Buying Plants

Here are some things you can do to help make your plant shopping trips more productive!

1. Where do you intend to put the new plants? If you’re shopping for new plants which will be kept in pots inside your house, try to decide where you think the new plants will actually reside. This will allow you to know how much or how little sunlight that specific place in your home has available.

The same rules apply to outside plants too. Whether you’re putting them in a new garden bed or a container, you need to have an idea of where exactly you’ll be putting them.

2. Are there other plants already in place? If you’re shopping for plants with the intention of filling out or supplementing an existing garden bed or container, you’ll need to be aware of what you already have in place so that you don’t cause yourself additional headaches down the road.

For instance: Are those existing plants at their full mature sizes? If not then how much extra room will they take up once they’re fully grown? If they’re not fully grown, then you may want to consider buying annual plants so there will still be room for your existing plants to grow as needed. If you buy perennials to fill the bare spaces, then by the time everything is grown up you may find that your garden bed is over filled, and this may even cause growth problems with the plants in time.

Also think about the plants which are already there. If you have a garden bed with invasive plants such as ivy or mint planted for instance, you may not have much luck trying to put rose bushes or tulips in there too.

3. What do you want to accomplish? When you go shopping for plants, it helps to have an idea of the end results you’d like before you start actually buying the plants and flowers. If you want to simply add some different flower colors or textures to a garden bed, then it’s usually safe to buy whatever catches your fancy. If however, your garden bed already has too much red in it and you want to balance that out, then it may help to make notes about which colors you’d like to add to the existing mix.

If there’s a certain garden design style you’re trying to attain, knowing this before going shopping helps dramatically. If you want an old fashioned English cottage garden for instance, you’d need to look for different types of plants than those which would go into a desert cactus garden.

4. How to the plants themselves look? Once you’re at the garden center or nursery, you want to pay attention to how the plants actually look, and be honest with yourself about your personal gardening abilities. If you’re not sure how to take care of a Begonia for instance, then it might not be wise to buy one which looks like it needs extra tender loving care.

5. What is your budget? This may seem obvious, but most of us plant lovers tend to spend much more than we ever intended every time we go plant shopping. So if you have a budget that must be adhered to, keep this in mind as you’re shopping. It may help to write down your budget, and write down the cost of each plant you want too. Then if you find yourself over extended, go through your list and decide which ones can be left for the next shopping trip instead.

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