The Succulent Source + Leaf & Clay 🌱 🌵

August 25, 2017

Hey guys! Guess who's back (for the millionth time...)?! I know it seems like I have fallen off the wagon yet again, but I promise I actually haven't! There has been so much going on in my life recently and it has required my undivided attention (and every ounce of my energy *I am beyond exhausted!!*), but I'll probably update you all on all these changes some other time. For now, I'd like to just focus on sharing a somewhat "secret" obsession of mine.

Not very many people actually know this about me, but I really love plants (indoor, outdoor, flowers, shrubs, trees, errythang!). I grew up with a grandmother who had an ever-growing flower garden and my parents always loved having fruit trees and even a few vegetable plants (calling it a vegetable garden may be a bit of a stretch) so perhaps that may be where my love for plants stems from (ha ha, get it?!).

We never had any indoor plants in our home growing up, but for some reason I've become obsessed with them (not too keen on flowering plants indoors at the moment). I just crave a bit of greenery in my home because it's a welcomed break from all the cement that surrounds me. Adding a plant or two really just helps me to feel a bit more "at home" and it's an added bonus to have a little greenery transform an otherwise dull space. 

With that being said, I've recently purchased quite a few succulents to add to my indoor "plant collection" and I'm happy to share my experience with you guys. This was the first time I've ever ordered plants from an online source and I made sure to do a ton of "research" before actually giving my coins away, but regardless of how many reviews and videos I looked up, I was still never quite satisfied. There was still a bit of uncertainty and hesitation on my part because no matter how many reviews I read, it didn't change the simple fact that I would be purchasing a product without having the opportunity to really "inspect" it; and that's something I feel is typically quite important for people when shopping around for plants. You don't know if you're going to be sent a half chewed up or rotting plant, no matter how many claims are posted on the seller's website assuring customers that they "only ship the best."

Despite my reservations, I bit the bullet because my local nurseries really didn't have a good enough assortment of succulents for my liking. So I purchased all of my succulents from 2 online websites- The Succulent Source and Leaf & Clay. Below I have separated the images and as you scroll you will be able to see which succulents where purchased from which website. I'll also be sharing delivery time, conditions the plants arrived in (with photos), and whatever else I can think of! :) I will also link my video where I explain a little and show you everything I bought. So if you're interested in knowing more about my experience with online succulent shops, then just keep on scrolling!


The Succulent Source

The Succulent Source specialises in succulent orders typically for events- weddings, baby/bridal showers etc. But that doesn't mean you can't order from them for your own personal projects. Because they specialise in succulents for events, you are able to place an order and then give them a specific date you will need your succulents by and they are able to postpone your shipping date (of course based on the time frame you have given them). They typically do not offer free shipping on regular orders, the only time I have seen free shipping offered is when they do these Facebook specials to get rid of overgrown, slightly beaten up succulents that aren't fit to be sold for events (typically each box contains 100 succulents at a reasonable price)

The Succulent Source is a family run business so I was happy to support. And because of the nature of their business (mainly catering to events/big projects), they do not typically sell succulents and cacti by their specific species (there are a FEW varieties offered where you are able to purchase these specific species' cuttings, but this is limited and does not apply to every category on the website) . Instead they have various categories to choose from- "Assorted Succulents", "Rosette Succulents", "Succulent & Cactus Mix" etc, and they have detailed explanations of the style of succulents that are offered under each category. Although you may not be able to choose the exact species of succulent or cactus, you can let them know your colour scheme (if your order is for an event) or give them a general idea of your project and they are able to customise your order in that sense. But it is important to note that not every category allows for more colourful options when choosing your plants, so be sure to read their disclaimers (they also let you know which category to select if you want more colourful succulents).

Also worth noting- plants photographed on the website are not guaranteed to be in your order as their stock is constantly changing. And their website is filled with so much useful/helpful information and frequently asked questions that it would be a shame not to utilise any of it. The Succulent Source is also very reasonably priced in my opinion.

My Order
- consisted of 2" Assorted Succulents, Haworthia Assorted Succulents, Cuttings- Assorted Succulents, Cuttings- Wedding Rosette Succulents, hanging Donkey Tail succulents
- order placed on June 6th
- I asked to have the succulents by August 9th
- shipped August 1st
- arrived August 4th
- total shipping cost = $40
- delivered via USPS

My Experience
I did not anticipate how quickly my order would arrive. I requested to have them be here by August 9th, and they arrived 5 days early. Now if you needed your order for a special event, this early delivery would be ideal for you, but not for this girl! I had my succulents shipped to a P.O. box and I was out of the state until August 11th, so I was a little panicked that my box would just be sitting in a cold, dark room for 7 more days. But succulents are very resilient little plants, so once I finally got to them, I made sure they got lots of light and water if needed. 

So while I received my individual succulents, I was still waiting on the 2 hanging Donkey Tails to arrive. On August 1st I was emailed by The Succulent Source, notifying me that their current stock was not in the best of shape and that they would be receiving new Donkey Tail succulents in the following week. They offered to ship those to me once the plants had arrived and that was fine by me. On August 7th I received another email letting me know that soil was very wet and they were waiting for it to dry out before shipping, so that by August 11th my order would be shipped. On August 11th, I received a shipping notification and by August 14th the Donkey Tails had arrived. 

I was extremely pleased with The Succulent Source's customer service because of this. I was in no rush, so it didn't really matter when they shipped the Donkey Tails, so long as I got my package. But regardless, I got all of my succulents in a pretty timely fashion. They truly do strive to ship only the best of what they have and this is very reassuring. 

The only "negative" thing I have to add is the fact that I specified in my order that I would have like to have a nice array of colours, but when I opened my package, there really wasn't much diversity in terms of colour (unless you want to count every shade of green as "a nice array of colours"). But this isn't really a big deal to me, I got over it. It was just really disappointing at first, but it's not the end of the world!

Other things worth noting: my package arrived with no damaged succulents. The box was filled with shipping peanuts, so everything survived the journey. Below you can see the first few images I show what the succulents looked like immediately after unboxing them (sorry for the quality of these images, they were taken on an iPhone because that was all that was available at the moment). And do keep in mind that this is what the plants looked like after having sat in the post office for a couple of days, the box was not immediately opened and the plants had not gotten any sun or water until I was finally back home (and they still look pretty good to me). Also, in the images of the potted succulents, I hadn't gone through and brushed off excess soil from the leaves yet (I had started but some of the leaves were so brittle that they started falling off, so I wanted to wait until they bounced back completely before cleaning off all the dirt) so don't mind that.

Leaf & Clay

Having started out as an Instagram page dedicated to succulents, Leaf & Clay is a fairly new online succulent store. They offer premium succulents and unlike The Succulent Source, Leaf & Clay does not claim to specialise in events so they mainly offer succulents and cacti for purchase by their specific species, while still offering a few signature "Variety Packs"that are hand selected to create "the most diverse and beautiful collection possible." In a variety pack (much like with The Succulent Source) the customer does not chose the species of succulents they would like, rather, they simply select the type of "Pack" they would like- ex. "Awesome Echeveria Pack", "Pastel Party Pack", "Spikey Pack" etc. 

Leaf & Clay is pricier when compared to The Succulent Source, but that may be due, in part, to the fact that they claim to offer "Premium Succulents" and they ship all plants bare-root, without the original nursery pot. I know for one, by having plants shipped bare-root and individually wrapping them for shipment does require more manual labour and a lot more time, so because of this prices tend to be bumped up to compensate for that extra time and labour. 

In terms of shipping costs, they do offer free shipping on orders over $75. They also seem to have various promotions throughout the year that they share through Instagram and/or Facebook, sometimes giving out a free succulent on orders, or giving extra discounts (ranging between 15%-30% off). They also offer 15% off for first time customers when you sign up to be on their mailing list. 

My Order
- consisted of 'Rainbow Radness' Pack, 2 Pachyphytum 'Pink Moonstones', Crassula Conjuncta, Pachyphytum 'Moonstones', Graptoveria 'Bashful', Graptosedum 'Vera Higgins'
- order placed August 18th
- shipped August 21st
- arrived August 23rd
- total shipping cost = $16.45
- delivered via USPS

My Experience
My overall experience with Leaf & Clay has been a positive one, however, I am a little disappointed with the quality of my succulents. For the price point and the exceptional quality of the succulents displayed on their website, I had higher expectations. Of course it is foolish to expect the exact same quality of stock photos because they choose the absolute best to display on their site, however, I still expect a pretty good looking succulent once I open my box.

A few of the succulents seemed a little too beaten up, with leaves falling off as soon as I picked them up, to a few torn and bruised leaves. Sure it's nothing to cry over, and overall I am happy with my purchase, I was just definitely underwhelmed when I opened the box. 

Below I included shots of every stage, from opening the box and unwrapping each individual package, to post-brushing off excess soil from the leaves, and then finally to having them all potted. 

I know this post was super long, but I just wanted to be as thorough as possible. If there's anything I forgot or you're just curious about something and I failed to mention/include it, feel free to comment down below! Other than that, I hope this was somewhat helpful for any of you out there who are the least bit curious about buying succulents online or if you were just curious about these specific websites! :)


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