Questions to Ask a Plant Expert


Next time you head to the nursery to purchase new plants for your yard, you might be overwhelmed by the selection! The best way to make sure you purchase plants that work for your lifestyle and your space is to ask a plant expert.


Most garden centers will have a few employees around who are prepared to ask your plant questions. Find someone who not only sells plants, but is a passionate home gardener as well. And they’re not afraid to say what they think, even if they lose a sale. They want you to succeed!


Here are some questions you can ask this plant expert:

  1. If the plant is a tree, shrub, conifer or perennial: Is this plant hardy in my area, without protection? (Sadly you can’t always trust the hardiness zone indicated on plant label, because many nurseries exaggerate hardiness zones to boost sales).
  2. When does it bloom? (Nursery plants are often “forced”, that is, specially treated to bloom early, so they’ll be in flower in May when the garden center is at its busiest, but their true flowering season can be quite different!)
  3. What conditions does it need to thrive? Sun, shade, dry soil, moist soil, poor soil, etc. (And remember that those conditions must match yours!)


You can always work with a professional landscape design service to find the perfect plants and create your own backyard oasis!