Landscaping and budget are two words that don't seem to go well together, especially if you're planting a large bed of flowers. Flowers like patented roses are expensive. Five-gallon size perennials add up quickly. Cut down on your gardening costs with inexpensive flowers. While flowers are inexpensive in different geographic areas during different seasons, there are a few strategies you can use to obtain the most inexpensive flowers no matter your location or climate.
Take cuttings from flowers you already have to grow into new plants. Snip off the top 4 inches of flower. Dip the end in rooting hormone and place it in damp soil in dappled shade. Keep the cuttings moist, but not soggy. Don't let the cutting dry out. In a week or two, the cutting will root. Try geraniums, roses, azaleas, camellias and jasmine.
Save seeds from annuals blooming this season to plant for next year. Wait until the seed pod is brown and dry. Save the seeds in envelopes labeled with the flower and color. Perennials seeds will grow as well but won't bloom much, if at all, the first year after planting.
For the price of a six pack of flowers, you can purchase enough seeds to grow 50 plants. Start seeds indoors six weeks before the average date of the last frost in spring. Seeds will last more than one year. If you don't plant the entire package, save the seeds for the next planting season.
Flower seedlings are available in nurseries and home improvement stores in six packs, which cost about 1/3 as much as quart-sized plants. Flowers grow quickly, and in a few weeks both plants will be about the same size. As a bonus, the smaller seedlings suffer less transplanting shock than larger plants.
The floral department of grocery stores stock gift plants in bloom. Most of the plants are potted three to four a pot. In other words, that chrysanthemum may actually be three plants in one container. Miniature roses are planted three and four plants to a pot. Look at the stems of the plant as they enter the soil. It's easy to tell if it's one plant because there will be only one central stem. Remove the plant from the pot and cut a section of soil and roots for each stem. Plant immediately.
Flowers commonly found in the nursery are less expensive than hard-to-find plants. Annuals are less expensive than perennials. Inexpensive flowers include marigolds, zinnias, petunias, vinca, alyssum, snapdragons and pansies.