Tips On Best Places To Buy House Plants

Dracaena used for Indoor decoration

I constantly get email asking “Where is the best place to buy indoor plants? ”

One of the great frustrations commercial plant growers face comes from the fact that once the plant(s) leave the nursery, all control and care is out of their hands.

The care, handling, treatment, displaying and care info has been passed on to someone else.

I know quite a few growers that have control and over sight of literally millions of plants.

They constantly look for new varieties and ways to improve and deliver the finest, healthiest plants they can produce to you.

Where Is The Best Place to Buy Indoor Houseplants?

Let me first give you some observations.

Recently, an out of town trip took me to the state of Virginia. As is my usual custom, I try to drop in and take a look at what the local nursery and garden centers have to offer.

I’m not particular, it can be a local nursery, grocery store or national chain. My only requirement – they need to carry some indoor house plants.

Here’s is what I found:

Grocery Store: Dracaena massangeana displayed “elegantly” on a pallet in front of the store, receiving full sun in the afternoon.

The plant was still outside later in the evening about 9:00 pm with a temperature in the 50′s and some breeze. No one around to ask a question and no care information.

My diagnosis: If the plant doesn’t sunburn it probably will get some cold damage. The person (if anyone buys it) will have problems.

National Chain Orchids (35 or so) mixed with a lot of other foliage plants. A couple of flowers hanging on and the “soil” – completely dried out. No one to ask a question and no care information.

My diagnosis: Problems again if the plant is sold.

Spathiphyllum: Looked good and reasonably priced. Plants were inside under cover. No one to ask a question and limited care information.

My diagnosis: Good opportunity for plant success. Need to find some care info but otherwise excellent plant(s).

National Chain Bromeliad Basket: Indoors, excellent quality, displayed well, priced very reasonably. No one to ask a question and limited care information.

My diagnosis: Because of the excellent quality of the plants, and the general long lasting bloom time these plants will provide color for months. Plant success

National Chain (different than the orchids): Ficus trees and palms pushed pot to pot receiving some full sun, displayed right next to the annuals.

My diagnosis: Plants looked OK but won’t last long with little care and treated as “second class plants”. Possible plant success but doubtful.

What is my point? Where is the best place to buy your indoor plants?

My point is simply that unlike cut flowers a foliage plant can be enjoyed indoors for months and years.

But you must first start off with a quality plant that hasn’t been subjected to stress and abuse before it heads to your home.

These plants probably didn’t arrive in bad shape. They have simply not been cared for, displayed and placed in the proper areas to be maintained before they are sold.

We find annuals in full sun where they will be planted. You don’t expect to purchase old or bruised fruit or vegetables, do you?

Shouldn’t you expect the plants that you are going to place indoors to have their own “indoor” area and not be outside exposed to the elements.


Look For a Nursery That:

  • Carries indoor plants regularly and not just seasonally
  • Receives regular plant shipments
  • Has a protected area devoted to indoor plants
  • Has experienced personnel who can provide some guidance

Find out when new plants are arriving to get the best plants.

Starting with a quality plant may cost more but you’ll receive a plant that will be fresher and in better condition to begin the acclimation process.

Tips To Improve Your Plant Care
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