Choosing the right plants isn’t simply about the aesthetics. You must consider soil conditions as well as how much sunlight is offered in the given space. There are also the preferences of the client. They may have specific plants in mind, or they may want a yard that’s easy to manage. All of these factors go into creating the ideal plan.

But what happens when supply and demand aren’t working in your favor? Just because you’ve specified the plants for a project doesn’t mean they will be available.

On the other side, there may be different plants you have not chosen but would look just as good and cost less. It can be a fine line to walk between finding the right margins and ensuring that products fit the project. There may be times when it is appropriate to substitute. Let’s look closer at this question.

Right Plants in the Right Place

When the right plants are placed in the ideal environment, good things happen. Plants begin to grow and take root. Their root systems are healthy and show steady top growth. Plants that are prospering like this are more likely to ward off attacks from insects or diseases.

On the other side, when plants don’t thrive, they are weak and susceptible to infection. In these situations, if the plant you have chosen, which is the “right” one, isn’t available, then you may need to go back to the drawing board to find a similar substitute. Don’t risk substitution with a plant that won’t do well in the conditions.

You may worry that because the original plant isn’t available, none of the those similar will be either. That’s why it’s a good idea to use an online marketplace to source plants. You’ll have more options should you need to substitute.

Plant Sizes: Don’t Substitute Too Big or Too Small

Another area to consider in substitutions in size. You know roughly what size most plants will grow to be. If you have a specific area, wherein there is a mix of plants all with different sizes, and you don’t have the right materials, you’ll be facing another quandary.

Now, substituting is more about size than color or other plant qualities. You need to balance the design and not overpower it with a plant that looks out of place.

If you find yourself in this predicament, consider expanding your sources. You can do this easily on an online marketplace. You may find they have the plant you need, which would be the best news. Plus, you’ll know in real-time.

If you still cannot track down that elusive plant, see what’s available on the marketplace that fits the size and other conditions you need.

Plants for Specific Areas

When designing a landscape with specific areas like walkways, your original vision may not always come to fruition. You’ve specifically selected these plants based on how they grow so they won’t disrupt walkways or easily grow over them. You don’t want anything to be a tripping hazard or block the view. While you may have all the plants specified for these areas, supply doesn’t always equal demand.

If your client has already signed off on something that’s no longer available, this puts you in a tough spot. So, when you go back to the client with options, be sure they are available by using an online marketplace. Here you can check availability in real time.

Critter Defense

Are you designing a landscape that needs defense from nature’s critters? It could be moles, rabbits, insects, or other wildlife. It’s a natural part of having any type of landscaping. It’s also something you can design for, taking into consideration exactly what the pests are likely to be. If this is a consideration in the design, relay this to the client so they understand why they are being used. However, your client may have other ideas.

If there are specific plants they like and want, you may be able to substitute similar plants that will fare well against nature. Check your online marketplace suppliers to see what’s in stock and meets your requirements. Then, go back to the client. Hopefully, you can come to an agreement that appeases both aesthetic and function.

It’s Good to Have a Second Choice

If one thing is certain in landscaping, supply and demand aren’t always in line. Lots of factors can impact whether or not plants are available. And if they aren’t, you may have to make substitutions.

First, you can often avoid this by using an online marketplace to source from more suppliers than your local nurseries. Should the plant really not be found, use the marketplace to find a similar plant that still meets all the needs and will thrive in the environment.

Learn more about how an online marketplace can help you always have a source for your projects by reading this FAQ.

Join LandscapeHub today. As a buyer, you’ll gain access to over 100 suppliers, ready to offer you access to the products you need. As a supplier, you’ll expand your reach and increase profitability. Explore what’s possible with an online marketplace for our industry.