With digitalization seeping into every field, gardening and plants are not far behind in getting the touch of digitalization. There are several nurseries that offer to deliver plants at your doorstep once you order them online. A plant, ordered online is called a “plant in a box.” There are several people embracing the idea of ordering these plants in boxes but, the product delivered to you is not as satisfactory as expected at times.
The idea of buying plants online without any physical inspections seems to be confusing. Then again, one has to wait for a long time after ordering plants online, and even after the wait, the quality is not of desired acceptance. In short, to successfully order quality saplings or plants online, you need to be experienced to do so. First-time buyers tend to make mistakes.
People ordering for the first time often face certain difficulties in deciding the varieties and the place from where they should be ordered. Also, what looks good to the eye isn’t always the right choice for a gardener. These are some of the problems that every gardening enthusiast usually faces. But here are certain tips and suggestions that may assist you to buy your collection of plants online without much difficulty.
Before deciding to order, one must know their garden’s needs. There has to be a proper match between the plant site and variety, so as to build compatibility between the two. Mismatches may occur in the process, but with time and experience, one will learn to build this compatibility.
One needs to find out which categories of plants can be cultivated well in that region. For this, we should prefer to order plants from our region or one with similar atmospheric conditions. Moreover, one needs to know the different plan sizes they wish to order depending on their needs. The bigger the plant size gets, the more expensive it becomes, and if the plant size is smaller, it is comparatively cheaper.
Know the Plant’s Needs
Different types of plants have different needs for care. This tip must be followed and accompanied by sufficient research regarding the plant zone and its water, soil, and exposure requirements. Ordering plants online make this easier as such information is usually mentioned and is more accurate than what we can get in the physical market.
Order in Small Quantities First
When buying plants online from a new website for the first time, one should be cautious and test the quality and delivery in small quantities. If both the criteria are satisfactorily fulfilled, then a follow-up order can be placed. It is generally noted that most websites provide very few pictures of the plant on the website. In case it is a flowering plant, there are pictures only of the flowers.
But gardeners know that for a plant to flower well, the main focus has to be the leaves and the roots. With only flowers visible in the image, there is no way to determine the quality of the plant beforehand. So, there is a risk of poor quality or late delivery from untrusted websites which will hamper the plans of the gardener. To avoid this, make sure that the online plant stores offer to deliver in small quantities.
Place an Early Order
Many times certain varieties of plants have a shortage due to excessive demand. Thus, one should place a timely and early order to avoid this problem. In some cases, shipping may take months’ time.
So, you should plan accordingly and order your plant before the stock is exhausted. Also, if you are planning to grow a seasonal plant, make sure that you order it with a time margin of a month so that you have the plant ready to be cultivated right at the time of the onset of spring.
Checking for Necessary Details
Before placing an order on any online site, certain details must be checked to ensure the safety of the transaction and the consumer’s interests. The following details must be checked:
- Order and shipping dates and deadlines to ensure no delay.
- Common and botanical names to ensure that the site has listed genuine products and to compare the prices from different suppliers.
- Growing information and other precautions and tips to assist the consumers.
- Contact information for after-sales inquiries and return policy, in case if required.
- Shipping details like the medium, shipping price, shipper’s details.
- Necessary certificates made mandatory by the government.
Buying plants online means that the time consumed in shipping can be stretched up to one or two months. Moreover, it involves a certain level of risk factor. One should take out a printout of the shipping schedule beforehand so that one can strategize beforehand and be ready when the order comes in. Necessary documents like order bill should be kept ready in case of any delay. Generally, a tracking number is provided, which should be used to regularly track the order.
Assess your risk tolerance
Some of us want to grow the plants that may not grow well in the region we live and thus we gamble. Such plants are not available in plant nurseries due to the same reason but are available online. Thus, some of us take risks in this matter and some of us cannot. We must match our risk tolerance to the plant and our region’s conditions.
One major perk of ordering plants online is the wide diversity of plants the online nurseries can offer which are not available in the physical markets. Thus, one should always be open to experimenting with the choice of their plants and its varieties. Due to the presence of online sites, one is able to experiment in their garden, which enhances the gardening experience. It also adds knowledge of the gardener.
A certain amount of risk tolerance is needed to experiment, but one may find more beautiful and better combination in such case online. Obviously, buying plants online is a bit more complicated than visiting a physical nursery. But the variety of plants that are available online can nowhere be seen in a physical nursery and that is why buying plants online are worth your effort as well as time.