At the plant nursery or greenhouse, everything looks to be healthy and flourishing – and the majority of plants on display are just as healthy as they appear.How to Choose Healthy Plants at the Nursery or Greenhouse 

However, before you make your selection, take time to look closely at your favorites. Doing a quick once-over can ensure that you choose the healthiest specimens for your Utah garden or landscape.

Foliage Growth

Start by taking a close look at the plants’ leaves.

Healthy specimens should have plenty of new leaf growth, and the foliage should have a bright, even color. Steer clear of any plant with pale, yellowing or wilted leaves, as these are signs of stress -- and plants don’t always recover from stress.

Plant Shape

Healthy plants are compact and feature full, bushy growth – taller isn’t better.

Long, leggy growth usually indicates a struggle. Also, avoid specimens that look pruned in comparison to their neighbors. Pruning may have been done to remove diseased or damaged stems or make the foliage look healthier.

Pests and Disease

As you browse the plant nursery, keep an eye out for signs of insects and disease.

Check the undersides of the leaves, stem joints and potting soil, as that’s where pests are often found. Also, pass on any specimens that are infested or have pitting, abnormal colorations, lesions, dead spots or other potential signs of disease.

Root System

Don’t forget to take a look at the root system, because healthy roots make for healthy plants.

Any that have roots growing out of the drainage holes or on top of the potting soil are root bound and may be too stressed to thrive in your garden. And, if a plant doesn’t have many roots, it may need more time to grow and become garden-worthy.

Buds and Flowers

As you’re shopping, you may be tempted to purchase plants that are filled with flowers. But, in most cases, it’s better to buy specimens with buds as they’re more likely to flourish after being planted. Besides, any existing blooms will fade, and you’ll enjoy a longer flowering time in your landscape if you choose plants with bud growth.

For a wide selection of healthy plants, look no further than Millcreek Gardens. Our experienced team members take great care to make sure that all our perennials, annual flowers, shrubs, landscaping trees and rose bushes are full of life.

And, if you need help making your plant nursery selections, just ask. The friendly Millcreek Gardens staff is happy to point you toward species that can thrive in the growing conditions of your northern Utah landscape. To learn more, stop by our Salt Lake City plant nursery today.