How to buy
One of the keys to
growing a thriving houseplant collection is to start
with healthy specimens. For both the beginner and expert,
knowing where to buy plants from, and how to select
which plants to purchase is extremely important. Below
are some general tips to follow when selecting new plants.
Sometimes finding a supplier can be difficult. The following
are some things to look for in a nursery or plant shop.
- Is the staff knowledgeable? Can they
answer your questions and provide you with advice?
Plants grown from a knowledgeable staff will be healthy
and well cared for. Also a knowledgeable staff can
be helpful in helping you select the right plant.
- What condition are their plants in?
Even if the particular plant you like is healthy,
if many of the other plants in the store are in poor
condition it is best to move on and find a different
place to shop.
- For online or mail order vendors,
be especially aware of the vendor’s reputation.
Also, pay attention to the size plant you are getting,
and look for the shipping method and return policy.
Selecting the right plant to buy can often be a difficult
decision. Below are some key points to examine when
selecting your plant.
- Will this plant fit my conditions?
Before going plant shopping, first consider what your
home growing conditions (e.g. light, humidity, temperature,
etc.) are like, and look for plants that fit those
conditions. When shopping read the tags on the plants,
and look for plants with needs that fit your home
environment. If you are not sure, don’t hesitate
to ask the vendor for advice.
- Is the plant free of disease and pests?
Before purchase, carefully examine the plant for signs
of disease or pests. Never purchase a plant that shows
any signs of sickness or pest contamination.
- What is the condition of the leaves/stem?
Does the plant have leaf burn, brown tips, dried or
mushy brown leaves? Is the stem healthy and well-formed?
Is the plant compact and bushy, or tall and leggy?
Look for healthy plants with healthy well-formed foliage.
Avoid any plants that look damaged or are missing
a lot of leaves.
- What is the condition of the roots?
Take a peek at the roots. Are the roots healthy and
well-formed? Does the soil smell fresh or rotten?
Never purchase a plant with black or rotted roots,
and beware of severely root-bound plants, or of plants
with poorly developed root systems.
- What is the soil like? Is the plant’s
soil bone-dry, or is it soaking wet? Plants that are
not watered may show signs of wilt, while those that
are sitting in water may have developed root rot.
- Is there new growth/flower buds? Look
for plants with signs of healthy new growth. When
purchasing flowers, look for ones with unopened buds
so that you can enjoy the flowers for a longer period
Written by Adrienne Kleintop