Plant delivery startup The Sill makes it easy to learn about which plants are right for your home — here’s how it works

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The Sill

  • The Sill is an online company that sells a wide variety of affordable indoor houseplants and delivers them to aspiring green thumbs in the continental US.
  • I first ordered a few plants from the informative, user-friendly site last March and loved the experience.
  • The plants arrived safely and weren’t difficult to take care of, which is why I’ve used The Sill many more times to buy green gifts for my mom and boyfriend.
  • The site makes it easy to find a plant to fit your needs, preferences, and home conditions, plus the proper support to help it thrive.
  • See more: The best houseplants you can buy online

After living in all types of cities, including ones with evergreen trees lining every path and, on the other end of the spectrum, concrete jungles where parks are cherished respites, I’ve discovered I really like being near greenery. So, too, do my friends and peers.

Whether for their aesthetic value, their tactile immediacy that social media and the internet can’t offer, or our desire to care for something that doesn’t require as much commitment as a pet or child, plants are the latest trend to grip millennial consumers.

In the age of online shopping, companies like The Sill are making it easy to order and take care of these delightful succulents, vines, and ferns. The Sill has been especially successful, experiencing 400% year-over-year revenue growth and making 50,000 deliveries across the continental US in 2018.

The Sill launched in 2012 to help city-dwelling millennials who don’t have access to traditional garden centers or the time and space to dive into full-on gardening enjoy the benefits of indoor houseplants. It knows that we like having something green in front of us, but we also want the whole process of obtaining and keeping the green thing alive to be convenient and affordable.

It has physical stores in New York and Los Angeles, where you can take fun monthly workshops, but you don’t have to live in these cities to bring some houseplants home. We tried out The Sill’s online experience so you know what to expect.

Here’s what you’ll find on The Sill

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The Sill

The Sill sells a variety of indoor plants, shoppable by size, light required, and collection (e.g. for beginners, pet-friendly). You can also shop all plants starting at $5 for a virtual garden of all types of plants, from the Monstera Deliciosa with its tropical vibes ($62) to the nearly-impossible-to-kill Zanzibar Gem ($44).

Some come in planters, which are made from either plastic or earthenware and will increase the total cost of the item, while others come un-potted.

On each plant’s product page, you can learn about the brightness, sun exposure, water, and humidity required to take care of it, as well as a brief “bio” about its origins. With this information on hand, you can pick out a plant that you can realistically take care of, not just the one that looks the prettiest.

If you like the consistency of subscriptions, the company also offers $35 subscriptions, which delivers one potted plant to your door every month.

The Sill ships to the contiguous 48 states, with flat shipping fees ranging from $5 to $25 depending on your order total. If you become a member of the Plant Parent Club, you’ll get free shipping on all online orders, along with 10% off online and in-store purchases.

Once you have your plant, there’s a plant care resource center filled with helpful care tips, DIY ideas, and educational articles to support your emerging green thumb.

I ordered a few plants from The Sill – here’s how it worked

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The Sill

I first tried out the service in March 2019 and picked out three small plants to grace my apartment windowsill:

Although I’ve ordered plants online before from another service called Leon & George, which I reviewed here, I still err on the concerned side about how these small plants would travel.

They arrived together in one box at my door, packed in paper bags and wrapped in an additional protective layer of bubble wrap.

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Connie Chen/Business Insider

Despite their trip in a box that had been delivered on its side, the plants emerged unscathed and with little mess. A layer of dry moss packed around each plant helped prevent soil from spilling everywhere.

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Connie Chen/Business Insider

They looked and felt healthy, and with the enclosed care instructions, I planned to keep them that way. So far (knock on wood), they’ve held up well.

April 2020 update: Thirteen months later, I’ve managed to keep my plants alive, in part thanks to The Sill’s helpful Plant Care resource library. After my first experience with the website and service, I knew I could trust its product selection and reliability, which is why I’ve used it multiple more times to order plant gifts for occasions like Mother’s Day and Christmas. I like to add a Ceramic Message Pop or two ($5 each) to these gifts to make them feel even more thoughtful and special. If you’re ordering during holiday seasons, I highly recommend planning ahead and ordering early. This past December, my order took two full weeks to arrive.

The bottom line

I’m still fairly new to the world of houseplants, but I liked that The Sill offered a large variety to choose from that you could mix and match. I didn’t have to deal with transporting the plants back home, and once they did find their place by my window, I felt confident enough to care for them.

More than just ship you beautiful, low-maintenance plants, The Sill is inspiring a generation of shoppers to get in touch with the natural world and showing them the benefits of plant care. If you’re looking for affordable indoor houseplants and the support and information you’ll need to make the most of the experience, I recommend trying out The Sill.

Shop indoor houseplants from The Sill here