Choosing the Right Plant Selection

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Published: 16th November 2010
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Properly selecting plants is one the most important considerations in a successful landscaping project. Plants in many types and color variations are usually the main feature that brings your garden to life. They are also the elements that can be used to fulfill a specific purpose such as screening, shade, erosion control, dividing, focal points, noise control, and so on. So propagation of or choosing the right plants for the right place and purpose is helpful for a professional looking, working, and manageable landscape.

Primary considerations for selecting landscape plants

Height and Width are figured by the mature size a plant will reach in both upward and outward directions. Not calculating this can cause serious problems in the future.

Form is the shape of the plant and how it will occupy and accent space. Form and shape are considered as columnar, round, vase, weeping, oval, creeping, etc.

Texture is the fineness or roughness of plants. It can also be categorized in terms of leaf thickness and shade (light or dark) of plants. As a rule, plants with finer textures should be used in greater numbers than plants with coarse textures. Seasonal interest and color are figured by the special features a plant has at different times of the year. Considerations include foliage, fruit, flowers, winter color, changing colors, and others. Secondary considerations for selecting landscaping plants

Insect and disease resistance Sun or Shade Moisture tolerance Drought Resistance Soil Type

There are some common mistakes that many people make about plant selection. Usually this is simply because of a lack of knowledge of the growth habits and characteristics of individual plants. The size plants reach at maturity; light requirements, heat and wind tolerance, and soil preference are the most common facts you should know. You won't want to have to redo landscaping in a few years because of the massive trees and shrubs that are growing within inches of your home or even worse, cracking the foundation of the home. These huge plants are often originally planted when they are tiny little sprouts without any consideration given to the characteristics of the mature plant. This and all plant selection mistakes are usually the result of impulse buying and a simple lack of planning and knowledge of the plant in the future. Don't just plan out all of your garden or landscaping at the nursery or the garden center. Do a little homework before you go. That way you will know a little about the plants before you buy them and take them home. Another common mistake in choosing the right plants and propagation is made in the area of zoning. It's extremely important to know which planting zone you live in and plant accordingly.

You can use a plant databases for reference and get yourself a good plant encyclopedia in your library to help learn. You'll save a lot of time and frustration being able to look up plants according to your specific zone, type of plant, color, characteristics, by name, and so on. They're also very handy to carry with you into the garden or to the nursery when looking at plants.


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