Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Bluestone 100% Guarantee?
- What is a Perennial?
- How old are the plants when shipped? What size are the plants when shipped?
- What size are your pots?
- What hardiness zone am I in? What plants will do well in my zone?
- Can I send a gift to a friend?
- Does Bluestone use sprays containing Neonicotinoids?
- My plants just arrived. What should I do now?
- How often should I water?
- How late in the fall can I plant my order?
- How early in the spring can I plant my order?
- Should I use an overwintering mulch?
- How do I care for my Clematis?
- Can I overwinter perennials in a container?
- When do I plant my bulbs - what should I do?
- How many plants do I need?
- Can I request a specific shipping time?
- How long will it take to receive my order?
- When will my order be shipped?
- How much will shipping cost?
- How will my plants be shipped?
- How do you combine orders?
- Can I pick up my online order at the nursery? Can it be contact free?
Questions About Our Website
- Are all the plants you grow offered on the website?
- How can I correct my email address on your subscription service?
- How can I use my coupons online?
- How do I receive discount codes and coupons?
- How can I save a wishlist for future reference?
- How can I redeem my Gift Certificate, or Discount Code online?
- How/When is my bankcard processed?
- How secure is your website?
- Did my order go through?
Questions About Bluestone
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.Return to General Questions
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. The range of flowering times, colors, heights, foliage color, and textures make for a fascinating plant pallete to create a landscape with.Return to General Questions
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.Return to General Questions
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, in which case, sizes might vary, but only slightly.Return to General Questions
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.Return to General Questions
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.Return to General Questions
Does Bluestone use sprays containing Neonicotinoids?
Insecticides containing Neonicotinoids have been receiving quite a bit of press lately and are implicated in possibly contributing to the decline in the bee population and other pollinating insects. Although studies continue to be run, in our efforts to be good stewards, we have not used any product containing Neonicotinoids since 2012.Return to General Questions
My plants just arrived. What should I do now?
Here are the full instructions: Upon Receipt of Your Order. Basically, 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 a day or two, 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.Return to Questions About Plant Care
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.Return to Questions About Plant Care
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 early September to early November (weather permitting). The farther north you are the sooner you would want to receive your order.Return to Questions About Plant Care
How early in the spring can I plant my order?
With the exception of the garden mums, 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.Return to Questions About Plant Care
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, its 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.Return to Questions About Plant Care
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.Return to Questions About Plant Care
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.Return to Questions About Plant Care
When do I plant my bulbs - what should I do?
Our bulbs usually arrive in late September from Europe and are shipped out by late October. If the temperatures have not yet cooled in your area (zones 8,9,10 especially), it may be best to store your bulbs until they do. Keep them in a cool, dark, dry place until the conditions are favorable. Conditions are best about 6 weeks before the soil freezes, when day temperatures begin to drop to 55°F. This usually happens when night-time temperatures are dipping to 50° or cooler consistently. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator - it is too moist and some foods can be affected.Return to Questions About Plant Care
How many plants do I need?
Link through to our Tips & Tricks article for help on this topic.Return to Questions About Plant Care
Can I request a specific shipping time?
Yes, you may request a ship date if you wish that is within our shipping seasons. Or you can let us select the best time for your area. Mention your request in the checkout sequence, and we will honor your request to the very best of our ability.Return to Shipping Questions
How long will it take to receive my order?
In the pre-season, 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 7-10 days of ordering, often sooner. If it is late in the spring, we are usually shipping the next weekday. Also see the question below about requesting specific shipping times. Call our office with any questions - we are standing by to help.Return to Shipping Questions
When will my order be shipped?
If you order during the season, your order usually ships within days (unless otherwise indicated at checkout). 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 take a break from shipping between mid June and the first of September. Fall shipping typically finishes at the end of October or as the weather closes down in NE Ohio.
In the Spring, we ship as follows based on the recommended planting time for your area (unless otherwise indicated at checkout):
Zone 3, 4: Early to Mid May
Zone 5: Late April to Early May
Zone 6: Mid to Late April
Zone 7: Early to Mid April
Zone 8: Early April
Zone 9, 10: Early April
In the Fall, we ship plants as follows based on the recommended planting time for your area (unless otherwise indicated at checkout):
Zone 2, 3, 4: Early SeptemberReturn to Shipping Questions
Zone 5: Early - Mid September
Zone 6: Mid September
Zone 7: Mid to Late September
Zone 8, 9, 10: Late September to Early October
Bulbs begin shipping upon their arrival from Holland, usually in late September.
How much will shipping cost?
View our shipping chart here.Return to Shipping Questions
How will my plants be shipped?
Our new packaging system has completely eliminated the use of styrofoam peanuts in our shipping and all packing materials are recyclable. 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.Return to Shipping Questions
How do you combine orders?
We combine orders to help you save on shipping costs. Once you place an order for spring shipping, we will combine any further orders from you with the original so they reflect a single order. We will only add an additional shipping charge if the new order total moves into the next rate chart band. Please note: If ordering online, you will see shipping charges on every order. Your credit card is not charged at that time! Once we bring the orders into our system, we will combine the orders and adjust the shipping charge accordingly.Return to Shipping Questions
Can I pick up my online order at the nursery? Can it be contact free?
For Contact Free Pick up: Place your order online as above. Let us know the date you are coming (a day or two notice please) and whether you want it boxed. Put that info in the Special Instructions section on the last page of checkout. The shipping reflected on the site won’t be charged. When you arrive, please head straight out back to the Outlet and park very close to the garden outlet entrance and honk politely. Someone will be out. Call 800-852-5243 if assistance is needed.Return to Shipping Questions
Questions About Our Website
Are all the plants you grow offered on the website?
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.Return to Website Questions
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.Return to Website Questions
How can I use my coupons online?
If you have coupons to apply to your order, enter them in your cart. Type the number of the coupon in the Discount/Coupon Code box at the right 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. Here is how to contact us.
How do I receive discount offers and coupons?
Subscribe to our Newsletter online and we will send offers and coupons from time to time. New discount offers will be emailed to you as they occur as a subscriber. Other offers appear from time to time in our newsletters and on our website.Return to Website Questions
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, from any device.Return to Website Questions
How can I redeem my Gift Certificate or Discount Code online?
Discount codes can be entered in the cart. 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. If you are paying with PayPal, the site cannot apply a gift certificate. Contact us and we will credit the gift certificate amount back to your PayPal account. If you have trouble with any of these, please don't hesitate to call or email us.Return to Website Questions
How/When is my bankcard processed?
Bankcards are not processed automatically by the website. We process them from our offices 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.Return to Website Questions
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 thats 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 encrypted and exchanged for a Token - an 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. We have taken extraordinary steps to ensure the security of your data. We highly value your trust and are very proud that when we say, "you can order from Bluestone with confidence" - we mean it!
Did my order go through?
After hitting the submit button, you should immediately see a Receipt page with your order number. A few minutes later a confirmation email should arrive. Here's another way to tell: If the items are still in your cart, you probably didn't place the order successfully. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with our office whenever you have any concerns.Return to Website Questions
Questions About Bluestone
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.Return to Questions about Bluestone
Can I visit?
**COVID UPDATE**Our Facilities are closed to the public for Fall of 2020, and we are not accepting tours or walk-in customers. Orders can be placed online for curbside pickup if desired.Return to Questions about Bluestone
Where do your plants come from?
We are one of the last nurseries on a national scale to propagate, grow, and then ship its own material. We do buy in some of our plants for stock, but basically it is all done here.Return to Questions about Bluestone
What is your printed catalog like?
Our catalog is full of pictures, information on our varieties, and recommendations for far planting solutions. It is sent out for spring and fall seasons and many people like to use the website and the printed catalog together. You can request a catalog anytime and receive it within 2 weeks.Return to Questions about Bluestone