Wary of buying your plants online? Here's a guide to help

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A little green goes a long way - at least that's what scientists say about the power of plants and its impact to your mental health.

Now, it's easier than ever to shop online and have plants delivered to your doorstep.

Consumer Reports listed a few online plant retailers to help you pick the right one for your green space.

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According to researchers, spending 20 to 30 minutes a day in a green space is all you need to reap the mood-boosting benefits plants can provide.

"I like to see the plants and I like to see the condition and, like, choose the one that I think is the healthiest," said Jodi Piepkorn, a self-proclaimed plant lover. "So, I've been a little nervous about ordering online."

Though online plant shops can raise eyebrows, here are some retailers that can help get you started.

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Major retailers like The Home Depot and Amazon offer a variety of plants online, but there are also curated collections.

According to Consumer Reports, The Sill and Bloomscape, for example, have carved out collections featuring stylish pots, and tips on how to care for the plants they sell.

There's also several flower delivery services, like Bouqs and UrbanStems, that include live plants in addition to standard floral arrangements.

"What we are looking for here is what you're getting and if it's worth what you're paying for," said Anna Kocharian with Consumer Reports.

Bloomscape and The Sill's plants include care tip pamphlets and online customer help.

A ZZ plant that comes in a 6-inch pot from The Sill costs about $63, before tax and shipping costs.

The same plant from Amazon costs between $30 to $50. Depending on the seller, that might even include shipping.

If you want to give the gift of greenery, Bouqs and UrbanStems offer guaranteed delivery dates and often next-day delivery. But it'll cost you and the selection is limited.

A ZZ plant from Urbanstems costs about $80.

"If you're looking for a more affordable option, consider swapping plants with friends or even join a buy-nothing group on Facebook," said Kocharian.

For the latest consumer reports, follow ABC13 reporter Jeff Ehling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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