I just got a question from someone new to Neos (i.e., a Neo neophyte), and I remember answering this question about a month ago, so I thought it would be helpful to post this. The big question is, “Where do I start?”
Because most beginners are starting on a strict budget (we’ll see how long that lasts), I am making the list as economical as possible. As you gain confidence, you can expand into more expensive selections. Besides, like wine, the nicest Neo selections aren’t necessarily the most expensive. I have broken down the list based on what I see as the basic categories.
Shima (length-wise) stripes: Higashidemiyako (least expensive), Gojyo Fukurin, Gekkeikan, Choseiden (green on green for something different)
Tiger (cross-wise variegation): Hakuun, Amanagawa, Kishu Shirayuki, Hanagoromo
Bean leaf (small, thick leaves): Tamakongou (the classic), Tamagawa, Kabutomaru, Kuroshinju, Senbazuru
Pine needle leaf (generally poor bloomers but cool looking and fast growers): Chosentetsu, Awaharibeni, Yoroidoushi, Kodaiju
Flower color variations:
Green: Hisui (classic), Tosamidori, Suikaden (some green on tips)
Yellow: Kibana furan (classic), Kisuzume, Kikutome, Ougonmaru (sold out)
While it’s tempting to get as many different varieties as you can afford and buy just single growth plants, I would encourage you to buy, as much as possible, at least two growth plants. They will grow much faster and be healthier because they will have more developed root systems. I wouldn’t sell a single growth plant that I didn’t think was healthy and viable on its own, but eventually everyone comes to the same conclusion that it’s better to spend a little more up front. It’s not even a matter of how soon it will bloom (most of the single growths are blooming size), it’s really just general well-being of the plant. When a single growth costs $150, then by all means, just get one, but if it’s $10/growth, bite the bullet and get at least a double.
Please feel free to contact me with any Neo questions you have, and I will be happy to answer the to the best of my ability!