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Frequently Asked Questions

We answer your most frequently asked questions - shipping, delivery, availability, payment, plant size etc. The answers to almost all your questions are here:

Our customer service is closed on public holidays so please check here for information before calling or emailing on those days.


Delivery During Coronavirus

Australia Post and courier companies are considered 'Essential Services' by the government. We also will continue to work through the crisis. Thank you for being patient and understanding.

We are experiencing very high levels of orders currently. We are packing every weekday and weekends. We have all available staff packing orders, while following social distancing practice to keep them safe.

Please allow at least 10 working days for us to pack your order during this global pandemic. You will be sent an email as soon as your order is packed and shipped. No email? Your order has not been shipped. We can't give you an expected shipping date in advance.

Nursery Pickup has resumed - we are following Covid-19 best practice and have sanitiser in reception

 

How much is delivery?

Our minimum charge is $15.95. This covers a box of up to 16 plants. Orders over $260 are P&P free.
Between that, the rate is determined by the size of your order - see the rate for your order at View and Edit Cart before checking out.
WA addresses incur a $10 fee as a contribution to the cost of biosecurity inspections. This is included in the shipping cost.

 

How long will my plants take to arrive?

We usually suggest allowing 5-7 working days from date of shipping notification on average. At busier times, particularly mid-Spring, holiday periods, and during global pandemics, they may take up to 15 working days.
Sometimes, especially in urban areas, they may arrive earlier. Our Customer Reviews page shows some orders can turn up within 24 hours!

We do not control courier or post delivery schedules. This is under the control of AusPost or the courier company. Read more on current shipping schedules at the AusPost website here . If your parcel returns to the depot, or is rerouted, that is not under our control. We avoid packing on the weekday before a public holiday so plants aren't held up at the postal depot over the long weekend.

We ship to WA once a week, to minimise the time the plants spend in transit. Please allow 14 working days from shipping notification for your WA parcel to arrive.

WA Shipping resumed 23 June.

 

Will my plants be ok on the journey?

Yes. We pre-treat and specially hydrate all plants before shipping, so they can survive unforeseen delays like those Loraine encountered during Covid-19 :
"I ordered my plants on the 4th April and received them today the 23rd. After 19 days they are absolutely perfect. Thank you so much for being a REALLY professional organisation." Loraine - April 2020 Waikerie SA

 

Where do you send plants?

We ship to Australia only - NSW, QLD, VIC, ACT, SA, WA. We have customers on the coast, in the hinterland, rainforest, snowfields and outback. We've sent to remote cattle stations and inner city apartments - from Thursday Island to Thargomindah, Fitzroy Crossing to Frankston.

 

Why can't you send me the plants I want?

We can send most of our plants to SA, VIC and WA - but not all. Azalea, Blueberry, and natives in the Myrtaceae family, (such as lilly pilly, bottlebrush, NZ Christmas bush, tea tree) in particular are restricted by state biosecurity laws, to protect commercial agricultural crops. (See a full list of plants we can't ship to you. ) We don't break the law.

 

Can I change my delivery date? Can you hold my order for me until I need it?

We pack and ship orders as fast as we can. Then we hand them to the courier or AusPost and it's up to their schedules when they deliver to you. If you don't want your plants to arrive for a couple of weeks, order them later. If you want us to look after them for you, there's a $15 fee for holding orders to cover ongoing maintenance and care of your plants. Please have your complete order and credit card ready when you call.


How can I pay?

We take Paypal, Credit or Debit Card (Visa, Mastercard). Paypal account is Sunshine Flowers t/a Australian Plants Online.
We don't take Afterpay as they charge us twelve times what the banks do and we don't want to raise our prices to cover that.

 

I have a discount code - How do I apply it?

Click the Cart symbol at the top of the page. Click the green View and Edit My Cart button which takes you to your cart. In the box under Discount Codes, enter your code exactly.
Click Apply Coupon. You'll see the discount applied in the brown subtotal box. If your code is not applying, check your order qualifies under the terms of the code. Our loyalty reward code applies only to plants, for instance.

 

How do I get a discount code?

We give discount codes to current customers, to thank them for choosing Australian Plants Online. Occasionally we send out discount codes and offers through our weekly email letter, for use on individual products or categories.
We do not publish codes on the internet, so if you see a discount code for APO on a shopping website, it's a fake.

 

Can I apply a discount code after I have paid?

No. If you forget to apply your discount code before paying, we cannot apply it retrospectively.

 

I have a Gift Card - How do I use it?

Click the Cart symbol at the top of the page. Click the green View and Edit My Cart button which takes you to your cart. In the box under Gift Cards, enter your code exactly as it is on the email.
Click Add Gift Card. You'll see the card applied in the subtotal box. You can also check your balance there.

 

Can I order in bulk?

Yes. You can order as much stock as is available on the site. If our stock levels show 'in stock' without a quantity, there's at least 100 plants available. If you need 150, put that number in the box- the site will tell you if we don't have that many.

If you are a landscaper or nursery owner and need very large numbers (ie regular deliveries of several hundred plants), then ask to talk to our Nursery Manager about wholesale supply.


What will my plants look like?

We grow and sell what are known in the trade as tubestock plants. This technical term means that they are much bigger than a plug or seedling - they are a young plant, usually between 5cm and 15cm tall (depending on the type of plant), grown from a cutting, seed, or Tissue Culture, with a healthy strong root system.
You can see examples on almost every product page.

Please note: plants are living things, variable in nature. We do not produce them in a factory. Sizes and photos are a guide only. We always send out the very best plants we have in stock. We do not refund just because the plants are a different size to the photos online, or tubestock you have ordered previously, or your expectations.

 

How big will my plants grow? How fast will they grow?

Plants are living things, variable in nature. We give mature height and width sizes on the website as a guide only.
If you have rich fertile soil and regular irrigation, your plants will grow faster and may get larger. If you have poor soil and do not irrigate or feed, or your garden is on a windy or exposed site, your plants may grow smaller or take longer to reach mature size.

 

What plants do you sell?

We grow and sell over 1000 different kinds of plants. We select plants that will do well in Australian gardens, climates and soil types. We sell natives, exotics, tropical plants, drought tolerant plants, frost tolerant plants, succulents, fruit, herbs, bulbs in season, and seeds.
We do NOT sell mature plants, full-grown plants, or 'standard' plants - all our plants are tubestock.

 

Are the plants in stock?

The website is live and updated regularly, showing all the products we have in stock. If it says 21 plants are in stock, 21 plants are in stock.
If our stock levels show 'in stock' without a quantity, there's at least 100 plants available.

If you can't see the plant you want in the online catalog, please use the search facility to look for it - we only show products that are in stock or coming within the nest week or two within the main website. If the plant you want doesn't show in search, first check the spelling. If that is correct, then we don't stock it.

 

Why do you supply tubestock plants?

  • It makes it much cheaper for you to buy. Sending full grown plants through the post is also very expensive.
  • Your plants are packed by hand into specially-designed purpose-built packaging, so the plants are fully protected throughout their journey to you.
  • One carton of plants will often fit in a large mailbox so you’ll find it secure when you get home – no waiting in for a delivery.
  • We can send plants to more places. However remote you are, if you can get postal delivery, you can get our plants. You can also pick your plants up from a PO Box.
  • Tubestock plants are reliable, already growing, and match the parent plant - so you get exactly what you expect.
  • Tubestock plants have fast-growing root systems - as soon as you plant them out they will start to grow, soon catching up with more expensive larger plants.
  • Smaller plants mean less work for you – with our tubestock plants you just need to push some soil aside using a hand trowel, not dig out a big trench with a spade.
  • Large plants grown in pots often become ‘pot bound’ which means that their roots are too tightly packed to grow any further. Even when you plant them out they may not spread and grow. There’s no chance of this with tubestock plants.
  • You can select a range of plants best suited to your garden, often for little more money than one single larger plant would cost you from a retail nursery.
  • Because the plants are great value, you can try out different varieties and colours without risk.


Have you got my order?

If you have placed your order successfully, you'll see a confirmation message on the screen. We also send you a confirmation email.

We have high volumes of orders currently and are packing every weekday and weekends. Please allow at least 10 working days for us to pack your order during this global pandemic. We have all available staff packing orders, while following social distancing practice to keep them safe.

When your plants are packed and ready to ship, you'll be sent a second email with Tracking Number.
If you haven't received this second email, your plants are waiting to be packed, safe and receiving our high standard of nursery care. We can't give you an expected shipping date in advance.
Successful payment for order, but no confirmation email? Please check spam and junk folders as emails sometimes go astray. Then get in touch with our customer service on (07) 5451 3506 during office hours, or via email, so we can help.

 

How long will my plants take to arrive?

We usually suggest allowing 5-7 working days from date of shipping notification on average. At busier times, particularly mid-Spring, holiday periods, and during global pandemics, they may take up to 15 working days.
Sometimes, especially in urban areas, they may arrive earlier. Our Customer Reviews page shows some orders can turn up within 24 hours!

We do not control courier or post delivery schedules. This is under the control of AusPost or the courier company. If your parcel returns to the depot, or is rerouted, that is not under our control. We avoid packing on the weekday before a public holiday so plants aren't held up at the postal depot over the long weekend.

We ship to WA once a week, to minimise the time the plants spend in transit. Please allow 14 working days from shipping notification for your WA parcel to arrive.

WA Shipping resumed 23 June.
Read more on current schipping schedules at the AusPost website here

 

Can I order just one plant?

Yes of course! We don't make you buy ten of the same. Tip: our smallest boxes fit 16 plants, so make the most of your minimum shipping cost.

 

Can I change/add items to my order after I've paid?

No. Once you pay and checkout, we can't add extras or make swaps or change your order in any way.

If you think you might want extra or different plants, open up an account first - and save your choice. Your selection is saved for seven days. When you're sure your order is complete, then you can checkout and pay.

 

Can I visit the nursery and choose my plants in person?

No. We are not open to the public except for collection of pre-ordered nursery pickup. All orders are placed through the website, even those for nursery pickup from Reception. We always select the best, largest-size plants for shipping.

 

Can you place my order for me over the phone?

Yes. There is a $15 charge for the admin time involved. Please have your complete order and credit card ready when you call.

 

Can you hold my order for me until I need it?

Yes. There is a $15 charge for temporarily holding orders to cover maintenance and care of your plants. Please have your complete order and credit card ready when you call.

 


Problems with your order?

Problems occasionally happen. We understand that. Here's how to sort it out:

  • Please check all product descriptions before you order. We try to give as much information as possible, including care notes and dimensions, and whether products are seeds or bulbs or tubestock plants. It's up to you to decide if the plant is right for your climate and location.
  • Please check your order when it arrives. If there is a problem, please contact our customer service direct on (07) 5451 3506 or email us via the Contact Us page, as soon as possible, and certainly within 7 days. If you do not phone or email our customer service within 7 days of receipt we cannot accept responsibility for any issues or delivery problems after that.
  • We can't process order problems via our social media accounts- we do not check those accounts daily, and cannot track your orders through their platforms.
  • Let us know your full name and email address - the ones you used to place the order - and the order number if you have it, so we can track your order faster.
  • Email us photographs of the plants so we can see the problem and take steps to identify and rectify it.

Our Errors
  • We have sent you plants that are not the variety or product you ordered : We will issue a credit for the value of your plants, or mail you replacement plants if we have them available.
  • You have ordered a plant which is not yet of flowering size, and when it flowers, you discover it is not the variety you ordered : Please follow the steps above. We understand in this case you will not be able to contact us in 7 days, so you will need to let us know as soon as the plant first flowers.
Shipping Problems
All our orders are hand packed with care, and leave our nursery in the very best condition possible. We select the largest and healthiest plants we have available to send. However, issues can occasionally arise in transit which we have no control over.
  • Your plants arrive in poor condition : We will issue a credit for the value of your plants, or mail you replacement plants if we have them available.
    'Poor condition' means unlikely to live and thrive. We don't refund plants just because they don't look exactly like the photos on the website.
Your Errors
  • You have mistakenly ordered seeds or bulbs thinking they were plants : You can return them to us at your own cost within 7 days of receipt for a refund of the product cost. We will not refund shipping costs.
  • You have ordered the wrong plant, or changed your mind since purchase : We do not accept returns or issue refunds for plants bought in error.
  • You have ordered a gift or garden care item that you now do not want : (not including gift cards, and live plants.) You can return them to us at your own cost within 7 days of receipt for a refund of the product cost. We will not refund shipping costs.
You can see our full Terms & Conditions here.

 

Can I cancel my order?

Yes. There is a $5 charge for the admin time involved if you cancel immediately. We'll refund the balance of your order within ten working days.
If you cancel after we have packed your order we charge 20% of the value of the order to cover unpacking your plants and returning them to the nursery.
We recommend making use of the Account options to save your plants until you are sure you are ready to check out, so you don't have to cancel.

 

Problems logging in or checking out?

If you're having trouble progressing through the checkout form, make sure all the required boxes are completed and 'update' buttons clicked. Occasionally they can reset.

Sometimes certain browsers can cause issues - try using another browser eg Chrome, Firefox, IE and see if that does the trick. Or try another payment method - occasionally PayPal has communication issues with retail sites.

If you're still having issues, call us on 07 5451 3506 during office hours 8am-3.30pm Mon-Thur, 8am-12 noon Fri. Outside office hours, please send us an email at [email protected] australianplantsonline.com.au so we can get back to you.

If you get an error message, emailing us a screenshot of the issue and the time it occurred helps our developers to locate and identify the problem.


How do I look after my new plants?

  • Unpack them carefully from their packaging. You can recycle the packaging.
  • Make sure they are all ok, and what you ordered. (We don’t make mistakes very often but if we do please contact us on 07 5451 3506 as soon as possible.)
  • Give them a little water.
  • Look at our planting hints for tips on how to plant out or pot on your new plants.
  • Many of the plants we sell do very well in pots and containers – so if you want them to grow on a little before you plant them out into your garden you can plant them into a slightly bigger pot.

 

Where do I plant a tree safely?

If you have ordered one of our trees, then there is a general rule of thumb for good planting.

Take the full-grown height of the tree, multiply by one-and-a-half, and plant that far away from your house. So if your tree will eventually grow to 10m high, you plant it 15m away from your property. That gives the roots room to grow without creating problems in the future.

Remember to take into account any overhead power lines or other obstructions. There’s nothing sadder than a healthy tree that has had to be ruthlessly pruned to fit around a telephone wire.


All our plants are packed in our bespoke boxes. The boxes fit multiples of 16 plants. We secure everything in thoroughly so that your plants reach you in the best condition.

All the plants are watered and specially treated to reduce water evaporation in transit. We also label each variety of plant so you can identify your purchases.


Plants are natural things and grow according to the seasons. We aim to have our best-sellers available as many weeks of the year as possible.
On every product page you can see, under the product name, when we estimate products to be back in stock.
If the product you want is out of stock, put your email address in the box on the product page, and we'll email you when it's ready to order.

If the product says Out of Stock and Back in Stock: Now, that means it's just sold out and we haven't had a chance to change to estimated back in stock date.

  • We are 100% Australian-owned.
  • Our plants are all grown in Australia (on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland).
  • We only sell to Australian gardeners
  • We choose plants which will thrive and succeed in Australian gardens and climates, and which suit Australian styles of garden.
  • We sell a wide range of native plants (more than some "specialist" nurseries, by the way) - and we also sell non-native plants which are loved and enjoyed by Australian gardeners.

Just because a plant is native doesn't mean it could - or should - be grown everywhere in Australia. Our country ranges from inland desert to coastal saltmarsh, tropical rainforest to mountainous snowfield. If you want to only grow natives, we recommend visiting your local council website which can give you a list of species endemic to your specific local area.

We have a whole page on our nursery - Click here!

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A.B.N 55 128 854 893