How to Choose the Best Plant at the Nursery

Often there are so many plants at the nursery that you can feel overwhelmed in making a choice and worried that you might not pick a healthy one. Here are some tips to guide you through the mini forest of plants.


  1. Image titled Big Plants are not always Best Step 1
    Be aware that the biggest plant does not always mean the best. A large plant might suffer more shock being transferred from the pot to the garden than a smaller one. If you are going to grow a large plant, such as a 2-3 year old tree, get good, solid advice from the nursery employees about its chances and your garden situation, as you're going to be paying a good price for this plant and it's important that it take to your garden well.
  2. Image titled Look for Signs of Unhealhiness Step 2
    Look for signs of unhealthiness. When looking at the plants you would like to take home, look for any signs of disease.
  3. Image titled Look for Spots Step 3
    Look for blemishes, spots, discoloration and other pest damage on leaves, stems, and branches of the plants. This is likely a sign of pest infestation.
  4. Image titled Avoid plants with weeds in pot Step 4
    Avoid plants with weeds growing in the pot. This means it has been sitting in the pot too long and its care has been neglected.
  5. Image titled Avoid plants with roots growing out Step 5
    Avoid plants whose roots are growing out the base of the pot. Again, the plant's needs have been neglected.
  6. Image titled Check if plant has been neglected Step 6
    Check to see if the plant has been well tended or neglected. Check soil moisture, pruning, general look etc. Recent pruning might indicate removal of unhealthy growth. Be a careful inspector.
  7. Image titled Choose from Best Plants left Step 7
    Choose from the best plants left. Once you have discarded some plants for the above reasons, it is a case of which plant looks best in shape and appeals to you most. After a while, you'll get a very quick "feel" for doing this.


  • Of course, if you're in the business of nursing plants back to health, by all means take these plants and care for them. Someone needs to! Just make sure you point out the blemishes and get yourself a pretty discount.

Things You'll Need

  • Local nursery
  • List of plants wanted
  • List of things to check for

Article Info

Categories: Gardening