Buying plants by mail order

A number of nurseries will sell their stock by mail order or via the internet, offering you a choice of plants from a catalog that may or may not be illustrated; it will generally have a written description of each plant. The plants will then be sent out to you by mail or courier.


Deciduous trees and shrubs purchased through mail order may be delivered to you in what is known as a “bare root” state while they are dormant. The soil is removed from the roots prior to packing and mailing. As soon as the plant arrives, unwrap it carefully, taking care not to damage the roots. Then plunge the roots into a bucket of fresh water, and allow it to soak for at least 24 hours be/ore planting in the usual way. Bulbs will arrive in packets and should be stored in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant them.


It is probably easier to look out for things to avoid than to understand what constitutes a healthy plant. Here are a few of the major plant problems you may encounter.
Choose a replacement if the plant you have chosen suffers from any of them.
Damaged leaves. This is most likely to be caused by pests such us mites, aphids, or slugs, bill could also be due to poor soil, where nutrients arc in short supply. 1/ the plant is everely damaged, choose another.
Yellow leaves. This can be the result of a number of problems, such as uranium wilt, which results in the plant’s wilting and dying. Also check for nutrient deficiency, and apply compost and nitrogen fertilizer.
Checking for pests. The first thing to do when purchasing a plant is to scrutinize it closely for any signs of insect or larval activity. A number oj pests can take hold and quickly overwhelm young plants.

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