We’ve all heard it said before, “Bigger is not better” and this often applies to plants.  Just because a plant is huge and covered in flowers does not make it the plant that will perform the best at home once replanted.  So how can you tell what is a healthy plant?

Foilage is a good indicator.  A healthy plant has lots of new growth.  Leaves should be a bright green on compact, sturdy plants.  The only time this would be different is if the plant you are buying has bi colour or variegated foilage.

Healthy roots are another indicator.  There should be no roots growing on the top of the soil.  It’s ok if there are roots coming through drainage holes in pots this just shows the plant is actively growing; it is an indication that plant would benefit from being planted soon.  Healthy roots are white.

Less flowers and more buds and new growth indicate a plant that is actively growing and will take off well when transplanted.

Choose plants from a garden center that is actively scouting for bugs.  It is a good sign if sticky lures are being used with other IPM activities such as traps and host plants.  Also general cleanliness of the garden center is a good indication that you will be buying healthy product.