Plant Selection vs Good Soil

Gardeners know that good soil is important in their garden. But can plant selection be just as important as good soil?

You bet it can!

You can have the most perfect soil on earth and yet if you try to put the wrong plant in that soil, it will not grow for you no matter how well you prepare it or how perfect the pH level is.

Suppose you live in USDA Hardiness Zone 5 where temperatures can dip to as low as -10° F (-23.4° C).

You decide that you love cactus and think a cactus garden would be fun to have.

plant selection

So, you want to get a jump start and prepare the soil in your garden until its sandy enough and registers a perfect pH level for cactus to grow very well in before you purchase the actual plants.

However, when you go to the garden store and read the plant tags and do some further checking, you find that cactus thrive where temperatures seldom dip below freezing.

They grow best in warm dry climates... something that Zone 5 definitely is not!

If you insist on trying to have and grow a cactus garden in Zone 5, you will want to be sure to do it indoors or possibly set up a desert climate hot house to ensure your success.


You could consider the wide range of flowers and plants that DO grow well and thrive in Zone 5. You'll still prepare or amend your soil accordingly to allow for the successful growth of those particular plants instead.

To determine which flowers and plants will grow best in your area, you can:

  • Visit local garden stores and nurseries to see what plants are available; most local places will stock only what grows in that particular area.
  • Check online at website retailers whose site includes a "plant finder"; Bluestone Perennials, Breck's, or Spring Hill Nurseries are some that are available.
  • Ask your gardening neighbor what flowers and plants s/he has head success with; ask about any failures too so you'll know which items could prove a bit challenging to try growing in your garden area. This is a gardening tip that I still apply whenever I want to try something new!

Choosing plants and flowers that grow well and thrive in your particular geographical location will ensure the success of your garden endeavors.

If you make it a point to mix correct plant selection with that good soil of yours, you'll have plenty of success growing almost anything you plant in your garden areas.

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