Whether you are looking to upgrade your lawn, add a few new plants or bring some new life to your patio or inside the home, there’s always some questions you should ask. Doing your homework will help you get not only buy the best choices for your needs, but it will also help you keep them thriving throughout the year. Here are 10 questions you should always ask:
- How much water does it need? This is the first and most basic question you ask. Some options will need lots of water while others do not need as much. You want to be careful with over watering because it can cause root rot and other problems that will keep the shrub from thriving.
- How much sunlight will it need? Some bushes or smaller shrubs actually do not do well in sunlight. They prefer darker, shaded areas and plenty of water. This is important to know whether you are leaving them on a porch, near a window or planting them outside. Always keep an eye on them, especially a few weeks after moving them to a new spot. If the leaves look brown or even burned, it could mean they are getting too much light.
- How much space does it need? All species are different, some may like their space, some may be fine cozying up with a buddy. As you plan the layout of your lawn or the size of the pot you are using, make sure you compensate for how big they will grow.
- How big will it grow? Again, you have to account for how much it will grow when you are putting it in the ground or selecting a pot. Yes, you can move it if it gets too big or trim it back but some options may not be ideal for moving around too much while others may look better the more they grow out.
- Is it poisonous to animals? If you or your neighbors have dogs or cats, you may want to ask about whether these shrubs are poisonous to animals. In most cases the animals will not eat them but it’s a good question to ask as dogs are known to eat flower pods off of certain species or chew on branches.
- Does it handle cold temperature well? If you live in an area that sees frigid temperatures during the colder months, then you want to make sure that your choice in plants is going to be able to handle the cold. You do not want to invest in a plant, spend months taking care of it, only to see it struggle in the cold.
- When can I eat it? If you are growing fruits and vegetables you want to know when a good time to pick them and eat them is. If it’s a plant that you didn’t know would be edible or produce edible pieces, make sure that you do your homework before consuming it. For example, if you buy a home and one of the bushes outside produces a fruit you aren’t familiar with, check before eating it, even if you think it’s safe.
- How do I protect it? Whether it’s cold weather, or you are concerned about pests or other ailments, you want to know what the best ways are of protecting your plants. A good place to start is with a strong fertilizer as it provides the nutrients needed to fight off disease. Pesticides work great against bugs but if you are looking for more organic options you will have to use more creative methods to get the job done.
- What plants do I need to keep it away from? Not all shrubs get along. Whether it’s a tree, a bush or something else, you want to make sure that everything you are putting in your yard is compatible with everything else. An example of this is your choice in bushes. Make sure that they will not interact poorly with your grass if you have it close to your lawn.
- Can I grow more from it? In many cases, especially with bushes, rather than buying dozens for your yard, homeowners like to buy a few and then grow more from roots or limbs. Some options do this easier than others so if you need a lot of plants then take some time to look for what you can really grow out.
It doesn’t matter how man different species of plants you are buying, ask these questions for each one of them and you will be happy with your purchases. Remember, if you are buying online then you want to buy species that are able to live in your part of the country. If you are buying something that’s unique and different, do your research so you know how to keep it thriving in a new territory.
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