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'Plant daddy' shares the key trait to look for when buying a new plant: 'I usually don't buy plants from department stores'

Looking for plants with "new growth" are signs of a healthy and thriving plant.

Plant Daddy Koss Choosing houseplants at local nursery

Photo Credit: @k_wossie / Instagram

If you're looking to liven up your space, you've probably made a few trips to your local nursery, department store plant aisle, or mysterious "plant guy."

Instagram's unofficial plant daddy, Plant Daddy Koss (@k_wossie), kindly breaks down the four things to look for when buying a new plant in a popular post.

The scoop

Plants are needy and fickle creatures to care for, especially if you're a new plant parent. To improve your chances of survival, there are a few things to look out for when picking a new plant companion for your home.

Looking for plants with "new growth," such as new sprouts or unfurled leaves, is a sign of a healthy and thriving plant. Many retail plants are kept in unhealthy conditions, so you want to buy a plant that's already thriving.

Plant buyers should always look out for pests like aphids, fungus gnats, or mites. Plants from nurseries and retail stores are kept in close quarters, making it easy for pests to make their rounds. This is also why many plant lovers recommend debugging and cleaning your plants before repotting them at home to avoid pests from invading your other plants.

Plant Daddy Koss also recommends that plant buyers look for "full plants." These are plants that look healthy and have a lot of growth. Since comparable plants are priced the same, buy the one with the most stems or leaves to get the best bang for your buck.

Finally, and most importantly, look for a healthy root system. Store plants are especially susceptible to root rot due to how they're cared for and packaged. While some plants may look fine above the soil, the root structure can tell a different story. Before buying your next plant, check if the roots are moldy or tightly compacted in the container.

How it's helping

With more than 66% of Americans owning an indoor plant, knowing how to choose and care for your new best friend is essential.

Researchers have found that indoor plants provide numerous benefits to plant parents. One study found that houseplants can reduce your stress response, which is especially important for people who work from home.

Another group of researchers found that even caring for houseplants can increase feelings of well-being among people with anxiety, depression, and dementia.

But most importantly, the brainiacs at NASA revealed that houseplants significantly improve the air quality in your home.

What everyone's saying

The comments section was filled with plant parents agreeing with Koss and sharing their tips.

One user explained, "I only advise taking the plant out of the grow pot if it's dry to see the root network. If they've rotted, I don't buy!"

Another commenter gave helpful tips on where to buy houseplants, sharing, "I usually don't buy plants from department stores. An actual nursery with people who know how to care for plants is the best place."

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