Select compact and dark green plants. Plants held in warm shopping areas have long, pale green growth and are not as suitable as seedlings or completely dormant plants. Named varieties are best because their ornamental characteristics are known. Plants grown from saved seed may, or may not, be different than the plant the seed was collected from. Many perennials do not produce true from seed. Seed saved from garden phlox produces plants with muddy pink flowers. Plants purchased from catalogs may arrive as small divisions or root cuttings. These have a better chance for survival if started in pots to be transplanted later.
Perennials vary in size so set plants in the garden at proper spacings. Over crowded plants are more subject to disease problems.
Do not leave plants sitting around after buying them. Plant them as soon as possible.
If grown in containers with individual compartments for each plant, remove plants by gently flexing the sides.
Tear off the tops of peat pots, or bury it completely at planting time. Any portion of a peat pot sticking out of the soil acts like a wick and dries out the rest of the pot. Roots have a hard time getting through the dry brittle pot.
Set plants at the same level they grew at in the flat or container.
Once planted, water the newly set plants.