If you're new to caring for houseplants, or if you've had a streak of bad luck with plants, you may want to start afresh. Selecting the healthiest houseplants among those offered for sale is a matter of knowing what to look for. Mental Floss has some tips on how to check a plant for stress, neglect, insects, or disease. If your plant had led a healthy life so far, it may give you years of pleasure.
However, after you've had a little experience with houseplants, you can take a riskier route. I always check the clearance table for plants first. There, you must use a critical eye to sort out what may be worth the price, which can be half or even less of the original price. If your half-price plant has signs of insects or disease, you don't want to risk bringing those into your home to wreck your other plants. But if the plant is marked down because it's been neglected, you may be able to revive it. Some new soil, a bigger pot, a sunny window, and a proper watering schedule can bring ailing plants back to life. If these measures fail, you've only lost a small amount of money, and if you succeed, you may find that the sense of accomplishment you feel is greater than your original desire for a pretty plant as a decoration.