Now that the weather is becoming warmer, many of you will be heading to the garden center to make your spring planting purchases. To get the most for your dollar it is important that you bring home the healthiest plants. Here are some pointers that will get you the garden you desire.
The first step that you should take when shopping for flowers is to inspect the overall quality of the nursery. If the majority of the plants are sickly looking, or if you find plants infested with harmful insects you should move on to another nursery.
One of the greatest joys for gardeners is to experiment with new plants. However, while most plants will thrive in any garden that is well cared for, it is important that you research a new species prior to placing it into your garden.
If at all possible, try to avoid the discount section. These plants are there for a reason and if you look hard enough you will be able to see why. Many of these will be at the end of their growing season or sick and are only worth buying if you have the time and patience to nurse them back to health.
The energy spent on producing flowers takes away from a plant’s root system. Look for plants with buds rather than those with fully developed flowers. These plants will have a stronger root system and will adapt well to the planted environment.
If the all the flowers available at your garden center have blooms on them, choose the plant that looks the healthiest. Before planting, cut off all the flowers. Plants will suffer less transplant shock and develop new and stronger roots quicker without flowers, and will only take two to three weeks for them to once again bloom
Check the plant’s root system before you buy. Roots should not be wrapped around the root ball. Roots should be white. Dark roots may indicate rotting. If soil falls away from the root ball, the plant’s roots are immature-look for another pot.
Avoid plants with tall thin stems. A healthy stem is strong and upright. If the plant’s stems are leaning, they will not hold up to the wind in your garden. Yellow stems indicate incorrect watering or possibly a diseased plant. Large spaces between leaf sets on a stem are also to be avoided.
Yellow leaves on a plant may indicate disease or improper watering. Leaves should be green and vibrant. Watch out for fungus. White or brown fuzzy spots on leaves or black or brown spots on flowers are good indications that a fungus is present.
It is best to plant new purchases as soon as you can. If for whatever reason you are delayed from doing this, keep the plants in a protected area and check often to make sure they have enough water. Soil in containers or balls dry out quicker than ground soil, and therefore, they must be given much more care.
Following these simple guidelines will provide you with a good start to the planting season.