TLDR: I would definitely buy again from Carnivorous Plant Nursery and Flytrap King. I am less likely to buy again from California Carnivores and from Jeremiah’s Plants.
Flytrap King (6/19)- Asheville, NC, USA
Plants Purchased: S. “Judith Hindle” 3in potted
- Pros: Despite the name of Fly Trap King, selection of Sarrs is the vast majority of inventory; fast, potted shipping in very well packaged materials; very healthy plant
- Cons: Limited variety of CPs
Plants Purchased: Sarracenia ( x 'Godzuki' ) x purpurea ssp. purpurea "New Jersey" 3in potted
- Pros: Wide selection overall; some interesting and complex hybrids; great care information; healthy plant
- Cons: Definitely pricey in comparison to others; size info less accurate than others; plant came potted with some other plants (D. Binata and an unknown utric. I guess this can be seen as a positive since the sundew is doing well after being repotted).
Plants Purchased: D. Muscipula “Clumping”; D. Muscipula “Petite Dragon” x “Jaws”
- Pros: Wide selection of VFTs; often affordable prices; low shipping costs; if looking for mature VFTs this is a great option again, considering cost.
- Cons: Little aside from VFTs available on CPR currently; Poor communication with CPR and Jeremiah. I made my purchase on 7/5 and that day received an email from CPR saying Jeremiah was away at a conference, should return around 7/10 and that shipping would be delayed. On 7/15 I emailed CPR to get contact info for Jeremiah to check in. They responded on 7/19 after another follow up, seemed like they responded to Jeremiah (who had some travel trouble and didn’t get back until 7/15-7/16 ). The plants arrived on 7/19 in great shape. I am going a trip later in July and did not want plants to arrive while I was away. Got antsy when there was less communication and an unknown timeline for shipping. Rather than the delay itself, my issue was with the poor communication. I did not know that there would be a significant delay until after I made my purchase. I saw that another vendor, Curious Plant (Loveland, Ohio, USA), blasted a notice about shipping delays due to a break on social media and had a persistent banner on their website. Something like that would have been helpful in my case here. Very happy in the end with what I got though.
Plants Purchased: D. Filiformis var. Filiformis 3in; S. Leucophylla 8in
- Pros: Very wide selection of different cp types; detailed care instructions; clear labels to indicate relative ease of growth (plus affordable plant collections specifically for beginners); healthy plants; clear size definitions.
- Cons: Bare root shipping cost ( wrapped in LFSM and paper towel in baggie) unless specified. Normally this keeps shipping costs down, but shipping was still somewhat high (shipping for small temperate sundew and medium Sarr cost as much as the plants)
Plants Purchased: D. Muscipula “Dentate” 3in potted, D. Muscipula “Akai Ryu” 4in potted; N. Sanguinea 3in potted
- Pros: Cheap; well potted; in person customer service (bought at farmers’ market); no shipping costs
- Cons: No online store; limited selection of VFTs and Neps; not CP specific growers (although one grower was very knowledgeable about CP needs and soil ingredients); mixed bag in terms of health and size from selection I saw
Plants Purchased: D. Muscipula ‘Typical’
- Pros: Saving and potentially rehabilitating a doomed plant; it’s cheap; opportunity to practice repotting and experimenting on plant in low stakes way
- Cons: Sick and poorly treated plant; contributing to a system that perpetuates the selling of sick and poorly treated plants
Aside from the above vendors, these are a couple vendors I have not purchased from but am interested in. If you have bought from these before, please share your experience.
Flytrap store- Every review for a plant for I’m interested in on FTS has been nothing but glowing it seems. The next time I’m interested in expanding the VFT collection, this will be my first stop. The main reason I didn’t commit this year is the price. It seems the quality is worth it, but since I am new to growing, it’d be a big bummer to annihilate a $20-30+ plant. Fingers crossed moving forward though.
Cook’s- The variety of types of CP and the low cost is very appealing. In general, a lot of Neps can be pretty pricey and seem advanced in terms of growing technique. Cook seems to strike a nice balance of interesting nep species while still offering competitive prices for them. In my current set up I don’t think I’ll be getting any more neps soon, but in the future, I’d love to expand my collection.
I hope this has been helpful, especially for newish growers. I would love to hear if you have had the similar or different experiences from these vendors. And if there are other vendors with good options for beginners besides these, let me know.