Before purchasing mail order plants, there are several factors that should be considered including the reputation of the company, the warranties and guarantees offered, and the types of plants available. Many people choose to order their plants and seeds online or from a catalog, as opposed to shopping in a gardening center. The local nurseries may not offer the desired types of plants, such as tropical plants, or they may not stock the specific variety the gardener is looking for. Regardless of from whom the consumer chooses to order, it is important that he or she orders in a timely manner to ensure the plants are established during the appropriate growing season. Gardening experts recommend ordering about a month before the estimated planting period for the best results.
It is important that mail order plants come from a reputable company. Gardeners often choose to work with companies that have been in business a long time and are well respected by consumer awareness organizations. The plant catalogs themselves usually contain information about the company, the length of time it has been in business, and other relevant information. Consumers can also explore the "about us" page on the company's website to learn more about its history and business practices.
Company promises, guarantees, and warranties are important as well when ordering and selecting mail order plants. The most reputable companies usually offer guarantees that the plants reach their destination in good condition or they will refund the client's money or offer new plants of the same type and species. In the event that the plants were ordered in the appropriate time frame yet failed to produce as expected, many mail order plant companies will also refund money or offer some other form of compensation. As with any other type of mail order business, these practices are considered to be the defining mark of an excellent company.
Another consideration when selecting mail order plants is the offered selection. It is not unusual for people to choose mail order to gain access to unique plants unavailable in their region or area. Careful analysis of the company's catalog gives the consumer information about the available stock, such as indoor plants, tropical plant options, and possibly hard to find vegetable and flower varieties. Most well established mail order plant suppliers have a wide assortment of vegetable, flowering, and herb plants to meet their clients' needs. Special order items may also be available, and custom order options are typically detailed in plant catalogs or online.