When I received the Richard Own Spring 2014 Exciting Gardens catalog early in the spring, I almost hyperventilated over the low prices!
I'm a new gardener but already addicted to garden catalogs and have started purchasing some pretty expensive items from several of the big name growers.
My first thought was "these prices are too good to be true." Then I checked the online reviews. Wow! So negative! Obviously it WAS too good to be true! What the heck...I'll place a small order and find out for myself.
All the places I order from always charge my credit card up front. The items from Richard Owen came a few weeks later, about par for other suppliers. Since I'd read the reviews the small plastic bags with dormant plants weren't a surprise. After reading the instructions on how to plant, I plopped 'em in the ground, watered them...and waited. The 12 candytuft plants I ordered are all greening up and starting to leaf out. It's a total bargain!
And they included some bonus strawberry and balloon flower plants, all of which are also leafing out.
The folks at Richard Owen should re-think their marketing. Instead of that nonsense in the catalog about "three years of labor", and is "it worth the price of $7.99?" they should explain in the catalog that their plants are a wonderful bargain...and especially let purchasers know what to expect when they open the shipment.
Turns out, my first order WAS a bargain, and now I'm going to place a much larger one!
surfmurf between Clearwater & Largo, FL (Zone 10a) (2 reviews) June 9, 2014
Received plants last year, several were BLACK (dead) and the others died soon thereafter. I received a credit voucher for most of the order. Growing season was over so this year (2014) I sent in a new order with the voucher and an additional $7.00 for the extra costs. Weeks later, hearing nothing, I contacted Owens. They had NO IDEA what the status of my order was. The next day I received my order back telling me it was an additional $10.17. I re-sent the order with both checks on 17 May. Today 9 June I see NO activity on this order, neither of the checks cashed (a good indicator for a company that couldn't process the order and bill me for the $10.17.) Richard Owens / Exciting Gardens is an exceptionally poor company to deal with. Check on-line and you will see MANY websites show dozens and dozens of complaints about this company. I also notice their catalog is not current with the USDA's Agricultural Zones as of 2009, FIVE years ago. It is a wonder how they stay in business They are VERY hard to contact also. I am now wondering if they plan to ignore my order and pocket the (almost) $90.00 voucher.
Richard Owen Nursery is a complete rip off!!!
You don't get plants! you get seedlings in a plastic sandwich bag!
A $50 tree is literally a a stick with a couple roots on it!
DO NOT EVER USE THIS SCAM COMPANY!!
I ordered two gardens and an additional 96 creeping phlox and a tree, it all came in one small bag! Over 150 plants and a tree in one bag?
Does anybody know if this company can be reported to anyone who matters?
atessmer HUBBARD LAKE, MI (1 review) July 11, 2013
I ordered last year from Richard Owen Nursery and I had a couple plants that did not survive. Those that did are healthy beautiful plants. I sent them a letter with a list of the plants that did not make it through the winter with the shipping labels and they promptly replaced every single plant with no questions asked. I think their customer service is wonderful and would highly recommend this company. I will be placing all my future orders with them.Company representative comment on August 3, 2013: On Aug 3, 2013 11:35 AM, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens responded with:
We wanted to 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. We just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post your comments!
I ordered 24 thyme plants to use as steppers between the stepping stones in my porch. It took over a month for them to arrive. They were in plastic bags, dried up and dead. I always throw away the packing and keep the packing slip. They would only process a return if I would send them a copy of my credit card bill to prove that I paid, and a printed letter (not an email) with "I no longer have the original shipping label." as the first sentence. I gave them the info via email, telling them I wouldn't send anyone a credit card statement, that their records showed that I paid.
These people sent me dead plants, with a return/refund policy so cumbersome I couldn't get my money back. After reading this column, I'm glad it was only $23.98.Company representative comment on August 3, 2013: On Aug 3, 2013 11:33 AM, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens 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 which is clearly stated on our website, catalog, even the label itself. We stand behind this guarantee and do hope that the customer takes advantage of the exception we have offered.
Posted on April 26, 2013, updated June 9, 2013
I ordered the perennial bargain bag from Exciting Gardens which arrived today, 4/26/13. I thought I would share the contents for anyone who might be considering ordering it for themselves. I received 4 each of Hens & Chicks, Balloon Flower, Liatris, Baptisia and Hollyhock. I ordered other items as well and will rate the quality once they are in the ground for a little while.On June 9th, 2013, jdawn5 added the following:
UPDATE: The bargain bag plants doing good include the Hens and Chicks, Liatris and Hollyhock. I ordered other items as well and am very sad that my Goatsbeard did not make it (the one I wanted the most) nor did the Poker Primrose or the Torch Lilly. All the Giant Primrose but one were yellow and some are struggling but still alive. My Snowball Bush is small but very healthy and my cats loved their Catmint. Overall half is good and half not so much so I'm keeping my review as neutral.
In May I ordered $150 dollars worth of plants.
-order one month before you need to plant. The site specifically says it takes 1-2 weeks just to process the order and then they try and ship based on weather. (Ordering plants that bloom in summer, in September, would be a mistake.)
-Research the plants you see in the Catalogues. Order before appropriate planting times. Make sure they are correct for your zone.
-these are bare root dormant plants, don't expect what you get at The Home Depot. Follow the care instructions.
- if you live in a very hot climate order in April or before. store spring flower bulbs in a cool DARK ventilated space until fall planting. (Research what bulbs are planted when)
- prepare planting areas while you wait for your order. The order comes in multiple shipments when you order a lot, but keep in mind how much work each plant will require and try to get as much done before they arrive as you can, that way you can get non-woody plants in the ground immediately.
I got the Pre-planned Rose Garden...all are alive and doing well. They seem to be growing fast. One was a little moldy but I pruned those parts off and it's still alive. Not growing like the others but 9 out of 10 isnt bad! For $5 dollars each I consider it a fantastic deal. I have to admit that it didn't come with the planting guide. I just went by the picture, it looks great. (Tip:plant high watch them die, plant low, watch them grow!)
I also really like the hybrid lilly bulbs! They come up fast! The hostas I got seem to be growing fast as well.
I got the Robin Hood Rose bushes, they are growing well. I also got the Mock Orange bushes and they looked like little dead twigs...they weren't! I soaked them for longer than a day...like 4... tiny green buds appeared!
I got the perennial bargain... I got 4 mediterranean pinks (didn't know they were on the list!) 4 carnations (carnations are edible I found out) 4 creeping phlox, and 4 hybrid lilies, and 4 ballon flowers. The balloon flowers grow fast as well. The phlox doesn't creep fast!
I also got the flame and pampas and fescue grasses. They come as tiny bits of grass on soil wrapped in a bag...the flame grasses are dry roots. The flame grasses are growing. The Pampas grass will take awhile to get to be the full size. Maybe a year or two I assume.
I went ahead and ordered a couple more things. Some freesia bulbs and gladiola bulbs. I think the bulbs and roses are the best deal. If you don't mind waiting a couple years for shrubs and bushes to be established they're a great deal too. I also got some butterfly bushes and some rose of Sharon trees.
For the price I'm fine with having to do a little extra work and with waiting for my garden to establish. Plus it's really rewarding getting this tiny "vulnerable" plant and watching it grow!
In April of 2012 I ordered $109 worth of plants from Richard Owen catalog, What I received was plants that were almost dead, brown leaves, dry sticks, About 9o% of them died after planting, I am an experienced Gardener, and have ordered from several other catalogs over the years.
When I tried to return the dead plants and ask for my money back, they did not refuse, but they just kept asking for more information, and asking for labels that I had already sent them.
As a result they never sent my money back. YOU SHOULD NEVER ORDER FROM THIS COMPANY! I wish I had looked up this website, so I see all the Negative comments, left by their other customers, I would never have ordered from them in the first place.
Learning from my experience, I saw something in a Burgess Catalog that I wanted to order, But I looked up Burgess and found out that they are affiliated with Richard Owens so I will not order from them this year. I lost $79 because of this company.
I hope everyone with a bad experience with this company reports them. They need to be stopped from sending Catalogs with money back guarantees. Company representative comment on April 11, 2013: On Apr 11, 2013 2:43 PM, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens 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.
About 4 years ago, I ordered 8 trees or so, 50 strawberry plants, some shoo mosquito plants, and other things. The shoo mosquito plants were black, wilted, and dead on arrival. A few couple trees didn't make it. I contacted them and sent them the original packing slip. They replaced everything that died.
I have an almond tree that is blooming. A few days ago, I received 6 more trees, 3 seedless grapes, and a goji berry from them. All seem in good shape. Some have buds or tiny leaves.
Maybe my situation was a fluke, but after looking at other people's similar reports, I don't think it is. Here's what happened: I ordered $134 worth of plants and seeds in early September, 2012 and my credit card was immediately charged on the 11th of September. Two weeks later, I emailed asking for a status as I had heard nothing. They emailed back stating that the orders were about to go out and I should have mine soon.
I still had nothing by 10/18/12 and so emailed again to cancel the order. (these are garden plants and it was starting to frost, so I didn’t want to try and get them in the ground) They told me on 10/23/12 that I couldn’t cancel as the order had gone to the shipping department and was irreversibly scheduled to ship. I said that was fine and would return the package.
When I received the package on 11/7/12, I immediately returned it that day, unopened to the Post Office and refused the package. I emailed the company that very day and told them it was refused and would be coming back. They acknowledged that and said to please allow 2-4 weeks for a refund.
As of 12/30/12, I still had no refund, 8 weeks later. So I emailed again. They told me that they had received the return but there was “no correspondence” in the package (which of course was unopened as it had been refused) to tell them what to do with the return. I replied that there was indeed email correspondence with customer service and that I wanted my refund. On 1/4/13, they replied that they would issue a refund in 1-2 weeks. That never happened.
So, I finally filed a dispute with my credit card company (go Capital One!!) and they got my money back for me. Richard Owens tried to issue only a partial credit of $120 and Capital One had to get the rest of it from them. At least they issued a credit and this is resolved, but what a hassle.
I feel I was more than patient with Richard Owens Nursery, worked with them as much as I could and finally had to solve it by disputing it. I'm filing this report after searching the internet and seeing dozens of other people have had the same problems as me with this company. I don't like seeing this sort of thing going on and feel that by reporting it to the public, the company will perhaps improve whatever problems with their internal systems have created this situation.
Posted on September 4, 2012, updated November 28, 2012
This company needs to be put out of business. Took forever to receive my $80.00 order. Plants were sticks or dried out. Should have sent right back but didn't know if they were dead or just "ill" from the mailing. Nothing happend with the plants, assumed they were dead and mailed back. Rec'd plants in almost the same condition! Even the blueberry plants that had green on them this time are dying. I have complained to the Better Business Bureau. Everyone who has complained should do the same.On November 28th, 2012, terkoh added the following:
I fought them and I won. I got my money back. Everyone, please complain to the Better Business Bureau and whatever it takes. Company representative comment on September 7, 2012: On Sep 7, 2012 2:32 PM, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens responded with:
We are sorry to hear of the problems with the plants. A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information.
waterBear Middlefield, OH (2 reviews) October 14, 2012
I am not happy with this company. My plants where steamed / cooked from being in those plastic bags. Plus I wonder about the quality of the plants / how they are handled or stored. I was a sucker and thought it was the stress from shipping. Some plants did recover with time and others never did. I sent back my shipping label and a letter that stated my plants had been cooked. Maybe they should rethink their packaging. My peony was half rotten looked old and had no eyes on it. ( This is not shipping stress ) I thought hey they set me back with my growing season way not get a replacement order for my troubles. WRONG, every replacement item was dead. Fleshy plants where cooked again to the point of no return. Bushes where dead and broken and even my one bulb exploded in my hand ( poof dust, mold and bugs ). Shipping stress? I think not. I wasn't about to waste more money, time on shipping the replacement order back. Something is wrong here. Mistakes are made yes but twice? Never again will I do business with them.Company representative comment on October 19, 2012: On Oct 19, 2012 11:48 AM, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens 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.
This company absolutely SUCKS! DO NOT BUY PLANTS FROM THEM OR ANY OF THEIR SUBSIDIARIES!
So, I purchased 12 candytuft plants and 24 walk on me plants. The order arrived in timely fashion but what I received shocked me. I've been doing business with Springhill and Michigan Bulb for 3 years now and was not expecting the crap I got. I received a garbage bag basically with 3 candytuft roots in 4 bags, which was fine. They looked rather healthy but dormant. What was disturbing is the walk on me were all just roots bundled 6 in a baggie. There was no separation just a bundle of roots!!! I called the company and I was told to soak them for 24 hours and they should easily separate. They did not. Out of 24 plants I ordered I got 17 viable plants. They were planted in between my flagstones and watered as expected. As of today, only 3 are alive!! I contacted the company and was told that I had to send back my shipping label. That's bull****. I did as was told and requested a reship of candytuft (4 had died) and 17 walk on mes. This time I had to wait almost a month to receive the plants and what did I get? A garbage bag with dead, moldy, rotted plants. I called again and was told to return the order and I could get a credit voucher. I will NEVER pay for another order from this company. I will use the credit voucher for bulbs only and be done with this scam!!Company representative comment on July 16, 2012: On Jul 16, 2012 11:40 AM, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens 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.
I ordered a number of plants including two dwarf dogwoods. Everything arrived except one dwarf dogwood. I emailed them about the problem and they said I should send the original shipping label to have this corrected. Seriously? They want me to go through all of that for one plant that they made a mistake on? Forget it. That is terrible customer service. Remove me from any mailing lists they have and also from any lists they may sell, trade, or otherwise share in any way. I will never deal with that company again. One plant and they want me to jump through hoops to help them correct THEIR problem. Why should I waste a stamp, envelope and my time to help those incompetent people.
ordered 3 Blue Roses and a gardenia, waited 6 weeks for shipment to arrive. Credit card was billed during phone order. Paid 10.99 for a gardenia which was about 5 inches, a local grocery store had a gardenia that was about 2 feet in height for 4.99. Order was shipped in a green plastic bag which was not labeled "fragile-live plants". Postman was trying to stuff package in mailbox, luckily intercepted him before any damage was done. One of the Blue Roses blossomed and gee, it was RED. Not surprised after reading the reviews here. Was instructed to send label from package and a letter stating my complaint and the matter will be taken care of. I can only Hope.
Beware of this company and all of it's affiliates, which there are many...Royal Dutch, Honey Creek Nurseries, the list goes on. I relandscaped my whole yard and made the mistake of placing a huge order with Richard Owens, Honey Creek, Royal Dutch, and Exciting Gardens. Out of the whole batch, only 2 flowers came up out of 50 plants. It's impossible to get any type of customer service and they make it impossible for you to get your money back. It's been more than half year and I haven't received any money back or plants. I think I will get the plants sent to me but who knows how they will preform.
I placed an order for 3 dwarf trees in late Oct 2012. They took my money on Nov 2. They did finally send 1 of the trees but it didn't grow.
About a month ago I send the packing label and written letterl as they said asking that tree be replaced and that they FINALLY send the other 2. They sent 2 trees, one had not one tiny root on it, it was just a stick and it was broken.
I planted the other tree and we had some wind last week that broke it.
I called today asking that since I still don't have 3 growing trees that my money be refunded. Misti says I would have had to ask for the money back with 14 days.
Sounds crooked to me. I hadn't even gotten a "Hello" from them within 14 days. She says they will ship the 3 trees again. Unless it's too cold. Believe me, it is not TOO COLD in Texas unless they are going to wait until Winter.
I AM FURIOUS.
aurora1956 Rocky Hill, CT (1 review) April 26, 2012
I ordered from Exciting Gardens and they cleared my payment in 4 days time. However 2 weeks later I called them to check the status of my order and they told me that it was still processing and that I had another 2 weeks to wait to get my little Cherry Trees. I don't know how anyone can stay in business this way. They sure took my money fast. I have ordered from many garden companies without problems. I am very unhappy about there process and do hope that I actually receive my order. I would not recommend them to anyone and wish that I had seen the reviews on this company before ordering.
I am usually not one that likes to complain about companies. I like to give them the benefit of the doubt, however I am still waiting for my order to arrive. It has been 5 1/2 weeks. I ordered from burgess, and I received my order last week. It was a little late, but not like this nursery. They say that they process your order within 7-14 days. This is not true. They also say that they ship to the warmer climates first. I am in the warm climate. It is now almost 90 degrees, and things have bloomed over 3 - 4 weeks ago for an early spring here. I have called , emailed, etc. Last week, I was told that this order had been processed (finally after 4 weeks of waiting), and this week still no plants. I wish I had looked online here for the reviews before ordering from this company. I too get a busy signal when I call. Hmmm...must be due to the high call volume of complaints. Oh well, live and learn. Never again!
My order came in a plastic bag with little protection for the plants--all bare roots. My Manchurian Apricot was about 12" dried up bare root with no proction around it. It was broken in half. I contacted the company and after about a week they sent me an email that said I needed to send back the original packing slip. I sent it back with a message about the state of my "tree" and asking for a quick replacement. It has been 2 weeks now and I have heard nothing from Richard Owen Nursery.
I believe they fall short in both the packaging area, disclosure that they are sending only bareroots, and mostly, improvement in the customer service area.
Posted on August 20, 2011, updated March 12, 2012
Posted on June 5, 2011, updated August 20, 2011
I ordered a lemon tree and they shipped to me as promised. The plant was in good shape and healthy. I have no complaints about this company. I will order from them again. They forgot to send my free gift, I emailed them and they said they would send it to me, and that were sorry for overlooking it. On August 20th, 2011, lighthouse2010 added the following:
I got my free shamrock bulbs and planted one of the them, it has sprouted 3 growths from it and doing really well. I'm still leaving positive rating for them as the did what they said the would do.On March 12th, 2012, lighthouse2010 added the following:
I Just receive my hydrid tea rose (Blue Moon Rose), and it had little new sprouts on it, it is healthy, and came as promissed. I highly recomend this company for ordering plants.
I have received many mail order plants most of my adult life with little or no problems. I was horrified when I recieved my $75 order 2 months late with new white growth on the trees, a smashed and turned compost Jack-in-the-pulpit, and a slight smell of mold from the green bag. I just planted everything (Witch all died later) and sent the Jack-in-the-pulpit back with a complaint. I am totally pissed off to announce that the replacement Jack-in-the-pulpit was smashed and on its way to compost. !!@@#$@#%$^& Owens Nursery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My initial order of 21 Green Thuja Giants arrived moldy and dead. I complained immediately and was told they do not give refunds, the only thing I could do was exchange for more plants. I tried a different order, of ground covers and coneflowers, etc. again they all arrived moldy and dead. They wrap each plant in plastic, using a rubber band to hold it on snugly, and then ship them in a large plastic bag with no air venting. Pitiful!
I first ordered from Exciting Gardens this spring. I thought the low prices were amazing and slightly unbelievable.It was after I ordered that I read all the negative reviews on this site. I was able to gather from the reading that one of the main complaints was that the plants were arriving as root and stem cuttings and not potted in dirt and already growing. So read up at my local library about bare root planting. My order arrived about two months later in a small box. Everything I ordered arrived. Fortunately I was prepared for the sight of wet sticks and roots. I had everything in the ground the same day and now it is about six weeks later and I can report that almost everything is now showing green. I think my own ignorance is probably responsible for the failures.( I put the Lady Ferns into clay soil..oops) I've been giving all these new little additions extra care and I expect I will need to continue giving it through their first Colorado winter.
The freebies were interesting, too. I especially liked the Shamrock bulbs. The 4 that I got free have already sprouted and divided to 8. It's fun to watch them open and close everyday.
When I want ordinary flowers like pansies I'll get them at any local sale. When I want a common shrub I'll go to Home Depot or Lowes. When I want something special or exotic I open the wallet and order online. Exciting Gardens really is exciting to me because it opens up a whole new avenue for my gardening. I can spend a small amount of money and experiment with new things I ordinarily couldn't. It's more effort, but I'm enjoying the challenge and the results.
I ordered from this company and everything was perfect, I agree with the way they do things for the fact that if u order of eBay or anywhere else they also take the money before they ship. I don't mind the replacement either cause I look at as there reciept is the shipping label. If u want to replace something at walmart u have to show receipt as well. It sickens me how people think a company should bend over backwards for them at all times.
i placed a mail order the middle of march 2011. three weeks later i inquired as to the status of my order. i was told they have no record of my order, but that it takes 2-3 weeks for orders to be processed. i continued to follow-up on the status through apr. and the first part of may. they continued saying there was no record of my order. i put a stop payment on the check and ordered the items online. once again when i contacted them 3 weeks later, they said it takes 2-3 weeks for processing. i finally received my order 6 weeks after placing it. they had short changed me 3 plants. i sent them an email informing them of this error. they indicated my email would be transferred to the dept. responsible for this type of problem and that it would again take 2-3 weeks for processing. i finally received the plants in mid-jun.
i will never again order from this company. apparently, they don't have enough employees to handle the quanity of orders they receive. it obvious they aren't concerned about customer satisfaction.
i issue this warning. BUYERS BEWARE! YOU'LL REGRET ORDERING ANYTHING FROM THIS COMPANY.
hotjobs1121 Saint Petersburg, FL (1 review) June 9, 2011
To cancel an order is impossible. Once they charged your credit card, like a crocodile they won't let go. Buyer be aware with this marketer (middle man). They have many similar web sites with different names to lure customers. They don't own farms or lands to grow plants. Do research before placing your order.
i mailed out an order in early april that was processed on 4/25 even though my credit card was processed before that. it is now 5/23 and i am still waiting for my order. i have called several times and i am told that i can only cancel my order by email...no supervisors have numbers...they don't know when my order will be shipped...they are busy.. i finally emailed my cancellation and they emailed me back saying i had to call....i just called and they told me to email. it was going to be my first order and it is my last. terrible service. terrible company. it is a scam.
I should have known after my dealings wtih Burgess where it took SEVEN replacement Paw Paw trees last year to get two that were alive. They haven't even started to bud by now so they are probably dead and it's too late to get a refund or replacement now.......but I decided to order two Tasmanian Fern Trees on FEBRUARY 8, 2011 because I couldn't find them anywhere else. My daughter is really into dinosaurs and they look like the type of ferns from long ago. After FOUR emails asking where my plants were and getting a runaround each time, I finally received them today, MAY 17, 2011 - over THREE MONTHS after my order. I noticed that the plants actually came from Farmer Seed and Nursery. Here's the kicker. When I opened the package I found two little ferns about as big as the tip of my little finger with notes attached stating that the Tasmanian Ferns were out of stock and to please accept these King Ferns in their place. First of all, they STILL have the Tasmanian Ferns listed on the Exciting Gardens website. http://www.excitinggardens.com/detail.asp?pid=3259
and they do not even sell King ferns. I looked the King fern up on the web and they are NOTHING LIKE TASMANIAN TREE FERNS AT ALL. They are low growing ferns which I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT. I have let them know so much via email. I figure they will try the Burgess bullcrap of forcing me to return the shipping label to get a replacement or refund, but guess what. It won't happen. I will spend the gas to drive there and stick these little ferns where they belong!! DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH BURGESS, EXCITING GARDENS, RICHARD OWEN, OR FARMER SEED.
I ordered about three weeks ago, and I have emailed the company twice and each time I have received a timely response within 24 hours.I have asked questions concerning my order and how it will be shipped and when I can expect delivery.I really do not have a negative review, just wish I could get an honest answer to when I can expect the delivery. I feel since the credit card had been charged,that I could assume the product was shipped.I am being told it is still being processed and could be 1-2 weeks,it's already been 3 weeks. Then it will have to go to the shipping department and all dependent on availabilty of product. I will remain hopeful that my plants ordered will arrive soon and in excellent shape for planting.It wasn't a big order, but all the same it was hard earned money that was spent on this order.Just upset that I cannot get an honest answer as to when I can expect the delivery of my order. Hope to be able to come back here and give the company a positive review.
Posted on May 22, 2010, updated November 9, 2010
I ordered three climbing roses collection before researching the company's ratings. After I found this site, I was worried. But after all, it was just $30. I decided to let it go. Amazingly, after 1.5 months, I received three alive roses in pretty decent condition with good root systems and already leafing. Still, there was some mildew on branches, but I don't think these roses will die once planted. Of course, I cannot trust that the kind of this roses will be exactly what I ordered, time will show, but still, I really lucked out in comparison with other poor deceived people. I will not order from them again though, since this is like gambling, and my luck might change. Shipping time is too long anyway. Oh, and I also got several free bulbs in good condition , small but firm and dry. Nothing was rotting in this shipment. But, I advise to stick with more reliable online nurseries.On November 9th, 2010, wisereplies changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
It's November 9th 2010, and ALL of their roses have perished. No matter how much I fertilized, watered and hovered over them, they never made it. To compare, I planted 30 more rose bushes from other companies, and NONE of them is dead yet and all grew huge except the miserable stock RON sent! Beware of this company, they will send you something so inferior that eventually it will die, even if months/years later! Now I have three empty trellises - the only bare place in my garden thanks to the Owen Nursery.
Posted on October 6, 2010, updated October 13, 2010
I ordered 5 daylilies from this outfit the middle of July. I also ordered from several reputable daylily farms around the same time and received my orders from them within a week or so. First, I sent an email to this company's customer service at the end of August to check the status of the order. There was no reply from them at all. Their phone numbers are not toll free and when I called at my expense I was told I had ordered from a fall catalog and they would begin shipping the end of August.Unfortunately, I also ordered from Direct Gardening as well and received daylilies with rotting roots from them. Six are already dead. I called again at the beginning of September and was told I would receive my order "sometime between now and the end of October."
Keep in mind the order to Direct Gardening was also a fall order and had already arrived. I called again on October 3 and was told the order had shipped on September 30. It is now October 6 and still I have seen no sign of a package.
I guess I've paid 10 bucks to have live plants delivered in the slowest way possible, if indeed they were even shipped at all. What do you think the chances are that the contents are in good health? Save yourself a lot of frustration and check these companies out first before ordering from them. This one will never get my business again.On October 13th, 2010, JanaJP added the following:
My green plastic bag of rotted and dead plants arrived late this afternoon. (October 13) Of the 5 daylilies ordered, only the 2 most expensive had root systems and might actually live. One was so decayed it had no dimension at all and looked like something you would fish out of your bathroom drain. I have photographed these and will pass them along to the BBB and the state Attorney General of Illinois. I'm choosing not to send them back at my expense because I do not want to deal with this dispicable company again. If it were the last plant nursery left on earth I would not order from them. I cannot understand how they are allowed to remain in business.
Posted on August 2, 2010, updated August 19, 2010
I ordered from this company in April. Heard about the watchdog website after I placed my order, and my heart sank when I saw the volume of negative comments. Sure enough, I had one battle after another with them. They only began sending my plants after I threatened to turn them over to the state Attorney General office. When I finally got all but 2 of the items ordered, they then sent a duplicate (i.e., sent me 2 items that they already sent, about 30% of the value of what was missing). I immediately emailed them of the error, and told them what was missing. Then began the runaround, about sending this label and that label. When I sent the lable of the duplicate package (as they requested), they then requested a label from another package. By that time, we were hitting early July - past the planting season. And, even knowing that I was emailing (therefore, had written documentation), and threatened to turn them over for fraud, they still continued with the runaround. I contacted my credit card company to dispute that amount of the order, and am looking to file a fraud complaint. Also, I think that roughly 50-60% of what I did get from them, has not come up. I know that I recently dug out 2 items that were rotted. One item that didn't come up is a sedum, and in my area, sedum comes up without much effort at all. So, that tells you how bad many of their products are. They definitely are running some kind of scam. I'm thankful that I now have this website to check out these companies, prior to ordering from them. Now, when I get catalogs and see how many bad ratings are out there on a company, the catalog goes into the garbage.On August 19th, 2010, katococo added the following:
Update. Closer to 70-75% of plants didn't come up (maybe they will next year?). Ordered "orange velvet" climbing rose. Not sure if it will climb, but at least it's growing. Two blooms - light to medium pink. I planted the 2 duplicate plants they sent (label said Purple D'oro daylilies) - both actually grew & bloomed, but neither is a Purple D'oro. They aren't even the same kind of daylily - one is pink/peach w/red & other has thin petals and is red w/yellow center. Still haven't seen anything blooming from the original 2 Purple D'oros they sent, although the plants seem to at least be growing. I've concluded that they count on people not fighting them, especially when you don't spend a lot of money. Of course, that wasn't the case with me - I did see that my credit card company credited me for the items I didn't receive.
nutz4plts Stoystown, PA (1 review) August 12, 2010
I've ordered from Richard Owens Nurseries for years because the offers are cheap cheap cheap. I would never order more than $30.00 worth at a time, though, because I didn't want to be out a lot of bucks if the stuff didn't grow. Yes some of the stuff comes bareroot and dormant even in the middle of summer. Some plants I got looked dead but planted them anyway and they grew and are still alive today. Other stuff looked dead because it was dead and never took off. No biggie though, since I only ordered a couple of things a season. That's my advice to people. If the stuff looks too cheap to be true, just order one of something you'd love to have to give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised to have it actually grow and thrive, but if it craps out, your bank account won't take a big hit. I never bothered with asking for replacement plants either. I figured that if I wanted a leafed out five to eight foot tree like in their catalog pictures, I'd have to be willing to plop down $50 minimum plus labor to get a landscaper to come in and put it in my yard. Geez , some of the catalog pictures are just drawings of the plants in bloom. What does that tell you? It definitely should say don't blow $500 on that. Sorry if I sound abrasive, just trying to save people some money. I know what dreaming of a beautiful garden can do to a person's common sense.
Thanks to everyone who posted about this nursery. I recently received one of their catalogs and have been thumbing thru it for a about a week now. I had a list of items circled but then I decided to further investigate this company, as my Father always said 'if it seems to good to be true, it probably is'.
Sure enough they have a D minus rating with the Better Business Bureau and after googling them on the internet (which they go by several different names) and after reading these posts. I PITCHED THE CATOLOG IN THE TRASH CAN !!!
Close but no sucker here .....
Monatopia Castro Valley, CA (2 reviews) July 15, 2010
They are NOTHING if not consistent.
They charge your card.
Months later you get dead plants.
If plants not dead, they grow - but aren't what they were supposed to be.
Stay far away from these people. My plants were simply thrown in a plastic bag and mailed. The roots were not wrapped in any moisture-retaining material. Two roses, which had begun to leaf out, were dried up and DOA. The horseradish root was miniscule and moldy. I wrote to the company and they refused to do anything unless the original packing was returned, but unfortunately, my husband had thrown it away. No attempt was made to offer any kind of replacement or refund. They kept my money and sent me dead plants. Simple as that.
pingpong2 Tarpon Springs, FL (1 review) May 7, 2010
On 4/1/2010 I placed an order for over 132.00. My card was charged within a few days. I tried to reach them by phone, but only got a "busy" signal. Then I tried to e-mail them asking when I would be getting my plants. Have not been able to get anyone there to communicate with me. So then I decide to cancel my order since no one will tell me anything about my order.
Today 5/7/2010, I received a bag from them in regular mail. This bag had what appeared to be dead dried up weeds.
I would advise anyone to not place an order with this company. They will take your money immediately and if they do mail you something, it will be dead.
I placed an order with Exciting Gardens on April 17th. By April 21st, they'd charged my credit card for the full amount of the order. However, as of May 5th they cannot give me any estimate for shipping, continue to tell me my order is still processing and are generally quite unhelpful (and borderline rude) when I call to ask for more information. Each time I call they simply say that it takes 2-4 weeks for the order to process....or 7-14 days for the order to process...or 7-14 days for the order to process and 2-4 weeks for the order to deliver....I receive wholly inconsistent timeframes each time I call. I do not believe its consistent with most companies policy (and in fact credit card policies) to charge prior to shipment of items. Certainly, I've never worked with any other nurseries that do business this way. Pretty soon it will be plast optimal planting time for many of the items that I ordered and after reading other negative comments, I see that I should be worried about quality of the products as well. I will not order from this company again.