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The scoop on 'Burgess Seed'

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  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 1 2 7
Neutral 1 2 3
Negative 4 9 16
This company is affiliated with 10 companies:This company specializes in:Other helpful information:

  Feedback History and Summary  
135 positives
52 neutrals
332 negatives

Comments:

Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

RatingAuthorContent
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
(6 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.
Neutral sullific
West Haven, CT
(1 review)
May 6, 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.
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 Ö.. 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
(2 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? Thatís 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. THATíS 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.
STAY AWAY FROM BURGESS SEED COMPANY and ANY OF THERE AFFIALTE COMPANIES!
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!!
Negative toysndogs
Woodland, WA
(1 review)
June 4, 2014
Posted on May 24, 2014, updated June 4, 2014
If you are smart enough to be checking these reviews BEFORE ordering from Burgess (I wasn't), do yourself a big favor & STAY AWAY FROM THEM! This 'company' is a joke from everything I've read and experienced personally. Nearly a month now since I placed an order (grasses & ground cover) with no communication other than an email response to my order inquiry stating "we have begun shipment to your area and your order is scheduled to be shipped out at any time."....that was 2 weeks ago! Oh Yeah!.... you should know that they charged my credit card immediately on receipt of the order last month ...what reputable company does that!? I'm still waiting to receive what I now expect (based on other reviews) to be a bunch of worthless garbage and will never deal with them again.... try Henry Fields instead, I at least got their (well packed) shipment in reasonable time.
On June 4th, 2014, toysndogs added the following:

Good news! 6 weeks after I placed my order, it was finally delivered yesterday. After reading other posts, I was fully prepared for the proverbial 'green bag' and not surprised by the poor quality of what I received. To give you some perspective, my order was filled with 69 "plants" that fit into one 11x14" shipping bag! Wish I could post pictures because words can't describe the real difference... but I bought some large, healthy blue fescue plants at the local garden store (when I became impatient of waiting on Burgess) for $3 each, the same Burgess plants were only $1 each, but were 1/10th the size & and in very poor condition. You get what you pay for, but if you pay bargain prices and get virtually nothing...it's still not a deal!
Positive jkronay
Ashburn, VA
(1 review)
May 24, 2014
This is a review from my experience with Burgess Seed online.

Overall: EXCELLENT (so far)

I ordered around 35 trees/shrubs online and the order did arrive within 2 weeks, which was early since the order confimation did say please wait two weeks for processing, then plants will ship.

The plants came yesterday, packaged as most online plants do, in bags. The bags were wrapped nicely and labeled well.

I opened the bag and the single blue spruce I ordered was packaged in a separate bag from the other trees.

All of the specimens I received have a very nice root system for smaller starter trees and the blue spruce is beautiful in color and strong. I have placed the trees in water and will update after planting and evaluating

Overall so far, with proper expectation, every seems great.

Negative Debbie102862
Long Beach, WA
(1 review)
May 23, 2014
First time I shopped and last with this company. Finally(after like pulling teeth to get tracking #)got bag of smashed bulbs, potted twigs(dead) and part of order missing.oh and not to mention how many times it took to get through (493 to be exact.only ordered in March) so now I have sent 2 letters woo hoo and got new shipment yesterday and guess what got missing bulbs(squished) sent 6 hibiscus(didn't order) and no butterfly plants(MORE EXPENSIVE) so you got it, got to send another letter. Figure it will be winter before I will get done lol also noticed on shipping label their permit expires in June
Negative ddw_or
Roseburg, OR
(1 review)
May 8, 2014
DO NOT BUY ANY LIVE PLANTS.
(Yes I know that all Caps is Yelling)

this was and is the one and only time i will order live plants through the mail.

order was placed on 3/23/2014.
last package was received on 5/7/2014.
45 days from time of order
each package was received about 1 to 2 weeks apart.
all 3 packages by USPS

the first package was sent in a cardboard box
Condition of contents = OK
Huckleberry, Garden, Jumbo Pkt.
Fish Fertilizer, 1 quart
Tomato Set Aerosol

the second package with live plants was a green plastic bag. nothing on the outside of the bag stated do not crush or fold.
the package was shipped USPS, who folded and stuffed the bag into the rural mailbox. yes i will talk to our delivery person.
Condition of contents = BAD
Cactus, Christmas Yellow
Cactus, Christmas Lavender
Lilac, BloomerangT Reblooming
Asparagus, Mary Washington
Daisy, Alaska Shasta
Pep Start Pills

the third package with live plants was a green plastic bag. again, nothing on the outside of the bag stated do not crush or fold.
Condition of contents = Good to bad
Nut, American Butternut
Nut, Pecan
Fig, Dwarf
Walnut, Carpathian English, 1-3'
Redwood, Dawn 1-2
Grape Collection, Sweet Seedless
Blueberry Collection Premium
Lilac, Old Fashioned
Free Gifts as Earned

I should have known that $9.69 shipping does not buy much.
Burgess did not send an email or any notification as to what was shipped and when.

this was and is the one and only time i will order live plants through the mail.
Negative trixie6862
Foster, NE
(1 review)
May 8, 2014
Items were shipped in a green bag, no packing, with no mention that fragile items were inside; therefore the postal service folded the bag in half and stuffed it inside my mailbox resulting in several of the dead twigs being broken in half at arrival. All that the bag contained were many dead twigs, but I thought I will give it a try and planted them. No sign of life out of any of them, I will not be returning my label to the company for a replacement as I don't want to receive more broken dead twigs. Plants that I ordered from another company at the same time are thriving! Will be telling everyone that I know not to waste their time or their money on this company.
Negative Tnvol1
Limestone, TN
(1 review)
May 7, 2014
I placed an order which was received however the order was not complete. I was missing 36 Siberian elm plants. I contacted customer service and was told I would have to mail them a letter along with the original shipping label. I mailed them a letter on April 2nd and over a month later I still do not have my plants. Everytime my husband and I call them we are told they are in the process of shipping . We have been told this since April 18th. Today I called them and asked them to just credit my credit card back for the missing plants. I was told I would have to mail a letter. Really, when It is their mistake from the beginning? Why is it my problem when they are the ones who messed the order up? I will never order from this company again. My credit card company has been notified about this issue.
Negative Hebrewroots
Shively, KY
(3 reviews)
May 6, 2014
It takes a lot for me to complain and post a negative rating. I've ordered from about 20 mail-order nurseries over the years and Burgess is an embarrassment. I would never order from a disreputable company such as Burgess, with their ultra-hyped, cheesy and outdated catalog which looks like it hasn't been updated since 1958, BUT, someone bought my wife and I a gift certificate for our wedding. I pretended to be pleased and ordered some apricot trees and plum trees. The order arrived on time. In a red plastic bag. Bare root trees stapled into a translucent plastic bag with NO packing material to keep the roots moist and no protection! I opened the bag and what was inside looked dead on arrival- some withered up bare root little sticks of trees, dry as a bone. Any reputable company would use moist material around BARE roots to keep the trees alive! Not just throw them bare-rooted in a bag, staple it and mail it! I mean really?!
I went ahead and soaked the roots over-night, being very proficient with handling plant stock. So far, one apricot has sprouted somehow and another looks like it MIGHT. Everything else was dead and dried up on arrival.
I called the company and got a very unenthusiastic and uncaring representative who said unless I had the packing receipt I would not get a refund for the expensive dead sticks I was shipped, which I did not keep. So, make sure not to buy from this company unless you want to be very disappointed or at best get half-dead stock. In all my years ordering trees I've never had a worse experience than with Burgess.
Positive lbruning
Minneapolis, MN
(1 review)
May 5, 2014
I have ordered seeds and plants from Burgess for several years. I have had wonderful results with seeds I receive from Burgess. I have also had positive results with tress I have ordered from them. But - I knew how to care for and plant dormant, bare root stock...you need to put the trees in water overnight and then make sure to water often after planted.....I have not had much luck with plants...nothing grew from my perennial garden collection last year and I ordered another one this year and everything was mushy and moldy when it arrived - we will see if anything grows.
Neutral BrodyJames
Greenfield, WI (Zone 5b)
(1 review)
April 30, 2014
I placed an order last year for trees, plants and fruits and vegetables. A bunch of sticks arrived along with some items in bags! Ok, I thought, not what I was expecting, but I'll give it a go. I followed the directions and planted everything up, then waited.
The strawberries, asparagus, yucca, hostas and Christmas cactus (which actually turned out to be a Thanksgiving cactus) were the only items that showed any signs of life throughout spring and summer. The yucca and cactus have since died, the hostas and strawberries have not shown any signs of life yet, this spring, but it is still early. The asparagus are the only items showing any signs of life. The 9 trees I ordered did absolutely nothing but shrivel and dry up.
I found this forum (of course after I shelled out the money), saw all the negative reviews and thought, well, there's money I'll never see again, but I've got to try. So, following their instructions, I returned the shipping label with a list of the plants that I wanted replacements for. Mainly it was the trees, since I can find everything else that I ordered quite easily where I live.
Again, I waited. I sent the replacement request in either late February or early March. After about 3 weeks, my husband asked me if I had heard anything. I told him no, that I was using a wait and see approach.
April 16th arrived and when I went to check my mail, there was that red bag again! Burgess had sent me replacements for my entire order, even the things that I didn't request! The trees were just sticks, again, but better looking sticks. The hostas have leaves on them versus just the shoots that I got the last time. The cactus plant is much larger and healthier looking than the last one, but the yuccas, although 3 were ordered and 4 arrived, look like someone plucked a few blades of grass and sent them. Last time I got 3 nice thick roots.
Everything was planted immediately. Now I wait and see. I feel a second chance is warranted since they did honor their replacement policy and even went beyond by replacing my entire order.
Negative rsells
Iola, TX
(1 review)
April 17, 2014
I ordered a number if items and when the package finally arrived, I was extremely disappointed. The red maples were just un wrapped sticks...Completely dried out and dead. The blackberries were rotted in their baggies. I ordered 6 and got 7 but not a single plant was viable. Same thing with the hollyhocks. I also ordered 5 thuja trees with only 2 of them green...others were rotted in their packing.

I will never order their sorry products again and have told everyone I know not to wastep their money.
Positive lovelola
Williamson, AZ
(4 reviews)
March 28, 2014
My experience with Burgess has been generally positive so far. I only discovered the large number of negative reviews against them after I had placed my order, and I was extremely nervous, particularly because they give you no order updates, no method to confirm order status, and no shipping notification. The first portion of my order arrived, out of the blue, yesterday. Aside from some slightly moldy asparagus starts, everything looks to be in a healthy dormant stage. The grape vines I ordered are small, but well rooted, and considering I only paid three dollars for them, I am pleased. I ordered three red robin hood roses, also, and I'm actually shocked by how large and healthy they seem. I paid about $4.50 for each of the plants, and I honestly expected a rooted stick. Instead I received three fairly large, well rooted plants, carefully packaged, and ready for the ground. All the gladiola bulbs I ordered seem firm and healthy. Yes, a few of the asparagus packages have a touch of mold, and maybe I should be more concerned, but I'm not. I received 40 starts for $16 dollars, less than .50 a root crown, which is a better deal than the local nursery. Shipping prices can't be beat.
That being said, I will look forward to the rest of my order being delivered. I truly wish this company would give shipping notification and tracking numbers on their purchases, particularly because we are buying live plant materials. Aside from that, so far, I am pleased with the very low prices, the seemingly good quality, and Burgess as a whole.
Negative flaco2
Corydon, IN
(1 review)
March 27, 2014
I just received 7 rose bushes which were described in the Burgess catalog as 2-yr. old field grown plants. I have raised 100s of roses over the last 50 years and know that there are only 3 grades of roses bases upon age, number and diameter of canes. #1 is the best, followed by 1 1/2 and 2. Of the seven, only 1 came close to being a 1 1/2, 4 were 2 and 1 was below 2 and had canes about 1/2 the diameter of a lead pencil. If these were field grown for 2 years the field must have been near the North Pole since they grew so little. Also, they were shipped too soon because they were not dormant and had buds growing which in this area will be killed by a freeze and I have no way to keep them for another month until the frost-free date in this area. If you want good roses, pay a few extra dollars and buy from a reputable dealer, not Burgess or any of its affiliates. They make their money off of those people who do not take the time or trouble to get replacements plus the fact that the companies sell inferior products while representing them as better than they are.
Company representative comment on April 13, 2014:
On Apr 13, 2014 3:33 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

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.

Negative shunter3
Roann, IN
(1 review)
February 23, 2014
I've ordered from Burgess several times over the years and had mixed results with their plants- nothing to brag about but no major complaints... until now. I placed an order through their website and now I am getting bombarded with gardening spam. Just got another spam email a few minutes ago from DirectGardening. Shame on you Burgess for giving out (or more than likely selling) my email address! I'll never order from you again!
Company representative comment on February 25, 2014:
On Feb 25, 2014 1:05 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

We are sorry to hear this. It does state in our catalog that if you provide your email address you will automatically be included to receive newsletters from DirectGardening.com. We do not give out or sell email addresses to outside vendors. It also states that if you wish to removed from the email list to please follow the "remove" link in any newsletter we have sent you.

We have contact the customer to provide further assistance.

Negative snotbottom
Milton Freewater, OR
(1 review)
January 19, 2014
Posted on September 13, 2012, updated January 20, 2014
Seems they haven't learned... and neither have I.

I ordered a seedless grape collection from them in 2011 and while the vines grew beautifully, and was very pleased to discover that they were going to bear fruit their second season. I dutifully thinned them, but not entirely (I saved a handful of clusters on each vine, because I wanted to try each variety). Then as they started ripening, my frustration grew because they all are the same... a very seedy (NOT seedless) dark purple variety (NOT a collection).
On January 19th, 2014, snotbottom added the following:

As you've seen on so many of the negative reviews, a customer representative did send me a private message as well asking for more information to try and resolve the issue, but nothing came out of it.
I gave the information as requested, then... heard... nothing... not even a reply that the information was recieved.

Calling the customer service number was pointless as well, they were rude and completely unhelpful. The company deserves every negative review they've earned here and elsewhere.
Company representative comment on February 5, 2014:
On Sep 26, 2012 9:56 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

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.


On Feb 5, 2014 10:01 AM, Burgess Seed added:

We are sorry to hear of this. We have checked and do not show that we received a reply from this customer. A new Dmail has been sent at this time to try to resolve this issue.

Negative Ken_from_Oregon
Dallas, OR
(1 review)
January 19, 2014
Dave and friends
DO NOT ORDER from Burgess unless you want to waste not only money and time
I recieved their great colored catalog last spring. I placed an order for
Walnut trees, cherry trees, rasberry and currents. I awaited the package. When it arrived I was a gasp. The rasberrys were not only small but the only items in a bag with any knid of water in a paper towel. ALL the trees were in a large bag 1'x3'. all of them were dried out. Of the 5 or 6 Idid get only one had any roots, another had one root 1" long. I also did not get all the trees. now I knew time was working not in my favor so I gave them a chance (they do this for a living after all) I immidatly planed and water all the plants.
I then contacted Burgess and told them of the proble senging them info off the lable I had copied down uppon arrival. Their response was unbelievable. Unless I send back EVERYTHING in the large plastic bag they would do NOTHING (I do not know about you but I discard plastic and did so on the day I got them and planted).
WHY WAIT TILL NOW TO REVIEW well I gave them a chance waited all season for any sign of life NOTHING. I removed them from the ground to check them this eeek NOTHING is left below ground even the one with a 1" root.
I will NEVER order off lone no matter how nice the pictures are.
Company representative comment on January 20, 2014:
On Jan 20, 2014 2:53 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 dry and dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee and stand behind them. When requesting replacement we do not as that the items be returned.

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

Negative bjeffords
(1 review)
January 16, 2014
I placed an order with The Burgess Seed and Plant Co and received my order for the quantities and items ordered. After planting I waited and waited without a single spout or shoot of any kind.
I wrote a letter stating that I was requesting a replacement order for "the items on the enclosed shipping label with an exception of 3 Burning bush and about 12 twelve strawberry plants" two months before the "guarantee/warranty expired. Without delay I received 3 Burning Bush and 25 strawberry plants, but not a full order of product. I didn't think anything out of the unusual because their "shipping time schedules for nursery stock items are shipped at the proper planting time for your (my) location." Thinking my location and time of year was still to come, I waited.
I finally called the commercial telephone number and found it took some time before I got through. I spoke with "Mary" and discussed my situation and was told flatly my response was not timely and I failed to itemize the replacement items.
Company representative comment on January 20, 2014:
On Jan 20, 2014 2:55 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem

Positive neelrad
Lake Telemark, NJ
(1 review)
November 18, 2013
Burgess is a wonderful company. I ordered privet hedges and was short by 2. I told them and they immediately sent me 5 more. I was so happy with them I ordered 40 more and they were large plants. They were very receptive and very helpful This is one of the best companies I have ever dealt with. Customer Service is wonderful!!! They truly know how to treat their customers. I will tell everyone I know what a great company they are!!!
Company representative comment on December 19, 2013:
On Dec 19, 2013 10:35 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:

Thank you for your kind posting on Garden Watchdog. Your experience is more typical of our normal customers as we do ship hundreds of thousands of packages to satisfied customers each year. Thank you again and happy gardening!

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