Gardening Harmful insects Invasive plants Plant diseases Weeds

Ask Questions Before You Buy a Plant

Ill.: clipart-library.com

You’re not interested in constantly fighting against diseases, pests and weeds? Before buying a new plant, therefore, grill the salesperson! Does it have a recurring problem with diseases or insects? Is it invasive? If so, simply choose something else.

Don’t worry this is going to limit your choices all that much! There are dozens of apple trees, for example, which are resistant to scab. Hundreds of hostas which are not attacked by slugs. A decent handful of beebalms (monardas) that don’t try to strangle their neighbors. Even carrots that are resistant to carrot flies! Why then buy a plant that is subject to serious problems?

Prevention is the best medicine: that’s the motto of the laidback gardener!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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