Mail Order Gardening

Sun Loving Perennial Flowering Plants and Shrubs

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 sun-loving perennials 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. Mixed Monarda). 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.

Year planted follows description in parenthesis.

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

Updated 06/12/2017.

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Plant Experience Conclusion
Pyrethrum 'Robinson's Mix' Painted Daisies. I love painted daisies, about four returned the following year, two pink and two a beautiful deep magenta color. It might be more cost-effective to purchase from a local nursery. (2004).Recommended
Tanacetum coccineum (Pyrethrum) 'Robinson's Red' Red Painted Daisy. I am not sure if the red painted daisies are red or magenta, because I never got any red. (2004).Recommended
Helianthoides 'Summer Sun' Golden Sundrops. You can probably get these from a neighbor. They are hardy and fast spreading. (2004).Recommended
Monarda didyma 'Panorama Mix' Mixed Monarda (Bee Balm). Monarda is one of my favorites, but these didn't survive. Buy locally. (2006).Not Recommended
Leucanthemum superbum 'Alaska' Alaska Shasta Daisy. The plants that survived have spread. (2004).Recommended