Feeling limited by the houseplant choices in your local area?  Already filled your home with easy-to-find plants like spiderplant, pothos and dracaena? 

Shopping via mail order is a great way to expand your indoor garden.  Through the mail you can find a variety of unusual and exotic houseplants that will add spark to your collection.  Some of the plants offered in catalogues are rare and can only be found via mail order.

Though it's a little disconcerting to buy a plant sight unseen, many on-line companies have pictures and descriptions and most offer a money-back guarantee.

Keep the following tips in mind when ordering indoor plants through the mail.

Logees Specializing in Fruiting Rare and Tropical Plants
     * Be realistic.  Realize that the plant examples pictured in the catalogue or on-line are photographed at peak times. The plants you order via mail will probably require some growing time before they become as showy.  Many plants will come quite smal and may need a year or two to mature.

     * Check on timing.  Make sure that you will be home or nearby on the day your plants are expected.  You don't want them sitting on the front porch in hot sun for         too long.

     * Open immediately.  Check for a packing slip and make certain your order is intact and in good shape.  Call immediately with any concerns or complaints.

     * Soak plants upon arrival.  If the plants come without pots, rehydrate them after their long journey by soaking them in water for 8-12 hours. Soak just the roots; leaving the foliage above water, and then pot them up. Those plants in soil should be thoroughly moistened. 

Mail-Order Companies Carrying Houseplants

Glasshouse Works of Stewart, Ohio, offers a wide variety of hard-to-find exotic and tropical houseplants, including begonias, coleus, Ivy, peperomia, iresene, African violets and shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeana).  800-837-2142; http://www.glasshouseworks.com.

Kartuz Greenhouses in Vista, Calif., carries a wide variety of rare and exotic houseplants, including gesneriads, hoyas and begonias.  760-941-3613, http://www.kartuz.com.

Lauray of Salisbury, Salisbury, Conn., has a variety of uncommon houseplants such as cacti, succulents, orchids, hoyas, peperomias, begonias and gesneriads.  860-435-2263; http://www.lauray.com.

Logee's Greenhouses, Danielson, Conn. offers various exotic houseplants, including lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus), streptocarpus, begonia, hoya, iresine, shrimp plant and jasmine.  888-330-8038; http://www.logees.com.

Oak Hill Gardens, Dundee, Ill., has a variety of unusual, hard-to-find orchids. 847-428-8500; http://www.oakhillgardens.com.





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