Thriving gardens, flowerbeds, and houseplants begin with healthy plants followed by appropriate care. Careful thought should be given to ensuring plants are healthy so that they have the best chances of making it through the season. If you’re wondering where you can find them in the Hudson Valley, NY, region, remember that a quality garden center provides quality care and quality products.
Identifying Healthy Plants
A visual inspection of each part of the plant can give valuable clues about the health of the plants you’re considering. Start with the foliage. Look out for any yellow or brown spots that don’t belong. Plants that are healthy, unstressed, and in the best condition for transplanting tend to be fully green and lush. If the plants that you choose are less than healthy when purchased and transplanted, they will likely take longer to become acclimated to the yard—possibly to the point of not recovering.
The shape of the plant also has a story to tell. A thick plant with plenty of stems is likely healthy and appropriately maintained. Thinner, tall plants might be deceptive. While some people may assume that tall must mean healthy, abnormal height for a particular type of plant could indicate that the plant has been straining to gain light access. This would be considered a stressful situation and can indicate that this specific plant might never grow to its full potential or bloom.
Looking Out for Troublesome Plants
The stem of the plant is another place to check for whether a plant is healthy or not. For woody, thick stems, damage can indicate ill health and stress. This weakened condition isn’t ideal for a healthy beginning to a garden or planting bed.
Another deceptive indicator is flowering. As pretty as a flowering plant may be, it may be past its prime for the season. Inquire, if you don’t know already, whether a particular plant is best put in place now or if it’s better to wait until a particular season.
The root system is another critical indicator of health. A pot-bound plant with roots growing from the bottom will likely be under great stress and transplanting it could result in its untimely death, so take a careful look at the root system.
Identifying Disease and Pests
Noticing if a plant is infested with pests or diseased is also critical to a healthy beginning of a garden or flower bed. Spongy or sticky areas, spider webs, black spots, holes, and other signs of pest activity are red flags to probably move on as you browse.
Evidence of pruning can sometimes indicate the presence of disease. Pay attention to these areas especially closely to note the potential for an ill plant.
Identifying a High-Quality Garden Center
To get a clear idea of the quality level of a nursery or garden center, consider the overall appearance of the location and the health of the plants. Do most plants seem to be healthy, or is there an abundance of neglect evident? A high-quality garden center is proud to show of its selection of healthy plants and will also provide access to helpful, knowledgeable staff. Guidance throughout the process of purchase can ease any uncertainty about which plants to buy.