While trying to research what a couple of plants were in my garden (because the tags that came with the plants are long gone and prior to my blog, I never kept track of anything), I came across this website. This site is dedicated to plants that have been studied that do very well in Texas. I know I as a new gardener find this list very helpful. I tend to go to a garden center and look for what is pretty and I was only paying attention to weather it was an annual or perennial and whether it needed a lot of sun or water. I was to discover that the plant was not made for my yard and often died along with the money I spent on it and caring for it. I have come to understand that if you want instant gratification, don't always expect for it to be continued gratification. You have to know the basics about the plant and how your area of town will treat the plant. I keep a cheat sheet with me on my phone to ask myself key questions:
Is this a native plant for my area (including zone, especially if you are in a big box store)?
What all does the plant need?
Will it come back year after year (even in your zone and even if it says it is a perennial)?
Do you need the one with all the flowers now or will the one with a lot of buds work just fine?
Where in the yard or in a pot will it do the best and is that area available not just for now, but for in the future?
Do you get your moneys worth whereas it will produce and you can make more plants from the one in the future?
Do you ask yourself other questions that help you decide on a purchase of a plant?
These are just some of the questions that I ask myself, I also try to have an idea before I go what I am looking for. However, every now and again you have the impulse buys. JUST CAN'T HELP MYSELF.