Before I purchased a mail-order plant from Jene's Tropicals, I read all the below reviews. I noticed that many of the posts talking about poor customer service and slow shipping and processing were over five years old. You would think that the company would read these, and improve things. It has been 8 weeks since my order was placed and I haven't heard a thing besides one brief response ('I will check to see if it was sent out') in week 4. I have left dozens of emails and haven't been able to reach anyone on the phone. The starfruit I ordered is even listed as in-stock at their nursery. It's like they want you to order from someone else. More to come, hopefully...
I went to this store today, for the first time. It is about 45 minutes drive from my home, but I have wanted a Kaffir Lime tree for a long time, and they have them. I chose the smallest one, because it had fruit.
This is a small business. Two employees were working, there were 4 customers in person and the phone rang almost constantly. They have a great selection much more inventory than their web-site implies. The plants are well cared-for, and the service was VERY GOOD (considering the number of people working). They even carried my plants to my car for me, even though they were doing a million other things. I did call to confirm that they had the Kaffir lime trees before I drove there. They were polite on the phone and went and counted the number of trees in stock for me. Any bad experiences (slow shipping, phone not answered, etc.) probably stem from the fact that they are quite busy.
I ordered one mango tree from this company via their website on October 30, 2010. After a couple of days I called to ask when could I expect my order and the lady that I talked with said "It will probably go out next week", okay fine. I waited....nothing. I called the following week and this time another employee said "I am not sure when the order would go out because the person that handles the orders is out on vacation",.... okay fine.... I called the following week, an employee said, "We'll have to see if we have this tree in stock"........okay fine.... Later that week no one answered the phone or returned my messages. The next week "Our shipping has been down for a few weeks, maybe it will be up and running next Thursday"...... I sent a couple of emails, they went unanswered...
This went on until November 22nd when they finally responded to the second email that I sent asking them to just cancel the order.
I rated my experience with Jene's neutral because they never charged my credit card, therefore, it was just a matter of very, very poor customer service, but personally I give them a negative rating because I explained to the the very first employee I spoke with (and the second employee that I spoke with) that I do not live in FL and wanted to have the tree before our low temperatures set in, someone should have been up-front with me and said they could not fulfill my order and let me (happily) take my business elsewhere and been done with it. Instead, they strung me along and I was unable to get the mango tree from them or anyone else for winter arrived before I figured out I was just not getting this tree.
Ordered more than $200.00 worth of tropicals from this vendor online. After waiting three weeks with no ETA for the order's delivery, I cancelled the order.
I ordered from this vendor several years, ago, and it took multiple phone calls and a six week waiting period before I received the products that I paid for.
DDoleiden Allentown United States (2 reviews) March 29, 2010
Posted on March 28, 2010, updated March 29, 2010
Posted on March 28, 2010, updated March 28, 2010
Very poor customer service. Searching gardening forums will often yield several accounts of negative experiences with this company. Although their trees are reputed to be healthy and large by many, a comment from a forum user on Gardenweb sums up my feelings for Jene's: "They seem to be operating without a clue as to what's going on". It's now been 16 days since I placed my order, and it has not shipped. They did not respond to my email inquiring as to the status of my order. I've sent them another email requesting that the order be canceled. They have not yet charged my card, but if they do, I'll most definitely dispute it. If they cannot handle the burden of responding to emails, they should not be operating a mail-order business.On March 28th, 2010, DDoleiden changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I'm going to give them one more chance since I can't find another source for 7 gallon trees...hopefully they respond and I can change this to a positive...On March 29th, 2010, DDoleiden changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Today, I called Jené to order a Brewster lychee and 7 gallon longan for shipment to PA. She was very personable and helpful on the phone...more than happy to answer my questions. I'm glad we were able to work my order out and I look forward to getting the plants next week. Due to her kindness, I'll be a return customer.
treehugggr New Port Richey, FL (Zone 9b) (6 reviews) January 24, 2010
Jene's! I am ecstatic about Jene's!
Lucky me, they are local.
She stocks an impressive assortment of rare, economic and ethno- botanicals.
My calls are always answered. Jene is very nice, and Alex is a cool dude.
Contrary to the Negative post below, do go to the fruit tasting festival. Yes, the place is small, adds to the intimacy of the place.
astcgirl Davidsonville, MD (Zone 6b) (10 reviews) April 4, 2009
I can only comment on the actual "site" not shipping as I went there to find plants. I have been twice, the first time was during a fruit tasting and it was horrible, it is such a small place and was packed with people trying to try the fruit, noone was there to help and I ended up just walking out. I went back a year later (last try) and was lucky that I was the only customer and spoke to the owner herself. She was very helpful and was happy to answer all my crazy questions and pick out plants for my needs. Plants were very healthy and well priced. So I think that if you would like to go, go when it's not a fruit tasting and you'll be happier.
Jenes Tropical Fruits offers many hard to find varieties as far as one stop shopping, but the quality of each plant is a 50/50 gamble as far as I could tell. Having picked up the plants in person at the location, I do not know about their shipping. The lack of service was disappointing. I was also charged double for an item (only to be discovered later after I had already left.) If you really want an item badly as I did, you will buy anyway but if you can find it somewhere else buy it there!
kkpugh Jacksonville, FL (1 review) January 11, 2009
I have emailed and called Jenes Tropicals many times with no response. What kind of business are they running. Well, I gave up and ordered from Top Tropicals.
jujubetexas San Marcos, TX (Zone 8b) (7 reviews) December 18, 2008
The prices were good for the plants. The shipping seemed very high to me until I received my plants and then I understood. I received two boxes over six feet tall and 1.5 feet wide. The trees were in perfect condition and some had fruit on them. My white sapote was 6.5 feet tall and only had one tiny broken branch. I had very good communication with them and they called me three times to make sure my order was correct cause I changed it a few times. They were always nice on the phone and submitted to my endless questions about the taste and care of the fruit trees. The blueberries were not that big but at seven bucks a pop, they were 12 dollars cheaper than local. I would order from them again. Thanks yall.On June 3rd, 2009, jujubetexas changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
I later found out they over charged me for the blueberries. I called twice to see if I could get store credit and they never returned my calls.
Three weeks ago USDA called me and said that one of the plants they shipped me violated quarantine and they came to my house, had me dig up the tree and said they were going to burn it. I called Jene's and asked if they would offer me store credit. They never returned my call again.On June 3rd, 2009, jujubetexas added the following:
I placed a second order for a guava for my wife before the USDA fiasco. They said they would ship it the following week. They didnt ship for over three weeks and when I received the tree it was about 35% the size that the person on the phone said that it would be. Dont get me wrong, it was a great tree and has fruit on it but the shipping time and size they quoted were pretty bad. I will officially never order from this company again. Their plants are great but if something goes wrong they will completely ignore you.On June 18th, 2009, jujubetexas added the following:
I called and emailed two more times about the USDA taking my plants and the money they overcharged. No return phone call or email.
So far I am inlove with the company. I'm a fitst time customer and everything has been smooth as of rightnow. Customer service is great. I feel bad that I called them many times in one day asking lots of questions and canceling an order, but they were very patient and more than willing to help. Linda was the lady whom I spoke with on the phone each time I called. Anyway, I have not received my tree yet (ordered an atemoya tree), but as soon as I receive it, I will let you guys know how it is! :) On November 12th, 2008, MzBubbly8621 added the following:
Ok, so I received my tree last week of Monday. I was definitely happy and satisfied when I received them since they were very healthy and green and in perfect condition! A++
I placed my order on August 31 for 1 Julie Mango and 1 Wurtz Avocado. Today, Sept 5th, they are sitting in my kitchen. 5 days from order (Florida) to delivery (Wisconsin), fantastic! The Julie Mango is in perfect condition. The Wurtz Avocado got a little cramped but now that it's out of the box and in it's new container it looks wonderful. I will order from Jene's Tropicals again. Great job guys!
May 5, 2008 I ordered off the internet a Cherry of the Rio Grandeon the 20 th of April and it arrived on May 1, 08. The tree was in excellent shape with a inch and a half trunk circumference with strong well proportioned branches, and the packing was done so well that it was actually difficult to get into. It was in a three gallon pot with a soil barrier to prevent spill. I was quite impressed with Jene's.
customer service- at least their internet customer service, is appalling. would not respond to numerous attempts to order trees via email. even when i called in the order, i had to call in several times for them to actually ship the plants out.
The trees were more expensive than at Pine Island, and I put up with Jene's atrocious customer service because they are the only Florida nursery I know that will ship 7 gallon trees.
On receipt, the jaboticaba was immaculate- very large and healthy. The mango was twice the height of a 3 gallon tree i had bought from Pine Island but was not any more developed laterally.
Well, I got a pleasant surprise today. A certain "child" aka sapling came to my door quite unexpectedly. I had ordered a white sapote McDill from Jenes a few weeks ago. Most confusing was this automated return email stating order didn't go through (even after an order confirmation). So I tried twice and then just gave up.
Anyway, the sapote is in good condition. It was shipped in its own soil and pot. The root system was fairly developed as expected in an air-layered tree. I wanted this one as I also have an 8 inch Suebelle sapote with a lousy root system...so I needed one with a good foundation.
Overall good service but communication could have been better. I recommend the air-layered plants they offer. True quality!
debgeorge2 Clearwater, FL (Zone 9b) (1 review) September 3, 2006
I visited Jene's tropicals and purchased a key lime tree and a mango tree. The mango is doing fine, but the key lime was jammed in with a lot of other key lime trees and it was difficult to get a good look at it as there was only one man to help move the tree, and he was swamped with customers. When I got the tree home, I noticed the tree had leaf minors, and within a week I noticed anthracnose. How depressing. I treated the leaf minors with neem oil but don't see much improvement, and the anthracnose with liquid copper fungicide, but my experience has been that this will be a life of the tree problem. I also bought a key lime at Home depot, and it looks twice as good, was half the price. If the tree from Jenes tropicals was not already in the ground, I would have most definitely taken it back for a refund. Now I am left trying to decide if I should nurse this tree along or just pull it out and start over with another. The tree cost me 125.00, so it was no small investment.
I ordered 3 centennial kumquats which arrived in great condition. Also ordered citrus fertilizer which I have not received as yet with this order. I ordered again recently and have not received the second order of fertilizer. I sent an E-mail with the first order to include the fertilzer with the kumquats (may 06) and still have not received them as of 6/16/06.
jackiekc Saint Petersburg, FL (1 review) May 5, 2006
I have visited Jene's several times, buying most of my fruit plants, as well as palms and crotons from them. My daughter who lives near me also has purchased plants. The people are fantastic, helpful and highly knowlegable. The plants are gorgeous and doing well, despite the drought we are currently suffering from (No rain at all since mid-February) Lemon tree is setting fruit as is the mango and pomegranite, and the fig tree is racing to take over the garden, in competition with the bananas. I love going there and my daughter is disappointed that she will miss this year's fruit tasting festival!!
causticmuse Casselberry, FL (Zone 9b) (6 reviews) April 8, 2006
I visited Jene's Tropicals in person on 3/25/06 when I was in the St. Pete area with the thought of just "looking" at some lychee and brown turkey fig trees. The plants in the nursery were all very healthy looking and well-cared for, and when I wasn't able to find the Emperor lychee trees myself (there were a LOT of tropical fruit trees there, LOL) a staff member helpfully led me around to the in-stock lychee varieties and pointed out the cultivars I specifically wanted. I wound up purchasing two 3-gallon Emperor lychee trees (see photo here - http://maggiewang.com/photos/albums/Spring2006/20060325_jene...)from the nursery. All of the air-layered lychees I saw had strong, thick trunks and averaged 3 feet tall in their pots with healthy foliage and blooms. I was given a detailed instruction sheet on lychee care before I left.
Overall, I had a very positive experience--fantastic selection, reasonable prices, knowledgeable and friendly staff, and healthy plants. I'd definitely shop there again in-person or online for hard-to-find tropical trees.
I ordered 3 citrus trees & fertilizer on 3/21/05. Total came to $113.00 (I printed it). Tried to email them that I'd be out of town from 4/10 - 4/26 & not to send then. They never responded so had to call them long dist. I got order on 5/2 & the invoice said over $120.00--$7.00 overcharged to my card. One plant had a bunch of yellow leaves, the other two had broken branches & trunks were as skinny as a pencil. These were all 3 gal. plants. & should've been taller than 24-30 inches. I paid 5.99 for the fert. --price tag on bag was 3.99.
I ordered a nice 3 gal satsuma in late 12/03 for $19.99 but they charged $19.00 for S&H--$38.99 for that one!! I thought the plants would be much better (they don't seem to be dying) & am very dissappointed with the no response from them.On October 21st, 2005, patty_in_wisc added the following:
Still getting no response from them. 2 trees are dead & it looks like Jene's folded? Out of business? Can't get to thier website.On November 3rd, 2005, patty_in_wisc changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
The two plants that died had a bad graft. The grafted part was skinnier than a pencil & just didn't take. The rootstock is very healthy! All kinds of shoots off of it.
Finally got email from Joe Frankie from Jene's recently & he & Jene agree these plants never should have been shipped. He offered to refund me ALL of the order but I said I'd settle for just the 2 plants. The Buddha hand is doing fine so they don't have to refund me on that one. It wasn't my fault that they died although the rootstock is still very healthy, the grafted part is dead. They had a new person working there then who is no longer there. I'll write back if I DON"T get credited as I was just promised. Like I said, I ordered from them before and never had a problem.
GrayThumb Lost in the Woods, MO (Zone 6a) (2 reviews) April 7, 2005
I purchased 5 trees (banana, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, and lime) 2 years ago... despite my best efforts to kill them, they are still alive! These trees arrived in pots and were the best mail-order trees I have ever purchased. They have lots of cool, unusual species and varieties and everyone that I spoke or exchanged emails with was extremely knowledgeable, helpful, patient, and friendly. I will definitely buy from them again.
veggiemom Windermere, FL (Zone 9b) (1 review) March 16, 2005
I was in the St. Pete area last week and stopped by. Everyone was very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. My time was limited, but the person helping me gave me a tour of the tropical fruit which was what I was interested in. Everything looked healthy and well cared for. Purchased an avocado, mango, surinam cherry and passion fruit. I considered the price reasonable and they also gave me helpful/informative paperwork for the items I was purchasing. Can't wait to go back again!
riceke Snellville, GA (Zone 7b) (4 reviews) February 28, 2005
Received a tangerine and dwarf mango in great shape. The best thing one can say is that " there were no problems". I got what I expected.
JMLRCYMNTS Greeley, CO (7 reviews) November 13, 2004
Nice folks to deal with. Helpful with advise and the aren't adverse to offering advise via e-mail. I've ordered from them for several years and have always been pleased with their plants, shipping and customer service. They have a nice selection of unusual plants. It's getting too late to order more this season but I'll be doing more business with them in the spring of 2005. Overall rating 5 of a possible 5. Joe n Colorado
mommystuff Sarasota, FL (Zone 9b) (3 reviews) September 20, 2004
We visited Jene's Tropicals during their last Tropical Fruit Tasting event. It was pouring rain the entire weekend, but we went twice anyway. Our experience was wonderful. They did a great job, even with the downpour. We ended up purchasing 4 plants. Our miracle fruit plant is loaded with ripe fruit already and it was only a month ago that we purchased it. Their plants are healthy and they offer plenty of useful information for each plant, including typewritten care sheets. All of the plants we purchased are thriving and rapidly growing. We will be returning next month to purchase a truckload of trees. I highly recommend this company.
Jene's has a great selection and I wanted to order from them, but they won't return my e-mail asking for total cost with shipping. Instead, I'm giving my business to Pine Island Nursery who has promptly answered all questions I've asked.
natehersco Chicago IL United States (3 reviews) May 23, 2004
Last week I bought a Meiwa kumquat. I received it on time. It was very well packaged and growing in its original container. This four foot tree is a sight to behold with its beutiful lush growth and the promise of new buds forming. I'm very greatful that this place went through the hassel of shiping me this big tree.
I collect tropical fruit trees for my garden in Wisconsin, near Chicago. I have ordered over five plants from jene's Tropicals over the past three years, including a macadamia nut, carambola, fig, cattley guava, surinam cherry and orange tree. I have personally flown to Florida to see her well stocked and exceptional nursery. Every time I receive an order I am shocked at its size and condition! VERY REPUTABLE PLACE TO DO YOUR BUSINESS!
adam7twiddle Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) (5 reviews) September 23, 2003
ordered from them twice and the plants were all in excellent condition and rooted. their expediency leaves a little to be desired and their website needs to be updated to reflect their inventory. although i was satisfied overall, they could do better.
DoW_Oldman St. Petersburg, FL (Zone 10b) (3 reviews) September 2, 2003
I stopped by Jene's today. Purchased several items. Asked how they shipped their goods. Bare root or potted. They told me in the pot. Everything I saw here was in excellent shape.
The young man was knowledgeable. I believe I can say that ordering from these folks would be as safe a bet as it gets.
I give them a 5 star rating in knowledge, and in the quality of plants I saw today. Furthermore, all of my future purchases will be through them. The only exception is they do not stock organic fertilizers.
The only problem--if you want to call it a problem--was their website needed updating some. They were out of one item that their site showed as in stock.