19 April 2009

Tips for Smart Garden Center Selections

Kerry Meyer of Proven Winners has some tips for selecting plants in garden centers. You probably have thought about these criteria, but it's a good set of reminders as we all go to the garden centers.

Select plants for the amount of sun available where you plan to plant.
Consider whether you want shrubs, perennials or annuals
Decide how many plants you will need to fill the space
Look at the underside of the leaves
Plants that have dry, discolored or spotted leaves are not ideal
Curling or crispy leaves means stress, disease or insect damage
Discolored leaves mean poor nutrition
White fuzzy fungus or rust spots are signs of disease
Look for bugs and webs on the stems and leaves
Check the roots by slipping the plant out of the pot - they should be white and healthy looking
Select a plant with the most branches and buds but the fewest blooms
Cut off the flowers when you get the plant home
If you get a plant home and it turns out to be undesirable, return it to the place you bought it

Meyers' bio says she lives on 10 acres in central Missouri so her weather is a bit slower to warm than ours in zone 7 but the advice is still good.

2 comments:

Cara said...

Great advice that should be posted every spring! No matter how many years I've been gardening, it helps to read a reminder before I shop.

Molly Day said...

I'm with you. I bring things home without a thought for their successful survival in our garden.

Sometimes it works out well and other times? Not so much.