We compared 3 of the most popular online plant shops – here’s how their shipping and return policies and plant care advice stack up

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Online houseplant delivery comparison 4x3

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • The Sill, Leon & George, and Bloomscape are three popular online shops that sell and deliver a variety of indoor houseplants.
  • We’ve tested all three and found all convenient and reliable, but they differ on shipping and return policies.
  • Bloomscape offers the best overall shopping experience and the lowest shipping fees.

You’re not just imagining it – everyone around you is suddenly interested in owning a houseplant. Beautiful Instagram photos of sun-soaked, greenery-filled rooms, combined with the realization that taking care of a living thing is emotionally fulfilling, are making millennials buy up Swiss cheese-like Monstera plants and resilient snake plants with renewed vigor.

The growth of cool, millennial-focused online shops is also playing a role.

Instead of going to a traditional nursery, you can browse and order attractive, low-maintenance plants online, plus receive the guidance and tips needed to take care of them properly. For anyone who lives in a metropolitan area or doesn’t have access to a car, these online stores make it much easier to receive or gift plants without the hassle.

The Sill, Leon & George, and Bloomscape are a few of the more popular names in the houseplant delivery space. We tried each of them to send plants to ourselves and loved ones, and we were satisfied overall with their easy shopping experiences and reliable shipping processes.

But if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of how they differ in features like shipping and return policies, plant care advice, and types of accessories offered, we’ve laid out the facts below.

Here are the similarities and differences between The Sill, Leon & George, and Bloomscape

Types of plants sold

Online House Plants Graphics Types of Plants

All three companies have a large variety of plants, from small and desk-friendly vines to tall and dramatic leafy species. Each site makes it easy to shop by size, pet friendliness (toxic vs. nontoxic), and the amount of light required.

None of the plants offered should be extremely difficult to take care of, but you’ll find that the websites often have separate categories for low-maintenance plants, specifically. Even people who don’t think they have green thumbs will feel comfortable shopping the stores. 

We found each site’s most unique and interesting plants: 

The Sill

Hoya Heart Plant (small)Pilea Peperomioides (small)

Leon & George

Calathea Medallion (small)Braided Money Tree (small)

Bloomscape

Tradescantia Zebrina (small)Chinese Fan Palm (small)
Where they deliver

Online House Plants Charts Delivery areas

If you want to send your plant to someone in the US or even select areas of Europe, Leon & George emerges as the clear winner. It’s the only service that also ships to Alaska and Hawaii, plus France, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

However, there’s also a catch: all of its large and extra-large plants are only available in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles with white-glove delivery. 

Shipping fees

Online House Plants Charts Shipping fees

Expect to pay shipping fees starting at $5. For each service, the standard shipping fee depends on your order total. Overall, it seems like Bloomscape offers the best shipping policies since it’s a flat $7 for orders up to $50, which isn’t a high bar, and then free for orders $50+.  

Plant prices

Online House Plants Charts Sample price comparison

We compared the prices of each service’s potted, medium-sized Calathea Medallion (not currently available at all retailers). While The Sill had the lowest price for the plant itself, Bloomscape is ultimately the cheapest place to buy it after you factor in shipping. We’ve found these results to be fairly consistent across each brand’s product range.

Since both plant and shipping prices vary by company, we recommend that you check each website if you want to pay the lowest price. The example above is for one specific plant and the same results may not apply for other plants. 

Packaging

Online House Plants delivery:unboxing Gif

We’ve ordered plants from all three services, and the way they all arrived is pretty similar: in a cardboard box, wrapped carefully in generous padding or bubble wrap. We were impressed by how safely delicate plants reached us.

Sometimes, there was a little soil spillage, but overall they arrived unscathed and ready to place on our desks or windowsills immediately. 

Caring for your plant

plant care leon and george

Care instructions are enclosed in the deliveries from each of these services, but what if you lose the instruction card, or you need additional assistance? 

The Sill: You’ll find many online and offline resources for plant care, including a library of articles with answers to common questions; virtual 1:1 consultations ($29-$39) with a houseplant expert; and weekly care and project-based workshops. I tested one of The Sill’s classes and found it informal and informative, here’s the full review.

Leon & George: La Résidence is the brand’s dedicated blog for plant care tips and guides, decor tips, and more. You can also email the company for specific questions about your plants. 

Bloomscape: The company offers general care tips along with guides for every single type of plant sold. Its library of resources is the most organized of the three services, and if you want to speak to a real person, you can ask Joyce Mast “the Plant Mom,” a horticulturist and the mother of Bloomscape’s founder. 

Return policies

return policy bloomscape

It’s tricky to return a live plant when you didn’t buy it directly from a brick and mortar store. However, the three online shops may be able to provide a replacement depending on the situation, and they won’t require a direct return. 

The SillReturns and replacements are handled on a case-by-case basis. 

Leon & George30-day guarantee for plants that have not died due to negligence of care. Leon & George will replace your plant, but a delivery fee may apply. 

Bloomscape30-day guarantee for plants and pots that arrive damaged. Bloomscape will replace your plant and won’t charge a delivery fee.

Additional accessories

Online House Plants Graphics GIF 2 Additional accessories

In addition to plants, these shops offer items that help you take care of your new greenery (or just accessorize it). 

Here are some fun products we found in each online store: 

The SillSells planters, potting mix, watering accessories, and decorative “message pops”

Ceramic Message Pop (small)Potting Supplies Duo (small)

Leon & GeorgeSells planters, stands, fertilizer, watering accessories, and artwork

Plant Animal Trio (small)

BloomscapeSells planters, propagation kits, and grow lights 

Arch Propagation Kit (small)
Where to shop in real life

the sill store location

Just because they originated online doesn’t mean they can’t be found in real life. If you want to see the plants in person and still have them delivered directly to your home, you can visit one of these physical storefronts. 

The SillStores in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Leon & GeorgePartner showrooms in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and more metropolitan areas

BloomscapeCurrently does not have any physical stores. 

The bottom line

Online houseplant delivery comparison 4x3

Depending on the specific type of plant you’re looking for and the level of plant education you expect from your experience, you’ll prefer one service over another. You may also take shipping locations, shipping fees, and return policies into consideration. 

While The Sill offers the best giftable plants and care resources (on- and offline) and Leon & George is the only service that ships to all 50 states, Bloomscape has the best overall shopping experience and the cheapest shipping fees.

Having tested them all, we trust each to get you the plant you want, but we like Bloomscape the most because the site is user-friendly and offers a large variety of plants, from simple ferns to towering cane plants. It has unique accessories, plus you’ll feel supported as you learn how to become a successful plant parent. The reasonable prices, 30-day guarantee, and good shipping policies don’t hurt, either.

Comparatively, we found the selections of Leon & George and The Sill to be less robust, and The Sill’s various tiers of shipping costs can get cumbersome. 

Shop houseplants at The Sill

Shop houseplants at Leon & George

Shop houseplants at Bloomscape

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the sill
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This startup makes shopping and caring for beautiful house plants easy – even if you don’t have a green thumb

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leonandgeorge magenta triostar

  • Léon & George’s indoor house plants are easy to care for and each comes in a stylish ceramic planter. 
  • I still own the plant I ordered in 2018, and continue to recommend Léon & George for its robust plant selection.
  • I’ve also tested plants from The Sill and Bloomscape, see how they compare to Léon & George here. 

Bird of Paradise (small)Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Home and interior design magazines frequently espouse this simple trick for refreshing your space: add a house plant. It’s not only a strategic aesthetic move – research has found exposure to nature improves emotional well-being, making you happier and even more creative.

I’m no scientist, but plenty of anecdotal evidence has also confirmed that shopping for and taking care of these beneficial house plants isn’t as easy as the magazines make it out to be.

After hearing similar feedback from friends, plant enthusiasts Ron Radu and Nico Bartoli wanted to show people that owning plants can actually be hassle-free and thus created Léon & George, a full-service online startup that delivers potted, responsibly sourced plants right to your door.

What is Léon & George?

Radu and Bartoli started in 2016 by partnering with local growers who were looking for a change from big box stores and nurseries, which often placed unrealistic demands on crop growth or didn’t store plants in optimal growing environments.

Though the company has now scaled to a point where the founders don’t need to turn their own homes into mini-greenhouses, the level of care and attention remains: they source the highest-quality greenery from US growers, and all plants are stored under conditions that imitate their native climates. 

Customers can choose from a collection of attractive plants, like the airy Birds of Paradise or the Jade Pothos, then pair their selection with a simple and stylish ceramic planter. You can also shop by “Benefits” (easy-care, air purifiers, safe for pets) and “Light” (medium-to-bright, low). Everything except shipping is included in the price: the plant, pot, wood stand, and care instructions. Shipping is only free on orders of $100 or more. 

Review of Léon & George

leon and george plant care

I ordered the Zanzibar Gem, namely because the website indicated it’s “near indestructible” and can “handle long periods of neglect” – music to the ears of traditionally terrible plant owners like myself. It can also handle low-light environments, so I could plan to keep it right at my office desk instead of a distant window sill. 

The potted plant arrived upright in a box, and thanks to layers of cardboard support and bubble wrap, it emerged from the shipping journey fresh and unscathed. 

my leon and george plant

Caring for my Zanzibar Gem has been a breeze. In the two years that it’s sat on my desk, I basically water it whenever I think to (which is really not often) and coworkers comment how green and shiny it is. I’ve been pleasantly surprised about the plant’s resiliency. Despite many desk moves and imperfect care, my plant has held up. Unfortunately, I haven’t been at the office for the past six months due to the pandemic so I can’t say how it’s held up without water for half a year, but it was a great desk mate nonetheless.

If you’re worried about plant care falling by the wayside, Léon & George sends Weekly Plant Care Reminder emails to nudge you to pay a little more attention to your plant. You can also email a “plant doctor” at plantdoctor@leonandgeorge.com if you have specific questions and need personalized attention. 

The bottom line

leon and george 2

My experience with the service couldn’t have been easier. Since I live in a big city, it’s inconvenient and tiring to visit a nursery and haul a large plant onto the subway, so having it delivered (the company delivers nationwide) instead was a major boon.

The potting was already done for me, and the site offers a lot of support if you run into any trouble while caring for your plant. Buying greenery from Léon & George is also an investment back into the Earth because the company plants one tree in a US National Forest through the National Forest Foundation for every plant sold. 

Léon & George‘s selection of high-quality plants will appease plant parents of all types. If you’re new to plant care, the site offers guidance and low-maintenance options, and if your room is already filled with greenery, Léon & George’s all-in-one service makes it that much more convenient to add to your collection. 

Shop all plants at Léon & George here

Bird of Paradise (small)

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BloomsyBox sources fresh, vibrant flowers from sustainable farms around the world – its bouquets are great gifts for any occasion

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bloomsybox flower delivery 3
My BloomsyBox bouquet arrived securely and mess-free.

  • I ordered flowers from online flower delivery service BloomsyBox, which sources fresh, vibrant blooms from small and sustainable farms around the world. 
  • Although it lacks advanced filtering features, BloomsyBox offers a healthy variety of beautiful flowers, from roses to tropical flowers so you should have no trouble finding a bouquet for any occasion.
  • The delivery is secure and reliable – you won’t need to worry about damaged flowers arriving for your loved one 
  • Due to possible coronavirus-related shipping delays, you should order your Valentine’s Day flowers soon so they can arrive on time.

When you can’t hand-deliver fresh flowers from your local farmers market or florist to special someone, an online flower delivery service is a great alternative.

Many of us here at Insider Reviews have tried these delivery services (The Bouqs Co. and UrbanStems are among our favorites), and to our pleasant surprise, they offer a large variety of beautiful options and they’re usually quite reliable. 

 

I ordered flowers from BloomsyBox, an online flower shop that offers both single bouquet delivery and weekly or monthly bouquet subscriptions. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I’d recommend BloomsyBox as a convenient and thoughtful option if you want to send your mom a bouquet she’ll love. 

BloomsyBox review

BloomsyBox uses the “farm-to-table” model of partnering with small, sustainable, and family-owned farms in South Africa, France, Holland, South America, and California. All the flowers are hand-picked and cut just a few days before you receive them, so they’re super fresh. Even after traveling in a box, they emerge looking vibrant and chipper. 

On the sustainability front, BloomsyBox only partners with Rainforest Alliance-certified farms. This means the farms don’t use chemicals in their fertilizer and they have strict standards for the fair treatment of workers. 

There are many flowers to choose from on the site, including roses of different colors; mixed bouquets with flowers like lilies, scabiosa, and sunflowers just to name a few; and tropical flowers. Individual bouquets start at $39.99 and potted plants such as orchids start at $34.99 before shipping, while recurring subscriptions start at $44.99 and include free shipping. 

Once you’ve picked out a bouquet or two you like, select a delivery date. One downside of BloomsyBox’s website is that you can’t filter the collection by specific delivery dates. You should have a few backups in mind in case you click through to a bouquet’s product page and discover it’s not available for your preferred delivery date. 

At checkout, you can indicate whether the delivery is a gift and write a gift message. After placing your order, you should receive a confirmation email, and then another email notifying you when the bouquet has actually shipped. 

I ordered the Sunrise Point bouquet in hopes of brightening up my current work-from-home setup, and it arrived within the week. It’s not a surprise that it’s no longer available – since flowers are seasonal, the variety of bouquets will change occasionally. If you’re looking for something similar that has a bright, cheery vibe, I’d suggest the Ray of Light or Happy Time bouquets. 

It came in a cardboard box wrapped in eco-friendly paper and it was secured tightly to the side of the box. A packet of flower food was also included. The flowers looked like they survived the trip from Quito, Ecuador (according to the FedEx tracking page) quite well – nothing was damaged or wilted. 

The bouquet looked great in a vase and I was excited to see the individual flowers bloom fully in a few days. Overall, I was impressed. 

The bottom line

bloomsybox flower delivery
How the Sunrise Point bouquet I ordered looked in a vase.

While BloomsyBox lacks more advanced features like filtering by delivery date or flower type, I still found it an easy and enjoyable flower delivery experience. You’ll appreciate the transparency about the flower source, as well as the quality of the actual flowers and reliability of service. 

Due to possible coronavirus-related shipping delays, you should order your Valentine’s Day flowers soon so they can get to your loved one on time. Outside of Valentine’s Day or other holidays, flowers are also a wonderful and thoughtful gift for a healthcare worker in your life or someone who’s struggling with the effects of social isolation during these times.

Shop all flowers at BloomsyBox here

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