We Ordered a Bunch of Plants From Online Retailers to Test Them Out

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Welcome to Plant Week: Our guide to all things indoor plants, including tips for beginners, advice on care, and tons of plant-spo.

Over the past few years, a number of direct-to-consumer brands (as well as many of our tried-and-true shopping destinations) have popped up with online live plant delivery. Gone are the days where you have to visit a nursery, pick out a plant, find a matching planter, and repot the entire thing yourself — you can now order it all online with the touch of a button. But how do you know which brands and plants are worth the time and investment? We did the work for you.

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Our team of editors ordered a bunch of plants online to test them out based on price, availability, delivery speed, condition of the plant upon delivery, and more to help you figure out which ones are actually worth it. Scroll down to learn more.

The Sill Parlor Palm, $40

Retailer​: The Sill

Who​: Katie

Initial impressions​: This plant looked great upon arrival. It's definitely a bit smaller than how it looks in the picture, but still substantial and had no appearance of shipping damage. It was delivered in its original nursery grow pot, which was placed in the ceramic planter, and also included a planter tray that was separately wrapped for safety.

Review​: I'm definitely into this plant and The Sill, overall. The delivery took about a week and the price ($40 for the entire thing) seems like a pretty good deal for such a quality plant and pot. They recommend feeling the soil upon arrival to check if it needs water — mine did seem dry, so I watered and am letting it sit for two weeks. It also recommends repotting the plant into the ceramic planter after two weeks or so to let it get settled, so we'll see how that goes, but so far so good! I think the planter is also very aesthetically pleasing and fits in well with my decor. (P.S. Use code ​HUNKER​ for 10% off all plants.)

Overall grade​: A

UrbanStems The Fresco, $52

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Retailer​: UrbanStems

Who​: Lauren

Initial impressions​: The Fresco is a golden pothos plant that arrived extremely lively with large, green leaves. The plant is so lively, in fact, that I'm a bit worried it's already outgrowing its planter, and a bit of soil was forced out upon unboxing. It was delivered in a lovely ceramic pot that I'm excited to display! Just be sure to keep out of reach of any pets, since the pothos plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

Review​: The plant arrived very healthy, and with any luck, I can keep this low-maintenance plant looking beautiful. I would definitely order again. (P.S. Use code ​Hunker20​ for 20% off plants at UrbanStems.)

Overall grade​: B+

The Home Depot Mojito Mint Herb, $19.98

Retailer​: The Home Depot

Who​: Lowe

Initial impressions:​ I'd never received a live plant in the mail before, but the shipping for this one seemed exceptional. I got it fairly quickly, none of the leaves looked droopy or brown (which can apparently be a problem with other mail-order plants), and there was very minimal dirt spillage in the bottom of the box. That's a win for me because I didn't have to clean up a thing. I also loved that The Home Depot's prices were so reasonable. $19 for an entire mint plant is a steal especially because clippings of the herb can cost around $5 at my local grocery.

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Review:​ I'm no plant expert, far from it actually, but I think this mint is already thriving. It comes in a plastic nursery pot with a little bamboo stick wedged in (for decor I think). But the best part about this plant (aside from the supply of fresh mint) is that it came with a set of easy-to-understand instructions. Hopefully, with their help, I'll be able to keep this one alive for a long time.

Overall grade:​ A

UrbanStems The Bosco, $75

Retailer​: UrbanStems

Who​: Lauren

Initial impressions​: The Bosco is a ZZ Plant in a beautiful, sturdy ceramic planter. I was pleasantly surprised by the weight and quality of the planter, which does align with the higher price point. My plant arrived a little bit less full than the photograph on site, but the stems and leaves look healthy and there's room to grow. Just be sure to keep out of reach of any pets, since the ZZ Plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

Review​: The quality of the plant and vessel exceeded my expectations for ordering plants online, but does come with a higher price tag — you're definitely paying for the convenience factor. I would order again, especially during a sale. (P.S. Use code ​Hunker20​ for 20% off plants at UrbanStems.)

Overall grade​: A

Bloomscape Red Prayer Plant, $35

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Retailer​: Bloomscape

Who​: Leonora

Initial impressions:​ My plant arrived intact but a bit lopsided (more on that below), but was otherwise packaged in a way that seemed pretty safe. The overall health of the plant seemed decent (perhaps she was a little parched), and it was a nice size (perfect for desks or bookshelves). I especially appreciated the detailed care instructions and cards that came with the plant — easy to read and understand, making me feel like I actually had some hope in keeping this one alive. Price-wise, $35 seems fair for this plant, however, I do wish the pot was a bit more substantial.

Review:​ My plant arrived in a rectangular box and unfortunately, despite the exterior text directing it to be placed upright, the delivery person placed it on its side and it sat like that for a while before I brought it in. This sadly meant that when it was first unboxed, it was quite lopsided. Happily, this corrected itself after a few days and the plant settled perfectly. It was quite dry/warm when it arrived, so I gave it a good soaking, which perked up the leaves within a day. My only gripe is that from the photos online, the pot looks like it is ceramic when it is in fact plastic. That said, it's very convincing plastic and once it's on the shelf, it does indeed look non-plasticy.

Overall grade:​ A-

UrbanStems The Pheobe, $55

Retailer​: UrbanStems

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Who​: Lauren

Initial impressions​: This cute succulent was delivered in pretty efficient packaging with no issues, and included care instructions that informed me that my plant was arriving watered and good-to-go for the next two weeks.

Review​: While it may be a bit of a splurge and the design is not something I'd personally gravitate to while browsing, I think The Pheobe would make a unique, playful present (I immediately thought of my unicorn-obsessed niece). It's low maintenance and small enough to brighten up a window sill, shelf, or desk (as long as it can get sunlight). (P.S. Use code ​Hunker20​ for 20% off plants at UrbanStems.)

Overall grade​: A

The Sill ZZ Plant, $26

Retailer​: The Sill

Who​: Katie

Initial impressions​: Similar to the Parlor Palm I received at the same time (more info above), this plant is well-priced and was delivered in a quick and convenient package. Upon arrival, I did notice that this plant was a little bit smushed to one side, but — much to my chagrin — it was delivered on its side in the box, so that may be to blame. (The Sill does instruct which side is up on the box, but delivery people have a lot going on right now, so it was most likely just an accident.)

Review​: After fluffing it up and watering this plant, it definitely looked a bit better, but the jury's still out on whether or not the plant will grow to back into its upright position. The ZZ plant is great for beginners because it only needs to be watered every 2-3 weeks and requires low to medium indirect light, which is right up my alley. It also offers great air purification, so I'm excited to try it on my home desk for a little help from nature on long workdays. (P.S. Use code ​HUNKER​ for 10% off all plants.)

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Overall grade​: B+

The Home Depot Black Mission Fig Tree with Green Foliage, $21.98

Who​: Lowe

Initial impressions:​ The packing job on this one was great. There was no dirt spillage, and both the plant and pot were completely wrapped in plastic to prevent mishaps. Shipping took a little longer than I expected but the soil didn't seem to dry out during the process, so no complaints there.

Review:​ I think I received this miniature fig tree in its dormant season, so instead of having green foliage, the plant is completely trimmed of all leaves. The lack of greenery was pretty surprising — so if you go with this option beware. But apparently, with proper care, foliage is supposed to come in healthy and strong. Black mission figs are also supposed to be super beginner-friendly, and that's the ultimate plus for me.

Overall grade:​ TBD

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Katie is a Los Angeles-based writer who covers shopping trends, deals, and product reviews for Hunker. She's written for PureWow, Food Network, and Well+Good. When not online shopping, you can find her collecting vintage glassware or rewatching Nancy Meyers' movies for design inspo.