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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  • 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 them to be convenient and reliable services, but they differ when it comes to shipping and return policies, plant care advice, and the types of accessories offered. 
  • While The Sill has the best giftable houseplants and plant care resources (on- and offline) and Leon & George is the only service that ships to all 50 states, 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

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: 

Leon & George: 

Bloomscape: 

Where they deliver

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

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

We compared the prices of each service's potted, medium-sized Calathea Medallion. 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. 

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

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

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. You can also attend an exclusive virtual class with Mast if you purchase its Grow-How Kit for $75. The brand will donate $20 of every purchase to Detroit Prep to support the city's students with at-home school supplies during the novel coronavirus.

Return policies

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 Sill: Returns and replacements are handled on a case-by-case basis. 

Leon & George: 30-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. 

Bloomscape: 30-day guarantee for plants and pots that arrive damaged. Bloomscape will replace your plant and won't charge a delivery fee.

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 Sill: Sells planters, potting mix, watering accessories, and decorative "message pops"

Leon & George: Sells planters, stands, fertilizer, watering accessories, and artwork

Bloomscape: Sells planters, propagation kits, and grow lights 

Where to shop in real life

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 Sill: Stores in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Leon & George: Partner showrooms in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and more metropolitan areas. 

Bloomscape: Currently does not have any physical stores. 

The bottom line

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

Read more stories about houseplants

  • The easiest houseplants you can buy online, according to an urban farmer
  • The Sill review
  • Léon and George review
  • The Sill's online plant-care workshop review
  • The best places to buy fake plants online

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]

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