Heading to the garden centre or nursery can be fun, but if you don't buy good quality plants they won't thrive in your garden - and that's not fun!
Here are some tips to help you buy the best quality plants:
Check the roots
This does mean removing the plant from the pot. If the pot comes off easily and the earth falls off the roots it means a small plant has been re-potted to allow for growth.
If it is more difficult, the plant could be pot-bound - when it's been in a container for too long and the roots have started to spiral around.
You want something in between: it should come off easy, but with enough root structure to hold the potting mix together.
You should look for white or light brown roots. Avoid plants with yellow or discoloured leaves (unless they're meant to be this way, of course). Look for a deep, rich foliage colour otherwise you could be dealing with pests or disease.
Check for pests
Always check the plant for unwanted guests. Bugs or pests could be lurking in the potting mix, deep in the stems or on the underside of leaves.
Don't fall for flowers
Plants laden with flowers may look pretty, but opt for those in bud as it will bloom for longer once you get it home. Look for a plant with just a few flowers and plenty of potential.
Consider your area
If you live in a wet area, don't go for drought-tolerant plants. Do your research!