How to Buy Potted Flowers

Two Methods:Checking a Store's InventorySelecting Individual Potted Flowers

There are many places to buy potted flowers. You can browse at garden centers and nurseries, at mass market retailers, grocery stores, and even home improvement outlets. You should look at the overall quality of a store's plant stock before buying. Then check the individual potted flowers you want to purchase. Carefully examine the roots, flowers, stems, and foliage before selecting potted flowers. Choose sturdy plants that are free of bugs and diseases.

Method 1
Checking a Store's Inventory

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    Examine the general quality of potted plants at the store. Avoid buying plants at a store where many of the plants appear unhealthy.
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    Check for insects on the potted houseplants. Houseplants often remain in a store for much longer than potted flowers, which are seasonal, so houseplants are a good indicator of the inventory's general quality.

Method 2
Selecting Individual Potted Flowers

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    Check for symptoms of diseases and evidence of insects on potted flowers you want to buy. Examine the bottoms of leaves and where leaves connect to branches.
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    Buy plants that only have tight buds or scantly open blooms. Plants that are in full bloom in the store will lose their flowers shortly after bringing them home.
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    Select potted flowers with healthy root balls that fill the pots without being cramped.
    • Look at the roots that are starting to emerge from the drain holes in bottom of the pot. The roots should be flexible. Don't buy the plant if the roots are brittle or dehydrated.
    • Reject potted flowers if roots are visible above the potting dirt.
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    Examine the flower stems and plant trunks. These decide the plant's shapeliness and density.
    • Choose flowering plants with major stems that are sturdy and robust. Reject potted flowers with broken or wounded stems.
    • Buy potted flowers with at least 6 main stems accented by a few smaller branches. Avoid any that only have 1 dominant trunk.
    • Look for stems that are well balanced around the plant. This is preferable to stems concentrated on just 1 side.
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    Examine the foliage to make sure it's clean, robust, and brightly colored.
    • Choose short potted flowers with thick foliage. Reject potted flowers that are tall and frail.
    • Select potted flowers with new growth. Budding leaves are a sign of good health.
    • Avoid plants with limp, wilting, yellow, speckled or browning leaves.
    • Be wary of potted flowers treated with a man-made leaf shiner. Leaves appearing unusually glossy or feeling slick have probably been artificially polished.


  • Always choose flowering plants that match the growing conditions you have at home. Research plant requirements by reading the plastic tags that are stuck inside the pots or ask store personnel for information.


  • Use caution when transporting plants from the store during summer or winter. Extreme temperatures can harm or kill potted flowers. Provide shade when transporting potted flowers inside a vehicle during summer, even if the vehicle's air conditioner is running. During winter, use paper to shroud potted flowers before carrying them from the store. Put potted flowers in the front of the vehicle and use the heater while driving home.

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Categories: Gardening | Indoor and Patio Plants | Growing Flowers