Can you get good plants online?

gobrunoApril 19, 2010

We need to buy a whole ton of plants to landscape our entire yard, and I saw a bunch of places online where you can order plants for a good price and delivery is reasonable. Has anybody ordered plants online? Are there any good ones that people can recommend?


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I've ordered online from both Spring Hill and Michigan Bulb both. So far I've had good luck with them. I've only lost two plants, but I'd have to lay the blame for that at my own feet because I kind forgot about them and didn't water enough. :) I've never ordered shrubs or trees though. The one thing about the inexpensiveness is that they're cheaper because they're small and take longer to fill in. Some things that won't matter for, but others you may want to think about buying a nicer, larger stock. If you're filling a large area you might want to put in a few larger foundational pieces and then use the new, smaller internet items to fill in. Maybe post a list of the plants you're going to buy and people can chime in regarding opinions on internet ordering vs. getting them from a nursery or garden center.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 3:13PM
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Yes, you can get excellent plants on-line, but it's buyer beware. As in a nursery you visit in person, the quality can vary, and is reflected in the price most often (or to pay for the marketing).

Do a search for Daces Garden watch dog to see a reader's survey of their on-line nursery purchasing experience.

On line ordering is best left to plants you can't get locally or your nursery won't order for you, which they may do if it fits their schedule and you're a good customer.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 8:12PM
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I agree with isabella. If you can get it locally, the plant will be more mature and you will get to enjoy it sooner. But, if you can't get it locally, then try online. I've ordered from High Country Gardens, Jung Seed, White Flower Farms, and Bluestone Perennials in the past and for the most part have been pleased.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 9:12PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

gobruno, I've had good luck ordering on line. Forest Farm, Musser Forests, are probably my favorites.

Are you planting a 1/4 acre lot where three of four big trees will do? Or do you have a few acres where you need dozens?

From the state, each has a department of Forestry or the like, you can get cheap two foot trees by the dozen. Missouri sold my 25 dogwoods for think it was $15 last year.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 12:44AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Agree that you should check the reviews at Dave's Garden Watchdog. GW has a forum also, though not as busy:
In either place, don't just go by the numbers: read the reviews and note that some buyers are totally clueless; ignore their complaints.

I've bought from various catalogs and online sites, with generally good to excellent results. Most plants are smaller than you'll expect, and some are much smaller.

There are some people I won't buy from because they don't pack their plants well, or may be out of stock and won't ship your spring plants until September.

Something else to consider is that it's getting warmer, and plants will cook in hot UPS vans. So what you want to do this year depends what the weather is likely to be in the next few weeks between the vendor and your home.

I will gladly praise Bluestone Perennials, High Country Gardens, Oakes Daylilies and their relative Paradise Gardens, Musser Forest, Territorial Seed, Logee (houseplants unless you're in a very warm zone), Stark Bros., Raintree Nursery, Pinetree Gardens, Johnny's Select Seed, and Miller Nurseries. [Some of these are for herbs or fruit.]

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 2:31AM
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Thanks for all the information and advice! We are looking to landscape a 1 acre property. The whole thing is a bit daunting bc it's new construction and we have to start from ground zero. There is absolutely nothing there. Also, bc it's new construction, we are running out of energy to even think about landscaping and just want to get something in. We are taking a phased approach, both bc of our lack of energy and bc we want to save some money. Our landscaper is going to provide us with a master plan and for now install the major foundation plants, and leave it to us to fill in the smaller things over time. We're hoping to save some costs on plants bc we need so many. I'll check out some of these places. Plus, I like the idea of a truck dropping all of these plants off right at our house, instead of trying to shove all these plants in the back of our car and driving them from the nursery in a gazillion trips.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 11:07AM
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I've also ordered from Jung's as well. I was ordering some stuff from them to fill a new space I was preparing this spring and I wanted them to hold my order until a certain date. They charged $15 to do this and the difference was only a couple of weeks. They're the only place that I've ordered from so far that attached a fee to the request. Their product and packaging has been good though and it comes local delivery for me, not UPS.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 11:47AM
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I got my best results ordering from Klehm's Song Sparrow for various shrubs (that I couldn't find locally) and from Chamlee's for roses.

And listen to what the prior posters have advised. You will get better plant sizes to start with if you buy from a local nusery. And nurseries deliver too. Or, if your tastes are not so particular, check out your local LOWES or Home Depot. I only order what I can't find locally. The difference can mean you can enjoy mature plantings years earlier.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 4:24PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

" The difference can mean you can enjoy mature plantings years earlier."
I politely disagree. If you transplant a 3 foot mail order red maple then you get 100% of the root mass in the ground. If you transplant a 6 foot maple in a 5 gallon pot then?????? The re-establishment time evens it out. Plus I suspect the root damage caused by root pruning, being dug up, and the general calamity of a tall tree being in a pot increase the chance for infection.

On the side of larger specimens. I have to fence in my small transplants to keep the yard equipment and little critters away.

On the side of smaller transplants, I have never staked a tree. Put a 8 foot tall tulip tree in the ground with a 30 inch round hard pivoting root mass and oh boy will it catch some wind up there and need staked.

gobruno, make sure you get something neat and unique to your block. Driving down the street today I saw all the good looking red japanese maples politely planted off the north east side of the houses down from me. Copycats.

My recommendation would be find a focus plant or two. Something real eye catching and work that into the shape of your landscape. Figure out where ppl's eyes are drawn, be aware where water has to run, plant for the long term. You have a neat opportunity here!

Its easy enough to avoid mistakes. Just keep the black walnuts from overhanging where your guests will be parking. Nothing like a walnut dent on my 68 Mustang!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 9:28PM
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