Placed an order with Kelly Nurseries for the first time, will never do so again! We received only part of our order although the shipping label indicated that all of it was shipped. We did receive the free peony root and three dead sticks, which I have no idea what they were supposed to be. I called the company and was informed that I must send back the label with a note as to the problem, which I did May 10,2014. Since we received no communication from them as of May 23 I called them. Took a number of tries, first the number would ring a few times and then signal busy. Finally connected to Chrissy. I was informed that they do not communicate with customers unless there is a problem. (I consider not receiving 48 rose of rogusa a problem!) She informed me that my replacement order was in the computer but could not tell me when I could expect shipment. ( I don't quite understand how it could be considered a "replacement" order when I never received them in the first place).
I guess I will have to wait and see how this pans out but I do know that next season I will definitely NOT order from Kelly Nurseries!!
I ordered a few plants this Spring(2013) from Kelly Nurseries. All but one tree did well. So, in mid July, I emailed the company and told them that the tree had not come to life. The customer care department offered to replace the tree or give me a credit. I responded that I would like the tree replaced and a new one arrived. I planted it and it is now doing well.
I have never shopped with this company before but I thought I would give them a try.
I made an early purchase on Jan.24, 2013, thinking I would get the cream of the crop items. Not so!
Out of 44.03 order the only thing that lived was 1 Potentilla plant. The 2 maples didn't even sprout in the spring.
I knew the plants were dormant when they arrived so I planted and marked where I planted them. Blue Fescue died. Butterfly Plants didn't have any grow in the spring . Bleeding Heart plant didn't even shoot up in the spring! 3 Blue Spruce lost their needles.
Very disappointed in the products I purchased. Company representative comment on August 16, 2013: On Aug 16, 2013 1:37 PM, Kelly Nurseries 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.
Posted on June 4, 2013, updated June 14, 2013
I ordered some strawberries on 4-24-13, never got an order confirmation but they debited my account right away. Today, 6-4-13, I called to check on my order and got stonewalled. I was told to "write a letter" to cancel my order. After several calls I finally talked to a 'supervisor' named Cindy who announced a refund would take 30 days. I am holding my breath
The Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois has 151 complaints about them but gives them an A+ rating, which says a lot about the BBB.
On June 14th, 2013, Taunus added the following:
June 14th, 2013
Got home from a 2 day trip this morning and there they were in my mail box, had been for more than a day, in 95 degree weather. The little strawberry plants had pot bound root balls the size of thimbles, a snippet of a leaf on top and were near death.
I had asked for shipping information and a tracking number. I got nothing. The people that work there must suffer from horrible illnesses that leave them unable to accomplish ordinary tasks in a timely manner.
However, they do grab your money real fast and refuse to let go..
Go to your local nursery, don't deal with this crowd
Company representative comment on August 3, 2013: On Aug 3, 2013 11:43 AM, Kelly Nurseries 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 be happy to send a replacement order.
rockminer Scott Bar, CA (Zone 8a) (2 reviews) May 2, 2013
I'm sorry I did not find this resource before ordering from Kelly. The black Rasberries were dead sticks with no roots, Poker primrose were totally limp and, despite very gentle nursing did not even try to produce a leaf. Two of three Geraniums did survive but are miniscule plants. Clematis has finally given me one leaf and may survive. The tiny Pulmonaria plants are aparently alive but producing no evidence of new growth.
We have had a month of excellent growing weather since I received this order and I let my confidence run me past the guarantee date so I cannot even ask for a refund.
I have had over 50 years of gardening experience and am considered to have a green thumb. This entire experience was a travesty.
i ordered a pear tree with 5 kinds of pears and a pair of elderberry plants. they came absolutly dry in a plastc envelope. the peare tree of coursae ws broken off at the first graft. it had four tiny hair sized roots and when scratched was dead as a door nail. the two elderberry plants had enough roots if they had not been dead for so long. they were black throughout. there is no way they were alive when shipped. a pure rip off. the story about the scratch test of course is crazy. why not scratch it before you send it instead of sending dead sticks in a plastic envelope. a $39 plusa lesson. ty ty did the same thing to me. sent me a stick with no root at all. just a piece of dead stick.Company representative comment on July 16, 2012: On Jul 16, 2012 11:44 AM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:
We are sorry to hear of the problem with this customers order. A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information.
I didn't realize this company was also part of the horrid Richard Owen Nursery conglomerate....however, I had a positive experience with Kelly Nurseries.
I ordered a lilac tree in the spring and it was sent in a timely manner with good instructions on planting. The tree has taken root and has grown new foliage and branches. So far so good! Knowing what I know about the other companies, I would never order from Kelly again.
Keeping my fingers crossed that the tree makes it through the upcoming winter!!
terriergal Hutchinson, MN (Zone 4b) (1 review) July 3, 2012
Well, I wish I had known this was a ripoff company. Thankfully I only ordered two mock oranges to try out. Placed order on June 2, 2012 and I finally had to write on the 20th to see what was up, as I had not received any notice of shipment.
They basically said "we're working on it" (nicely) and I said ok I was just checking, and they said "check back anytime for the status of your order" as if they had actually given me a status in the first place.
They arrived on the 29th, four weeks after ordering, when it was now very HOT and they were stuffed into my mailbox in a green plastic bag envelope with no moisture retentive material around the roots or anything. They had been broken because of the rough handling (which the packing did nothing to prevent).
I emailed immediately and they basically gave me the "it might be dormant" routine like they give everyone else. Yes I have ordered bareroot plants before and so I know what a dormant plant looks like. These were pretty much worthless for anything but firestarter, however I soaked them and then planted them in a pot inside the house, since we have about a week of 105 degree heat indices to get through. There might be a slightly yellowish tint (not green) under the bark. No sign of life at all.
They offered me a replacement or credit. I don't want credit and I never want to deal with them again, so I told them to send me live plants with protection around the roots and put them in a box with plenty of cushioning material. I doubt they'll do that. If they send me more kindling, I'll be sending everything to the attorney general. Horrible.Company representative comment on July 16, 2012: On Jul 16, 2012 11:47 AM, Kelly Nurseries 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.
I ordered 12 Snow in Summer, 10 Periwinkle, 12 Creeping Phlox, 4 Hardy Gloxinias on May 13, 2012, they charged my Credit Card for the full amount, I also ordered a Red Rose of Sharon. When my order was received I didn't get the Snow in Summer or the Periwinkle, the Phlox were almost dead and out of 10 I have 3 that are green. The Gloxinias I have 2 that may make it, I still haven't received my Snow in Summer and I sent a letter along with my mailing label on June 7, 2012 and was told that it would take another 2-4weeks before I would receive my balance of my order. Since I sent my mailing label I have know recorse to have the plants if thats what you want to call them replaced if they don't make it. The female rep. that I talked to when I called said that I was lucky that I got my order in the time frame that I did because it usually takes 4 weeks, per their shipping policy it states that you can expect them to ship your order within 1-2weeks of receipt and when I read that to her she argued with me. Today is June 20th, 2012 and I have still not received anything from them in regards to the balance of my order. DO NOT ORDER FROM KELLY NURSERIES!!!! I will be reporting them to the Better Business Bureau!
this is the 2nd time I have ordered from Kelly, first time there was a mistake with postage, which after a phone call, the manager took care of it to my satisfaction right away. I had ordered dailies, and 4 of the 6 bloomed the first year. I am still waiting 3 years later for ones I ordered from another company and paid 3times as much for to bloom. 2nd order was this year I ordered over 240 trees and bushes, all the trees are leafing out and most of the bushes. a few are being slow to take off but that is to be expected. I have had a very positive experience with this company, they sent my plants in a timely manner for my growing area not like some of the other companies. maybe some of you shouldn't be in such a hurry to judge, also some perennials don't even hardly come up the first year, but show up the 2nd. they offer the same warranty as your local home depot and lowes, don't require a dead plant to get it and cost much less!! and local nurseries usually offer maybe a 30 day. I know cause I spent over a $100 one 1 tree and it's now dead! also sometimes phone calls are way more effective for problems than emails. so I will definitely be ordering from them again!,
sprklecity LAKE PLEASANT, NY (1 review) May 22, 2012
Every thing I ordered died or arrived dead. I did not receive one plant, sent a letter (with the original mailing label as required) and never received a response.
I will never order from this company again. My order, was over $100 and all of it was wasted!
Have been gardening for years and can usually bring back even the most dead looking plant. I ordered from Kelly Nurseries and they took my money back in January. The charge went through and was process. When you charge something you do not have over 60 days to dispute the charge. I found that out when I tried to have the bank cancel the charge. Called Kelly Nurseries and they will not refund my money or credit my account. I have to mail back the shipping label with what was dead or broken when it arrived. I live in Rochester NY, my order was shipped when we still had winter!
Frost still happens here well into May of each year.
Guess when this was shipped? April 10!!!!
It was all piled up in a green bag with everything piled on top of the each other. Trees were broken below graft line and out right dead. Perennials were all dead but a few. I am talking an order over 230.00.
Use to do business with this company in the 1980's and it is way worse then it ever thought of being now.
We are mailing back the shipping label which means that my order will not be easily revised for my own records other then a copy which they will not honor at all.
So..... here I sit saying I hope that no one else will get burned. Buyer beware of this company. I have ordered from other mail order companies and never had stuff shipped this way or this time of year.
Guess I am stuck with the Local Wal-mart and two local Nurseries that are here in the area with limited stock. We moved from our home which we raised our children in and needed a smaller yard and house. I wanted to landscape some for my old house had more land and this yard is easier to keep up.
When I logged in to see all of the different plants which were not offered when I started gardening I wanted to have them in my yard! Wrong!
Nothing grew and I have to start again in the fall when they are shipped (if they are shipped). Am tired of companies doing this to those who trust the company they order from.
Order placed 3/3/12. Requested expedited shipping on 3/28/12. Cancelled my order 4/21/12. On 4/23/12 Kelly advised that they 'may be unable to cancel' my order as it had been 'forwarded to the shipping department'.... I guess sometime in the previous 50 days.
5/9/12 received pile of substandard plants and dormant roots.
jayt36 Ashland, PA (Zone 6a) (10 reviews) May 5, 2012
I have finally learned my lesson. I placed an order with Kelly on March 10, 2012. When the plants came, one of the yellow butterfly bushes was dead on arrival. Giving it the benefit of doubt, I re-planted it in good potting soil, kept it well watered in a sunny window. When it showed no evidence of rejuvenation, I finally wrote to the company on April 11th, requesting a replacement. I fully complied with their requirements, dutifully enclosing the shipping label. I received a reply from them telling me I must wait six weeks to see if the dead plant would miraculously resurrect itself. Well, although I am a religious person, I have no expectation for any such miracle to occur. And I have no intention of wasting another 40 some cents postage of this poor excuse for a company.
I will cut my losses and in the future deal only with reputable companies.
I really should give them halfway between neutral and negative since I got what I expected; but what I expected wasn't much.
I wouldn't have ordered from them except they had a daylily that I wanted that I was unable to find anywhere else - and I searched hard. Their shipping prices are high so I ordered 3 of the daylily. I got three small, single-fan plants. They're unlikely to flower this year because of their small size. The most disturbing thing was the packaging. Rather than shipping in a box they arrived in a heavy-duty plastic bag. Surprisingly they seem to have made the trip unharmed.
Kelly Nurseries seems to be a low-end nursery. It appears that they sell liners that they haven't bothered to grow on. Unless they have a plant that you can't find anywhere else I'd avoid them. Almost all of what they sell is widely available elsewhere. For GREAT quality daylilies use Oak's or their sister company Paradise Perennials.
Do not order from Kelly! After bad first experience, thought I'd give them a second chance. Ordered early in March, when nothing arrived by May 1, called, told it would be sent. When I called again, said I was going on a trip and everything would be dead, I was told "That's okay, we'll just replace everything. I had gotten one plant, separately in March, a healthy, big euphorbia. When I re-ordered, the 3 euphorbia didn't even resemble plants, everything was tiny, slimy and disgusting. When I called, it was pointed out they only replace once. Clearly this company's technique is to guarantee replacement, send the dredges of their stock: you have no recourse and they keep your money. Btw-they cashed my check in March but hadn't sent 2 mo's later, finally after 2nd call, arrived sometime in June. Have talked to others, everyone says "stay away." Do not patronize, and watch out for their many affiliates, seem to be different names for same place.
rocdoc77 Great Falls, SC (Zone 8a) (2 reviews) September 28, 2011
Letter about Kelly's and Burgess nursery.
> I guess I'm a glutton for punishment, because I bought plants from both
> The plants from Kelly's were dry beyond recovery upon were arrival, I
> complained by e-mail replacement plants were of no use to me they were also
> dry. I had ordered some plants from Burgess, when I found out that two are
> related I e-mailed to stop this order. E-mail after e-mail they said the
> the plants would be sent, I asked for a refund excuse was it would behard
> to stop. My last email I quote
> You took money in July 2011 and have had it over 2 months.
> I plan To Send a copy of correspondence tn to The Attorney General in
> Bloomington, IL Consumer Protection Division and Dave's Garden web site.
> Return my money.
> Donald Privett
> Thank you for your email. Once an order has been processed, it does become
> very difficult to cancel an order. Please allow more time for your request
> to be processed.
> Thank You Customer Care Departmeny
Posted on March 20, 2010, updated May 9, 2011
Hesitant to order as there are so many neg comments but decided to test the Co and was quite pleased with what arrived. Took about a month for plants to arrive, but postage date indicated 4 days of transit. That is about what condition the stock looked like. A little bit etolated but very usable. I would order from them again. This is a discount nursery so don't expect premium sized plant material. On May 9th, 2011, jhkern changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Posted positive last year after ordering plant material but this current order is becoming the same fiasco that so many others have experienced. Dead material arrived so I called next day for protocol on refunds. Told no need to send dead plant material back to Illinois but to send shipping label with summary of dead stock. 3 weeks later received the following letter;
We are sorry to hear of the problem you are having with your plants. Our guarantee policy states that if you are unhappy with the merchandise for any reason, you may return it with in 14 days of receipt for a full refund. Since you did not comply with the terms of our warranty, we are unable to issue a refund for the items in question.
I'll keep working on it, but this is just another FYI for Kelly Nurseries
I won't be doing business with this company ever again. I placed my order on 1/30/11 and have yet to receive it. They won't give me a ship date or any actual information, just that someone else is working on it.
I asked for a refund on 3/8/11 and have yet to receive a credit.
My first mail order experience and I got burned. Lesson learned.
oona0 Wilkes-barre PA United States (4 reviews) September 12, 2010
Posted on May 4, 2010, updated September 12, 2010
Posted on May 4, 2010, updated May 4, 2010
Posted on April 28, 2010, updated May 4, 2010
NO TRACKING NUMBERS???
I'm not ordering from this company again. They send your plants by normal snail mail only not UPS and they say they don't use tracking numbers. How do you do a mail order business with no tracking numbers? They told me my plant was in the mail 3 weeks ago. I have no proof that they are telling me the truth. And if I never get it, what proof will they have that I never received it? Even on ebay the sellers use tracking numbers.
I also want to say the few customer service people I did speak to where a bit rude and not educated on there products. I have not received my order yet but I am expecting something less then perfect seeing what I'm deal with. After reading some of these reviews about this company I'm worried that I may not get what I paid for and they may not return money if need be.
This company feels like a "fly by night" so far. I'm not comfortable one bit. On May 4th, 2010, oona0 added the following:
I waited another week and still nothing. I been using redial trying to reach them all morning. Nothing but busy signals. :(On May 4th, 2010, oona0 added the following:
Just got of the phone with customer service. He said that,"If I did not get my order by now then it is lost in the mail. Your order was shipped on the 16th of April and because we ship threw USPS we need to wait 30 days to put in a claim. That means the customer needs to wait the 30 days to ask for a reship or a refund."
I'm very angry. All of this could have been avoided if they had tracking numbers. I'm not going to go threw this again. I want my money back. I can find the same items somewhere else with less hassle. On September 12th, 2010, oona0 added the following:
After just receiving an email on this website from Kelly's Nurseries I will let everyone know what my final out come was.
My tree arrived on the 28th day before the claim could be issued. The tree arrived in a RED PLASTIC BAG! There was no holes in the bag for the tree to breath. There was nothing stopping this tree from getting damaged. I was however amazed it made it in one piece. The roots where covered in mold and rotted from being in the bag that long. The plant showed no signs of life.
I now understand why they don't use UPS. If I was UPS I would not want my company to go bankrupt with the flood of claims that would come in because sending packages out in red plastic bags.
I called back Kellys to let them know the condition of the package. The woman said rudely... Sorry! any complaints you have you must summit a letter in writing.
I hung up and just decided to call it a loss and not to do business with them anymore. A month later I received another red bag in the mail. This one looked a lot better in condition. I put it in the ground and it's doing fine.
This story had a happy ending. I'm thankful for that. After this whole mess. Brecks, spring hill, and Michigan bulb has my business. Company representative comment on September 29, 2010: On Sep 29, 2010 11:11 AM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:
We are glad that the customer received the 2nd shipment of the tree wisteria and that it is doing well.
This year we shipped by both Fed Ex and USPS. Most of the methods we use have a tracking service, but not all of them. For an extra fee, customers can request that the order be shipped either through Priority mail or Fed Ex Ground.
This customer's first order was sent on 4/16. We do not know why it took so long to be delivered and did not arrive for 28 days. In the meantime however, we had processed a replacement shipment on 5/14 that shipped 5/26.
We are glad that the second package arrived in a normal delivery time frame and that the wisteria is doing well.
This company fails to communicate when there are delays. When they finally shipped the partial order at my request, it took over a week to arrive by Stardard Mail. To say the least, the shrubs were bone dry and dead, the live roots shipped were wet and rotting in the package.
Calling them, you better be ready when they first open or it is busy all day.
Now, to get a refund on everything, i have to ship all the dead plants back to them on my dime.
Overall customer experience was poor at best. To say the least i will also be contacting the charge card company to ensure the money is recovered. Thier prices are too good to be true because they are. Said to say, a company treats people like this and is still in business. Company representative comment on September 22, 2010: On Sep 22, 2010 3:48 PM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:
Since most of this customer's order was shipped dormant, the plants should have been able to survive just fine for a week during shipping. However, we do have a refund guarantee which states that product simply needs to be returned to us within 14 days of receipt if a refund is desired. This customer returned the product, and a refund was issued.
I have ordered from Kelly Nurseries for years. I have NEVER had a bad experience with them. I think they are great. This year I've ordered Creeping Phlox, Red Painted Daisy and Giant Primroses. I've ordered the Primroses a few years ago, and was so happy with them that I am ordering more. Their prices are real good too.
tsarina1 Hazel Green, WI (2 reviews) March 24, 2010
Only order if you are absolutely positive you want their product and are willing to put up with frustration if something goes wrong. It is impossible to change or cancel an order. No help from anyone . Everything goes through a catalog answering service and no one knows where the billing or credit department is located or any phone numbers . This is part of several catalog companies combined owned by Richard Owen in Bloomington , Illinois under the division of Plantron, inc.. Search the web and no info about this company and the other many catalog companies he owns or who they are, where they are or any phone numbers .Everything kicks back to the catalog answering service . They allow you no contact with anyone other than the answering service. This is not the way things were years ago but this corporation has gotten too big that their customer service is zero . If you pay by credit card or check good luck on getting your money back. I have email them 2 times a day , call them 2 times a day for the past week to get my $200 back and get nothing but nasty people. Not a good way to start off the season for people who love to garden and made these catalog people rich over the past 35 years. I will never again order from any company that hides the owner or grower from the consumer. Too bad because years ago you actually talked to a grower and now you are talking to an answering service who do not even know who signs their pay checks.
I purchased 10 bare-root willow trees. 3 survived. Two are now 12 feet tall; these trees were planted in zone 7b 15 months ago from a 12" whip. The third I am surprised it came back and it's still 12". I think it will survive though.
So, a lot of the plants died (and I'm a professional horticulturist) however, I do have two thriving trees for $14.50 and that is a good deal. I expect these trees to be 35' in two more years and they'll screen the view I am trying to get rid of.
I'd say the price is good but these plants are iffy and a lot of work.
I ordered flowers for my mom --- oh yea she received a package from them of what was suppose to be healthy flowers BUT the ones she got were rotten covered in mold and the stench of the flowers when she opened the box was terrible -- threw them away-- THEY knowingly MAILED MAILED MAILED to her from the get go bad rotten flowers .. .. oh but to get your money refunded you have to return them to Kelly nurseries,, 1708 Morrissey Dr., Bloomington IL 507-334-1623... with how bad they smelled I don't think the post office would allow them to go back thru the mail...DO NOT ORDER ANYTHING FROM THIS COMPANY....
bigmike825 Gloversville, NY (3 reviews) May 29, 2009
THIS TIME ( 2009 /MAY ) I have to say I am satisfied AND SURPRISED with what Kelly's sent to me... Several years back I also ordered and after waiting 4 months my order did at last arrive . I also planted the very day I got the order and EVERYTHING but 2 out of 18 items survived although the plants were not in the best of shape size wise, Also it took forever to get my order with no one to call , email or write to ? ? ? ... It seems there is no customer service to call or contyact at all ? After 5 months my stuff did arrive and as I said it did grow ok . This year I ordered again after swearing never again . I just could not afford 29.00 dollars for a one minature lemon tree when for the same price I could get 2 collections of all 4 citrus plants from Kelly's . ( lemon tangerine, orange, and grapefruit! ! ! So I took the plunge and ordered , it took about 5 weeks to get my order of citrus, the rest of the order I am still waiting on, It was dark when they arrived at my house so I unpacked them expecting dryed out plants but was pleasantly surprised to find healthy plants each in their own plastic bag and peat pot! All healthy and still moist! ! ! I opened each bag and set them all in a huge boal and watered each one until morning when I will put them in their new home ( HUGE POTS) ... so this experience I am happy with so far. Let you know when the rest shows up how it works out ...
I think it helps to open the packages at once and soak everything at least over night if not for 18 hours **NO MORE THAN !* THOUGH** Mike...
JAPMAPLOV Oklahoma City, OK (1 review) April 15, 2009
DON'T EVER ORDER FROM THEM. ALSO IF YOU RECEIVED A CATALOGUE FROM THEM DO LIKE I DID AND SEND IT BACK QUICK!!!!!!!! I ORDERED A JAPANESE MAPLE FROM THEM (IN ORDER TO SAVE SOME MONEY) BUT YOU KNOW THE OLD SAYING YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR? IT REALLY APPLIES HERE. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT ORDERING FROM THIS HORRIABLE, HORRIABLE COMPANY!!!!!!!!
mersiepoo New Freeport, PA (7 reviews) February 11, 2009
The only plants I had ordered from Kelly nursery was an 'arctic' raspberry plant and a van cherry. Both died immediately. They looked in bad shape when I got them and no amount of babying would convince them to live for me. I never ordered from them again.
I ordered several items from this company again this spring. Two of the items I ordered did not come as advertised. They were a completely different variety. I notified the company with my order number and date and name etc. Several days later I received an email stating that they needed additional information.
So I went to the website, figuring it easier and quicker to straighten up the questions they had. Unfortunately, the lady who answered, Cindy, was very rude, condescending, and literally refused to help me.
Cindy informed me that this was an ordering line ONLY. She refused to give me the phone number to, or transfer me to someone who would be able to help me. She informed me that I was talking to someone in Minnesota, whereas the people that I needed to talk to were in Illinois. Strange since the address listed above the phone number that I called was Illinois.
So I went ahead and replied to the email that I had received with the information that they were unable to gather from what I had provided them with already, and am patiently waiting for them to let me know if I wasted a bunch of money ordering two specialty trees where they sent me junk instead.
Kellykc1 Grand Junction, CO (1 review) June 27, 2008
I have ordered from Kelly Nurseries and other companies related to them. Yes, what I have received is pretty scary, including completely moldy or dried out plants, but most of what I have ordered has lived. My mimosa and clematis were pretty dead-looking when I unpacked them (the mimosa was a 3' tall twig with no branches or buds and no signs of life, the clematis was just roots). My mother-in-law said that neither would survive. The mimosa is now much larger than the one I purchased at the local nursery last summer ($19.99 vs. $79.99), and the clematis survived and is thriving this year. I have purchased over $400 worth of plants from all of their various companies and had very few die. Since I over-order, it isn't really a problem if something small dies. I too had some die that I didn't expect to die and had no trouble getting replacements when I wrote them a letter 11 months later and included all 4 of the original shipping labels that I had saved. I have also found that if I plant them the same day that I receive them I have much better luck. Some of their plants don't survive no matter what I do (like mums), so I know not to order them, just buy them locally.
If you want great internet service, use one of the more expensive nurseries (Spring Hill, Michigan Bulb). If you want cheap plants that you are willing to work a little harder to get to survive (or willing to let die and send a letter for a replacement, which they may or may not do), then order from any of the Kelly companies. I like the ease of emailing and getting a replacement (I ordered from 6 different internet nurseries last year, all had the same survival rate regardless of packing!), but like the lower price that Kelly and it's affiliates offer. My mother-in-law has been extremely impressed by the luck I have had with my mail-order plants. She expected most of them to die. I have even passed plants on to her and the teachers of my kids school that have survived and thrived.
Kelly Nurseries sells junk... and then won't stand by their products!
DO NOT GET DUPED BY THEM! THEY STINK TO DO BUSINESS WITH! TRY ANYONE ELSE. BEWARE, THEY OWN A LOT OF OTHER NURSERIES UNDER DIFFERENT NAMES!!!!!
Last year we ordered a whole batch of butterfly bushes, celamatis and a host of other items. The items that came in were about 2 inches tall and dried out... so we planted them anyway...and waited. By the end of the summer after watering them and taking care of them, most of the plants were dead. We called customer service and were informed that they needed the original shipping label to give us a refund. Thank goodness we kept that old plastic bag and sent them a letter asking that they be reshipped next spring. It was already September and we knew that we would not have time to plant anything. The replacements came in 2 weeks.. and they were all moldy and dead again! We threw them out!
So, again we sent them the original shipping label and a nice letter asking them to ship them in the spring. We never heard from them and assumed that they got the letter and receipt. This spring when nothing arrived, we called and they have no record of the letter or receipt. I even gave them the order number, costs, shipping date and item numbers. Their answer is: "too bad, we need the original shipping label". So I lost out on over $70 dollars worth of plants.
I even wrote them 4 emails asking for a replacement. "No way" was their answer.
So.... now none of my friends will order from them, my gardening club with over 60 members has a boycot on them and of course they have lost my business forever! I guess they depend on new suckers getting duped by their baloney tactics. They deserve to be out of business with customer service like that!
Ordered rose collection in Feb. to be delivered in May. It arrived on April 4 in a snowstorm. I refused it and the Post Mistress returned it that day. It did not arrive in May. I had back and forth email correspondance trying to find out what happened to my order. Was told to write to company declaring I did not have the shipping label and prove that the PO had actually returned the package. Did so. Still no answer to the problem after 3 emailings with required letters attached. Finally called on June 19. Where is my package? Was told it was in warehouse waiting to be sent. I asked if I could exchange bareroot roses for a perennial that would be better for planting at this time of year so far north (NH) or could I get my money back. In each case I would be required to write more letters. Gave up and requested the roses be sent ASAP. Now waiting for the roses. This company is very slipshod in dealing with their own mistakes.
I ordered several plants, $86.00 worth. Most of the plants came mostly dried up. A packet with a clematis only had dirt in it, no plant. A rose came dead. This was the worst shipment of plants I ever received. I wrote the company but they never replied.
Last year we ordered 100 bushes of Hardy Amur Privet. The price was really good, but still it was sizable order. We did not check the reviews for this company until after we placed our order, so we were rather worried when we saw all of the negative comments about this company. Of course, all of our “bushes” came as bare root that were a little bit over a foot long. They were all in good condition, with good root system and in an adequate packaging. We did not do much work with the planting site. Literally dug a long narrow trench and stuck the roots in it covering them with native soil that leaves much to be desired (but we did plant them the same day the bushes were delivered to us). We did make sure that the bushes got watered regularly through the summer since we are in a rather hot climate. The bushes did well right from the beginning. We did not loose any of them. Well, we did have a couple that died off, but then they sprouted right from the root again. So a year later we have a nice privet hedge, that is 3 feet tall in most places. So we have nothing to complain about and actually have been thinking of ordering more from this company!
Last week I received my order ot one bi-color butterfly bush, one Hardy fuschsia, and three blue columbines from Kelly Nurseries (after waiting an inordiate amount of time to receive the order). The flimsy plastic package had allowed the plants to move and they were bent and twisted. I immediately potted the fuschsia and butterfly plants in good potting soil to try to revive them. As the columbine plants were bare root and very dry, I immediately planted them in the flower bed and soaked the area with a garden hose to try to get them wetted and growing. I don't understand why the plants were sent in such packaging as it seems to me that nothing would survive the postal system conditions without some form of protection such as cardboard or styrofoam. Their prices are relatively cheap, but not so cheap that one would expect to receive dead and dying plants. I have wqritten to request either reimbursement or replacement with healthy and protected plants. If they ask for original package, I will be angry as it was only a green plastic bag and was thrown away, although I saved the shipping label. If the columbine does not emerge, I hope they don't ask me to dig them up as they are planted among other perennials and it would disturb the other plants to try to probe around to find the dried out roots that I planted. I ordered from them before and received plants in pretty much the same condition with only one of the plants surviving to date. I don't know why I ordered again from them as it appears they do not care about the ratings they receive. -Pelham
I ordered a bunch of plants from this company last spring. When they finally arrived, they were almost completely dead. This is to be expected because of the way they were packed and shipped. From what I see, this company doesn't care what happens to these plants once they have your money. The bareroot plants arrived in a big plastic bag. Nothing to protect the plants from damage during shipment, and the roots had nothing to keep them from drying out during their very lengthy trip to my home (which took approximately 3 weeks). Most of the roots were completely dried out and it took a very long time before these thirsty plants put out new growth, mostly from the bottom. Needless to say, the first year was wasted just trying to recover from the neglect they received in transit. It is so sad that this company cares so little about its product.
AuntAnne College Station, TX (Zone 8b) (2 reviews) March 31, 2007
I wish that I'd known about this site before I did business with these people. I just received my order today March 31, 2007. I made the order back in Feb. they cashed my check on Feb. 20th it took a month and a half to get it here. Two of the 4 Yellow Ice plants are dead, the soil they were in was wringing wet. The other two, were in very bad shape I've got them in dry soil so we will see. Two of the four Butterfly Bushes, were dry but I think they'll be ok. The other two look to be dead, overwatered I'd say. If they are dead at the roots as I think I'll try to root the upper part which was leafing out at some point. The Tuberose bulbs looked ok and I've planted them, we'll see (I'll add to this post later) and the free daylilly, I don't know, they don't look so good but I'm planting them. I'll try sending back the ice plants. I guess I'll see how it goes and will write back here.
tasintuck Pawcatuck, CT (7 reviews) January 6, 2007
Kelly Nurseries in Dansville NY used to be my favorite place from which to order out of the garden catalog. The catalog looks the same and Kelly Nurseries in Faribault MN may have the same name, but it is not the same old company.
Like so many other people say, I received sticks that looked dead. I planted them all in pots, anyway. Lo and behold everyone one of them eventually sprouted, except the autumn clematis. The biggest problem is that they sprouted from the roots or just above the grafts, not from the terminal buds.
But hardest part of dealing this company is Plantron Direct Gardening's customer service and their poor warranty policy. After two months of trying they did replace the clematis with another lifeless plant that I could not nurse to life. Because THEY took 2 months, now they will not give me my money back. The warranty was only two weeks from the original shipment. They will give me a credit toward new plants. I am trying to decide if it is worth the bother. I think it isn't. There are other inexpensive catalog and online nurseries that deliver better product and stand behind their plants. I will just buy elsewhere from now on.
r3sb Hyattsville, MD (Zone 7a) (1 review) July 13, 2005
I ordered several plants from Kelly Nurseries / Direct Gardening, because their prices were so low. That should have been my first clue that "you get what you pay for".
EVERY SINGLE PLANT DIED, or was dead on arrival.
They ignored emails requesting replacements until my third attempt, after which I received a terse reply that I had to provide original packaging and the dead plant materials. I had already explained that I did not have the original packaging. (Because they used very poor-quality shipping materials, the box did not even survive the trip to the garden for planting).
I ordered from them because they are the only supplier I have ever seen for a Paulownia tree.
The Paulownia tree that arrived was a dead and hollow reed, about 6 inches long and in a plastic sandwich bag, which, when I took it out of the bag for planting, immediately seperated from a bundle of equally-dead roots. It was this that I tried, initially, to have replaced.
The dwarf fig was equally tiny, and in a sandwich bag, but had two green leaves. It did not survive the mild Maryland winter of 2004.
The iris corms looked dried out, but might have been alive. But there was no sign of life this spring.
The pampas grass, also in a sandwich bag, was a brown bundle of dried grass - but in the fall it would have looked like that in nature, I reasoned. But it, too, has never shown a sign of life.
Finally, the tree peony DID survive the winter, into the spring, and sent up new shoots in March. But then it died. It's located beside other peonies I picked up at Costco, at the same time, but they're doing fine, so it didn't die due to weather or soil conditions, or they'd be dead, too.
I ordered plants from Kelly Nursery in January. When the order did not arrive I tried to telephone them but found that the telephine was not connected. I finally got through to them via email in March. They told me most of the order would be shippped right away and the rest would arrive in April. That which arrived in March was either already dead or very nearly dead. I have been able to save the bare root rose. It is still very weak and just now beginning to leaf out. I ordered two Wisteria plants. That which arrived were just sticks, no roots. One is beginning to leaf out, the other is dead. In April I received three hydrangia plants. They were sickly and starting to rot when I received them. To date I have managed to get all three to survive but they are still very weak. What I got from my order was the worst nursery stock I have ever seen.