Tips For Choosing Nursery Plants

Posted on: 7 March 2017

A visit to a nursery is an excellent way to get the plants you need for your garden in one trip. Most nurseries have a very large selection of every type of plant you could desire for your landscape, from vegetables to annual and perennial flowers, as well as trees, shrubs, and vines. The challenging part is selecting a young seedling that will transplant well and grow healthily in your garden. The following tips can help you with this task.

Tip #1: Know the growing conditions

Before heading to the nursery, draw a quick sketch of your yard or garden bed. Then, check on it throughout the day so you can make note of the amount of sun exposure the bed gets on a daily basis. For example, you may think your bed with southern exposure gets full sun, so it can be a surprise when you realize that the neighbor's tree blocks the sun for half the day. You can then mark the sun exposure, as well as any other notes you find helpful, on the garden map you have sketched. This will help you choose the right plants for each spot in the yard.

Tip #2: Check the roots

A root bound plant is a plant that has been in the pot too long. The roots have grown too large for the small container, so the roots have wound around themselves. Although some plants can recover, often the roots end up choking themselves out. The simplest way to check for root binding is to slide a plant from the pot. If all you see is a thick mass of roots winding around and around itself, choose another plant.

Tip #3: Learn the trouble signs

Most nurseries inspect all of their seedlings closely, but trouble sometimes sneaks in. Before purchasing a new plant, look at the underside of all the leaves and examine the stems. These should look healthy and there should be no insect eggs or insects visible. Next, examine the soil closely and make sure there are no fungal problems, which often appear as a white web-like coating on the soil surface. Finally, select seedlings with with healthy, erect stems and bushy foliage in good health.

Tip #4: Avoid the over-achievers

When it comes to annuals like vegetables and flowers, those that are in full bloom may not thrive so well in the garden. This is because the shock of transplanting often causes all those flowers to drop prematurely, then you have to wait for them to produce new buds before you get flowers again. Instead, look for bushy plants with lots of foliage and unopened buds. This doesn't apply to most perennials, since they have a specific flowering period as opposed to several blooming cycles in a season.

For more help, talk to a plant nursery such as Moon Valley Nurseries.