Is that beautiful rose calling your name? Are you thinking about splashing out on that gorgeous shrub with the deep discount price?
Garden centres are good at selling plants. And if you’ve fallen in lust with a luscious rose dripping with blooms, then the store has done its job. But keep this in mind: some plants are forced into early bloom to make them eye-catching and, let’s face it, desirable. Who wants to look at a twiggy shrub with nothing but thorns to show that it’s a rose? Plants are forced into early bloom in order to achieve what’s called “shelf appeal” in the industry.
The problem is that forced plants are weaker than plants that are left to mature in their own time. If you buy a forced plant, you will likely have problems with it once you’ve got it into the ground in your own garden.
So before you hit the garden centre with cold cash in hand, do a quick check. If the plant you want isn’t already blooming somewhere in a garden or park near you, don’t buy one that is in bloom. Go for the plain, un-showy plant and trust the picture on the label. You’ll be happier in the long run.