How much for Proven Winners in your area?

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

I've been scouting all the nurseries, big box stores and home improvement places and everyone has a different price but generally much higher than last year. Home Depot is asking $5.00 for a 4" pot and calling it the "grande". The pot is a little taller but the plant looks the same. They also had a Viva Snapdragon for $5.00 (one plant). I was looking for the Sunpatiens but they weren't in yet. I so badly want to try the Sunpatiens; wonder how much they'll cost? The dracaena Spikes that usually go for $1.49 were $2.97. Fountain Grass in small containers were $6.99. I paid $5.00 last year and they were giant! The most expensive place was a nursery that was charging $5.99 for Proven Winners! Really? For an annual that's going to die in three months? Their Sunpatiens were $9.99 a pot, for one plant! Dragonwing Begonia, $9.99 ea. I know, I know, it's the economy, everyone has to make their money but some of these prices are ridiculous in my opinion.

Sorry for ranting, I'm bummed b/c this year is going to be extra lean. I started some flowers from seed so I'll have that and it looks like I'm going to have to do some serious price comparisons before buying anything.

So, anyone else notice a price difference this year?


Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I haven't especially paid attention to PW brand..but YES I have found $5 a pot for most and smallest pot annuals 2.99. Crazy. No reduction per "flat" either.

But one nursery/landscape was selling $6.99 buy 2 get one free. That was a little better if willing to go for the two pot purchase. Did not notice the trees/ shrubs were much higher compared to last year. Must be the gas costs.

Portland, TX(Zone 9a)

Yep PW's are around $4.99 for a 4 inch pot in my area.

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Here in Denver PW range from $5.99 to $7.99. I was shocked when I couldn't find a 4 pack of geraniums anywhere. Now they're selling them in big pots for $12.00. They're going to price us poor folks out of the nursery market.

And the petunias I love this year only came in an oversize 4 pack for $5.99.

Best place to get coleus is Rosy Dawn Gardens online. Their prices haven't changed in all the years I've purchased there. If I go to my local garden center they're outrageously priced!

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Wow, looks like I'm not alone here in Chicagoland. The flowers are costing more than the gas! I'm going to spend the day tomorrow trying to find the best bargain for my money but I will definately be buying less "specialty" plants than in previous years.

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

I just bought the 4# pots at 2 for $7. Yep, $3.50 each, but they put "2/$7" on the sign so suckers like me will buy in multiples of 2...LOL!

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

For those of us that have a Menards, IL., WI., & IN., they are advertising a sale on 5" Goldfisch brand and 4-1/2" Proven Winners assorted varieties for $2.88 ea. I think that is the lowest price I've ever seen on a PW. Don't know about the Goldfisch brand, never heard of them. Sale is good from 5/15 to 5/30. Going to check it out Fri.

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Well, I went to Menards today and found several varieties of Proven Winners and they were indeed $2.88 for the 4-1/2" Grande size pot. I picked up some jumbo-sized Artist blue ageratum, Goldilocks Rocks Bidens (tag says NEW,1" size yellow daisy-like flowers with ferny foliage), Sunsatia Cranberry Nemesia (trailing), Sunsatia Lemon Nemesia (NEW mounded). Menards also had Dragon Wing Begonia 5" pots for $2.94, bought the pink and red. Also, got some Phantom Petunia in 4-5" pot for same price. I then went to Home Depot and picked up some Snowstorm Giant Snowflake Bacopa and Snowstorm Blue Bacopa. HD's PW prices were 3/$10 or $3.33 ea. If you present them with an ad from a competitor showing a lower price they will meet and beat it by 10%, so I got the plants for $2.60? ea.

FYI Proven Winners has two different colored pots, white and white w/green, both 4-1/2" size. The white pots are $3.33, the white w/green pots are $4.98 but they were on the racks all mixed together in the flats. I brought this to the attention of the manager b/c unsuspecting people (me) were taking plants from the racks, i.e., Bacopa, Lobelia, etc., that all looked the same, be it the white pot or white/green pot and probably didn't notice that they were being charged more for the colored pot when the plants look exactly the same. They made nothing of it b/c they have probably made alot of money off of these mistakes.

I found my VIVA Sunpatiens in 5" pots at HD for $4.98 ea. I bought them b/c I've been wanting to try them so badly; they better perform! I got both the Salmon and White. Also, PW Purple Fountain Grass in the 4-1/2" pots (HALF the size of last year) were $4.98. I splurged and bought some of those b/c I love them (next year I will start them from seeds instead).

That's my report and I was pleased to find some of what I wanted at a lower rate; it made it possible for me to get my Sunpatiens and Fountain Grass.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far! Happy Gardening All!!


Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

Wow, sounds like you got some great deals! Your gardens will be beautiful!

Lombard, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi Toni. Which Menard's did you go to? Alot of these nurseries around here are hit or miss. How hard is it to have an employee or two make sure everything gets watered on a daily basis? I stopped at Walmart yesterday and some poor sap was watering dozens of dead hibiscus. Seriously, why bother?

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Hi Weasel, I hit the new Mega Center Menards on North Ave. in the old neighborhood (Elmwood Park?). It's out of my way but they just opened last summer and have a big outdoor section. There's a Mega Center in Hillside and in Glendale Hts., I believe.

Best bet is to go to any Menards and get their sale flyer with the garden section that shows the ad for PW $2.88 ea. Then go to Home Depot or Lowes and find the PW varieties that you want and get them to do a price match w/additional 10% discount.

My experience with most of the non-nursery type stores is that the employees really don't know much, or anything for that matter, about plants. It's sad to see all those plants being mishandled yet they are asking for premium prices. I especially hate to see the racks with the near dead plants that they are going to toss but will not sell at a discount or give away. Most could be saved with just a little water and tlc.


Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Thank you KyWoods. I hope I can get all this stuff in before our weather turns yucky again. It's been a weird spring and now we're looking at more rain in the forecast :(

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

I used to work at Lowe's and their managers get a bonus for high profit periods...and they do that by trimming the payroll! I'm sure HD does the same thing, that's why there's never enough help. It's the main reason I don't work there anymore.
I call their plant clearance rack the "half-dead, half-off rack". They'd actually make more money if they had the personnel to water the plants and to wait on customers. I had people throw their merchandise on the floor and storm out of the store because they had to wait so long in the only cashier line that was open (mine)!

Downers Grove, IL(Zone 5a)

I work at Home Depot and yes they do need to spend a little more money on the watering.. Home Depot now has a new customer service thing going on where you can do nothing but help customers so no watering, no cleaning no nothing... Unless of course there is a store visit... then things change.. The watering at our store is done overnight.. so far not to bad but more training is needed cause they do not realize some plants need to have the nozzle right up to the flower head esp with the thick leaves,.If the soil is extremly dry the water goes right thru like a dry has to be treated like a sponge get it wet then re-wet it before it will hold moisture. . Another thing now this would save tons of work and waste!!! With annuals and perennials WHY don't they have trays that hold water..they fill these pots with what I call idiot soil which dries out just from the wind.. when the soil gets so dry the water just runs thru it thats why the plants do not get a good watering..if you had trays that held water then you could fill the trays and let the plants soak up the water... another thing the nurseries when they ship thier stuff in pots should place the drain holes up about 1-2 inches from the bottom so that way when the plant does get water briefly it will be caught in the bottom of the pot and hopefully the plant will at least get a cup of water from someone that doesnt know what they are doing... Plus greenhouse plants in the store would hold water instead of letting it run all over the floor.. You know if they spent just that money they would save tons in the end.....When I am the owner of the nursery I will have to make some changes..

Duxbury, MA(Zone 7a)

It's too late for this year, but someone mentioned Dragon Wing begonias - I have always grown them from seed, but you have to start early. So about 2 years ago I started keeping one plant inside in the winter and taking cuttings. It roots very nicely from cuttings, so now I don't have to spend any money on it each year. Just stick the cutting, with the bottom leaves stripped, in seed starting soil, and keep slightly damp. You'll start seeing new growth in a couple weeks.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

As many weather related holdups as have been occurring nationwide this season/year I'm not surprised that even large scale nurseries are passing along their issues through higher plant prices.

Seems like winter held out for longer and there was a lot of cool weather and rain this spring. I had problems starting things so can't imagine it would be a different for growers. Not everything they grow stays inside--they have to harden off seedlings also.

I work at a walmart and we do try to CVP (cust. value program/price) plants that are on the edge but possibly salvageable usually 1/2 price. We are an old fashioned non supercenter type store and don't have a greenhouse area, just a suncloth covered patio and what is refered to as a "corral" out in the parking area in front of the Garden Center for perennials, shrubs and bagged goods. Those poor plants are sitting on mulch over a parking lot in full sun and we're already in the mid 90's at least 2-3 days a week right now. Not sure even watering is enough but we cannot at store level stop or slow down or refuse any plant deliveries as they are contracted at our corporate offices with local to your area growers. Ever been to a Lowe's with metal plant racks lined up outside their fenced garden area near the driveways and parking areas? Yup, plant deliveries with no where to go as they are pretty full inside.
As far as throwing things away...there are times it has to wait due to the stores markdown budget per week--fact of running a business or even a household. Hard to understand from the outside but a fact nonetheless.

I'm a plant person and it kills me to see salvageable plants getting tossed but it isn't anything I have control of and I do my fair share of "rescue work":lol:

I do agree that the peat heavy soil in the pots does drain too quickly and dries like a hardened kitchen sponge that actually repels water at first attempt to rewet. A smattering of moisture crystals in that mix wouldn't be a bad thing from the growers except if their plants last longer in store garden centers then they would have smaller future orders so it is a bit of a vicious cycle.

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

It's definitely a problem. I saw a rack of sorry looking plants out front at Walgreen's the other day at 50% off. They have NO knowledge of how to care for plants so they don't have to mark them down. Just water would have helped. How do you rescue a 6 pack of geraniums that have dried out completely? I thought about it, but left them where they were. They only had one full rack. It had been inside the store under poor conditions since Mother's Day. They had two racks inside, only one sold.

Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6a)

You are right on the mark with your mistrust of the currant pricing for plants at the nurseries. I have 2 solutions for you:
The first is to buy a large size perennial or annual and immediately divide it before planting. There will be a setback of course, but if you keep water on it for a few weeks it will be back to normal as 2 plants instead of 1, in a few weeks.
The second will only work with perennials of course and involves waiting for end of the year sales in the Fall. Plants are often at a fraction of their spring and Summer cost., but probably should be protected thru the coming Winter. There is also the long wait untl next year and many of the things you want are not available.

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

I went to Meijer's yesterday just to look and couldn't believe how many plants are still left. The Bonnie racks were FULL of tomatoes, peppers and all kinds of veggies and herbs. I was sad b/c in our zone 5, it's pretty much too late to be planting tomatoes/peppers especially with the crazy weather patterns we've been having. I asked the saleslady what happens to the plants if not sold and she said if they dry up they go in the garbage and later in the season if not sold, they get sent back to the grower. Meijer will not discount their plants or let you take anything that's been thrown in the garbage, even if it's "dead" (needs a little water). The saleslady said it makes her feel sad to see the plants get thrown out especially when customers are always asking management if they can get a discount on the trashed plants. She also said that the fresh cut flowers in the store have an expiration date and even if the bouquets of flowers look fresh and lovely, everything gets trashed. Don't even think about taking one home to mama either, you'll get fired. What a waste, at least send them to a nursing home or hospital for a little joy.

BTW, this is not meant to be a rant against Meijer's, I shop there often for items that can't be found in my local grocery store. I always find my way to the garden area of ALL stores!

Hazelcrest, IL(Zone 5b)

IT is a shame that this late in the planting season and the way some stores care for thier flower that they are still asking full price for them. Mainly Home depot. But i still got some good bargins from menards everything was 50% off that means i got starter perennials for $1.50. Also this is to funny because me and my DH were walking around looking at the plant and they had some plants( annuals) in a container that said gardening for dummies. They all looked dead so i said well if the people that work here can't keep the dummy plants alive, what do we call these people.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Our HD has the Grower's employees on site, unloading the trucks when the flowers come in, putting them up on the racks, watering them and answering any questions that the customer might have. Look for the people in the purple shirts you are told. This year has been the worst I've ever seen their flowers. Maybe it was because we had such a wet spring? I've nursed some annual geraniums that looked good when I got them off the cart, and within a week, I started getting a lot of yellow leaves near the bottom. I'd pull those yellow leaves off and the blooms don't last but a few days and have to be deadheaded. Now that the temps are above 90 degrees, they are starting to look like they should look and are really putting on a nice show. I've only applied MG once, so it's way past due for that. Guess, that will be a good project for today or tomorrow.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Ever heard of the old saying "Whatever the market will bear?" It's like us, sitting here in a political arena(DC/Md/Northern Va.)which dictates a lot of higher prices for everything. I can sympathize with you; if you shop around, driving from garden center/nursery to another to save a buck, you've spent that in gasoline money. Used to have a friend who scanned the grocery/drugstore ads on Sunday, made her list and on Monday, her husband drove her to all of these stores and because he had a crippling disability, it was not always easy for him to get in/out of the car with her at each store, so he took a book along and waited for her in the car. She was very organized and she never daddled; would cause a scene if there was too few cashiers and the lines were long, because her DH was waiting in the car for her.(.to save maybe a buck.) Believe me, they were well off financially, it wasn't that she had to save that buck/bucks. They would drive into DC and buy their liquor cheaper once a month. They didn't entertain that often, only select friends. I'm glad we were among their chosen friends. We are a good example of prices being dictated by the area you live in/shop in. We just went away for an overnight trip, 125 miles from here, the further we got away from our area, the cheaper gasoline was. There was 40 cents difference in prices in the part of Pa. we visited.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Write to Proven Winners and register a complaint. Everybody now days is using the excuse of the high price of gasoline for increased prices, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. Think about the people in these natural disaster areas that have lost everything and when they go to replace it, are being gouched price-wise.

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

Only 25 minutes away from me, near my sister's home in Cincinnati, gas is 20 cents cheaper! I gas up when I visit each week.
Proven Winners are still the same price at the Meijer's near her house, as they are at the Meijer's near mine.

Warrenton, VA

Seems like Proven Winners kinda has the market these days...unless you start your own seeds or buy from a weird place. Will be interesting to see, in a couple of years, what the fads were in plants during these years...I am a bit taken aback when I see "new plant" on a tag, I admit.

Warrenton, VA

Ok, I admit. I don't look for price, I look for quality. I'd rather spend that time wandering around the nursery, lookin', thinkin', and dreamin...get it? LOL! So I find the best quality that I can afford, but of course will back off if horribly priced. I just go to an alternative annual, and compare prices that way. Proven Winners seem to be very enticing.

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