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The scoop on 'Burgess Seed'

  Company Profile  
Burgess Seed

Mailing Address:
905 Four Seasons Rd
Bloomington, Illinois 61701 (United States)

Phone: (309) 662-7761

Catalog Order Page: Hyperlink
Paper Catalog Cost: Free

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Recent reviews:
Past month Past 6 Months Past 12 Months
Positive 0 0 9
Neutral 1 1 3
Negative 1 4 16
This company is affiliated with 10 companies:This company specializes in:Other helpful information:

  Feedback History and Summary  
142 positives
53 neutrals
341 negatives


Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

Negative OS_Fruit_Farm
Zanesville, OH
(3 reviews)
January 29, 2016
I had placed my spring order and we had a hard dry summer. I lost half my order. I requested replacements and they said it was to late to ship for the fall. The next spring got here and still no replacements.
I was told it was over looked, they would ship in the fall. Fall and still no replacements. Farmer Seed & Nursery is also Richard Owen Nursery and Burgess Seed and Plant Co. My total order with the three companies that are one in the same totaled over $600 dollars.
I will never do business with these companies again. I am now turning to our State Attorney General Office for help.
Neutral IttyBittyAcres
Shelbyville, IN
(1 review)
January 22, 2016
I ordered from eburgess spring '15. Not being super smart we just were thrilled by the catalogues with the selection and pricing.
After mulling around we finally ordered 200 privet and 50 poplar trees. It took longer than anticipated for the arrival and eventually received an email stating "delivery in 2 weeks". Low and behold it arrived before their 2 week estimation. At this point we were not ready (no holes dug) because we had 2 weeks. Guess that was our fault. We placed the box in the basement as instructed if we could not immediately plant. We dug our holes that following weekend and got all the privet in and half the poplars.

The privet took and we maybe lost 15% of those. All in all not bad odds. However none of the poplar took. That I am miffed about. I can't say whether the trees were bad or it was the 2 days in my basement that trashed them. As many people experienced, the dead twig look filled me with dread that I had wasted my money. My entire order came in a box that I could carry (12x10x48 ish) was not optimistic my entire order was in there.

Fast forward to Jan '16. We shall see how the privet has dealt with the cold this spring. I can see a few that may have to come out.
I placed another order for seeds this time. Still not shipped. I did just receive an email telling me I had insufficient funds for the order, please place the order again. I did receive an email 2 days ago to tell me my order will be shipped. I used my farm account which has sufficent funds so I am thinking that could not fill my order. Now I am behind on my indoor starts because I am having to reorder (from another vendor now).

I am sad by the negative reviews and wish I had seen them sooner. I however am pleased with my privet, not the trees and obviously annoyed by the seed order. I would order more privet from the company and that's about it. You do get what you pay for but give the twigs some time, maybe you will be surprised...maybe.
Negative Al5843
Neshkoro, WI
(2 reviews)
August 25, 2015
This company shipped us 6 varieties of plants that were dormant in AUGUST!!
Draw you own conclusions: if that's what you like, order from them.
Negative Buck7455
Hudsonville, MI
(1 review)
August 19, 2015
I tried to cancel an order with Burgess and was told that would be no problem. They shipped the order anyway.
Upon returning the order they refused to reimburse my purchase so I had to go through the credit card company to get my money back.
Well, Burgess really knows how to play the credit card system. When they saw I got my entire $257.89 back from them they posted $247.90 to my account - $9.99 less than what they owed me. That triggered a VISA policy that took the $257.89 back from me and left me $9.99 short of a full refund from Burgess.

Burgess is a sham operation set up to collect as much money from people as possible without providing any benefits to the customer at all. They know how to play the system. If you don't want to get screwed over do not do business with this company at all. Those pretty catalogs they send you are just bait for their scam.
Negative MikeMdavesgarde
Saint Louis, MO
(1 review)
August 17, 2015
1. Vague responses that do not answer your questions days later on emailed questions.
2. Extremely rude customer "service". They clearly have many customers calling them upset everyday.
3. They will charge your credit card, then not send you any plants for months, even in summer.
4. When you call them to ask nicely about when your plants will ship, they will interrupt you and rudely declare "read the website, no one ever reads the website then they waste our time asking questions".
5. If the info wasn't buried in the website and it was presented upfront, they would be out of business.
6. No one will wait for months, then receive different plants "it says we have the option to send you different plants"...what?


Negative Crazysweets
York, ND
(4 reviews)
July 14, 2015
I ordered 6 raspberries, 2 manchurian apricots, 2 juneberries, 2 honey berries from Farmer Seed, aka: Burgess, Richard Owen Nursery on January 22, 2015. I received 2 buffaloberry plants instead of the june berry the middle of May. So I sent in the shipping label right away per their request after I called them to notify them. They said they received it and had it on file numerous times. I planted all the trees immediately. June 1, 2015 I notified them that all there trees except the apricots showed no life and were presumed dead when they arrived. I have written and emailed and each time I get a different story, they are being shipped, no they are not. We don't have your shipping label, yes we do, no we don't. I still have not received any tree replacements or any juneberries. Complete waste of money. Total cost was over $100. Plus I lost out on plants, I could of reordered but had hoped they would honor there guarantee.
Neutral neferset
Rockwood, TN (Zone 7b)
(2 reviews)
June 29, 2015
Understand, I will order again, but there's a way to go about it or wind up disappointed. I have made most of my eBurgess orders through Direct Gardening. I love their prices and availability. For variety, it's hard to beat them unless you're looking for something rare. But, there are some things you have to understand.

Foremost, this is not a Deep South company. Do your home work before you order. Just because they have, say, a blackberry plant, it doesn't mean it will survive the summer sun even if your area has wild black berries. Everbearing strawberries, for instance, were not bred for Florida in August. (I used to live in FL and had a good deal of trouble ordering bareroot plants online and getting them to live before I figured that out.)

Next important thing...they will ship plants as long as your area has no frost and they deem it safe to ship. This does not mean most of the bare roots are safe to break dormancy. Either plan to break dormancy in the house or order very early in the year for shipment at the very beginning of their spring shipping cycle or late for fall shipping. You'll have bad luck if you receive dormant plants in a hot May or June and try to break dormancy outside. A lot of them require a gradual spring to wake up.

None of this applies to the citrus, which is healthy and potted on arrival. (First thing I did after moving away from citrus producing states was buy potted citrus from them.) I have been extremely happy with their citrus, though there are a few minor things. They arrive as incredibly tiny plants. The first ones I ordered looked like seedlings, with no grafts. The Meyer Lemon I got some years later looked like a rooted cutting, again, no grafts.

Perhaps they fruit in one year with optimal growing conditions. The dwarf orange, a calamondin rather than a sweet variety--more on that in a minute, flowered in the 4th year, but was unable to set fruit until the fifth year. The Meyer Lemon flowered and set fruit in the second year. Both plants remained small.

The lime, which is a Bearss or Persian Lime (this from customer service because it wasn't on the sales page) is a source of amusement for me. Though advertised to reach a maximum of two ft in container, I have four times now cut it back to about three feet. It now stands 6'3" from the top of the soil. I have had it for seven years. I am tempted to put weighted Christmas balls on it because I've heard that having the tips bend under the weight of fruit encourages branching. Anything would be better than it getting taller. It has never fruited. All it does is challenge the height of my ceilings when I bring it in for winter.

I spoke to customer service about this plant in 2012 and was told not to increase the size of the pot and not to fertilize. It had been in a two gallon pot for years at that point, so I discontinued fertilizer and cut it back again. I nearly lost it to nitrogen deficiency, so it now lives in a half barrel planter and is well fed. I didn't cut it back in 2014, before the repotting and fertilizer. It spent the winter with the top partially bent due to the ceiling height.

Now, the orange and tangerine they offer. In their defense, they don't say anything about the quality of the fruit made by the dwarf orange, but they do give the scientific name. Citrus x Citrofortunella Mitus is the calamondin orange. I knew them as the orange tree that got sold to tourists for house plants in the days before canker and greening. It's not for fresh eating but it is an absolute gem for cooking. Green, the fruit tastes just like Key Lime. Ripened to orange it's a cooking treat. I use it in Mexican dishes which would use Key Lime and the orange really pops. It's meant for Philippine cooking.

Ad text for the tangerine says "Dancy," but the page has the scientific name "Citrus Reshni Cleopatra." Look it up and you'll find it's a root stock plant. It will bear sour mandarins if it's not used for a rootstock. Most people probably think they want a tangerine to give the kids. This isn't it. I want a couple Cleopatra's myself, for cooking purposes. My original one (along with my first Meyer Lemon) was eaten by a goat.

Misleading ad text aside, it takes a lot of heat hours to produce a sweet orange or mandarin. Growing them in pots and using them as winter house plants probably wouldn't sweeten a Naval or Dancy if I did have them. (Which, if you're not in a citrus producing state, this is how you have to grow them too. If you are in a citrus producing state, they can't ship to you.) But, it would be best to let buyers know what they are buying more clearly. I knew enough to look up scientific names, but the whole Dancy/Cleopatra text...that's just odd.

I haven't tried their 3-in-1 citrus, but would welcome information on it's growth habit and fruit.

I probably would have given them a positive rather than a neutral if they only shipped bare roots at times when it was safe for their plants to break dormancy and if they would clarify the ad text on the citrus. I've always assumed my lime was a freak of nature, but who knows? Everyone's eBurgess Dwarf Lime might be 6'3".
Negative KCW0326
Pleasanton, NE
(1 review)
June 23, 2015
Last year I decided to give Burgess a try because they had the hybrid willows I was looking for. I ordered 20 hybrid willows, 1 Stanley plum/prune, & 8 hostas. When I emailed customer service about my order & told them I had 21 dead trees (I told them the plum looked like a stick with no roots) & 2 live hostas, was told to give the bareroot trees some time & if they didn't grow I would have to return my original packing slip. This spring I sent in the packing list & requested replacements for my trees & 6 hostas. 3 of the 6 hostas grew this time but my trees are still sticks & my 2 hostas that grew last year did not make it through the winter. So to sum up I have received a total of 42 dead sticks & 11 dead hostas. I am no going to waste my time trying to get any replacements. Save your money & time & do not buy from this company!
Positive sullific
West Haven, CT
(2 reviews)
June 23, 2015
Posted on May 6, 2015, updated June 23, 2015
I have not ordered from mail order garden companies in years but this winter was so debilitating and unending that when I received a Burgess catalogue I just had to thumb through it and started mentally checking off unusual things I would like just to feel like I was actually gardening again. In the end I decided to order these plants, none of these varieties of which I have seen around here in the numerous nurseries I frequent. I ordered several shade plants (primroses, hosta, dianthus) and a fruit cocktail tree as well as red daisies, day lilies, yucca, etc. The order came to a bit over $100. I made the order back when the snow was thick on the ground and was rather surprised that they charged my credit card immediately and not on shipment, but that wasn\'t really a problem. I had no trouble getting through to order.
The plants arrived in a bag a few weeks ago, just about when they should have. The bare roots all looked healthy. In the booklet they had a paragraph: Is That Tree Dead or Alive? instructing you to scrape the bark a bit and see if, of course, underneath it was green or brown. My fruit cocktail tree (which was quite thick, unlike the twigs sent by the Arbor Day foks etc which are viable but tiny) was vibrant green underneath. I was able to plant the bare root plants and the tree immediately, but there was a warning not to plant the potted plants (there were about eight small ones) if there was a chance of cold and, Unending Winter, we were expecting temps in the low 30\'s for several nights.
So I put these plants as instructed in the basement.
Meanwhile I noticed that I had received two Stella d\'oros which I hadn\'t ordered and didn\'t receive the hostas. One look at the form explained why: one of them was 7377 and one was 7337 - it was a simple error. In calling I did get a busy signal three or four times, which surprised me, but then got through and I admit I expected to be told they would simply ship the two hostas but was told I had to send back the packing slip. When I protested that this was for the warranty the clerk told me that it would be kept on file once they received it. Also a little surprising- I was starting to think the words \"fly by night\" described the company.
So I mailed it back that day with a note explaining the situation (again). Then I broke my foot. Between that and the ungodly unseasonable cold I didn\'t get the potted plants in the ground for a week and by then the edelweiss was a goner and the three primroses on their way out (the dianthus and other primrose seem to have made it). I figured a week in the basement should not have done the plants in so I attempted to call Burgess but again, busy signal. So I emailed them. I am thus postponing a verdict on their customer service. I fully expect them to send the hostas and replace the other four plants.
As for the plants themselves, outside of those weaklings that didn\'t make it, the others looked pretty healthy, as did two indoor citruses I ordered.

On June 23rd, 2015, sullific changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:


I did email Burgess several times, but did receive the hostas they had mistakenly not sent.

I asked if the edelweiss and plumeria, which were not bare root and had to be held a week due to cold weather here and didn't survive a week in the basement very well, could also be replaced. I said I would take responsibility for the three primrose which while a big ragged were still quite green when planted.

Despite the fact I had my broken foot and could not water the plants (and we were in a drought) - only got out twice to use the hose, and it only rained once, in over a month - the plants were all coming up and doing well, even the fruit cocktail tree which, due to my injury, was now being surrounded by raspberries I hadn't been able to cut back - it had several leafy branches.

Burgess did sent a replacement for the edelweiss and the plumeria,and then I received the primroses, which I had said they didn't need to replace.

It did take a while, but there were no questions asked and no demanding that I send the dead edelweiss (which of course was just a plug of dirt) or anything like that.

When I went to plant the primroses, I discovered that, against all odds and hidden under copious weeds I had not been able to remove, the original plumarias, which my husband sort of half-planted in their already sorry state after that week in the basement, were doing fine.

I do find the length of time it took to replace things inordinate, but I cant complain about the quality or the refund and replacement policy itself. Thus I am changing my neutral review to a positive.
Negative beluga11
Friday Harbor, WA
(1 review)
June 19, 2015
When ordering i always make it a point to ask the vendor to send in early March, which is proper planting time where i live. My Burgess order hadn't arrive ed by April 15, so i wrote them. It's coming they answered. Finally, on May 12 i asked them to cancel my order. They said it was mailed a week ago, which was a lie, because it didn't arrive here until June 1.Some plants were OK, but two of them 2 pawpaws and two oxydendrum looked very dead — no roots, no leaves, no buds, shriveled tips. I wrote Burgess with my invoice #. They insisted I plant the trees and give it 6 weeks. I gave it 3 weeks and when the plants snapped in half with a nudge it was totally obvious they were dead. I wrote Burgess for replacements, an issue I've never had a problem with working with any other vendor. Burgess told me I had to ship back to them both the original invoice and the trees, themselves. I didn't have the original packing anymore. I told them, they had my invoice number, and my name and email linked to that number. So what was the problem? They said they would not replace my plants without the original invoice and plants. I have complained to the Better Biz Bureau, because i feel they use this legal ploy to avoid their own responsibility in sending out live plants, let alone healthy plants.
Company representative comment on June 20, 2015:
On Jun 20, 2015 10:48 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. It does not mean they are dead, but since they are dormant, and not leafed out, people unfamiliar with bareroot nursery stock may they mistake them for dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. Then keep well watered after planting and within 6 weeks of warm weather, the plants should break dormancy and show signs of leaf.

We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee which is clearly posted online and in our catalog, and we stand behind them. We do not require that you return the dead items when requesting replacement.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see if we may be of assistance

Positive vineymaple
Grand Mound, WA
(2 reviews)
June 11, 2015
I ordered about 40 willows and some other small perennials. I would say nearly all of the willows have sprouted and are growing well (maybe there is one that still has not come out yet, but it is still green). Two of the perennials were kind of dry and crisp when they arrived, however I did put them in seeding soil, watered them well, and placed them under a fluorescent for a few weeks and they came back really nice. I was hesitant from the negative reviews on here, but I am pleased overall with the quality and service.
Positive 4RealFood
Mount Orab, OH (Zone 6a)
(6 reviews)
June 11, 2015
I have had nothing but a positive experience ordering from Burgess over the years. The plants do arrive without warning but I am usually chomping at the bit in early spring to get outside and get dirty any way so it's like a pleasant surprise to me.
Some of the plants do arrive small and weak looking but plant them and give them a chance! Have patience! (After all, if you do not have patience, maybe you should pursue another hobby instead of gardening!) Some of the better trees and bushes I have on the property have come from these small, wimpy looking twigs I have gotten.
I have used their plant warranty on several occasions and they have never challenged me on anything, just sent the replacement plants and we tried again.
I have bought from Burgess and other Direct Gardening companies for about 6-7 years now and I will continue to do so.
Negative johnjay
Fallbrook, CA
(1 review)
June 7, 2015
As the majority state, plants arrive in poor state an only about 10% of what I ordered survived and sprouted. Beautiful catalog and great prices (seemed). The reality not so great. Warranty says to send back dead plant and shipping label. Except for the trees, nothing left to send back. I don't want to waste more money on shipping and have the same thing happen again. This was a tough $100 lesson for me. You have no idea when things will show up, for us was the worst time, when we were out of town, 4 different shipments. Seeds may be OK. None of my onion sets sprouted, never happened to me before!
Negative megandbruce
(1 review)
June 5, 2015
On the 1st of April, I ordered a dozen of a new kind of strawberry, called a pineberry. I was unfamiliar with them, and I wanted to try something new. Almost 60 days went by, and repeated emails to Burgess. On June 2nd I received a small plastic bag with the dozen strawberries in it..........10 of which were completely dead. The other 2 I am working on, trying to save them. It isn't so much the poor product. That happens occasionally. It was the attitude I received from the company as I tried to find out where my products were. We plant strawberries here at the end of April. That's why I ordered them at the beginning of April. These that arrived on June 2nd are absolutely no good to me(the 2 that survived). Needless to say, that was my first and only order with Burgess.
Company representative comment on June 7, 2015:
On Jun 7, 2015 12:28 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customers experience as we do take pride in our customer care. A customer care representative has contact this customer for further information. We do have a 1 year replacement guarantee on all of our plants and do hope that the customer takes advantage of this guarantee.

Positive oldfolkie
Rockford, IL
(1 review)
June 2, 2015
It's been years since I have ordered from a mail order company…. bad luck every time. But, I decided to give Burgess a try due to the selection and prices.
The plants arrived a bit later than I expected but in plenty of time to put in the ground. The root plants are excellent and the bulbs are fresh and slightly sprouting - as they should be. The seeds? Well, time will tell, of course.
I'm happy with my shipment and will most likely order from them again and definitely recommend them to my friends.
Positive Carsjuanjose
Des Moines, IA
(1 review)
May 30, 2015
I been buying from this company for over 5 years as their prices are good they do take awhile to ship out but it depends on the type of order you made potted plants tend to take a little bit more but I just got my order and every thing looks green and healthy I will be doing business again next season I order the citrus collection every thing arrive at about a a foot tall as they should be
Positive sveltevictoria78
Medway, MA
(1 review)
May 30, 2015
I found the best way to contact them is through their email. They are courteous and checked on my staus of order. They were running a little behind, but they said they would ship it right out. IT was here in 2 days! My pear tree and rose bushes were soaked, but even dormant show no sign of life remember to do the scratch test right away. My 3 in 1 citrus tree was in beautiful shape and i transplanted to a larger pot..plenty of foliage, my asparagus roots had a tiny bit of mold..just rubbed some off. They are in the ground now and are doing fine. Just remember trees are hard to ship through the mail and do scratch test right away if you wish to go that route and soak in water. Make sure to contact them right away with problems..they resolved mine right away. Better to use email..they are mostly busy on the phone. The seeds are phenomenal and they have been taking care of many generations through their seeds. Please give the seeds a try everyone. Germinate them inside first. Good luck!!!!
Positive jaythree3
Wiggins, CO
(1 review)
May 27, 2015
I have ordered from Burgess for several years now. Each time has been positive. My orders arrive in time for spring planting. Items that I have ordered arrived in good condition. I will continue to order from Burgess each and every year. The prices are fair and usually a great bargain.
Positive Wooknor
Indianapolis, IN
(1 review)
May 20, 2015
After reading all the reviews here about this company, my heart sank and was now anticipating the worst.

My plants arrived in a bag, the 2 5in1 trees were bare-root as others here indicated and looked dead(Pear was a whip and Apple had branches). Grafting unions looked good on both trees. I have purchased berries bare root before, and the currants and gooseberries looked nothing different from what other nurseries sold.

I soaked the trees overnight in water exactly as the instructions said (I even scratched the bark and confirmed it was green underneath) and planted them. A couple of weeks later, lo and behold the buds were green and now both trees are growing well. The Pear has many new branches popping out as well. All the berries survived. Either I am very lucky, or the people here don't know how to properly care for a bare-root dormant tree.

The St. John's Wort and Wintergreen shrubs shipped very much alive in plastic pot holders and looked great, as did the 4 different citrus trees I purchased.

Did they take far longer than I expected, yes they did. But, this is a discount place that sells items for 50-75% what you would pay elsewhere for many items, so you should expect some tradeoffs.

People should not expect this company to be a top rate nursery. You get what you pay for. I am happy with my purchase, but I also understand that if it isn't perfect, it's my fault for choosing them and trying to save a buck.
Negative tooner2
Charlotte, NC
(7 reviews)
May 18, 2015
Completely unacceptable. Bare root plants arrived well after planting time. Roots of trees weren't wrapped in anything! They were completely dried out. One tree had poked through the package and the top was broken off. Pitiful and disgusting.
Company representative comment on June 7, 2015:
On Jun 7, 2015 12:33 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. It does not mean they are dead, but since they are dormant, and not leafed out, people unfamiliar with bareroot nursery stock may they mistake them for dead. Bareroot items can still be planted at this time. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. Then keep well watered after planting and within 6 weeks of warm weather, the plants should break dormancy and show signs of leaf.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see if we may be of assistance

Negative billclintonm
Jackson, MI
(1 review)
May 5, 2015
I ordered black raspberry plants over a month ago. Here it is toward the end of the planting season and still no plants. Every time I call I get a busy signal even when initially trying to order which was over a dozen times. If only they were as fast with their deliveries as they to add the charge to my credit card. I should have known better when they never answer their phone. Never again will I order from them.
Negative dmitri25
Leland, NC
(1 review)
April 30, 2015
I order $158.00 worth of fruit trees on 04/02/2014. All the trees arrive dead after contacting customer service I was advice to give them a chance and plant them any way in worse case I will get replacement. Year later trees still dead I request replacement. When replacement arrive all the trees dead again. Do not order from this company do not fall for price you will get dead trees. At this time I try to get my money back ….. no response to my emails. You not be able to get anybody on the telephone. Only by email. Look like a good scam to me to sell dead trees for half price.
Negative joeriw
Limestone, TN
(2 reviews)
April 22, 2015
I was very excited about their catalog... They seem to have nice plants/seeds for good prices.

As soon as you order, they are still looking good... They shipped my seeds about 3 weeks after the order. That was a bit slow and made me a bit late for my early crops.

They chopped my order in half, as I had also ordered a tree, strawberries and some other shrubs.

It's now a month and a half PAST planting time here, and I have still not received my order....
After sending them an e-mail they just sent me a standard mail back (not answering my question).

I will never order from them again (or any other "cheap" seed companies/nurseries).

I've asked for a refund on my order, but I highly doubt that they will even read my e-mail, let alone answer it in a proper way...

Never again!!!
Negative bckkiller1
Lexington, VA
(3 reviews)
April 20, 2015
I have no idea how their plants come and this enough of a negative for me to write this review. I am not sure this company isn't a complete scam and im not far away from reporting them to the BBB.
My experience is as follows. I ordered a variety of plants from them two months ago coming to a total of 120 dollars after shipping. I received an email notification and a charge on my credit card and then nothing. I emailed them once inquiring about my lack of items to get a general email saying oh yeah were shipping those soon and yet still nothing.
It has been another month so I decided I should call them and the number they have on their website is either disconnected, continually busy, or never worked to begin with. If I could at this point I would cancel the whole order but I am unable to even get someone on the phone. I am one and done with this company at this point no matter what shape the plants arrive in and based on reviews I am not crossing my fingers. This has not been my experience with the other companies I order from.
Negative Pinkfloyd47
Eustis, FL
(4 reviews)
April 9, 2015
It is now April 9 and I have yet to receive my order placed on the 15th of January. The temps down here in central Florida are now in the upper 80's and headed into the 90 degree range. How well do they think their plants will take root and thrive in these conditions? In the future it may cost me a little more but Burgess and the Plantron group of nurseries will not see any future orders from me.
Negative akatja
Lake Zurich, IL
(1 review)
April 2, 2015
Re: WORST EVER direct mail catalog gardening plant and seed company

I am writing here to share my NEGATIVE experience dealing with one of the worst direct mail gardening company, Burgess Seed & Plant Co. The company has so many alias and dba names what that should rise red flags before I even opened my check book.
Because of the company like this we will never use another catalog gardening company ever again. There are plenty of local nurseries around. It is not even a case were you receive dead or bad or sick plants, here we were nursing wrong plants, wasting our time and resourced for three years.

Here is our story.

We ordered GRAPE SEEDLESS SELECTION (3207 2PCS CANADICE, 6300 NIAGARA GRAPE 2PCS, 6304 CATAWBA 2PCS, 6305 CONCORD 2PCS, 6599 NEW HIMROD 2PCS, 6074 MARQUIS SEEDLESS GRAPE 2PCS) on June 30th 2012, Order # Aristova 60047, PKG ID#131905678. Couple of plants being dead on arrival.

As you can see , we ordered SIX different grape varieties with TWO plants EACH.

Five of grape plants had berries last summer for the first time. ALL OF THEM TURNED OUT TO BE THE SAME VARIETY ( SEEDED, small dark blue barriers with thick skin, looks like some sort of wine variety).

We ordered two plants of each variety, so how come we had FIVE plants bearing the same barriers and all are seeded? That’s supposed to be SEEDLESS Collection.
Looks like you just sent us all plants from same least popular variety. We wasted THREE years of growing wrong grapes.

We contacted the company and they replied what we are out of our 14 days return period and they cannot issue a refund. THAT’S ALL!!!!

This business has many alias and dba names, here are just a few:

Richard Owen Nursery
Farmer Seed & Nursery
Four Seasons Nursery
Inter-State Nurseries
Exciting Gardens
Royal Dutch Gardens
Honeycreek Nurseries, LLC
Kelly Nurseries
Plantron, Inc.
Burgess Seed & Plant Company
Direct Gardening
Neutral buggzter
Ypsilanti, MI
(6 reviews)
March 30, 2015
I placed an order 2 weeks ago online with a few things I was VERY interested in, although I'm taking the whole idea of getting really nice plants with a grain of salt....

I emailed them to verify my order was received - I sent it Sunday, I got a reply MONDAY, just 15 days after emailing them. Also, I got an original confirmation email (auto-generated) as soon as I placed the order, so I'm not surprised that they *DO* have the order in the computers. I was told that they are currently shipping seeds and hardgoods, with plants only going to the warmest areas of the country so far.

Putting my rating as "neutral" as I don't know what will happen from here, but the communication has been decent so far! I *WILL* update later once I have received my order (or have not received, as the case may be).
Positive ttp1127
Bicknell, UT
(1 review)
March 14, 2015
My experiences with Burgess Seed have always been free of frustration, with very few end-of-season disappointments. I am not going to write every successful seed story that began with Burgess Seed , but long reviews only get read if they are full of complaints and blame. I will say, however, that last summer I ordered "Better Boy" tomatoes from Burgess because I listened to my grandma's advise (I live on my family's homestead farm and every generation has been fed primarily by growing their own garden so my grandma knows what varieties from which vendors will produce high yields and great flavor.) My neighbor, on the other hand, ordered them from somewhere else because she read a bunch of negative reviews about Burgess Seed. And when I say she read bad reviews, I mean she read into Burgess's star rating and concluded that she should buy seeds from Amazon.....
She had a 50% germination rate; my germination rate was 90%.
I live in Utah at 7500 Ft above sea-level, and a lot of plants ordered from other states can't handle the dramatic change in environment. The only times I have had Burgess plants die have been due to my refusal to accept that the plant I want doesn't grow where I live. And even when it is my fault that a plant doesn't do very well, they still hold to their satisfaction guarantee and replace them.

Burgess has fed the families of my great-grandma, my grandma, my mom, and now mine. We buy from them with our cellars in mind, not current trends pinned all over social media.
Negative Mandolin1960
Whitesville, KY
(1 review)
December 26, 2014
This company did sent me replacement trees of which none survived, they will not stand behind those replacements. To further my displeasure they sub the Cherry trees for Plum trees without asking, it did not matter I guess they did not live either. Nothing showed any sign of life. They will tell you it may take 6 weeks or more for the dormant plants to show signs of life but they only give you 14 days to request a refund. My advise is to purchase potted plants from your local nursery or farm store, even Walmart has better products and a better warranty.
Feel cheated in Kentucky....
Negative wildforager
Sheboygan, WI
(3 reviews)
November 23, 2014
I purchased 30 paw paw seedlings from Burgess and they were dried little sticks with no roots and no moist packing material. Just sticks in a bag. They did replace them but only with more dried sticks. I give up. I'll never buy from them again.
Neutral antipegi
Colorado Springs, CO
(1 review)
October 2, 2014
I will tell you now, I don't remember most of the exact numbers offhand.

The first time I ordered from Burgess I was naiive enough in my excitement to throw the bag out before making sure that all was well. Of ten strawberries and six blackberries, we managed to grow three strawberry plants. My bad. We tried again two years later.

This time we ordered a lot more. We had big plans. Butterfly bushes, blackberry bushes, a smoke tree, strawberries, pampas grass and more. All zoned for our area. The total came to a bit over one hundred dollars. The grasses have done great! One butterfly bush made it. Something like six of fifty strawberries. Two of the blackberries were clearly broken branches and not plants at all... They came bone dry and none of them grew. And so on.

To their credit, the second representitive with whom I had contact (the first was a jerk who basically told me it wasn't his problem) was pleasant enough and I did receive replacement plants for my second order after I mailed my bag to the address he gave. Every single dead one without question. Fantastic.

Unfortunately, only ten of these plants lived. We still have them set up, exactly as directed in the enclosed booklet, and nothing for the past month. We are expecting our first real freeze tonight, so I guess we will see what the spring brings.

They are willing enough to replace orders, if you are cautious and persistent, but it's very, very frustrating getting dead plant after dead plant. Don't order big!

Ps - Not a single problem with the seed packets given as free gifts!
Negative feem2001
Philadelphia, PA
(1 review)
August 8, 2014
I wish I had come across this site before I ever got involved with this company; I can understand now why these people have an overwhelmingly negative score here. I bought something from them a year or so back and the plant never made it. To their credit, they sent out another plant. Thinking this was a fluke (after all, things like this happen with plants at times), I ordered some things from their catalog again recently. Pretty much none of the plants survived and ended up disappearing in my garden, so I couldn't send them back for a refund. I wanted an exchange, but received quite the runaround. And trying to get someone on the phone is pretty difficult, as they either never pick up or you get nothing but busy signals. By mail is no better, with their hilariously red underlined letters; they should explain themselves better because the last letter I got from them was a mess of crossed out words (uh, why?). I finally managed to get someone on the phone recently, who kindly explained that last letter. The exchange will probably not survive, either, but what else can I do? Like many others, this is the last time I order anything from them. Good riddance.
Negative watchdog98338
Graham, WA
(1 review)
August 2, 2014
Twice I have used burgess seeds, and twice I have received dead plants. My fault for not following up the first time, but I tried follow up the second time. They require proof (like a cancelled check) for the purchase. This is a game they play, and I refuse to deal with stupid customer service folks. If I had know about Dave's site, I would have seen they are one of the 10 worst companies.
Negative shtr01
Waverly Hall, GA
(1 review)
July 18, 2014
Called and placed an order with Burgess 7/9/14. Cancelled order same day and still no refund. Having talked with so many employees there I figured out their problem. Top to bottom there is no integrity. They will tell you exactly what you want to hear to get you off the phone..

It really is to bad because the company had wonderful customer service many years ago. Now it's more like they pimp their seeds rather than sell them.
Company representative comment on July 23, 2014:
On Jul 23, 2014 2:44 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. It does become very difficult to cancel an order once entered into processing. If the order was canceled the same day the charge never would have been processed to issue a refund.a refund. We have contacted this customer via D-mail to see how we may be of assistance.

Positive DaleWI
Wausau, WI
(1 review)
July 2, 2014
I have been dealing with this company for more than 6 years, This year I ordered on June 25th, plants arrived on July 1st. a citrus tree, Mekong banana tree, (ordered 1 but received 2) and 3 victory rhubarb's. The citrus plant had already fruited about a foot tall, both banana tree's also a foot tall, and 3 very healthy rhubarb starter's. I have always had success and healthy plant's. I see alot of negative feedback on the warranty policy, the booklet they enclose clearly states how the warranty is handled, I had a issue year's ago with one item I followed the instruction's mailed what they asked for and it was handled with no problem's. No phone calls needed. Great experience always.
Negative jennigermc
Holley, NY
(1 review)
July 2, 2014
Very dissatisfied. Ordered a ton of merchandise. A couple hundred dollars worth only to receive twigs for trees (10 trees altogether) and not a single one of them thrived or had life. Several of my grapevines and elderberries and strawberry plants and perennials gave me nothing. Mailed for a request on replacement warranty weeks ago. Can't get a hold of the company. Their phone line is always busy. I swear they leave their phone off the hook. Worst company I have ever ordered from. Waste of money. I could've ordered from a reputable successful honest and reliable company for dollars more with a customer service representative willing and able to respond to my complaints and concerns. Burgess just lost a customer along with an entire thread of friends and neighbors that I warned not to purchase from being that their catalog is sent so generously to your mailbox with the advertisement "guaranteed to grow." I'm sorry but this isn't so. Burgess is a joke. Spend your money elsewhere where you can be sure the product will not arrive dead or lifeless and actually grow after spending hours of planting. What a disgrace.
Company representative comment on July 23, 2014:
On Jul 23, 2014 2:48 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. It does not mean they are dead, but since they are dormant, and not leafed out, people unfamiliar with bareroot nursery stock may they mistake them for dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. Then keep well watered after planting and within 6 weeks of warm weather, the plants should break dormancy and show signs of leaf.

We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee and stand behind them.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see if we may be of assistance

Positive SMPMITO
Arlington, VA
(3 reviews)
June 25, 2014
In March, I ordered two elderberries (bareroot), a maypop (potted), and liatris bulbs. After reading reviews, I expected nothing but dead vegetation, but Burgess/Direct Gardening was markedly less expensive than other vendors so I went with them. I received my package generally on time and planted everything. Now in June, my bareroot elderberries have tons of new growth, my maypop is thriving and I think everyone of my 40 (?!?) liatris came up. Speaking of which, I wanted 2 or 3 liatris, but they only sold them in packs of 20 (for less than one plant in another nursery) and they gave me 20 more free. I thought maybe 10 percent would come up, but they seem to all have and now my plants are healthy and 2 feet tall. The 3 hardy gladiolas they gave me (free) came up and are healthy; alas the 3 balloon flower bulbs they gave me (free) were dug up by the squirrels.

I've ordered from multiple nurseries. Perhaps the plants arrived in less attractive packaging, but everything was fine, alive, and thriving 3 months out. I won't hesitate to order again.
Negative NotwithBurgess
Heber City, UT
(1 review)
June 24, 2014
In January (2014) we ordered several items from Burgess Seed and Plant Co. but, I'm not complaining that there were no seeds in the Cauliflower packet and I'm not complaining that the Russet potato sets were moldy and looked as if they were dead. What I am complaining about is the poor tracking service and the fact you can't get a decent answer, as to when you can expect to receive the things you ordered. Also I'm complaining about the two Carpathian Jumbo 3-4' Walnut trees. What came in the mail, in that green plastic bag, was two very sad looking sticks. One of them was only about 2' tall and the other was about 3'. I soaked them over night and planted them the next day with tender loving care and I've been watering them every other day since, but its been over two months and there is not even a small sign of life in either one. I have since read many of the reviews about Burgess Seed and Plant Co., if only I had seen them before I ordered anything, I wouldn't have ordered from Burgess. I have ordered several things from other mail order companies, but Burgess was the absolute worse experience. I do not recommend that anyone order anything from Burgess and I hope you read the reviews, before you even thought about ordering anything.
Positive centuri
Agency, IA
(2 reviews)
June 11, 2014
I placed two orders with this company. I was concerned at first when I saw the numerous negative comments here shortly after ordering. My orders consisted of currants, bush cherries, honey berries, castor bean seeds, hardy kiwi, and a "Giant Mekong" hardy banana. The first order containing the berry bushes and kiwi arrived looking healthy. The second order was split into two parts, one with the seeds and one with the trees/banana. The seeds all sprouted with no issues. The cherry trees arrived dormant, but very much alive. The only issue with these was the packaging. The trees were simply put in the bag without water, which given the quality of the first order I assumed to be the result of negligence by a particular individual rather than the company as a whole. In general, I was very happy with my order and all my plants are doing well a month later. The price is unbeatable. I would consider ordering again, but the shipping issue with the trees should be addressed as I am sure it would have been a problem if I was not only one state away from where it was shipped
Positive underandoverit
Astoria, OR
(1 review)
June 7, 2014
I ordered 12 hedges and 4 fruit trees..6 hedges and one fruit tree did not grow! As a gardener this is expected! I let then know and they were very print to send me the replacement items! I recommend this company and will definitely order from them in the future!!

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