Help, the plants do not look anything like I expected! Is one dead?

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This section applied to all Plants purchased outside of their main season of interest / out of flower / if they are delivered in a dormant condition. It’s a little bit lengthy, but please do read all the information, as we are sure it will be very useful to be informed of what we have included here.

Think your plant looks different to what you expected?

Please note we do need to be made aware of any issues within 14 days of receipt of your order.

If you order outside of a specific plant flowering season or growth period (which depends on variety purchased), then during our cleaning and tidying of plants (prior to packing) we may dead-head them if they have finished flowering. Plants at certain times of the year may also arrive in a dormant state, for example, deciduous varieties could be devoid of foliage, and herbaceous species could have migrated below the soil for the winter period.

Other tidying of plants we will undertake on a plant-by-plant basis could consist of:

  • Weeding and cleaning the top of the compost the plant is in (the vast majority of our plants are grown outside and therefore can attract some debris over time).
  • Cutting back twigs and / or branches to maximise growth for the following growing season

So depending on what time of year you receive your plants do not be alarmed by their appearance on occasion they will all have been prepared for you so that they are at their strongest for when you unpack, and plant them out.

Regardless of plant purchased we always recommend planting it out as soon as possible and giving it a good watering.

It greatly helps if you can feed your plant (with a good quality feed) fortnightly throughout its growing period.

Think your plant is dead?

If your plant fails to flourish then it may be covered by our five year guarantee and we will always replace at a later date should it fail to thrive – we offer this to provide added piece of mind, especially if you are a less experiences gardener, as we understand receiving plants out of their main season of interest that are not at their peak of perfection can be a little perturbing. Please do check out the following information page regarding our guarantee: the Gardening Express Five Year Guarantee

We often receive queries about plants early in the year by gardeners thinking they are not alive, please do not be alarmed if you fall in to this category – the vast majority of deciduous and herbaceous plants will show very little, if any growth early in the year, and can appear quite frankly, dead! This is however more often than not their natural dormant state – they will only start into growth and leaf up when that individual plant is ready.

This can be later than other plants in your garden in the case of new plants that have only been with you for a couple of years and not yet fully established and acclimatised to your locality. Remember, many species are not native to the UK, in the case of many plants of Mediterranean origin new growth may not show until May onwards. Plant growth is influenced by both temperature and light levels, so in a cloudy Spring, they’ll be slower to come on than a bright sunny one. We therefore often suggest being patient before reaching for the guarantee at this time of the year.

To avoid disappointment please always thoroughly research specific plants that you are intending on buying (especially if you are buying them for an occasion or if you are expecting a plant in bloom upon arrival). All plants have specific seasonal times each year when they do bear foliage, flowers or fruit. The flowering time period can vary each year depending on temperatures and weather.