Where to Buy Live Aquarium Plants?
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Live plants are the easiest way to both beautify and purify an aquarium. And there’s a lot of variety for all tastes— small plants, tall plants, colorful plants, grassy plants, you name it, they exist. The only problem is finding them.
Most physical pet stores only carry a minimal selection of aquarium plants, if they have any at all.
So, where do you go to find new and exotic plants for advantageous prices? Online, of course! But not all websites are equal.
In today’s article, I’ll share some of the best options. These websites are all safe and user-friendly. Most importantly, they offer a wide variety of products to choose from!
7 Best Options to Buy Aquarium Plants
If you’re not sure where to start, consider the following websites. Whether you prefer buying from specialized farmers or regular aquarium hobbyists, there are multiple options for you here.
Let’s start with the most obvious one; you might have already thought about this before.
To nobody’s surprise, Amazon is top of the list. This is one of the largest retailers worldwide, so you bet you can find almost anything on their page.
Amazon produces and sells products directly but also acts as a marketplace for private sellers.
People from all over the world come to this website to post offers. Who knows, you might even find a vendor living in your area! This would help you save some bucks on shipping.
One quick search for “aquarium plant” yielded over 200 results. The first offers include plants such as Carolina Moneywort, Water Spangles, Anubias Nana, Dwarf Baby Tears, Water Velvet, Peacock Moss, Moss Balls, a variety of saltwater macro-algae, and so much more!
There are tons of options to choose from. Just remember to filter your search correctly, though! You want to look at aquarium plants in the “aquarium décor” category.
Prices vary a lot between different vendors. You can also find the same plants for different prices. I recommend doing some digging around to find the best offer. Most of the offers run from $14-$35.
Saltwater algae are more expensive, as are the more ornamental plants like moss balls. A cool thing about amazon is that it lets you filter your search by price range.
You can browse for prices up to $25 or between $25-$50 to see most categories of plants. You can also input your own price range.
You’ll be buying aquarium plants from a private seller, so shipping policy and fees might vary. You’ll get all the details from the product listing or the seller’s page. For most products I’ve checked, they deliver all over the US as well as abroad.
The shipping fee might depend on your location. Also, most sellers accept returns, but the shipping costs for returns are paid by the client.
Aquabid is an all-encompassing aquarium resource shop but with a twist. Like other online marketplaces, you’ll buy directly from private sellers on the platform. But here, you’ll have to place a bid on the product.
The highest bidder wins the auction and takes the product home. You also get a “buy now” button to purchase a product before the auction begins.
So, you don’t have to bid if you see something you like. You can also buy it for the seller’s asking price.
You can find virtually anything on this website— freshwater fish, saltwater fish, aquarium equipment, fish food, filter media, testing kits, and, yes, even live plants! Once you reach the site’s front page, you’ll get a list of categories.
Under “Aquarium plants”, you have six sub-categories, including “assortments”, “bunch”, “floating”, “moss”, “rooted”, and “pond”.
You browse the bids by plant type. The categories are self-explanatory. You can also search for a specific plant in the top search bar on the front page. The plant species you find will vary depending on the sellers’ offers. But you’ll see some common ones.
Currently, there are multiple offers for Guppy Grass, Java Ferns, Java Moss, Elodeas, Anubias, and Frogbit.
You can also find some of the rarest species like Banana Lily and Tiger Lotus. And, of course, there are assortment packages. You might be able to buy as many as 45 trimmings of various plants for just $20.
The cost depends on the seller’s asking price and the last highest bid. The more common plants sold in small packages have asking prices between $3-$15.
The rare plants cost around $30, give or take three bucks. Assortment packages range from $20-$55, depending on the number of plants.
As I’ve mentioned, you have two options. You can buy plants for the seller’s asking price with the “buy now” button. You can also participate in an auction. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get a better price.
Bids are most active for exotic fish species. I haven’t seen any bidders flocking to the plants’ section so far.
Since you’ll buy from a private seller, shipping details and fees might vary. Just know that this is a US-based community.
All sellers ship exclusively within the country. USPS is the most common shipping service, but some sellers might choose other options.
The seller or buyer can cover shipping costs. Read the listing description carefully or use the “ask the seller a question” button on top of the listing for more details.
Another important point worth mentioning— Aquabid requires PayPal payments. There’s no cash-on-delivery option.
– Aquarium Co-Op
Aquarium Co-Op is a small business started by a group of aquarium hobbyists with years of experience. They have a physical store in Edmonds, Washington. But you can also order most of the same products off their website.
They sell a wide array of products, including decorations, cleaning supplies, test kits, water additives, fish food and meds, and of course, live aquarium plants!
Under their plant section, you can find a variety of live aquarium plants, fertilizers, aquascaping tools, substrates, and CO2 equipment.
You can choose between no less than 51 products, including the most popular ones like Water Sprite, Java Moss, Java Fern, Anubias Nana, Amazon Sword, and Dwarf Baby Tears. You can also find colorful plants like Cryptocoryne Pink Flamingo, Scarlet Temple, and Tiger Lotus.
If you want something more exotic-looking, there are also the Jungle Vallisneria, Crinum Calamistratum, and the goofy-looking Banana Plant.
With so many species to choose from, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll find something to your taste!
You can also make the search more efficient by using different filters. You can filter the plants by type, choosing between crypts, ferns, moss, carpeting plants, anubias, sword plants, stem plants, and red plants.
If you’re more into technical considerations, you can also search for low-light, medium-light, or high-light plants. You also get to filter by placement which is great if you’re looking for background or foreground plants.
The live plants at Aquarium Co-Op are more than affordable. You can buy products as cheap as $5.99. This includes the Banana Plant and the Red Dwarf Lily.
Otherwise, around 70% of all the species in the store are under $9. This includes a variety of swords, moss, crypts, and ferns.
Anubias species are slightly more expensive, costing $9.99 on average. The most expensive plants cost $14.99 (Cryptocoryne Pink Flamingo, Crinum Calamistratum) and $21.99 (Bucephalandra “Black Pearl,” Bucephalandra “Green Wavy”), respectively.
Note that these are prices per piece. If you want to buy more, you’ll have to pay extra. However, there’s currently an offer on the site.
If you buy three or more plants, you get a 5% off on all products!
Aquarium Co-Op ships all over the US. They usually ship on the same day the order is out, so you should expect to receive your package in 1-3 days max.
You’ll have to pay a flat shipping fee of $7.99. The shop only uses Priority shipping.
You’ll get free shipping for orders $79.99 and up. So, if you buy a few plants, maybe it’s time to add some aquascaping equipment to your cart too!
The shipping times vary depending on the state. Check out the website’s shipping page to check delivery times by region.
Unsurprisingly, Aquarium Plants is an online store that specializes in everything plant-related.
They sell a variety of aquarium and pond plants, driftwood, pond equipment, fertilizers, heaters, UV sterilizers, CO2 systems, and more.
This is THE website if you’re building a planted aquarium from scratch. They have all the plants and gadgets you need in one place for an affordable price. Even better, they have various free resources on planting and pest control.
Need help to get the CO2 levels right, treat algae issues, or plant different plant species? Head over to their planting info page for some useful tips!
“Aquarium Plants” is the first category listed at the top of the page. Clearly, the website lives up to its name and mission because you can find over 200 products in this section. Yeah, seriously!
Luckily, you won’t have to browse through all 12 pages of products. You can narrow your results with helpful sub-categories like Floating Plants, Foreground Plants, Bunch Plants, Bucephalandra, Discus Plants, Cryptocorynes, Anubias, Aponogetons, Sagittaria, Moss, Swords, Vallisneria, and tons more.
With hundreds of products to choose from, you don’t have to search far for rare and exotic species. They even sell carnivorous plants for terrariums. Aquarium Plants also provides specialty products like huge plant assortments (up to 120+ species) and XXL plants for those with large aquariums.
There are products for all budgets. For just $4.50 and lower, you can buy over 40 varieties of plants! Some of the species include Mayaca, Egerias, Baby Tears, Cabombas, Crypts, Hornwort, Ludwigias, Myrios, Rotalas, Wisteria, and Dwarf Sagittaria.
The medium-range prices go from $10-$14. For less than $13, you can buy plants like Aponogetons, multiple colorful Buces, and Vallisnerias of various leaf sizes and shapes. The most expensive plant species you can buy are the Aluminum Plants and the Red Mangrove, both selling for $24.99.
Other expensive products include XXL mother plants, which sell for $40 on average. And, of course, the assortment packages, which go from $49.95 for 12 plants, all the way up to $387.95 for over 120 plants.
Aquarium Plants harvests plants for new orders every Monday. They maintain a strict schedule to ensure freshness on arrival. All orders placed before 11:59 PM on Sundays are shipped on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Orders placed after midnight Sunday will wait one additional week until shipping.
Currently, the store ships through FedEx and covers all of the US. If you’re interested, there’s a $9.99 shipping fee for FedEx 2nd Day Air shipping. Otherwise, shipping times and costs might vary according to your region. Payments are made either via PayPal or Amazon Pay.
AZ Gardens is a family-owned business serving aquarists since 1987. With decades of experience behind them, they are one of the US’s leading aquarium equipment and livestock suppliers.
All the fish and aquatic plants they supply are farm-raised and well-cared for. With this Arizona-based business, quality is the name of the game!
They run an environmentally responsible farm and advocate for organic, USDA-approved farming practices. You’re guaranteed to receive chemical and pesticide-free, aquarium-safe plants!
Furthermore, they provide fantastic customer service and are available for inquiries seven days a week!
Are you looking for variety? AZ Gardens doesn’t disappoint! Head to their “Freshwater Aquarium Plants for Sale” gallery, and you’ll find thirteen categories to choose from!
Almost all contain at least a dozen species, and most contain more! Here’s a list of everything you’ll find:
- Anubias, 16 species (including Anubias Nana Petite, Anubias Barteri, Anubias Coffeefolia, Anubias Bangkok, Anubias Caladifolia, and more!)
- Aponogeton, 8 species (including the more popular Hammer-leaf, Madagascar Lace, A. Undulatus, A. Capuroni, and A. Crispus)
- Crypts, 30 species (including Balansae, Parva, Lutea, Petchii, a variety of Crypt Wendtii colors, and more)
- Sagittaria, 7 species (including Dwarf and Tall Narrow Subulatas, Radican Sword Echinodorus, Sagittaria Chilensis, Sagittaria Grandi, Sagittaria Natans, and Sagittaria Shoelace)
- Swords, 33 species (including the Narrowleaf Chain Sword, Amazon Sword, Exotic Vesuvius Sword, Red Mangrove, Altlandsberg Echinodorus, Red Rubin Sword, and many other exotic and colorful species)
- Vallisneria, 8 species (including V. Americana, Asiatica, Contortionist, Crystal, Dark Red Jungle, Italian Tiger, and others)
You can also browse additional categories, including aquarium plants on driftwood, aquarium plants on mats, aquarium plants on rocks, bunched plants, potted plants, miscellaneous plants, and limited offers.
You’ll find everything within these categories. There are hundreds of products available for all your décor needs.
You’ll find both cheap and more costly plants. Either way, there’s something to fit any budget. Some of the most affordable plants you can get cost less than $4.00.
For example, there are Foxtail Bunches ($3.99), a variety of Crypts ($2.25-$3.99), Dwarf Onion Zephyranthes and Dwarf Mondo Grass ($2.99), Shoelace, Dwarf and Tall Narrow-leaf Saggitarias ($3.99), and Red and Green Melon Swords ($2.99), among others.
The price varies depending on size and species. Many of the plants cost between $9.99-$28.00. But with roughly $20, you can afford a variety of Anubias, exotic Crypts, mats, colorful Swords, and bunched plants.
Some of the most expensive plants you’ll find cost $60-$100+. These are either ornamental pieces (like plants on driftwood or mats), rare species, very large, or sold in packs. Examples include the Phoenix Moss mats (up to $67.99), Anubias on driftwood ($69.00-$89.00), and the 12-pack German Sword assortment ($109.00).
AZ Gardens packages its plants and livestock with utmost care and professionalism. They pride themselves on a well-done job, so they do everything they can to guarantee live arrival.
One of the things they do to ensure this is maintaining a strict shipping schedule. All plants are freshly harvested the day before shipping, not right after the order is registered.
After you purchase a product, your order will be shipped out from Tuesday to Thursday. Placing orders during the weekend guarantees you’ll get your order sent out the following week.
You will receive a tracking number as soon as your package leaves the farm. Shipping costs vary according to your region and will be calculated at checkout. Currently, AZ Gardens only ships live plants inside the US.
– PlantedTank.net Forum
PlantedTank.net is a bit different from other websites on this list. This page is mainly a forum, so the first thing you’ll see are topic discussions between users.
The site has multiple sections, including Homepage News, General Forums, Forum Listings, and the Marketplace.
It’s a one-stop shop if you need to buy miscellaneous aquarium equipment, read informative articles, or get in touch with other aquarists. There are over 120,000 members on the platform, so the forum is quite active.
If you need help finding aquarium plants, you can always post your questions on the forum or browse the vendors and marketplace listings.
Currently, there are no listings on the PlantedTank marketplace. However, this forum works similarly to AquaBid. The plants you can find will change regularly, depending on the seller’s offers.
Generally, forum members sell trimmings they might otherwise have thrown away. So, you can expect to find some of the most commonly-kept aquarium plants when the next listings pop up.
You could also browse the vendor threads. You never know when a new aquarium plant shop will open.
The asking price for plants will vary depending on the seller, the plant species, and the quantity sold. Currently, there are no listings, so I can’t give you a general price range. But it’s unlikely for the plants to be more expensive than in other shops.
If anything, you might get them cheaper since most members don’t sell professionally.
PlantedTank is not a direct seller. They just provide a marketplace for forum members. The forum community is mainly from the US and Canada, so you will likely find someone selling in your area.
The seller and buyer should discuss all information related to shipping fees, services, and transit time.
– Specialized Facebook Groups
Facebook needs no introduction. As you may already know, there’s a Facebook group for everything. If you look around, you can find dozens of aquarium plant marketplaces on the site. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, because they all offer the same thing.
The good thing about Facebook groups is that you can browse the posts by topic, and everything is neatly organized.
You have the buy and sell page, the discussion page, the topics list, and the media page for pictures. Plus, you get notified every time someone interacts with your posts.
You can find a variety of plants, depending on where you look. I’ve seen a bunch of different moss, bunched plants, swords, and water lily species, just to name a few. You can browse multiple public groups to sift through as many offers as possible.
If you need a specific plant and can’t find it, you can also post directly as a buyer. Just tell the group what you’re looking for. If you’re lucky, somebody might have the plant you need.
Prices might differ drastically between groups and sellers. Also, most sellers offer bundles, so these aren’t prices per piece. In general, the average is $8-$25. Bundles include anywhere between 3 to 20+ plants. The more stems, the higher the price. Rare and exotic plants sell for $12 and up a piece.
Every seller has different shipping fees and times. Check the listing description to learn more about the shipping price, program, and provider. Not all sellers are US-based, but some might also ship into the country.
You can always contact the seller directly or comment on the listing for more details.
Tips When Buying Aquarium Plants Online
These were some of the best places to buy aquarium plants online. Of course, there are tons of other websites you can use.
Whether you choose one of the shops I’ve shared here or choose to buy from another place, there are a few things to remember. Consider the following tips when ordering your plants.
This helps you avoid scammers or otherwise negative experiences:
- Only buy from reputable sources. When in doubt, always check customer reviews first!
- Choose express delivery whenever possible. Live plants won’t last long in transit.
- Always read the shipping and return policy before buying. You don’t want to discover hidden shipping fees when it’s already too late!
- Buy from listings that have pictures. You’ll get to judge the health of the plant before ordering.
- Ask the seller about the packaging whenever possible. The plants need a humid environment and stable temperatures to survive in transit. The proper packaging method ensures a live arrival.
- Choose tissue culture plants when possible. These plants are grown in sanitary conditions. You won’t risk introducing pathogens, fungus, or algae in the tank.
- If you don’t buy tissue culture, always quarantine the new plants for a couple of weeks.
Whether you’re looking for rare and exotic aquarium plants or just want some of the best deals, online shopping is always a top option. You don’t have to worry about safety and transparency using the websites I’ve included in today’s article.
Places like AquaBid, Facebook groups, and the PlantedTank forum are great if you want to buy plants directly from other hobbyists.
You can speak to the seller directly, and the offers are usually pretty good. You’ll find many bundle packages for a fair price.
Aquarium Co-Op, AZ Gardens, and AquariumPlants.com are more similar to regular aquarium shops. The prices might be a bit higher, but there’s more variety, and the plants are usually grown in safer conditions.
You get free shipping when you place orders above a certain price. Also, you might find additional sales and discounts.
And, of course, there’s always Amazon. They have a comprehensive selection of live aquarium plants, mostly between $14-$35.
Always remember to check the vendor’s ratings and reviews, though. Also, consider the other buying tips I’ve included above. Happy plant shopping!