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How to Pick the Perfect Plant

February 18, 2021


There you are scrolling through beautiful plants, dreaming up which ones you want, ready to reap all the benefits of gardening at home. You're picking out the ones with stunning color and unique textures. But, then you wonder if it will grow where you live and so many other questions start popping up. Don't worry, we're here to help! In this post you'll learn what the heck hardiness zones are and other plant characteristics to keep an eye out for. But first, let's define the types of plants.

Annual Plants = Performs its heart out for one season.

Perennial Plants = Comes back every year and often needs to be cut back each year.

Shrub Plants = Goes dormant in the winter and re-grows foliage every spring.



Growing zones are one of the most important factors to know for sustainability in gardening. The country is broken up into "zones" according to climate and growing conditions which allow you to know if a shrub or perennial plant will grow in your area. Proven Winners® plants are trialed and tested in several climates to see where they grow best and then classified into zones. You can find out which zone you are in by entering your zip code with the words "hardiness zone" into a search engine. Or, simply enter your zip code into our hardiness zone finder on any of our plant product pages and we'll let you know if it comes back year after year in your zone.  


The size of a plant is a great thing to keep in mind when shopping. You want to make sure that the mature plant will fit in the area that you have in mind. There are more characteristics to consider such as sun exposure, water requirements,  and time commitment for maintenance. Check out this post to learn more.

Other plant features that might be important for you to consider: if it attracts pollinators, resist deer, is native to North America, is a fragrant plant, along with its bloom and foliage color, etc. You can filter plants by all of these options and more on our website.


Next up is figuring out how many plants to get and where you'll put them. First, measure your planting area. Then, look at the mature sizes of the plants you want and add the amount of space you want between them. Do you want to be able to walk between them when they reach maturity? Or, do you want them all to touch?  With a few strokes of your calculator you'll know how many plants to choose.

Place your plants where you intend to plant them before you dig to make sure you're happy with the way it will look. Shrubs can be used as a base, especially the larger ones. Then mix in perennials and larger annuals, and finally, plant your smaller annuals and groundcover at the front of the garden bed (see photo above).

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