Whether you’re looking to freshen up your yard or your kitchen table, it’s important to choose a plant from the store that’s healthy and will flourish in your home! From potential damage to root health, there are several things to consider about a plant before you make your purchase. Here’s some advice from the Kansas State Research and Extension.

Consider the quality of the storefront

First off, the storefront itself should look appealing. It’s a good sign if you see healthy looking plants surrounded by people maintaining and caring for them.

Check the foliage

Inspect the foliage on the plant for damage, disease and insects. If a plant has brown spots, mushiness or visible signs of chewing from insects, put it back! Also, check for small webbing from insects like spider mites.

Look at the stems

Look for visible signs of damage on the stems. It’s best to avoid plants with tall, spindly stems that look weak. With woody plants, make sure there aren’t cracks in the stems.

Check for weeds

Avoid buying a plant that has weeds growing in the pot! Weeds will compete with the plant for nutrients, water and energy, so it’s best to choose a different one.

Tree root structure

If you’re on the hunt for shrubs and trees, look at the root structure. Roots that are balled and burlaped should be tightly closed and shouldn’t have any empty holes. If the covering isn’t tightly closed, the roots could dry out. Also, make sure the roots are buried in a large mound of mulch to retain moisture.

Buds and flowers

Longevity is important in a plant, therefore, it’s best to take home one that hasn’t bloomed yet! If you see a plant with a lot of buds that haven’t bloomed, you’ll be able to enjoy it longer when you take it home.