Since 1988, THE source for buying native, rare, and unique perennials.

Pot Sizes: What you will receive from Plant Delights Nursery

Here at Plant Delights Nursery, our horticultural staff works diligently to provide healthy, robust, perennial plants. Depending on the plant, we grow our perennials in one of five different sized pots. From left to right our pot sizes are:

  • 2.5" pot (7.9 fl. oz/233 ml)
  • 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)
  • 2 qt. pot (1.9 L)
  • 3 qt. pot (2.8 L)
  • 1.6 gallon pot (6 L)

 

Keep in mind that:

  • Most of our perennials are grown and shipped in 3.5” containers.
  • The pot size is listed in the description of each plant for sale.
  • Plants grown in pots larger than 3.5 inches are removed from the pots for shipping. Roots and potting medium are wrapped in plastic wrap to retain moisture during transit.

The amount of foliage varies greatly from plant to plant and is not the most important characteristic of a healthy perennial. We allow our plants to follow their normal growing and dormancy cycles throughout the year, so your plant may look quite different in spring (might still be sleeping) than if shipped in summer or fall. The health of the root system is the defining feature of a good perennial plant.

  • We ensure that plants have strong, healthy root systems. When the plant is tapped gently out of its pot, roots should be a healthy white or tan color and visible at the edges of the pot.
  • Plant foliage is routinely cut back to facilitate shipping and we do not guarantee a plant will be in flower at the time of shipping.

To make your growing experience as successful as possible, especially if you are new to perennial plants, please read our unpacking and care information. The information is available online and is sent with every order.

Helpful Links

Why all the fuss over pot sizes?

Every state has a department of weights and measures that regulates packaged products that are sold at retail. This is as true for cans of soda pop as it is for potted plants. The green-industry is regulated by laws that have been in place for many years but until recently had not been policed very strictly.

Things changed in 2003 when a small independent grower in Pennsylvania was wondering how the big-box stores could under-cut him on price so much for an industry standard 10" hanging basket. So he bought one of theirs and compared it to his. His 10" basket was a lot bigger and deeper than the big-box store's (which was 9" and was very shallow)...so the big-box stores were buying smaller and cheaper pots, filled with less soil, supporting a smaller plant that did not need as much greenhouse growing time before going to market...no wonder they could undercut his price! So this grower complained to his state's department of weights and measures and they stepped in. Ever since 2003, there has been increased awareness of this issue by the public and increased enforcement of the green industry pot size labeling practices.

To summarize the legal requirements for retail plant sellers:

  • The main issue is that some sellers were misrepresenting pot sizes and someone complained.
  • It is the law to label potted plants by pot volume or pot physical dimensions (volume is easier as it is a single number) represented in BOTH english and metric units.
  • The label can be in any form - a sticker, a stick tag, an embossed pot, whatever.
  • The law applies to all retail plant sellers.
  • The law has been around since 1971 but really only became a widely looked at issue in the early 2000s.
  • When the law is policed, non-compliers face financial penalties and stop sale orders.

For those of you who want to dig deeper, here are some references on this issue