“You Get What You Pay For!”

These three Colocasia plants were all purchased through the mail this season.  The tall Colocasia "Black Runner" arrived from Plant Delights Nursery on april 2 in perfect condition.  The tiny Colocasia, "Pink China" plants arrived last night in poor condition.  You get what you pay for!

These three Colocasia plants were all purchased through the mail this season. The tall Colocasia “Black Runner” arrived from Plant Delights Nursery on  April 2 in perfect condition. The tiny Colocasia, “Pink China” plants arrived last night in poor condition. You get what you pay for!

A blogging friend wrote to me last night:

“After having similar disappointments, I’ve vowed to buy local (and not box stores, where money doesn’t stay in the area).   Local nurseries deserve our business and support.    They are hardworking members of our community, and because they are local, their products are often superior. Face to face is great way to build community.    I’ve been buying from the same guy for over 20 years. His prices are great, his plants are at the pinnacle of health and his hanging plant combinations are pure art. We are lucky to have him. I think there are many good mail order companies,   like your caladium grower, but I shy away from the big operations, whose quality has gone down over the years. I guess that old adage, “You get what you pay for” is true.   Let’s hope this post gets MBC’s attention. Good luck!”

And of course she is right.  Knowing I wanted to plant a dozen or more Colocasia plants this spring in a long border across one end of the property, I was shopping for “deals.”  Plant Delights  Nursery, Inc., near Raleigh, had every Colocasia I wanted to plant in this area.  But because their plants run from $16.00 to $20.00 per plant, plus their higher shipping rates, i succumbed to the temptation to purchase some of the plants elsewhere.

I searched for the cultivars I had chosen from the Plant Delights catalog, and purchased them where I got a better deal.

So, in retrospect, I didn’t get a better deal.  I got a lower price on far inferior plants.

April 12 2014 Colocasia 002

Plant Delight’s staff worked with me and shipped my order exactly when I requested it.  It arrived in perfect condition.  Notice that the Colocasia “Black Runner” is a large healthy plant, in a larger pot, with an excellent root system.    They shipped on April first, and I received the order on April 2.  Everything in the order was hydrated, large, and healthy.

I sent off an email to let Plant Delights  know the order arrived in good condition.  Virginia Meehan, their manager for customer service and shipping, replied to my email personally;  to answer a question and thank me for my order.  How can a company’s service get better than that?

So, let’s just break this down a bit.  The Colocasia “Black Runner,” in a 24 fl. oz. pot cost $16.00.  It is healthy, with a great root system, and was over 18″ high when it arrived.  It will go into the garden as soon as we get through this next spot of cold weather on April 15 and 16.

The Colocasia, “Pink China,” seemed like a bargain at $7.49 from Michigan Bulb Company, so I ordered two.  I expected to receive bare root tubers to start myself.  But, having run out of tubers, they substituted these tiny little plants, in plug pots.  They spent four days in transit, arriving yesterday  dried out with yellowed leaves.

The plants as they arrived in the mail last night from the Michigan Bulb Company.

The plants as they arrived in the mail yesterday  from the Michigan Bulb Company.

Since the photos last night, the plants have had an opportunity to rehydrate.  I have  trimmed off the damaged leaves.

The C. “Pink China”  won’t be able to go out into the garden for quite a while.  I’ll pot these up to larger pots today, and baby them along until they grow larger.

That is why ordering plants through the mail is so dicey.  When you find a good company like Plant Delights, cherish and support them.

Another blogging friend wrote to recommend a local Virginia mail order nursery, located near Charlottesville, called The Lazy S Farm Nursery.

“Dear Woodland Gnome: sorry you got such a rotten delivery. I have ordered repeatedly from this company http://www.lazyssfarm.com/Plants/Perennials/A_files/Ac-Ag.htm right here in Virginia and they are awesome. The plants arrive pampered and beautiful. Their website is hard to navigate and awkward but their plants are beyond good.   Try them out. You’ll like them.”

She speaks so highly of her experiences  that I will definitely give them a try.

Of course it is always best to buy locally, from nurserymen you know, whenever possible.  But no nursery can stock every conceivable plant you or I might want to grow.  Sometimes we have to search for a particular genus, species, or cultivar.  When we find it, we place an order online and hope that what they ship arrives healthy and ready to grow successfully.

When you mail order plants, please remember to let the dealer know right away when the order arrives.  Unpack the order just as soon as you can.  Document any problems with photographs.  And them shoot off a quick email to the company.  Make sure to thank them when the plants arrive in great condition, and specifically describe any problem the plants might exhibit when you unwrap them.

Reputable nurseries want you to be happy, to speak highly of them, and to order again.  Reputable nurseries replace damaged stock when you document the problem and notify them immediately; within the first day or so after you receive the order.

“You get what you pay for.”  Good advice, and so very true.


Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

April 11, 2014 Homestead Plants 002

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

We always appreciate your comments. Thank you for adding your insight to the conversation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues

Please visit and follow Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues to see all new posts since January 8, 2021.

A new site allows me to continue posting new content since after more than 1700 posts there is no more room on this site.  -WG

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 781 other subscribers
Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com

Topics of Interest

%d bloggers like this: