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

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.

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The Sill

Here’s what you’ll find on 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 ($5-$115.50) for a virtual garden of all types of plants, from the jagged and restless Calathea Rattlesnake ($44.50) to the nearly-impossible-to-kill Zanzibar Gem ($56).

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 free shipping on orders over $75. Otherwise, you’ll pay a $10 flat-rate fee for standard 5-7 day shipping.

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.

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The Sill

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

I picked out three small plants to grace my apartment windowsill:

Although I’ve ordered plants online before from another service called Leon & George, 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:

the sill houseplant delivery

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Connie Chen/Business Insider

Despite their trip in a box that had shown up turned on its side, they 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.

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 and mix and match from. 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.

Order indoor houseplants from The Sill here