Spring Flowering Bulbs
Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question? Take a look below at answers to a list of our most frequently asked questions. Still need more information? Feel free to call us at (800) 852-5243 or email us at service@bluestoneperennials.com. We will do our best to get back to you with an answer within one or two business days.

General Questions

  1. What is the Bluestone 100% Guarantee?
  2. What is a Perennial?
  3. How old are the plants when shipped? What size are the plants when shipped?
  4. What size are your pots?
  5. What hardiness zone am I in? What plants will do well in my zone?
  6. Can I send a gift to a friend?

Plant Care

  1. My plants just arrived. What should I do now?
  2. How often should I water?
  3. How late in the fall can I plant my order?
  4. How early in the spring can I plant my order?
  5. Should I use an overwintering mulch?
  6. How do I care for my Clematis?
  7. Can I overwinter perennials in a container?
  8. I'm not ready to plant my bulbs - what should I do?

Shipping Questions

  1. Can I request a specific shipping time?
  2. How long will it take to receive my order?
  3. When will my order be shipped?
  4. How much will shipping cost?
  5. How will my plants be shipped?

Questions About Our Website

  1. Are all the plants you grow offered on the Net?
  2. How can I correct my email address on your subscription service?
  3. How can I use my coupons online?
  4. How do I receive promotional codes and coupons?
  5. How can I save a wishlist for future reference?
  6. What does the "Specials" designation mean?
  7. What does "Value Priced! No Discounts Apply" mean?
  8. How can I redeem my Gift Certificate,Credit Voucher, or Discount Code on line?
  9. How/When is my bankcard processed?
  10. How secure is your website?

Questions About Bluestone

  1. Company background?
  2. Can I visit?
  3. Where do your plants come from?
  4. What is your catalog like?



General Questions

  1. What is the Bluestone 100% Guarantee?

    We offer a 100% unconditional guarantee. If you are not satisfied, we will reship or refund immediately. We want you happy because we want to stay in business.

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  2. What is a Perennial?

    A perennial is a plant that will live multiple growing seasons, unlike an annual which grows, sets seed, and dies all in one season. Their flowering time is not as long as an annual because the plant must take time out to gather enough strength to overwinter, but the range of flowering times, colors, heights, foliage color, and textures, make for a fascinating plant pallete to work with.

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  3. How old are the plants when shipped? What size are the plants when shipped?

    Our perennials will be 6 to 9 months old. Our shrubs will be 12 to 18 months old. The plants will be fully rooted and leafed out. The plant tops will vary in height by variety, but if they are taller than 6-8" above the pot; we may have to cut them back to fit in our boxes. This does not harm the plant in any way, and actually helps to promote a bushier, fuller plant.

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  4. What size are your pots?

    We grow in one size – a biodegradable plantable fiber pot 3.5" x 3.5" x 4" deep (27.4 cubic inches, 15.2 fl. oz., 450 ml). 
We usually grow all our own plants, but occasionally we have to buy plants from other nurseries. Their sizes may not exactly match ours.

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  5. What hardiness zone am I in? What plants will do well in my zone?

    Use our handy zip code search to find your hardiness zone in our Plant Finder. Also, most books dealing with plants will have a US map depicting the climate zones. Please treat hardiness zone ratings on perennials as a best guess, but only a guess. Many factors influence plant survivability: reliable snow cover, wind swept location, proximity of structures, depth of soil, just to name a few.

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  6. Can I send a gift to a friend?

    We do offer both printed and digital (email) gift certificates for giving anytime. We also have pre-planned prepared gardens which make excellent gifts. They are acknowledged to your friends with a personalized gift message, if desired, and with a full write-up of the plants along with instructions for soil preparation and planting. The plants themselves and a second set of instructions follow at the proper planting time for their area. To order any of these gardens, see our Pre-Planned Gardens page.

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Plant Care

  1. My plants just arrived. What should I do now?

    You should open the box, unpack the plants, and place the plants in a shady spot, and water them thoroughly. They should perk up overnight if looking at all wilted. You can plant right away or let them catch their breath for 3-4 days, then plant them in the ground, again watering thoroughly. Plants can actually be maintained in their pots for several days, just keep them moist and in dappled light. Any questions, just give us a call. Our 100% guarantee assures your happiness.

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  2. How often should I water?

    Your goal should be a self sufficient flower border. If you water everyday, you will always have to water everyday. Normally, 1" of water a week, either from you or Mother Nature the first year is enough. You want it to soak deeply so that the plants will send their roots down to look for water. The second year you can water every other week, more often just to help them through droughts, or if wilting before lunchtime.

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  3. How late in the fall can I plant my order?

    The plants need 6 weeks of growing to anchor themselves in the ground and to get ready for winter. We ship in the Fall from late August to early November. The farther north you are the sooner you would want to receive your order.

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  4. How early in the spring can I plant my order?

    With the exception of the chrysanthemums and the herbs, the plants will be able to handle a heavy frost to a light freeze. It is much better to plant your order than to hold it until all threats of bad weather are past. If in doubt, let us advise you as to the best time for your area.

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  5. Should I use an overwintering mulch?

    In most cases, no, you should not cover your plants for the wintertime. A protective mulch (salt marsh hay, pine boughs, straw, etc.) can be applied after the ground is frozen, and removed with the first thaw. Here in the Midwest that is very hard to do (since we typically have a December thaw, a January thaw, and February/ March thaws. The biggest killer of perennials is having the crown of the plant smother (or rot) in the late winter/ early spring. Overwintering mulch put on too soon, or left on too long will do this. Exceptions would be areas with extreme cold and little snowcover. Or when plant material is way outside of its normal climate range. (i.e. 2 or more zones away.) We never use mulch here in Northern Ohio, and never lose plants to Old Man Winter. Decorative mulch such as cedar is another issue. While convenient for weed control and appearances, it's depth should be no deeper than necessary to discourage the weeds, and it should NEVER be raked over the crown of the plants for the winter. The jury is still out on decorative mulch as it can harbor insects and plant diseases, but its use is so prevalent now that we address it here. Our best advice for your plants is to avoid excessive decorative mulch, and plant your garden so that it will fill in.

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  6. How do I care for my Clematis?

    Clematis are the Queens of the Climbers, prized for their incredible flowers. They will train onto trellises, fences, or arch over doorways. They only need to have their roots shaded and their flowers in the sun. Stunning when used alone or when several colors are mixed. Pruning Types are noted in both the printed catalog and the online catalog.

    Type 1: Flowers are produced from old stems, so pruning is done immediately after flowering has stopped. Prune by removing all dead and weak stems immediately after flowering. Larger, older plants (over 15') are normally not pruned, especially if growing in trees. Tie stems into place after flowering. New growth will begin, and these are the stems for next year's flowers.

    Type 2: In this group all first flowering comes from last season's ripening stems. In early Spring watch for swelling leaf buds beginning to show. Cut all dead material off above these swelling buds. Be sure all growth is tied to the trellis, etc. at this time. Do not tie too tightly, so growth will not be hampered or cracked by tying too tight.

    Type 3: This group blooms later and from new growth. These should be pruned in February or March as new leaf buds begin to show low on the plant. Also remove all dead material above the buds and clean out any old or mildewed foliage at this time.

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  7. Can I overwinter perennials in a container?

    Almost every plant we grow will be okay in a container for one season. The difficulty comes in wintering over the container. Since the roots are now "above ground" in the container, the moderating effect of the soil's warmth is lost. Either transplant the perennials into your fall border, or sink the entire container in the ground. In mid zones, you might get away with protecting the container with hay bales, or by placing the container along the sheltered foundation of your house.

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  8. I'm not ready to plant my bulbs - what should I do?

    Our bulbs will usually arrive in late September from Europe and are shipped out by mid-October. Our customers in warmer zones (8,9,10) should wait until mid-November to plant them (when the ground cools off). Soil temperature below 60 degrees is a good rule of thumb. Store them in your garage or basement. Any place with cool (50-60 degrees F) with good air circulation will do.

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Shipping Questions

  1. Can I request a specific shipping time?

    Yes, you may request a ship date if you wish. Or you can let us select the best time for your area. Mention your request on step 3 of the checkout sequence, and we will honor your request.

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  2. How long will it take to receive my order?

    We normally give you a two week window in which to expect your plants. If spring has arrived to your area and we are currently shipping to your area, you will receive your order within 10 days of ordering. If it is late in the spring, we are usually shipping the next day, avoiding weekend layovers. Also see the question below about requesting specific shipping times. Call our office with any questions.

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  3. When will my order be shipped?

    If you order during the season, your order usually ships within days. However, when booking in advance, the approximate dates below apply unless you prefer to indicate a specific ship week (noted in the third part of the checkout sequence).

    Due to the weather in Northeast Ohio, we are not able to ship before the end of March. We also usually take a break from shipping between mid June and late August as the plants do not typically transport well due to the heat. Weather permitting, we ship through to the end of October.

    In the Spring, we normally ship as follows based on the recommended planting time for your area:

    Zone 3, 4: Mid May

    Zone 5: Late April to Mid May

    Zone 6: Mid to Late April

    Zone 7: Late March to Mid April

    Zone 8: Late March to Early April

    Zone 9, 10: Late March

    In the Fall, we normally ship plants as follows based on the recommended planting time for your area:

    Zone 2, 3, 4: Late August to Early September

    Zone 5: Early September

    Zone 6: Mid September

    Zone 7: Mid to Late September

    Zone 8, 9, 10: Late September to Early October

    Bulbs will ship upon their arrival from Holland, usually late September.

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  4. How much will shipping cost?

    View our shipping chart here.

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  5. 5. How will my plants be shipped?

    Our new packaging system has completely eliminated the use of styrofoam peanuts in our shipping. Our pots are individually protected with custom cardboard sleeves that not only keep the plants themselves from being damaged, but also help keep the soil firmly in place.

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Questions About Our Website

  1. Are all the plants you grow offered on the Net?

    No, but close. We currently have about 95% of our varieties on our site. You are welcome to call if you don't see a variety you want, we are probably growing it. If you are looking for an item from last year's catalog that is not on the site, call us, we may have a limited supply available.

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  2. How can I correct my email address on your subscription service?

    You can unsubscribe by clicking on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of one of our emails and then resubscribing with your corrected address.

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  3. How can I use my coupons online?

    If you have coupons to apply to your order, enter the number of the coupon in either the Quick Order box at the top left of the Cart page or the Discount Code box at the bottom of the Cart page. The coupon will then appear in your cart. The site will prompt you if you have not met the requirements of the coupon. Once the requirements are met, your coupon will activate. Still having trouble? We are always here to take your phone order, if that proves easier.

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  4. How do I receive promotional discount codes and coupons?

    Subscribe to our Newsletter online and we will send thank-you coupons. Other offers appear from time to time in our newsletters and on our website. Discount codes are sent out with our printed catalog as a bonus offer for placing orders early. Ordering early helps us plan production better and be more efficient and we can pass these savings along to you.

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  5. How can I save a wishlist for future reference?

    You must create an online account to save a wishlist. If you are already logged in to your established account, you can move any item from your cart to your wishlist for future reference at any time.

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  6. What does the "Specials" designation mean?

    This item is specially priced for a limited time. Specials items cannot be combined with a Discount code.

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  7. What does "Value Priced! No Discounts Apply" mean?

    Our everyday low price on these items is so low that we cannot discount them further, so no promotions apply to these items.

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  8. How can I redeem my Gift Certificate,Credit Voucher, or Discount Code on line?

    Please enter Gift Certificates on the first page of the checkout sequence. We will check the number of your certificate and the amount to verify its validity before your card is charged. Discount codes can be entered on the first page of checkout, or in the cart. Credit Vouchers are no longer redeemable online. Please give us a call or email if you have one that is still valid. If you have trouble with any of these, please don't hesitate to call or email us.

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  9. How/When is my bankcard processed?

    Bankcards are not processed automatically by the website. We process them from our offices here after your internet order has been received, reviewed, and booked on our in house computer system. This means that if you should happen to select an unavailable item, you will not be billed for it. Bankcards are charged within a day or two of when the plants are ordered.

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  10. How secure is your website?


    We have state-of-the-art security!

    Several years ago we completely removed any payment information from our systems. When you trust us with an order you are entering your bank card information on a remote hardened server that's only job is to communicate directly with the bank card companies. This server is completely firewalled from the internet and only accepts input from our payment page. (We call it "The Vault"!) Your information is immediately exchanged for a "token" ID number that only has significance to the bank card processor. Your bankcard information is never stored or saved anywhere when doing business with us.

    This is the most secure and safest way known to handle transactions on the internet. Very few companies have taken these extraordinary steps to ensure their customer's data. We highly value your trust and are very proud that when we say, "you can order from Bluestonewith confidence" - we mean it!

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Questions About Bluestone

  1. Company background?

    Bluestone is a family owned and operated business founded in 1972. We grow and ship over 3 million plants a year nationwide. See our About Us section to learn more.

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  2. Can I visit?

    Yes, although we do not have display gardens, we do have thousands of visitors come and browse our mail-order setup. We're located half-way between Cleveland, Ohio and Erie, Pennsylvania. It's a great way to see 900+ varieties all alphabetized on tables. We also have mums, shrubs, bedding annuals, hanging baskets, and in the fall, bulbs. Find out where we're located! Or you can take our new virtual tour.

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  3. Where do your plants come from?

    We are one of the last nurseries on a national scale which propagates, grows, and then ships its own material. We do buy in some of our stock, but basically it is all done here.

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  4. What is your catalog like?

    Our catalog is full of pictures, information on our varieties, and recommendations for far north or southern areas. It’s good for spring or fall seasons and many people like to use the website, and the printed catalog together. You can request a catalog on almost every page of our site.

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