You should put as much thought and time in shopping for houseplants as you would with any other item for your home. If treated properly, the houseplant could be living within your home for a long time to come.
Of course, there will be times you will see a houseplant on the spur of the moment and fall in love with it. Maybe you like the shape of its leaves or the way it smells. You instantly know the perfect spot for it. If this is the case, then the impulse buy will probably be a good one.
But ideally you will think a little bit about the type of houseplant you want before you go off and shop for it. Here are a few things you may want to start thinking about before you go shopping for your next houseplant.
First, where should you shop?
Should you go to a garden center or your local department store? The garden center may have healthier plants and more choices. The prices may be higher for houseplants at the garden center. But in this case you are paying for what you are getting. At the garden center, the staff is more knowledgeable. They can tell you more about what steps you should take in helping the plant to thrive, especially if the staff is full time members who have worked with plants for a number of years.
If you decide you want to buy a new pot to place the plant in, you may want to buy that at the local department store. Some garden centers sell their accessories pretty high. Department stores also offer more variety on sizes and colors.
Before you buy your plant you should check a few things first:
1. The potting soil. If the soil is dried out, do not buy it. The plant has been neglected.
2. Check the base of the pot. Are the roots coming out of the bottom? If there are a lot of roots coming out of it, you may not want to buy it. It should have been repotted. If only a few roots are coming out of it, you have time to save it.
3. If you are buying a flowering plant, make sure there are still plenty of buds to open otherwise you won’t enjoy the display of color.
4. Look at the shape of the plant. Has it been growing on one side more than the other side? If it has, you may want to choose another one.
5. Make sure the plant is labeled. A label will tell you how to take care of the plant, how much light it needs, the type of soil, etc.
6. Avoid the plants with broken or damaged leaves.
7. Turn the leaves over and look for signs of pests and diseases. If you find any, leave the plant in the shop.
8. If the plant is displayed in a protective sleeve and you can’t remove it, don’t buy it. You won’t be able to inspect the plant.
Then if you find the plant that looks close to perfect take it home immediately. Do not put the plant inside the trunk of your car; it will not get enough air to breathe. Before leaving the shop see if the plant can be put into a protective sleeve, if you are going to be riding a bus or other means of transportation where the plant may be bumped.
When you get home, find the perfect spot for your plant and enjoy.