Spring and fall are the best planting times, but it can be all too easy to end up with an empty wallet and a garden filled with struggling, diseased or even dead plants. Thankfully, visits to the nursery can be enjoyable, and successful, as long as you arm yourself with the knowledge to ensure you will come home with beautiful, healthy plants that will increase the curb appeal of your home and garden.
1. Plan before buying. Before you head out to the nursery, it’s important to study the area in your garden where you plan to add your new plant or plants
2. Avoid impulse buys. It can be easy to fall in love with the vibrant blooming plant prominently displayed at the nursery and then buy it without knowing where it will go in the garden or even if it will do well in your climate. This can result in a plant that has a decreased chance of survival.
3. Read the label. Most plants come with their own instruction manual in the form of a plant tag. Types of information that you can find on the tag include the name of the plant, how big it will grow, when it will bloom, what exposure it needs and its water requirements. All of the plant’s information isn’t always listed on its tag, but with the name, you can do a little online research on your own.
4. Know the signs of unhealthy plants. Unfortunately, there can be some unhealthy plants present at the nursery. Here are some warning signs to look out for so you can make sure you won’t take home an ailing plant.
5. Choose buds over blooms. Let’s face it, the flowering plants are what draw our attention as we stroll down the nursery aisles. As tempting as shrubs in full bloom are, it’s wiser to buy a plant that hasn’t flowered yet.
6. Don’t be afraid of small plants. We may be tempted to buy a larger, more mature plant, as opposed to a smaller one, but you may be wasting your money. For example, a 1-gallon perennial or shrub is younger and better able to handle the stresses of planting than a 5-gallon plant. In addition, smaller plants initially grow more quickly than larger ones do. They also cost less money and save you time when planting.