Tips for Choosing Healthy Plants

When you have found the right plant, give it a quick once-over to make sure it is healthy. Remember: You're paying not only for what's above the soil, but also for a sturdy root system.

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Big Isn't Always Best

It's very tempting to buy the tallest or biggest plant available, but don’t equate size with potential — that can be a waste of money. Look for a sturdy young plant with plenty of new shoots and buds as well as a healthy root system that will flourish, instead of one that’s twice the size now but that is clearly going to end up spare, feeble, and gaunt. Give the former a good start, look after it well, and it will soon outperform the latter. This advice applies equally to climbers: the plant with the longest stems may end up producing the most vigorous growth, but equally, it may not. Instead of stem length, look for lots of healthy buds to avoid making an expensive mistake.


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