Getting House Plants Delivered: Plants by mail? Really?

With today’s advancement in terms of eCommerce, we can practically get anything we need through the internet. With a simple click of a button and through easy-to-use online payment schemes, you would be able to get a hold of a variety of plants from different suppliers worldwide. In this article, you will learn about the facts in purchasing plants online such as top retailers and the legality involved in plant trade, the benefits and disadvantages of buying plants online, how does the shipping process work, a few tips on what you need to do before actually making a purchase, and a quick list on what plants would be best.

You can order plants on the internet and have them delivered by mail. It’s as easy as ordering anything else online. All you need to do is research well on the plant you want and find a legitimate source, like Amazon, and simply make your order and wait for it to be delivered to your doorstep.

Can I Buy Plants Online?

The quick answer to that question is yes. You can definitely buy plants online. It just a matter of looking for the right sites. This takes a lot of research that starts with the kind of plant you want to buy. By doing your research, you can be sure of what you’re getting yourself into, and therefore safeguarding your purchase and your personal information at the same time.

If you don’t really have the time to buy plants from your local nursery, you can pick out the right plant for your home through reputable websites and have them shipped directly to your home. Here is a list of the best places to purchase your houseplants from in the comfort of your own home:

It’s not really surprising that the largest eCommerce company in the world would have plant selection available for worldwide shipping. This multinational company has been in the business since 1994 and has been quite consistent with its products and services that loyal customers keep coming back. You can simply visit their website, and browse their content by category and find the plant perfect for your home. They have flexible payment schemes and even better benefits.

The Bloomscape company is dedicated to making indoor plants easy to buy online. The founder came from a long line of greenhouse growers that started in the Netherlands. He grew up with his grandparents, learned the horticulture techniques of their ancestors, and applied it to his company today. They ship plants that are well cared for by experts and kept in the best condition, assuring you that when the plant arrives, it is healthy and thriving. The process is relatively simple; log on to their website and browse for the plant of your choice. You can even choose the color of your plant pot!

Garden Goods Direct
Known as the “nation’s local garden center”, Garden Good Direct is more than just an online source. This company owns and operates one of the largest plant nurseries and is known for providing top quality plants at great prices. In addition to providing you with a wide array of plants to choose from, they can supply you with everything your garden would need! This includes essentials and other outdoor items you may need. Giving you easy access to a garden center, eliminating a lot of wasted time on travel. The categories are subdivided into plant types. Simply choose “houseplants” on the tab and you have access to different subcategories. Houseplants are organized according to function; you can choose between “clean air plants” or even “low light plants”. With the proper research, you should be able to choose a plant easily. If you have not done your research yet, you’d be glad to know that the site provides you with a description, history, as well as care tips for the plant. Truly a one-stop shop, at an affordable rate.

Greenery NYC
With the mission of bringing the natural world into your home, Greenery NYC combines the science of horticulture with aesthetics. Finding a plant on their site is quite simple, with the tabs on the left side of your screen you can pick according to light requirements, care difficulty, size, benefits, and plant type. After choosing your plant, you can customize its pot to their available supplies for an added price which includes your potting fee and container. In the event the plant you want is out of stock, you can conveniently leave your email address and you will be notified when it is in stock again. One thing that sets Greenery NYC apart from other companies is their “green” advocacy. The aim to increase awareness of a greener initiative by reducing their carbon footprint in the way they ship out their goods. The use of 100% post-consumer recycled packing materials that are 100% degradable. They even reuse the packing materials that they incur through running their business. With the current state, our planet is in, it’s great to know that there are companies like Greenery NYC that is invested in their environmental advocacies.

Leon & George
Fully source from greeneries with plants homegrown in the US, the Leon & George company take pride in shipping out healthy and happy plants to its patrons. They are committed to the idea that the entire world needs more plants, in line with this, they actually plant one tree in the US for every plant that is sold. They believe that individuals are as unique as the plants they get, they offer interior consultations to pair your plants well with your decor and other essentials. The plants are cared for by a team of plant doctors before shipping and are said to be of optimum health upon shipping and reaching your home. The prices are quite steep but they provide free shipping nationwide with the best quality products in the market.

Is It Legal to Sell and Buy Plants Online?

Essentially, online plant trade is quite legal. If you are running a legitimate business, you would need to acquire the necessary permits and licenses to run it. This also includes paying taxes that you acquire from the sales. As a buyer, there is no repercussion for purchasing items online and having them delivered to your home.

As of now, it is legal to sell endangered species of plants. Some rare plants that are listed in the US Endangered Species Act, are seen on eBay and other eCommerce sites. The reason for the lack of restriction, is that plant sales encourage private cultivation which would, in turn, increase the number of species. Therefore, gardeners can acquire endangered plants from the wild and propagate them as long as this is done in their lands and not on federal property. The principle behind this concept is actually genius, as opposed to wildlife that may be used for other purposes. Plant trade is definitely harmless and quite beneficial for both parties.

The only requirement of the ESA is to have sellers acquire a permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which amounts to $100. This allows them to sell across states. Restrictions to ship the items abroad would be dependent on the receiving country’s restrictions. As a seller, guarantees that products would be sent should be done with prior knowledge of certain laws.

Advantages of Buying Plants Online

You can purchase practically anything and everything on the internet. The eCommerce industry has boomed from what it was decades ago, having said this there are a lot of online sources for buying plants. These eStores provide you with the best deals and access to rare finds.

It Is Very Convenient
Thanks to technological advancements, shopping for plants has never been easier. Just by browsing through the online catalog of the company of your choice, you can order the perfect plant from the comfort of your home, and have them delivered right to your doorstep. There’s no need to sit in traffic or wait in line. Essentially saving your time and energy. In just a few scrolls and clicks, you can have a plant on its way to you with no problem.

You Make Better Choices Through the Support and Information Available
Most online stores would also provide a quick overview of the plant you want to get any tips to make sure you would be able to care for it. It is important to choose a plant that would fit your lifestyle. Being able to provide your plant with its basic requirements it needs to grow is of utmost importance if your goal is to keep it long term. The support and information available on the sites include an overview of the plant in its natural habitat to give you an idea of what it needs and how to care for it effectively.

Wide Variety to Choose From
Local nurseries in your area would probably have plants that are common in your region. Whereas online sources have tons of plants to choose from. The selection of plants is vast, you may even be lucky enough to order a rare find. With the ESA allowing plants to be sold or traded across states, having access to these rare beauties would not be as difficult.

Top Notch Quality
One thing that concerns most first-time buyers is the quality of the plant they get. They would often worry that the course of shipping may damage the plant but with quality as the number one priority for most online companies, these sellers will not skimp on care and maintenance. The plants are taken care of by experts and kept at optimal conditions. Shipping time of 3 to 5 days would not cause damage to the plant. In fact, most would guarantee a healthy and happy plant to arrive at your doorstep. To add to your peace of mind as a consumer, any plant that is less than top-notch can be returned under the company’s warranty.

Affordable Rates

Aside from indirect cost such as gas expenses, time, etc. Purchasing plants online can be quite inexpensive compared to visiting your local nursery. This is because of lower overhead costs. Most companies do not need to maintain actual greenery, but instead, they can simply outsource products and pass on the savings to their customers. In addition to this, online retailers offer more discounts or freebies.

There are hundreds of companies to choose from, before actually spending your hard-earned money. Make sure that the plants you are buying are coming from a reputable source. Do a little research, check for reviews from actual clients, and read through their policies.

Disadvantages of Buying Plants Online

Along with the benefits of online plant shopping, comes its disadvantages.

Delivery May Be Too Long
If the company you have ordered from lack the proper inventory management, or through some delay in shipping. You could be looking at a long wait time for your product to arrive. If you are in a rush to purchase something and you’re not really ready to splurge on overnight shipping, online shopping is not for you. Purchasing things online would require patience.

Missing Out on the Shopping Experience
When we talk about traditional shopping, we technically use all our senses in choosing an item. When we get to see the plants, touch them, and smell them, we are more likely to buy them. In addition to this, we will also have access to listening to first-hand care techniques provided by the experts at the local nursery.

Fraud and Scams
Whenever you are shopping online, the risk of your bank details being accessed is quite high. Some online payment methods may not be as secure, and with cybercrime rates increasing day-to-day, it may be dangerous to entrust your information.

You may also experience scam artists trying to pose as a legitimate company and offer you something that they do not actually have. Which is why it is very important that you do your research before spending your money. Our list of reputable companies above is definitely legitimate sources that have hundreds and thousands of happy clientele.

The disadvantages of online plant shopping will definitely not hinder the growth of this industry especially when the benefits outweigh them. With other options of payments such has cash-on-delivery or escrow, consumers are definitely safer.

How Do the Plants Get Shipped?

If you are thinking of getting a plant from an online source, you’re probably curious about how this will be shipped and if it will be safe for the plant. Shipping plants are quite common nowadays because of the boom in the eCommerce industry, but you would need to carefully pack or prepare them.

Plant Preparation
Plants that are resilient do not need too much fuss; they just need to be packed the way they are. It is also important that they are not overly watered. During transit they will not be exposed to light where they actively grow, therefore the moisture in the soil will just build up and may cause root rot or even fungal growth.

There are various factors companies consider when packing the plant. Aside from size, the foliage’s sensitivity is also taken into account.

For plants that are quite sturdy, minimal packing cushion would be needed. The space can be filled with crinkle paper to keep the plant still and the foliage protected. For more sensitive plants, they are placed in breathable paper bags or bubble wrap before adding crinkle paper or packing peanuts. This ensures that they are kept still and their foliage is free from damage upon arriving at your home. For cacti or succulents with thorns, most would place packing peanuts directly on their foliage for protective purposes.

It is also important that the box is packed well with crinkle paper or packing peanuts to be sure that the plants do not move during handling and transit. The pots are often bubble wrapped especially when they are made of breakable material like ceramic or terra cotta.

One of the most important parts of the shipping process is labeling. This way, the courier is well informed of what they are bringing and can handle the item with care. Most companies would place a “Live Plant” sticker on the outside of the box, which makes the shipping company’s personnel aware that they need to treat the item with care. Adding a sticker on how the box should be held is also important, a simple “this side up” sticker can safeguard the plants and ensure that they won’t be rolling around in their soil and packing cushions during the trip.

The US Postal Services accepts plant shipping jobs, and there are tons of private shipping companies that also offer similar services or even better ones. If your supplier is able to give you an option to choose your mode of shipment, it would be best to pick the one that does the delivery fast and that is in your price range.

Tips When Ordering Plants Online

Before you start splurging and filling your online cart with hundreds of dollars’ worth of plants, here are some tips you may want to look into before clicking on the check-out button.

Read Customer Reviews
The best form of advertisement comes from happy customers. A reputable company with hundreds or even thousands of satisfied clients would mean that the company is indeed a legitimate source that promises to deliver top-notch products. Good reviews and even bad ones give you an insight into how the company handles their customers.

Check the Fine Print and Return Policies
It is important to look into the details of the site in order for you to know what to expect when you do get your plant. Some companies would have a different representation through photos on their site and specify on the fine print that seedlings are what they send you.

Good companies would be able to provide you with a warranty or a return policy for the plants you order. Be sure to look into this before checking out your order.

Prepare a Space for Your Plant
Prior to your plant’s arrival, you would need to prepare a space for it. Considering your growing zone depending on the size of your plant is quite important. You would also need to take into consideration the temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors that come into play when you order your plant.

Do Your Research Properly
Although most websites would have an overview and basic requirements for the plants you buy, it doesn’t hurt to do additional research. Growing the plant in optimal conditions is definitely important to be able to keep it long-term.

Check Other Sites and Compare Prices
Do not buy the first plant you see, be sure to compare and contrast the prices with other sites before making decisions. Some sites may even offer discounts or free shipping. It would be best to scout the market for the best deal. This way you are making the most of your purchase.

What are the Best Plants for My Home?

Choosing the perfect plant will always depend on your preference and availability. If you are too busy to care for them, having plants that require daily watering and care may not be ideal for you.

To make things simpler, and to make your decision easier to make, here is a list of the best plants that can help you de-stress and provide you with other benefits as well.

  • Aloe Plant (Aloe vera) The gel within the leaves of the aloe plant is noted for its healing properties. It soothes burns and cuts, and its presence alone can improve the air quality in your home. It is able to clear the air of chemical cleaning products when they become toxic to the inhabitants. When the chemicals come to a lethal amount, the plant serves as an indicator – the yellowing of the leaves will show this.
  • Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica) Noted in a study conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1989 as a powerful air purifier, the rubber plant is quite beneficial to any home. They purify the air you breathe in and thrive in dim lit spaces and cooler climates, making it essentially low-maintenance in terms of care.
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum spp.) The peace lily beautifies the space and is quite low-maintenance to care for. They thrive in cool and shady spaces and are known to reduce the number of toxins in the air drastically. This would be an excellent choice for people whose goal is to uplift the aesthetics of their home but do not have the time to spare for fussy plant care.
  • Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) Snake plants are not very particular with care. They do not need much attention, nor do they need much light and water to survive. They are slim and would easily fit in with any interior you have. One notable quality of this plant is that it actively absorbs carbon dioxide during nighttime and releases oxygen at the same time as well. Adding them to your bedroom can be beneficial for your sleep.
  • Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea spp.) The bamboo palm is on the top of NASA’s list of the best air-purifying plants. There have also been other studies using the same species to improve air quality and they have all be proven to be positive. It is quite effective in clearing benzene and trichloroethylene garnering a purifying score of 8.4. It may not be ideal to have this plant if you are quite busy, it would needs some care. Bamboo Palms like to be placed in indirect sunlight, and constantly be watered.
  • Philodendron (Philodendron spp.) The plant of choice for most beginners would be the philodendron. They just need moderate watering and a little sunlight. Since they are easy to care for, they tend to last longer than other plants usually would. It is equally great at absorbing toxins like xylene.
  • Dracaena (Dracena spp.) Amusingly, in the right conditions, these plants can grow up to 15 feet in height. They are great in filling spaces and is often used as decor especially with their vibrant colors. These plants are great at removing air toxins especially formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene. They grow best in an abundance of light, and moderate watering.
  • Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) Commonly placed in kitchen spaces, these plants are excellent at clearing fumes and other harmful chemicals that come from cooking. It is also noted to clear formaldehyde from the air. Additionally, Golden Pothos are one of the houseplants that removes the most Co2 from your home. They are best placed in hanging pots for their leaves to grow out of, and they do not require too much attention. Dim lit spaces and cool temperatures would suffice for its care.

If you are interested in investing in a small indoor garden, there are dozens of options available at your disposal. Whether you choose to visit your local plant nursery or order your plants online, proper research will definitely help out a lot.

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