If you have tried buying plants around Austin this spring, you probably noticed that most nurseries do not have what you are looking for and may not even be able to order it. We can thank the February freeze and the new construction for all of this. It has put a very large demand on plants and the growers around Texas were also impacted from the freeze, some severely.
One of the first things we can do is to be patient and place an order with your local nursery knowing that you will not know when the plants will arrive. The sizes we were used to from the previous years are also impacted. A 5-gallon plant that was normally 3’ tall may come in now at 1’. The growers are trying to meet demand while growing the plants to the sizes that are expected for the gallon size. This a big challenge this year and nurseries are ordering plants from all over the southern states which is placing a large strain on their supply as well. It’s not uncommon right now to see a bunch of Texas trailers at the nurseries in California.
Second, we can buy what is available now which means you most likely won’t be able to get the plants you desire or the size. Our project manager may have to visit five different nurseries in one day just to get what they need for one small project. You may be able to find some uncommon plants that you didn’t know about to place in your landscape and be very happy with the results. It’s like trying some random food in a country you have never visited before.
If none of these options will work it may be best to remove all the undesirable plants, clean up and mulch the bed. Waiting until the fall or next spring may be a good option, the supply could be better by that point. One thing to keep in mind, just like everything else is that the prices are rising on the plants. Some are going up at a sharp rate. This is due to the supply issue, higher insurances, fuel cost, and the one driving most of it is labor cost. Labor cost are skyrocketing due to one of the largest shortages we have seen to date. Companies across the nation are having to pay higher wages and most have openings that they can’t fill. As long as this continues, the prices will keep going up.
Please watch this video for more information: