Buy Plants That Pay Dividends

by Kevin on April 23, 2008

dianthus deltoides

I’ve told you about the experience my wife and I have had learning how to tend to our lawn and plants at our new home. We’ll continue to share stories of our rookie mistakes like how we bought weed killer on clearance as our lives progress.

I’ll get to the plants that pay dividends in a minute, but a brief background on our landscaping and gardening abilities:

We did some more landscaping a few weeks ago. It seems every time our parents come to visit, we put them to work in the yard. They seem to enjoy it though — they have green thumbs. We have brown. They are doing everything they can to get a hint of green in our thumbs.

Our parents tend to love saying “Oh, with this plant you just can’t kill it.”

A few weeks later and all we have left is brown, crispy, crunchy, ruined plant. It never fails. Brown thumb strikes again.

Seriously, buy plants that pay dividends

Honestly… in general, I like plants. Green, yellow, red… they’re all fine to me. You might go as far to say I find them aesthetically pleasing (just don’t tell me group of guy friends). Take the plant to the right here, Dianthus deltoides. We have some form of dianthus that my Mom brought from home planted in the back. Apparently it should spread over the years and take over the area it’s in. We’ll see — we’re just trying not to kill it.

Now if I could only buy plants that money would grow on, I’d be set!

Until I am able to breed that plant in my laboratory (what, I haven’t told you about my laboratory?), I’ll stick with other plants that pay dividends.

We’re not talking about public corporations that make plants. Or plants that earn you 3% cash dividends. No, I’m talking about perennials.

For those like me (the uneducated gardner): There are two types of flowering plants: annuals and perennials. Annuals are plants that you have to plant annually. You plant them once, they bloom then seed themselves, and die. I used to think it was the type of plant that came back (without needing to replant) annually. “Annuals come back annually, right?” Not so.

Instead, perennials are flowers that you plant once and they reappear every year* with minimal effort. Of course minimal depends on your definition of the word. Plants need water, proper soil, and maybe a bit of fertilizer so it isn’t necessarily a no-work required deal. But it’s a lot better than replanting annuals every year.

* = Perennials can apparently be short lived as well, but usually live up to two years. Some can last eons.

It’s a bit of a stretch to make this comparison, but what the heck: buying perennials is kin to investing in a stock that pays a consistent dividend payment.

  1. Buy once.
  2. Plant once.
  3. Enjoy multiple years of flowers.
  4. If you’re lucky and have a green thumb, your plants might even spread and grow extra plants. This is equivalent to reinvesting your dividends in a DRIP plan. Your plant DRIP plan will work better if you use water. Ha-ha.

What do you think? Are you a fan of annuals-only, perennials-only, or a mix? And stick around, tomorrow I intend to have an article up about a modern pre-fab green home that I’d move into today if I had the chance.

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April 27, 2008 at 12:34 pm


Karin April 23, 2008 at 8:54 am

I plant both perennials and annuals. I like the idea of changing the plants in a few areas around our house – that’s where the annuals come in. For the most part I have perennials. I am in ND – so I am just starting to get out in the yard playing in the dirt!

Philip April 23, 2008 at 9:07 am

My gardens right now are completely self sustaining! It includes dirt, rocks and weeds that I am trying to kill.

If/when I plant something I want to grow; I will definitely look at perennials, why pay for new plants every year if you can get around it. Of course, in Houston I don’t think that anything ever actually dies so it can bloom forever.

Mom @ Wide Open Wallet April 23, 2008 at 11:22 am

I have a brown thumb like you. I currently am nursing an orchid that I got for free. It’s the only plant I’ve ever managed to keep alive. I would like to learn to garden someday. It’s on my ultimate to-do list.

Mark @ TheLocoMono June 7, 2008 at 1:50 pm

Great post. One thing to consider is certain flower bushes that local florists love to pay for the flowers to use. These bushes will always grow new flowers every year no matter what and if you just cut the best 25 percent of these flowers and sell it to your local florist at a discount (cheaper than paying freight to suppliers), your purchase can pay back for itself in 3 years and you could increase your income after that. Not much but even $100 a bushel would go a long ways.

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