Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to select healthy plants?

Before buying plants, ensure that you (and your family):
  • are committed to growing them
  • will provide them a good environment
  • will care and nurture them
If you have pets or kids, please train them to be plant-friendly. Though you cannot always prevent the untamed from nibbling the fruits or flowers. :-)

I have compiled a list of items to check before buying plants, based on my experience. Hope you find the following list useful:

A) Knowledge and Infrastructure
Some plants are gorgeous, and tempt me to pick them right away. But I take two seconds to ask myself the following questions, and if the answer is negative, I don't buy the plants:
1) Do I know how to grow the plants?
2) Do I have the infrastructure to grow them well?

For example, I didn't buy rose plants for a long time. When I learned more about the plant, I bought a few to experiment. Thankfully, the plants have survived and have flowers!

B) Nursery
I have bought plants for several nurseries. When I visit a nursery, I like to walk around, check out the varieties of plants, and then mentally note the ones that interest me. I usually strike a conversation with the nursery owner or assistants to know more about plants that interest me and about the cost. If you think the cost is higher than you expected, compare with other nurseries. Also ask if you can get seeds instead of the plant.  

Usually, the nurseries price older plants higher than the young ones or seedlings. If you have the patience to watch the plants grow, buy the young ones; if you are looking for plants for your office or home interiors, or you don't want to wait and watch the plants grow, you can pick the older plants.

C) Foliage
That attracts me! Lush, clean, and undamaged leaves are a pleasure to see. I turn the leaves to ensure that the plant is not affected. The stem must also look healthy. Check the leaf-stem joints to ensure there are no pests. If the plant has buds, check they are healthy.

D) Roots
Roots are like a foundation to a magnificent building. The main root must not be damaged. If you have observed some plants that are grown in the growing-bags, their roots grow full and flow out of the bag. That's a nice plant to pick!  

E) Soil
The soil used at the nurseries is either raw or sophisticated. If the soil is raw (without good proportion of mud, sand, and manure), you may need to transplant the plant earlier than you expected. Otherwise, you can retain the plant as is for some time. But check with the nursery as to when you can move the plant to a bigger container or on to the ground.  Also note that ants (eggs) may reside underneath a few pots or growing-bags. If you aren't careful enough, you may end up buying one of it.

That's all I have for now. All the best for selecting the plants!

One of my roses blooming



  1. Asha, I totally agree to your three pre-requisites :-D Thanks for these tips on how to select healthy plants. Have a great weekend.

  2. Thanks! Have a relaxing weekend.


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