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Flowers by the Sea ships plants throughout the United States, including Arizona, California, Florida and Hawaii. We don't ship cuttings or small, barely rooted sticks. Instead, we send you plants that are well established and garden ready in 3.5-inch containers. They are large enough for safe packing and shipping in sturdy cardboard boxes.
Shipping costs are separate of charges for plants. Shipping fees vary based on size of order and distance of destination from our Northern California farm.

Many of our customers have said, "These are the largest and healthiest mail order plants we have ever seen".

Shipping Costs and Rate Structure.
Our minimum order is $25.00, not including shipping. We ship exclusively via United Parcel Service, using a customized shipping-rate structure in which the cost of delivery increases slightly as the size of your order increases. Adding additional plants to your order will decrease the cost per plant.

Delivery charges are also based on your location, and are displayed in real time during the checkout process. Our secure server communicates with the UPS Rates server and calculates the exact charges from us to you.

Shipping costs are complex

We don't make money on shipping. Instead, we have negotiated excellent rates and pass on 100 percent of those savings to you. A customized rate system is more equitable than a nationwide flat-rate system, which is subsidized by significantly increasing plant prices to all customers. Everyone wins with our customized shipping charges.

Shipping Schedule.
FBTS ships plants throughout the year, weather permitting, and our busy times are in spring and fall. Shipping occurs on Mondays and Tuesdays only, which allows us to avoid weekend delays in delivery and ensures that your plants arrive as fresh as possible. For the same reason, we generally don't ship during weeks in which holidays occur.

When you place an order, our shopping cart page lets you select a shipping week from a list of choices. Weeks shaded in gray are unavailable due to Federal holidays or a full schedule for that week. If you skip this section of the order page or if you choose to let us select your delivery week, we'll send out your order during the next available shipping week.

However, we may hold your order for later delivery if extreme weather is predicted for your area during the scheduled shipping time. In that case, we'll contact you promptly.

Packing and shipping occurs on Mondays and sometimes on Tuesdays. If Monday of a scheduled shipping week is a legal holiday, we do not ship that week.

Order Tracking.
Our carrier sends you a tracking notification shortly after your package is on their truck. Please use this information to track the progress of your shipment. We don't require a signature for delivery unless you tell us one is advisable and that you don't want your plants delivered unless someone is at home to accept them.

We chose our shipping company not only because its rates are fair but also due to its reliable, careful service. However, if you have any problems with delivery, please contact us.

Requests for Delayed Delivery.
To delay receipt of an order due to sudden, difficult weather or another reason, please contact us immediately. If it isn't already shipped, we can generally place a hold for a few weeks. Then we will confirm the order's rescheduling with you the week before your rearranged shipping date.

Additions to Orders.
To make additions to an order that hasn't yet shipped, please place a second order before the Saturday noon (PST) shipping deadline. You need to add a message requesting this service in the "customer notes" section at the end of the second order. We combine your orders and provide a refund for any excess shipping charges. Our $25.00 minimum charge applies to any new order.

Preordered Plant.
Some plants in production but not ready to ship may be preordered. This is helpful for obtaining some of the most unusual and rare varieties that we grow and which sell out rapidly. It also allows gardeners in colder parts of the country to order early and receive their plants at the appropriate time for their location. Plants for preordering are clearly identified as is the first date they can be shipped.

If you include currently available plants along with your preorder, we hold your entire order until the preordered items are ready for shipment. Please note: Preordered plants can't be ordered along with the Salvia Daily Deal plant. The Daily Deal is for immediate shipping only.

Please note: Preordered plants cannot be ordered along with the Salvia Daily Deal plant. The Daily Deal is for immediate shipping only.

Special Order Plants.
Special Order plants are those that Flowers by the Sea Farm grows specially for you when you place an order for them. We maintain parent stock for their propagation, which takes some six weeks for most varieties. These are attractive & rare Salvias and other plants for which demand isn't constant or seasonal. For many of these, FBTS is the only source in the United States.

For all the details about Special Order plants, visit this page.

If you mix regularly available plants with Special Order items, we hold your entire order until the Special Order items are ready to ship.

Packaging Materials.
FBTS uses recycled expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam packing peanuts to keep the weight of shipping boxes -- and the cost of shipping -- as low as possible while providing maximum protection for plants. One way to repurpose packing peanuts is to donate them to local shipping stores, such as PakMail and UPS. For a full explanation of our packing choices, please read Ask Mr. Sage: Why FBTS Uses Foam Packing Peanuts & How to Reuse Them.
Instructions Accompanying Orders.
For more information about what to do when your plants arrive, please read Buying Salvias Online from FBTS: Unpacking & Planting. Immediately after your order ships, you will receive a detailed instructional email titled Unpacking, Planting and Unconditional Satisfaction.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions about shipping.

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Ask Mr Sage is one of the most popular categories in our Everything Salvias blog. Here are a few of the latest posts:
Ask Mr Sage: What do I with a dry root ball?:

Plants may wither even if you regularly water them. When the ground surrounding a new planting's root ball is moist but the roots remain dry, that indicates moisture isn't transferring properly from the outer soil. Flowers by the Sea Nursery outlines a process for diagnosing dry root ball and combating it.

Ask Mr. Sage: How to Place Advance Orders with FBTS:

Flowers by the Sea is a mail-order nursery eliminating craziness from garden planning with advance orders and customer selection of shipping dates. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature based on calls and emails received by FBTS. This article details how to use our redesigned preorder process and other catalog tools for making sure you get the plants you want when you want them.

Ask Mr. Sage: How to Select Plants for Garden Triumph: Planning for Salvia garden success requires following the rule of selecting the right plant for the right place. Desert sages aren't appropriate for the damp Southeast. Moisture-loving ones aren't right for desert climates where they need lots of watering to survive. Flowers by the Sea Farm and Online Nursery offers tips for selecting plants based on local climate. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog. Ask Mr. Sage: How Should I Prune my Salvias?:

Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery specializes in Salvias and often receives questions about how to prune them. Although getting good at pruning takes practice, Salvias rebound quickly if you make mistakes. A key to successful pruning is understanding the varying needs of four main categories of sages. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog.

Ask Mr. Sage: Do You Offer Free Shipping?:

Like free lunches, free shipping is a myth. Flowers by the Sea doesn't offer free shipping, because it would require increasing plant prices to cover the cost of shipping. Read more to learn how FBTS sets fair shipping prices. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and notes from customers.

Ask Mr. Sage: Best Time to Plant Drought Resistant CA Natives: Drought resistant California native sages thrive when planted in fall. It's easier for roots to become established when soil is warm, air temperatures are cooler and precipitation is increasing. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and emails from customers.