Ordering Plant Online

In an era when anything can be signed, sealed, and delivered to our doorsteps (in three-to-five business days), buying a plant online seems like a breeze — and, according to the reviews on many top sites, it is. But there is still some mystery behind the occasional fakes, flukes, and flubs of virtual nurseries. Since there's no time like the stuck-at-home present (thank you, pandemic), we banded together to weed out any possible horticulture catfishes from the most popular of these plant services. 

The R29 Shopping team reached out to Bloomscape, The Sill, Soil & Clay, Amazon, and Plants.com, and were generously sent a beginner-friendly green friend from each to review. A week was spent detailing their plant journies — taking personal notes and photos to document the packaging, sustainable practices, and overall care experiences. The photosynthesizing was plentiful and some thumbs grew greener, but which services were really worth it in the end? To find out, click ahead.

Bloomscape

If your life revolves around plants, then Bloomscape is the online retailer for you. This brand ships out its inventory directly from its greenhouse in Michigan to cut down on unnecessary travel hazards and ensure that your new seedling lives a long happy life. 

Shop Bloomscape

Bloomscape Philodendron Heartleaf, $, available at Bloomscape

Philodendron Heartleaf

Plant Parent: Liz Buxton, Plant Killer

Plant History: "I have a sordid plant past where many a succulent and even a snake plant have perished under my watch. But, to my own defense, I previously lived in a first-floor apartment that received negligible natural light — so, those poor plants' fates were sealed as soon as they arrived at my door. No green thumb could have saved them! All this goes to say, I stopped attempting to plant-parent until I moved out of aforementioned dark apartment and into a more well-lit space where leafy friends could stand a chance."

How It Was Packaged: "My Philodendron Heartleaf, who I decided to name Phil, arrived one evening only a day or two after I'd coordinated the shipment — speedy, indeedy! He was very securely boxed up in a bundle that contained a welcoming note from Bloomscape's founder and CEO, a card detailing my plant's likes and dislikes (Phil is into indirect sunlight and being watered when his soil is nearly dry; Phil isn't into being eaten by pets or hanging out in dry environments), a soil-marker care card, info about the packaging and how to dispose of it OR reuse it (apparently I could reuse Phil's non-toxic insulation made from recycled denim as a dog bed insert!), and a simple four-step guide on to how to get my plant set up for surviving and thriving."

How It Looked: "He arrived looking a little tired but not totally wrecked; there were some droopy leaves with a bit of discoloration. After I had removed him from the cardboard packaging and trimmed off a few of the not-so-hot spots, I was able to fully admire how verdant his green vine-like limbs looked atop his chic terracotta pot. He rivaled one of those trendy plants you see in fancy beauty influencers' bathrooms, next to the Byredo candles and Glossier empties. I was rooting for him. So I gave him a good watering, as instructed, and then set him up in the sunniest spot I could find."

Bloomscape Philodendron Heartleaf, $, available at Bloomscape

One Week Later: "He is ALIVE!!! After moving Phil into his new sunshine-filled space, I was careful to make sure he was never too thirsty. I achieved this by giving him daily mists with a bottle I ordered off Amazon, which seemed to help him stay happily humid (since I don't live in the tropics). Other measures I took to make sure Phil was happy: I repotted him in some fresh soil that's supposed to retain more moisture for his little roots (orchid potting mix, peat moss, and sand) and also placed him atop a makeshift pebble tray (aka I filled his terracotta planter's saucer with stones and some water to encourage even more humidity). Some may say this is overdoing it, but I needed to ensure that Phil would not just survive but thrive. And thrive he has."

 

Final Plantswer: "I was super pleased with the overall Bloomscape experience. I'd actually ordered my now-deceased snake plant from the site and so was already familiar with its sustainable packaging, clear care instructions, high-quality plants, and stylish planters. Although Phil wasn't fresh-as-a-Philodendron-daisy when he arrived, he perked up in no time at all with a little TLC. And, tbh, I don't look great either after 24-48 hours in transit."

Bloomscape Philodendron Heartleaf, $, available at Bloomscape

Soil & Clay

Soil & Clay’s mission is to, “strengthen your bond with nature and to help bring joy to your space,” which is why this team is committed to delivering fresh plants straight out of their greenhouse. Not only do they sell plants, but they also offer macrame sets, plant care accessories, guides, home decor, and more green thumb must-haves. 

Shop Soil & Clay

Soil And Clay Dracaena – Warneckii Lemon Lime, $, available at Soil And Clay

Dracaena Warneckii Lemon Lime

Plant Parent: Alexandra Polk, Budding Plant Lady

Plant History: "While everyone was baking sourdough bread, adopting cats, and exercising indoors for quarantine, I was buying plants. Before 2020 I never took care of a single shrub, except for a few forgotten succulents here and there, but now I own eight plants. I’m no pro, if I sustained the life of every plant I bought this past summer I would have about 15 bulb buddies by now, but alas. My plant lady transformation has a long way to go."

How It Was Packaged: "The plant was definitely packaged with care. I appreciated the small size of the box it came in despite it being a medium-size plant (those giant boxes take up half of my apartment). Inside, it was wrapped in paper and bubble wrap, and it was kept warm by a heat soil disc which I thought was amazing."

How It Looked: "Based on the ultra-secure wrapping, you’d think that the long and goddess-like leaves of this dracaena would be slightly scrunched, but it immediately unfolded with grace. I give the delivery a 10/10."

Soil And Clay Dracaena – Warneckii Lemon Lime, $, available at Soil And Clay

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