Choosing And Planting Your Plants
Plant selection is often the key to good landscaping. A landscape will only look good if its plants are healthy and growing strong. When choosing plants for the home landscape take into consideration their preferred site, level of maintenance, mature size, season of bloom, and susceptibility to pests.
Before purchasing any plant, study your site to determine whether you have mostly shade or sun, how wet or dry your yard is, and what soil type you have. These factors will help you decide which plants to choose for your landscape. Some plants prefer moist shade with acidic rich soil, while others prefer dry, hot, sunny areas with poor soil. By choosing plants that are well adapted to the conditions in your yard, your plants will thrive without much special care.
Time & Energy
It is also important to consider how much time and energy you want to spend caring for your plants. Roses are beautiful, but in general they require a lot of maintenance. They must be pruned, sprayed, watered, and dead-headed regularly to produce good results. Many people are more than willing to dedicate the time needed to maintain roses in order to get the gorgeous flowers, but others are not as enthusiastic about yard work. Look into how much care individual plants need before buying them.
What to Buy
Many plants are sold in garden centers and nurseries in 1 or 3 gallon pots. These plants are usually quite small and it is easy to forget that they will probably get much larger once planted in the ground. By carefully considering how large a mature plant will be before planting it, you can save yourself a lot of work, time, and money. Many people plant too many shrubs in a bed because they want the bed to look complete right after planting. However, they will have to come back later and remove whole plants or prune severely each year when the plants mature. Also, consider that there are often many different varieties of the same plant and each variety will have a different mature size. For example, there are hundreds of varieties of crape myrtles. Some are barely 1 ft. tall when mature, while others reach 40 ft. or more at maturity. If you have space for a 14 ft. crape myrtle, do some research to find a variety that will only be 14 ft. at maturity.