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Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Episode 54: Splurge Plants

What plants are worth breaking the bank for?

On this episode we’re daring to dream big and talking about which plants we’d be willing to spend an entire paycheck on. We’re calling these coveted gems “splurge plants.” A hefty price tag isn’t the only way a plant can make this list, though. It could be a plant that’s not hardy to our particular zone but we’d be willing to set up a heater by its side all winter just to have it in our gardens. Other selections made our list because we’ve seen them, drooled over them, but haven’t had the opportunity to add them to the garden lineup—yet. You get the gist. And before you start thinking this is our “fantasy” episode, we decided that these all had to be real plants—no blue roses or unicorn trees.

Expert testimony: Richie Steffen is curator of horticulture for the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle.



‘Alley Cat’ Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Alley Cat’, Zones 5–8)

‘White Tiger’ canna (Canna ‘White Tiger’, Zones 8–10)

‘Burgundy Spice’ sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus ‘Burgundy Spice’, Zones 6–9)

‘Victoria’ hardy lady’s slipper orchid (Cypripedium ‘Victoria’, Zones 4–7)



‘Manyo no sato’ Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Manyo no sato’, Zones 5–9)

‘Erythrocladum’ moosewood (Acer pensylvanicum ‘Erythrocladum’, Zones 5–8)

‘Chief Joseph’ lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta ‘Chief Joseph’, Zones 5–8)

‘Sterling Silver’ stachyurus (Stachyurus praecox ‘Sterling Silver’, Zones 6–8)


‘Alley Cat’ Eastern redbud
‘Alley Cat’ Eastern redbud
‘White Tiger’ canna
‘White Tiger’ canna
'Burgundy Spice' sweetshrub
‘Burgundy Spice’ sweetshrub


'Shiun' hepatica
‘Shiun’ hepatica. Photo: courtesy of Richie Steffen


‘Chief Joseph’ lodgepole pine
‘Chief Joseph’ lodgepole pine. Photo: courtesy of Richie Steffen


Listen every other Friday (or thereabouts) on iTunes’ podcast app, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts!

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  1. RomanyLambert 01/15/2020

    Very Informative! We can help with the landscaping. For more info visit the link.

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