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C. Some Tips for Landscaping Homeowners

Narrator: This is Science Today. The recent rise in the home sales market has also caused an upturn in the landscape and nursery industries. Urban horticulture expert Dennis Pittenger, of the University of California, Riverside, says many consumers are unsure about what plants and shrubs are best for creating new property landscapes. Pittenger offers these tips in selecting healthy plants.

Pittenger: You want to look for good, vigorous shoot growth and you also want to look in the container. Don't be bashful about removing the container and looking to make sure the roots are filled into that container and that you see a lot of nice white, healthy looking roots in that root ball. Or at least make sure the roots are not mushy and soft. Some plants will have roots that are darker in color naturally, but if they're firm, that means that they're still healthy.

Narrator: When planting, Pittenger says make sure that the hole is at least three to four times the diameter of the root ball and it's not too deep.

Pittenger: If the hole is too deep, water collects around the root stem collar and then we have dying off because the roots are over watered and stem rots can develop.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.