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Re: Mail-order plants in the U.S.A.

Here are my experiences with mail order plants:

www.trueaquariumplants.com: Very good selection and very good quality.
Excellent customer service. Prices are average and there IS a minimum order.
I ordered, about a year ago, misc. Crypt. wendtii green, red and bronze;
hygrophila difformis, alternathea rosefolia, hydrocotyle leucaphalia, java
moss and java fern. All were in great condition, except the java moss, which
was brown. It did not grow at all until I added some amano shrimp and they
began devouring the dead material. At this point it began growing like
gangbusters and has never stopped.

www.azgardens.com: Excellent selection and good quality. Average customer
service. Not sure if there's a minimum order. I can't really remember
exactly what I ordered...some sagittaria subulata, I think, plus several
amano shrimp.

www.aquaticplantdepot.com: Good selection, very good quality and excellent
customer service. Very low prices AND no minimum. My first ordr was crypt
balansae and hairgrass (eleocharis something). Crypts were outstanding,
though the hairgrass was mostly brown and bunched in such a way as to make
it nearly impossible to separate and plant. It never did thrive and I
eventually removed it. Second order was glostigmata elatinoides and rotala
wallichi. Quality was excellent and quantity was beyond belief. I actually
ended up with way more glostigmata than I could actually use. Glostigmata is
thriving and, IMO, is very easy to grow. I have it in a 55g w/ 160w (lights
are 23" from tank bottom) and it's forming a dense cover with very little
vertical growth. The wallichi is harder to grow, but it's hanging in there.

I would recommend aquaticplantdepot unequivocally if they have the plants
you're looking for. My second choice would be trueaquariumplants.

You didn't ask, but I'll offer this anyway: If you need fish or inverts, I
have been very happy with www.aquariumfish.net. There's no minimum order but
there is a flat shipping charge, so it pays to order in quantity if
possible. I ordered 6 SAE (they sent me 9 for the same price), a dozen amano
shrimp (they sent 15...2 died enroute) and 24 ghost shrimp (all survived
transit). They didn't even charge my CC until 2 months after my order...I
think that was probably more oversight than courtesy, but I'm not
complaining. Customer service was great...I placed my order on Sept. 10 and
obviously, after the events of the next day, nothing was going to ship that
week or the next due to the air traffic lockdown. They took the time to call
me and arrange alternative delivery.
There are also less savory businesses out there. Before you order, check the
Better Business Bureau to make sure there are no outstanding or excessive
complaints. Personally, I would not do business with any entity unwilling or
unable to resolve such complaints.

Finally, I have had the most satisfaction in trading plants with others on
this list. I've gotten some absolutely gorgeous narrow-leaf java fern as
well as the Windelov variety. I also got a small portion of Micranthemum
Micranthemoides which has grown/multiplied to the nth degree. Keep your eyes
open because people often offer a great selection of plants for nothing more
than the price of postage.

Don't forget to explore your local waters for indigenous plants as
well...you get to hike if you're so inclined, and you get free plants!