Saturday, April 7, 2012


If you are reading this, I assume you like to garden. I also would guess that you don't like to watch perfectly healthy plants die. WELCOME TO DEATH ROW.
I've been to visit twice now. Local stores are glutted with plants that they can't sell. One missed watering out in full sun and it's off to DEATH ROW.
Most garden shops have a few plants marked down. But this year I'd say there were hundreds, perhaps even a thousand at this one store. Here's a view of another row of  poor plants. They might get watered once a day if someone remembers.

And here are four more rows of plants on DEATH ROW. is some good news. The really savvy gardeners in my neighborhood know that these plants aren't 100% dead. With a little tender care, they'll recover. There were 3 wonderful gardeners back there last time I visited.

So, who got to come home to my garden?  Let's see.
Coreopsis grandiflora 'Early Sunrise'
These were $1.00 each. Coreopsis is a tough little plant and I love their cheerful blooms. I bought a bunch!

Salvia greggii 'Lipstick'
This little native is so cute. I've grown them before.
I bought 6 for 75 cents each.

Osteospermum 'Voltage Yellow'
The Cape Daisies (Osteospermum) aren't perfectly suited to our climate, but I bought them anyway since anything's better than slowly wasting away on a metal shelf.

Lavandula stoechas
I posted bail for this half dead silver Lavender plant. ($2.50)
I've never seen one before except in garden books.
It's also not a great match for our climate, but since it was the last one and looking a bit sad
I decided to take a chance.

Lavandula inglesa 'Munstead'
There were tons of Munstead English Lavender for $2.50 each. I brought home one.

Coreopsis grandiflora 'Sunfire'
I bought this one at full price. It is an exquisite Coreopsis hybrid bred from our native coreopsis.
They'll probably be marked down 50% by next week, but I dare not wait and run the risk of a missed watering by the employees.

Their new home: LIFE ROW

Here's their new home. I think they'll be happy here.
I'll tell you a secret. We have two large garden centers side by side. The first has a Clearance Section and the other doesn't. In fact, the second store never, EVER has a single plant marked down.
So where do all their dead or dying plants end up? Answer: The giant trash containers out back.
No one there wants to take the time or effort to mark down plants.
So in a strange way, I'm very thankful to the manager of DEATH ROW for taking the time to set up a Clearance Aisle.
Perhaps we should call it HOPEFUL ROW!

Happy Easter!

Thanks for visiting Tropical Texana.


  1. Wow. I don't think I've seen that many plants on the sale aisle at any of the big box stores here, and I love the plants you picked! A month ago I found some 'Electric Lime' coleus at $0.50/4" pot.

  2. Same here, David. I was just joking this morning that I've planted my garden one dollar at a time!

    We have the same two big box stores in our neighborhood and similar markdown practices. Guess which one we shop at more often. The clearance table is a great loss leader because I often buy regular price plants there at the same time.

    I do buy at local independents as well, but many of my annuals and seasonal plants are from the clearance rack.

  3. Bad news for the retailers but great buys for you. I love the Coreopsis plants and the Lavender's.
    Have a Blessed Easter Weekend.

  4. I love the clearance areas! You did good.

    Happy Easter, to you.

  5. Hi David!
    Very good shopping!
    Lavandula stoechas, is very common here, native plant in some areas ... we call it "Espliego" or "Cantueso" and is very resistant to drought, but now is small and will need care.
    Coreopsis are great! I have some and they resist even the cold winter.

  6. I'm so jealous! The death row plants look healthier than many being sold at full price over here!! You've got some lovely plants and they have a lovely new home :-)

  7. Looks like you got some great bargains. We have shops like that here too that buy in bulk plants whether they are suitable for the local area or not. Thay very rarely mark them down though.
    I've found lavendar of all types hates hot humid conditions so watch out if you have a wet Summer.

  8. I need to come to your penitentiary. They are far too liberal with their sentencing where you live. I go by ours all the time. I rescued 4 plants from death row this week and they were just a day away from the final meal. Today at the Dallas Arboretum I had to close my eyes as we passed by hundreds of pots that were destined for the compost pile. I even photographed them because I didn't think they deserved their sentence.

  9. Wow! Why don't we ever see plants for sale here? Good thing for the plants but bad for the plant buyers? Great to see you've found a way for them to get their pardon.

  10. I'm so impressed with those death row plants! I would love to go shopping there! The garden center here has a very, very small amount of plants on their death row - and they are usually already dead! No bargains there. The shelves like you show are for the plants that are new and not yet marked. No matter how bad you want one of them, you can't buy them - they don't have a price tag yet! Funny how different stores have different policies.

  11. We have a store next to where I worked that sells plants occasionally. As soon as the plants enter the store they are on death row because no-one waters them. The store sells them at very cheap prices and I have acquired many bargains from them, because I would go in the store every day and only buy new stock. As I no longer work next to the store, it is now hit and miss about picking up a bargain.

  12. you got some really good deals. their loss your gain. They appear to be in good shape so I hope they do well for you! Carol

  13. Death Row has never looked so good! I've bought lots of plants that were doomed for the noose before and many were tough nuts that survived and thrived. Lucky for those that came home with you! :o)

  14. What a good deed you have done. SAVE THE PLANTS!!!

  15. Great rescues!
    I don't have the exact same coreopsis as you bought, but the ones I have (from a mixed seed packet several years ago) are trying to take over the entire flower bed! But they are so beautiful, I've let them go where they want to! So beware - coreopsis may need a little discipline - kind of like meeting their parole officer frequently!
    Have a great day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  16. I am a plant rescuer too! I have to grow lavender in a container here in North Florida, that's the only way I have success with it.

  17. Maybe you should go dumpster diving behind the other store. :)

  18. That's an impressive clearance section!! A good number of my plants are rescuees from a local store's (much smaller) clearance section. Last summer they even had giant butterfly bushes for $3 a piece! Definitely a deal and a great way to rescue some plants!


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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