Before You Buy – Plant-Buying Tips

Learn more about choosing the right options for your beautiful indoor plants.

Sizing the Plant

We want your plant to “fit” in the space you intend for it. So, you need to know how tall your plant will be and how much lateral space it will take up. The sizes listed on our website are in ranges, and still approximations based on availability from our growers.

Watch our guide on plant sizing:

The components of plant size are:

  1. Height – This is the overall height of the plant as it stands alone, and includes the growpot. A growpot with a 14” diameter is also (approximately) 14” tall. So, a plant listed on our site at 54” is the 40” plant plus the 14” growpot.
  2. Spread – This is the lateral distance (aka, diameter) from the outer edge of the leaves to the other outer edge. The plant’s spread may narrow your choice of plants if you’re planning on using it in a tight space.

Note – An aggressive plant in a high-light spot can quickly outgrow its initial height and spread; so be prepared to prune it or move it if that happens. See our plants here.

Light Level and Plant Placement

The plants available on our site are listed with minimum light levels to sustain the plant. We’ll define “sustainable light” as enough light to maintain the current foliage in an appealing condition for six or more months. Typically, to get a plant to “grow” indoors, it will need to be in bright light, either from a window or artificial source. It’s these higher light levels that can sustain a plant for more than six months and push the metabolism of the plant to cause it to grow.

Watch a video on how we determine light levels:

In general, light levels can be determined by placing your hand 3-6” above a surface. In low light conditions, your hand will not cast a shadow on to the surface; in medium light conditions, a faint shadow may appear; and in high light, you’ll get a definitive shadow.

If you have access to a light meter, even better!

Use the information above and make sure your lighting at least matches the sustainable levels for the plant you want.

Standard v Sub-Irrigation Set Up

When you buy from us, your plant will come in a growpot and a vinyl liner to catch extraneous water that flow from the soil during watering.  This is a “standard” set-up.  We are big proponents of sub-irrigation to cut down on the frequency of watering and spend more time enjoying the plant than caring for it.  We’ve coined our sub-irrigation system “PlantAssure” and we highly recommend that you order a PlantAssure kit with your plant.  When you order PlantAssure, you plant will come with:

  • Vinyl liner – appropriate to the size of the plant.
  • PVC riser – appropriate to the size of the plant.
  • Capillary strips – these white strips will be inserted in to the drain holes in the growpot before we ship it. If you are doing a sub-irrigation set up, leave them in –they will wick water from the vinyl liner to the rootzone of the plant.

So, when you’re ordering a plant you do not need to add a vinyl liner, but if you want sub-irrigation with PlantAssure you should add it on to your plant order and it does not increase shipping costs.

Check out our sub-irrigation video here:

In summary…

The “sub-irrigation” set up is our recommended set up; the “standard” set up is one that is typically used by people who don’t know about sub-irrigation and its many benefits for plants and people.

A “standard” set up is one where the growpot sits in direct contact with the vinyl liner and the vinyl liner catches excess water when you’re watering your plant.

A “sub-irrigation” or PlantAssure set-up is when a PVC riser is placed between the plant’s growpot and the vinyl liner allowing a water reservoir to form under in the vinyl liner. The capillary strips are “tucked” under the plant so that they lay in the bottom of the vinyl liner. When the rootzone begins to dry, water will be drawn from the reservoir up in to the rootzone, and extending the watering interval for the plant.

The PlantAssure system can be purchased separately to retrofit plants from other sources.  Details at:

Selecting the Right Decorative Planter

At PLANTZ, we strive to get you the best plant for your desired spot. We offer a few planter options, but suspect that most customers will be getting their decorative planters from another source – there are plenty of them out there. You can use this section to make sure you plant will fit in to your decorative planter; or, switch it around and buy a decorative planter with dimensions that the plant you want fits in to it. One way or the other, we have to get the plant professionally “staged” in your planter and it all starts with a good fit.

Watch a video on the ideal planter selection:

The important dimensions for fitting your plant in a planter are 1) the inside diameter (or width), and 2) the inside height (or depth).

Note: Most planters list their diameter/width and height/depth in outside dimensions, and this can be misleading many times. Don’t fall for it. Make sure you know that the inside dimensions of the planter will accommodate the size of the grow pot.

Note (too): Be careful with planters that are severely tapered, like many urns. These will have a top inside diameter that will fit the growpot, but the bottom becomes too tight for a liner or even the bottom of the growpot.

So, make sure the inside dimensions will accommodate the growpot of the plant you want.