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Buying Plants From Home Depot Vs Nursery

Plant enthusiasts like you and I always look for the best places to buy plants. We also encounter a lot of confusion, one of which is buying plants from home depot vs. a nursery. Let’s understand.

You can buy a common plant from home depot, but if you need a rare one, head to a nursery. However, the prices of plants are usually higher in the nurseries. Plants at the nurseries usually remain healthier than those in home depot due to their attention and care.

I would always buy plants from the nursery instead of home depot. Why do I say that? Let me explain in this article.

Buying new plants

I have done my best to address all of your concerns in the article below. However, if you still have any questions or are confused about the article, you can receive personalized one-on-one assistance from me by leaving a comment below. I will respond to your comment within a few hours.

Please note: Simplify Plants is reader-supported. Some links in the post are affiliate links and I get a commission from purchases made through links in the post.

Should you buy plants from home depot?

Let’s start with home depot.

Many people buy their plants from home depot and say they have turned great!

One of the biggest reasons is the price point.

Home depots offer plants at a much cheaper cost than your local nurseries.

But, if you are buying from home depot, keep a few factors in mind.

If you don’t, you might end up with a weak or unhealthy plant.

Take time to choose a healthy plant.

Unless you are ordering online, you can take your time to look around and find a plant that looks the best.

By that, I mean a plant that looks healthy.

But how do I know if the plant is healthy?

Check the leaves of the plant first.

If you see that the leaves look normal and healthy, the plant should be doing good.

Also, look for young leaves.

If the plant has young leaves, that means it is growing.

Once you have selected the plant after checking its foliage, check the roots.

Be very gentle while doing this.

Hold the pot upside down while holding the plant’s base and pull it out.

Take a good look at the roots.

If they are white and crisp, the roots are healthy, and so is the plant.

The plants are at their best when they first arrive.

If you have a home depot nearby, go and ask when they restock their plants.

You’ll get the best if you can buy the plants when they arrive.

These plants might not get the best care while living in the home depot.

Not all their staff are knowledgeable; therefore, the plants might not get enough water or be mislabelled.

But if you get the plants on arrival, the chances are you get them in the best shape.

Search the right section.

You will find plants inside and outside when you visit the home depot.

Choose from the outdoor section if you plan to keep the plants outdoors.

Whereas, look in the indoor section if you want houseplants.

Those living outdoors have adjusted to the outdoor environment and might not react well if brought indoors.

Similarly, plants living in the indoor section will not be able to tolerate the outdoor sun and temperatures.

Don’t make your choice based on appearance.

I asked you to look at the foliage and check if they look healthy and happy.

But leaves with white spots don’t mean that they are unhealthy.

When I got my jade plant, I saw soft white spots on its leaves and started thinking something was wrong!

It turned out that those were water marks and marks from the pesticides.

So, although these leaves don’t look the prettiest, you can clean them off with Neem oil after bringing them home.

Is it better to buy plants from a nursery?

Buying new plants 2

I always prefer to buy my plants from the nearby nursery and recommend it over any home depot.

Although you can get healthy plants at home depot, the chances of getting healthy plants are higher when you buy from nurseries.

Let’s look at the factors that make nurseries better than home depot.

Plants receive better care

Sometimes, the plant depots and nurseries order their plants from the same place.

But what makes the difference is what happens to these plants after some days or months.

Nurseries provide much better care to their plants than home depots.

Nurseries have the best systems and experts who work towards providing the best conditions and care to their plants.

So, you might notice a price difference in the same plant at the nursery and the home depot.

You will find rare and native plants.

Home depots usually bring the most popular plants that have a lot of demand and will get sold.

You might not find a rare or native variety here.

It is best to visit the nursery if you have researched and are looking for a rare and native variety.

Better and more knowledgable staff

Nurseries are more likely to hire people who are experts and have a thorough knowledge of plants.

This allows them to provide the right care to the plants and know how to treat them when something is wrong.

If you have any questions about the plants, you can get the right suggestions from these experts.

This might not be the case with home depot.

You may not find experts there, so their plants are not always in the best state.

Home Depot hires local workers who might not even be there when you visit the next time.

This makes nurseries more reliable.

More hardy plants

Plants in the nurseries receive better care and attention, and naturally, they become hardy than those at home depot.

If you go to the nurseries and buy plants from there, the plants should do well in your house or garden too.

Support local business

When you buy from local nurseries, you support local businesses.

Local and small businesses need more support than big businesses like home depot.

I love supporting my local businesses, so I prefer buying my plants from local nurseries.

Are local nurseries cheaper than Home Depot?

In general, local nurseries charge more than home depot.

The plants here are well taken care of, which doesn’t come for free.

Although home depot takes care of their plants too, they might not put in as much effort as a local nursery.

Home Depot plants vs. plant nursery

Choosing a healthy snake plant

Now that you know the basic difference between buying plants from a home depot and a nursery look at this table to understand more.

Home Depot PlantsPlant Nursery
You get plants at cheaper prices. Ideal if you are on a tight budget.Plants are more costly than the ones you get at home depot.
You get the common plant varieties that are popular and in demand.Along with the common varieties, you get rare and native plants.
You might not get the exact name of the variety of the plant.You will know the exact name of the variety as plant experts in the nurseries can help you with it.
Not all plants will be in their best health. You will need to look around a bit to find a healthy plant.Nurseries take good care of most plants. So you will get healthier plants here.
Home depots might not have plant experts.Nurseries have experts and knowledgeable people who know what they are doing.
Plants growing at home depot might be more susceptible to pests, diseases, or other problems due to inadequate or wrong care.Plants at the local nurseries are more suited to grow in your local climate.
This table demonstrates the difference between home depot and nursery plants.

Is Home Depot expensive for plants?

Home depot is one of the big chains that offer plants at the lowest cost.

During the sale, you can get plants at even cheaper prices.

Local nurseries are more expensive than home depot but don’t compromise the plant’s health.

When do plants go on sale at home depot?

The Home Depot often has clearance sales on their plants.

You can look out for sales at the end of summer when they clear out perennials, trees, and shrubs to make space for the fall plants.

Similarly, you can check the fall sale when they try to sell out the plants that have grown big.

You might also get a sale in the spring.

You can even get discounts on gardening tools and supplies, but this usually lasts all year.

Final thoughts

Debates between home depot and nursery are common, and people have different opinions. Someone trying to save money or has a lot of time to look around and find a healthy plant can buy plants from home depot.

Whereas someone looking to support local businesses and doesn’t mind spending some extra bucks or is looking for a healthy and a rare or native plant will prefer buying from the nursery.

I will always choose to buy plants from a nursery because I find it much better than my experiences of buying from home depot. Nurseries take care of their plants in a way that allows them to survive better in my garden or inside my house.

If you haven’t tried buying from a nursery or a home depot, try both and find out what works.

Sources: Effects of Plant Growth Retardants and Pot Sizes on Plants, Pot size matters.

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  1. Susie says:

    I sometimes purchase simple annual plants from HD, but for anything I can count on in the long run I go to my local garden center. I’d say after I saw a person with their pet dog at HD who (the dog not person) was happily urinating on the plants they stack on the floor don’t pick up any plants on the floor. Yuk.

  2. Lisa Black says:

    I am a vendor for live goods at Home Depot. I work directly for the nursery in the Mid-Atlantic region. As I do agree with some of the statements, I would like to add that all of our trees and shrubs and perennials are locally grown on Farms in NJ, MD,DE.
    All HD nursery’s should have a vendor on site to provide information on live goods. Unfortunately, HD employees (orange apron) are not well informed in what inventory is available or the care of.
    Always ask to speak to the live goods merchandiser. Also, if looking for a indigenous species or any type of plant and don’t see it, the chances of getting it are high. We are always happy to direct order from the farm for larger quantities and specific varieties.
    75% of our unsold inventory will go back to the farm at the end of the year. This is why you can 10-15yr old maples in our stores. Annuals and tropicals are discarded for obvious reasons. Perennials and Roses are normally clearanced at more than 1/2 off when bloomed out.
    Local Nurseries are extremely more involved in their plant care, have beautiful product. You do end up paying the cost though.