Shopping for Perennial Plants

A Buyer’s Guide to Perennial Plants

‘All that glitters is not gold’ holds true even when shopping for your perennial garden plants.

When you go to a shop or garden nursery to buy perennials, you will be amazed looking at the freshness, colours, and the fantastic and exotic appearance of these plants! Well, that is the main aim of the shop or garden centre right? The plants and flowers will look good because they need to be sold!

Thanks to the science and technological advancements in plant engineering, there are many synthetic types of manure that are available on the market. These do the job of making the perennial plants to look good at the point of sale.

The major drawback of this manure is it affects the normal growth cycle of the perennial plant. The original plant is programmed to have cute tiny little bright coloured flowers – say for example. Due to this artificially induced nutrient, the plant blossoms with fairly large flowers-those no doubt look good but they will probably be short lived.

The brighter side to it is these nutrients last for only a small period of time, say just one season. Hence, when the flowering season is done, so is the effect of the nutrients and thus when they grow the next season, the effect of the “temporary” nutrients is gone and you end up with the original tiny pretty flowers blooming in your garden!

It would not be right on our part to blame the nurseries that sell such specially made plants! After all, who in world wants to buy an ugly undernourished shabby looking plant and put it in a part of their garden or backyard? That’s unlikely even if it was being given away!

The reason why people end up buying perennial plants from the nurseries is because they look good and healthy and it gives you the hope that it is definitely going to make your garden and your entire home more lively and exotic!

Shopping for Perennials

Now comes the most important part when looking for plants – what factors should be considered when you go to buy the perennial plants from a nursery?

We all know some of the commonly used techniques at these nurseries to make the plants look healthy; hence we need to do some checks before buying.

Firstly, check the colour of the leaves- if they appear brownish or yellowish or if they are in the process of changing colours, which gives you an indication that the plant may soon be shedding off its foliage- so buying that plant is a complete no!

Pick that plant which you think will blossom soon by checking if the plants have small flower buds that are in the process of getting converted into a showy nice flower. That will tell you whether the plant is going to flower in the next few weeks.

Also check the roots if possible. It is best if it does not have inbound roots because such roots prevent the plant from getting enough nutrients!


All said and done- if you heart falls for a plant in the corner of the nursery which does not follow any rule that is mentioned above, a strong suggestion would be – go by what your heart says! You might need to care a tiny bit more for the plant later – but if you are happy to do that there is no reason why you shouldn’t give it a chance.

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