Selecting quality plants for the home landscape

When you get to the nursery or garden center where you will buy your plants, pick out the healthiest, most robust plants that have no evidence of disease or insect damage. The potting medium should be moist, but not wet, and the roots should well dispersed in the medium. Plants that have roots growing from the drainage holes or circling the top of the pot are less desirable. Many people choose to buy plants from a mail order company, which is perfectly acceptable. However, realize that most woody plants purchased from mail order catalogs will be shipped dormant and bare root, that is, without any soil attached to the root system. Such plants may be smaller in size because of the expense of shipping. It is important to plant such material immediately upon arrival. Generally it is best to purchase one-year-old material from mail order companies since this material is more vigorous and will transplant better. The larger material that is offered is often composed of the less vigorous plants held over from previous years.

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