5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying Plants

Finding yourself at your favorite plant shop or garden center without really knowing why you’re there? This is normal. Something deeper has called you there. But bringing the reasons to your awareness can support you in making better plant purchasing decisions. Follow some of these prompters to help you do just that.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying Plants

What is your lifestyle?

If you travel or are away for long periods of time, then Waterwise Plants will be your friends. Choose succulents for outdoors or sunny windowsills.

Or foliage plants with “build in water  storage”, such as Dragon Trees, Mother in Law's Tongues or ZZ Plants. These will be forgiving for occasional bouts of dryness. And fine for a few weeks of now water, if you’ve watered them before you left.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying Plants

What is your plant experience?

If you’ve had great experience with a certain plant - consider repeating this! Or mix it up with a relative in the same genus but in a different shape, colour or pattern.

You could choose to stretch yourself by trying plants that are a little more advanced in care requirements, e.g. humidity loving Calathea or the watering-sensitive String of Pearls. Know what you’re comfortable with, stick to that… or stretch yourself.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying Plants

Meeting your Need to Care?

Many folks care for plants instead of having pets. Others are having kids much later in life, or not at all. Regardless of your choices, one thing that is common to us all is the need to care. Choosing a plant that is more care responsive, such as Peace Lilies, might be more satisfying to parent, compared to a stoic Parlor Palm

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying Plants

Are you building a Plant Collection? 

As a budding plant hobbyist, you might be interested in targeted plant pieces that speak to your collection approach. Be it foliage, a specific genus or more specialised sub-species. Or a broad category, such as “rare”. This is a great way to nerd out. And connect with other humans that share your interest. 

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying Plants

Looking to Instagram your Plants?

If you’re starting out, then know that foliage is your friend - the lusher the more clickable. Mixing larger statement pieces with smaller foliage, with a dash of “colour” (the industry term for flowering plants), creates textured points of interest. But also, don’t forget statement pieces such as Calathea Orbifolias or Anthurium Clarinervium. Check out our Guide on taking the Perfect Plant Pic for Instagram here.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying Plants

You don’t need to think about all of these aspects. And definitely shouldn’t be optimising for all these factors. But being mindful of a few can guide you in the right direction when selecting the next plant.


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