With spring in the area it’s time to start planting, so thought I’d share these helpful tips when picking out plants. Just a note, I found out that if you see spider webs on your plants, get rid of them quickly as they can cause plants to suffocate and take their nutrients!
How to Choose a Healthy Plant
You can’t judge a plant by its good looks. To pick the healthiest plant, take time to do a two-part visual inspection of the leaves and roots. It’s easy to slip a plant out of a pot. Press gently on the sides of the pot, or squeeze it in your hands. Invert the pot while holding one hand over the top of the soil and cradling the stems. Don’t pull the plant out by the stems.
Healthy Roots Healthy roots are white, ivory,or tan and should reach to the edge of the pot. (Pictured) The soil should smell moist.
Root-Bound Roots that are circling the bottom of the pot are a clue that the plant has been in the pot a long time. Before planting, tease out those circling roots and cut them off.
Sick Leaves or Roots Damaged leaves might indicate disease—don’t buy that plant. Roots that are slimy or mushy might be rotting. A foul sewer-gas smell is a sign of root rot.
Weeds Weeds growing on the soil surface around the perennial are a clue that the plant might have been carried over from the previous year. The plant might be healthy — check the roots to be sure.