When you purchase plants online, it's understandable to feel a bit nervous. After all, a tender green life is being sent to you in a box. Will it survive the journey in healthy condition? Also, how secure will your credit card information and other data be? And how do you sort through all those plants in the online catalog? All are important questions, and answers are coming up.
But first, we need to stress that Flowers by the Sea is a family farm dedicated to enhancing our customers' and our own quality of life by producing the best possible nursery plants, which are primarily Salvias.
Quality Products and Experience Guaranteed
You can expect quality plants from Flowers by the Sea. We raise them all ourselves. FBTS guarantees that your plants will arrive in excellent condition, well established and garden ready. We don't ship cuttings. If you aren't satisfied, we will give you a refund or credit toward a future purchase.
You can also expect a quality online shopping experience, including our Salvia Finder Tool that helps you narrow your search and speed up plant selection. This gallery-style filtering tool lets you sort our Salvias based on characteristics such as color, growing conditions and USDA plant hardiness zones. You can also access the Quick Look gallery tool on our home page. It groups Salvias in a different way, such as by specific species or being easy to grow. Finally, you can find what you need by using the search window or the Plant Category Menu atop most pages on our website.
Our shopping experience also includes an open invitation to write or call with any questions you may have before making a purchase. Finally, we promise you a secure transaction and don't retain, sell or share any of your financial information.
So please relax and enjoy making selections from our online catalog. Your satisfaction is as important to us as our good reputation.
How to Order
Sometimes you know the specific species or type of plant you want. To see if it is available, all you need to do is to type search terms -- such as common or botanical name -- in the search window near the top of any page.
However, if you are uncertain as to exactly what you want, your next step may be to browse our offerings in the Salvia Finder or by clicking on any of the categories in the Plant Category Menu.
Accessing a menu category is particularly helpful when you want to look at plants grouped by characteristics that aren't included in the Salvia Finder, such as place of origin. For example, let's say you've heard about the cold hardiness of Asian Salvias and are curious about them. To explore that information in the Plant Category Menu, click on Salvias by Origin and then Asian Natives.
Maybe you pick Bicolor Szechuan Sage (Salvia sp. from Szechuan), which has eye-catching creamy yellow and purple blossoms. The next step is to click on its short description, and the description page for that plant opens. First, read the description closely, including the Details section providing information such as availability, appropriate USDA zones, basic growing conditions and potential height and width. Then click on any of the tabs -- such as Cultural Icons -- above the photo for more information.
Two facts that you likely will notice while checking these resources are that Bicolor Szechuan Sage likes partial shade and blooms in summer. Let's also pretend that you want another Salvia (not difficult to imagine) that has similar characteristics and will go well with the bicolored species. So you either click on the Compatible Plants tab or return to the Asian Salvias page and discover the cheerful yellow blooms of Campanula Leaf Sage (Salvia campanulata).
But what should you do if the Options area at the bottom of either plant description identifies the plant as being out of stock? One possibility is to click on the button that says Email me when back in stock. We'll place you on a notification list for an email alert when the plant is available to ship.
Many of our plants are not available all year round. Some species -- especially ones primarily planted as annuals -- are only available as part of our Spring Limited Program. Others, including rare and unusual Salvias, may need to be purchased through our Special Order Program.
You are also welcome to send us questions about a plant and its availability by clicking on the Ask a question about this product button in the Options box at the bottom of the description page.
If you are ready to order, look for the Add to cart button at the bottom of the plant description page. Before clicking on it, use the Quantify box to let us know how many of each particular plant you want. A pop-up reiterating the purchase details then opens and asks whether you want to Continue shopping or go to Checkout.
The checkout page shows you the plants and quantities you are buying as well as cost and tax. To select a shipping option and learn your total cost, click on the checkout button on the bottom right side of this order page, which leads to our secure one-page checkout. It will ask you to:
By the way, you will discover that our minimum order is $30.00.
Working with UPS delivery services, we keep shipping costs as low as possible without harming the health of plants. Although we ship throughout the year, we don't ship in extremely hot or cold weather unless you say it's necessary.
Data Collection and Privacy
FBTS doesn't sell, rent, loan or otherwise disclose your private information to anyone. We don't store credit card or banking information. You can receive our free newsletters --such as ones concerning special offers -- if you like, but we won't pester you with other communications. In short, we respect your privacy.
Know Your Area
It is always wise to research plants before buying. When deciding whether to buy a plant, please read it's catalog description closely. Then compare the information to what you know about your region and any local climate characteristics. Remember, you know your yard and region better than we do; it's up to you to make a wise purchase. But we're always here if you want to request advice.
What to Expect in the Box
What should you expect to see in your shipping box? Much of the answer to that question is covered in our blog post, Buying Salvias Online from FBTS: Unpacking & Planting. However, you can expect to receive carefully packaged, well-rooted, potted plants. If you aren't completely satisfied, just email or call us and we'll make it right.