Success from the Greenhouse to the Ground

Apr 17, 2015

Walk into a garden center this time of year, and you’ll be greeted with row upon row of colorful flowers and other bedding plants. But all that variety can seem a bit overwhelming at times.

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, horticulturists Richard Jauron and Chris Curry of Iowa State University put your worries to bed when it comes to approaching your big trip to the garden center.

It all starts out with having a game plan before even stepping foot in the garden center, so you know what to look for.

“Start out by knowing where you’re going to plant your plants,” Currey said. “You want to make sure that you’re picking out plants for the right site.”

A huge factor when selecting plants has to do with the root system. Currey recommends popping the plants out of their containers before purchase to make sure the roots are healthy.

If the plant has a good root system, it’s likely going to transplant well and you’re going to get strong garden performance.

“I love a good root system,” Currey said. “If the plant has a good root system, it’s likely going to transplant well, and you’re going to get strong garden performance.”

There are two factors to consider when checking roots, according to Currey. First, roots should be growing on the outside of the soil ball. This indicates a mature root system. Second, root color says a lot about the health of the plant. Generally, roots should be white to light tan in color. Stay away from darker roots.