Houseplants add texture and color to the interior of your home. Follow these gardening tips for buying new houseplants for your enjoyment.

When buying houseplants whether it is from Lowes, Home Depot, or a local garden center there are several things to consider. Many people just pick up a houseplant without giving any thought, especially if the cost is low. But think about this, every houseplant you purchase can give you years of enjoyment if it is properly inspected before you buy. Take time to choose a perfect houseplant. If you hastily buy a houseplant, it has the potential of causing devastation to your other houseplants. And one rule to always abide by is never buy plants when you are in a hurry, that’s a gardening tip everyone should heed.

Take the time to inspect the leaves on the houseplant for pests. Aphids, spider mites, and scale will not only wreak havoc on this houseplant but on your others as well. And be sure to look under the leaves and at the nodes where many pests thrive. Here is what to look for on your potential houseplant:

Aphids appear as small green or black insects, usually found on buds and new growth. These insects suck the juices out of houseplants, and also secrete honeydew.

Spider mites are small insects, which appear as small white specks, usually on the undersides of leaves, or on flowers of the houseplant. Spider mites will form webbing, like a spider’s web around infected houseplants. The spider mites will be visible in the webbing as white specks.

Scale looks like tiny, brown, oval-shaped bumps visible on the leaves and stem of the houseplant. The scale is actually a protective covering that protects the insect. Scales produce honeydew, a clear sticky substance that can be seen on affected houseplants.

You may want to search the internet for other gardening tips on how to treat these pests if one happens to infect some of your houseplants.

If the houseplant seems too big for the container, pass it by, it is likely to be root bound. Remember bigger isn’t necessarily better. I always pull a houseplant from its container to check the root ball; reputable stores should allow you to do this. If the houseplant is already root bound you will have to open your wallet not only for the plant but for potting soil and a new container. Then YOU have to re-pot it and hope it will continue to be healthy. If you don’t mind this, then by all means buy the houseplant. If you are going to re-pot you may want to look at the self-watering containers that are available now. These are great for someone that travels and isn’t around every day to check the soil.

Examine the container of the houseplant for cracks. Be sure the container will harmonize with your existing houseplants containers. Try to purchase plants by shape and height when using the houseplant for groupings in and around your home. Keep the small tag that is attached to the plant in a notebook, so you will always have the directions on the plant’s needs. This is a fantastic gardening tip!

Now you know the secrets of buying spectacular houseplants.

Happy Gardening!

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