An unfortunately timed order from an excellent company

I have been on the lookout for Amorphophallus bulbifer for a little while now. Last year I tried ordering seeds from a Canadian company and it was a failure, the seeds that needed to be sown fresh were dry an useless. Giving up any hope of finding it available in Canada I turned my search south, and found Gardino Nursery (aka Rare Flora). After emailing them back and forth with various questions (and here’s the unfortunate part) waiting until we were safely into warm weather for shipping, I placed my order. And not just the Amorphophallus species I had been looking for, others, Amorph and otherwise. Plants I’d never heard of but suddenly needed to have.

Well, it just so happens my order was shipped the day before (roughly) the Canadian mail strike started. Another day or two and the package would have been turned away by the USPS, a day or two earlier and I’d have had my box in about 5 days. But no, from June 13 to July 14th these plants sat in a box, somewhere between Florida and here, slowly going downhill.

Imagine my surprise then today when I opened a box I expected to hold a bunch of dead plants, maybe some rotted cuttings, I didn’t know what to expect but I was prepared for the worst. The first bag I opened and…

Huernia schneideriana
Huernia schneideriana

Wait. This doesn’t look like something that’s been in a box for a month. I decided to grab the other bags, I figured the Amorphophallus species would be fine too (Not all of these are mine, A. paeoniifolius, the duplicate A. bulbifer and H. schneideriana cuttings are for a friend with excellent taste in plants).

Amorphophallus paeoniifolius
Amorphophallus paeoniifolius

Amorphophallus atroviridis
Amorphophallus atroviridis

Amorphophallus bulbifer
Amorphophallus bulbifer

Sinningia tubiflora
Sinningia tubiflora (The tuber is a little soft but just might be fine anyway.)

Well, I was feeling pretty happy so far, things looked great. I didn’t expect much from the potted plants though.

Polianthes tuberosa 'The Pearl'
Polianthes tuberosa ‘The Pearl’ – salvageable. Some new growth under that mess too. The white seems to be new growth that happened in the box.

Hoya nummularioides
Hoya nummularioides – Actually not bad. I have seen this described as drought tolerant. This is apparently very true. Better than I hoped it would look.

Hoya australis ssp. australis 'Brookfield'
Hoya australis ssp. australis ‘Brookfield’ – I was more concerned with this one and even though there’s only one good leaf I’m hoping it’ll recover for me.

Kaempferia pigmea
Kaempferia pigmea – This looked like an empty pot until I cleared away the packing material and found it trying to grow.

And that was it. Everything looked fairly alive after a month in a box. I also found the customer service from Gardino excellent, and they definitely did a good job packing everything and they certainly have a good selection of plants. If it weren’t for the phyto and high shipping costs I’d certainly order from them again, and would encourage anyone in the States to check them out if you’re looking for something interesting.

About Andrew

Plant lover living in Toronto, Canada where I grow a wide range of plants in a very small space.
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10 Responses to An unfortunately timed order from an excellent company

  1. Ken says:

    That’s excellent! I’m happy your shipment, although bedraggled, wasn’t decimated by the strike! Those are some choice plants you got. I need not to think about new plants–I just ordered a buttload of seeds, most of which have already arrived. Huernia, Stapelia, Lithops, Agave, Duvalia… Oh my.

    • Andrew says:

      Nice selection you got too. I’ve had pretty terrible luck with seeds (admittedly I haven’t made it easy for myself with plant selection or anything like that but still) but definitely a good way to get plants.

      Some of the Duvalia pictures I’ve found Googling just now make the Stapelia-Hoya connection far far more obvious than just looking at Stapelias and Huernia pictures.

  2. Scott says:

    Wow…that’s amazing…can’t believe how good they all look! I just ordered a few Selinum wallichianum from Annie’s Annuals after then finally came back into stock…except now I don’t know how I’m going to fit them in!

    • Andrew says:

      Interesting plant. Other than Parsley I’m not sure if I’ve really grown any umbellifers though I really like how many of them look growing wild. Finding space can always be a challenge but, if you’ve still got any lawn you’ve got space for more plants.

  3. I am glad thinks largely worked out after all…And I will definitely check out Gardino because those are some really cool plants!

    • Andrew says:

      I think if I didn’t have to worry about shipping costs my money would be in trouble. They’ve got some really interesting things there, and a little bit different too than usual houseplants since they’re aiming generally more for plants that can be grown as landscape plants in Florida.

  4. ricki says:

    Truly amazing: the will to live of plant life. I once found dried out hydrangea plants in paper bags while cleaning my mom’s garage. They had been there for months. There were a few signs of life, so I stuck them in the ground for her. They took off almost immediately.

  5. jenn says:

    That is amazing. Granted, you were shipping some pretty tough plants… but wow! How cool for you!

  6. jenn says:

    Also, thanks for the ID on the Huernia schneideriana – I have one of these as a pass-along plant and didn’t know what it was. The little flowers can sometimes be easy to miss – mine come out from right at the soil line of the plant.

  7. Pingback: Kaempferia pigmea | All Andrew's Plants

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