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Flowers & Foliage

Buying plants and flowers online saves the time and trouble of running around to garden centers and nurseries at a time of year when they are likely to be crowded with customers. Online sources also offer vastly more choices than local centers, which may carry only the most common plant varieties. Old fashion types (heirlooms) may only be available online.

Seeds

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This is the easiest way to purchase plants online. Seed companies publish online catalogues that offer descriptions of hundreds of varieties of flowers and vegetables. The seed packets are lightweight , can be shipped inexpensively at any time of the year, and can be stored in a cool, dry place for weeks before being germinated. However, buying seeds requires much more work on the part of the buyer, who must tend to the small seedlings for weeks before they can be planted outside. It may also require additional equipment, such as potting soil, starter containers, seed warming mats, and special grow lights.

Bulbs

Tubers and corms can be bought as bulbs. Small, lightweight bulbs are inexpensive to ship making them easy to buy online. Usually the bulbs are shipped at the time of year they should be planted.

Live plants

Live plants offer instant results and have a better survival rate. Live plants of all sizes can be shipped, but the plants usually must be planted within days of arrival, so they are only available at the proper time of year. Some live plants arrive in containers with soil. Others come bare rooted and are sometimes wrapped in special materials to keep the roots moist. Growers do a wonderful job of shipping live plants so that they arrive undamaged, but all the packing means that live plants cost more to ship.

Cut flowers

All kinds of cut flowers are available online, providing access to a far greater variety than are available through local sources. Packing quality and shipping time are the most important things to look for, as cut flowers are fairly fragile.

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