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Houseplants in the post: The new way to green up your living space?

With new companies offering houseplants delivered to your door, is this the way to a beautiful home without the need to go to the shops?

Houseplants in the post: The new way to green up your living space?

Houseplants are incredibly popular, especially among younger gardeners. It’s not always easy to trek to DIY stores and garden centres, especially if you live in a city, so a number of dedicated houseplant online retailers have stepped in to fill the need, filling our instagram feeds with alluring photographs.

As well as being great for decorating our homes, houseplants also make wonderful gifts. For roughly the same price as a bouquet of flowers, you can send someone a beautiful plant that will give them pleasure for a much longer time. Some of the retailers even offer houseplant subscriptions for regular plant deliveries.

But how do the different online houseplant retailers compare? Which? has taken a look to see what the main companies offer. With all of them, you’re paying a premium for the convenience of buying online when compared with going to a DIY store or garden centre.

We also found all of the retailers bar one weren’t following the rules of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Despite what their websites say, in general you’re entitled to a refund if you let the seller know within 30 days if plants don’t match the description given by the seller or they aren’t of ‘satisfactory quality’ (damaged or dying). But as plants may be regarded as perishable you should let the retailer know as soon as they arrive if you’re unhappy with the quality. If you discover the issue later or after the first 30 days, you could instead ask for a replacement plant, or some money back if this isn’t possible or they couldn’t be provided within a reasonable time.   

If you love gardening, try Which? Gardening magazine for only £5 – join online or by calling 29 2267 0005.

Beards & Daisies

This company offers a good range of houseplants and has useful categories, such as ‘unkillable plants’ and ‘air-purifying plants’ to make choosing the right one easier. Most plants come with standard plastic pots, but others have more decorative pots. You can also buy pots separately and it has a lovely range, including hanging pots. It also offers a range of accessories, such as scissors and misters.

Price examples: 

Monstera – 24cm pot from B&Q £42; 25cm pot from Beards & Daisies £69.99

Kentia palm – 19cm pot from B&Q £30; 18cm pot from Beards & Daisies £39.99

Packaging: 95% of the packaging is biodegradable or recyclable.

Delivery: Free delivery on orders over £50. Starts at £3.95 for 3-4 working days delivery via Royal Mail or DPD.

Sending as a gift: Leave a message when you order and the person receiving it will receive a handwritten card with your message.

Returns: Offer to rectify problems with plants if you contact them within 30 days. 

Subscriptions: Yes – It offers a range of plant subscriptions. For £24.99, you can get a monthly subscription – one plant per month in a ceramic pot, including pet-friendly and hanging plant options. You can also buy a subscription that lasts a set period of time, such as a year of houseplants for £299 – one plant per month in a ceramic pot.

Bloombox Club

Sign up to its newsletter for 10% off your first order. There’s a range of pots and a small number of accessories, such as a watering can. There are no plant bundles available, only individual plants. Some of these are organised into categories, such as pet-friendly plants. Be aware that the plants don’t come in the stylish pots shown in the photos; these need to be bought separately. The minimum spend is £20.

Price examples:

Monstera – 24cm pot from B&Q £42; 24cm pot from Bloombox Club £70

Chinese money plant – 12cm pot from B&Q £8; 12cm pot from Bloombox Club £18

Packaging: ‘Environmentally-conscious packaging’ that aims to ‘use the least amount of plastic possible without it affecting damage rates.’

Delivery: £6.95 via courier from The Netherlands.

Sending as a gift: You can choose from gift vouchers (from £10), gift subscriptions (from £110 for three months) and gift plants (from £11). You can add a message to your gift.

Returns: Bloombox Club says that you should contact it within three days of receipt of your order if plants are damaged. Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you’re actually entitled to a refund if you let the seller know within 30 days if plants don’t match the description given by the seller or they aren’t of ‘satisfactory quality’ (damaged or dying).

Subscriptions: Yes – £39 per month for one medium or large-size plant in a ceramic pot delivered to your door every month. This includes a free gift every two to three months. Alternatively pay £448 for an annual subscription and receive a £50 voucher.

Patch

You can buy individual houseplants or themed sets, such as ‘unkillables’. Patch also offers a small range of outdoor evergreen plants, such as box and fatsia, which are perfect for a city balcony or courtyard garden. There’s an email advice service, which promises to get back to you in five working days. You can buy pots and accessories, such as compost scoops and watering cans. We liked its free ‘plant parenthood’ course of advice videos, divided into bitesize topics. All the plants have names like Sharon and Big Ken – which you’ll either find funny or not.

Price examples: 

Monstera – 24cm pot from B&Q £42; 80-90cm tall from Patch £95

Kentia palm – 19cm pot from B&Q £30; 90-100cm tall from Patch £50

Packaging: No information given.

Delivery: Uses its own vans within London. Outside of the capital, it uses courier companies and it takes 10 days for delivery. Free delivery on orders over £50. £5 for orders under this value. £25 minimum order value. Some sizes of plant are only available for delivery in London.

Sending as a gift: There’s a selection of gifts you can send under price brackets of under £30, under £50 and under £100, plus you can send gift vouchers.

Returns: You have 30 days to let Patch know if there’s a problem with your plants. It’s the only company that followed the rules of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Subscriptions: No

The Little Botanical

All the plants from The Little Botanical come in the stylish pots you see in the photographs on the website, which is great if the pot suits the look you’re after, but not so great if it doesn’t as you’re paying a premium price for the pot and will end up paying more if you want to buy a different pot. It offers a much smaller range of pots to buy separately than the many other houseplants websites. It offers a number of themed plant bundles, such as ‘mini cacti’, ‘air purifying’ and ‘bathroom’, as well as lots of individual plants.

Price examples: 

Monstera – 17cm pot from B&Q £10; 15cm pot from The Little Botanical £25 (includes ceramic pot)

Chinese money plant – 12cm pot from B&Q £8; 12.5cm pot from The Little Botanical £25 (includes ceramic pot)

Packaging: No information given.

Delivery: £3.95 via a courier. It doesn’t offer timed delivery slots or weekend deliveries. Alternatively you can collect your order from the company in Chichester, West Sussex.

Sending as a gift: You can add a message to a plant bought as a gift and it will go on a handwritten card.

Returns: Returns aren’t accepted, but it promises to do everything it can to make you happy again. Remember that under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you’re actually entitled to a refund if you let the seller know within 30 days if plants don’t match the description given by the seller or they aren’t of ‘satisfactory quality’ (damaged or dying).

Subscriptions: No

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