Procedures for Adding ANY Plant to Your Collection

Probably the three most important parts of having a plant collection are selecting a reputable grower to buy from, selecting a pest and disease-free plant, and the final, MOST important part, quarantining the plant and treating it before you assimilate it into your collection.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin

Always remember, when looking at a new plant that was recently brought into your care, the new growth should be bigger or the same size as the old growth, and you ought to see new, robust roots within at the very most, six months.  If your plant is languishing for more than six months, consider changing your culture, or trading the plant away.

Selecting a Pest and Disease-free Plant

Contrary to popular belief, you do not want a rescue plant or a “fixer-upper”.  Always select the cream of the crop, because you deserve it!  But also, because selecting the best plant will save you lots of pain and suffering later on. 

When you knowingly select a plant to rescue it, you invite all the pests and diseases into your home, and you do not want that.  Inspect the plant for signs of pests under the leaves, around the base, and around the flowers – the most common spots for plant pests to reside.  Inspect leaves and roots for signs of infection, brown or yellow leaves, or anything that just doesn’t look right.  Remember, while it’s easy to dismiss the brown tips of the leaves as “humidity damage”, you are buying from a greenhouse – that’s not humidity, that’s a foliar fungus!

Quarantining Your Plant and Assimilating it into Your Collection

When you bring a plant home, we recommend the rule of ones and threes for safely assimilating your plant into your collection.  This is assuming that the plant is not a rescue, that you have checked for pests, and that you have bought from a reputable grower.  Quarantine the plant for three days in a room (or ideally a bathroom) that is away from all your other plants.  It’s ok for just three days for the plant to receive less than ideal light.  Treat the plant with pesticide, ideally insecticidal soap, once at the beginning, and once at the end of the three days.  Treat the plant once with fungicide somewhere in the middle.  If the plant was destined for an indoor collection, your collection will be pest and disease-free.  If the plant was destined for a greenhouse, then you have successfully stopped the introduction of pests into your greenhouse.  Your plants are free to assimilate into your collection after the quarantine period.