First it was books and movies, then cars and furniture. Now you can buy plants, mulch and flowers online without leaving your home.
More and more homeowners are doing just that, as opposed to running back to garden centers all spring.
Garden center owner Kyle Natorp is preparing for the upcoming Mother's Day rush. But, he is not just bringing out the plants, as he is also uploading photos of hundreds of them to his website.
This year, more homeowners like Patti Hall plan to let their fingers, instead of their feet, do the walking, by ordering plants on the web instead of spending hours wandering the greenhouse to find plants.
"It's a great way to shop for people who have trouble getting out," she said. "I now look at a lot of their plants online before I come to the store. You can find out what’s good for shade, what’s good for sunlit areas, things like that."
Pandemic changed plant buying habits
Online plant shopping has been around for years, and in a sense, actually goes all the way back to Burpee selling seeds to our grandparents by mail years ago. But, it really came into its own two years ago, during the pandemic shutdown when you couldn't even go into a greenhouse to look around.
At the time, many people started buying plants online and now they appear to want to keep doing it. Natorp's garden center is happy to oblige.
"You can now buy just about everything from trees to shrubs and perennials and a little bit on the hard goods end as well on our website," he said.
"You can order online, just pull up, and we throw it in the car, and you are out the door."
Natorp has built a special pickup area just for online shoppers, though he says for a small fee you can have trees and shrubs delivered.
One downside: you don't get to touch the plants before you buy.
But, just like with grocery shopping, Gloria Vigo says online plant buying could save her a lot of time this summer.
"I think it's a very, very good idea," she said.
You can order from a number of good national plant sellers — listed in a recent CNET report — but, since the pandemic hit, your favorite local garden center may let you shop at home as well.
And that way you don't waste your money, or time.
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