Buying plants online

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keith6014
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Buying plants online

Post by keith6014 » Sun May 07, 2017 2:51 pm

I was a little disappointed at big box stores for variety of roses. I have heard success from others buying plants online, roses in particular.

Does anyone have experience buying plants such as roses online and any reputable dealers?

livesoft
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by livesoft » Sun May 07, 2017 3:05 pm

I have not purchased outdoor plants online, but …

… I researched buying azaleas online. I went to my local Lowe's which did not have what I wanted. However, they said they could order them for me after checking with their wholeseller. The price was about half the price of what I found online but a 3 gal container instead of a 2 gal container, so bigger plants at half the cost. So I had Lowe's order them for me. Superb quality. So see if your big box store can get you what you want.
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Pajamas
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by Pajamas » Sun May 07, 2017 3:15 pm

I have bought plants online, including roses, although it has been a while. Generally it is better to pay more for plants grown by a local nursery as they are suitable for the area, are already acclimated, and you can see what you are getting.

If you order plants online, understand what you are getting and any guarantee and investigate the reputation of customer service in gardening forums. Often the plants or bulbs are smaller than you expected when you see them even if you knew how big they were supposed to be. You have to pay up for quality. Trees, ornamental shrubs, roses, and similar are often bare root and require care immediately on receipt. Shipping is not kind to plants in general.

Although it has been a few decades and I can't remember some of the places I ordered from, I was pleased enough with roses from David Austin and daylilies from White Flower Farm to remember them specifically.

http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/

http://www.davidaustinroses.com/

fposte
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by fposte » Sun May 07, 2017 3:20 pm

I buy plants online so much I almost ordered online today before I remembered I could probably get Russian sage at the store down the street.

It can be its own intricate world, so my apologies if I'm taking you farther in than you wanted. While it's not quite as useful as in its heyday, you want to have a look at Dave's Garden Watchdog, which will give you some ideas as to who the big players are and who the must-avoids are and may help you identify good resources in your own region, thus minimizing the shipping problems.

Most rose growers don't grow much aside from roses, and there can even be subspecialties within it. I'm in the midwest, so I like hardy, own-root roses; I'm not covering anything in the winter. Heirloom Roses in Oregon was my go-to when I was buying, but I believe they changed hands recently so I don't know how they are now.

autopeep
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by autopeep » Sun May 07, 2017 3:22 pm

I have purchased a number of plants online from mailordernatives.com with good results. They do not stock roses however.

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badbreath
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by badbreath » Sun May 07, 2017 3:28 pm

I have ordered many on line with good success. With roses most of the time they are sent dormant bare root.

One caution do not use White Flower Farm. If you order something from them and they do not have it they will substitute with something that is in that family of plants.
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mrc
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by mrc » Sun May 07, 2017 4:50 pm

Over the years we have used mail order for some very specific plants including roses, yucca, rhododendrons, and trees (both conifers and hardwoods). For all but the trees, we were looking for a particular variety and the local nurseries didn't stock them. For the trees, we planted about 440 individuals. That would have been cost prohibitive if we sourced from a local nursery. Instead, we bought small for a dollar or two each. Over 15 years later, you'd never know. We ordered David Austin roses back when they were not as popular as they are now. A local nursery has a good selection of Austin roses now, so we would do that going forward. Shipped bare root, and unpacked the minute they arrive, we've had great success with mail order. We have several good nurseries in the area that are far superior to big box stores -- so you may want to check for a similar resource in your area before resorting to mail.
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mrc
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by mrc » Sun May 07, 2017 4:56 pm

badbreath wrote:One caution do not use White Flower Farm. If you order something from them and they do not have it they will substitute with something that is in that family of plants.
Not if you ask them not to substitute.
Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country's cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as best he can, the same cause. —AL

fposte
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by fposte » Sun May 07, 2017 5:21 pm

In fact, a lot of places will ask if they can substitute, or ask you to specify if you don't want them to.

In general, White Flower Farms is a lot of people's first mail-order experience, because they do serious catalogue mailings of very stylish catalogues. I think they're usually fine, but their price points are on the high side and their selection isn't hugely original or wide; I'm not even sure if they do their own propagation anymore.

sevenseas
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by sevenseas » Sun May 07, 2017 6:54 pm

It has been over ten years, but I planted an entire garden of heirloom and hybrid tea roses from mail order sources. I was interested in varieties that I simply could not get in my local nurseries. These were own root plants so tended to be smaller and take longer to establish than the 5 gallon grafted plants you can get locally, but without exception did well and reached mature size after a few years. Some vendors I remember using include Antique Rose Emporium, Regans Nursery, Chamblees. I remember the Roses Forum on GardenWeb as being a fantastic resourse for information.

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lthenderson
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by lthenderson » Mon May 08, 2017 9:51 am

I have ordered shrubs and trees online but they are always dormant when shipped. I have had good success that way.

However when ordering plants, shrubs or trees when they aren't dormant, I have learned to avoid the big box stores or the spring grocery store plant sales like the plague. The reason is those plants often have a plague of diseases. I have much better luck going to a local nursery where they only carry things that are hardy to your area and they give you guarantees on their product if it doesn't survive the first year. For this reason, they are almost always disease free. If for any reason the plant dies during the first year, I take in my receipt and they refund my money or give me a new one. The caveats are that if the price has increased I pay the difference and if I paid for them to plant it, they don't reimburse any delivery or labor charges.

Gropes & Ray
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by Gropes & Ray » Mon May 08, 2017 11:01 am

I order plants online, but not roses yet. I plan to order roses online this spring. I have had more success with mail order and online nurseries than with big box stores.
Last edited by Gropes & Ray on Tue May 09, 2017 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

likegarden
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by likegarden » Mon May 08, 2017 2:17 pm

I live and garden in zone 5, hybrid roses are marginal here, so I bought Canadian hardy roses from a place in Maine, but that nursery is closed now for years. Those climbing roses survived very well for more than 10 years. To get good, sturdy and healthy plants I would google a lot, go to a website of a national rose society and read their forum.
I buy hostas via the internet for many years, again I learned from forums on the internet. I needed to visit hosta-only nurseries to get that really good stuff. I am also a conifer collector.

Sandi_k
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by Sandi_k » Mon May 08, 2017 2:48 pm

Regan's in NorCal...

https://www.regannursery.com/

likegarden
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by likegarden » Mon May 08, 2017 5:46 pm

Keith did not write in which zone he is gardening.

fposte
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by fposte » Mon May 08, 2017 6:18 pm

likegarden wrote:Keith did not write in which zone he is gardening.
Though a nursery doesn't have to be in your zone to grow for your zone. I'm Zone 5 too, and I got all my roses, still going strong years later, from Oregon; they had a particularly fine selection of Griffith Buck roses, which are wonderful for my area.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Buying plants online

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon May 08, 2017 7:10 pm

For several years I had pretty good results with ordering rose bushes from Jackson & Perkins. Nowadays I know better. The plants were good quality but quite a bit overpriced. Now I just get healthy-looking plants from the big-box store in town.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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