The Best Online Nurseries For 2021 (Where To Buy Perennials, Trees and Shrubs Online)

I think half the fun of plant shopping is walking around a nursery and falling in love with some new flower that you didn’t know existed.

Not only are you coming home with an extra plant you have to find a spot for, but you’re supporting local businesses in the process.

However, sometimes all the local places seem to be carrying the same plants and you just can’t find what you’re looking for.

That’s where the mail order nurseries come in handy.

But with all of the different plant varieties and beautiful pictures, the online choices can be overwhelming. How do you know what the best online nursery is?

Since I’ve been ordering plants online for a long time, I thought I would share my list of the best mail order nurseries that I’ve used.

1 | Home Depot

This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission if you buy the products from these links (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. But we only recommend products we would use ourselves. For more information, click here to see our disclosures.

Best online nursery for all types of perennials, bushes and trees

Website: homedepot.com*

I can see you rolling your eyes now…Home Depot as one of the best online plant nurseries? Really??

But hear me out before you start thinking I’ve lost my mind.

Home Depot has a MUCH bigger selection of plants online than they carry in their stores.

Including many of the new 2021 perennials and shrubs from Proven Winners and the Southern Living Plant Collection (yes, even the ones you can’t find anywhere else).

In addition to the perennials, you can buy pretty much any other kind of plant you can think of from their website — fruit trees, annuals, vegetables, roses, and seeds.

Any time I have ordered plants online from them, they arrive within a day or two, they’re very well packaged and in good condition.

And if you do have problems with them, you can take them back to any Home Depot store.

If you’re not sure exactly what plant you are looking for, their website has filters. These allow you to select what zone you live in as well as some plant characteristics like flower color, evergreen or deciduous leaves, “attracts butterflies” or “deer resistant”. Which makes finding something for your exact growing conditions much easier.

To get started, go to this page*, click on the circle for your gardening zone and go from there.

2 | Etsy

Best online selection of small- to medium-sized nurseries that carry specific plants.

Website: etsy.com*

I know. I know.

Etsy is another website that doesn’t immediately jump to mind when you think of online nurseries.

However, there are a lot of small- to medium-sized nurseries that sell their plants through Etsy.

And many of them have great quality plants (you can always tell by the reviews who they are).

Etsy doesn’t work so well if you’re not sure what you want.

But if you’re looking for a specific plant, just search for it by name and you’ll probably find someone who sells it.

Some of my favorites are:

  • Rhododendrons Direct* – they have more varieties of Rhododendrons than I’ve ever seen!
  • Daylily Nursery* – they don’t just sell daylilies…they also have a nice selection of other perennials. Some are sold in containers and others are bare root, so check the description to make sure you’re getting what you want.
  • FCGardens* – sells a variety of seeds, bare-root plants and plants in containers.

3 | Planting Tree

Best online nursery for good quality live trees and shrubs.

Website: plantingtree.com*

Planting Tree is a completely online garden center that has a great selection of trees and shrubs, along with a few perennials.

They are a little more expensive than some of the other options on the list, but they ship everything in containers and have great quality plants.

You will also often get a choice of size and a volume discount. So you can save some money by picking smaller plants and buying a bunch at a time.

4 | Wayside Gardens

Best mail order nursery for different varieties of standard perennials like Hostas, Clematis and Hydrangeas.

Website: waysidegardens.com

Wayside Gardens is probably responsible for half the plants in my garden (and almost ALL of my 25+ Clematis varieties).

Mostly because they are based out of Hodges, SC which is about an hour drive from my house. And they used to have an annual end-of-season plant sale where you could get some real deals! (They haven’t held it consistently for the last couple of years, but if you live in the area, check for it around the end of June).

However, they do most of their business as a mail-order nursery that sells perennials, trees and shrubs online.

Some are sold as bare-root plants and some shipped in containers. Check the “Item Form” field at the top of the plant description to find out what type of plant your selection is.

Use their Solutions page (here) to find plants for different situations such as “year round interest”, “drought tolerant” or “privacy and screening”.

Note: Wayside Gardens owns Jackson & Perkins, so they also have a large selection of rose bushes available online.

5 | Great Garden Plants

Best online nursery for perennials

Website: greatgardenplants.com

Great Garden Plants is one of the best places to buy good quality perennials online.

Like Home Depot, their website has a filter for zone which allows you to narrow the plant selections to only those that will grow in your area.

They ship large potted plants, have easy-to-find categories (on their top menu) for “sun” and “shade” perennials, and offer collections of plants that have been chosen for a purpose if you need help getting started.

The size of container is listed in the Ship Size field beside the picture so you know how large the plant you are buying will be when you get it.

6 | K. van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs

Best online plant nursery for inexpensive bulbs

Website: dutchbulbs.com*

K. van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs is part of an online plant nursery conglomerate that also owns Breck’s Bulbs*.

The main goal of these companies is the same: They sell inexpensive bulbs.

Which means they aren’t the biggest bulbs or the best quality. But you get a lot of them for your money.

If you’ve ever visited these sites, you’ll notice that the website layout is almost exactly the same. As is the selection of plants.

The one thing that can be different is what is currently on sale.

So if I find some bulbs I want to buy from them, I always check both of these nurseries (as well as the next ones) to see where I can get the best price.

Also, these online nurseries do sell other plants (like perennials and shrubs), but I usually stick to buying their specialty (bulbs) unless they are offering a really good deal that I just can’t pass up.

For example, if you’re on a budget, some of their plant collections (like this Hosta mix*) can be a really inexpensive way to get a new garden bed going.

7 | Spring Hill Nurseries

Best mail order plant nursery for inexpensive bare root perennials and shrubs

Website: springhillnursery.com*

Spring Hill Nurseries is another one of the companies owned by that gardening conglomerate I mentioned above, along with their sister nursery, the Michigan Bulb Company* (I know it sounds like it should be a bulb company, but they actually have a larger selection of perennials).

They have the same priority as the nurseries above…to provide inexpensive plants. Except Spring Hill Nurseries is focused on selling perennials instead of bulbs.

Their perennials and shrubs are either shipped as bare-root plants or in very small containers.

Because when it comes to plants, you do get what you pay for.

As with the bulb companies I mentioned above, the one difference between Spring Hill Nurseries and the Michigan Bulb Company is what is currently on sale. So I always comparison shop between the companies to get the best price for what I want.

8 | Burpee

Best place to buy vegetable and plant seeds online

Website: burpee.com*

Burpee is a family-owned seed company based in Philadelphia that has been in operation since 1876.

They have a large selection of all kinds of seeds including annuals and perennials, but I usually order vegetable and herb seeds from them.

Their online catalog is huge with lots of Burpee exclusives, heirloom and organic seeds to choose from.

And a filter that lets you find them easily.

While they do also sell potted plants, I stick to buying their seeds since that’s what they are known for.

9 | Nearly Native Nursery

©ehrlif - stock.adobe.com

Best online nursery for hard-to-find native plants

Website: nearlynativenursery.com

The Nearly Native Nursery (as you may have guessed) specializes in native plants that are often hard to find in standard nurseries.

Their main business is their physical location in Fayetteville, GA. But they also offer their plants online.

The website is a little behind the times (you have to fill out a form to order), but if you are looking for native plants like ferns and palmetto palms, you can’t beat their selection or their prices.

To order, find the plants you are looking for by picking them from their catalog (found here) or searching for them by plant characteristics (here).

Then fill out the online order form (found here) and fax it to them at the number listed on the form.

10 | Peony’s Envy

Best mail order nursery for peonies

Website: peonysenvy.com

If you’re looking for peonies, one of the best places to buy them online is Peony’s Envy.

They have hundreds of varieties including herbaceous peonies, Itoh peonies, tree peonies, and woodland peonies.

With many different colors, flower shapes and fragrances, there’s a much wider selection than you will find at other nurseries.

11 | Mendocino’s Maples

Best online nursery for Japanese Maple trees

Website: mendocinomaples.com

Japanese maples are one of my favorite small trees for the shade garden. Partly because there are so many varieties with pretty leaves.

But trying to find them can be hard.

So I was excited to find an online nursery (Mendocino Maples) that specializes in them.

They have many rare and unusual maple varieties and give you a choice of what size you want. So you can decide how much you want to spend on the plants.

12 | Amazon

Best online plant store if you’re feeling lucky

Website: amazon.com*

As you probably know, Amazon sells just about everything online, including plants.

And actually, you can find a lot of different varieties and types of plants there that you won’t see anywhere else.

You just have to be a little careful.

Some of the sellers are a little sketchy so make sure you read the descriptions carefully. (Many of them are selling seeds for plants that will take years to grow to a use-able size).

That’s it for my list of the best online nurseries. Now hopefully, you can find all the plants you are looking for!

Other Gardening Ideas You Might Like

Do you have any other suggestions for best online nurseries? Tell us in the section below.

Pin It So You Don't Forget It!

the best online nurseries for ordering plants

Sharing is caring!

23 Responses

  • Joy Creek Nursery in Scappoose, Oregon-clematis and more.

    Seabright Gardens nursery, Oregon- Hosta’s, Epemediums, Ferns and more. Beautiful nursery and grounds.

  • Wilsonbrosgardens.com offers frees shipping and truly take such care in packaging everything arrives in great shape. They also have great information on all their plants. I stumbled on them while trying to find a specific Encore azalea that was sold out everywhere and have used them ever since.

  • I found Sooner Plants to be a great and reliable source for perennials and woodies (shrub/trees) Colin is in charge of the online business and is super helpful. Plants come in various sized pots so good for the budget.
    I have also ordered from
    Brent and Becky’s
    Bluestone Perennials
    I prefer these companies before Brecks as they have reliably healthy plants. Brecks not so much.

  • I have tried using Amazon for purchasing plants and have been so disappointed time and time again. They do not tell you they are coming from China and the quality is very poor when they finally do arrive…if they do arrive.

    • Hi Renate…Amazon is definitely hit and miss with the plants. I usually look for nursery names that I are know are located here. Otherwise, you’re right. You never know what you’re going to get.

  • Good resources. Thank you. I’m wondering why you didn’t include Bluestone Perennials. I’ve had great luck with their plants.

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Heidi! I haven’t tried them (which is why I didn’t include them). But I have heard good things about them, so I’ll have to try them out 🙂

  • OMG People why would you include Springhill Nursery as “One of the Best” online plant places ?? READ THE REVIEWS !!! They send you absolutely crappy plants and when you want a credit for said plants, they ONLY GIVE YOU A 50% CREDIT that has to go toward another purchase !!

    Please stop misleading consumers to fall prey to these thieves and get them off of your list. Thanks.

    • Hi Dee…I’m sorry you had a bad experience with them but I don’t think I’m misleading consumers. I did say they were best for inexpensive bare root plants and that you get what you pay for. Bare root plants are harder to grow than potted plants, so there will be a lower success rate with them (and more people complaining about them). But if you don’t want to spend a lot of money and are willing to put in some extra work (I always grow them in a pot for a year before putting them in the ground), the bare roots you get from Spring Hill are as good as anyone else’s, and they have a lot of varieties that you can’t find elsewhere.

      • I haven’t used them as don’t want to be one of their victims. If they are one of the “Best” online places, hate to see who you think is the worst. It’s one thing to get lousy plants and get a refund for them but these people don’t even give you your money back !!! They only give you a 50% refund (credit) and you MUST put it toward MORE lousy plants. Baaaad news all around.

        Very irresponsible of you to be supporting thieves.

        • Hi Dee…I don’t really want to argue with you, but I have bought plants from Spring Hill and grown them successfully. They tell you about the refund policy on their website, so if you don’t like it, nobody is forcing you to buy from them (as you obviously know since you haven’t). I’m just giving options for less expensive places to buy plants because the nurseries with high quality plants are priced too high for some people’s budgets. Since you don’t have any personal experience with them, I’m not sure why you are so adamant that they are bad.

          • Wanda thanks for the awesome and informative list. I really appreciate all of the hard work you do that save me a bunch of time and dollars. And you are so right about reading policies before you buy online, that’s just a given.
            Happy spring!

        • Dee, you’re arguing against something that you admittingly have never used based on what you have read. I don’t think Ms. Simone is misleading anyone. She stated they have a great selection of bareroots that others don’t offer. How is that supporting thieves? Sometimes competitors will purposely post false reviews. You just never know. No need to rake her over the coals for it. Jeez…

  • We had several Blue Muffin Viburnums installed, then I found out that they will not produce blue berries in the Fall if they are not cross-pollinated. And Blue Muffins are extremely picky about who pollinates them! (The nursery and our landscaper did not tell us this). After visiting several local nurseries and doing much research online – I found “Classic Viburnums” website – what a wonderful nursery! Gary and Susan are so knowledgeable and will gladly assist in the selection of plants. They even took my call and order in the evening. I feel they should be added to your list, for anyone looking for viburnums.

  • I bought from Plantingtree.com and they did not send me what was advertised. They advertised the trees as 2-3 feet tall, but they were 18 inches tall, most of them dead and the rest very sick with broken branches. The owner personally emailed me 4 days after my complaint and told me NO REFUNDS. I paid extra for shipping protection and extended warranty but so far no resolution! Buyer beware!

    • Hi Rich…I hate that you didn’t have a good experience with Planting Tree (especially since I’ve always had success with their plants). It’s pretty common for online nurseries not to take returns or issue refunds so I’m not too surprised about that part. But they should have offered to send you a replacement or give you a credit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *