Monday, October 13, 2014

More Plants Now: Online Stores

Alert Gardeners tend to specialize in particular types of plants. This inevitably leads us to the online nursery. As with all plant shopping venues, this one has pluses and minuses. For me, the pluses are all about acquiring uncommon plants, and the minuses are all about the weather. Let's talk Tillies:
T. caliginosa, available online

Tillandsias travel very well in a box for a week. They can be soaked prior to shipping, carefully wrapped, and sent on their way. As long as they don't freeze or cook, they will survive the trip. Not needing dirt is a very good thing! Other plants are much more fragile and can only be shipped during narrow time windows because of weather/temperature concerns. Some just don't like to travel; Lithops are a good example of plants that really prefer to say in one spot, and can freak out and collapse into goo when shipped. 
Lithops prefer a quiet life.

Another down side is that you cannot inspect the plants for diseases or pests. I've never had a problem with either from my online plants, but it happens. So it's imperative to find a dealer you trust who will address any problems that come up. 

I've purchased about a third of my Tillie collection from online dealers, and they are all thriving. I collect some pretty obscure species, so online sellers are high on my list. What have your experiences been?


  1. I have had 100% good luck ordering Tillandsias online. They've always arrived in perfect condition, pest-free, and every one of them has grown well. This is more than I can say for other mail-order plants. Tillandsias are best, succulents and cacti next, about tied with orchids. Other types of plants are iffy at best.

    This fall has been incredibly busy on all fronts, so it feels good to actually have a couple of minutes to read a blog and post!

  2. Hi, Ellen!
    I've had excellent results with mail-order Tillies, also. We have some wonderful Tillie nurseries in the US and Tillandsias are tough little plants, to boot. Enjoy your air plants!