How to Pick Out a Healthy Plant, According to an Expert

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Welcome to Plant Week: Our guide to all things indoor plants, including tips for beginners, advice on care, and tons of plant-spo.

Picking out a new plant for your home can feel overwhelming — especially when you're surrounded by hundreds of plants at a nursery. A great place to start is by asking yourself this question: How do you pick a healthy plant? Though you'd hope all the plants at a nursery are healthy, it's always important to check and begin with that knowledge as a foundation.

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"When choosing a plant at a local garden center, look for plants with new foliage and bright green leaves," Kaylyn Hewitt, lead floral designer for The Bouqs Company, tells Hunker. "If a plant has new growth, that is a sure sign that it's healthy."

A sign that a plant is unhealthy, according to Hewitt, is if there are bugs or pests under its leaves. "Next check to see if the roots are healthy by looking under the grow pot," she adds. "If roots are coming out of the drainage holes, the plant may be rootbound and has been in that pot for too long."

A rootbound plant.

Once you've checked for health, Hewitt recommends thinking about exactly where you plan to put the plant in your home. How much light does that spot get throughout the day? Is it next to a heater? Near a draft? What about the humidity levels? With your answers in mind, research which plants are best for your home's specific conditions or ask a nursery employee for their expert opinion.

If you do everything you possibly can to ensure that a plant is healthy and right for your home, but it soon loses its health, have no fear. "If your plant is unhealthy, finding out what works best for your plant when it comes to the amount of water and the amount of sunlight it needs can make all of the difference," says Hewitt, adding that The Bouqs Company likes the Planta and PictureThis apps for troubleshooting these issues.

Though plant parenthood can come with its challenges, starting out with a healthy plant can truly ease your mind. Plus, even if you struggle with your plant's well-being, it's nice to know that there is help out there.

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Looking for a shortcut? Try any of these healthy options from The Bouqs Company:

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Anna is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who covers lifestyle and design content for Hunker. She's written for Apartment Therapy, the L.A. Times, Forge, and more. She previously worked as the lifestyle editor at HelloGiggles and deputy editor at So Yummy. Her email: anna.gragert@hunker.com

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