Phoenix Perennials Mail Order offers an exciting selection of more than 1500 of our most popular and interesting items from our nursery to gardeners across Canada each year. Though we offer over 4000 different plants each year for on-site sales we cannot offer our full selection via mail order. Some plants are too big to ship, others are too delicate, some plants are only available for short periods of time, and others are only available in small quantities. However, if you're looking for a special plant that you don't see on our mail order site, let us know by email or put a message to us in the Notes field when you place an order. We might have it and can add it to your order or create a special order for you. For our full selection though you’ll have to plan a trip to visit us in person!
Phoenix Perennials Does Mail Order Differently (plus other things you should know about shipping plants in Canada):
1. We ship big, strong plants in full growth potted in 9cm (4 inch), 11cm (4.5 inch), 15cm (5.5 inch), and 1 gallon pots. These are the same sizes you would find at your local garden centre and on average much larger than plants shipped by other mail order nurseries. We grow most of these plants ourselves.
2. We do not ship small plugs or bareroot plants unless otherwise noted such as for Cypripedium, rare spring bulbs, or rare fall bulbs.
3. Our plants will not require any special care such as potting up and growing on before planting in the garden. Our plants are big and boisterous and ready to go and will result in very high rates of success.
4. Shipping of our fully potted and full-sized plants will cost more than shipping the same plants in plug or bare root formats. It is a trade-off between small or unrooted plants that are cheap to ship but difficult to care for or large plants that cost a bit more to ship but grow easily and establish quickly. Our customers quickly realize the benefits of our strong, full size plants.
5. If you live in eastern Canada, shipping will cost more since we are in BC at a much greater distance to eastern gardeners than other mail order companies. Also, we ship most orders to the Atlantic in June since the plants must be big and strong to survive the longer shipping times.
6. Some companies embed a large part of their shipping costs into the price of their plants so that when they quote you their "shipping costs" they appear quite low. Our plants cost $1 more on mail order than they do at the nursery to help defray the labour cost of pulling plants to fill your order. After all, customers who visit the nursery in person do this work for themselves. For mail order, we must do this work on your behalf.
7. On average every order requires 30-60 minutes of administration and packing time. This is much more attention than an average on-site shopper requires. Our shipping costs, therefore, include the Canada Post rate plus an amount to cover the time we spend administering your order, lovingly packing your plants, and shipping your box(es). We calculate this amount to cover the cost of our time without making a profit.
8. Our shopping cart system will calculate your shipping costs when you are ready to check out. You can view these shipping costs without checking out while you are shopping. It's important to understand how these shipping costs are calculated. There are base costs with Canada Post to ship a parcel, no matter the size or weight. If you order a single plant, the shipping per plant will be fairly expensive because the cost will include the flat fee base cost plus the weight of the plant. Each additional plant you add to your order will only increase your shipping cost by a few dollars. Most shipping costs range between $25-$60 for a 60cmx30cmx20cm box of plants depending on distance to your destination, weight, and volume.
9. Shipping across the vast distances of a country like Canada is not cheap. Nor is the cost of the time required to pack living plants. Small businesses like Phoenix Perennials are mere mortals compared with giant multinational online retailers and all their resources. That's why we need to charge the real shipping costs.
10. We are proud to offer a different kind of mail order plant experience to Canada and to be making gardeners happy from coast to coast. We look forward to sending you some beautiful plants. Please read further for full details and discussion of our mail order service.
Ordering and Enquiries: We do not accept orders or enquiries over the phone. Please order through our online shopping cart system and use email for enquiries and questions. Use the Contact Us tab or email us at mailorder at phoenixperennials.com. Our goal is to answer your email within 24-48 hours, though response time might be slower over the weekend or during the peak shipping seasons of May-June and September-October. Since we are a retail nursery open seven days a week for on-site sales we are unable to juggle phone calls related to our mail order sales with the demands of our on-site customers. In a perfect world without time constraints we would love to chat with all of you gardeners across Canada. But the reality is that phone conversations and orders, while enjoyable, are time consuming with our limited staff and would result in our having to increase the cost of our plants. Thank you for your understanding.
Minimum Order: $40 (Before shipping & handling and taxes). All prices are in Canadian dollars. The economics of mail order with the labour required to process orders and pull and pack plants is challenging. A small order of a single plant could result in a net loss for the nursery. Since we would like to be around in the long term to provide you with wonderful plants, we have set our shopping cart system to require a minimum plant purchase of $40. We hope that you find this purchase level reasonable. Actually, we hope that when you peruse our catalogue you'll succumb to the same feelings of "plant lust" that we experience and have no difficulty in surpassing this value! Should you have a special circumstance that makes this value difficult please contact us by email.
Payment: We accept Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and E-Transfer for mail order purchases. Our system does not currently accept Visa Debit or Mastercard Debit. Our servers and payment gateway are managed for us by some of the largest names in online shopping and provide the highest levels of internet security for your personal information so you can shop with confidence. When you place your order with a credit card, your card is authorized but not charged. Authorizations are usually held on your card for 5-7 days. We do not charge your card until just before we ship. If you pay by PayPal, your payment is charged immediately.
Plant Availability: We will make every effort to ensure that your full order is available for you. However, our shopping cart is not updated in real time. We will make every effort to keep it as up to date as possible. However, some plants may have sold out prior to your order. Please place your order early to secure your desired plants. Also, please keep in mind that even if we believe plants to be available at the time of your order, they may later become unavailable as a result of crop failures due to weather, disease, or marauding insects or from shortages with our suppliers.
Plants, Sizes and Prices: Prices and sizes are subject to change under some circumstances.
Sizes: Our plants are BIG! The plants offered for mail order are the same as those offered for on-site sales just like you'd expect at your local garden centre. We grow our plants in the pot size that is best for the crop. Pot sizes include 9cm (“4 inch”), 11cm (“4.5 inch”), 15cm (square gallon) and 1 gallon round pots. In many cases our plants will be in bigger pots and larger than plants offered by other mail order nurseries, especially those nurseries that are strictly or primarily mail order nurseries. These larger plants will give you greater performance and success but they will cost a bit more to ship. We think it's a valuable trade-off since small, precarious plants don't do as well in shipping and are much more difficult for gardeners to take care of once they arrive. A big, boisterous plant bouncing out of a box is what we want to provide you not a small plug or bare root plant that needs to be potted up and coddled before growing strong enough to be planted in the garden.
Sometimes when we are doing the initial propagation of plants we might make a last minute decision for the health of the plant to pot them into a pot that is one size larger or one size smaller than what we had planned and what is listed on the mail order site. In most cases this will not change the price of the plant since it is the cost of the plant and not the soil that is the main determinant of the retail price, especially when dealing with the many uncommon and rare plants that we offer. It is possible that you might receive a plant one size larger or one size smaller than what you had originally ordered. Should there be a corresponding decrease in the price of the plant, we will charge you this new lower price. Should there be a corresponding increase in the price of the plant we will either send you the larger pot size for the same price you ordered or, should there be a large difference in the price, contact you to ask if you would like to upgrade.
Prices: We have lots of normal plants at normal prices and lots of special plants at higher prices. Though it must be said there are far more special plants on our mail order site than there are normal ones. You can get normal at your local garden centre. We're here to offer you something special.
Price always comes down to difficulty of propagation and rarity just like the difference between common amethysts and rare diamonds which have correspondingly different prices.
We are a propagating nursery that grows the majority of our own plants. Sometimes plants need to be repotted to maintain health and vigour. Prices usually increase when they are repotted from one size to another. In the unlikely event that you order a plant just as we’ve repotted it but before we have updated the website, we will inform you of the new size and price and give you the option to accept or decline.
Substitutions and Back Orders: We will make every effort to ship your order in its entirety to save on shipping costs. However, plants do not always grow at the rate you expect them to or even the rate they grew the previous year! Should a plant on your order not be available when the rest of your plants are ready for shipping we will contact you and suggest possible substitutions, offer to remove it from your order, or offer to ship it at a later date. We will not make substitutions without your permission. Please be advised that if we ship at a later date this will increase your shipping costs because of the base price charged on each package by Canada Post. Sometimes making two shipments is unavoidable as half of your order might be ready in April but the other half won't be ready until June. Also, sometimes larger orders would have to ship in two boxes anyway so we might split your order and ship at different times. With a thousand different plants and many thousands of different possible combinations, we must evaluate each order carefully. We will make every attempt to minimize your shipping costs.
Shipping Season: Most of our orders ship out in May and early June. If plants are ready earlier, they will be shipped when weather conditions in your area are favourable. We grow the vast majority of our own plants. Our main production season runs from February through April with plants becoming ready for sale in April, May and June. These finish times can vary by a number of weeks depending on our local weather conditions and every plant becomes ready at different times. The second factor effecting your ship date is the weather in your area. Because we are located in the mildest growing region in Canada, our plants could be weeks or months ahead of the current weather conditions in your area, especially if you’re having a spring snowstorm! Most of our orders ship from in May and June. We will continue to ship through the summer and fall as orders come in.
Rare Summer Bulbs - March and April Shipping - Bulbs ship as soon as the weather in your area is warm enough to safely ship. This does not mean that it is necessarily safe to plant. We must ship as soon as possible from our mild climate to yours before bulbs break dormancy. You may have to pot them up and protect them indoors for a time before they can go outside
Main Catalogue - May to Late June Shipping Continuing through to October - The majority of our spring orders for plants ship from early May through late June when the majority of our production comes available and is large enough and strong enough to survive the shipping process. Our rule is to ship complete orders to save on postage which means waiting for the final plants in your order to come ready before we can ship. However, if your order is large enough that it would require more than one box then we may ship your order in two or more shipments. Shipping continues through the summer and into the fall for plants. Note that we don't ship any orders of plants to the Atlantic Provinces until June. The longer shipping time means we must only ship plants when they are large and strong.
Rare Spring Bulbs - Late September to Late October Shipping - Rare bulbs are more complicated to grow, harvest, and ship and are always available later in the season than conventional bulbs. Most orders will ship from late September to mid October though some orders may ship in late October. We realize that this can be late in some years for gardeners in cold climates. However, there is no alternative if you desire these treasures. Most bulbs can be planted as long as the soil is still workable. They can also be planted in pots and stored in a cool location that is not quite so cold as the outdoors.
Cypripedium Lady's Slipper Orchids - Early to Mid October Shipping - These ship bareroot for immediate planting. They can be planted as long as the soil is still workable. In cold climates mulch with a one foot pile of leaves and mound with snow.
Our goal is to ship orders as soon as they are complete and the plants are strong enough to ship. Every week we evaluate every order and queue up those that are ready to ship. The rest are placed in holding patterns for evaluation the following week. If we haven't shipped to you yet, it is because plants in your order are not large enough and strong enough to ship. We encourage you to be patient in waiting for your shipment. If we are still within the dates of the main shipping season, please resist the urge to email us enquiring as to your ship date. While we wish we could respond to all enquiries with estimated shipping dates, the simple answer is that we can only ship when the plants tell us they are ready. Also, responding to such emails keeps us chained to the inbox and away from what you want us to be doing which is shipping plants.
If we have any questions about your order such as if certain plants are not available, we will contact you a few days in advance of shipping to get your instructions. To avoid our email going into your spam folder please enter our Phoenix Perennials Mail Order email address into your address book: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please reply to us as soon as possible so your shipment is not held up. In order for plants to arrive in a timely fashion we must ship on certain days to certain regions. If we miss the shipping window for your region, we will have to push your shipment back to the following week.
At the time of shipping you will receive automated emails from our mail order and shipping systems notifying you of your shipment and giving you your tracking number.
If you are planning to be away for a period of time during the regular shipping season for your order, please let us know your away dates so we can ship only when you will be home to receive your new treasures.
Shipping and Handling: Shipping costs are calculated at the time of check out using a live connection with Canada Post. At any time you can view your cart and calculate your current shipping costs. Your shipping costs will reflect the true cost of shipping your plants. The Canada Post portion includes two parts: a minimum base cost for your region plus a cost per kilogram. We also add a base cost and a small per plant charge to cover our costs of carefully selecting, packing and shipping your plants. For mail order we are your personal shoppers carrying out all of the steps that you would normally do if you were at our nursery in person. On average every order requires 30-60 minutes of administration, handling, and packing time. We must cover our costs of providing this service however we do not make a profit on shipping costs.
You may choose either Canada Post Expedited Parcel or the faster XpressPost Service. Generally plants arrive in a healthy condition up to and including 5 days in shipping. Expedited Parcel arrives within 2-5 business days for all destinations from BC to Manitoba, 4-5 business days for most locations in Ontario (sometimes with the exception of very small towns distant from large centres which may be 6 days), 5 days Montreal and 6 days for the rest of Quebec, and up to 8 business days for destinations in the Atlantic Provinces. For New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland and Labrador we recommend choosing XpressPost if you can afford it. Usually this costs about double to triple Expedited Parcel but your plants will arrive in about 3 days and they will be healthy and happy. If this is not an option, please be advised that most plants will survive shipping to the Atlantic provinces but they may need a little TLC after arrival. To help plants survive the shipping time to the Atlantic provinces, we do not ship until June when the plants are larger and stronger. Canada Post Expedited Parcel and XpressPost costs are usually (much) less than UPS and FedEx so we don't offer shipping options with these other companies.
To view your shipping costs you can click on “View Cart” at any time, input your location and calculate. (You can continue shopping after checking on your shipping costs.) In most cases there will be no changes to the price you are quoted and the amount you are charged for shipping and handling. There are a couple cases where there could be changes:
1. In the event that your plants are much cheaper to ship than your initial estimate we will decrease the cost of shipping accordingly. This would usually be a case where your plants weigh much less than expected.
2. Our shopping cart system isn't able to estimate when a second box is required for large orders. It assumes all orders will fit into one box. The variables of pot, plant, and box sizes are too complicated for a computer system to work out. In the event that you have placed a large order that must be shipped in more than one box, we may have to increase the cost of shipping. This is because Canada Post charges a base cost for every box and we must cover the extra costs of the extra box and the packing time. For these reasons, we reserve the right to charge the additional fee to cover our costs. We make no profit on shipping.
3. Some plants are ready at different times and must be shipped right away so orders can't always be shipped together. We will usually try to include this information in our ordering instructions and request that you place separate orders for certain groups of plants. Pre-orders (for plants like Citrus, Rhodos, Hellebores, and Clematis), spring or summer bulbs, Cypripedium lady's slipper orchids, and perennials might all have to ship separately, for instance, due to the size of the plants, the packing requirements, the time of the year that they are available, and the considerations involved to make sure the plants arrive to you as healthy as possible at a time of year when you will be most successful planting them.
4. In some cases the live connection to Canada Post can fail and an erroneous shipping cost can be generated. If this occurs we will contact you to clarify and get your approval for the real cost of shipping.
We make every effort to constantly increase our efficiency and to keep shipping costs as low as possible. Our shipping and handling charges are calculated for cost recovery. They are not designed to make money. If our charges appear higher than other companies it is likely because we are not allowing our shipping and handling costs to be subsidized by the sale of our plants. Also, our plants will, in many cases, be bigger and in larger pots than other nurseries since we are not just growing for mail order but also growing for in-nursery sales. Our plants might cost a bit more to ship but they will often be bigger, easier to establish, and give you greater performance in your garden.
Also, keep in mind that most of our listed items are plants in full growth, not dormant, packaged bulbs, rhizomes or tubers. It is much more time consuming and costly to pack a growing plant than it is to pack dormant plant material.
In the end, our philosophy is that it is way cheaper to pay fair shipping and handling costs than it is to travel to Vancouver to purchase plants in person! It's also way cheaper to buy large, healthy plants in the first place than small, bareroot, or precarious ones that might fail and need to be replaced. We're sure that once you receive your plants and plant them in your garden you will understand the "Phoenix Perennials difference".
Guarantee: Our guarantee is based on the premise of mutual responsibility for the living things that we are selling and that you are buying.
We guarantee our plants to be true to name, healthy and ready to grow when they arrive on your doorstep. We guarantee against all factors within our control.
We do not guarantee our plants against factors out of our control such as adverse weather or soil conditions, under or over watering, bouts of zonal denial where plants are planted outside their hardiness zones, winter, marauding and hungry garden creatures, inadequate care on the part of the gardener or buyer's remorse. It is the responsibility of each of our customers to research their new plants and to ask us if they have any questions about cultural requirements.
While we strive to pack your plants as carefully as possible, every leaf might not arrive in perfect condition. After all, these plants have been packed in a box and transported hundreds or even thousands of kilometres. Damaged foliage does not qualify for replacement or credit. You are buying healthy root systems and stems that will flush out into beautiful plants once they are unpacked and planted. That being said, we have gotten good feedback that our plants almost always arrive in great condition. Also, please note that at Phoenix Perennials we use as little fungicides and pesticides as possible which includes not using neonicotinoids. Occasionally, a few aphids happen or a little slug might have stowed away in your plant. It doesn't happen often but it has happened. We hope you will appreciate our growing methods and be tolerant if there is a stowaway. If you have any concerns, please contact us right away. Usually, we would not consider a minor issue to be grounds for replacement or credit but we would, of course, work with you if there are any more serious concerns.
If you have any questions or concerns about your shipment, you must email us within 48 hours of receipt of your plants at mailorder at phoenixperennials.com. Please include a few digital photos, if possible. Digital photos will help us to diagnose the problem and devise an effective solution. If you do not contact us within 48 hours then a problem that could have been corrected becomes one that is beyond our control and responsibility. However, if you encounter problems beyond this period that could be related to a cultural factor originating at our nursery, we will guarantee against such problems. Please contact us. We want you to be successful and happy with your plants.
We cannot be held liable for any amount greater than the purchase price of the plant in question. Should there be a problem that is our responsibility and that cannot be rectified through cultural advice, our policy is to offer a refund or a credit towards a future purchase equal to the purchase price of the plant plus tax depending on the particular situation. We do not refund the cost of shipping of that plant just as we do not reimburse a customer for their time and gas money if they need to return to the nursery with an ailing plant. That being said, our plants are extremely healthy and we rarely have problems related to plant health. You can order with confidence that we will only ship the healthiest plants and if there is a problem we will deal with it fairly.
Returns: We do not accept returns of mail ordered plants since shipping costs can quickly escalate and exceed the cost of the plant in question. Please review our Guarantee section for more information if you have a concern about one of your plants.
Pick-Up at the Nursery: To help us better serve you and manage the various needs of our different customers, please identify which type of customer you are and our recommendations for how to best use our services.
Local: Local customers are those that visit or can visit the nursery regularly or semi-regularly. We encourage you to visit in person and place pre-orders for pick-up. You can also take advantage of our courier and freight services if this is more convenient to you. Please do not place orders in our mail order system. This system is for Regional and Shipping Only customers. We do not have the staff resources to administer orders through our mail order system for local customers who can or will be visiting the nursery on a regular or semi-regular basis. If you see plants in our Plant Encyclopedia or Mail Order system that you want, please email us and ask to be put on the Wish List. We will notify you when the plants become available. You can then plan a trip to come and see them. That being said, the difficulty for us in managing orders for local customers is for orders that include a diversity of plants that come available at all different times. If you are a particular fan of a certain group of plants that should all be available at about the same time and want to place an order, that would be fine. For example, an order of all Clematis, or all gooseberries, or all Agastache, or all persimmons is easy for us to manage.
Regional: Regional customers are those that might be able to visit the nursery once a year or a couple times a year often planning the timing of their trips to pick-up pre-orders or orders placed in our mail order system. This might also include customers who wish to mostly self-isolate during the Covid-19 crisis and wish to only come to the nursery when it is time to pick-up an order. We encourage you to place pre-orders and mail orders and to visit in person to pick-up when we notify you that your orders are ready. You can also take advantage of our courier, freight, and mail order options if this is more convenient for you.
Shipping Only: Shipping only customers are those that live too far away to visit the nursery. This might also include customers within Metro Vancouver with transportation or mobility issues who require shipping and customers who prefer to self-isolate during the Covid-19 crisis. Please feel free to place pre-orders and orders in our mail order system. We will send your plants using the method (courier, freight, Canada Post) that is cheapest and/or best for the plants.
Special Offers: Because we are also a regular retail nursery open seven days a week for on-site sales we might be offering coupons, special offers, loyalty cards, vouchers, and sales for on-site purchases at the nursery and in local and regional media throughout the season. By default, all special offers, sales, loyalty cards, vouchers and coupons do not apply to mail order unless otherwise stated. Other special offers like Like It, Buy It might be restricted to just on-site, in-person purchases. We make these restrictions because the economics of a bricks and mortar store are different than those of a mail order store.
Cancellation Policy: In the event that you wish to cancel all or part of your order a 25% cancellation fee will be applied to the cancelled plants since they will have been reserved and held for you from the time of placing your order making them unavailable for purchase by other customers. Substituting one plant for another is not considered a cancellation.