When buying house plants whether it is from Lowes, Home Depot or a local garden center there are several things to consider. Many people just pick up a house plant without giving any thought, especially if the cost is low. But think about this, every house plant you purchase can give you years of enjoyment if it is properly inspected before you buy. Take time to choose a perfect house plant. If you hastily buy a house plant, it has the potential of causing devastation to your other house plants. And one rule to always abide by is never buy plants when you are in a hurry, that’s a gardening tip everyone should heed.
Take the time to inspect the leaves on the house plant for pests. Aphids, spider mites and scale will not only wreck havoc on this house plant but on your others as well. And be sure to look under the leaves and at the nodes where many pests thrive. Here is what to look for on your potential house plant:
Aphids appear as small green or black insects, usually found on buds and new growth. These insects suck the juices out of house plants, and also secrete honeydew.
Spider mites are small insects, which appear as small white specks, usually on the undersides of leaves, or on flowers of the house plant. Spider mites will form webbing, like a spider’s web around infected house plants. The spider mites will be visible in the webbing as white specks.
Scale looks like tiny, brown, oval-shaped bumps visible on the house plants leaves and stem. The scale is actually a protective covering which protects the insect. Scales produce honeydew, a clear sticky substance which can be seen on affected house plants.
You may want to search the internet for other gardening tips on how to treat these pests if one happens to infect some of your house plants.
If the house plant seems too big for the container, pass it by, it is likely to be root bound. Remember bigger isn’t necessarily better. I always pull a house plant from it’s container to check the root ball; reputable stores should allow you to do this. If the house plant is already root bound you will have to open your wallet not only for the plant but for potting soil and a new container. Then YOU have to re pot it and hope it will continue to be healthy. If you don’t mind this, then by all means buy the house plant. If you are going to re pot you may want to look at the self watering containers that are available now. These are great for someone that travels and isn’t around everyday to check the soil.
Examine the container of the house plant for cracks. Be sure the container will harmonize with your existing house plants containers. Try to purchase plants by shape and height when using the house plant for groupings in and around your home. Keep the small tag that is attached to the plant in a notebook so you will always have the directions on the plants needs. This is a really good gardening tip!
Now you know the secrets of buying spectacular house plants.