it comes to selecting new plants, the more you know, the better.
Considering plant size and shape is an important part of the plant selection process. For example, if you would like to plant a Nelly Stevens Holly shrub in your garden bed, your research would tell you that this shrub has a mature growth of 16 feet in height and 12 ft in width. So, it’s important to note that the size and shape of plants you select at installation will determine how close others can be planted next to them and affect the overall appearance of your landscape design.
Most plants you will see at a nursery will be priced according to the gallon size of the plant container. Here is a common list of plant types along with a range of gallon sizes that would likely be available at a nursery.
Seasonal flowers or annuals have the smallest root base and are typically sold by the flat. Depending on the nursery, these flats contain between 12-20 individual plants. Each individual plant has a soil base of about 2-4 inches and comes with a soil depth of about 2-4 inches.
When shopping for more mature trees, you might encounter pricing that would be based on the caliper measurement of the plant’s trunk. For example, a Southern Live Oak Tree might range from a 3 inch caliper all the way up to a 14 inch caliper.
Choosing the right plant size to install in your landscape will really come down to deciding how long you are willing to wait for your plant to reach maturity and how much money you want to spend. Some plants grow a lot faster than others, so knowing the growth rate of your plant will be important when choosing a new plant. As for budget, you can expect the cost of your plant to nearly double as the size goes up. For example, a 5 gallon shrub might be $25 while the next larger 7 gallon shrub might be $48.
If you are hiring a professional landscaping company for your project, make sure to discuss the best time to plant in north Texas and your expectations for the plants initial size so there are no surprises. Some landscapers will invite you along to the nursery so you can hand pick your larger plants. If you are tackling this work on your own, we would definitely recommend you do your homework and review this plant selection guide before any plants go in the ground.