Plants are great. No matter where you place them, they transform your space. They clean the air, increase your productivity and cheer you up. But before you head out to buy a new plant, consider these tips to make sure you find the right plant.
Where to buy a plant?
At FYTA, we tend to consider alternative options to buying a plant, because there are so many! Do you perhaps have friends, family or neighbors with plants? Ask them for a cutting or an offset. The experience of watching a plant grow from tiny pup into healthy adult is incredibly rewarding. Rest assured, you’ll have a stronger connection with your plant.
- How experienced are you in plant care?
- Where will you place the plant?
- How much space do you have?
- How much light would your plant get?
- How humid and warm is the place ?
If raising a baby plant sounds like too much trouble, then you might find a plant that is seeking a new home. Many plant parents need to give away a plant. Perhaps they’re moving, perhaps it’s outgrown their space. Getting a plant from someone else is a great way to acquire a well-kept and loved plant with a story. They tend to be healthy and sturdy, and you may get them at a fair price. Check your local classifieds ads forums for offers. In some countries, like in Germany, you may also find an adoption project (we’ve written about it here).
If however you are looking for a specific plant which you can only find at a shop, chose a quality plant store or nursery that you would love to support. Check the overall impression. How clean and tidy is it? Do the plants look lush and healthy? Is the staff friendly and responsive? Avoid buying plants in places that feel impersonal.
Find your best match
The first step of plant ownership is knowing yourself and the place you live in. There are a number of things that will determine which plant is the best match for you. Among thehm are space, light, humidity, temperature, as well as your level of experience in plants care. All you need to do is find a plant that will be happy with your abilities and the spot you have to offer. Get advice from the nursery assistant. Or try an online matchmaking tool and fall in love.
At the shop
Check the general condition of the plant
A first look at the plant will tell you a lot about its condition. Does it look fresh and healthy? Touch the soil or take the pot into your hand in order to determine how well it was watered. Soil that appears too dry or moist and a pot that feels either too light or heavy are bad signs.
Check the roots
Look underneath the pot and check whether the roots of the plant growing out of the drainage holes. Visible roots don’t necessarily mean that the plant is rootbound, but it can be a first symptom. If in doubt, ask the nursery assistant to remove the pot so that you can see the roots. If roots are winding around the base of the plant, you can tell that it’s possibly stressed.
Inspect the leaves
Inspect the leaves very carefully, especially the backside. Look for insects and pests. Do you see anything suspicious, like with white or dark spotting, furry or spiderweb-y textures, or is there something moving? If in doubt, live without. Plants can be treated against pests and insects, but sick ones can easily contaminate other plants.
State of the buds
Get plants with small buds, rather than such with open buds or those which are already in full bloom. Closed or small buds and offsets indicate vigorous growth.
Take care during transport
Be mindful of the fact that plants are sedentary and sensitive species. Movement and transportation stresses them. It’s not uncommon that plants die during the transport, or soon after. Make sure to wrap the plant when it’s cold outside and take your time. Just as you would if you were moving something fragile.