Beginners Plant Buying Guide: 10 Tips for Buying Houseplants
Get ready to take down notes because these tips for buying houseplants will help you avoid buyer’s remorse.
So you have caught the (plant) bug. You spotted something green and leafy that will turn your home into a lush and striking jungalow. Sure, buying houseplants is a lot of fun, and it can also reduce anxiety and stress. So it’s not surprising to end up with an empty wallet when you pass by the nursery. However, truth be told, not every houseplant in the nursery as healthy as it seems to be. So most of the time, you end up with an indoor jungle filled with diseased or struggling houseplants.
That’s why these tips for buying houseplants are absolutely a must, especially if you are a beginner. A little planning and research will help you come home with beautiful, healthy houseplants that will live for years.
Plan Before You Buy
OK, before you head out to the nursery, you must plan, research, and study your home’s environmental condition and what type of houseplants can thrive in your home. Here are important tips for buying houseplants that you need to know:
Light Conditions: Every houseplant has different sun requirements. Some houseplants prefer bright, indirect light, some houseplants prefer full sun of at least six to eight hours each day, and some houseplants can tolerate partially sunny or shady conditions. Check your home at different times of day to learn how much light your home receives, particularly the areas in which you’d like to display your houseplants.
Soil: What’s your soil like? Do a soil test before you buy houseplants. There are three main types of soil: clay, loam, and sandy. Purchase soil test kits at your hardware store. It’s not difficult or expensive. It will only take less than $15 and 15 minutes to find out what type of soil you have.
Time: How much time do you have? Some houseplants require more maintenance and TLC. If you are a traveling plant parent and also forgetful, it’s best to choose drought-tolerant and hard-to-kill houseplants. Buy houseplants that match up your commitment level and plant parent personality.
Avoid Impulse Plant Shopping
Sure, that Tradescantia Nanouk looks absolutely gorgeous, but where will it go in your home? Will it do well in your home’s environmental condition? If not, it’s best not to buy it since it might not survive. One of the tips for buying houseplants is to always plan, research, study, and think it through first before you purchase.
Read the Label
One of the important tips for buying houseplants is don’t ignore those little plant tags because they contain important information that will help you discover if the houseplant is right for you. It will teach you the light requirement, water requirement, height, hardiness zone, spacing, depth, and maturity. You can also do your own research to properly care for your new plant baby.
Learn the Signs of an Unhealthy Plant
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for some plant stores to sell unhealthy plants, but you can avoid these unhealthy plants by learning the signs of an ailing houseplant.
Disease or Pests: One of the signs of an unhealthy plant is speckling or spots on the leaves as this can be a sign of damage from diseases or pests. Check the leaves underneath or on stems as pests tend to hide in these areas.
Root-Bound Plants: Check the roots of plants at the nursery since plants that have been in the nursery container for some time tend to have roots growing in circles, which makes it difficult for the roots to absorb nutrients and water. So one of the tips for buying houseplants is to ask the nursery professional to carefully pull your chosen plant from the nursery container so that you can check the root system or see if its roots are growing through its nursery container’s drainage holes. Root-bound plants have a thick mat of roots around the sides and at the bottom.
Weeds: Be sure there aren’t any weeds at the top of a plant’s rootball.
Wilting Leaves: Edges or tips of the leaves are turning brown, which means that the plant hasn’t been watered enough.
Yellowing Leaves: It’s either the plant has been overwatered, it needs fertilizer or both.
Choose Buds Over Blooms
Yes, flowering plants are undeniably attractive, but it’s wiser to buy a plant that hasn’t bloomed yet to enjoy its flowers for a long time in your home. Plus, trust us, replanting new plants is stressful that it can cause flowers to drop. So one of the tips for buying houseplants is to choose plants that had unopened blooms.
Don’t Be Afraid of Small Houseplants
Bigger is not always better, except if you have chosen a slow-growing plant. However, we recommend buying small plants since they are better at handling the stress of transplanting and cost less money. Plus, initially, small plants grow more quickly than larger plants. All you need is a little patience and time.
Buy Local Whenever Possible
Did you know that plants have a much greater chance of survival if they are planted close to where they were bought since the environments are similar? One one of the tips for buying houseplants from Houzz is to ask your nursery professional for plants that come from local gardeners or growers.
Check for a Warranty
You might not know this, but some nurseries, usually larger ones, offer warranties because there are cases that plants die within months or even weeks after planting. However, some nurseries don’t, particularly smaller, local nurseries because they cannot control how the customer would care for the plant, which may result in its death, and we completely get it.
So one of the tips for buying houseplants, especially if you are planning to buy that aren’t easy to grow is to choose a nursery that will offer a warranty for that plant. If you are buying easy-to-grow houseplants, most likely you won’t need a warranty anymore.
Ask a Certified Nursery Professional
One of the tips for buying houseplants is to ALWAYS ask a certified nursery professional or horticulturist if you have questions about plants since they have broad experience and knowledge about plants. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that will help you select the right type of plant for your home.
Choose the Nursery That Suits Your Plant Needs
There are different types of places where you can buy plants, such as:
Big-Box Store and Large-Chain Nursery: This place offer the cheapest prices, new plants are delivered frequently, and offer warranties, as well.
Botanical Garden Plant Sale: You might have seen this in your neighborhood where both common and hard-to-find plants are on sale. Sometimes sales are typically around spring and sometimes in fall.
Local Nursery: This is where most people buy their houseplants since they are scattered throughout a city. Plus, they offer a wide variety of plants that are locally grown. The staff also are very knowledgeable about the plant challenges and solutions that are unique to your area or region.
Bonus Tips for Buying Houseplants
Buy Off-Peak: OK, one of the tips for buying houseplants is to shop during “off-peak” hours, like at noon, night, or during weekdays. If you buy plants during “peak” hours, you are not the only customer that the salespeople have to entertain since there are a lot of other customers and, most likely, plants have been poked so many times already. So buy plants during “off-peak” hours for stress-free plant shopping.
Plants on Sale: Sure, plants on sale may be good bargains, but before you spend your money on every sale item, check them carefully since most of the time, plants on sale are unhealthy plants with one or several diseases, like drought-stressed, root bound, or they may have a lot of pests and weeds hiding underneath the leaves.
We hope that these tips for buying houseplants will help you achieve a beautiful and healthy plant collection you have always dreamed of!
Check out our Plant Care blog to learn more about different houseplants and tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.
Whatever houseplant you choose to transform your home into a lively oasis, you’ll definitely need a stylish planter to display your plant baby in. No matter what your style, there’s an Omysa planter that will be perfect with your garden and home’s décor. From ceramics to fiberstone, check out Omysa’s Shop and add it to your cart!