Mail Order Gardening

Flowering Annual Plants

I am a cheap and lazy gardener. My soilplay consists of planting, watering, minimal pruning and weeding and keeping my fingers crossed. I have ordered annual plants with varying degrees of success through mail order, so I wanted to document my experiences here.

Tantalized by the lush foliage and lovely blooms touted by these gardening catalogs, I eagerly awaited my first order. Prepare to be disappointed. One plant means ONE plant with one root, not several clustered together like you'll find at the nursery. Many "shrubs" resemble not so much saplings but leafless twigs with roots, aptly named "whips." Some perennials are merely root balls while others arrive in the tiniest of pots -- maybe slightly bigger than what you'll find populating a flat of annuals. Still others arrived moldy or DOA. In some cases you'll get more for your money shopping locally. But many of these perennials grew in nicely over the course of a year (or more). It's fun to experiment, especially with plants I haven't seen locally.

Not Recommended: usually means you shouldn't buy this plant online (i.e. Canna). Sometimes it means the plant didn't appeal to me.

Neutral: could mean I was unimpressed with the plant itself, or that you're better off purchasing locally.

Recommended: A winner, whether you purchase online or locally.

I ordered exclusively through because they were the least expensive (click on the banner above to be taken directly to their site). They also offer the standard one year guarantee. If your plant doesn't survive they will send you a replacement if you request it within one year from date of purchase.

Please note if you place an order through a link to DirectGardening, I will receive a small commission.

I usually only purchase flats of flowering annuals, but in 2006 I wanted to try growing canna.

Year planted follows description in parenthesis.

For reference, these shrubs were planted in zone 6 in mostly sandy soil.

Updated 06/12/2017.

Groundcovers Sun Perennials Shrubs and Trees Shade Perennials Annuals Deer Resistant Cold Hardy Tropical Plants Contact Us
Plant Experience Conclusion
Tall Wyoming Canna Tall Wyoming Canna. I had purchased Tangelo Canna. Not one canna came up, and neither did the replacements. Next time I will buy them locally. (2006,2007).Not Recommended
Canna 'Pink Sunburst' Pink Sunburst Canna. I actually purchased the Bengal Tiger Canna, which is not offered. It was a splurge so I was very disappointed that it didn't come up either year. (2006,2007).Not Recommended
Elephant Ear Caladium Elephant Ear Caladium. Every bulb sprouted multiple stalks with multiple leaves, but they didn't get very big. (2006). Source locallyRecommended