Sometimes clients are a little disappointed about the size of the plants that are shipped from the nursery. A 12 or 15 inch plant shrub might seem small. Can’t we get a larger one? Well, shrubs are most often sold in 3 gallon or 5 gallon containers, but most of the time we plant 3 gallon plants. 3 gallon plants can range from 8” to 30” inches depending on the variety of the plant.
One reason for using 3 gallon plants is availability. You can find a much wider selection of species in a 3 gallon size than you can in a 5 gallon size. And of course, budget is also an issue. H&G loves using larger plants, but there’s and extra cost for that more finished look. 5 gallon plants can cost two or more times the price of a 3 gallon plant.
Keep in mind, small is not necessarily bad. For most areas in the yard, clients want plants that will grow 3 to 5 feet tall. That means using a lot of dwarf cultivars, and that means a small size at installation. And it often means the plants won’t end up growing too big. If you see a big plant for sale in a nursery, think about how big it will be at maturity. A lot of the time, it will end up growing to big for its spot and will require a lot of pruning to keep it under control.
Just remember, if you think your plants are too small, don’t worry, they’ll grow!