shopping for plants

Time your buy: First time shopping for plants

Come springtime many homeowners will be visiting garden centers and nurseries looking to buy plants for their home. Here at Devitt’s, we carry hundreds of options so coming in as a first time customer can get a little overwhelming.

Here are a few things to consider before purchasing plants for your home landscape.

Know your Zone

Understanding what planting zone you live in will help determine what plants will thrive in your environment and others that maybe you should stay away from. Thankfully we can help you with that!

The majority of perennials that we carry in our nursery have been hand selected to thrive in our particular area. If you are unsure if a specific plant will work in your specific area, simply ask! That’s why we are here. We want to empower you through education so you can go home and be confident in your purchase and ability to help your new plants thrive!

Take note of your yard

Take note of your landscape. What kind of sun do you get? Does your yard sit in full sun (8+hours), part sun (6-8 hours) or is it less than 6 hours which would be considered shady. If you plant something in dense shade when really it needs to be in 8+ hours of sun, you are setting yourself up for frustration because the plant most likely will not thrive and will potentially do. We can help you find the perfect fit!

Avoid overcrowding your beds. Plant for the future too! Plants grow (I myself conveniently “forget” this fact every time I set foot into a garden center), so make sure you are keeping an eye on growth habits. You do not want a plant to grow 12ft tall and wide when you only have room for something 3ft. Sometimes annual planters can be used as space holders to avoid over crowding as well. This part of plant shopping can get daunting (this is very true for a perennial garden) so please, never hesitate to ask one of our nursery staff to give you a hand!

Plan your beds

You want to get the most out of your landscape so remember your seasons when building your garden.  Do they bloom all season or for a few weeks?  Is color important?  Think about different varieties and the timing of blooms as you arrange and build your landscape. Does the plant have good foliage or texture. Please remember good foliage is there through the whole growing season, while flowers could only be for a short period of the growing season.

Also, when shopping in a nursery go for buds over blooms. The more buds your desired plant/shrub has on it the longer the season you will get out of it!  A common mistake new customers make is immediately going for plants that are already in bloom, then get disheartened when they only last a few days or weeks.

Lastly, understand your landscape. Do you have time to maintain your landscape?  Do you have the time to water and trim your landscape?  Are you in a drought with water restrictions?  Think about this as you plan.  Low-maintenance or a drought tolerant landscape may be better.


Bringing in photos or magazine cutouts of what you like to see in a garden really helps us help you as well as a snapshot of the area(s) you are looking to plant in. We can grasp an idea of what your taste is, and we can make your shopping experience personal to you. It helps us choose the best options for your home specifically.

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