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Selecting Healthy Garden Plants for Your Yard – Michigan Dept of Agriculture & Rural Development

The best way to determine how a plant’s
healthy is look at its overall appearance look at the general color to it, uniform color like this
plant has here. Make sure there’s no leaves falling off
the plant. Generally make sure the plants not dried out or any evidence of being root bound. A plant should not be
overly root bound in the pot. A customer can check for frost
damage on the plant: typically what you would look for along the edge of the
leaves are the leaf will be dead. They
will have a green, dried out appearance, but it’ll
be dead, or the entire leaf will be dead. Usually you see this with plants that
have been stored outdoors during May when we have frost. A situation
like this in a greenhouse you’re not going to see any frost damaged plants at all. To check for pests, if you would look at the leaves both the
top surface of the leaf and the bottom surface of the leaf; a number of pests can be
found on the other side of the leaf. Things like aphids or mites. Also look for
feeding damage on the leaves especially along the margin there be notched
margins or you’ll find stippling on the leaves where things like mites or aphids,
evidence of their feeding. Also check the stems on the planet make sure that
there’s no insects on there and this where you may see scale insects on
woody nursery stock and also occasionally you’ll see it on nursery stock like this. A customer can tell if a plant’s diseased:
normally there’ll be symptoms there be spots on the leaves, leaves will be maybe wilting. They’ll look water soaked or they’ll be a
large number of leaves that are falling off. In this
particular case this plant here has clorosis on the leaves.
This is due to nutrient deficiencies. Often nutrient deficiencies will mimic disease problems in plants. A customer should consider three things
when considering a site for their plants: they should look at spacing of the
plants both horizontal and vertical. They want to make sure the plants not going to
outgrow that site. If you’re planning in front of
windows for example you don’t want the plant to block the view as it gets older. You also want to look at soil
pH: where the plants make sure matches. Most plants like a soil pH that is
neutral, however some plants like blueberries need a lower pH. And in that case you would have to amend the
soil. You also need to look at the sun tolerance of the plants. Some
plants like more sunny environment and some plants are shade loving.
Quite often on the labels like this one here: a good example here, on
the backs of these labels there’s often a symbol and some instructions.
In this case this plant is good for partial to full sunlight. You want to make sure
that the plant matches the environment so don’t put a
shade loving planting into a sunny spot and a sun loving plant in the shade. A customer can maintain and care for your
plant by that making sure that they’re watering it properly and also that there may be some need
for pruning involved. For the specific requirements for
the plants, I would recommend that they would consult somebody like MSU Extension. Go to their website. And get recommendations on that plant. Or they could also talk to the folks at
the garden center that they’re buying the plants from. Other advice I’d give to consumers is when you
buy your nursery stock and bedding plants to buy from a reputable company one
that’s established in the community.

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