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The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Posted by firefightergardener Zone 7/8 (My Page) on
Fri, May 28, 10 at 12:03

Well, after discovering this forum and all the wonderful pics about a month ago I've repeatedly gone out and ordered from various Hosta online retailers. The plants are really rolling in now and the difference in quality, size and speed of arrival is significant.

In the conifer forums last year I created lengthy and detailed 'retailer ratings' for the few dozen conifer nursuries I ordered from. I won't do anything like that here, time constraints won't allow loading up hundreds of photos(at least not this year). Also while my budget for Hostas is probably above average, I'm sure there are plenty of forum folks here who order Hostas like men and women possessed. I will however mention when exceptional orders arrive with details and pictures so that if nothing else, others may find these same great businesses and provide some 'stimulus' to the good ol' American economy.

My first, clearly notable retailer was 'Green Mountain Hostas'.

'Green Mountain Hostas' shipped nicely sized, healthy hostas with an enormous inventory to choose from. Many of the hostas had 4-6 leaves already and almost all had what I would call large to large+ root systems. Shipping was exceptional(FREE above $100!) and fast and their prices seem to rate average to slightly below average. That said, for the size hosta they offered(bareroot), the value ratio here is very good. I can easily recommend them to both the weekend gardener or the non-hardcore hosta collector(like me!).

If you only made one Hosta order a year though, so far I can recommend none other then Hallson Gardens. After hearing about them on a previous post, I placed a nice sized order and the plants quickly arrived in a nice sized box. Upon opening it, I found neatly wrapped in paper bags ENORMOUS hostas with their root systems wrapped in wet newspaper. The sheer size of both the root systems and leaves really hasn't had any comparison so far via online retailers. Many of the plants had 5-6 leaves or more, 2-3 eyes and just gigantic, healthy root systems. The size of the hostas required immediate planting - the root systems were so large if I crammed them into 2 or 3 gallon pots, they would still be crowded. Plant after plant was this size, with many of them becoming some of the larger specimens in my young collection. Prices were average to below average in my amatuer opinion and shipping was also top notch(3-5 days from time of order). All in all, it's hard to say better things about a company, Hallson Gardens has really raised my own personal perception of what a good online hosta retailer really can offer. Go find out yourself.

The old picture is worth a thousand words thingy...
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-Will


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

No suprise to me at all. Hallsons is far and away the best online source I have ever ordered from. Congrats on your purchases!

Alexa


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Will, nice haul you have there! Hallsons is an excellent source for hostas (and other plants as well!). Chris is a delight to talk with and very knowledgeable. Denny at Avalon Acres is also an excellent place to order from, and he is a hoot to talk with on the phone! Keep up the good work!

Tanya


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

or.. jump a plane ... and visit hallson.. i am about 35 mins east ... kill two birds with one stone...

white oak used to be prime ....

and you know naylor ...

size on delivery MIGHT not be the best indicator ... hosta.. unlike our other passions ... CAN be manipulated with fertilizer ... and sometimes.. just sometimes.. the next year.. they get smaller rather than bigger ... so.. report back in a year ...

man will .. thanks god you dont do drugs.. with the OCD ... you would have been gone long ago ... lol ...

come on.. be honest.. how many have you ordered ....

ken


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I have placed repeat orders to Hallsons, Avalon Acres (AAhostas), and Naylor - very pleased. Just received 1st order from Northern Grown Perennials (WI) and very impressed with size of roots and plants - multiple divisions on all - will definitely reorder.

Paul


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I agree Will. Hallson's is the best to buy from. I have never received healthier plants than from them. I haven't ordered everywhere in fairness though but I was impressed and still am with this year's order. Not even one droopy leaf but this is a good post to find who is trustworthy on the things Hallson's might not have.
Cher


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I wanted to add another online hosta seller. I've been comfortable buying plants(and other things) from Ebay for years and now I've found that Ebay can also be a fantastic source for hostas. While some sellers certainly seem to be sending small plants with 2-3" root systems and a couple of leaves, there has been a couple standouts, most notably the order I received today. The seller is know as 'tnifong1'. Besides excellent, very affordable quick shipping, the plants are(to my new eyes) MONSTROUSLY large. Most plants had several divisions, some looked much bigger then box store plants commonly in 1 and 2 gallon sized pots and a few were ridiculously large(see pic). Relatively cheap prices(about 5-8$ a plant), this large size and shipped safely, they even include a nice little metal tag for each plant. The one negative might be that he/she doesn't offer your 'cutting edge' hosta very often but at least for a new hosta collector like me, it's a grrrreat source!

This plant was like $7...!
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Ken, about 400, lost count - and doing a poor job of documenting. Lots to plant, man, my knees hurt bad... I think I squat more then a major league catcher.

-Will

Here is a link that might be useful: Ebay hosta seller(GREAT SOURCE!)


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I got a couple of hostas from tnifong1 last summer (Majesty and El Nino), and they are nice, large plants with great root systems. And I like the metal tags too. Both plants are doing excellent this year.

Karen


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Thanks for starting this post. I have been wondering about the good and bad online nurseries. I too order from Hallsons and like them. However, now that I am branching out there are some hostas that I want that Hallson's does not carry. Has anyone ordered from Made in Shade Gardens? I like that they have an HVX policy. I would like to hear about their plants.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I get great hostas from Land of the Giants Hostas, see the following Olive Bailey Langdon and Elvis Lives plants, both close to full size :
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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I received my small order from Hallson's today... I'm new to this whole hosta thing as well... and like Will I would be OCD about buying them but unlike him I don't carry the funds to do so...I have ordered from a few places this year and none compares to Hallson's.. well like Ken said this year..we'll see next year.. my guacamole came with four eyes and looks like a nice little mound already lol, my paradigm division was two eyes that were the size of a quarter, my high society was absolutely beautiful, perfect, only two eyes but my goodness its just the perfect little swirled clump... and unexpectedly I received a free four eye division of lakeside cha cha... which is actually a very pretty hosta, love the coloration and the piecrusting... but I read that some tc's if not from lakeside will not grow upright like they're supposed to.. this division looks like it will though...so we'll see... Hey Will thanks for the ups on the ebay seller... I'm gonna look into he/she


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Excellent thread. May I suggest listing any horrible experiences, as well? Any companies to definitely stay away from?


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Hi
Run like hell from Plants Delights!!!!


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I ordered some hostas from www.gilberthwild.com. At first I was appalled because they were dormant roots! Just roots in baggies! The prices were very low, and I figured I got what I paid for...

THEN, I started to unpack them and noticed that the roots were very large -- that there were about 5-6 eyes on them, and that they were older divisions, and not young starts.

They have broken dormancy with a vengeance and have really taken off.

I will definitely order more from them!

Indyrose


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Northern Grown Perennials, Ferryville, WI. Great roots & size, field-grown plants, nice to deal with.
Marlene


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Three that just came from TouchofNature.com. Same owner as eflowergarden. I`ve used both with zero problems.

Here is a link that might be useful: New hostas


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I have had great multiple experiences from Hallson's, Naylors, and In the country Garden and Gifts. Of the three listed, I like Hallson's the best. The roots are beyond belief.
I have bought hosta liners from hostaliners.com. They are small, as expected and suppposed to be free from disease. They had a relatively good selection of tiny plants, small prices. Not bad if you can baby them for awhile.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Agree, Hallson is the absolute best!!!


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Hallsons gets my vote!


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I can also recommend Bridgewood Gardens in Virginia. I have ordered from them for three years and will be going to an open house there next Saturday.

chria


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I received an order from hostasdirect.com today... wasn't terrible... but definitely not hallson's.. their prices were high and divisions were small.. only one eye on my regal splendor which had no dormant bud eyes I could see... and two eyes on my sagae, but had like four or more dormant bud eyes...shipping time was excellent but once again I feel overcharged after previously having a great experience with hallson's


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Naylor's is a favorite for me.
Pam


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I've ordered several from Made in the Shade Gardens and they are wonderful! Everyone I planted last year (late in the summer too) has survived and is growing like mad out front. It's a great company too!
I had bought Diamond Tiara, Jewel of the Nile, Lakeside Cha Cha, Blue Dimples, Blue Ivory, Captain Kirk, and Gold Drop from them last year. I can't wait to see them grow up more. Jewel of the Nile is by far my most gorgeous one yet! Huge leaves!

Cathy


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Will - just a question about your ebay seller - I checked her listings and found a lovely looking Dream Queen - plant pictured is plant you get. Further down were TWO separate identical pictures for two other auctions of "same" plant!
The plants look lovely - and I believe you about the quality, BUT...makes me a little nervous about getting the plant I think I'm buying.
Jakki


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Well so far, I've had great success(two orders) with Tim. It might not be exactly the same plant pictured(even if it says), but out of 30 plants or so, all were as large or larger then the ones shown on the auctions. I was really surprised - they are the largest, oldest hostas I've ever received online - anywhere.

Goodluck Jakki.

-Will


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

countrygarden0 wrote "run like hell from Plants Delights."

In all fairness to the grower (in this case Tony Avent) don't you think you should post an explanation along with a negative comment like that? I've never ordered from PD but I attended Garden Fair at Winterthur in Wilmington, DE in 2004. PS's plants were huge and healthy looking.

I'm thinking of contacting gardenweb and asking them to remove your post. Without an explanation about your experience with PD, your post is without merit and adds nothing to this post other than to slam the seller.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Just want to add a couple more places that I like. I have done business with Mason Hollow and Bridgewood's amd Direct Source hostas. With bridgewood's and direct source they arrive potted and that is a big plus in that you don't feel pressured to plant them immediately.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I second Will's endorsement of Tim (tnifong1) I've gotten SEVERAL hosta from him for the last two years. He doesn't carry the newest cultivars but those he has are big and beautiful. I try to stay with those he lists as full size or monster.

I am also VERY happy with Hallson and Direct Source Hosta.

I don't recall seeing any one mention Direct Source Hosta so maybe others have had bad luck. I've gotten maybe 10 hosta from them in the last two years, nice size for the price, shipped in their pots, shipping comparable to bare root plants and like some of our other favorites you get a bonus plant at, I think, a $50.00 purchase.

I've not ordered online from Naylors but I did buy a couple of plants from them when they were here last month for a Garden Expo. Nice enough plants, less expensive than online. Maybe the ones they ship are larger than those they take on the road. Got Journey's End for $10.00, it's 15.00 in the catalog. I think I would have been just a little disappointed if I had received this plant via an online order at $15.00.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I wanted to bump my 'love' for Hallson Gardens here. I just realized that added to my first order of 10 plants, a free HUGE division of 'Lakeside Old' Smokey' was added to my order. How cool is that?? After looking at it closer, I wish I had order a couple! It's wonderful.

-Will


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I vote for Avalon Acres. I'm a casual hosta gardener. I bought most of mine on impulse at Lowe's. Last year, I wanted a varigated hosta for my elderly neighbor, so I went to an online nursery. They suggested White Christmas for her. I also bought some others for myself. (The Blue Angel is lopsided because it was too close to another pot.)

Keep in mind these were purchased last sping.

Barbara

Blue Angel

So Sweet 2


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Not White Christmas - my mistake

Not White Christmas, it was Night before Christmas.

Barbara


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Just got an email from a forum friend that had a bad experience with PDN. I trust her feedback on her experience. In her case sounds like the seller pretty much washed their hands of the experience and did not care for any return business from her.

That is the kind of feedback that needs to be shared with your gardening friends.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I purchased some plants from PDN also. I can't say it was a bad experience, but I thought their billing practice was a little unusual. They charged our credit card right away for all the plants and postage. But when they shipped the plants a week or so later, 2 things were sold out and they sent a letter saying I now had a $56.25 credit in my PDN account. What account? I didn't want a credit. Most places don't bill the cc until they ship and bill exactly for what they are shipping. I sent an email asking how to use the credit in the shopping cart so I could chose two more plants. Three days later, no reply, so I called and asked that the amount be credited to our cc. They took care of that immediately.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I have also done business with Mason Hallow. I just received eight plants from them via the mail and they were just beautiful. I had to call them an tell them how happy I was. I am having a hard time buying locally because I have so many hosta that I can't find the ones I want. Mason Hallow had many different ones and I found the eight I ordered. I vote for them and their healty-looking plants with great roots.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I know I am new to Hostas but last year the ones that stood out for me are Casita Azul and Rob from Lakeside Hostas.

Anyone get any Hostas from New Hampshire Hostas? I don't have any from them. While I was down there a few weeks ago I was going to get a whole bunch so I drove down with my mother so happy to see the gates wide open and pulled into the parking lot and parked. I got out and started looking at all the beautiful Hostas but as I was turning the second row of Hostas I was rudely dismissed and told they were closed until Thursday(this was Monday and I had to go home the next morning)even though their gate and parking lot was open. I then told the individual that I couldn't be back because I lived 500 miles away and he didn't seem to care. I do have to say the Hostas did look awesome and were far worth what they are asking. Also I had talked last year with a co-owner and he seemed really pleasant and helpful. So maybe the individual was a just an irritated employee.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

  • Posted by keski 6, Rochester, NY (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 8, 10 at 14:33

Yes, I have ordered from New Hampshire Hostas. I was pleased with the plants I ordered. Older varieties came with bigger divisions than more elite types. They also have sales in the fall and all my fall plants did well. I feel the prices are quite reasonable, especially if you don't mind paying less for a smaller division of an expenive variety.
Keski


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I just received my order from Naylor Creek and I must admit they rock!! I was supposed to get only 9 minis I ended up getting 13! 4 of the plants there were 2 plants together a single eye and then another separate plant with 3-4 eyes. The root systems were awesome even for minis. I think I found a new hosta source! I am blown away with the quality and each plant averaged out (including shipping) to $8.88 per plant(before the extra plants)! I am beyond impressed.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I was surprised no one mentioned Klemn's Song Sparrow nursery. Have ordered from them for the last few years. I thought then quite expensive, but plants are very nice. Shipping costs are also high. Mary


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I ordered from Klemn's last year also. In July they had buy 2 get one free. I ordered a peony and an echinacea also. They arived, in pots, in such good shape I put them on my patio table for decoration until I planted them a few days later.

The plants were good sized, not HUGE, and without the special they are probably a little high priced. Also their hosta selection is not as good as some others mentioned here. On the other hand, I like their website, service and packaging. I will probably order from them again, when the price it right.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Oh, great, more catalogs to look at, lol! Seriously, I have ordered from Naylor Creek, In the Country, Jim's Hostas, and Lazy S's, and have been well satisfied with all of them. This year will be the first year I have ordered from Hallson's and Land of the Giants, but I have
great expectations (:p) of them both from reports I've read on this forum. I haven't ordered from Made in the Shade but I have bought hostas there in person, and they were great plants.

Now, for an evening with Avalon Acres, Mason Hollow, Bridgewood Gardens, Direct Source........thanks a lot, y'all.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I've tried many of the online merchants that you've all mentioned. I like most of them. Naylor Creek and Hallsons are my two favorites. I tend to purchase from Naylor most often because they have ALOT more of the newer varieties. Hallsons is excellent for the hostas that have been around for awhile already.

I also have to give Kudos to "Land Of the Giants Hosta Farm". I've had a great experience with them.

One online merchant that I think deserves a mention is "Hornbaker Gardens" in Illinois. Hornbaker has a large inventory, the plants are very sizeable, and the variety is very good.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I, too bought hosta from Gilbert Wild last spring. I bought 5 Wide Brim, a Barbara Ann, a Paradigm and an Invincible. They messed up and sent a wrong plant for one of the Wide Brim, so I ended up with an NoID. They replaced the Wide Brim.

The Barbara Ann didn't come back. The Paradigm came back, but with little tiny leaves (not sure it's going to make it), the Invincible came back just fine and looks great. I lost 2 of the Wide Brim. The Wide Brim that made it are smaller than last year. The NoID is growing like crazy.

I've never lost a hosta before, so I'm bummed. The Wide Brim may be my fault as I did not water them over the Winter. The others got the same treatment I've given every hosta I've ever had, so I think it was a grower problem. (Whatever this NoID is is one heck of a grower).

So, I learned my lesson. I ordered 2 replacement Wide Brim from AAHostas this weekend, along with another Paradigm and a September Sun. I also have a few things I plan to order from Hallsons.

Bkay


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

What a great thread! I can't wait to get my order from Hallson's in a month or so. It'll be my first order with them, but I hang out on their forums and Chris is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. I've heard (and expect) great things.

For whoever asked about Made in the Shade--I ordered from them last year and they were great to work with (good communication, etc.) but I did think their hostas were on the smallish side. Still, they were well packaged, did well after I planted them, and I don't have any real complaints. You might get bigger, better rooted divisions elsewhere, though. Just my experience and opinion. (Still, very nice and helpful people.)

I also highly recommend Land of the Giants. I live about an hour away and have only purchased from Jeff in person, but I know that many of his plants are field grown and he'll dig out an enormous division on purchase. The hostas I got from Jeff last year have all done very well. Here's 'Vulcan,' purchased there last May. This was just after planting.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I can't wait to get my order from Hallson's in a month or so

==>>> hey kayly ... i am about 30 miles from hallsons ... up here in MI ...

if his hosta are up and shippable in a month.. i will spit dollars ...

hope springs eternal.. but reality sucks ...

i would bet more on 2 months.. if he allows them to leaf out.. to insure a proper ID ...

but who knows.. maybe you are right ...

dont forget peeps.. the further north the supplier .. the later the delivery will be.. IF they grow them in the ground for sure ... and late delivery is not because they hate you ...

ken


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Thanks for the heads-up, Ken! Chris told me my order would be shipped mid-April, so if it's longer, I won't take it personally!
Karen


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Nah, Ken...you're probably right. I was thinking, "Gee it'll be almost May in a month! Surely he'll ship within a week or two of that!" but I was being overly optimistic. I realize it's Michigan we're talkin' about. ;)


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

  • Posted by ademink z5a-5b Indianapolis (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 25, 11 at 18:01

Hallson's is the best!!!!! Not just for hostas but all perennials, etc. Love them.

I have had some beautiful hostas from Naylor also - they are good eggs!


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Has anyone had experience with Hostas Direct? I'm waiting on an order from them, and after some of the posts I've read, I'll be looking at my shipment with a critical eye. There are 3 features of their website that swayed me to buy their products:
1. Many Hostas are available in 3 different sizes - starter (rooted tissue culture starts), advanced starter (about 2X bigger) and mature division - so you can get a small Hosta for a small price, or a larger Hosta for a reasonable price.
2. They have several cultivars for less than $5, and they are not always the smaller sizes for that price - sometimes you can get a mature division.
3. After placing a $50 order, I got a free Hosta of my choosing (from a list). I chose 'Stained Glass', which is a newer Hosta.

They were swift in sending me an order confirmation with an invoice number, which not all online nurseries do.

I also like their website. When you are looking through their selections, you can sort by name, price, rating, bestsellers, etc. And you can search by color, 1st letter of the name, sun-resistant, slug-resistant, AHS rating, etc. They give detailed information about each Hosta, listing everything from leaf color to leaf size, number of vein pairs, lineage, plant size, etc. You can do a side-by-side comparison of Hostas. They have a shopping cart and a wish list. My wish list is full of Hostas that I intend to buy next month, in $50 increments.

So far, I am really impressed, but like I said, I am still waiting for the plants to arrive. I would appreciate anyone's input on their experience with this company.

bejoy2


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

Hi bejoy2
I have used Hosta Direct for the past few years and have an order in for this year. I have not had a bad experience so far. I do feel that that the plants are a bit smaller, knowing they are starters, advanced starters but the mature divisions seem to be smaller then other online retailers.
If you order early they tend to bill your credit card early using your monies months before you receive your order (so if that bugs you, it does me, order right before you want them).
I do agree with you about their website being user friendly interesting to use.
So to give you my overall opinion, I'm never comfortable with what I will receive from them, knowing that, when I order from them I shouldn't have a high expectations of the plants because there is a chance I could be disappointed.(haven't yet, but always a chance!)
I like Made in the Shade Gardens (Hosta Guy) and using for the first time this year are Naylor Creek, White Oak, Jim's, Sebrights and Hornbackers.
I hope this helps!
God Bless,
Hosta-see


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I am not a fan of Hostas Direct and they're local to me. I do not feel it a good use of hosta dollars to buy a 1"x1" plug... the same size as what you get annuals in a 6-cell pack from Walmart. I bought some 4 years ago and they have YET to reach a 1-gallon size.

I have visited the owners garden and have purchased mature divisions as well. For mature divisions, it's usually a single-eye, probably divided earlier that year.

My own opinion is that I'd rather spend my hosta dollars elsewhere.


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

That's good to know about Hostas Direct. But they still have an amazing website, which I highly recommend to anyone, no matter where they end up buying their Hostas. Also, since it looks like they do a whooole lot of tissue culture, I was wondering how genetically stable their products were. Are my Hostas going to revert or lose their variegation?


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RE: The BEST online Hosta nurseries

I have dealt with New Hampshire Hostas with good luck. They are local to me so I never order any hostas from mailorder from them. A real beautiful place. Alyciaadamo,I am sorry you were treated so shabbily there.Ilove Hallson's and Casita Azul for mailorder.


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