Commercial production of cheap plants means lush foliage in small or tiny pots. Sheltered greenhouses with fertigation and daily misting results in rapid, healthy growth. It also usually means tiny root systems and zero drought resistance.
So the first step is to look for decent pot size and well-developed root systems. Deeper pots are better, and you are likely to have better results with less-perfect-looking plants from small growers with less artificial propagation conditions. Expect to pay more for stronger plants. Soil, pots and time cost money. You will save money overall.