More than just an art, choosing plants for your garden requires care and an eye for detail. At first glance, everything in the nursery would look gloriously appealing. Be careful. Look closely at your garden and available space.
Before the Nursery
Of course, before you go to the nursery to make your purchase, you have to have some idea about what plant to bring home. If this is your first time and you’re just getting started in the garden, make sure you have these things clear before plant-shopping:
Garden soil. Make sure the soil in your garden is appropriate for the type of plants you have in mind to grow. Also, be sure the soil has been prepared and ready for the transplanting.
Garden design. It helps to already have an idea about the layout and the design you’d like for your garden. If you’d like more than one plant type, you have to know how many of each you need for the portion of the plot you a lot.
Once you have those points cleared and covered, a trip to the nursery is in order. Here are some of the things to watch out for when choosing plants:
1. Impressions. Get an overview of the plants in the nursery. Notice sections and how they blend together. You want to see if the plants looking healthy and are appropriately cared for overall.
2. Plant height. Where plants are concerned, taller is never better. Go for the ideal – average height. Tall plants could mean a crowded lot where plants have to strain for sunlight and grown quite thin.
3. Appearance. Look over the plant you pick. The leaves should be shiny, green and healthy-looking. Don’t buy plants with yellowish or yellowed leaves or those that obviously look unwell; plants may or may not recover from stress.
4. Health. You want to take home healthy plants so inspect closely for signs of insects and disease. Check both sides of the leaves, too. You want to make sure your plant does not exhibit blackened areas, holes, spots, mush, distortions and discolorations.
5. Stem Condition. You’d like to pick a plant with healthy stem. If its stem is woody or thick, make sure it’s smooth and clean and bears no signs or cracks or stress. Prior damage can weaken a plant.
6. Root system. Mind the roots of potted plants. If it looks like the roots are too many or are sticking out from the bottom of the plant, this could indicate stress; the plant may take time to recover. If it looks like there aren’t too many roots, this could mean the plants were potted very recently; they could require more time to be garden-worthy.
7. Weeds. Mind the weeds on the potted plant you pick. If there are indeed weeds in the pot, that’s a bad sign. Weeds compete with the plant for sunlight and nutrients; it may also indicate the plant has been neglected by the staff.