I've always had a great experience with ordering from Bob. I always received a confirmation letter, by mail, too. The shipping charges aren't all that unreasonable, considering what I've paid before, to order from other plant companies. Nothing wrong, with a minimum order either, as otherwise, it's work, time & energy spent on his part, not including the effort to take care of alll he offers, & grows...
I was satisfied with my cacti order & they were exactly what I expected & I was really pleased with the intense, nearly red, flower color, too! ( I thought I't would be dull pink, like most others..so it was terrific!)
Minime8484 Chandler, AZ (Zone 9b) (18 reviews) August 24, 2012
Posted on June 17, 2011, updated August 24, 2012
I just received my first order from Smoley's only c. 4 weeks after ordering (well within their specified time limit of 6-8 weeks).
However, I had read the various reviews for this place, and so purposely ordered a very small number of plants and those that I ordered were only $2 to $3 each (each labeled as "unrooted cuttings" on the website, so that is all I expected).
All that I ordered were species you just don't - or extremely rarely - see available anywhere at all and all were members of the Tephrocactus/Mauheuniopsis group of species.
Granted, this group is a mess taxonomically, but the a couple of species should have been pretty straight-forward.
Well, when I got them, none were what I was expecting these to look like based on my research.
So, I queried several forums and other experts, and all came to the concensus that I have at most 2, but most probably ONE species in my batch of 5. AND, that species is the common (and very variable) T. articulatus.
Bob also was out of one of my requests and substituted another Tephrocactus (but, it again is apparently just the common articulatus too...) without notice.
I contacted him for more info on the parent plants or source or locality..and maybe even a picture of the parent plants (since these were all supposedly cuttings), and Bob responded promptly responded but balked at taking photos, and even said that he admittedly ALMOST didn't even send me the order because the labeling and names assigned was so messed up and he couldn't figure them out!
Probably would have been a good idea for him to contact me and ask me if I want the order considering those factors.
Live and learn.
I will say, I almost just rated him as NEUTRAL simply based on the fact that the plants that I *did* receive are not unrooted cuttings at all - ALL are WELL rooted cuttings with nice roots and most with multiple segments, and extremely healthy and nice-sized...especially for the price!
However, if I had just gotten ONE of the five identified correctly, I may have even rated his outfit as POSITIVE.
So, be forewarned - those that say he has a "nice selection" of species....I wouldn't be too sure, because most definitely, if it is listed on his site, that does NOT mean that is what he has.
Just sayin'.On August 24th, 2012, Minime8484 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I decided to try another order from Bob because of his nice selection (online) of Pereskia & his listing of Arrojadoa rhodantha.
I knew going in I just had to walk on glass with him so I didn't upset him, and hopefully, all would be OK.
I first called and asked the availability. He was very nice and said he would check and let me know (he knew he had the Pereskia's I was looking for, but wasn't sure if the Arrojadoa was rhodantha or penicillata).
He contacted me via phone the very next day to tell me he only had A. penicillata (despite what the website says).
So, I ordered one of each.
The plants arrived in less than two weeks, and he sent FOUR cuttings of the Arrojadoa (one with cephalium which has since bloomed!), FOUR cuttings of one Pereskia, and TWO cuttings of the other Pereskia!
All plants easily rooted and are growing well.
I have to say the whole experience changed my attitude towards his business. You just have to know going in to treat him very nicely and carefully so as not to offend (he does seem to offend easily, so it may be difficult to do so!).
I'll definitely keep an eye out for other wanted plants.
You never know...
smurfwv Cabin Creek, WV (Zone 6a) (5 reviews) August 16, 2012
I just ordered for the first time from Bob Smoleys, which by the way is in Florida. I purchased 2 stapelia, a huernia, and a duvalia and got a free plant as a gift. I paid 14.40 for shipping, and the postage on the box was 5.35 from Fl to Wv. I emailed asking if he'd refund the difference, he said no. One stapelia was a un-rooted shriveled up stem, which he said he will refund. Everything else looks pretty good. He never offered to replace the dead one, just refund. His selling practice is rediculous as is his postages. I have decided not to order from him anymore.
I was hesitant to order from here after reading some of the more recent reviews, but I am pleased that I did anyway. He has some varieties of asclepiads that could not be found elsewhere and at amazingly cheap prices. I was pleasantly surprised to get a letter confirming my order rather than an email. They explained in the letter that it may take up to six or eight weeks to get my order and I was fine with that. When my order arrived just 3 weeks after i placed it, I was excited and opened it to find my new plants in great shape, packaged carefully in paper towels secured with rubber bands and padded with newspaper. They even sent me a free new plant which was very sweet. Be patient and you should not have any problems ordering from here. I will be doing so again very soon!
I ordered three Viola pedata 'Eco Artist's Pallette." When I didn't receive a response after a week, I e-mailed to inquire about an estimated shipping date. When I didn't receive a response to the e-mail, I called. No answer, but I left a message and his wife responded later that evening. She couldn't explain why I had received no response, so she put Bob on the phone.
He said I couldn't have found that plant on his web site. Impossible! After he looked himself and couldn't find it, he said he hadn't grown it for 10 or 15 years. Apparently when I searched for the plant and found it on his site, it was on an obsolete page that had never been taken down.
OK, that's perfectly reasonable, but he was not. He was extremely rude and overbearing. He said I shouldn't have used Google to find the plant because I could get an out-of-date catalog(!) . He abruptly ended the conversation with, "Have a nice day," and hung up. I called back to inquire about the VISA payment I had included with my order, and got his wife again. She apologized, said he was old and not in the greatest of health, and basically wasn't interested in discussing problems with customers. She said not to worry, that my VISA wouldn't be charged, but if it was they would refund it.
stanqk Coraopolis, PA (3 reviews) September 18, 2011
Ordered from Bob Smoley's Gardenworld Aug. 8, 2011. I ordered Sansevieria 'Bantel's Sensation' for only $6 each. This plant goes for 5 times more in the few places that sells it. He had a minimum order policy of $15 befor shipping so I order 4. Also I asked for no subs.
It took a few weeks but I got my Sans and I was greatly pleased. Large and good roots. I just orded again with him.
PS He's no longer in Pennsylvania. He had a place in Florida and now stays there only.
I ordered several Stapeliads from this seller even after being warned his plants are mostly mislabeled, misspelled or dreamed up names. I got the plants in about 3 days and it was just after a recent update. I was surprised by the speed in shipping but when I opened the box, I knew few if any were the correct species by their stem type. After waiting and watching a Huernia urceolata (rare) turn out to be the common Huernia keniensis, I realized that I was warned for a reason. That is why I'm taking this opportunity do warn you. This is not a reputable seller. Spend your money elsewhere. If this seller is the only person that advertises a rare plant, and you don't get the rare plant, it is the same as him not having it. Beware.
The one good thing about this company-- They have a huge selection and the prices are not expensive.
The bad thing-- where they cut the price of your order is where the customer service is.
I had ordered four plants, and the form online apparently showed one plant to have a price of $0.00, I was not aware of this, so when I got my snail mail order conf. and the plant was missing I sent them an email simply asking why It wasn't there. I got a very rude email in return with a very sarcastic tone. Fine if it's an extra three dollars to buy the darn thing or whatever I don't care it's a simple mistake, not really anyone's fault. I would have preferred they email me and notify me of the website's mistake and ask me if I would like to put in the extra dough for the plant, rather than just take it off the list and get rude with me. If they had even replied with respect I would have payed for it, but they didn't. So I said to myself "it's okay, just let it go, they were having a bad day, you don't have to let one bad thing get in the way of plant-romance." But I did not ask to pay for the plant, no one who's rude to me gets any more money than I've already promised them.
Then I got my order (after wondering for two-three weeks when it was going to be shipped as there's no communication from this company whatsoever). All was good until I realized that they had "substituted" a totally different genus of plant from the one on my list, stating on the plant marker that it was unavailable. Since they seem, from the other comments I've read, to rely SO HEAVILY on their policies. They mention shipping being delayed in their policies due to unavailability, they do NOT mention substitution. This plant was the only reason I was buying from this company, I would have bought nothing else if it wasn't for this plant. I understand when running a business that things go out of stock, I run out of stuff all the time just trading non-commercially. But do you think maybe they could have shot me a quick email and said, "Hey by the way, we're out of this or that, do you want this or that instead?" I would have said, "No I'd rather wait until you get it back in stock and then be sent the order" But they didn't give this customer a choice. But I'm not even going to bother sending them an email, because it's just going to be rude and their policies will be a crutch as what seems usual.
I'm not the kind of person who starts beef anyways. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, I have much to much doubt here though.
I was sent a cutting of another plant as a "bonus" though, which shows they at least acknowledge there is something wrong about the transaction, assuming that not everyone gets one.
I would say over-all that my experience was not good. But seeing as how a majority of the comments are positive, I'm going to assume plant-season is pressing on them and I happened to be the unlucky customer. But they really do need to revise their business a bit and work on communication. It's imperative, regardless of how many plants they carry, that they work WITH the customer. I will only be shopping here again if it's something that's really rare, and even then I'll be clear to let them know that I want notification of every little decision they make concerning my order, and if they still do not do this then it will be my last shopping experience with them.
Toni05 Brookfield, IL (60 reviews) November 25, 2009
Ordered 3 Hoyas from Mr. Smoley..Plants are healthy, pest free, well-packed, and shipped promptly..
As a matter of fact, I placed the order Sun, Nov 22, 09, plants arrived today, Nov 25, 09.
There was a small problem regarding payment, (my fault.) Thanksfully, Mr. Smolely understood and the problem was resolved. So, I don't know if Mr. Smoley will read this or not, but thank you so much.
A lesson learned: Read sellers instructions before making a purchases...lol..Toni
davidmk Austin, TX (Zone 8b) (7 reviews) July 6, 2009
I ordered a bunch of Haworthias from Bob Smoley in the middle June. I received a prompt reply by email and snail mail. They came in the mail last week and I have to say they are some of the healthiest, largest, pristine plants I have received doing mail order succulents! These plants exceeded all expectations that I had. I truly was standing there with my mouth hanging open. I felt like I hit the jackpot. This is my first order. I will be placing more and will update this review if needed. If you are reading through the reviews and saying should I or should I not place an order I am here to say that it is well worth it. I wrote this all on my own. I felt the need after reading some of the other reviews. I had no problems with my order but even if I did I would not care at this point.
I ordered from this company a few times before...they lost my oder for two months....fair enough...I like honesty....I
the order did finally come...the plants seemed healthy...I ordered from them a few years later...the oder once again took a LONG time...and I had more substitutes than the original plants I had requested....the 3rd & this is the final time I will EVER order from this company...they took my money up front...and by 2months I had heard nothing about my order....if it was ever coming...or if they even had the plants started...so..I requested a refund...I got back a very snotty e-mail from the owner...saying that my threat WORKED....they would send a refund...nothing helpful..like the plants were ready to go, but they were waiting for warmer weather...or they appreciated me as a returning customer....nothing kind...& said they were sure I had read their policy of taking the money upfront & sending the plants whenever....well...no...I hadn't read that....How do people like this stay in business??? I don't need anyone talking to me this way...or treating me like an irate customer...with NO REASON to be upset!!!! Get REAL BOB...would you want to pay for something & then never have ANY idea when or if it was coming??? I doubt it...& would you want to receive mostly substitutes for what you wanted??? Once again, I doubt it....I don't deal with mean, crabby, arrogant owners...you'll receive no more of my money....I deserve better than this.....
Have had several dealings with Mr. Smoley. Always courteous, extremely knowledgeable. My experiences have always been great. Plants are healthy, large and pest free. Labeled true to species. Have dealt with him many times and look foward to doing so again. Highly recommend.
Sansevieria Orangeburg, NY (Zone 6a) (1 review) April 6, 2008
Ordered Sansevieria from Bob Smoley's Gardenworld and plants came healthy and quick!! Great experience with this company.
On the whole, I was satisfied with my purchase. I ordered five plants. One died promptly & a second one died months later, most likely due to frost.
The only reason I don't plan on ordering from Mr. Smoley again is because his website has no pictures of the plants (leading you to have to look them up on other websites), and the order-placing process is overly complicated for an on-line seller, including a snail-mail confirmation (?)...it should be much more streamlined.
If you know exactly what plant you are looking for & don't mind waiting an absurd amount of time just to know your order was received, then this is an okay seller.
I can safely say that I did NOT receive a scorpion in my package...and wonder how common scorpions are in Pennsylvania
senlarrs Harrisburg, PA (Zone 6a) (12 reviews) November 8, 2007
Placed an order 10/23/2007 and was received on 11/08/2007! Definitely received my order within the time frame promised. Everything was well-packaged and arrived in good condition. All the plants were very healthy and some were bonus sized. Will do business with Mr. Smoley again!
greyduck Charlotte, NC (1 review) September 10, 2007
I placed an online order with Gardenworld on May 15, 2007.
Unfortunately, for me my order was too big for the online order form. So I contact Mr. Smoley that same day via email letting him know that the form was too small but that I had paid the full amount via paypal and included the transaction number with the plant material that I ordered.
On May 29, I received in the mail a reply to the online order, that I had not sent enough money and that my order was changed. Again, I sent a copy of my original email and explained what I wanted. He contacted me and stated that he would take care of it.
On August 3, 2007, contact Mr. Smoley again to find out the status of the order since it had been over two months, which I thought was outside his normal processing times, to make sure it had not gotten lost in the mail. On August 6, I got a reply that he should be shipping that week and that he was behind.
On August 31, 2007, I contact Mr. Smoley again for another status update. On September 3, 2007, I received a notice that my order would be shipped the very next day.
On September 6, 2007, I received my package of plant materials and was very excite to see what I had gotten.
The first few plants looked great and I couldn't wait to get to the bottom of the box. Of course, what was waiting for me at the bottom of the box was an even bigger surprise.
There was a small scorpion about 2 to 3 inches long in the bottom of the box. It would have been one thing if it had been dead. But no it was very much alive and very upset.
Not as upset as it was after it met the bottom of my shoe.
In North Carolina, we do not have scorpions, so I don't know a good one from a bad one. So I wrote Mr Smoley about this. This is his reply:
"Simply kill the critter !!
He must have gotten into the wrapping paper that was used for packing....I remember that day when I was packing your order along with others that I got stung by something....I thought it was a scorpion by the sharp sting but could find his whereabouts.....it is not a big deal as they are completely harmless....only a bee sting type sting. They do not eat the plants or lay eggs if this is what you are getting at....enjoy his company."
Completely harmless unless you are allergic to bees or have small childern or pets! I don't know about other folks here, but getting stung by a bee or a scorpion is not something I enjoy and look forward to.
As a consumer, I can understand the wait for a specialty product that is produced in a limited quantity. But the website should reflect that wait times in excess of three months not two are possible and likely.
As a horticulture major, I can now understand the importance of shipping restrictions on plants to protect from pests and disease. From now on all new material will be opened outside and in broad daylight to protect myself and my family. I will not rely on nurseries to follow the rules.
As a manager dealing with customers, it is important to say you're sorry and try to reassure the customer. A "Hey I am sorry, not sure how it got in there. But don't worry, it's sting is just like that of a bee. Sorry again, we will try and do a better job next time. " is better than a what are you complaining about just kill it!
Plant Material: A
Plant Selection: A+
Customer Service: D-
Just received my 3rd order since January 2007. Ordered mostly Hoya un-rooted cuttings. Some of the cuttings I ordered he did not have, but since I always prefer substitutions, I was more than pleased with what he sent. All cutting were more than generous 18 to 24 inches, healthy, green, and the substitutions were of equal or greater value. Have been ordering from him since 1998, and have not been disappointed yet.
I have tried several mail order nurseries and growers over the past 25 years and have been most impressed with Bob Smoley. As I was a novice at collecting two types of plants other than common varieties, (epiphyllum and hoya) I needed a little extra assistance along the way. Bob was extremely helpful. He also worked with my schedule, delivering all orders when I would be in town to accept them. The quality of all cuttings and rooted plants was consistently of the highest quality. In fact, I often got rooted plants for the price of cuttings. I will continue to order from Bob and have recommended him to others.
kabob Macon, IL (Zone 5b) (6 reviews) March 22, 2006
Placed a huge order with this company. Received my order within the time frame promised. Everything was well-packaged and arrived in good condition. All the plants were very healthy. Would definately do business with this company again!
Eric_OH Columbus, OH (Zone 6a) (54 reviews) December 23, 2005
My order this fall was for mixed Rebutia/Lobivia species and mixed crown-of-thorns.
Size and health of specimens was good (one of the crown of thorns was a large multistemmed plant), packing was fine and delivery time was reasonable. I'd order from this supplier again.
One suggestion for improved ordering - it would be nice to be notified that the order had been received and to get an expected delivery date.
ndstitch Indianapolis, IN (1 review) November 28, 2005
I ordered from Bob and I was exceptionally pleased with the plants I received. I ordered mostly common varieties, but I did get both Kerrii's and a few other harder-to-find ones. I was told right up front that it would be a while before I got them. I was so happy, the variegated carnosas had a lot of red & pink on them, much prettier than ones I had had before. The Kerrii was quite large and healthy. There were 4 stems to the multiflora, and many came with multiple starts to them. But - one must be patient I think the whole thing took over 2 months before I got my plants. But they were worth it.
I must admit that when the plants finally do arrive they look very good and are quite healthy.
The only problem is he that you sometimes get the plants 8-9 weeks after you placed the order. But the thing that took me over the edge was that he immediately cashed the check but didn't even get back to me to give me an idea of when I was going to get my order. On the whole I would recommend him, if you don't mind the wait.
vossner Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) (106 reviews) November 2, 2005
Ordered a sans. from this company and the plant arrived promptly and properly shipped. Also price was very good compared to other sources. Will buy from this company again.
I do wish, however, that he had more many pictures. In mail order marketing, I think that is a must.On January 12th, 2006, vossner added the following:
Bought some more sans. and my experience was even better than the first time, if that is possible. Great specimens arrived within 4 days of placing my order. On January 12th, 2006, vossner added the following:
Bought some more sans. and my experience was even better than the first time, if that is possible. Great specimens arrived within 4 days of placing my order.
krowten Greensburg, PA (9 reviews) October 9, 2005
I ordered 15 Rhipsalis cuttings from Bob when it appeared an order from another company (Lauray of Salisbury) was unfulfilled.
I had some concerns about ordering after reading the comments here, so initially made an email inquiry to Bob. Bob responded that same day, and indicated an order would ship in about 3 weeks. I went ahead with the order, and received it in 3 weeks. The order was preceeded by a postcard indicating order was shipping. Good communications with this company for me.
Cuttings were nice sized and healthy. They were substantially larger than cuttings from Glasshouse, and slightly larger than Lauray's. Cuttings had apparently been dipped in a rooting compound, which I think is a nice touch. Cuttings were accompanied by hand written plant label. Packaging was excellent.
As part of the order, I asked Bob to include a seletion of 5 unusual Rhips (gave him a list of what I did not want)and asked him to select them. I was truly pleased with the selection he sent, which included several items I did not know even existed and am very pleased to have.
Bob's web site needs some work. I would like to see pictures, and the on line ordering system is weak and somewhat inflexible. Nice plants, well packaged and delivered when he said he would. Bob's will be my first stop for future additions. Impressive variety of plants.
palmbob Acton, CA (Zone 8b) (17 reviews) October 5, 2005
Had mixed experiences with Bob's place- ordered three times now- first time I was amazed at the selection.. All plants were larger than I expected and in excellent condition (didn't keep me from killing half of them, but that was my fault).
Next time took a bout two months to get the order back, but it was winter and they warned me it would take longer, so can hardly complain. Got a fern which I expected to be a joke, as it was packed with aloes... but it was in excellent condition and is doing great today.
The selection is wonderful, especially if you're into Hoyas or flowering cacti... which, unfortunately, I'm not (yet). But still a pretty good aloe selection.
On the down side, there are many mispelllings. Also some very questionable names- things that don't seem to exist, or perhaps so badly mispelled I just can't figure them out.
The last order I made has taken too long to get back... it was in early August, and it's now nearly the second week in October and still no sign of plants. They sent me the same winter warning of delayed shipping... I know it's cold in Pennsylvania in the winter... but even Pennsylvania is warm in August. And anyway, it looks like the growing grounds are in Florida. I did e-mail them and they promptly said plants would be on their way... but still 10 days now and nothing. I don't mind the wait so much as the unexpected wait... and it's getting cooler now and I am worried things aren't going to adjust as well this time of the year. Maybe I should have ordered in the spring for a late summer delivery??
Maybe I will update this when/if plants show up.On November 13th, 2005, palmbob added the following:
Ok... it's the middle of November now and still no plants... soon it will be winter and they won't be able to deliver them until next year. Hmmm. I think 3.5 months is a bit long to have to wait for an order. NOt sure what the delay is, but I will have to e-mail them again.On January 12th, 2006, palmbob added the following:
Finally got plants.... end of November, a lot later in the year than I had hoped. Unfornately some did not make it this time (too cool this time of the year), but the plants sent were, as usual, in good condition. Had I a greenhouse or someplace to root some of them, I might have saved them all. Oh well.. Next order, if I do it again, will have to be in spring so will be sure to get stuff before winter.On May 22nd, 2006, palmbob added the following:
I must be a glutton for punishment... ordered more plants (why... because they have a lot of great plants...) beginning of March 06. Got an immediate reply saying shipment could take 6-8 weeks... but it's been nearly 12 weeks and it's gonna get hot soon (not the best time to plant... similar problem I encountered last time, only then I didnt' get plants until it got cold here). Not sure what takes so long, or if being a complainer has put me on their 'whiner' list and they delay orders on purpose... but it is aggravating. I was exaggerating before saying I should order 6 months ahead of when I want the plants, but perhaps that wouldn't be a bad idea ... if there is a next time.On June 3rd, 2006, palmbob added the following:
When I wrote them this time to ask why things hadn't been sent yet, Bob wrote back saying he didn't know time was important... so from now on, if you want your plants the same season as you order them, you might request that up front. My mistake was I didn't say there was a hurry, but nor did I say take a half year to process my order. It is June and plants are still not here. And now it's over 100F. Sigh. At this point, it really doesn't matter any more when the plant will get here, as I may have to hold on to them in a cooler area until October when I can plant them. So if you want plants in the spring, probably best to order them in the fall... and if you want them in the fall, best to order in spring... I am beginning to figure it out.
raymondb Pearland, TX (3 reviews) September 20, 2005
I received my order of Sansevierias from Bob's this week and they exceeded my expectations. They arrived one month after I placed my order. Based on the quality of this first order, I have placed a second order with them.
Ray in Texas
I received plants from Mr Smoley on 6/13/05 that I ordered several weeks earlier.
I have bought from him in the past and have been pleased with my purchase but this most recent one was a little disappointing.
I bought a peanut cactus collection that is offered as 10 varieties for $25. In his online catalog he has 34 different hybrids listed for sale,in a rainbow of colors.
When I received my plants one of the 10 had turned to mush in the box but this was not my problem with the order,nor was the size or quality of the plants. In fact the quality and size far exceeded what I had expected to get.
The problem I had with my order was the fact that he offers an array of colors in this cactus but my collection of 10 consisted of 4 yellow,4 reds ,1 white and 1 purpleish color.
When offering a collection of something for sale more care should be taken when choosing which colors to send. If I had only wanted 1 or 2 colors I could have ordered the plants anywhere .
I am posting this feedback as neutral because I was partially satisfied with my order and most likely will order from this grower again in the future.
I ordered from Bob for the first time this winter (about eight different rare ferns and cacti). I promptly received an acknowledgement tellling me to expect the plants within 2 - 4 months. All of the plants but one arrived well within that window, together with a note to the effect that the bakordered plant would arrive in another 6 - 8 weeks, which it did, as promised. The plants were all of excellent quality and good size. Bob's terms (payment, shipping, etc.) are clearly spelled out in his webpage. I am very happy with the experience and will certainly order from him again.
hbabcock Los Angeles, CA (Zone 9a) (6 reviews) May 20, 2005
I order from Bob a couple of times last spring. This was my first experience with mail order plants. It took several months to receive my order, which being a newcomer I didn't know any different. The plants were rooted cuttings, a bit small, but I was still pleased. After ordering from other companies, I realized I could get more for my bucks, so I tend to stick to other companies to order my Hoya plants. If they don't have what I am looking for, I would consider ordering from Bob's again. As long as I have a few months to hang out and wait for them.
Bob may have a good selection of plants, but his processing of orders is the worst out of all the cacti nurseries I order from; this is my last order from him. I ordered plants in February and here it is April 23 and still no plants. I hope to receive them before I am too old to enjoy them.
I have ordered over 70 different sansevierias from Bob Smoley since 2002, and quite a few other various plants as well- gasterias, cryptanthus, epiphyllums, etc.. I've always been very satisfied with the plants recieved. It takes a while to get them, but he makes it clear from the start that such is the case, and it's always worth the wait. There is simply no other place where such a variety of sansevierias can be ordered. The plants are always very healthy, with good root systems, and good sized. Sometimes one may be a smaller specimen, but always in such a case I've either recieved an extra, or another plant in the order would be much larger than expected. Very happy to have this very valuable resource for so many extremely hard to find plants!
Someone stole my 18 year old common Hoya carnosa that had been started for me by my deceased mother and I was beside myself. Bob was not there when I placed my order and I was told it could take up to a couple of months to get my order. But it only took a couple of weeks. I had ordered one of his "collections" and 3 or so of the variegated carnosa matching the plant that had been stolen. I was delighted with all the new varieties, some of which I have not seen anywhere else since. I have turned into a collector and have ordered from others now too. But no one has sent as healthy and vigorous plants as Bob did. I would not hesitate to order again, but you do have to be prepared for a wait.
I've ordered from Bob several times over the years, and am more or less pleased with my experience. Because he does a lot of shows, orders can sometimes take a very long time to be filled. The plants are usually nicely sized but are often mislabeled.
My experience with this nursery was somewhat perplexing. I placed an order explicitly stating that I did not want substitutions and yet I received them anyway. Also, the catalog listed a plant which is often found only as a graft. The catalog listed this plant "on its own roots". I ordered this plant only to receive a grafted specimen. I will also note that the rest of my order was fine. Plants were healthy and shipping was not too long. I did not complain to the vendor as I had limited experience. I do not understand the inconsistencies though.
GreenGirl58 Omaha, NE (Zone 4b) (3 reviews) July 19, 2003
I've ordered plants from Bob a few times and have always been extremely pleased with the quality of the plants. And I like that I can always count on Bob to return my e-mails personally. If you have questions, he's there to answer them. He's one of my favorite vendors!
I ordered the Alocasia Assortment. I was very pleased. Item arrived very promptly and was well packaged.
Ntropics Mount Sinai, NY (14 reviews) December 7, 2002
I purchased several Christmas and Easter cacti from Bob. All were in very good condition, I received two plants of each (ordered only one of each), extra plants, and only a few substitutions, which I had said in advance said would be okay. The plants arrived within two weeks of order.
Bob mailed in advance a copy of my order, announcing the arrival time.
I recommend Bob to any collector of Christmas or Easter cacti. I have not ordered any other types of plants from him.
Bob Smoley certainly does have an impressive list of plants at his web site, but I've never seen one so I don't know how healthy they are. I did try to order about $125 worth of plants plus a few other odds and ends. Although he lists oak leaf mold as one product he carries, he has apparently been out of it for a year or more. I wanted to try his Bob Smoley cactus soil, and added that to my plant order on an impulse. I had placed two other plant orders from other companies on the same day, and they arrived in about a week. I continued to wait, and received a snail mail order confirmation from Smoley in another week. The soil sold for about $7.00 a cubic foot plus $12 a cubic foot for shipping (I ordered 2), plus the $16 shipping on the rest of the order. I hadn't realized the shipping would be so high on the soil, so I emailed Mr. Smoley that I would like to cancel that item. is reply was that if I had read his catalog I would have seen that there were extra charges for shipping the soil, and since I 'obviously did not understand the conditions of the sale' he would refund my money for the entire order. I emailed back asking that he substitute plants of equal value (his choice) for the soil, since I had indeed not realized that the 'extra' charges would amount to $24, and I was fearful of running out of weather warm enough for shipping. In about a week I received the refund check along with a sheet of paper on which he had taped cut out sections of his catalog detailing his shipping policies. Now anyone would think that for a vendor to behave in this way, the customer must have been really rude first. I can only assure you that was not the case. I simply requested in my first message that the soil be deleted from the order, and in the second message that he substitute plants for the soil. So my review is not 'mixed' as another that I read here, it is entirely negative.
I have ordered from Bob Smoley for years and have found his plants to be in excellent condition when received. Prices are competative. I also order his cactus & succulent mix & have had success using the potting mix.