Don’t buy plug plants by post

I’m rapidly turning into Mrs Grump the Gardener!

I ordered plants by post from 5 different companies this year and I have complained to 3 of them, I’m about to complain to a fourth and I should have complained to the fifth, but I ran out of energy.  I’m English – I don’t like complaining.

Virtually every delivery has arrived loose in its packaging, broken, damaged, rotting, dead or dying.  Some I’ve managed to salvage, but they are unlikely to make much of a show this year. I believe this problem is getting worse.

Plants a few days after potting up
Plants a few days after potting up

The packaging is just not good enough.  I awaited with happy anticipation a delivery from  a new ‘player’ in this game. They had made quite a hoo-haa about their unique and reliable trays.  The plants arrived today, but they were little better than the others.  I’m beginning to feel angry.

Plants that were dispatched before a bank holiday had clearly spent too long in the post and were rotting.  

And I was charged nearly £8.00 for this small plant in a 3-inch pot. (I photographed it today – it’s grown a bit since it arrived)

Is this plant worth £8.00?
Is this plant worth £8.00?

Maybe I’m a mug for believing the promises in those seductive catalogues.  Mostly I feel sorry for all those people who feel let down, especially those who are new to gardening – it might put them off for good.

My grumbles have had some effect.  I’ve had apologies, a refund, and replacements (one of those was dead too). If you’ve had similar experiences do tell the company – they need feed-back.

I want to emphasise that I’m taking specifically about plug plants.  Proper nurseries with mail-order are usually very good.

I’ve had enough. Mrs Grump won’t be ordering from any of those firms next year. I’ll stick to buying plug plants from the garden centre where I can see what I’m getting and bring it home carefully.  But there isn’t so much choice…

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2 thoughts on “Don’t buy plug plants by post

  1. You do take such a risk with mail order plants, don’t you? I usually avoid them but there was one of those special offers in the Guardian for lots of plants free, you just paid postage, so I risked it. Six plants each of four herbaceous perennials – digitalis, nepeta, geum and coreopsis. They’re all fine apart from the nepeta, of which two died and two others look a bit dicey. I probably won’t risk it again – but then, I always say that!

  2. I’m going to bin all those catalogues as soon as they arrive. That way I won’t be tempted!

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