Browsing the aisles of a plant nursery is one of the greatest shopping pleasures for gardeners. And buying nursery stock for transplanting into your garden is an easy way to get a garden going fast.
Knowing what to look for when selecting nursery plants will make the process even smoother and ensure that you get your money’s worth and your plants survive the transition from nursery to garden.
- Look for plants that are displayed with care. A gap between the soil and the sides of the pot is an indicator of infrequent watering. A rack of plants displayed in direct sunlight or sitting on hot concrete don’t show signs of care during business hours. Imagine how they’re cared for after closing time!
- Look for the healthiest plants in a group. When many plants are shelved together it is easiest to grab the one in front. Instead of settling for convenience, take the time to look at all the plants on the shelf and pick the ones that look the best.
- For seedlings, check to see that there is only one seedling per cell in the tray. At first glance double seedlings may seem like a bonus, but it’s really a hindrance, as both plants are competing to survive in that small space.
- Look for signs of disease, like yellow leaves, black spots or stem rot. Also check for damage, like broken stems, and insect presence. Avoid plants with problems.
- Compare the size of the plant to the size of the pot. A large plant in a small pot could be root-bound.
- Look for plants with dark green leaves and compact growth. This is more important than height, buds or blossoms.
Just because plants are grown in a nursery doesn’t mean that they are all equal. Choose nursery plants carefully and you will be rewarded.