Plant Care Tips and FAQs

Where did my plant come from?
The Outside.com Plant Collections are supported by a network of experienced horticulturists at quality nurseries and plant research facilities throughout the United States. We work together to bring great plants to market.  When you buy an Outside.com Plant Collections plant, you are receiving some of the best of plant breeding available today, as well as a quality-grown plant.

Mature plant sizes and descriptions are obtained from various reputable industry sources, but actual sizes and descriptions can, and will, vary based on conditions.  We obtain photos and descriptions of newly introduced plants from the breeder or marketing company for that plant. Occasionally the plant may vary from the picture or description due to cultural, growing location, or climate changes. Outside.com offers no guarantees regarding this matter.

Is my plant healthy?

We carefully select each plant before shipping, but some plants may experience shipping stress. Possible symptoms you may see include discolored leaves, leaf drop, or tip burn. These are almost always cosmetic issues that do not indicate or affect overall health, and the plant(s) should recover quickly after planting.

Plants will usually start putting out fresh growth within 14-21 days with proper planting and care. Please read through these Plant Care Tips and FAQs for information on ways to help your specific plant recover best.

While we cannot accept responsibility for losses caused by extreme weather, neglect, or planting in an inappropriate climate zone (clearly indicated for every plant), our knowledgeable Customer Service Team is available to help you solve problems not addressed in these Tips and FAQs.

The customer takes full and sole responsibility for providing care of the plants once in your possession.  These Plant Care Tips and FAQs are generalized in nature and intended to be a guide and a resource, and do not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter.  Outside.com does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information contained herein. All Tips, FAQs, and recommendations are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement.

Once you receive your order, please open the box(s) and prepare to plant the plants immediately. You may need to water thoroughly before planting to ensure the root ball is soaked through.  Failure of live plants to thrive is the sole responsibility of the customer. If you choose to order plants during a period when your area is extremely cold or hot, you are assuming the risk of the safe arrival of those live plants to you.  

If you still have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us using our online Contact Us Form additional guidance with planting and plant care.

Your success is our success!

What is the difference between ‘Partial Sun’ and ‘Partial Shade’?
Partial sun and partial shade refer to the amount of direct sun a plant prefers. If a plant is listed as ‘partial sun’, the emphasis is on the amount of sun it will receive each day. Partial sun varieties typically thrive with at least 4 to 6 full hours of direct sunlight throughout the day. If a plant is called ‘partial shade’, on the other hand, the grower is emphasizing the plant will do better with less than 6 hours of sun. Partial shade areas might include northern sides of the home or areas under trees or taller plantings that cast a shadow throughout the day.

With so many plants to choose from, how can I be sure I order the right ones?
We try to provide as much information as we can for the plants we sell, but there is always more to learn.  While we do our best to give you the information you need to make your decisions on the right plants for you and your hardiness zone, we ask that you do your homework as well, to make sure you have all the information you need before purchasing.

How do I determine my USDA plant hardiness zone?
The USDA Hardiness Zone map is a guide, and does not take into consideration microclimates and extreme elevations.  Please remember to take into account other factors like wind protection, mulching, and snow cover which can also affect the health of your plants.  Also consider the light, soil, and site conditions in your yard to be sure you are putting the right plant in the right place. Plants grow best when they are happy in their home!

Is there a difference between plant hardiness zones and climate zones?
Climate zones consider environmental conditions such as sunshine, elevation, temperatures, precipitation, humidity and wind. Similar climate zones contain similar native vegetation no matter where they are found in the world.  Hardiness zones consider the minimum winter temperatures and are used more frequently in agriculture and horticulture to determine if an introduced species will survive in a particular environment.

If you have any questions about plant hardiness in your area, contact your local County Agricultural Extension Office.

Is this plant poisonous?
Unless a plant is clearly marked as an edible food plant, with the edible plant parts clearly indicated, you should not consider eating any part of an ornamental plant, because many ornamental plants - and certain parts of edible plants - can contain toxic substances as a natural part of their structure.

Plants vary in their toxic properties from symptomless to certain death, depending on the type of plant, age and general health of the person (unknown sensitivities, allergies, etc.), amount ingested, type of treatment, etc.

While we have made an effort to identify those plants that are especially toxic to the general population, some people - and some plants - can have adverse reactions when they get together.  Purchasers should use caution and protect young children from eating plants that are unfamiliar and have not been identified by a trusted authority as “edible”.

Grandparents, please take care!  Children like to sample all kinds of things, including plants in the garden, and should be supervised when they come to visit your garden!

Consult the following websites for more information, and please, always use caution:

American Association of Poison Control Centers https://www.aapcc.org/

Local poison centers by state https://www.aapcc.org/centers

Georgia Poison Center  https://www.georgiapoisoncenter.org/poisons/poison-hazards/poisonous-plants/

North Carolina State University Extension  https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/category/poisonous-plants/

The Colorado State University Guide to Poisonous Plants database lists trees, shrubs and perennials that can be harmful to animals.

https://csuvth.colostate.edu/poisonous_plants/

https://csuvth.colostate.edu/poisonous_plants/Plants/Details/117