Share this post TFUPM Posted May 02, 2014

Walking into a nursery can be overwhelming. From hobby plants to unusual varieties, independent and specialist nurseries are the best way to find what you are looking for. The challenge often lies in how to make these purchasing the smart way. Over-eager and over-optimistic growers and gardeners often walk into a nursery thinking that every plant for sale is in a healthy condition. This assumption is one of the most common and biggest mistakes to make. Particular plant groups like grasses, shrubs, tropical plants, and varieties that need shade are most likely going to be found in a specialty nursery. Do your homework before heading to the garden to make sure that you are not being overcharged or sold an unhealthy crop.

Inspecting the options is imperative to making a smart choice. When looking through the plant options for sale, be sure to conduct a thorough examination of the leaves and stems. The following are some guidelines for warning signs to look for when purchasing plants:

  • Wilted leaves often indicate water deficiency, stress, or overall neglect by the nursery staff
  • Scars on the branches indicate damage of some kind, this may also mean that a disease may be headed for the plant
  • Yellowing leaves are a huge sign that nutrient deficiency or a pest problem is present
  • Inadequate growth usually means that the plant is suffering from poor light conditions or that the plant has grown larger than the pot it is kept in
  • Look for sticky residue, leaf distortions, chewed leaves, webs, mushy foliage, and spots – all of these things could mean that diseases and insects are present

The soil is also a place where inspection is required prior to purchasing plants. Taking a good look at the root zone is imperative. Keep the following under the soil issues in mind:

  • Look under the pot and make sure no roots are growing out from there
  • Make sure there are plenty of roots, not just soil. A lot of soil and not a lot of roots mean that the plant was repotted recently or that the plant is not growing strong
  • Take a look at the moisture level of the soil, very dry soil means that the plant’s roots have dried out and will die soon
  • Be well aware of any weeds, no weeds should be present in a newly purchased plant
Keeping these tips in mind will help you to purchase healthy plants from the get-go. In doing so, you give your harvest the best chance of thriving and flourishing the way it should.X

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