ncbill West Jefferson, NC (6 reviews) November 22, 2016
Posted on June 14, 2015, updated November 22, 2016
My overall rating for Michigan Bulb is a qualified positive.
I am always apprehensive about doing business with Gardens Alive! affiliates. Service and product from all the companies clustered under that \"umbrella\" seems hit-and-miss.
I had a lot of planting to do this year, and I grudgingly decided to order from Michigan Bulb again, despite writing them off a couple years ago when I had a hassle trying (ultimately unsuccessfully) to get a replacement or credit for a shipment of rotten, mushy lily bulbs). Some of the prices this season were tempting, and they had lots of plants I wanted to add to my gardens.
I placed an order May 1. Shipping was respectably quick--received the order on May 11. The plants and bulbs were generally respectable/acceptable enough that I ordered a few more times. Packing, as I experienced in the past, is just OK. All of the packages we received could have been packed better. One or two more \"air bubbles\" in each box would have held the plants more securely and kept things from shifting/shaking/sliding around inside their boxes.
Product has been hit-and-miss. Some of the plants (Hosta) were nice and healthy. Some of the more tender ones (violets, primroses, sedum, hollyhocks, etc) didn\'t arrive in great condition--some were partially rotten and some were completely rotten. In general, vines, trees and shrubs arrived very, very dry (and tiny) and I am not sure those will survive. A sedum collection was very skimpy...5 tiny sprigs, although it does appear that all will live. Bare-root items all seemed healthy with no problems. Lily bulbs were consistently nice size and healthy. A couple of the primroses we ordered have actually bloomed, but did not bloom true to the promised colors...they are the common colors I can buy anywhere for less money. Rose bushes drop-shipped from a grower in California arrived quickly, were very healthy and were a great value.
I have nursed some of the plants back to health, and the ones that were beyond saving, have been, or are being replaced or credited, so far with no hassle.
Overall, I am pleased. Some of the plants/bulbs I received are nicer and healthier than expected. The plants and bulbs in general have been healthy and the customer service has been fine. Three of five orders remain incomplete--still awaiting shipment for items ordered over a month ago, but order updates have been timely.
Again, you do get what you pay for. I shopped around and believe I got some really good deals from Michigan Bulb this year. I will shop with them again.
On November 22nd, 2016, ncbill changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Many of my plants from previous orders did not survive into the next season.
I placed an order this fall, during their clearance. I called to make sure the order would be filled. The representative I spoke with confirmed availability of everything I ordered. Nearly two weeks later, the order was cancelled without notice or explanation.
LowcarbNY Clifton Park, NY (1 review) November 18, 2016
2 years in a row they disappointing me.
They don't ship on time.
They don't ship the full order
They string me along for months and then cancel the order.
This year I ordered 8/29
Was supposed to ship mid September.
Finally got a partial shipment 11/16
11/18 they canceled the balance of my order, didn't even send me an e-mail to say that they were canceling the order. I had to find that on their web site.
If they were honest with me I could have gotten the canceled items from another source. Now it is too late in the season. Another planting season lost.
Bigfeet Los Alamos, NM (1 review) November 9, 2016
I ordered from Michigan Bulb only because I had a half price coupon code, and they had some perennials I needed that weren't available locally.
I placed an order late August. I amended the order about a week later, and customer service was very helpful.
Estimated shipping date was pushed back three times. When the first (partial) shipment went out, it took ten days to arrive. I've had stuff sent to me from overseas that took less than ten days.
The packaging wa ridiculous... each potted plant was shrink wrapped, boxed, and re-shrink wrapped. A few of the plants were slimy and disintegrating, but the roots seemed okay.
The rest of my order arrived in November, and was not what I ordered. Seems they didn't actually have what I ordered 10 weeks earlier in stock anymore, and thought it was okay to substitute without notifying or refunding me.
1. Constant email harassment with discount offers
2. We planned on first shipping date told us and it has been put off three times thus far.
3. This source more expensive than others who specialize in quality organic plants
4. We reserve judgement on product until we finally get and grow them.
5. Absolutely the worse seed/plant site we've been to and we have used many over 30 years of planting in an organic, sanctuary as well as our own garden needs.
In early summer 2015 I bought a home with a severely neglected garden. After weeding, tilling and adding 3" of landscapers gold and sod, I began planting the borders in September/October of 2015.
I ordered roughly $350 worth of plants including: bulbs, a lilac, a "shamrock" rose, grasses, and bareroot ferns, hostas, plume astilbe, and bleeding hearts. I also took advantage of a free + shipping promo for a oakleaf hydrangea. Michigan bulb allowed me to purchase the most for my money.
I am actually content with the results now that it's summer 2016. All the hostas and bleeding hearts emerged and are thriving. The bulbs, mostly daffodils, tulips, crocus, and hyacinths bloomed nicely.
The shrubs arrived bareroot, and as others have commented, very tiny. These would likely be sold as 4" pots in a nursery. They all survived winter and are flourishing. Don't be fooled by the shamrock, or St. Patrick rose. It's actually a WEKamanda rose, and its more yellow than chartreuse or green. That said, the rose is thriving. By July it's already grown to 3 feet with a few canes and several blooms. Still, I'd recommend getting your shrubs locally. You'll get a more mature plant for probably double or triple the price, but you won't have to wait 3 years for the plant to mature.
The ferns were veeeery slow to emerge. They only began putting up fiddleheads in June 2016. Roughly 9 months after planting, and some never emerged.
My only disappointments are the ferns and plume astilbe that never emerged. I contacted Michigan Bulb to see about a replacement for both. They said that since neither is currently in their catalog, they would issue me a voucher. I got $33 and that's probably more than the value of the original plants.
My advice for success: plant as soon as you get the plants in the mail, soak them in water, plant in fall, mix in good quality soil, and let nature take its course.
Background: more than a decade ago I ordered about 30-40 ferns from Michigan bulb. When they arrived they looked small and dried out. I called with concern and was brushed off and told they were fine. I planted them exactly as directed, but only three ever came up. I called back and was told to wait until the following spring. I waited. Only the same three came up. I called many times and left messages but never received a return call. I decided never to order from the company again.
Present (2016): In spring 2015 I decided to give the company another chance. I ordered a mix of things from them including 4 azaleas, a hosta, a fern, freesia bulbs, coneflowers, a blue daisy, bleeding heart, blazing star, evening primrose, etc. The "azaleas" were laughably tiny (I could, and should, have bought two healthy full-grown versions locally for the same price as the four twigs). I was surprised and disappointed, and my husband was none too happy, but we planted everything carefully as directed. Out of this entire order, after more than a year, we have 4 teeny tiny fragile twigs (6" tall with one stalk and two leaves) that call themselves azaleas, and an anemic hint of a hosta. The blue fringe daisy was first delayed, then supposedly shipped, then out of stock -- and never refunded. My calls were not returned. NOTHING else from this company ever sprouted. NOTHING. Every single thing I bought from our local garden stores and our big box stores grew (even clearance items in poor condition). The only thing that has grown from this company is email: 306 since my order a year ago. BUYER BEWARE.
Cearbhaill Russell, KY (Zone 6b) (16 reviews) May 11, 2016
Many years ago as a novice gardener I ordered from Michigan Bulb and was disappointed in the size and quality of the plants I received. Upon reading reviews I found that I was not alone. But somehow, every few years or so I find something I must have and Michigan Bulb is the only place I can find it in stock or cheaply enough to buy in quantity. I forget the past, think "How bad can it be?" and order from them again.
Sadly, I did it again this year.
A big gripe is that they take forever to ship- an order placed the first week of April only just arrived May 10. The order was split into so many shipments- this in combination with the amount of spam they email you is annoying. You have to check every single one of the emails for shipping info, but it seems to never come.
God forbid you do try to use an offer from an email- it raises the purchase price of the plants! I had a full shopping cart, applied a discount code, and the total price actually went up. I had to disable cookies, clear my cache, and sneak up the the website sideways from my browser history to get back to the lower prices I had found initially.
And then the plants.
My Astilbe looked like flotsam that I find in the bottom of my compost pile. As I unpacked my tiny sad little wads of dried up roots I was mentally composing my review thinking of phrases like "retarded monkeys could grow, pack, and ship better looking plants." But then I realized that such phrasing, besides being politically incorrect, was an insult to retarded monkeys everywhere.
Things are just so tiny and sad looking. Poorly grown, rootbound, hanging onto life by a thread type plants. My Josee lilac was mere stubs- clearly they snipped off all of MY foliage to root for other unsuspecting fools. And my creeping phlox! Oh my God- these "plants" were mere snippets of of a bit of yellowed foliage. I toss better looking things in the compost pile when cleaning out beds. Simply horrible shape.
I must say, however, that I haven't lost anything that I purchased from them this year BUT I feel as if that speaks more to my abilities at rescuing plants that it does to anything done on their end.
I order many, many plants each year from many, many vendors and Michigan Bulb is repeatedly the worst of the lot.
Why do I keep doing this?
I really think I have learned my lesson this year.
If you enjoy the challenge of resuscitating plants that need life support, go for it. You'll get your money's worth in that regard. But if you want to receive healthy, vibrant, saleable sized plants do yourself a favor and avoid this family of vendors as everything you receive will be tiny and of very poor quality. Things will take at least one full season to recover and grow enough to look decent.
The one small silver lining in my having now finally received the last of my items is that now I can consign Michigan Bulb to the spam folder once and for all and never have to see another one of their misleading and innumerable emails ever again.
They market solely to novice, unsuspecting gardeners, and those like me who are thick headed and never seem to learn.
I have been a customer of Michigan Bulb, Dutch Bulb, & spring hill nursery which are all the same company for over 20 years. I moved to a new house & purchased a few plants from them. A few of them arrived dead & they had to replace. They kicked me out of their customer base & won't allow me to buy any more of their products stating that our products don't work for you. They clearly blame their POOR quality plants on their customers. It could NEVER be their fault. Please save your money & buy elsewhere. Do NOT buy from them. They will take your money, blame you for their poor quality work, & then kick you out of the their service. I am also filing a complaint with the BBB & the State Attorney General's Office
Posted on October 19, 2015, updated April 21, 2016
Posted on October 15, 2015, updated October 19, 2015
Hopefully I\\\'m not putting the cart before the horse as I haven\\\'t received my order yet but I thought the process up to now deserved a review. I actually came across this site by searching for reviews for Michigan Bulb.
I placed 4 orders from 4 different online nurseries, Michigan Bulb being the first, on the same day a couple weeks back. This was the first time I have ordered plants online. I received 2 of the 4 within 3-5 days of ordering. The third and largest order took a bit longer but it was much larger than the others and it arrived when I expected it to. The only one I\\\'m waiting on is the Michigan Bulb order.
I placed a small order with them a couple weeks ago. They had a sale going on, which from going back to the site frequently to check on my order seems to happen a lot, so the price was right. Unlike the other sites I ordered from, none of the plants I got had much of a description or any planting suggestions. Thinking back, Im not sure if Im getting actual plants or bare roots.
A few days had passed since I placed the order and I had either received or was about to receive 2 of the orders so I got onto Michigan\\\'s site to check the status which listed my order as not shipped and a delivery estimate of 10/13 to another date I forget. I checked the site again on the 13th, the first potential day of delivery, and found it still read not shipped and the delivery estimate was gone. I emailed the service department that was listed in my order confirmation but hadn\\\'t received a response 6 hours + later so I called customer service and quickly got a representative. He assured me that my order was slated to be shipped that day. About an hour after speaking with him I got an email from another rep telling me my order would ship in 3 to 5 business days and to expect another 5 to 7 for delivery. I responded telling them what the rep I spoke with had told me and about an hour after that, 10 p.m., I got a shipping confirmation. Checking the tracking on the FedEx website showed the order had shipped over 12 hours prior. Not sure how that info wasn\\\'t available to the reps I dealt with.
I should have my plants today or tomorrow and I\\\'ll update then.
On October 19th, 2015, Shaken added the following:
I received my order on 10/16. All told it took about 2 weeks to receive. While the outside of the packaging looked good and intact, the inside left a bit to be desired. There were 7 bags with bare roots in them, one long cardboard tube with a small Clematis in a pot, and a bunch of catalogs for MB and Breck\'s at least. The tube the Clematis was in wasn\'t very supportive and a lot of the soil from the pot was now in the shipping box though the plant was in good shape, maybe a little over watered for the trip. All of the bare roots were in transparent plastic bags with a handful of potting soil. They were all bone dry but looked in good shape. They were just laying in the rather large shipping box, nothing keeping them protected other than a few packing air bags.
Long story short. Though poor shipment tracking on their website, uninformed customer service, and poor packaging the plants/bare roots look good. Time will tell how they do in the ground.On April 21st, 2016, Shaken changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Of the 7 plants I ordered, only the Clematis and 1 of 4 Phlox have come up this spring. I contacted their customer service but they didn't have any replacements in stock so I took the refund offered. I guess you get what you pay for.
I ordered my bulbs from Michigan Bulb in early February. From early February to early April, there were 8 ship date changes. Every week they changed it a couple times. When I contacted them the first time, they used the weather excuse, even though my area had excellent weather and it was planting time. Lie
When I contacted them the second time, I got promises of the bulbs being rushed and shipped that day. Lie.
So I opened a Paypal dispute as I had paid with my Paypal debit card and got a customer service rep that promised a refund when the item shipped AND that the refund would come in the guise of a check in 3-4 weeks. 3-4 WEEKS???? A CHECK???? I paid you with a card and you can refund the money to that card just as anyone else does. You did not wait for 3-4 weeks for payment and neither should I!
So I have escalated the claim so that Paypal can deal with it. This company is horrible! I ordered bulbs from Holland and got them with free shipping, affordable price and already have them! I even got my bulbs from other companies in good time.
This company is horrid. The customer service is bad and the "no hassle" return is even worse! I will never buy from them and will let others know what I had to go through.
The ONLY problem I have with Michigan Bulb is the same problem I have with Spring Hill Nursery and Breck's. They ship too early for my zone (5). I think that problem lies with their owner (distributor?) Gardens Alive. So, I don't hold those 3 companies responsible for that.
I ordered around $200+ worth of plants and bulbs from all 3 this year. I had a really good experience last year with Spring Hill sending me my order packed really well and in great condition. So, I figured I would give Michigan Bulb and Breck's a shot. The orders arrived packed well and growing. I have 2 4-tier mini greenhouses in my house that I recently bought for growing seedlings. Looks like they will get a lot of use while I baby-sit these plants for 3-4 weeks until it is safe to plant them outside.
I got shorted 1 Yarrow in my Michigan Bulb order. I called customer service and was treated very well. I talked to a very nice C/S Rep and she is sending me 3 Yarrow plants to replace the one they didn't ship! So, they may have had issues in the past - according to a lot of these reviews. But, it seems like they fixed the issues or I have been very lucky!
nhra_20 Janesville, WI (Zone 5a) (4 reviews) March 25, 2016
I ordered 2 different strains of lilies, for a total order of 6 bulbs. They came packaged fairly well in my opinion. There was one scale broken off the bulb, no big deal. They were firm and had decent roots. First time with mail order bulbs. Ordered from a few other companies as well this year. Planted bulbs today. Will update in a whole on the bulbs whether they produce stems and blooms this year.
Placed my order 3/9/16 and received my full order on 3/21/16. After reading a lot of the feedback about this company, I was a little skeptical ordering from them, but I'm glad I took the chance. i ordered azaleas, hostas, geraniums, lilac and a crepe myrtle tree. The items were packaged well and the roots look very thick and plentiful. Although the azaleas and myrtle tree were small (about 5-8"), they had leaves growing on them and appear healthy. Hopefully they will "take"!
wittyusername Los Angeles, CA (Zone 10a) (3 reviews) March 14, 2016
Very long time between ordering and shipping. In fact the time between the two seemed to grow every time I checked my order status. Unfortunately their bulbs didn't grow nearly as much for me. Of course that could also be because it took so long to ship my order I wasn't able to properly start the ranunculus bulbs I ordered, and consequently none of them grew. Out of the couple dozen ranunculus bulbs I ordered, exactly ZERO did anything. The butterfly bushes - which shipped as live plants, albeit tiny ones -, had to be coaxed very carefully into life for several weeks after arriving despite the website claiming their were easy to grow.
imamom04 Brooksville, FL (1 review) March 13, 2016
I placed order Feb 27. Schedule ship date has changed from March 3 to the 11th now it says the 16th... Chatted w/ customer rep... assured they would be shipped soon as to my areas planting guide.... Ummm, I live in Florida. Everything is now in bloom... Why not give me a realistic date then instead of continually changing the shipping date.... I feel like Im being scammed.. I hope not.
wubu Saint Petersburg, FL (1 review) March 12, 2016
Most plants I ordered from Michigan Bulb were supposed to deliver by mid-end February but nothing was recieved. After a call March 1st they were supposed to deliver by March 8, this last week having gone by I just checked and now it says March 15th for the majority of them. If I don't receive them by the end of next week I will give it a negative review. To date I have received all the other companies plant/bulb/seed/tree orders. It makes it very difficult to plan help to put the garden in as I've bought so many plants this year to landscape almost a 1/4 acre yard. This is the 3rd time I'll need to reschedule but luckily as mentioned I can complete the stragglers this weekend that came in from other companies. They seem really slow with the delivery.
The first time I ordered from this company, everything arrived poorly packaged and literally nothing grew. I ordered thru Zulily so I was able to get a credit on my Zulily acct for the cost of the bulbs.
I recently received a catalog that stated half off everything. So I placed a 60$ order on 2/21. The confirmation email stated everything except one would be delivered by today. Well, I never got any kind of shipping confirmation email or anything at all indicating a delay.
When I called them, the guy said that everything would be delivered by mid-March. Certainly not what I signed up for. It's not like it's still cold outside, I'm in SE Texas!
Regardless of everything else, when I called both men who I spoke to, one stating he was a manager, had such a hard accent I struggled to understand him. They were definitely in some sort of call center, not in the USA. If I have a problem with an item I spend money on I want to be able to have a conversation with someone where both parties can understand one another. I will never be ordering from here again.
I have ordered many things from Michigan Bulbs and have been extremely happy! All the roses (12-15) have been extremely healthy and are thriving. My other plants and flowers are doing beautifully, except a few which didn't survive, and they quickly sent me replacements.
They are a little expensive, unless you can get the sales, though.
However, sales staff, support and guarantee makes this a great place to shop for garden plants and fruits.
I just received my first and only order from Michigan Bulb. I wish I had done my homework beforehand but my previous mail order experiences with other companies have been very positive so I thought it was a safe bet. On Mother's Day, (May 10) I placed a small order and paid a $10 shipping fee, which normally means a 2-3 day wait but mine arrived on the tenth business day after I placed my order. I called twice to find out where my order was, and it was obvious I was speaking to an off-shore call center, and was told my order had shipped on May 15th. However, it was still a week before I received it. On their web site, Michigan Bulb claims they are partners with Fed Ex so it seems strange that their orders take so long to ship.
One item I ordered was a mixed sedum "carpet" for $10, which was a 50% discount off the normal price. The carpet was actually five individually shrink wrapped single sprigs of common sedum, one of which was only about 1 inch long. I ordered two supposedly potted creeping blue sedums and these also were just one single sprig each, one mostly dead. I ordered two bi-color hens-and-chicks, each hen is not quite as big as a half dollar and quite dried out by the time I received it. Luckily my order was a small one but it was still a total waste of my hard-earned money. Caveat emptor.
cleininger2 Bonner Springs, KS (4 reviews) May 20, 2015
Seems that MB has changed their guarantee to 30 days. I ordered 2 Japanese maples from them about 2 months ago and one died within 3 weeks, the second took about 6 weeks to die. I wasn't aware that their guarantee had changed so I babied the second tree in hopes that it would live, when I should have emailed them sooner. The first tree that died I had changed my mind about anyway, and didn't even request a replacement. I probably won't be ordering from them again, and if I do I won't wait long to request a replacement. I did order some other things from them and had about a 75% success rate.
Horrible customer service. Non-English speaking or apparently understanding. It was imperative that the shipment be expedited and it wasn't. When I called to see what the problem was, my phone request for expediting hadn't been entered. Rep seemed to not be able to understand what I wanted, then said it would be expedited, which was interesting, as it had already shipped. Phone contact and customer service are awful!
The two roses and the sedum I ordered arrived in a timely manner, however they were extremely tiny. The roses were literally single twigs approximately 3/8 of an inch thick at the base and one of them had blackspot on every leaf except for the top two leaves. The sedum was one single shoot. This would have been acceptable except that the price was almost the same as the prices at my local nursery for much bigger, potted plants. I consider it a live-and-learn experience and I'll know better than to order from them again.
Ordered a couple of elephant ears and somehow they ended up taking a tour of the United states thanks to the postal service. Contacted Michigan Bulb and they quickly sent out another order UPS. Very pleased with the product and the service.
I purchased 6 sedum plants and received them the end of April, perfect timing. They arrived perfectly packed and very healthy. I planted them last week, 5/1/15 in zone 6a. They are still doing very well. And yes, I would order from them again.
Posted on April 1, 2015, updated April 26, 2015
I read the warnings from the Tipp City resident that the company was going out of business this spring and was concerned, but decided to take advantage of an offer anyway. Wonder if this is a disgruntled ex-employee?
I understood that with the weather we have been having in the Midwest (temps far below freezing well into March) that shipping might have to be delayed past their usual posted schedule. (Think about it, west coasters -- YOU might have good weather, but in Ohio it might be still too cold to ship!)
I also understood that the plants would be small -- that was okay with me.
JUST LIKE MOST MAIL ORDER COMPANIES they don\'t let you stack offers -- it is either one discount or another (50% off, sale price, flat rate shipping, free plant etc), you choose which one works for you. I don\'t consider this a bait and switch.
Well, I was sent emails telling me when my order shipped, I was able to track the order, and it arrived right on time, well packed, big healthy plants and tubers, excellent condition. No items missing.
This was my second time ordering from MB and I am again perfectly satisfied. I had a problem years ago with the Spring Hill version of the company, but they resolved it to my satisfaction then. On April 26th, 2015, pastapicker changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Well, here is one fly in the ointment -- two of my plants (an agastache and a hellebore) have died. They arrived while it was still very cold (killing freezes) and wet (since I am only 100 miles away from the shipping facility it would have been nice if they could have waited to ship until our weather broke but that is probably not realistic); I potted them up and put them in the garage for 2 weeks until it warmed up, but after putting them outside their roots rotted.
So today I emailed them about a replacement and found that they have changed their "lifetime guarantee" to only 30 days past receipt of the order. Some things arrive so early, that it would be impossible to know if they are going to survive if the average gardener has to somehow hold the item until planting conditions are suitable.
I will have to be much more critical of the plant's size, condition and packaging in the future in order to feel confident of their guarantee.
Last fall I ordered and planted tulips and lilacs. The lilacs are small but both are doing well this spring. This spring I ordered lavendar, daffodils, lillies, festuca grass and phlox. The grasses and phlox appear to be doing well. The lavendar look ill. I am going to give them some more time and if they die request replacements. It is too early to tell on the daffodils and lillies. I'll post updates later!
I placed several medium to large orders last spring. After realizing their shipping dates were not accurate, I just started waiting for emails from UPS to really know when my items were coming. I'm in zone 7, and I did get most of my items before I was ready to put them out in mid-April. Items I ordered later in Spring actually arrived pretty quickly. Most of the plants I received needed some TLC before they could go outside--extremely dry, yellow, dead sections, etc. If you aren't willing to baby your plants for a week or 2, don't order. Some were dead or died quickly, and customer service did replace or refund if the plants weren't available to reorder. My issue is now several perennial plants aren't coming back after the winter, and some bulbs I ordered never even came up! When I placed all these orders, the website claimed a "lifetime guarantee," but now they won't honor that saying it's only guaranteed for 30 days. Today I was promised a refund (about $4) for a plant I had ordered in fall, but that was only after arguing and pointing out that I had no way to know if it was alive or not in 30 days bc that was the middle of November. I didn't feel like arguing more over what's probably a total of $25 (because of coupons). She did try to give me store credit, but I told her I didn't want it bc I won't be placing more orders since they went back on the guarantee they gave me when I originally ordered. Their 1st offer (after I argued their denial) was a replacement plant, which I would have liked, but they don't have it anymore-- a common problem with them. Overall, among the items immediately refunded/replaced, and what needs refunded/replaced now, I'd say it's about 1/2 of everything I ordered.
ysfex3 Greeneville, TN (10 reviews) March 28, 2015
I've ordered many times from Michigan Bulb. The experience is always the same, AVERAGE (when all factors are included). The prices are reasonable for most items. I assume they get a lot of their inventory from other nurseries' overstock. They do get some cool stuff once in a while.
You should always, however, wait for their almost DAILY coupons for various discounts/free shipping. The 20 off 40 coupon is just a way to get you to buy more. If you need plants worth close to a multiple of twenty, you can simulate close to 50% off. Once in a blue moon, you get the holy grail coupon, 50% off any items you order.
The biggest downside to MB is shipping time, as in the time it takes to actually ship out your order. I usually do get a couple of delay emails before the order ships, but it's fairly fast to arrive. It's annoying, but you just have to expect it and you won't go crazy. Emailing them sometimes gets someone to speed up your processing.
The ordering is simple, made to entice impulse orders. Also, they don't seem to be shy about giving you a replacement certificate (price you paid for plant only) for bad plants. I got a Bihou Japanese Maple for cheap, but it died over the winter (5 months or so). I got credit the same day. I guess they just expect a lot of losses. It's not a refund, but it's better than some places that just ignore you.
I recently got an Acer Shirasawanum 'Aureum' for $20. It wasn't huge but it was decent and healthy. I ordered a Flat Wonderful peach in the fall for about the same amount, and it arrived bareroot this March. At about 4' with some top branching, I was pleasantly surprised by the size.
So, if you think that you can handle all that I've described, then MB may yield you some deals. I'll rate them positive, but a 1-10 scale rating of 7.0 would be more appropriate.
I ordered from Michigan bulb twice within a few weeks but after reading all the negative reviews I cancelled my big order for all my outdoor plants and just stuck with the first order that I got an excellent deal on. I ordered 4 hens and chicks succulents (2 different varieties) and although they did come a few days after first stated they got to me in perfect condition and were even bigger than I had expected after reading reviews. They are thriving and I have absolutely nothing negative to say about Michigan Bulb even their customer service agent that cancelled my big order for me was friendly and professional. I can say now I wish I had not cancelled my other order.
I've read partially other reviews about the company. If I knew what is going to happen to this company, I should not have ordered any plants starting Jan 2015.
I purchased some plants from them before this year, they did a great job on sending plants on promising shipping dates. My recent order was 7 rose bushes from them in mid Jan. 2015. They had special of 50% off for each rose bush. I thought that was a good deal.
After paying for the merchandise, they gave me the shipping dates, which was 1 1/2 months away, between 2/26-3/05/15. I didn't mind to wait that long for the rose bushes. And then, 5 days before 2/26, they sent me another "Update Order Status." Guess what!? The shipping dates changed again to 3/23-4/12/15. And another one came recently, the dates changed to 4/12-4/16/15. ...What the heck!!!
I contacted the customer service (twice) to cancel the order. I couldn't wait that long for an order to arrive....3 months of waiting for something usually shipped within 2-3 weeks for any order. I even sent them a regular mail to cancel the order. As of today, I have not heard from them; of course, I just sent them another Email to remind them that I would contact the 3rd party if they don't solve the (Fraud?) issue.
Never so dissappointed in my life - ordering some beautiful plants and have to wait for constantly change on the shipping dates...while local markets already start to sell such products.
perenniallyme Jamaica Plain, MA (Zone 6a) (16 reviews) January 25, 2015
This isn't the sort of place that I usually buy from, but I was searching primulas and saw that Michigan Bulb had a 40% off sale on perennials, and additionally the website said $20 off your order (of $40 or more) if you give them your email address. So after sending them my email address, they sent me an email with a place to click for their website. When I did, THE PRICES WERE MUCH HIGHER to get the $20 off, so, in fact it was more like nothing off, or more money than their 40% off sale.
After speaking with a rep and getting a code to use, I tried ordering on the 40% off website, but it wouldn't accept the code I'd been given and the website locked up, so I called again to try to try to place my order on the phone, and was told that I can't combine offers. THE WEBSITE SAID NOTHING ABOUT THE OFFER NOT BEING VALID WITH THE PRICES LISTED! I then asked to talk to a supervisor who told me the same thing.
As far as I'm concerned, they're making fraudulent offers and this is a very scumbag company! (Not to mention that I had to search to find the real names of the plants that they had renamed with bogus names and have wasted a few hours of my day on this whole thing.)
Sooo... I just wanted to warn everyone and ask that you boycott Michigan Bulb.
Gardeners watch out! Michigan Bulb is in serious financial trouble and will be going bankrupt in the spring of 2015. I just want to warn the rest of you before you place an order and get stuck with nothing like I did. You have been warned, Michigan Bulb is bad news....
I had a discount coupon to try Michigan Bulbs so thought may as well - at that price not much to lose.
I ordered their mixed asiatic lilies to use as a filler in some beds that need "some oomph". They arrived in widely variable size and condition. At least 2 or 3 in each bag were notably smaller (tiny for a lily) with several having some scales that could have looked healthier.
I don't have much hope that those bulbs are going to do much next year and some of those itty bitty bulbs - pfft - who knows?
I understand the need to have vendors for specimen lilies versus filler lilies with my budget. However - I wouldn't buy my filler lilies from MIchigan Bulb again. When I realized I needed additional lily bulbs to go into my beds - I placed my orders with other vendors - and did a MUCH better job researching on Dave's Garden first.
They delivered what I ordered in a timely fashion though - so I will mark neutral with a "You get what you pay for".
Last year I ordered three different preplanned garden plant sets and every single plant grew. There sales pitch that in the second year the plant would do better than store bought plants was true. So, this year I purchased an additional preplanned set of plant plus many more. I have been greatly disappointed as many of the plants died quickly. The company sent a couple replacements which were either withered and died quickly or died after a week or so. I've sent the company 3 separate emails on the problem and haven't ever received a response. So much for their supposed great service. I will not be buying any plants in the future since they don't stand behind their product.
zone9fox Jacksonville, FL (1 review) October 5, 2014
Placed an order back in June . I have yet to receive any part of the order. I've received several order updates as to when they would deliver, each pushing the date weeks further in time.
(current date Oct. 5)
The company information provided states " Scarlet Tanager LLC, d/b/a Michigan Bulb Company. 230 Mary Avenue Lawrenceburg IN 47025 "
Looking on Google maps,street view, shows an old house on the corner , granted their address numbers don't always pan out but half a block down the street is a office building with that address with a tenant called Gardens Alive Call Center. Greendale is the actual city not Lawrenceburg. I can't help but think there's a connection between Michigan Bulb and the call center. Kind of shady if you ask me.
I purchased several plants towards the end of Spring. The one draw back is that you don't know when they will arrive, and I did not have time to plant them immediately. However, I was able to store them in a cool dry place for a few days.
They will arrive as bare roots and may "look dead". It is important to follow the instructions for pre-planting. I had purchased previously, so I expected this and did not expect anything to bloom until next summer.
To my surprise, 2 of my rose bushes that were a little worn from the travel and not being planted immediately (new branches had started, but broke off), have already bloomed this year!
The rest of my stock were spring plants and I will be looking for them next spring. I hope I will be equally happy then.
lwbuchholz Manhattan, MT (8 reviews) July 17, 2014
I ordered a lot of Iris from this company. They shipped them too late to plant them in my zone. I planted the first shipment in my green house and they lived. They sent the last 3 later and they came through very dried out. I planted them anyway and hoped they would live. The last 3 died and they issued me a certificate to buy more stuff from them. I am angry because I gave them money and they should return the money or replace the plant. I doubt I will order from them again.