Whether you are revamping your current, dilapidated landscaping or starting from scratch, selecting the perfect plants is essential to creating a healthy, vibrant landscape. Visiting a local nursery, as opposed to one of the big-name retailers, has its advantages. We’re biased, of course – but here are a few factors to consider when purchasing your plants, including source, availability, service and quality.
1. Nurseries Offer Healthier Plants
Plants can be fickle. It takes more than a green thumb to help a plant reach its full aesthetic potential. Depending on just how green your thumb actually is, you might be tempted to buy plants from a big-name retailer because they’re typically priced lower – so, in theory, you rack up less financial guilt if your plants don’t make it. But there’s a caveat: the nursery probably has healthier, better-adjusted plants. Retail stores purchase plants in bulk at wholesale prices. The big-name retailer can only purchase certain plants this way. If you want to use a rarer plant species, you should visit your local nursery.
Local nurseries either purchase their plants from local growers or grow their own plants. When a nursery grows its own plants, it is a greater investment than just purchasing them wholesale. For this reason, the cost of the nursery’s plants will almost always vary from the cost of the plants at the big-name retailers.
2. Knowledgeable Staff Can Answer Your Questions
The knowledge and experience of the employees at your local nursery go a long way in helping you make the right choices for your landscaping project. Your nursery’s employees know more of the important details about the plants they house – and about horticulture in general. Nursery staff members also know how to recognize and contend with diseases. Fungus and molds on the plant’s leaves or in its potting soil can travel with it. Once you introduce these diseases into your yard, your existing plants are at risk.
More often than not, local nurseries are staffed with people who have an educational background in plant health. Whether it be houseplants, annuals or perennials, those who work at your local greenhouse are more likely to have real knowledge pertaining to plant needs, maintenance and what will grow best in the local climate.
3. You Can Purchase Native Plants
Your nursery’s staff most likely has more knowledge about the native plants in your area. Native plants do not travel far from the grower to the nursery. For this reason, temperature and light variations don’t significantly affect these plants. Native plants are usually hardier because they are better adapted to the soil and climate in your region.
By definition, native plant species are better acclimated to variations in weather with their region of origin. Access to these types of plants will help you build a well adjusted, sustainable and hardy landscape.Because of this, native plants require fewer pesticides and less fertilizer. Native doesn’t always mean less water – but you can certainly narrow down your search to drought tolerant plants. Locally grown plants generally do better because they are already accustomed to the changes of seasons in your area.
4. Good Care Offers Increased Resistance to Disease
Growing a plant from a seed is time-consuming – and most people don’t have the time or patience to do it. Your local nursery employees, of course, aren’t most people – and they’re able to nurture these seedlings to be healthy, mature plants. Plants purchased from your local nursery can save you time and frustration – and chances are, they’ll live longer and look better.
Nurseries use feeders and top grade soil while caring for their plants. These plants tend to live longer and look more appealing because skilled gardeners have cared for them. The nutrients the plants at the nursery absorb early on make them more resistant to disease. This resistance remains even after you take the plant home.
Local nurseries will also monitor their plant starts, specifically their root growth, and will not put a plant out for sale until it has a sturdy root foundation. This not only increases the hardiness and longevity of a healthy plant, but also helps reduce the risk of root rot and other harm to the root system of your plant.
5. No Concerns about Foreign Pests
When you purchase plants from your local nursery, you don’t have to worry about foreign pests. Foreign pests are a huge issue because they can cause or transmit diseases, displace native species, or diminish the economic or aesthetic value of your property.
Plants that are grown in your area are still at risk of coming in contact with pests, but it will most likely be a bug originated from your region. This means your nursery staff is well versed in the life cycle, causes, physical appearance, consequences and elimination methods best suited for whatever bug your plant comes in contact with.
The Problem with the Money Back Guarantee Offered by Big-name Retailers
When thinking about purchasing plants from a national retailer, remember that these beautiful healthy-looking plants have been shipped in from somewhere else. These plants may come from a place that has a completely different environment. Chances are that these fresh-looking plants have spent their lives in a carefully monitored greenhouse and have only been in the “real world” for a few days. While it is true that the majority of the big-name retailers offer a money-back-guarantee, your time and labor are irreplaceable.
Invest in plants from your local nursery, and they’ll do you proud. If you have any questions, contact us!