Growing and maintaining a garden year-round can be difficult sometimes. Do you want to purchase some new plants for your yard in the winter but can't find any? Do stores sell plants during the winter months? Well, we've done some digging and have all the answers for you. Let's discuss them below!
For those of you living in warm or cold places, purchasing plants in the winter is easier than it seems. Plant stores and nurseries won't sell certain types of shrubs, trees, and flowers during colder seasons, but that's not to say you can't find any.
Some good places to purchase plants include Garden Goods Direct, Lowes, The Home Depot, Amazon, and even some groceries.
Now that we know where you can typically find plants in the winter let's explore how to grow them and if you can. We will also tag some helpful products, so keep reading ahead. With that said, let's dive right in!
Can You Buy Plants In The Winter?
Yes! It is possible to purchase plants during the wintertime. Whether you live somewhere with moderate winter weather or not, many in-store and online retailers continue selling plants 365 days a year.
As we mentioned, these often include Garden Goods Direct (online), Lowes (in-store), The Home Depot (in-store), Amazon (online), and even some groceries.
With that said, you may notice less variety as the temperature drops. Considering that most plants don't thrive in the winter, you're not going to find brightly colored tulips or sunflowers in December.
However, if you live in a climate where winter isn't filled with snow and freezing temperatures, you have a better chance of finding more plants.
For example, someone shopping for flowers in Arizona will have more luck than someone in Michigan.
Luckily, many online retailers will ship plants to you, which you can keep inside until the spring hits. Again, this isn't always foolproof, so you may have to do some digging (figuratively and literally).
Can Plants Be Shipped In The Winter?
Depending on the variety, most plants can be shipped to you during winter. That said, not every plant can handle extreme cold or even transit conditions, so this isn't for more delicate species.
According to Logee's Greenhouse, the only way to safely ship plants is to use insulated express shipping, which will keep your precious item from dying during shipment.
In addition, you may need to have your plant express shipped, which isn't cheap. But of course, more affordable retailers, like Amazon, ship plants year-round for free with a Prime membership.
Some stores, like Logee's, will include the insulated shipping materials and express shipping in one fee, so we recommend choosing a store with similar pricing.
It's also a good idea to shop from an actual nursery rather than a big box store, as you get to support a small business. Again, that comes down to availability, price, and your preference, so don't feel like you can't buy plants from larger stores.
How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Plant In The Winter?
Although there aren't specific winter prices for plant shipping, you can get an idea by looking at different companies websites.
For example, if your plant weighs under or exactly one pound, you can expect to spend around $30-$65 to express ship it using FedEx or UPS.
If you want to spend less, USPS offers shipping for around $20, as long as your plant is less than one pound. Remember, shipping is always based on weight and timeline, so if you have a heavy plant and a short deadline, expect to pay a premium.
Furthermore, you can use helpful shipping subscription services for plants (and everything else) like ShipSaving, which may be worth looking into.
You also need to be aware that some states don't allow plant shipments, so there are regulations you will need to follow to avoid getting in trouble.
Is It Better To Use USPS, UPS, Or FedEx For Shipping Plants?
You will spend the least amount among these three major shipping providers with USPS. On top of that, the United States Postal Service offers a few different shipping speeds/options.
- Priority Mail Express - will arrive within two business days and costs $20 per pound.
- Priority Mail - will arrive within one day and costs about $7 per pound.
- Flat Rate Priority Mail - will arrive within 1-3 business days and costs $12 per pound.
If you want to use FedEx, your pricing will be a bit different:
- First Overnight - will arrive before 8 AM, applies to plants one or fewer pounds, and costs $64.
- Priority Overnight - will arrive before 10:30 AM and costs $30 for a one-pound box.
- Standard Overnight - arrives before 3 PM and costs $28 per one-pound box.
- Ground - arrival varies depending on location; this should cost you $9+ per pound.
And lastly, for UPS rates:
- Next Day Air - arrives before 10:30 AM and costs $28 for a one-pound package.
- Ground - arrival depends on your location (typically the next day) and costs around $14.
So comparing these companies, you can see how USPS offers the cheapest shipping, although it could take more than 24 hours for your plant to arrive.
Regarding the fastest shipper, we recommend FedEx, although they are the most expensive.
Tip: you can also try finding plants with included shipping or use a shipping subscription service to lower your final costs, so don't be afraid to shop around.
Can I Buy Plants At The Home Depot In Winter?
Yes, you can usually buy plants at The Home Depot during winter. In general, this will be either in-store or online through their website, so you have a couple of options.
However, this company won't sell anything but winter-friendly plants during this time, so don't expect to find something tropical at your local store.
On the other hand, you may be able to find more selection on their website, but again, this varies. As we said, it's best to use an online nursery or retailer for out-of-climate species.
Does Walmart Sell Plants In The Winter?
Depending on the store and climate, you could find plants in the winter at Walmart. Although this retailer doesn't often come to mind when thinking about plants, Walmart has a great online plant center you can purchase from year-round.
Of course, the store may not offer some varieties depending on local/state laws where you live, but it's worth a shot.
Additionally, some super-Walmart locations have dedicated outdoor sections where you can buy live plants in person, so we recommend finding one closest to your house.
Regardless, you want to purchase plants that ship fast and can handle the change in the climate.
What Time Of Year Do Plants Go On Sale?
If you want to decorate your garden for less, the best time to shop for plants is September-January. Considering that most retailers will order more inventory than they can sell before the weather cools, you can usually find great plants for a fraction of the price.
That said, this usually applies to summer species, which may not be conducive to an outdoor winter environment. If that's the case for your sale plant, we recommend keeping it inside until the spring.
You can also have some plants delivered to your home, like with Walmart+, so that's another incentive to go plant shopping in the later fall/early winter.
If you can't find plant delivery, you can always do a curbside pick-up or next-day shipping.
Should I Plant Something Before Winter?
In general, you don't want to plant something before the wintertime. Considering it will get colder, regardless of where you are, that isn't always beneficial to your new plant.
However, some species do okay through colder ground/air conditions. These are winter vegetable crops, like salad greens, radishes, carrots, onions, Swiss chard, English peas, and kale.
Furthermore, some brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower also can handle a winter transplant, so the theme seems to be veggies.
On the other hand, if you're somewhere with milder winters, like Arizona, Nevada, Southern California, or Florida, you may be able to plant whatever you prefer, whenever you want.
Typically, plants will come with an aftercare and growing guide, covering their required temperature to develop. You can also ask whoever is working at your store or even talk to an agent online.
Is It Worth It To Buy Plants In The Winter?
Overall, we would agree that it is worth buying plants in the winter. Especially if you live in milder winter conditions, purchasing new plants doesn't need to be a headache.
You also want to consider the price it will cost to get your plant(s). As we covered above, shipping a plant between states can cost upwards of $50, which isn't always doable.
Furthermore, you don't always know if your plant will survive shipping. Imagine all the movement, weather/pressure changes, and even the time it takes to transport a package.
Most importantly, you also need to consider your new plant's growing conditions. Can it survive indoors during winter? Is it strong enough to be shipped? These are all essential questions.
Whether you live somewhere with harsh winters or in the tropics, it's always good to know how and when you can buy new plants. We found that many in-store and online retailers sell plants year-round, although shipping rates can be costly.
Depending on your climate, it's possible to walk into a nursery or big box store and find plants of all kinds, no matter the season. Again, this is different for everyone, so check with your local stores before making the trip.
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