Frequently Asked Questions:
Why aren't you open year-round, and why are you closed Mondays & Tuesdays?
We'd love to be open for a longer retail season, but if we want to continue to grow over 90% of our own plants, we don't have the space or staffing capabilities to balance our production demands with being open year-round. Summer-winter is a critical sanitation, propagation, sowing and transplant period, and we need all hands on deck for that work. We do however offer a short fall season for shrubs, trees and seasonal blooming plants.
How do you price your plants? Are they cheaper by the flat?
We price the vast majority of our plants based on the size of the pot they're in. Generally, the bigger the pot, the bigger the plant, the bigger the price (and vice versa). Because we don't use a barcode system (opting instead for the down home pen-and-pad method), we rely on the visual of pot sizes to quickly add your cart up at the checkout. This way, we don't have to identify every plant and correlate it to a specific price, which could take forever! Barcodes would be handy (though likely lead to a longer wait), but the cost of our plants would increase dramatically if we were to switch to that system, as we would need at least two more year-round employees to do nothing but label pots!
Why don't you do 6-packs or offer all species in small as well as large pots?
When deciding which size pot would be best for a certain plant, we take many things into consideration: mature plant size and habit, moisture retention, air circulation, finish time (time it takes plant to reach sellable size), price of young plant material, labor, square footage of bench/floorspace, supply and demand, and a bunch more fun stuff. That’s why we avoid 6-packs or smaller potted bedding plants: yes, they are cheaper, but you sacrifice root space, moisture retention and proper air circulation during the most critical growth period in the plant’s life cycle, leading to nutritional deficiency, stunted growth and inconsistent flower production. We do try to offer some of our perennials in both 6" and 4" sizes (the 4" pots being our younger generation), so that folks can purchase them at highly competitive prices.
When does the sale start? (Our most frequent question, typically asked during a sale:-)
There is almost always a sale going on at Painters - our official 'sale season' starts around mid-April, but keep an eye open for discounts in March and early April as well. Sign up for our newsletter on the homepage if you want reminders and more details. In the past, with each new sale, more items were reduced and prices continually decreased until our final clearance/blowout sale at the end of the season (June). We plan on basing our sales more on inventory in the future to avoid waste, so it may be best to grab what you want during a sale before we sell out rather than assuming it will continue to decrease in price and still be available in a few weeks. We will of course continue to have our famous end of season 'blow-out' sale!
Do you have any other discounts such as veteran, senior citizen or non-profit?
We offer a 10% Military Discount to all active duty, reserve and retired military personnel (valid U.S. Military I.D. required at time of purchase). Unfortunately, if we offered further discounts to senior citizens, that would probably account for 80% of our customer base and we might go bankrupt. :-)
For all customers, once they spend $500, they qualify for 10% off all purchases for the rest of that calendar year. We have Reward Cards to help you (and us) keep track and get an alert once you hit the $500 mark. (The 10% Reward Card discount unfortunately cannot be combined with the 10% Military discount.) We also offer discounts to non profits - if you bring your 501(c) verification then we can offer you 15% off of your order regardless of total (and we often are able to donate a portion also). We donate to up to 100 different nonprofits and charitable ventures each season!
At the end of the season we have a Non-Profit Day when we invite qualified folks to come load up on our leftover plants for free. In the past, this has been a first-come/first-serve situation, but we've decided to amend it slightly. We would like to ensure that all food pantries, school and group home gardens who apply get plants, so anyone who contacts us from one of these will definitely be admitted. For all other nonprofits, we invite you to apply for the donation day and we will have a lottery, pulling a select number each season. We will likely have enough plants to serve all who apply, but you may want to grab some items during our June closeout pricing just in case. (Make sure to send us an email if you want to be on this list.)
The plant I purchased from you appears to be dying/dead. What is your return policy?
We want all of our customers to be happy with their Painters purchases. If you have an issue with a Painters plant, please give us a call or email us with a description of the problem. While we do not have a 100% return/refund policy, we typically offer an exchange of equal value if the plant has died within the season purchased. Exchanges will not be honored if the plant was obviously neglected (e.g. dried out or burned) or if it shows signs of pest or disease acquired after purchase (if a plant is returned because a vole ate the roots, we obviously know the issue didn't originate at Painters). For plants that fail to overwinter, we typically do not offer exchanges or refunds unless there were signs of declining health in the 5+ warmer months after purchase (If we have a really harsh winter, there may be losses regardless of how healthy the plants were when planted!).
We do not offer refunds/exchanges on clearance plants - these have been priced low with the understanding that they may not be as healthy or there is a chance they won't make it - buy at your own risk!
Note: Certain species such as Rhododendron, Mountain Laurel and Azaleas have a much lower likelihood of overwintering success in years 1-3, so there is always some risk associated with planting them (1 in 4 Rhododendrons is likely to fail).
We are a small business and grow most of our own plants, so we cannot offer the same blanket refund policy as most garden centers who have their shrubs and trees supplied (and replaced) by large-scale nursery companies. Thanks for your understanding!
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept all major credit/debit cards, offer tap & pay and Apple pay and accept cash. Other than the cash, we can offer hands-free payment to help keep things safe.
Other than in emergency cases or when our power goes out, we do not accept checks. We have had to make this policy because of the risk of bouncing checks as well as the significant time involved in prepping bank deposits when checks are involved. Even if we know you or you are frequent customer, we ask that you come prepared with a card or cash - it will definitely help us out!
Do you hold plants? Do you deliver plants? Do you offer landscaping/installation services?
We unfortunately do not have the means to hold or deliver plants. All plants are sold directly on site - first come, first serve! Those of you who are regulars probably understand why - things can get a tad busy, and even if we could make the space for holds, there have been many occurrences of desperate plant lovers taking items from areas 'off limits'! That said, if you are making the trip for a specific plant and want to be sure it is still here when you arrive, we can typically set aside small numbers of plants if you'll be by within 24 hours; give a call or send an email and we will do our best to accommodate!
We do not have a landscaping department and unfortunately aren't able to design and plant pots or baskets to order; we simply don't have the time or resources. That said, there is usually someone available to help with basic design questions and we have some local landscapers we can recommend for large scale design needs as well as basic maintenance or planting work.
Note: If you have a medical condition preventing you from wearing a mask and/or any other medical condition preventing you from shopping for yourself, we do our best to accomodate orders. It might take us a few days to get your order together, so please be patient with us! If you need to use this option, please email us a detailed order and we can reply letting you know which items are available in what sizes/at what prizes, and let you know when we can have it ready for pickup.
I drove all the way from _________ to get here and you don’t have _______ even though it's on your posted Availability List?! Gahhhhh!
While we have 1,500+ varieties listed on our availability, keep in mind that they may not all be available at the same time. As stated on our Sales page, our list is meant to represent what we have planned for the entire season. Certain crops require longer growth periods, prefer the warmer months, etc., so it is best to email or call ahead to ensure that your desired plants are currently ready for sale. We may also have a crop failure and sell out of something quickly. Occasionally, an entire inventory can disappear in a matter of hours, (especially during a sale) - therefore if you contact us to ask about availablity of a particular plant, we recommend coming that same day to ensure it is still there. We are very proud to grow and sell our own plants, but this means we are limited by our planned inventory for the year, particularly with herbaceous perennials. With the exception of some shrubs and trees grown by a local nursery, we cannot ship in more plants to replace items sold out. Some annuals, veggies and herbs are grown in multiple successive plantings, so we often have more that will be ready soon - just ask if you don't see something or if something is running low!
Why are parts of your sales floor off limits?
It is a unique challenge to grow and maintain such a wide variety of plant crops in our limited space, and therefore much of our retail area is also our growing space. As a result, you may sometimes find aisles marked as off-limits or plants labeled ‘not ready for sale’ because they still need time to become fully rooted and ready for transplanting. (Most retail garden centers ship in fully mature plants from elsewhere, which means they have more freedom with their retail area and layout.) We also have a permanent stock and propagation aisle that is always off-limits; please respect the signage and tape.
Can my dog shop with me?
We have learned over the years that having multiple dogs in a greenhouse retail area is not ideal for several reasons - there have been doggie confrontations, loud barking, 'accidents' in the walkways, damaged plants, bitten or scared children, and very overheated and stressed out dogs.
The only dogs permitted within the shopping area are Service Animals or Therapy Dogs. Of course, if someone was unaware of this policy prior to arriving, we don't want any pups getting overheated in cars so we will make a one-time acception (if you see other dogs on the premises this is often the case).
We hope you can understand our reasoning - please know that we are avid animal lovers!
Do you carry a plant that blooms January to December, requires zero maintenance, comes back every year, tolerates complete shade and full sun, gets real big real quick and glows in the dark?
Sadly, no. But you can always check with Lowes:-)
Can I smoke my cigarette, cigar or vape in the parking lot?
We ask that all customers respect our no smoking policy, including all areas of the property. While the policy was made in part for the protection and comfort of people, it is especially critical to the health of our plants. Tobacco and nicotine both have the potential to cause serious damage to plants, including the deadly Tobacco Mosaic Virus. We ask that everyone respects the need for us to protect our product, and if you have recently smoked, please avoid excessive touching of plants (especially petunias and tomatoes). This may seem extreme, but we once lost thousands of petunias to this virus, so it's no joke! We thank you for your understanding and compliance with this necessary Painters policy.
What do I do if I find an insect on a plant while shopping or once I bring it home?
If you know your plant pests and are sure of identity (mealbugs, spidermites or aphids being the most obvious), then please let us know if you spot any! If you are unsure, we can help identify (either in person or via photo), as you may actually be seeing a 'beneficial insect' - we apply beneficials to many of our crops to help keep the pests under control as specific species will eat specific pest species.