Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 2, Issue 2
April 2007
Selecting Healthy Plants

One of the most delightful tasks a home gardener can undertake is shopping for new plants. There's a particular euphoria attached to completing a pocket in a flowerbed or a grouping of indoor greenery.

However, nothing is more frustrating to gardeners than transplanting a new purchase and seeing it self-destruct before their eyes. To combat this scenario, there are numerous checks you can do prior to purchasing to ensure that you've made the best possible plant selection. Consider the following questions before venturing to your favorite plant retailer.
  1. What are the light conditions of the location the new plant will call home? Do they match those of the plant you wish to purchase?
  1. Once it is fully-grown, will the height of the plant be compatible with others in that area?

  2. Does the new plant's flowering period (if any) coincide with the flowering periods of your established plants?

  3. What is the soil composition of your planting bed (outside) and does it match your new plant's needs?

  4. Is your indoor/outdoor plant safe from the inquiring hands, paws and mouths of infants or pets? Some plants, such as lily of the valley, angel's trumpet, oleander and tansy are poisonous if ingested.

  5. Do you want a perennial, annual or biennial?
  Sun-loving plants will flourish in this spot.
When choosing a new plant for this bed, ensure that it likes full sun. Choose one that will flower later or earlier in the season to extend the life of the bed.
  1. Are you selecting your plant for its floral color or for its greenery?

  2. Are you purchasing the plant to attract beneficial bugs, birds or bees to add to the vitality of your outdoor garden?

  3. When do you intend to transplant your purchase?

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