You would think buying plants is just a matter of heading out to the local nursery or the Wal-Mart and just forking over your debit card. You would be wrong. Unless, of course, your intent is to screw up so bad that you add gardening to the list of hobbies you have given up on. Here are some quick keys to correctly choosing plants for those starting out in the world of gardening.
Timing matters when it comes to choosing plants. Here’s the skinny: don’t buy plants immediately following extreme hot or cold weather. If you live in moderate climates, you can be pretty safe buying plants throughout the year except after hot or cold fronts have passed through. Otherwise, try to wait until the spring when you can reduce the potential for root balls freezing up even on those plants protected by the store from which you buy them.
One of the best reasons to buy your plants where there is a lot of choice is that you can avoid buying plants that have suffered damage. Examine leaves for blotchy patches and signs of wilting in particular. Give the plants a nice hardy inspection to determine if they may be suffering damage related to underfeeding, underwatering, overwatering or direct exposure to too much sunlight.
If you want to know the secret behind successful gardeners who purchase their plants at local retailers, here is one of the keys: inquiring minds want to know. Before choosing a plant retailer based on proximity or price, ask around. Engage in conversation with the workers and even customers. Here’s the prime information you want to get: when does the store receive its delivery of the plants you desire. That way you can arrive when those plants are at their peak condition and get them home to your own tender care before they have had a chance to devolve under the conditions of capitalist enterprise.
When buying multiple plants, purchase in odd rather than even amounts. From the perspective of gardening aesthetics, odd number of plants look more natural than even. Of course, if your intention is to create a distinctively unnatural stylistic aesthetic, buy in even numbers.
Do a 360
Especially when buying a larger plant or one with an unusual shape, you should get a look at the plant from all 360 degrees. If you don’t get a perspective of the plant from every single angle possible before buying, you may get stuck with a plant that simply doesn’t fit into your plan. Or perhaps you will get stuck with a plant that requires extra pruning or even being moved at a future point.