This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
We have all along contended that it was better and really cheaper for the purchaser to pay double price for the best plants than to take those rated as cheap, as a gift. The following experience of a grower, we feel, is only a truthful summing up of the case, although we do not believe the price named - viz., one dollar a plant - a just one to be demanded for even the best of grapevines, except it be some rare and new sort that the demand requires more than the supply can furnish: uIt is better for the purchaser to pay one dollar each for three vines propagated from a parent vine, than to pay twenty-five cents each for a dozen vines propagated from a vine in every respect equal to the vine producing but three. He will have three plants of excellent quality; and if he will give the same care to the three vines that he would to the dozen, he will in the end, according to my experience, have better results; but the great mass of the people demand cheap plants, and we must gratify them, or they will send to those who will furnish them; but if all would agree to send out none but plants of the best quality, and charge according to the value of the plant, I believe in the end it would be to the interest of both purchaser and propagator.
When I see an advertisement in which grapes are offered for five, eight, or ten cents, even at wholesale, the idea strikes my mind that the plants are not worth anything. When I first commenced to test the vines I bought cheap vines, but I found in a few years that I was throwing away money. The people ought to understand that a good vine at fifty cents or a dollar is far cheaper than a poor vine at twenty-five cents, or even five cents. I bought some of the Wilson Blackberry plants this spring, at a dollar and fifty cents per root; they have grown three feet, and look healthy. I afterward saw an advertisement offering the same variety of plants at twenty-five cents each. I procured some of the latter to see what the difference in their growth would be, half lived till July the 1st, the other half died about the middle. This was only another proof to me that there is nothing gained by purchasing cheap plants, but much to be lost."