Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Buying plants from Japan

Failing to grow Dicentra peregrina yet again?

Naked quality plants from Japan
My weekly whim, current happenings in my garden
Whenever I have received pristine healthy Dicentra peregrina from nurserymen I have marveled at their skill and cursed my inability to keep their plants alive! Peter has let me into a little secret; they were probably bought wholesale from Japan.

Dicentra peregrina is a difficult plant. In Japan they would seem to find it very easy. It all about climate! The plant likes bright cool humidity. Not an easy combination. It must never dry out. In it’s natural habitat at 1500m in its home in Japan it grows with high rainfall in well drained basaltic pumice soil. It hates our extreme  Summer heatwaves!

Peter has discovered this marvelous Japanese nursery which retails high quality rare plants at very competitive prices. Their very sturdy plants arrive with clean washed roots ready to go straight in your own compost.  It’s just as easy as ordering plants grown in the UK. The firm gives friendly service with your e-mail returned in a couple of minutes.  There is no problem whatsoever with immediate pay pal payment. Their plant list is easy to follow with perfect and rather charming English! They do all the administration and include all import documents with your delivery. Service is prompt and dispatch is almost immediate. Within a week of your order you will be potting your very fine plants!
It is quite a thrill to hear that after just a few hours from dispatch your parcel tracking service announces they have just reached Tokyo!
Perfect parcels

Now for the bad news, they are at the end of their season and you will have to wait to order in Autumn! You can still visit their website to wet your appetite. Their prices are in yen but these days your bank payment procedures do all the work for you. Add 50% to the catalogue cost to cover their documentation and transport.
The prices you will pay will still be much less than you would pay for the same plants bought in the UK. You will know the exact price before consigning your payment.
Peter was so thrilled with his first order he has made another and his pictures illustrate his own plants and the dicentras he has purchased for me.
Peter even potted my plants for me in his own perfect compost
Plants of the first order

Last year I grew this allegedly easy hybrid of Dicentra peregrina. One of two survived last season and I am eagerly watching whether the dormant plant in my unheated greenhouse is going to grow
I see from the Yuzwa - Engei website that there will be a 3000 yen charge next year for the appropriate CITES documentation. This is about £18 for an order.  I don’t think this represents an overall price increase except on a very small order.

As holder of the National dicentra collection I have written several posts about dicentra.  To find them just click the dicentra links in my theme column. (Themes come up at about four a time!)


  1. Thank you Roger for telling us about it. It sounds very interesting. I will have to have a look in the fall.

    1. I think they export plants to Canada and USA but no doubt your regulations are different

  2. ... and so the world shrinks more and more.

    1. You philosopher you! Even Wakefield is a long way for us and I have a couple of posts coming up about your local rhubarb and wildlife park!

  3. Oh my goodness, I have thought about buying roses from Germany and tulips from Holland – but dicentra from Japan?! Well, why not, if quality and price is beatable with nurseries over here then it would probably make sense? I order all my plants online anyway, doesn’t matter to me where they come from – but I would be a bit wary of getting a huge import bill in the post after a couple of weeks….

    1. You know the full cost before you pay and all the import document confirmations come on delivery.
      With the add ons my peregrina were about six pounds each, half the UK price. My plants are doing very well and as you know there is a picture on my recent post 'pictures of dicentra'
      Peter's plants are doing fantastically well!

    2. I would have thought that since Japan obviously is outside EU, any import duties will be calculated here on arrival, and not by the Japanese nursery – as it is paid to the British Custom and Excise. Often there is a lower threshold where below it is free, but I don’t know what it is over here. When sending Amazon parcels to family in Norway I always have to think about how much the content is worth and send cheap presents as the issue is the same – they could get slammed with a bill in the post 3 weeks later, not nice when they have just got a birthday present from their aunt in London! If you didn’t get a bill you might just have been lucky, many parcels get through custom as ‘presents’ marked a lower value. But I would be very interested in finding this out properly, it is the final bill that matters so if the nurseries prices are low enough it will still be room for a bit to pay to the state kitty :-)

    3. Oh, by the way, the Japanese nursery has changed the URL for their website so your link no longer work – after a bit detective work online I found them here:

    4. Thanks for this HELENE, i will change the link now!

    5. About customs, thanks for the advice . Peter has now done two orders and if he gets a bill I will let you know in this column


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