For many who do not have access to plant nurseries, houseplant shopping has always been limited to what you can find in big box retail garden centers. Fortunately, the continuing rise in popularity of houseplants has led to the development of online specialty stores that will deliver the plant of your choice right to your doorstep.
I’m a houseplant lover that has ordered from dozens of online retailers. Since The Sill is one of the top online retailers for houseplants, I decided to give it a try to see if it’s worth all the hype.
What Is the Sill?
One of the most popular online houseplant retailers, The Sill launched in 2012, so city-dwellers could enjoy the benefits of indoor houseplants. The company describes itself as “a modern plant destination for the modern plant lover.”
The company has brick-and-mortar locations in New York and Los Angeles, where they offer monthly workshops. They also offer faux and preserved plants, plant accessories, a subscription service, and an opportunity to join a Plant Parent Club for $39 a year. It’s a one-stop garden center you can shop from the comfort of your home.
Selection, Ordering Process, and Cost
The Sill’s website is well-designed and easy to navigate. They offer various indoor plants, categorized by size, light requirements, and dedicated collections (beginners, pet-friendly, etc.). They carry a good selection of basic plants but nothing super rare or varieties you would not be able to find in most garden centers. The plants come with optional ceramic or plastic pots (for an extra charge) or a standard plastic grower’s pot (the lowest price.) Shipping is not included unless you are a Plant Parent Club member.
I chose a Scindapsus pictus, commonly known as the Silvery Ann Vine. I chose this one in particular because it’s something that isn’t always available at big box garden centers, and it’s an easy-to-grow plant.
I already had one that I purchased from Home Depot a few months back for around $6 for a 6-inch plant. The Sill sells a 4-inch Slivery Ann Vine starting at $26 in a grower’s pot—that’s over four times the cost of my plant, and it’s smaller.
But I wasn’t discouraged just yet. I went with the Hyde Planter in terra cotta for its modern lines. That brought the cost up to $43. Once I added the shipping ($10) and tax ($3.18), the plant's total cost came to $56.18.
Shipping, Packing, and Condition of the Plant
Within 12 hours of placing the order, I got a shipping notification—my plant was on the way! And, I received my order within two days. The warehouse is in Alabama, and, since I live in Georgia, I think I probably got my order faster than average.
I received regular UPS updates, which is very reassuring for plant shoppers. Whenever you order a live good online, it’s nerve-wracking to not know when and where your plant is.
Once the plant arrived, I was very impressed with the packaging. My Silvery Ann Vine was wrapped securely with plenty of padding and arrived with nothing broken. There was some cold damage on some leaves' tips, but there was also a heat pack in the box that spared the plant from further damage. Overall, the plant was healthy and looked great.
Lack of rare plant offerings
The Bottom Line
All in all, I was impressed with the service from The Sill. It’s clear they take incredible amounts of care in shipping to ensure their customers get what they order. I also like how they help people pick the perfect plant based on their lifestyle and tastes.
The biggest con for me is the price. Albeit, I live in an area that has plenty of garden centers and boutique plant shops for me to find virtually any type of plant I want. But, given that most of the plants The Sill offers are trendy, basic plants, it’s hard for me to justify paying so much more for plants I can pick up locally for a fraction of the price.
The Sill is a good option for shoppers who want a convenient, one-stop-shop for houseplants, especially if you don't have access to stores locally. It’s also an excellent option for purchasing a special plant gift for a wedding, Mother’s Day, or even a bereavement.
Will I shop with them again? Not likely. However, I have plenty of options and belong to a bunch of plant collectors groups locally. I can make that $56 I spent on one Silverly Ann Vine go a lot further.