Even though I have a large garden and plenty of space to put annual flowers, I keep two large annual containers. I love to pop in seasonal color in those containers. So recently, I had the opportunity to test Bloomscape’s new Bloom Kits. I knew about the company’s mission to deliver houseplants to your door, and recently they expanded into outdoor plants. So I gave it a shot. Here is my experience with Bloomscape.
What Is Bloomscape?
Bloomscape is an online plant delivery service that brings ready-to-go plants to your door and along with all the tips and tricks you need to help your plants thrive. Until recently, they primarily only offered indoor houseplants. However, earlier this year, the company started offering outdoor edible and ornamental plant kits. The outdoor kits are meant for porch or patio containers and not for full in-ground or raised bed gardens.
The Selection, Ordering Process, and Cost
Like the houseplant selection on the site, Bloomscape breaks down the plant choices into categories. Within those categories, the Bloom Kits are broken down by sun exposure. I chose the Red Geranium, Purple Calibrachoa and Yellow Bidens combination kit because I have a large planter that I put annuals in every year. Once you select a kit, you can choose how big of a package you want: four, eight, or sixteen plants.
Ordering was easy—just click, pay and ship. Like Bloomscape’s houseplant collection, the outdoor kits are expensive. However, the plants in the kits aren’t rare or unusual; they are annuals easily found in most big box garden centers. I chose the eight-pack kit, and it cost $45 ($5.63 per plant). However, I figured I was paying for the convenience of not having to go to the garden center and having someone “put together” plants for me that would look nice in a planter.
Shipping, Packing, and Condition of the Plant
I placed an order for my kit on February 23. After I paid for my kit, I was informed that my plants would not ship until the last week of March due to my hardiness zone. That was fair enough, I live in zone 7, and my last frost date is mid-April. As my shipping date neared, I got an email that said my shipment was delayed due to an “unprecedented and overwhelming” response to their Bloom Kits. They had no product to ship. I was given a choice to get a refund or wait until the plants were available again. I chose to wait for the sake of this review. Otherwise, I would have taken the refund and hopped on over to my local garden center and purchased the same plants for half the price Bloomscape charged. My garden center was fully stocked already with those same plants.
Two weeks later, I got another email informing me that my plants were in stock and shipping immediately. I got my kit two days later on April 6th. The plants were well packaged and labeled. It came with comprehensive instructions printed on pretty paper along with fertilizer and a planting diagram. I unwrapped the plants to soak them as instructed and was extremely disappointed. More than half of the plants were dead. They were not just in rough shape but completely dried out with no hope of recovery. Moreover, the plants were tiny. They were all just one-inch plugs. I would have never in my life paid $5.63 for a 1-inch plug. In the product description, it says “young plants” and not starter plugs. For comparison, I can get a 4-inch “starter” geranium at my local big-box retailer for less than $4.
I contacted Bloomscape’s customer service and got an immediate response. Again, I was offered am option of a refund or replacement. I chose a replacement. Fast-forward a month later, I finally got a replacement on May 6th. The plants looked better but not great. There were a few yellowing leaves on the geraniums, and the foliage on the other plants was wilted. However, I was able to revive them with an overnight soak, and as of now, they are growing slowly but surely in my planter.
Great customer service
Plants in bad shape
The Bottom Line
If you live in an area with no immediate access to a big box garden center, but had reliable mail service, Bloomscape’s Bloom Kits are a viable option. However, given how tiny the plants are and how long it took to get them, you are better off starting these annuals from seed in January. I can not justify spending $45 and waiting two months to get 1-inch plugs for common annuals you can purchase at Walmart, Home Depot, or Lowe's. Until the company rectifies its inventory issues, I don’t see how its outdoor offerings are worth it. In my humble opinion, skip it and spend your money locally.