Q – Should I buy plants online and if so what should I watch out for?

A – Buying plants online is a great way to start filling up those empty corners in your garden and can have some definite advantages over purchasing plants for the garden from those run of the mill plant nurseries. These often only stock the everyday flowering plants that can be found almost anywhere that goes by the name of a garden centre. Plants for sale on the internet, on the other hand, are often available from the growers, who not only know their stuff, but sometimes offer the chance to buy wholesale plants.

Before you start to look online for perennials, shrubs, climbing plants or trees for sale on the web it is advisable to consider fully what you need in terms of plant varieties, eventual plant size, flowers, leaf, bark or berry colours, ground cover, hardiness to exposure or drought conditions, flowering season and indeed much more. It is imperative that you do your homework and detailed planning long before you even turn the computer on to start searching for plants to buy.

Why is this so important? The answer is simply that if you love plants, as all gardeners do, once you start to browse the web you will be akin to a kid in a sweet shop. Most plant photos are highly alluring and if you don’t exercise great self discipline and have your ‘list’ to refer to you will find yourself succumbing to all sorts of unnecessary plants that may not be suitable for your garden. Cramming an outdoor living space with too many plants in too many different or clashing colours is not good horticultural sense.

Online retailers don’t often have the costly overheads of a physical store to support, so can therefore offer cheap plants and plant discounts; which makes it sensible to see what’s on offer across the board of several online shops. Or you can use a site like ours, where we list numerous online plant sources for you to see the latest stock and compare plant stock prices.

You may be concerned that without seeing a plant how can you be sure it is good quality and will arrive in perfect condition. Obviously this is a valid concern but there is no need to worry. Online plant nurseries and suppliers are normally very professional about their packaging and delivery service since they, above all, want to ensure that your plants arrive in tip top condition. On the whole you will find that delivery charges are quite reasonable, but these too but are worth checking since you may decide that it makes economical sense to order everything from one supplier where possible, to keep delivery costs to a minimum. Finally, once they arrive do keep them watered and away from cold winds or hot sun until you are ready to plant them.