Considering we live in an age where pretty much anything you order online is prone to getting tossed around in the mail to the point of being completely obliterated—ordering plants online feels risky. Afterall, how are plants supposed to survive the tumble and turmoil of our delivery system even when inanimate objects can’t?
I shared your skepticism, that is, until my very first shipment from the San Diego-based company Lively Root arrived. I received several houseplants from Lively Root in various shapes and sizes, from a small Pink Polka Dot plant, to a larger stocky Money Tree, and an even larger Philodendron. Here’s my honest review of what the experience was like ordering plants from Lively Root, plus all the details you’ll want to know before placing your first order with the company.
- My Experience Ordering Plants from Lively Root – The Essentials:
- About Lively Root
- My Lively Root Experience
- The Verdict
- Lively Root Buying Guide FAQs:
My Experience Ordering Plants from Lively Root – Key Takeaways:
|Style & Design:||Popular easy-care houseplants, in modern, eco-friendly pots.|
|Quality & Freshness:||Plants were unbelievably fresh and in pristine condition. Soil was moist, and they appeared to be much healthier than many houseplants I’ve purchased locally.|
|Packaging:||Smartly designed, solid, and eco-friendly.|
|On-Time Delivery:||Arrived faster than expected.|
|Ease of Ordering:||Easy online ordering process, with instant email confirmation.|
|Value For Money:||These plants are very fairly priced considering their overall quality (very healthy) and size (as described) as well as the care that went into packaging them.|
|Overall Score:||4.5 out of 5.|
About Lively Root
Who is Lively Root?
Lively Root is a San Diego-based company that’s passionate about helping people create greener spaces in their homes. The company prides itself on providing plants for every level of plant parent, from newbies and beginners all the way to those looking for something more exotic. One of the ways Lively Root achieves this is by including plant care cards in every order, so that new plant parents will know exactly what their latest purchase needs with regards to light and watering requirements.
What is Lively Root known for?
The company describes itself as a ‘farm to tabletop’ plant vendor since they grow all of their plants in a greenhouse at their HQ in San Diego. Plants also get packaged and shipped from this location.
Beyond super healthy plants, the company is also known for its eco-friendly pots and packaging. Made from recycled materials and stone, these eco-friendly pots are stylish, lightweight, durable, and UV-resistant.
Lively Root has an impressive eco-friendly solution to packaging their plants. It involves using reusable soil-bags and a series of cardboard cutouts that secure plants while also being entirely recyclable.
Where is Lively Root available?
Currently, Lively Root offers shipping to all 48 states in the continental US (excluding Hawaii and Alaska). Their shipping options include Standard (4-7 business days, free for orders over $49), Expedited (2-3 business days), or Rush (1-2 business days). Prices for these shipping options will vary based on your order size and location.
What does Lively Root offer?
The company primarily sells indoor houseplants (of all sizes), but they also offer some plant products like fertilizer, pots, seeds, and gardening tools. Besides individual plants, the company also offers a variety of plant subscription packages, and all of their plants come with a 30-day happiness guarantee.
One of the best parts about shopping with Lively Root is the website organization, which makes it easy to shop for plants based on your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for plants that are easy to take care of, plants that are pet-friendly, or even a plant to give as a gift, the website offers a user-friendly way to search for all of those things.
My Lively Root Experience
As mentioned up top, my overall experience with Lively Root was a really good one. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what it was like to order plants from the company.
I ordered a total of four plants from Lively Root, including a small Pink Polka Dotted plant, one medium Money Tree, one large Peace Lily, and one extra large Split Leaf Philodendron (also commonly referred to as a Monstera – though they are different plants!).
Most plants from Lively Root range in price from $38 for a small one to $118 for an extra large plant. Right now, the company is offering a sale that makes every plant $10-30 cheaper, depending on the size (the bigger discounts can be had on the larger, more expensive plants).
The Online Ordering Experience at Lively Root
Like we mentioned up top, ordering online with Lively Root is incredibly easy. Whenever you order a potted plant, you’re given the option to add one of their eco-pots, a basket pot, or even a ceramic planter. Each of these options costs slightly extra than a generic “grower” pot (the standard option), but pricing is transparent, so you can easily pick the best pot for your needs from the get-go.
Another thing I liked about the ordering process with Lively Root is that it wasn’t pushy. They tell you how many dollars you are away from getting free shipping (which starts at $49 and could easily be accomplished with one very large plant or two small-medium ones), and make suggestions for other things you might need, like fertilizer or garden tools—but at no point does it feel like you must add these things.
My Lively Root plants arrived on time and in impeccable packaging. One of the things I actually loved most about this experience (besides the plants themselves) is how smartly-designed and eco-friendly the packaging was. Two plants (the Money Tree and Pink Polka Dot) arrived together in the same box, while the two larger plants each had their own boxes.
The packaging was minimal and mostly consisted of cardboard. There was little to no plastic in the packaging, with the exception of a slim sleeve to protect the paperwork (an order summary and the plant care cards)— which meant that all of the packaging could go straight into my recycling bin.
To keep the soil moist and protected, each plant arrived wrapped in a reusable, breathable, branded cloth drawstring bag. I liked this little touch, especially since these bags can actually truly be reused (I laundered mine and plan to use them for foraging), and it also means the company actually went the extra mile to make their packaging eco-friendly.
After the bag, each plant is placed firmly inside a folded bit of cardboard that keeps them upright. The outer packaging is sturdy without crushing the plants, and there are little windows on the side for proper ventilation. The box also contains multiple warnings about which side to keep up and that the contents are fragile—something it seems our local delivery service actually paid attention to for once.
Since the pots are made out of a recycled material that mimics ceramic, they are lightweight and very durable. Besides the plants and pots, each box contained a printed order summary, plant care cards, and a reusable cloth bag. The only thing I had to do before displaying the plants was to remove the bag, and place the grower pot inside the decorative pot, and voila— the plants were house-ready! They barely even needed a fluffing (technical term for arranging the leaves) since they seemed to have been placed in the box in a way that meant they naturally unfolded and looked at their best almost immediately.
What Impressed Me
Overall I found the plants to be in exceptional condition considering the journey they made from California to my home in Colorado. The value was very good for the money, and I would absolutely order them again (and even recommend the company to friends since our local options for buying houseplants are extremely limited)!
Three out of the four plants matched their description perfectly and even came with these little care cards outlining the plants preferred care, water, and light needs. These cards also included details on whether or not the plants were toxic to pets—which I found especially thoughtful of the company considering the toxicity of lilies.
What Could Have Been Better
My only issue with the company was that one of the plants (the XL Philodendron) more closely resembled a lily than a Monstera. These plants are in fact in the same family, but considering how iconic and well-known Monsteras are—it was a bit of a disappointment to open the box and find what for all purposes appeared to just be a gigantic lily.
How the Plants Looked a Few Days Later
After a few days, all of the plants I received are still thriving. When they arrived, the soil was nice and moist thanks to these adorable reusable bags the company used to protect the plant, but I still watered them just a little bit in the days following their arrival. Thanks to the care cards that were included in the packaging, I’ve been able to position them optimally in my home for their ideal light requirements. I’ve also enjoyed the aesthetic of their Eco Pots which are lightweight terracotta-imitation planters that come in a variety of colors and sizes.
What occasions might someone consider ordering from Lively Root?
Because of how easy the overall experience was, Lively Root would be a great company to order from for various occasions. Whether you just moved and needed new plants for an office or home, or wanted to give someone a plant for a special occasion— this is a company that has plant delivery dialed down to near-perfection. Meaning, just about anyone could enjoy and benefit from the experience.
Lively Root Alternatives
If you’re still shopping around for plant delivery services, you might also consider one of these:
Bloomscape – Known for an exotic array of houseplants that can be ordered and delivered anywhere in the contiguous US.
The Sill – A stylish houseplant specialist with several retail locations around the US in addition to a nationwide delivery service.
Léon & George – A premium plant delivery service known for their large ornamental houseplants and luxury pots and planters.
Lively Root Buying Guide FAQs:
Where does Lively Root deliver?
Lively Root delivers to all 48 states in the continental US. They don’t deliver to Hawaii or Alaska.
How much are Lively Root plants?
Lively Root plants range in price depending on their size and the type of plant, but most plants start at $28 for a smaller one and go all the way up to $118 for an extra large one.
How much are Lively Root delivery fees?
Lively Root offers free shipping on orders over $49. They also offer expedited shipping for an additional cost.
How long does it take to receive plants from Lively Root?
My plants arrived within the standard shipping window of 4-7 business days, with most arriving right around the 5-day mark.
Does Lively Root sell pet-friendly plants?
Yes! The company offers a variety of pet-friendly plants and even has a way to filter for these plants when shopping on its website.
Larissa is a writer, gardener, and herbalist living in the San Juan mountains of Colorado. Her writing has been widely published in lifestyle and personal finance publications all over the country, and she's also the creator of the weekly newsletter @rootedintribe.