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Plant Buying Tips - Buying Plants Online

October 20th, 2011 Gardening

Annual Flowering Vines vs. Perennial Flowering Vines

Flowering vines are very beautiful and they add a lot of character to whatever area they are planted in. The biggest decision you will have to make when it comes time to buy a flowering vine is whether to buy a perennial or annual vine.

An annual flowering vine will only produce for one year, or growing season. A perennial vine will grow season after season and get larger and larger. One way you can figure out whether a perennial or annual vine is the best purchase is to consider its function.

  • Do you want it to be purely ornamental?
  • Do you want it to help with soil erosion?
  • Maybe you want a vine to hide an ugly fence or building?
  • Are you willing to put in the time to train the vine and prune it?
All of these questions can point you in the direction of which vine to purchase. If you want a simple vine for a growing season that has beautiful blooms, purchase an annual. If you want a vine that will be around for the duration, purchase a perennial.

Great Christmas Plants

There are many plants that you can buy through the Christmas and winter season. Nothing livens up the drab grey season more than greenery and flowers. Here is a listing of the best plant to purchase for the holidays:

Poinsettia: What would Christmas be without the beautiful poinsettia? When buying poinsettias look for ones that have lush leaves and moist soil. Give the plant a shake to see if the leaves fall off easily. If they do, select another.

Holly: Did you know Christmas colors were inspired by holly leaves? It’s true! Bring a holly plant indoors during the holidays and watch everyone quickly get into the holiday season. When purchasing holly, don’t purchase ones that have spotty leaves, or leaves with holes in them. This could be a sign that the holly has insects or even a disease. No one wants their holly plant to die over Christmas!

Christmas Cactus: Believe it or not, the Christmas cactus loves cooler temperatures. When purchasing a Christmas cactus avoid ones that have red on the leaves. This is a sign that the cactus leaves have burned, probably due to too much sunshine.

Only Buy the Plants You Need

The best way to calculate how many plants you will need to fill up an area in your lawn or garden, you first need to know exactly how much room you have to plant. Next, decide which type(s) of plants you want to use in the area. Then, research the spacing of the plants. This will prevent you from purchasing too few, or too many, plants.

For instance, if you are going to buy plants, such as the Tufted Hair Grass, to plant in a straight row, and the row is eighteen feet long, you first need to research the proper spacing for Tufted Hair Grass. This particular plant grows to be about two to three feet wide, so you only want to purchase no more than seven to nine of these to fill up your row. This may sound like too few plants for such a large area. However, it will work perfectly based on the size of my area and the plants specific spacing requirements.

Plant Buying List for Shade Gardens

There are many different plants that you can buy that will grow in shade gardens. Here is the listing of plants for sale that will grow in shade:

  • Ageratum-wild
  • Asters
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Cardinal flowers
  • Carpet Bugleweed
  • Columbine
  • Coral Bells
  • Daylily
  • Elephant's Ear
  • English Ivy
  • Foxglove
  • Hosta
  • Indian pinks
  • Kangaroo Vine
  • Lady Slipper
  • Lady's Mantle
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Obedient Plant
  • Spider Plant
  • Spiderworts
  • Tailflower
  • Turks Cap
  • Umbrella Plant
  • Wild Petunia
  • Wild Sweet William.
  • Willow Bellflower
  • Wood Anemone
This plant buying list is a mixture of ground covers, wild flowers and perennials. Any of these should safely grow in a shade garden.

Plant Buying Tips

When it comes time to purchase plants, you should avoid ones that already have fully developed flowers on them. You should look for plants that have newly formed tight buds that have not opened. This will help to ensure that the plants you purchase haven’t already peeked.

Another plant buying tip is do not assume that the bigger plants are always the better plants. Many times the smaller plants may be healthier. Healthier plants mean that they will be easier to transition into your garden because they will probably not suffer from much transplant shock.

Lastly, keep in mind the mature size of any plants you purchase. For instance, it isn’t necessary that you purchase the largest container of plants, especially ornamental grasses. Ornamental grasses grow so fast that they will quickly double in size. Save yourself some money and purchase smaller ones.

Shop for Bargain Plants

Buying plants can eat a hole in your budget if you are not careful. The best time to shop for plant deals is during the off hours. The off hours at most home and garden centers and plant nurseries are the weekday mornings. When garden shoppers come in during the evenings and weekends they will easily snatch up all the great plant deals.

It is important to keep in mind that just because a plant is priced economically doesn’t mean that you should purchase it. Make sure the plant doesn’t look ill. If you see any signs of insects or disease, don’t purchase that plant. However, don’t assume that just because particular plants are on sale means there is something wrong with them. Many times plants will get marked down simply because of overcrowding or the preferred planting time is over.

Shorter, Bushier Plants are Generally Healthier

When buying plants, look for ones that are short and bushy, instead of a tall plant that has only a few stems. Sometimes long, spindly growth is a sign that the plant has not received enough light, or that it is root bound. When you purchase a plant that is bushy you know that the plant is probably strong.

When buying plants, even bushy ones, you should avoid plants that have leaves that are turning yellow or discolored. This could be assign that the plant has root problems, pests or even a fungus. Also, poke your finger into the container. If it is dry as a bone the roots are probably already damaged, even though the plant itself may look fine.

Lastly, look under the pot. Are there roots coming out the drainage holes? If so, this is a sign that he roots are bound and overcrowded. This could mean problems down the road because the plant may be weakened by the overcrowding. This is especially true for shrubs and trees.

The Appearance of Mail Order Plants

Many people run to the phone when they receive their mail order plants. They think they have been ripped off. Many mail order plants appear dead. Many times plants and even trees arrive with no leaves on them. The good news is that more times than not your plants are not dead. They are just in a dormant stage. Most mail order nurseries will send plants during their dormant stage because this is when it is easiest on the plants. They require less light and water during this time and it is an ideal time for shipping.

When your plant shipment arrives, immediately unpack it and moisten the roots. However, don’t submerge your newly arrived plants in water. If you do, you will make them starve for oxygen. If you cannot plant your new plants right away, store them in a dark, cool and dry place. Plant them as soon as you possibly can.

The Ficus Tree: A Loved Indoor House Tree

The Ficus tree is one of the most popular indoor house trees to buy. The reason so many people buy Ficus trees is they come in such a wide range of textures and sizes. They can complement most any home décor.

You should know that Ficus trees need to be placed in an area where they will receive indirect sunlight. These trees also love warm temperatures and humidity. If your Ficus tree is exposed to too much sunlight you will need to ensure that it receives more water and more humidity.

When caring for a Ficus tree you should keep watch on the drainage holes. If you see roots coming through them, your tree is becoming root bound. You will need to move it to a larger container.

Feed your Ficus tree every three weeks with a liquid plant food.

The Importance of Plant Labels

The best plant buying tip that you can receive is to read the plant’s label before you purchase it. Plant labels are there for a reason. They list the plant’s expected growth size and its growing needs. If you buy plants because they are pretty and you fail to look at the plant’s growing requirements you may be flushing money down the toilet.

For instance, if you purchase plants that need shade and you planted them in a location where they receive full sun all day, those plants will probably die. Also, if you purchase a plant to fill in a twelve inch bare spot in your garden and within a year the plant has grown three feet wide and it is spreading – you are facing some major gardening work!

Reading a plant’s label is the only way to ensure that you are getting the best plants for your money and your gardening needs.

Tips for Buying a House Plant

When you are in the market for a house plant, it is important that you purchase ones that are healthy. Look to buy house plants that do not have any brown leaf edges. Also, try to purchase a house plant in the size that you want. Since the plant will be in a container it may not grow to be the size you would like as quickly as you would like. Before you buy a houseplant you should thoroughly check under its leaves. Look for any signs of pest or disease. Believe it or not, a sick plant can easily make all the plants in your home sick.

When you purchase a house plant it is important that you read the plant’s information label. You should try to mimic its growing conditions, or purchase a house plant that is suited to your home’s environment

Understanding Your Bonsai Tree Buying Options

Before you purchase just any bonsai tree for sale, you should do a bit of research to ensure that it is the type that you want to grow. A bonsai tree is a miniature shrub or tree that is replica of a normal size tree that grows naturally. Here are some styles of bonsai trees that you will have to choose from:

  • A formal upright bonsai tree is one that resembles a normal standing upright tree. It will have a tapering truck and tree branches that are balanced.
  • A bonsai tree that is informal will have either a curve or a bend in the trunk.
  • Cascade and semi-cascade bonsai trees are miniature trees that resemble trees that grow over water or on mountains.
  • Raft bonsai trees are trees that grow roots from its trunk. The raft bonsai is meant to replicate the appearance of a tree that has either been a victim of soil erosion or fallen down.
If you are going to buy a bonsai tree you should look for a seller who specializes in bonsai. These professionals will be able to give you care instructions for these tender plants. You will also need to be prepared to purchase special equipment such as soil, stones, containers, training wire, river rock and more.

Water Garden Plants

If you have a new garden pond, it is only natural that you will want to buy water garden plants. It would look a bit strange to see a garden pond that didn’t have any plants. Having greenery around your garden pond pulls everything together. Water garden plants serve many functions in the garden besides the obvious aesthetic purposes. In fact, the value of water garden plants value cannot be overlooked. They are important to a pond’s ecosystem and they break down hazardous substances that often accumulate in water gardens.

The two most popular water garden plants are the lily and the lotus. These plants are floaters. Their roots hang down beneath them and suck up nutrients from the water. Here is a listing of other popular water garden plants:

  • bladderwort
  • duckweed
  • fairy moss
  • floating heart
  • Victoria lily
  • water hyacinth
  • water lettuce
  • water meal
  • water poppy
  • water shield
Before you put any new plant in your garden pond you should fully understand the commitment level involved. Water garden plants quickly multiply and they will need to be controlled.