Why size can matter when you're buying plants

Why size can matter when you're buying plants

Apr 08 , 2020

I like big plants! It’s not really a secret, in fact I’m probably a little known for it (and by the way, I LOVE it when people send me photos of big plants they see when they’re out and about, so please never stop doing that). Now while I’m not suggesting you rush out & buy ridic big monsters like this guy... (although I'm never not going to encourage you to either)

Image of me holding a giant Peace Lily which is so big it almost covers me

This is my Sensation Peace Lily, which is the biggest variety of Peace Lily and can grow leaves up to 50cm in length!


When you're new to plants it can be tempting to buy the smallest & cheapest plants you can find. They're cheaper to buy when they're little babies, so it can remove some of the fear you may feel shelling out your hard earned cash for a plant you're worried may perish in your care. Plus it means you can buy more within your budget!


Baby plants like this, whilst totally adorable, can be a little trickier than bigger plants to keep alive. Image credit onlinebabyplants.com

However, keeping these little tiny guys alive can actually be trickier than doing so with a plant that is a bit more established. Here’s three reasons why (a little) bigger can be better:

1) Larger plants are less prone to death by root rot

More leaves means more roots, as roots grow in proportion with plant size. One of the main causes for plant death for new plant parents is root rot. This occurs from soil that is left damp for too long, usually as a result of too frequent watering. This wet soil becomes a breeding ground for root-eating fungus, which can quickly make a plant quite unhealthy, and even kill it. In fact it's the number one reason why new plant owners have a houseplant die in their care.

The more mature a plant is, the bigger it is, and in turn, the more developed its roots are. Meaning that if root rot starts to set in, there's a lot more roots to go around and it will take much longer for the plant to have issues. When you’re buying a new plant, take a look at the base of the pot and see if you can spot any roots - the more the better



Root porn! This is an example of the well established roots on a Peace Lily Sensation, like the one I'm holding earlier in this post.

2) Larger plants are more resilient

As they get older & more mature, their leaves & stems are thicker which makes them better at coping with sudden heat or cold, and makes it harder for sucking pests to pierce their cell walls. Just like tree trunks get thicker and thicker as they age, houseplants grow wider stems too.

3) Larger plants have spare nutrients in case of emergency

Ever wondered why it’s often older leaves that die first? One reason is because the plants sacrifice the oldest leaves to take essential nutrients to deliver to the rest of the plant. So the more leaves a plant has, the more nutrients it has to work with all whilst retaining more of its newer leaves for essential photosynthesis so it can keep on growing. Some plants will even grow tubers as they mature, which are used for food storage and reproduction - yet another way they store a lil something for later on.



Did you know that leaves go yellow when they're dying because they lose chlorophyll, which is the pigment responsible for making leaves green


So, next time you're out plant shopping, or browsing plants online, think about spending a little bit more on your new green baby and you may just find it's easier to keep happy & alive!