How to Buy Herb Plants

Potted herbs image by Atl10trader:


Choosing a healthy herb plant is the first step to a successful herb garden. You want to bring home the best herb plants available. Vigorous-growing, high-quality herbs will establish quickly when transplanted. They will reach their potential growing size and productivity before the end of the growing season. When buying herb plants, do not over purchase. Buying too many plants will tempt you to plant too many herbs in one area. Overcrowding causes stressful growing conditions that may lead to disease and poor growth. You can always add more plants or divide your herbs later.

Step 1

Look for herb plants with the correct color of leaves. Off-color leaves indicate stressful growing conditions like the lack of water or light. The herb plant is weakened and more susceptible to disease.

Step 2

Look for regular shaped leaves. Undersized and misshapen leaves indicate root damage.

Step 3

Check for dead or dying twigs on the herb plant. This is a sign of poor growing conditions, root injury, insect infestation or plant disease.

Step 4

Examine the roots for white coloration and growth throughout the container. Gently pull the plant out of the container to check the roots. Dead brown and circling roots mean that the plant has been in the pot too long and growth can be stunted.

Step 5

Avoid plants with wilted leaves, weeds growing with the plant or waterlogged soil. These conditions indicate that the herb plant has received poor care while growing.

Step 6

Check under the leaves and around the stems for groups of insects like mites or aphids. They are small green moving specks.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch out for misidentified plants in nurseries and plant centers. Make sure they are marked with the proper identification tag. Plants grown in poor condition are more susceptible to diseases, pests and stunted growth.


  • Guide to Growing Delicious Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs; Miracle-Gro; 2005
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Growing Herbs
Keywords: herb choosing, plant purchasing, buying herbs

About this Author

Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems.

Photo by: Atl10trader: