The Green Growers’ Do’s and Don’ts of Buying a New Houseplant

The Green Growers’ Do’s and Don’ts of Buying a New Houseplant

Buying a new plant is exciting for a variety of reasons; putting it simply: it can make YOU feel good in so many ways! To ensure that your new purchase is a stress-free activity and to avoid commonly made mistakes that could threaten the health of your new addition, follow these tips which we have put together to help you out.

  • Always buy from a reputable source, thereby ensuring that your plant has not been imported illegally and has been nurtured in the ideal environment with top-quality organic potting mix, appropriate fertiliser and in a regularly pest-sprayed situation.
  • Don’t buy a plant that is too small or young, especially if it appears to be at a ‘cheap’ price, as it will not have been ‘hardened up’ and may quickly deteriorate when moved to your house.
  • If you are lucky enough to visit your plant supplier, seek advice on the right plant for the right situation in your home or garden. Again, by purchasing from a reliable source, you will receive expert advice and honesty, rather than an attitude of “oh well, it’s an easy quick sale!”
  • If the deal is just too good to be true, then it probably is! If you are buying online, the reliable grower will preface any ‘deals’ with an explanation.
  • Don’t immediately ‘cluster’ your new plant with others in its new environment. Check that it is free from pests or disease before placing it with others. A reliable grower with a reasonably detailed website and that encourages feedback and reviews will never sell an unhealthy plant to you.
  • Test the top levels of the potting mix and only water if it is dry to the touch. A good supplier will make sure the plant has adequate moisture and often a slow release liquid fertiliser to give it the best possible start in its new home.
  • Avoid exposing your new plant to extremes of hot/cold/draughts, which are often a problem in a home with central heating/heat-cooling pump fans. Temperature ranges of 15-30C and adequate humidity are ideal. A dedicated and committed grower will offer you ‘best care’ advice or even have a plant care guide on their website.
  • Your new plant should have nice shiny leaves with no apparent yellow, brittle or brown ones which can indicate a number of problems. Don’t use leaf-shine products to maintain this healthy look. They may look good at first, but continued use will clog the leaves’ stomata, inhibiting the plants ability to breathe. Leaves can be shined by wiping them gently with warm water mixed with an organic soap or  Neem oil-water mix.
  • A reliable grower will have sold you your plant in an appropriately sized pot. In the right conditions, your plant will obviously grow, but don’t be in too much of a hurry to re-pot it. Remember this is best done in Spring or early Summer and always use a slightly bigger pot and good quality organic potting mix. If in doubt, contact the supplier of your plant.
  • A reliable grower is familiar with New Zealand conditions (indoor and outside) and will have nurtured your plant in the best possible environment. Most will tell you that if your plant is thriving in the position you have placed it, don’t move it unnecessarily. Remember that if you have a problem, they are only a polite phone call or email away!

If you have any further queries of questions:

Check out our beginner guide to houseplants,

Check out our training on growing and raising houseplants.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.