In recent years there have been great changes in the manner in which nursery plants are sold. Unfortunately many of the big box stores have entered the trade, and with their huge buying powers have made it almost impossible for many small private nurseries to stay alive. The big stores flood the market with mostly “same o same o” boring plants.
The staff are generally not well educated in plant care and in a very short time their inventory often becomes stressed and rather undesirable to an experienced gardener. The smaller unique nurseries where one could get expert advise, unique plants well tended for are falling to the wayside. Of course, as long as people support the big stores with their seasonal display of gardening products the situation will only continue to worsen. In order to keep the industry interesting, progressive and educational, the public will have to better support the niche plant nurseries.
Nursery stock generally is shipped form large wholesale growers to retail outlets. The plants usually arrive in good condition, although some growers are better than others. From here it is up to the nursery to keep these plants healthy and worthy of being planted. It takes very little time for these plants to become stressed if they are not adequately watered and sheltered. When you visit the garden nursery pay attention to how the plants are being cared for. They should be well watered, bushy with dark green healthy foliage. They should also be set in an area protected from the extremes of weather. Uncared for stock will be dried out, messy looking and root bound. Choose carefully to give your plantings their best start.
Nurseries will also offer you plants in different sized pots with prices accordingly. If you are impatient and the budget allows go for the larger pots for instant gratification. Otherwise choose smaller and be content to know that these smaller versions will quickly catch up to their big cousins.
For those gardeners looking for more unique plants and those of you who live far from larger centers, the business of the online nursery can be a great help. The internet is full of listings for small and large nurseries that ship plants right to your door. They usually have different varieties to choose from or specialize in growing a certain type of plant. Here you will find loads of information and know how for gardening. Often these plants are shipped bare root which in itself is not a problem. Many plants ship exceptionally well such as daylilies, iris, hostas, lilies, all bulbs and most perennials and small shrubs. The online nursery trade is alive and well and can be a great source for interesting and hard to find plant material.