The Best Places to Buy Outdoor Plants Online
Replacing the mail-order catalogs of days gone by, the best places to buy outdoor plants online offer convenient plant selection along with educational tips and advice for optimal gardening success.
Gardening provides an enjoyable outlet for creativity and imagination. It’s also good exercise—and often hard work. Gardeners dream of each new season, and they delight in seeing their gardens take shape over the years. There’s always work to do, and there are always spaces to fill with new plants. But a gorgeous landscape or a colorful display of textures and shapes makes the work worthwhile.
Selecting the right plants can be challenging. Gardeners need to consider their agricultural zones, soil conditions, sunlight, rainfall, space constraints, and a host of other factors when selecting plants. The best places to buy outdoor plants online offer astoundingly large inventories of plants, along with informative recommendations to make the most appropriate plant choices.
Take advantage of this modern-day avenue for selecting and purchasing live plants. With innovative shipping methods and customer satisfaction guarantees, online nurseries ensure successful results for thriving plants.
Known for: Bluestone Perennials is known for flowering perennials, flowering shrubs, bulbs, grasses, and ground covers sold with a 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee.
Editors’ Choice: The Hibiscus Syriacus Purple Pillar (available from Bluestone Perennials) is a tall, flowering perennial shrub. Sometimes called Rose of Sharon, it produces purple blooms with red accents from midsummer through fall, and it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
Bluestone Perennials is a family-owned business based in Madison, Ohio. They’ve been in operation since 1972, specializing in flowering perennial plants and shrubs. Additionally, they feature a large selection of chrysanthemums as well as ornamental grasses and flowering groundcovers. Their inventory exceeds 1,000 plant varieties.
The growers at Bluestone Perennials sow their plants in 100 percent biodegradable pots made from coconut husk fibers. Customers receive their plants in these breathable pots and plant them directly in the ground—pot and all.
Over time, the pots become part of the soil, eliminating the need to disturb the plants by transplanting them. Plants develop robust root systems in the plantable and breathable pots, allowing them to get off to a healthy start in their new garden homes.
Known for: In addition to perennial shrubs and smaller plants, Brighter Blooms offers flowering trees, fruit trees, shade trees, and privacy-hedge trees.
Editors’ Choice: The Thuja Green Giant Arborvitae Tree (available from Brighter Blooms) reaches a mature size of 30 to 40 feet tall and 5 to 8 feet wide. Planted in a row, these evergreen trees provide privacy along with soft, green foliage for year-round beauty.
The Brighter Blooms website offers a wealth of information, ideas, and suggestions for gardeners. Based on climate, soil, and space considerations, the growers guide customers to select plants that will thrive in their environments. With detailed instructions for planting, pruning, watering, and caring for plants, Brighter Blooms provides the necessary information for even beginning gardeners to achieve success.
It might seem odd to purchase a living tree from an online source, but Brighter Blooms offers a vast selection of fruit trees, flowering trees, evergreen trees, and shade trees in an enormous array of tree varieties. Customers can select shipment of trees from between 2 to 3 feet tall and 6 to 7 feet in height.
The Brighter Blooms company ships from their nursery in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and they are not open to the public. Each plant is shipped to the customer with a 30-Day Happy and Healthy Guarantee.
Known for: Burpee sells live plants, bare roots, bulbs, and seeds.
Editors’ Choice: Lemon Basil (available from Burpee) is an herb that adds lemony flavor and aroma to chicken and vegetable dishes, as well as teas and potpourri.
The company, founded by W. Atlee Burpee, began selling seeds from a mail-order catalog in 1881. By the 1890s, it was the largest seed company in the world. Today, via the website, customers can order live plants, bare roots, bulbs, or seeds.
Burpee offers annual and perennial flowering plants, herbs, vegetables, and fruit-bearing shrubs and trees. They also feature heirloom varieties of flowers and vegetables, as well as vegetable seeds and plants that are certified organic. To say that their inventory is extensive would be an understatement.
With more than 100 years of research, improvement, and innovation behind them, the growers at Burpee offer copious advice on their website. Gardeners can access instructional how-to videos, as well as informative articles on a plethora of gardening topics, problems, and solutions.
4. Cactus Limon
Known for: Cactus Limon specializes in cactus and succulent plants, and they feature interesting collections for gifts and special occasions.
Editors’ Choice: The Aloe Vera Medicine Succulent Plant (available from Cactus Limon) is certified by the FDA as a medicinal plant. The vitamin-rich, gel-like substance found in its leaves provides healing properties when rubbed on the skin.
Cactus Limon is a small, family-owned business founded 15 years ago and based in California. Dave and Suzanne have been growing cactus and succulent plants as a hobby since childhood. On their website, they offer plant care tips regarding the appropriate light, water, soil, fertilizer, and other conditions for gardeners to enjoy success in growing the plants.
Customers may order individual plants or collections of succulents or cactus plants. The assorted collections are assembled and intended as giveaway favors for guests at weddings, parties, and conferences.
In recent years, succulent plants have enjoyed a surge in popularity in the world of design and home decor. The Succulent Design Studio page on the Cactus Limon website features handcrafted decor items made from succulent plants.
Known for: Etsy hosts numerous nurseries and growers among its community of creative entrepreneurs who provide high-quality, unique products for online sales.
Editors’ Choice: Dollar Princess Fuchsia (available from JaesSpace on Etsy) makes a dramatic showing. Planted in a hanging pot, its vibrant red and purple flowers on long stems create the look of an elegant, living chandelier.
Esty is known as a marketplace for creative vendors who produce unique, handcrafted items for global sales and distribution. The creativity that goes into plant cultivation and propagation is not overlooked on Etsy. An abundance of live plant sellers is represented on the site.
Search Etsy for live plants by name or by type. Sellers offer a broad array of annual and perennial flowering plants and shrubs in addition to vegetable bedding plants. Gardeners may purchase flowering and fruit trees as cuttings, bare roots, or seedlings. Numerous varieties of ornamental grasses and vines round out the plethora of live outdoor plant options on Etsy.
A five-star rating system on Etsy helps customers to discern reliable growers who sell high-quality plants. Additionally, the informative customer reviews provide clues regarding the quality of the customer experience and the viability of the plants.
Known for: The folks at Great Garden Plants focus on solving problems for gardeners who want to see the most favorable results in their landscapes.
Editors’ Choice: Drummond’s Pink Creeping Phlox (available from Great Garden Plants) is a heat-tolerant and deer-resistant ground cover that thrives in poor soil and produces delicate flowers in Zones 3 through 9.
To ensure that plants thrive, Great Garden Plants recommends gardeners shop for plants according to the agricultural zones in which they live. The website is replete with information and recommendations regarding an array of gardening goals and problems. These include small-space considerations, deer resistance, maximizing color, sloping terrains, heat or cold tolerance, wet or dry soils, and more.
Great Garden Plants offers perennial shrubs, flowering plants, and evergreen trees, as well as climbing vines for color and foliage. Throughout the website, the growers offer advice for plant selection based on specific needs, such as container plantings, rain gardens, privacy screening, landscape fillers, and a wealth of other gardening objectives.
Based in Grand Haven, Michigan, Great Garden Plants has been in business since 2008. They provide a no-risk, 30-day customer satisfaction guarantee for their healthy plants, which are shipped in amply sized containers.
Known for: Specializing in rose bushes and climbers, Heirloom Roses also features companion plants, such as rhododendron, hydrangea, and more.
Editors’ Choice: The Fourth of July Climbing Rose (available from Heirloom Roses) produces large 4-inch variegated blooms in a stunning red color with white stripes.
Heirloom Roses is owned by Ben and Kara Hanna and located in the Willamette Valley region of Oregon. Knowledgeable experts on their staff are available to answer questions and dispense advice on myriad matters related to the cultivation and enjoyment of roses.
Growers at Heirloom Roses do not engage in the common practices of grafting or budding to create new plants. Instead, they employ a process known as “own root.” Each plant shipped out to customers is a first-year cutting on its own roots, grown from a leaf cutting derived from a mother plant. They are small when they arrive, but gardeners find that these plants quickly catch up to grafted roses.
Although a plethora of rose varieties form the basis of Heirloom Roses’ business, the company also offers an array of complementary shrubs. These include flowering perennials like crape myrtle, blueberry bushes, hibiscus, and wisteria. Heirloom Roses does not sell vegetables, trees, grasses, and other types of plants.
8. Nature Hills
Known for: Claiming to be “America’s Largest Online Plant Nursery,” Nature Hills offers an astounding array of live plants of numerous types and varieties for diverse gardening purposes.
Editors’ Choice: The Honeycrisp Apple Tree (available from Nature Hills) is cold hardy in Zones 3 through 8, growing to 25 feet and bearing yellow apples with a red blush.
Offering an extensive inventory, Nature Hills is a one-stop shop for plants of myriad types and varieties. The nursery offers shade trees, evergreen trees, and fruit and flowering trees, as well as a large assortment of bushes and shrubs. On a smaller scale, they feature numerous varieties of flowering plants—both perennials and annuals. Gardeners may also shop for an array of ornamental grasses, ground covers, and bulbs.
The website is well organized to make plant selection easy. Plants are categorized for multiple features, including flower color, zone hardiness, sun exposure, growth rate, blooming period, height and spread, and more. With a few clicks, shoppers can focus their searches to find the most satisfactory plants to meet their gardening needs and goals.
Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Nature Hills started in 2001 as a family-owned tree nursery. They’ve expanded over the years to offer perennials, shrubs, roses, bulbs, seeds, and a complete garden center.
Known for: One of the oldest mail-order garden centers in the U.S., Spring Hill Nurseries has been shipping high-quality plants to gardeners for 172 years.
Editors’ Choice: The Most Fragrant Peony Collection (available from Spring Hill Nurseries) includes three plants that produce fragrant, rounded blooms ideal for cut flowers in spring and summer.
Featuring a large inventory of plant types and varieties, Spring Hill Nurseries offers ornamental trees, flowering vines, shrubs, perennial and annual flowering plants, rose bushes and climbing roses, and bulbs. Their curated collections feature plants that work well together to complement or create multiple types of gardens. They do not sell plants for vegetable gardens.
Founded in 1849 by Peter Bohlender, an immigrant from Bavaria, Spring Hill Nurseries enjoys a long-lasting reputation for excellence. Originally operating as a wholesale supplier, the Tipp City, Ohio, company shifted into mail-order sales around 1930.
Innovation and improvement remain high priorities for the researchers and horticulturists at Spring Hill Nurseries, who work continuously to ensure their plants perform well in gardens all across the U.S. To this end, the Spring Hill team members collaborate with plant breeders and testing agencies as well as botanical gardens and universities.