Gardening by Mail

— Written By

HORTICULTURE AT HOME – Gardening by Mail

Katy Shook, Area Horticulture Agent

Catalog

If you’re unable to visit local garden centers, you may be considering gardening by mail. With thousands of sources, ordering plants online and through mail-order catalogs is a popular trend. Ensure success with these tips:

  • Remember, looks can be deceiving. Colorful and polished pictures may not accurately reflect the true characteristics of the plant. Compare features using our NC State Extension Plant Database.
  • Watch out for bargain prices and scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Make sure the selection is suitable for our growing zone. We are in Zone 8A.
  • Double-check the delivery date. Some plants may only be shipped at certain times of year.
  • Beware of companies with no customer service number. Contact the company if there are questions or concerns about the ordering process. 
  • Keep a record of purchases. Keep copies of all order forms and if ordering by phone, get an order number. This will help facilitate any communications with the company.
  • Understand the company’s guarantee policy. Usually, there is a cut-off date by which a company must be notified of problems or plant failures.
  • Inspect material upon arrival and be prepared to install and provide care. Growing requirements still apply; right plant, right place. 

For more information on gardening by mail, contact Area Horticulture Agent Katy Shook at katy_shook@ncsu.edu or (252) 482-6585.