A Plant Shopping Primer from Gertens

by | Jul 2020

A variety of plants from Gertens


We asked Gertens to explain some of the most popular terms you may hear during plant shopping.

Shopping for home and garden plants can often feel overwhelming, so we asked Carly Volbrecht, Gertens’ annual and perennial plant manager, to explain some of the most popular terms you may hear during plant shopping.



Variegation refers to the different kinds of designs and patterns on the leaves of the plant, so there tends to be more focus on the foliage than flowers. Interest in plants with variegated leaves has recently grown, especially within the realm of indoor houseplants.

Annuals vs. Perennials:

Annuals only live for one growing season and need to be replaced every year, but they bloom year-round. Perennials are the opposite, blooming only during specific times of the year, but they bloom again during their designated season for subsequent years. “For annuals, I would recommend begonias, and for perennials, I would recommend anything tall and upright, like native plants,” Volbrecht says.


Light Requirements:

Volbrecht says the term she most often receives questions about is the light requirements for plants. “Sometimes, the little signs can be confusing,” she says. The four basic types of requirements that help plants grow to maximum potential include:

  • Full sun: six or more hours of direct sunlight.
  • Partial sun: four to six hours of direct sunlight.
  • Shade: four or less hours of less intense afternoon sun.
  • Partial shade: less than four hours of less intense afternoon sun.

5500 Blaine Ave. E.,
Inver Grove Heights
Facebook: Gertens
Instagram: @gertens_
Twitter: @gertens


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