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Buying New Indoor Plants – 5 Big Tips For Success

Purchasing A New Indoor Plant

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You may think buying a new indoor plant is easy, just go to your nearest plant shop or nursery, select the plant you like, hand over your money and you’re done.

But how do you know that the plant you have selected is strong and healthy with the very best chance of surviving long term?

The indoor plants I have shown you at Indoor Plant Center are definitely some of the most popular, easiest to care for plants on earth, but, my plant care tips assume that you have a healthy plant to begin with.

To help you make sure that this is the case, I have prepared this list of tips that hopefully will serve you well in getting the very best value for your indoor plant purchasing dollar.

5 Steps to Buying a New Indoor Plant

       1. Research

Prepare a shopping list of indoor plants that you like that also match the environment of your home, or the environment that you are willing and able to create.

What I mean here is that if, for example,  you live in a very dry region and your indoor environment is also quite dry, maybe helped by air conditioning, then buying tropical plants that love or need a very humid environment, may not be wise.

Yes, you can increase the humidity of your home with the help of many tricks that you’ll find in my Indoor Plant Center articles, tricks such as indoor plant humidifiers, however it’s always a good idea for those new to indoor gardening, to select plants of best fit.

       2. Arriving Instore

When you arrive at your plant shop, you’ll start to look for the plants on your list.

However, be warned, it’s not uncommon to fall in love with a plant that’s not on your list.

If this should happen to you then make sure that you ask an assistant about the plant, making sure that you are able to provide it with the conditions required for sustainable growth.

        3. Instore Plant Health Check

Before purchasing any plant, it’s important that you first give it a good health inspection.

Here are 5 things to add to your plant health check list;

  • Check for Signs of wilting – this could be a sign of hidden root pests.
  • Look out for– dark spots or streaks on the leaves, stems or flowers that could indicate disease.
  • Inspect the undersides– 0f leaves or stem for pests or pest damage. See here for more information on indoor plant pests.
  • Check the soil mix for pests.
  • Tip the plant out of its pot– (if possible) to check that it’s not root bound or suffering from root rot.

         4. Taking Your Plant Home

 If your trip home is a long one, then make sure that you protect it from damage.

One of the quickest ways of damaging your plant during travel, is to subject it to extreme cold. This can be fatal to any plant but especially those more sensitive to the cold or extreme change of conditions.

If there may be a risk of this occurring, then wrap your plant in cellophane.

Either way, should any part of your plant get damaged in transit, then remove any damaged leaf or stem to prevent complications such as disease effecting the rest of the plant.

         5. Getting Home

When home, unwrap the plant and repot it if necessary. This will definitely be necessary if the pot that you purchased the plant in has no drainage holes.

For display purposes, it’s a good idea to place your plastic pot (with drainage holes) inside a more attractive indoor plant pot and then give it a good water, and allow to drain.

Use the indoor plant center guide for your chosen plant to determine best positioning ( for light and temperature) and other plant health pre requisites.

Final thoughts

This article on tips for purchasing a new indoor plant has been prepared assuming that you are buying your plant in person in a traditional plant shop or nursery.

If you are purchasing your indoor plants online, as many people successfully do, then the risks obviously increase when you can’t conduct plant health checks first hand.

To reduce the risk of purchasing an unhealthy plant online, my best tip is to only deal with reputable merchants with a good customer satisfaction record.

Also be aware that when plants travel distances via online fulfilment systems, you may be initially shocked by their appearance when arriving at your doorstep.

They may not exactly look like they did in the photo on the online shop.

Don’t worry. This is not unusual and as long as the plant is fundamentally in good health, with a little TLC such as pruning damaged stems, the plant should bounce back once settled in its new, caring environment.


I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article about buying a new indoor plant.


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Buying a New indoor Plant

Christine Mattner

What started out as purely a desire to keep my indoor plants alive has turned into a full-blown passion for sharing what I have learned over the years about selecting, growing and caring for indoor plants with those who may be new to the wonderful world of houseplants.

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