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Old 06-01-2016, 11:56 PM
 
1,195 posts, read 849,139 times
Reputation: 2011

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I bought plants from Direct Gardening online. and ended up with dead sticks instead of plants. In order to get a refund for dead plants I was supposed to mail them back on my own account - cool, right? And I was supposed to do so in only two weeks - not enough to figure out whether these plants will resurrect from sticks or not. So I lost a gardening season and money. So there is a warning- if you buy from them, make sure you are buying living plants (their descriptions are bad).
And I would greatly appreciate you sharing good experience of online shopping for plants.
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
38,673 posts, read 45,016,991 times
Reputation: 106645
When you go garden shopping it's best advised to go to a local Garden Center. This way you can see what you're getting and pick the best plant(s) possible. Most Garden centers give you a one year warranty.
Online buying is a crap shoot, you never know what they want to get rid of and are sending out. Returns are a hassle as you've already found out.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
64,963 posts, read 47,284,481 times
Reputation: 10507
Some local nurseries have a website. I've purchased plants from a nursery in same state but 2 hours away. No issues.
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:39 AM
 
857 posts, read 642,065 times
Reputation: 1662
I've gotten great plants from Edible Landscaping out of Virginia. The one time I had a persimmon tree that didn't have a very good graft, I snapped a photo and asked them to send me a new one. They did it with no hassle.


The only problem with local nurseries is they hire people that have no idea what they are talking about (I've heard people say things like Figs need a pollinator). Its even worse when you get to the big box stores; not only do the employees have no idea what they are talking about, but they are selling plants that are not hardy in that zone.
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:11 AM
 
1,168 posts, read 674,807 times
Reputation: 1413
I had the same problem with many online nurseries. Got dead twigs and branches instead of the items i ordered. Whats worse is that many of them make you preorder and have 30% or more charges if you cancel or refuse the shipment if they are dead. Then you miss the entire planting season.
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:34 PM
 
3,261 posts, read 1,941,217 times
Reputation: 6243
I have several trusted online nurseries I have been dealing with for a long time. They give great customer service, and back up their guarantee with a refund or replacement if the plant dies. But the plants are high-quality, so dead plants are much less likely. (Once in a while, something gets damaged in shipping, and they replace it without a fuss.)

I have been dealing with:

Select Seeds -- they even have their $4 plant sale going on right now!

Garden Crossings -- a bit pricey and shipping is not cheap, but their plants arrive healthy and gorgeous and mature. They have the BEST plant packaging I have ever seen. I always have success with their plants.

Plant Delights -- also a bit pricey, but also good, healthy plants, and many unusual ones, too!

Oakes Daylilies -- love 'em. I have bought dozens of daylilies from them. They send the biggest, healthiest daylilies. And there is ALWAYS at least one free daylily in the package!

John Scheepers -- since I started buying my tulip and daffodil bulbs from them, I will not buy from any other seller. Their bulbs are always huge and healthy. No mold!

Here is a trick I learned, and it doesn't require you to join Dave's Garden (which is a great site, BTW). Say I find a seller of hostas online. I want to know what kind of service they give, whether the plants are healthy, etc. I go to Bing (or Google) and type the following:

nameofcompanysellinghostas [or their website url] site:davesgarden.com

Type it just like that, with the colon and no space after the word site. If you do that, you will find the pages where people review mail order companies and describe their experiences with them. Invaluable! They have saved me from quite a few scam mail order nurseries with slick websites that make it look like you are going to get the best plants ever.

You can go directly to Dave's Garden, but their search engine is not the greatest. Certain forums require membership, but like I said, you can read reviews of companies without joining.

P.S. If you didn't know this already, avoid Michigan Bulb. Terrible service.
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
16,143 posts, read 7,089,742 times
Reputation: 9150
I've had good luck on eBay!

Just pay attention to the vendor rating. Also, pay attention to the weather and where the plant is coming from. This time of year, I only buy plants that are within a couple days' shipping time.

If you have a hard time getting a vendor to respond with answers that you understand, move on.

Most eBay sellers are selling small plants (liners), which I like. Just make sure you are getting rooted cuttings, not a bundle of fresh twigs for you to root - unless of course, you want to do your own rooting. Doing your own rooting is absolutely the cheapest way to get new plants.

I agree with the list of mail order nurseries above (as well as to avoid Michigan Bulb - ugh!)

Are you west coast? And what kind of plants are you buying?

And if you don't want to pay for Dave's Garden, try All Things Plants and Houzz (used to be Garden Web.) Both are very active, lots of helpful people, regional forums.
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:27 AM
 
2,685 posts, read 1,769,477 times
Reputation: 5099
Are Breck's and Spring Hill still around? And just as good as decades ago, when we got pinks and bulbs and daylilies?

All are still thriving.
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Old 06-04-2016, 02:57 AM
 
1,195 posts, read 849,139 times
Reputation: 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacqueg View Post

Are you west coast? And what kind of plants are you buying?

And if you don't want to pay for Dave's Garden, try All Things Plants and Houzz (used to be Garden Web.) Both are very active, lots of helpful people, regional forums.

I'm looking for zone 2 perennials. I'm interested in green wall forming plants and in flowering plants excluding garden roses, lilacs, snow berries, and trees.
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:32 AM
 
Location: S. FL (hell for me-wife loves it)
2,982 posts, read 1,708,068 times
Reputation: 8886
I've had great luck with Stark brothers for grape cultivars. Great luck with Chestnut Hill tree farm here in Florida for blueberries, peaches, and many other fruit trees.

I also ordered from Direct Gardening years back, and had a similar experience. They are also associated with another online nursery that I can't remember the name of right now.

For edible seeds, Johnny's is good, and for ornamentals, Onalee's.
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