I confess that sometimes I pick up a few bedding plants at the supermarket tent. Even if they look great, I get them home and they die. How do I tell a good bedding plant from a bad?

April 26th, 2013 by Bos Greenhouse

We don’t like to see a plant or a few dollars wasted, wherever it came from.

One of the reasons you can trust Bos for quality plantings is because we understand the importance of consistent and accurate watering. Often, particularly for the kind of temporary nurseries that you see suddenly spring up each year, the plants are bought wholesale and transported for hours unwatered. They’re not actually grown by the operator. Then they sit on hot asphalt, wilting, and a vicious cycle sets in. The plant that has been resurrected a few times from stressful transport or inattentive staff becomes weakened and more vulnerable to disease and pests. It might look good at the moment, but it will not perform as well. So never, ever buy a wilted plant. Better yet, buy all your plants at Bos, where your satisfaction is guaranteed! Trusting your grower is paramount.

Wherever you buy your plants, there are things you can do to prevent untimely deaths in the garden. Check for bugs, who love to feast on tender bedding plants. Watch fuschias and verbena baskets for aphids. Check for disease by turning over leaves and checking the joints. You are looking for white mold or slimy brown mildew. Also look at the growing tips. Leave the plant behind if its demonstrates any of these symptoms.

Ideally, you will want to select annuals that are less than 4 inches high to ensure they’ve had proper management and have not gone spindly.
Another thing to remember is to reduce the transplant stress on the plant as much as possible.
That means the following:
• Make sure the car ride home is a quick and cool as possible — do not leave plants in a closed car on a hot day
• Harden off your plants a bit for a few days before planting, increasing the time outside incrementally
• Plant in a light rain or overcast day (never in intense sunlight)
• Plant the root ball at the same depth as it was in the pot
• Ensure the planting hole is both watered yet well draining. (Mix in gravel or sand at the bottom if you’re unsure, and add compost or a little manure to the soil you place around the root.)
• Protect the new plant with mulch to retain moisture and reduce weeds


 
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