How to Buy Plants

If you’re anything like me, chances are you’ve added a few more houseplants to your space during quarantine. Not only do plants add amazing ambiance and coziness, they have tons of health benefits (more on that here!). I shared how to buy plants online a while back, but wanted to share tips for how to buy plants in person, too. I know shopping habits have changed, but as more and more shops open, I have the feeling we’ll be adding stops at the local nursery to the errands list! After all, there’s nothing better than a new impulsively bought houseplant, amiright?! So here are a few things I keep in mind when picking out new houseplants. Let me know if you think I should add anything to this list, too.

How to Buy Plants: What to Look for When Picking New Houseplants!

Plan ahead

I’m definitely a planner, so I usually always have a list of plants I want in the back of my mind. Even if you don’t know what type of houseplant you want exactly, there are a few things you need to be aware of before bringing home your new leafy friend. Make sure you pick a plant that will thrive in the location you have in mind. For example, even though you love a full sun plant, if you don’t get at least 6-8 hours of daylight, chances are the new addition might not thrive. The same is true with choosing the right garden pot or planter size. If you have one already, measure it before you go shopping.

On a related note, make sure you have the ceiling height if you’re buying a tree! I accidentally bought a fiddle leaf that was wayyy too tall for my house and ended up having to return it, which was such a process. Learn from my mistake!

Read the label

Most plants should come with a small label, usually white and plastic that’s stuck into the soil. This tells you all kinds of things about the plant! Usually, the label lists the common name and Latin name, the plant’s sunlight preference, watering instructions, and information about how quickly it grows or yields fruit and flowers. If there’s something that you don’t understand, definitely ask a salesperson.

Really examine the plant before buying

Here are some things to look for:

  • How to the leaves look? Are they droopy or perky, are there brown spots, are they dusty? What does the underside of the leaf look like?
  • Is the soil moist or too dry (this will vary depending on the type of plant, but always good to check)?
  • Are roots growing through the drainage hole or out of the top of the planter?
  • Are there buds indicating new growth?
  • How does the soil smell? I know this is weird, but if the soil smells off, chances are something is rotting.
  • Are there bugs on the plant?

Don’t be afraid to Google while shopping!

I usually impulse buy house plants when I find something really unique and cool. That means I often don’t know it’s full care requirements. A quick internet search while I’m shopping has definitely come in handy a lot. And try not to feel overwhelmed or rushed while shopping — after all, this is an investment in a living thing!

How to Buy Plants: What to Look for When Picking New Houseplants! Tips and tricks to help you shop for new plants like a pro. #plants #houseplants #lowlightplants #indoorgardening #tipsandtricks #decoratingwithplants

So what do you think about my tips on how to buy plants? I tried to make sure this list would cover houseplants and veggie plants for your outdoor garden. But if I missed anything, leave a comment and let me know!

Looking for more posts about plants? Great, because I’ve written SO many! Check out these:

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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