Plant Buying Guide

We understand there are a lot of options out there for what plants to buy, how to buy them, and where to find them. And, for many, spring is a busy time of the year so every second saved can mean more time to relax and enjoy the changing of the season. We’ve got you covered with our First Editions® Shrubs & Trees buying guide to help you navigate the busy spring season like a pro!

Know the Basics

Like any big project, it’s best to understand some basics before making any decisions.

Your Zone: Do you know if you live in a warm climate or cold climate? How about your Hardiness Zone? Each ZIP Code has a specific Hardiness Zone that tells you which plants will thrive in your area. Our blog on Understanding Plant Zone Hardiness breaks it all down even further.

Characteristics of the Space: Where you’re looking to place new plants in your landscape will help you determine which plants are the best fit. Make sure you know the amount of sun vs. the amount of shade the area receives, the makeup of the soil, the dimensions of the space, and any other important factors of the space. Then, when browsing both online and in-person at a garden center, compare those characteristics to the tag on the plant to know if it will be a good fit. For more information on understanding the space you’re working with, check out these blogs:

Timing: Picking out plants is one thing, but the timing of when to plant is another. Make sure you’re not planting too early, by researching when the last frost will be in your area before the temps start to warm back up.

Write Down Your Thoughts

If you are new to garden design or want to ensure your landscape has a certain feel, a little planning won’t hurt. So, before you fill up your cart, take some time to jot down your thoughts. What areas do you need to add some winter interest? Which new plants do you want to test out? The questions and possibilities are endless and can feel even more endless when you’re standing in the middle of a garden center. So, do yourself a favor and write down what you’re thinking ahead of purchasing time. Check out our Landscape Design Tips blog for more inspiration to get you started.

Find a Retailer

Ready to start shopping? If you’re more of an in-person shopper, use our Find a Retailer tool to locate the closest garden center where you can find First Editions® Shrubs & Trees. Feel free to call that garden center ahead of time to check when they’re due to get in the specific shrub or tree you’re hoping to pick up so you know when to make the trip. Then, when you’re there, just make sure you keep your eye out for the purple pot!

If you love shopping from the comfort of your home, go to the same Find a Retailer page and scroll down for a list of online retailers where you can find First Editions®.

Or Buy Directly from Us!

Another option is purchasing plants online! When looking through the plants in our collection, look for the purple “Buy Online” tab up on the left-hand corner of the plant image. When you see that tab, it means you can purchase that variety right from our website. We offer containers in sizes #1, #2, and #3. These container plants are what you’re used to seeing at garden centers.

  • A #1 Container is a plant that is generally 1.5-3 years old and is potted in a 1.0-gallon pot (3.8L).
  • A #2 Container is 2-4 years old and potted in a 2.0-gallon pot (7.51L).
  • A #3 Container is generally 2-3 years old and potted in a 3-gallon pot (11.34L).

When ordered after April, these plants will generally already be showing leaves and maybe even blooms! However, it’s important to keep in mind that the stage of growth depends on the time of year it’s shipped. So, if you order one early in the season, they may be shipped dormant.

Remember to tag us on social @firsteditionsshrubstrees if you plant one of these shrubs and sign up for our newsletter for monthly inspiration, tips, and more delivered right to your inbox.