How Our Plants Are Shipped

We ship plants in pots, as bareroots, or as bulbs, tubers, or rhizomes. Our goal is to ship your plants in a form that minimizes transplant shock, so they can adapt quickly to their new home in your garden.

Perennial Plants: In the beginning of the spring season, some plant varieties (especially later-blooming perennial flowers and grasses) may be dormant, while some may be leafed out and actively growing. In the fall, you may also receive dormant plants or actively growing plants. Each plant has a different growing cycle. A healthy root system is the foundation of a healthy, vibrant plant. You can be confident that all of your new plants have healthy root systems, and are ready to spring to life once they're planted! In fact, sending smaller, dormant plants often helps them grow with a youthful vigor once they're planted. 

Please give your potted perennial plants and bareroot plants at least 3 weeks after planting to become established in your garden and show signs of life. Perennials may not bloom until their second growing season and take two or three years to fully mature.

To determine how your plant will be shipped: On any product page, look under "Planting Information" for the "Ships as" box. It will say "Potted Plant," "Bareroot," "Bulb, Rhizome, Tuber." Indoor blooming bulb kits may say "Planting Kit" 

Read on to review how we ship our plants:

Potted Plants  |  Shrubs  |  Bareroot Plants  |  Bulbs, Tubers, and Rhizomes

small plant ready to plantsmall plant ready to plant
Potted plants have healthy root systems, the foundation of healthy plants. Transplanting young plants often results in better growth over time.
bareroot perennialbareroot perennial
Bareroot perennials have extensive root systems, acclimate quickly, and are often the most economical form to purchase.
bulbsbulbs
Bulbs, Tubers, and Rhizmes store all of the energy needed to grow into healthy, vibrant plants.

    

 


Potted Plants

These plants are potted in a planting mix and have established root systems. Potted plants can be in different growth stages when they are shipped, depending on their life cycle and the time of year:

  • Potted plants may have fresh leafy growth. Plants are typically pruned before shipment to reduce damage in transportation, and to help the plant focus its energy on root growth. Plant these as soon as possible. These plants have already broken their dormancy and begun to grow. The new foliage is tender, so wait to plant them out in the garden until after the last frost date.
  • Plants may be dormant. In this case, they may hhave no top growth, or have drived-out foliage from the year before. This be in a dormant state (depending on their life cycle and the time of year). You will find healthy white roots beneath the soil. Plant dormant plants right away, as they do best when they can wake up and establish in the garden. You don't need to wait until after the last frost date. Avoid overwatering until you see active growth. Take care not to damage any small emerging shoots. 

The roots are the most important part of the plant! To determine plant health, the best thing to do is to check the roots for healthy white fibers. White roots means that the plant will continue to have healthy growth in your garden.

dormant coralbellsdormant coralbells
Coralbells: Last year's foliage is shriveled...
new top growthnew top growth
but new leaves will soon emerge...
leafed out coralbellsleafed out coralbells
...and the plant will quickly fill out.
small top growth shasta daisysmall top growth shasta daisy
Shasta Daisy: The top growth is just beginning to emerge...
shasta daisy shootsshasta daisy shoots
...a few weeks later the shoots are growing strong...
large top growth daisylarge top growth daisy
...and several weeks later the plants have even more top growth.

 

Shrubs

As with perennials, potted shrubs are generally pruned before shipping to help reduce damage, encourage root growth, and to help encourage fresh new growth. They can also be in different growth stages when they are shipped, depending on their life cycle and the time of year:

Shrubs with bare twigs: These dormant plants lost their leaves last fall and will soon leaf out again. You may see green buds. Or, make a very small scrape the bark with your fingernail; if you see green tissue under the bark the plant is healthy. 

dormant shrrubdormant shrrub
This shrub is dormant, just as it would be if it overwintered in your garden.
sprouted shrubsprouted shrub
This shrub is being shipped later in the season, so it has sprouted leaves.
pruned shrubpruned shrub
This shrub has been pruned back hard but the roots are healthy and it will quickly sprout.


Bareroot Plants

These plants are dug after they go dormant in fall. The soil is then washed from the roots and they're packed in moist wood shavings, shredded paper or peat moss. Historically, most mail order plants were shipped bareroot. 

The plants do not have top growth, but the plants will grow vigorously once they're in the ground, using stored energy from the previous season to grow into a vibrant, healthy plants. 

bareroot astilbebareroot astilbe
Bareroot Astible
bareroot daylilybareroot daylily
Bareroot Daylily
peony barerootpeony bareroot
Bareroot Peony

"I purchased several bareroot perennials from American Meadows this spring. I was impressed by the quality of the product I received. Most bareroot plants I order via the Internet were quite small and took quite some time to establish. These were all quite large and in great condition. The ones I planted a couple of weeks ago are doing great." — Mike in Connecticut


Bulbs, Tubers and Rhizomes (Fleshy Roots)

Some perennials survive winter by storing their energy in these underground bulb, tuber, or rhizome structures. You'll often see these terms used interchangeably.

Like bareroot plants, these plants are dug after they go dormant in fall. The soil is then washed from the bulb/tuber/rhyzomes and they're packed in moist wood shavings, shredded paper or peat moss. The plants do not have top growth, but the plants will grow vigorously once they're in the ground, using stored energy from the previous season to grow into a vibrant, healthy plants. 

Check out these beautiful flowers, and their humble beginnings as bulbs or tubers:

Bulbs come in a range of shapes and sizes

Above: Begonia bulbs/tubers, Lily bulbs/tubers, Anemone tubers/bulbs, and Dahlia bulbs/tubers
Below: Begonia flowers, Lily flowers, Anemone Flowers, and Dahlia Flowers

 

Shop Easy To Grow Perennial Plants

  1. Pink Echinacea Magnus, Echinacea purpurea, Coneflower

    'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent...

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    Magnus Echinacea Purple Coneflower Magnus Echinacea purpurea Magnus
    As low as $9.98 Sale $4.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent stems and flowerheads in place to overwinter will also attract birds. Coneflowers are notably tough native plants and 'Magnus' is no exception, withstanding drought, clay, humidity and harsh winter conditions without complaint. Easy to grow, this plant is a great choice for beginner and experienced gardeners alike. (Echinacea purpurea)
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  2. Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm, Rudbeckia in bloom in perennial garden

    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green f...

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    Goldsturm Black Eyed Susan Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm
    As low as $9.98 Sale $4.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green foliage. Unbothered by most pests, poor soils, drought and humidity, 'Goldsturm' is easygoing and the perfect addition to flower arrangements and pollinator gardens. Deer resistant and long-lasting. (Rudbeckia fulgida)
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  3. Easy Care Pre-Planned Garden

    We designed the Easy Care Garden to give you striking, colorful flowers that look beautiful together without making many demands on your time. Although these are the easiest-to-care-...

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    Easy Care Pre-Planned Garden Easy Care Pre-Planned Garden
    $262.98 Sale $131.49
    Per Garden of 27 Plants
    We designed the Easy Care Garden to give you striking, colorful flowers that look beautiful together without making many demands on your time. Although these are the easiest-to-care-for plants we know of, there’s been no compromise in the looks department! Dramatic blooms like torch lily, rudbeckia, and campanula deliver interest throughout the summer season.
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  4. Catmint Walkers Low, Nepeta faassenii

    'Walker's Low' Catmint is known for its easy going nature - it can thrive in a variety of soil and sunlight scenarios, though it does prefer things on the sunny, dry side. Beautiful ...

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    Walker's Low Nepeta Walker's Low Catmint Nepeta faassenii Walker's Low
    As low as $9.98 Sale $4.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Walker's Low' Catmint is known for its easy going nature - it can thrive in a variety of soil and sunlight scenarios, though it does prefer things on the sunny, dry side. Beautiful purple flower spikes appear in early summer and continue to bloom and release their sweet fragrance for up to 3 months. Very showy and very low maintenance, 'Walker's Low' is a great choice for planting in swaths, lining walkways, or adding to pollinator gardens. Deer resistant. (Nepeta faassenii)
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