Calling all writers, especially those who wax poetic! If you have a way with words, here's your chance to put pen to paper and try your hand at writing an award-winning piece for us. Find all the details on our contest page.
Gracie410 Municipality of Monroeville, PA (1 review) September 27, 2012
I guess I'm one of the luckier ones....yes my mini crapes were QUITE small when they arrived...however they were healthy looking & so I immediately planted them in pots to place around my pool. I have to say that they grew quickly & beautifully & had a lot of flowers, although they are still small...I guess because they are minis. They are in 12" dia. pots & have filled the pots & have spilled over (they are the weeping ones). The only ones I'm not impressed with are the ones I put in hanging baskets...not as much growth there although they ARE still alive. I also have to say that Mr. Chopin answered the emails that I sent him regarding my plants, although none of them were complaints. I am going to trim the plants back & let them go dormant in my unheated garage & see what happens next spring. Hopefully I will have good news to report! As of now I plan to order more mini weeping crapes next year.
Be assured that I am not related to or connected to Mr. Chopin in any way! I wish there was a way to add attachments to this so I could post pictures of my plants!
I honestly wish I had discovered this site before placing an order with David Chopin's organization. I'm typically great with research prior to making a purchase but this time I really missed the boat. The first week in March of 2010, I decided to try ordering the 6 crape myrtle special for $59.00 plus shipping. When the trees arrived, I was shocked to discover that only one was 1 1/2 ft tall and the other five were only about 1 ft tall at best. I actually returned to the web site to make certain I had read it correctly: that the trees would be at least 3-4 ft tall when shipped (I ordered 4 Tonto and 2 Centennials). What I read was right. What I received was not. My husband, upon seeing the VERY SMALL box the 6 trees arrived in, thought initially (as did I) that they were shipping out one tree at a time. We never would have imagined 6 trees would arrive in a box THAT small! Thus far, four of the six seem to finally be budding. Two are DEAD. When I emailed David Chopin two weeks ago asking detailed questions about the trees, his ONLY reply was literally this: DO NOT OVERWATER!!! When I immediately responded that I wasn't overwatering and had more questions, he ignored me. I emailed him again yesterday. He ignored me. I emailed him today asking if he could please replace the trees and although I realized he's an attorney who probably has all the liability bases covered, I was hoping he would rectify the situation. I'm normally a pretty tough lady who has dealt with a lot over the years but his hostile response to me literally brought me to tears. He first wrote that he had never before heard of me (even though he had already replied to two previous emails). After I sent him his previous replies, he insinuated that I, the customer, obviously could not read "DO NOT OVERWATER" (even though, as he stated, "DO NOT OVERWATER" is stated all over his web site and his planting pamphlet). He then got increasingly rude and told me that I'm wrongly accusing him of "being a lawyer who is trying to rip off people". I was utterly stunned and could not believe that someone who seemed so nice prior to the sale (emailing me advice, etc.) could be so blatantly hostile afterward. He also wrote that he is a 60 year old expert and that I know how to do nothing but criticize him and his company of 31+years. I still can't believe it. This could very be one of the worst customer service experiences I have EVER had. Had he been more polite and simply replaced the two trees without question or HOSTILITY, I probably would have ordered from him again. The trees, although small, are growing okay....It would have been nice if he had been NICE. I feel so disheartened. As a hardworking individual whose life foundation is built on honesty and kindness toward others, I am so disappointed in Mr. Chopin, ATTORNEY AT LAW (as he so clearly states).
I ordered 5 mini crepe myrtles and was surprised at how tiny the were. Just a stick in a small container with a few leaves on them. I promptly planted them per the instructions that came with them. They warned of leaf loss initially from shipping. True, but 3 of the 5 are dead and a fourth is not looking well anymore just a few weeks later. Once is thriving. Flies keep swarming them and from what I have read that is a sign of an unhealthy plant.
I am pleased to find your web site as this is the onIy bad experience I have had with a mail order company. All the other companies I have made puchases from replace plants if they do not survive for a year. I ordered and received 6 miniature crape myrtles from Mr. Chopin in October 2007. In April,2008 only 2 showed any growth. I called Mr Chopin and he said give them another month. In May,2008 I called again and MrChopin said that he only replaced plants if they had not survived after 6 months. There was no mention of this on his invoice or web site. I reported him to the Florida Better Business Bureau. The BBB said he did not reply to their letter and he had a history of not replying to complaints.
I just received my order from Mr. Chopin and was extremely pleased!!! The trees arrived when he said they would. They are big, beautiful ,healthy trees. The care sheet that arrived with them was very helpful and added the personal touch that so many other companies lack. I am a very satisfied customer of Mr. Chopin's and will be ordering again in the next few days. Thank you Mr. Chopin for delivering what you promised.On June 10th, 2008, reedsgirl added the following:
I was so pleased with my first order that I just ordered 150 more trees. The trees from my first order are growing so fast and are in full bloom. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!
I have recommended Mr. Chopin to several friends and family members and they are delighted too! I will be ordering 100 to 150 more for the garden I am making for my wedding. I am so excited to receive my next order and watch them grow and bloom. Mr. Chopin, don't worry about the negativity because some people you just can't make happy no matter how hard you try. Just keep up the good work and know you are making the world a more beautiful place.
I purchased several mini crepes a couple of years ago and all did fine the first year. The survival rate of these crepes was terrible. Out of the 15 or so that I ordered I may have 5 or 6 that made it thru the winter. I was very dissappointed with the end results.
Products were received in very good shape and in a timely fashion, it's just they are classifed as a perennial and in my case, they became annuals. A little to expensive in that light.
I too, as some of the earlier responses bought $1000 worth of plants. They came 1 year later than ordered, but I visited the facility that they were grown in and I understood why. The operation is small and they are growing as fast as they can to meet orders from all over the world. Their stock plants are healthy and vigorous. The workers there are American and being helped by the job at a nursery in a small town. Mr Chopin was cordial and most helpful even later when I emailed for assistance. He does have a mindset that others are not being honest with him. Interesting. All but 4 of my 150 plants have lived throughout the winter, in full exposure, in containers in zone 8 and are thriving this spring. The very small minis are difficult to grow until over one gallon size, but at least he sends you a fully rooted plant, maybe a little worse for mailing in the leaf area, but if superthrive is applied immediately and the plant is put in shade and moved slowly back out to sun, they do well. So much easier than getting sticks from the National Arboretum and only 2 of 10 leafing out.
After reading the other comments, I was very hesitant in ordering. I decided to give it a try and was very pleased. I got my order in just over a week ( all the way to California ). My plants are all healthy looking. I will order from them again in the future.
I have the worst luck, I ordered from this company in Feb of this year. Paid my $125 and all the plants were small and root bound. Not at all as large as they advertised. But at least they sent the right number of plants, unlike what other people have had to go through.
I wonder if these people are friends of Growquest? :(
but that's another story..... Lisa
Of 6 plants ordered in the spring of 2004, only 2 survived the winter.
I received an e-mail from them from " David E. Chopin, BS, MS, and JD. Attorney at Law, Florida's 1st Horticultural-Attorney and Inventor of the USA Patented Crape Myrtles, Box 141627, Gainesville, FL 32614-1627 and Proud Graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law" with a phone number 352-486-6922.
I am waiting for a response from "Joe R. Martelli, Inspector General with the Florida Dept. of Agriculture, Consumer Services. as to whether I should file a complaint with them.
Crape Myrtles, Inc of Gainsville FL uses several e-mail address's: http://www.crapemyrtles.com,http://www. lagerstroemia.com and http://www.crapemyrtle.com.
The above phone number is correct for them.
VERY NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE - I'm disappointed because there is no phone number for me to call Mini Crape Myrtles to see about replacing 4 of the 6 crapes I ordered in early April and looking at the receipt, I cannot find a number to call them about this. Unfortunately I didn't save the booklet they sent me but sent it to a friend who is in Italy for another month so I cannot refer to this. The trees arrived Friday and we planted them Sat. morning. Out of the order of 6 crapes, four were dead with shriveling leaves but I had hope putting them in the ground could revive them. Now the 4 are definitely DOA and now I cannot seem to locate a phone number to complain about them; even take a pix with my digital camera so the company can see how badly the crapes look and check them through their tracking order. The trees were charged to my MasterCard on April 8 and they didn't arrive until May 20, and then they were not the promised 2-4 ft. high size but more like a 1-foot stem of 2 stems to a plant, unattached. All I have for proof I purchased these is the name on a mini-receipt attached to generic planting infor and the name MINI CRAPE MYRTLES, 11950 NE 111th Ave., Archer, Fl. 32618. This may have ruined me from ever ordering via phone mail order ever again. Glynda Ellman, Poteau, Ok. 74953
I didn't have a good experience with this company, either...I ordered fifty red Sacramento miniatures.. I GOT pink and purple ones.... emails and calls got me nowhere...so I finally went to BBBOnline.... several months later, I got another box of fifty plants.... with a letter from the BBB... nothing from the company that might have seemed to be an apology..... or explanation...what I got the second time around, was.. are ya ready?... fifty more pink and purple ones!!....the first bunch arrived in the little paper sacks in the little pots... but I wasn't put off by that.... I have a greenhouse and I could make sure they made it to planting size..... the second batch came in the fall... with the roots hanging out of the pots and several in distress from drying out.....they were free, so, what's to gripe about there?....it is really sad that folks use this company expecting one thing and getting another.... I am in prime crepe myrtle country, zone 7, so even with a bad cold winter and die back on some of the littlest plants, I still see them coming back from the root..... other folks may not be so lucky......I'm glad the patent has run out for Mr. Chopin.... I'm now growing these in my greenhouse for my family and friends.... might even go local, who knows?......the only good thing out of this was the plants themselves... with care, they have grown and flourished.... I'd like to see this website removed from the web... if you Google crepe myrtles, the first sites on the list are all from this company!!... this is a prime case of "Buyer Beware!"..... I'd still order from them if the order wasn't for more than twenty bucks, but for anything important, never!!!On Jul 12, 2005, cantankerous Gastonia, NC added:
I've written a few times before about this company... ordered fifty plants , $300, minis... got the wrong color, involved BBBOnline, got fifty more plants, also the wrong color and nearly dead.... that much I've said before.... now to the best part.... I saved almost all the 100 plants I received... (had a greenhouse).... they grew and flourished... to the point where these 'mini's' that are in my yard are over four ft tall, need pruned back to stubs yearly and still grow tall enuff to hide my car!.... oh, I do still love them.. it's just that they are NOT what they are advertised to be..... even those that I have in huge basket 'pots' are too large to be kept there and need to be moved... MINIS?... no, just dwafts... apt to make six ft tall if you let them go....
one more thing... I just got word from a friend in MICHIGAN that they sent her forty plants.... two lived thru the winter....it's too obvious to ask... why, oh why, would a company send plants to a state where they won't survive the winter?..... well, the answer is her money, of course.... and she'll not get it back, I'll bet....
DON"T use this company, or crapemyrtlefarms or laegerstromia.com... they're all the same company.. and all crummy....but the plants are nice... if you like LARGE 'miniatures.'...
c2garden Virginia Beach, VA (14 reviews) March 12, 2004
I ordered six crape myrtles on Feb. 10 and received them in one week just as promised on the website. They actually sent me eight! I think they may have done that since the plants were very small but that is what I expected since I ordered them so early. Today I noticed that all but two of the crape myrtles have started to bud. Since the two that didn't have buds were the variety I ordered I called to see what they could do for me. I was told to send in the invoice and they would send out the replacements. I fully expect them to do what they say since I have only had good experiences with them. The negative responses from other people was almost the cause for me not getting such wonderful plants. Thanks to a company that does what is promises and my green thumb I will see these plants bloom shortly!On March 30th, 2004, c2garden added the following:
I received the replacements promised and they even included two extra plants. They were all in very good shape. I also have to add that these were bigger than the last ones I received. I am sure that is because I ordered the first plants in Feb. and the plants were still dormant. I am very satisfied with this company and the plants I received. I am very excited to see these plants thriving in my garden and look forward to the great show they will produce! On June 20th, 2004, c2garden added the following:
This is just an update to let you know that all of the plants I ordered from this company are now in bloom. Thank you Mini Crepe Myrtles for sending me great plants that are not available in my area.
I would like to know why is it that I posted a message here before but ya'll did not post it..why was that because it was positive....this is wrong of ya'll...you ask for our comments then you pick and choose.... I have bought many plants from them and they are doing great..growing like weeds.and blooming just fine. I plan to order more in Sept. Its funny that you say they willnot grow in very cold climates.because that is a false statement.....I sent my mother some, she lives in Canada....the plants are growing just fine...just have to take care of them a little more.. well i geuss we shall find out if this will be posted or not..
Comments submitted by users of the Watchdog are submitted without any intervention or censorship from the Garden Watchdog. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments that violate our guidelines and Acceptable Use Policy, but to the best of our knowledge, we have not deleted or edited a comment from this user; however, we did delete a subsequent comment from "falconfoxer" because it came from the same IP address as "fancyplants" and we don't permit users to create multiple usernames in order to submit multiple comments and ratings (whether positive or negative in nature.)
I have to agree with everyone else's comments. These people are scammers. I ordered the 20 crapes for $125. I only received 18. Th plants were barely a foot tall. I was shocked. Their website said they would be 2 to 3 feet tall. I repeatedly called them and emailed them and each time they said the two missing trees would be mailed out. Well, needless to say, I never received them. I'm so disgusted.
I do have to say that my little one foot trees do look good, but it's going to takes years for those things to get big. I just went to my local nursery and bought six 4 foot trees for $6.99 each. I'm sticking with my local nursery.On August 17th, 2003, squigglymom added the following:
I have no issues with the plants. The ones that they did send me are growing beautifully. The issue is that they RIPPED ME OUT OF TWO PLANTS and never sent the missing ones after I called them 4 times from CA and sent them numerous emails.
I bought 6 plants online from the company who uses many websites, but they all come from the same place in Archer, Florida. I placed the order in late fall and received the order in March 2002. They arrived in a box, all the plants were in a brown bag and the biggest one was 8 inches. They were seedlings at best. I called the company and complained. They said no refunds, but that they would replace the order. I informed them I would be in their area and would pick up the order myself. To say the least they were shocked when I arrived. They had a lot of UPS boxes sitting there. They are a complete and utter scam company. They gave me 13 larger seedlings. The local Wal-Mart is selling the same varieties (you can verify with the flower colors) for $5.95 in 3 gallon containers.
I ordered 10 plants for the western NC area after verifying that they would survive the winters here. These were planted in containers according to their instructions. They were very small plants in one cup containers and came through the U. S. mail. I was surprised at the size of the plants as they were not as large as advertised. They did not survive. In November I contacted Mr. Chopin and explained the situation, he said he would replace these in the spring "whenever I was ready for the plants". After several phone calls, E mails, and an offer to come by their place of business to pick up the replacement plants this spring I received an E mail from Dave Chopin that they could not replace these plants because too much time had elapsed. I was also told that it was not possible to come by their facility. Does not appear to be a good way to run a railroad. Very disappointing experience which I shall report to the Gainesville Better Business Bureau.
Just to give this site an update. Don't spend your time and money of any of his sites. Write to the Better Business Bureau in Florida. The BBB of Florida did get a response from Mr. Chopin. In his response he wrote that he is constantly being ripped off by people who do not pay up. He also states he was willing to give a refund. I have left emails and messages with no response. I further wrote back to the BBB that I want the complaint left on record
This website advertises fully branched healthy plants. I ordered 6 Mini Crape Myrtles from them in the Spring of 2001 for $59, including shipping. The plants, which were advertised to be shipped within a week, arrived a month later in pots that were less than 2 inches square. Each plant was a single stem, skinnier than a pencil, and between 4 and 8 inches tall, with between 5 and 7 leaves. I planted three to a 12 inch pot. By the end of September, the plants had not branched sufficiently to even cover the dirt in the pot. I then planted them in the ground during the last week in September, as they are supposed to be hardy to Zone 4 (I'm Zone 6). We'll see.
This company NEVER returns phone calls, and their plant warranty is only 30 days. After this experience, I will not order from them ever again, and would like to warn your subscribers about their fraudulent advertising and poor quality..
I too was taken in by this plant hustler. $1000.00 was what it cost to get a propagating permit and 120 plants to start out with. Most of the plants arrived in viable condition, but took months to arrive. I never got the final shipment (31) plants. I called him, e-mailed him and finally wrote the Florida B.B.B. They sent him three letters to which he never replied. Since then most of his patents have expired, so many of them can now be propagated without a license. I'm sure he isn't telling anyone that.Some of his patented plants are very nice and unusual, but if I could do it over again I would have passed his company up for the company I now buy wholesale from.
I would like to post the following message regarding the above company. First like so many of my predecessors I wish I had read this before I purchased these wonderful plant that were advertised!I have made many trips down south and was always overwhelmed by these beautiful trees. Well I finally found that mail order sight we all know and love. They did take a credit card payment.I could not wait until I got these trees/shrubs. Like everyone else the 7 plants came in a box. Yes they were wilted, yes they had a bag thrown around them yes they were all less then 12" inches. What a rip off. I sent an email describing how deceptive there site was as well as false promises.All trees/shrubs were in 1 to 2 gallon pots. How about pints. They were twigs, sticks. Well the answer I got back from them was to plant them because they grow fast and to let them know how it goes. I can't wait to see if they will even survive the winter. I mean they were cultivated supposedly in PA so they are cold hardy. Just a warning to anyone else that buys from this company. If anyone has any suggestionsas to what I can do please let me know. I would never buy from them again. "Unlike other sellers the whole rootball is intact", yea right!!
I spent $250, last year ordering from Mr. Chopin's company. After several e-mails and phone calls, and disgustingly small and unhealthy plants, my experience is to not recommend this company, unless you are prepared for heartache! This is the first time I've come across others' notices/experience, which seems to be the same! All plants arrived weeks later than told, in paper lunch bags, small and dried out; no response after asking for monies back and not 1 plant survived! They arrived in such poor condition/health they didn't even have a chance! By the way, these "patented" UNIQUE type plants - to my surprise, were available for sale at a local nursery for about the same price as online, but size of hanging plant. Not sure where they purchased theirs, but I don't believe it's CrapeMyrtle.com
Oh, how I wish that I had known about your website before placing my order for six (6) mini crapes! I first ordered their catalog from their website and was awed by the beautiful pictures and brochure. Please do not let yourself be totally ripped off by this company. Their brochure and claims according to the plants that I received are false advertising. They were supposed to be "large, full, and well-branched". They were shipped in a overly large box, the plants were one single stem 4" tall, not one side shoot, two were totally dried up. They were in a "teeny-tiny pot and then in a small lunch bag with a rubber band. I sent an email right away and they never responded. I also sent a letter, but after reading the previous statements, I have no hope of receiving a refund. However, I don't intend to stop here. There is a government website to report such businesses operating on the web and I fully intend to report them. It also took seventeen days to receive shipment after the check was cashed.
I had all but placed my order with this company and when I got to the area for payment, the only method offered was check, which I thought very odd that a company apparently this large should not accept credit cards, I know of no other company that doesn't. Also I believe the guarantee they offered was only 30 days, which doesn't seem feasible for plants and trees. Is that a normal guarantee for on line nurseries? At any rate I did not order because, I did not want to mail a check for $200, with no recourse. I too, hope someone has had experience with them, because, their catalogue looked good.
I ordered 6 of their mini crape myrtles (6 for$59). They promised them to arrive "via UPS to my door in 7 days". It took 18 days.They arrived in a dilapidated box, all jammed in together. Each plant had a loose paper bag around it, and the dried out dirt (it took 6 days to arrive ---Florida to Ohio---and then it was delivered down the street!) was scattered all over the box. The plants were essentially,then, bareroot. They advertise "no plants are shipped bare root". The leaves on all but one of the plants were shriveled up and crispy. Oneplant is completely dried up and dead. The others have shriveled leaves, shriveled tips, and holes in the leaves. I have phoned the company twice. I could never speak to a real person, so I left two messages. None of them have been returned. I sent thememailed them, and they have not responded. I have requested a full refund or replacement (shipped 2 day Fed-Ex, and packed correctly). I hope you can use this information to help other people.