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Before You Begin Planting

Also check the planting guide included with your order for specifics on unpacking, planting, and caring for the plants you ordered.

Inspect Your Order – First, make sure every item on your packing list is enclosed. If not, another package with the missing product should arrive in a day or two. Then, examine your plants. If some branches or roots are broken, the plant is okay. Just prune off the broken shoots. If, however, you received an incorrect order or find seriously damaged plants, contact our Customer Service department.

Partial Orders – Some items are shipped to you directly from the grower or are split into more than one shipment, so at the proper planting time for your area. If your order has been split, the packing list will indicate “Shipping Separately”. The rest of your order should arrive shortly.

Dormancy – Keep in mind that many of our products are shipped to you in a dormant state, which is why they may look different than you had expected. Bulbs will, of course, look like unplanted bulbs, but you may be startled at the appearance of other, less familiar plants. Many perennials will arrive at your door as “bare roots” with a few dried leaves. Don’t worry! Shipping in dormancy is the safest way to ship many plants, trees and shrubs…and their appearance is perfectly normal.

Plant Your Order Right Away – Your order has been shipped at the proper planting time for your area. If it is impossible to plant right away because of unusual weather conditions, store bulbs in a cold, dry place and refrigerate bare root perennials (the vegetable bin in your refrigerator is ideal) after lightly moistening the roots. Bare root perennials, roses, shrubs, and trees may also be “heeled in.” To do this, dig a trench deep enough and wide enough to cover all roots and part of the top of the plant. Place plants in the trench, fill in loosely with dirt and then water thoroughly.

Potted plants should be put in a protected area or placed on the windowsill with indirect light. Don’t allow the potted plants to dry out. Tender annuals such as tomatoes and impatiens can also be put on the windowsill and should not be placed outdoors until all dangers of frost have cleared for your area.

Be Patient – Because new growth starts from the roots, even plants which lose their foliage in transit will grow. And don’t be concerned about small bulbs or starts because size has nothing to do with quality. You’ll still get beautiful results…so please give each bulb or plant its chance to surprise you.

See More Tips

Have another question? Return to the Customer Service Help page or send an e-mail directly to Customer Service

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