Tips For Buying Healthy Flowers

Have you ever purchased flowers for your garden only to have them wilt and die? On many occasions I have given up planting anything for this reason. That is, until I learned a few tips for buying healthy flowers. Now I look forward to checking out all of the new plants that are available at the home and garden stores.


Tall or Short

When looking at flowers that you want to purchase, read the label to see how tall they are going to grow. This will help you determine what stage of growth they are in at the time you are shopping. If a plant grows to 15 inches and it is already 10 inches tall, it has almost reached it height potential. You want to choose a younger plant. Keep away from tall plants that are also thin. Pick a plant that is compact, short and bushy. These will give you the best growth.

Blooms or No Blooms

We all want the instant garden so we tend to pick a plant that is already blooming. This is almost like asking for guaranteed failure. If you want your flowers to survive, pick a plant that does not have flowers. These plants are still young and have a way to go before blooming which is what you want for your garden so that they will last throughout the season.

Final Inspection

So you’ve picked a short, bushy plant that is not yet blooming. Wait. You must do a final inspection to make sure that it is actually healthy.

1. The first thing you need to do is check the label and make sure that the plant is right for the zone you live in. Just because the store sells it doesn’t mean it will thrive in your area. I found this out when I bought hostas. I had them up north and loved how they thrived and spread around the yard. I went and purchased them in Florida and not one of them ever grew.

2. Feel the soil to see if it is moist. If it feels dried out, put it down and move on.

3. Look at the leaves. Is their color vibrant? Do they look healthy? If the leaves are droopy, dried out or have leaf burn, walk away and find another one.

4. Check the bark or stems. If they are cracked, start looking again.

5. Look underneath the container and check the roots. If the roots are coming out of the flower pot, then the plant is too big. Remember, you are looking for a young plant.

6. Check for bugs. You definitely don’t want to buy a plant that has bugs. You need to check the leaves and the soil for bugs.

It is a lot of fun to plant in the garden and see how everything grows as the season progresses. Now that you know how to buy healthy flowers, it’s time to go out and start search for them.

Do you have a favorite flower that blooms year and year with no problems? Let us know what it is.


  1. Oooo, you definitely want to be careful with those planting zones! :) There are many of the plants which are sold in the big box stores that are actually not appropriate for the zone in which they are in. I see this a lot here in Idaho, where they are trying to sell plants for a zone 7 and we are in a zone 4b. Ummm…it really doesn’t work. So doing a little homework before you buy plants from one of these places is always a good idea. :)

  2. This is probably one of the major reasons why some plants we buy never grow. When I moved from the northeast I made this mistake quite often. An expensive mistake to make. Thank you for your comment.


  3. Great tips, Rosemary! I always have the worst luck buying plants LOL! I never thought to see how close they are to their full height, thanks for that tip. I am also very guilty of buying the flowers with blooms on already. I promise I shall turn over a new leaf–with no blooms :) Great advice–thanks!

  4. I’ve done all of these bad things. All that money down the drain. I guess I didn’t realize that moving from one climate to another created a whole new set of rules. I figured if it could survive a northern winter, it could definitely grow in the south. So not true. Summers are too hot and some plants, bushes, trees need a freeze in order to come back. Oh! The things we learn.
    Thank you for leaving a comment. I hope this post helps.


  1. […] Jeff Lampe wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptWe all want the instant garden so we tend to pick a plant that is already blooming. This is almost like asking for guaranteed failure. If you want your flowers to survive, pick a plant that does not have flowers. … […]

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