I was totally disappointed with my experience with this company. Bulbs were moldy. Roots dried out and dead. Nothing grew. I informed company. They sent half of what I ordered in wrong colors and again moldy in a plastic bag. Both times,no invoice or notification of they cared about the consummer.
Buyer Beware!!! I paid a premium price for red clematis and Bewilderbeast Iris. When the plants bloomed, the clematis flowers were pink, and the Iris was a dull beige. I contacted the company and they would not refund or replace.
Actually I was really scared as to what I would be receiving after reading the reviews for this company. When I had already made my purchase at the end of April. Well I received my order today! And I'm very happy with what I got. I do think not just anyone should order this way. Only a very experienced gardener who knows how to care for and start off with very young and dormant trees and plants. Though I must say this company really should take the suggestion to ship their plants in a more secure and safe fashion. It would bypass their merchandise being messed up or ruined during transit. And all the calls and complaints about destroyed bulbs/dormant trees wouldn't be such a problem for them. But mine showed up in excellent condition! Infact buding and full of life! I will most definitely buy though Royal Dutch Gardens again. I just hope they will consider changing the way they ship. If they did that it would be an even greater experience ordering through them!:)
Do not buy from this company. I promised not to ever use them because of their poor bulb/plant quality and their impossible return policy. I got sucked in again (looking at catalogs in winter is dangerous). I received my plants/rhizomes/bulbs today. They were all in poor shape but one large and moderately expensive bulb was a bag of mush. It had to have been shipped already rotten. They will not refund or replace any product unless the buyer pays for shipping, returns the poor products, and encloses the original packing slip (even though they have a record of your order). So much for their one year guarantee, as who keeps a slip that is permanently attached to a crappy plastic shipping bag? And if something doesn't doesn't survive a year, what will you ship back to them?
My reaction here is "Buyer Beware!" Knowing better I still ordered anyway as I wanted the pink dogwoods they advertised. While at it I also ordered Walk on me plant (aka Thyme), Trumpet-Hummingbird vine, mouse plant and pep pills. Order placed 2/12/2014 and arrived, very much worse for the trip on 3/21/2014 in a large green plastic bag. Contents, when opened didn't look good and as the trees had no protection had broken down to about 8 inches tall. I soaked the bare root items in water and the Walk on Me Thyme as well, planting them the following day. The thyme looked much better for their soak and most seem to be taking hold. The 4 vines, the 2 dogwood and the mouse plant have yet to show signs of life or growth. As for the "Pep pills" - they were powdered and broken, again due to no protection. I used pieces as I planted the items and the powder on the thyme. I carefully saved all packing label, etc and will contact the company should my items fail to grow. This is a very poor way to ship plants, even bare root stock. They should have protection, stakes, etc. Shipping fees should warrent this protection.
I guess this goes to show - "If it sounds too good to be true - it probably is"! I should have bought from a more reputable company. Even if these plants grow, I'll spend lots of time nursing them along when better stock would be off and growing in the lovely spring weather we are having.
Janet van Mastrigt, Pioneer, CA
AprilsWin24 Bowleys Quarters, MD (3 reviews) April 1, 2014
Posted on April 1, 2014, updated April 1, 2014
Posted on March 11, 2014, updated April 1, 2014
I ordered a $20 mini peach tree for container gardening and 2 Voodoo bulbs. I live in Maryland and for the past few weeks, and months, we have had terrible weather, snow storms, ice and extreme colds. I imagined that I wouldn't receive this order until the temps in the area warmed up since Royal Dutch specifically says they don't ship until conditions in your area permit, which is totally normal and understandable. Well, imagine my shock when during a week that the temp barely got out of the 20's a plastic bag arrives at my house. Inside this bag was a stick. This stick and deformed bulbs were my order. The peach tree was not packed in anything, the roots were totally exposed, dried out and broken, no potting, no saw dust wrap, nothing. The plant has no leaves, and only one branch, it is the saddest thing ever and looks half dead. I wish I could attach a picture. The voodoo bulbs were sealed inside of mini plastic bags with wood shavings- which is fairly normal, but the bulbs look horrible and have a moldy smell to them. I emailed Royal Dutch the day I received them and raised my concerns about the quality and condition of what was sent. They ignored my first email (sent the day I received the package). I sent them a second, and more strongly worded email 2 days later which they did reply to. They told me my stick was alive and to plant it anyway. If in 6 weeks it still looked like a dead stick, I could pay shipping and mail it back to them and they would replace it (probably with another stick), but it was probably just stressed from shipping. I find it negligent on their part that they pack things so horribly (plastic clothing bags without protection aren't good shipping materials for plants) and then want the customer to be responsible for paying return shipping on a plant that dies because of their awful packing. Not only is packing an issue, but so is quality. For $20 I feel like I should have gotten a nicer plant, it should have more than one scrawny branch on it. I understand things sometimes ship in a dormant state, fine, but most places would be embarrassed to mail something so sad looking, especially when they charge $20 for it. Totally disappointing. I knew I should have come here first to read their reviews. I will just go back to buying all of my stock from Easy Grow who has wonderful quality and ships things beautifully. When you buy plants from them, they are big and healthy, come potted (in most cases) and are shipped in boxes with padding and supports to protect the plants, not plastic bags used by clothing companies. On April 1st, 2014, AprilsWin24 added the following:
In response to Royal Dutch's reply to my post: I am familiar with bare root plants, what you sent me was dead in addition to being dead root. It has yet to do anything. The Voodoo bulbs, rotten.
I blame your poor stock and equally horrible shipping methods. On April 1st, 2014, AprilsWin24 added the following:
In response to Royal Dutch's reply to my post: I am familiar with bare root plants, what you sent me was bare root in addition to being dead root. It has yet to do anything. The Voodoo bulbs, rotten. Also, thanks for replying 15 days after my initial post with advice for soaking in water overnight- very helpful 15 DAYS LATER! Luckily, I was smart enough to have already done this- and still nothing. You sent me a twig. Call it bare root all you want, but you sent a stick in the mail, a stick with broken and damaged roots. Also, the customer care rep I spoke with said I needed to mail the product back and pay for shipping to receive a refund so you are obviously not on the same page.
I blame my dead plants on your poor stock and crappy shipping. Who sends plants in a plastic garment bag in 20 degree weather with no protection?????? Company representative comment on March 26, 2014: On Mar 26, 2014 9:40 AM, Royal Dutch 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 not require that the item be returned when requesting replacement. 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
I've read the reviews and knew what to expect shipping wise. I've had about a 70% success rate with their plants, have a very green thumb, and have ordered 3 or 4 times $80-140 each time. For those items that didn't survive (mostly potted plants), I've requested replacement but it hasn't been long enough to hear back. They have great dahlia tubers, absolutely a steal at $20 for 16 dinnerplates and I've had a 90%+ success rate with them.
One of the things I don't appreciate, however, is the fact they replace items with something else, but still label it as the original. I know what I originally ordered, please let me know that you substituted the red lily with a white one, because white doesn't belong in my red and purple garden. Or, when I expect something to grow only 10 inches tall, so put it in the front and instead, have it replaced with something that is 3 feet tall. I get replacements may occur, just tell me what you're replacing it with so I can plant it appropriately or request a refund.
You pay for what you get. I don't mind coaxing baby plants along and expect them to be smaller at this price. I don't expect them to be dead, or shipped during a snowstorm (which happened this spring and killed most of the tubers in that shipment). You are paying less- don't expect top of the line. They'll get there eventually, but you have to give it a few years. Be patient or go elsewhere and pay double.Company representative comment on August 16, 2013: On Aug 16, 2013 1:41 PM, Royal Dutch responded with:
A customer care representative has contact this customer for further information. We are sorry to hear that an item may have been sent in error as we do label all substitutions if they are sent. 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 July 20, 2013, updated July 30, 2013
Posted on May 25, 2013, updated July 20, 2013
Posted on May 7, 2013, updated May 25, 2013
Posted on April 26, 2013, updated May 7, 2013
I recently received my order in a sealed plastic bag containing a delicate plant and small bulbs. The plant was smashed and completely destroyed and the bulbs being shipped in a dark sealed bag had sprouted 5-6 inches each and did not survive the wind after planting.Bulbs should begin their growth in the ground sprouting little by little but the dark and very humid climate in the shipping bag encouraged the growth and broke down the small strip of cardboard attached to the delicate plant. Had I known my order would be shipped this way I would not have place an order with this company. I believe they may be replacing the plant but not the border lily bulbs. I don't believe common sense prevailed here and I am out several dollars.On May 7th, 2013, dansb added the following:
Still waiting for some type of resolution. I attempted to call, (continued ringing) and emailed, (no reply). Bottom line: nothing has grown from this order, The Thailand Giant, (tiny start) didn't survive it's trip in it's plastic shipping bad and the Border Lily bulbs and their lengthy sprouts did not survive the outdoor elements. Your not suppose to plant bulbs like this anyway. I will not wait much longer but please consider staying away. Should I receive a fair and timely resolution I will kindly change my review.On May 25th, 2013, dansb changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
This company kept it's word and replaced my last order which is the reason I've changed my rating. If you don't want your order to arrive in a thick plastic sealed bag then look elsewhere. Fair pricing for the stock they send. Strong guarantee provided you don't forget to cut the mailing label off your shipping bag.
This is one of many companies under one umbrella.On July 20th, 2013, dansb changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Well the positive rating was short lived when the plants began to grow and bloom. This company replaced the Red Border Lilies with some other lily so its back to a negative rating. I'm not sure what the problem is there but but the trust factor, (trust that you will receive quality, CORRECT items), is gone. Order at your own risk. They should have to replace the bulbs they sent incorrectly but I'm waiting for the next "bump" in the road!On July 30th, 2013, dansb added the following:
This company is now requesting the shipping label for the incorrect replacement bulbs they sent. I do not have it and they have the original label on file. This is not about poor quality stock, not about dead plants or mushy bulbs. This is about correcting the company's mistake. I can't produce a label so I am stuck with some bulbs they sent me in error! Not quite sure why the customer is being punished for something he had no control of. Would you do business with this company?. I think the Illinois Attorney Generals Office should hear this one!Company representative comment on April 30, 2013: On Apr 30, 2013 1:49 PM, Royal Dutch responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customers experience as it is not typical.
We do hope this customer takes advantage of the replacement guarantee. A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see if we may be of assistance.
These were the best trees I have ever purchased! Hybrid poplars from another company (shall remain unnamed) were only the length and diameter of pencils, although they have grown. Royal Dutch Hybrid Poplars are a full two to three feet tall with robust root systems AND some were already sprouting leaves! They arrived in good order and I have planted all 40 of them.
Royal Dutch has been extremely responsive to my questions both by email and telephone. If they have what I am looking for, I don't need to go anywhere else. End of story!
I'm an experienced gardener, and I know that shipping isn't good for plants. But I've ordered from plenty of companies that understand how it works, and can ship successfully. Therefore I expect my garden purchases to arrive in healthy shape, ready to be planted.
The plastic bag of plants I received from Royal Dutch was full of tiny, dead, rotten plants. This is what happens when you send plants that are too young and small, and pack them in a plastic bag that offers no protection.
And when I called, they acted like I had done something wrong, and insisted that I plant everything anyway, even though they were clearly dead. When I called again a few weeks later to confirm they were still dead, I was granted replacements. The shipment was practically identical to the previous package.
This will be your experience too, and the only difference will be how many times they send you replacements before you dig in your heels and demand a refund. You won't get your refund, but at least it will end the cycle of planting dead things and calling for more dead things.Company representative comment on January 15, 2013: On Jan 15, 2013 12:48 PM, Royal Dutch 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.
vweavers Simonton Lake, IN (2 reviews) June 9, 2012
In the past, I've had about a 95% success rate with online bubs and plants from others. I ordered about $100 worth of bulbs and plants. They arrived a couple of weeks after I thought they should have. Did not like the packaging at all. If the postal service would have been rough with the green plastic bag- many of the plants/bulbs could be hurt. I'd rather pay an extra dollar 'shipping' for a real box. Some of the plants are 'protected' by a corrugated cardboard 'sandwich'. Several of the plants had the staple right on the stem of the plant. After a month, I sent Royal Dutch for replacement for about half the dollar amount of my original order. About 1/3 of the lily bulbs had never came up. A few other plants died shortly after planting. Proper planting instructions for the Red Sedum was non existent, and may have contributed to the mass failure of those plants. (we'll see how these fare, now that I found how to plant from another site) When the replacement order arrived (a little over a month after requesting), the lily bulbs were soaking wet- i fear these may have rot and not come up either.
Though mostly a negative experience, I am choosing neutral stance- with a few improvements, it could be a good company. I appreciated the 'no questions' replacement (though HAVING to return the shipping label is shady- as many people would simply throw away the bag).
I received a green plastic bag that took me awhile to determine what was what because there wasnt even an copy of the invoice in the bag.
PLUS Comments: My card was NOT processed until the ordered was ready to be shipped. The Processing time was within time expected. Called Customer Service twice and both agents were honest and professional.
Negatives: However, Two gardens did not have planting diagrams. In addition, I ordered two of the Summer Blooming Bulb Collections that include 3 Begonias Baskets. No where in the Handbook, nor any of the material sent were directions on how to plant the baskets I had purchased. I did not know what size, planting material nor bloom time, etc.I emailed the company asking for directions that were not included.
I emailed the company with concise concerns and my requests for instructions. , TWICE. Their response was to resend me the diagram for the garden. That was all on the email, an attachment with a diagram that I had informed them I had indeed received in the order. The complete Planting Handbook gives you detail information of all the items that are in the catalog. It does not contain anything on the other two gardens' planting diagram nor detail instructions for the baskets I wanted to plant correctly for the six flowers included in my order.. However it is also not user friendly. Using the diagram I had to find and mark in the handbook with the flowers included in the collections to know the correct depth/spacing information to plant the flowers. Never did find any information for the hanging basket,
This is directly from their One Year Guarantee. "If any item you purchased from us does not live, for a one time FREE REPLACEMENT, just RETURN THE ORIGINAL SHIPPING LABEL within year...." "If you are dissatified with any merchandise, return it with the ORIGINAL SHIPPING LABEL within 1 year of receipt for a free replacement." I am assuming I will never get that Original Shipping Label back.
"For a REFUND of the purchase price, Return the Item AND THE ORIGINAL SHIPPING LABEL, with correct postage affixed within 14 days of receipt."
I wrote the company twice asking for planting directions. I told them their website was great for before the sale questions, but after the sale it was extremely poor if not useless. I am going to cut my loses now and mail this order back as I also emailed to them I would do if I could not get assistance. I have almost 500 items in my order. Since I have to mail them the ORIGINAL SHIPPING LABEL for a refund or a replacement, I really only have a Guarantee on 1/470th of my order. I will gradly pay for return shipping not to have to deal with this company again. I have also purchased thousands of dollors of their sister company products including raised gardening beds, seeds and supplies. I will be contacting my credit card to experdite my refunds as well.
Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice well I learned enough not to let that happen.
Company representative comment on September 5, 2012: On Sep 5, 2012 12:22 PM, Royal Dutch responded with:
The shipping label located on the outside of the package does list each item included in the package. The items would have also come labeled with the name. We are sorry to hear of the misunderstanding regarding instruction needed to plant the begonias as we are always happy to be of help. We do show that the package was returned and a refund was processed promptly.
I ordered several hundred dollars of product from Royal Dutch. Users should know that your credit card is charged immediately, and not when the product is shipped. Also, we scheduled landscape work and expected the products ordered to be shipped within a few weeks. THe products were not shipped, even though we were promised they would be shipped 2 weeks ago. Furthermore, you should know that the only phone number given is an answering service, and they claim they cannot contact the company, nor provide any information on orders. That also includes tracking numbers or someone to contact. Since my credit card has been billed and there is no contact, I would not recommend doing business with these people. I am trying to figure out what recourse, if any , I might have.Company representative comment on August 30, 2012: On Aug 30, 2012 9:34 AM, Royal Dutch responded with:
An order was received from this customer on 03-20-12 and was shipped before the customer made this posting. We contacted the customer by dmail on 4/19, but have not received a response, so assume the order was received.. The home page, order confirmation and shipping policies on the website from which the customer ordered did explain that processing of an order takes 1-2 weeks and then orders are shipped out based on weather and availability of the product. In addition, our phones are answered by our own employees right here at the nursery, not an answering service as the poster claims.
I am totally disgusted with Royal Dutch Gardens! I feel I have been openly lied to by this company. After reading some of the reviews, I realize now that this is (apparently) an unreliable company. I wonder if any of you think going to the newspapers might encourage the Burgess Seed & Plant Co. to look into the flagrant injustice being meted out by Royal Dutch Gardens?Company representative comment on August 30, 2012: On Aug 30, 2012 9:33 AM, Royal Dutch responded with:
We contacted this customer via dmail on 4/13 and found that they were upset because their order was taking so long. The customer said that they had mailed the order on March 4, but for some reason, we did not receive the order until 3/20. In the meantime the order had been shipped, so we were able to let the customer know this and have not received a further reponse.
Next to exciting gardens, this is the worst company i have yet to order from. I ordered a lily that was suposed to have jumbo bulbs, but when they arrived, the bulbs were puny. I also ordered three iris plants that arrived in very bad condition. I will never order from this company again. DO NOT PLACE AN ORDER FROM THEM. IT IS A NIGHTMARE!!!
docknee Murphy, NC (Zone 7a) (8 reviews) March 20, 2012
I ordered a number of things from Royal Dutch, one item was a collection of bulbs for a Spring Garden. One item, Liatris Spicata bulbs where full of mold and rot. Value about Two Dollars but I got a round around via email that would cause me to never use them again. They would rather debate "Form over Substance" then replace Two Dollars worth of bulbs. A subsidary of Burgess, I will not use any of the related companies again. Company representative comment on August 30, 2012: On Aug 30, 2012 9:32 AM, Royal Dutch responded with:
We do have a one year replacement guarantee on all of our products which is clearly stated in our catalogs and on our website. We have contacted the customer via dmail regarding the guarantee and offered replacements. We do hope that the customer takes advantage of the guarantee for his bulbs.
I placed a substantial order with Royal Dutch in the spring and it took a long tim to receive the order. When I did it came in part and the bag had a strong horrible ordor. I had to wait to the next day due to work. I took the bag outside to open it and when I did the smell of rot and black mold overtook me sending me into a dangerous asthma attack. I took pictures much later after my husband opened the packages. The bulbs were mushy/rotten, there was a black mold and green mold on the dead plants. Everythig in the tightly sealed plastic bag had gone bad like it had been sitting in the bag for many weeks. I contacted the company by email immediately to let them know what arrived and how it did and never heard from them. Since the "invoice" was contaminated by black mold I had to find an expert so as to remove the black mold so no one else would be exposed to it in the postal service. Then I sent the invoice back at my expense-that's where they get you, requesting all my money back and to cancel the rest of my order. I never heard from them, I contacted them several times. Then a couple months later several more packages show up from them and I refused them, placing them back on my mailbox for the mailman to pick them up; which he did return them to the post office. I again contacted the company and reminded them of their problem. They told me that I was at fault for not returning the "invoice" within the certain amount of time-I had explained that in the email-you cannot send toxic/poisonous substances through the mail so I had to decontaminate it. Then they told me for many months they never received any of the packages back I returned so they refused to refund the money. I faxed them a copy of the letter the mailman wrote saying he did, in fact, return the packages the next day. Their response to me was "We cannot open attachments to see them". So they refused to see the documentation that I was not lying as they implicated. So it has been 5 months, they told me to go to the Michigan Better Business Bureau when I threatened it. They told me to go to my credit card company as they will do nothing. So now I am carrying through with what I said; 5 months is long enough to give them to make things right. I also understand that House of Wesley and Burgess are their sister companies: many of their items arrive the same way and if you don't like them you have to send the invoice in and they claim that they didn't receive it-thus you are out the "original" invoice. What a racket they have going, and very costly to the consumer.
ahiggins Hilliard, FL (1 review) September 19, 2011
Never Order From This Company!!!
I placed an order from this company on June 22, 2011. It is now September 19, 2011 and I still have not received my order. I called them and the response I got was that their computers were down and to call back the next day. I told the representative that my credit card was charged and she stated I needed to mail a copy of my bank statement and my order summary. She stated that maybe there was a problem with my credit card. Clearly I highlighted where the money was withdrawn. There was no problem with my card. I wrote them a letter that same day stating that I wanted this matter cleared up. I will never buy anything from them and really all I want is the charges off my card. I really dont care about getting their plants now. I spend hundreds of dollars on my garden and yard and I will not give this company time of day anymore. Wish I would of read the previous reviews before I purchased anything.Company representative comment on October 26, 2011: On Oct 26, 2011 11:23 AM, Royal Dutch responded with:
We did receive this order in June, however the order was placed out of a Fall catalog. Many of the fall items are not available until September when they can safely be dug from the fields. Our computers were down on the day of September 19, and unfortunately we were not able to access any files or shipping information. We are sorry for the inconvenience experienced by all of our customers at this time. The order was shipped in September as soon as the items were prepared, and we have not heard back from the customer.
My order took a very long time to arrive and only did so after i phoned to complain. Their prices seemed exceptionally good; unfortunately the quality was exceptionally poor . I returned three items which were moldy and rotten and dead, the replacements were just the same. I won't order from them again. Company representative comment on October 26, 2011: On Oct 26, 2011 11:23 AM, Royal Dutch responded with:
We did receive an order for this customer on 04-26-11 totaling $85.35. Our website does state to allow up to 2 weeks for processing and then the order will be shipped based upon weather and availability. The order was shipped within 2 ½ weeks of receipt. We did issue replacement for the items complained about (totaling $9.95). We are sorry to hear of the problem with the bulbs and would be more than happy to issue further replacement. We have been able to contact this customer via Dmail and do hope that he takes advantage of the replacement guarantee available on all of our plants.
I ordered perennial plants and bulbs from Royal Dutch for the first time, trying to save money. About 80% of the plants and bulbs did not grow. Even the free daylilies that came with my order never came up, and those are some of the easiest to grow plants ever. I am not pleased with Royal Dutch's return policies and will go back to ordering from Dutch Gardens. You get what you pay for; I learned my lesson.
I have been attempting to resolve a delivery issue with the Royal Dutch Company for over six months. I sent a written order for spring bulbs last fall. They twice confused my mailing address and physical address resulting in non-delivery. They refuse to accept responsibility for the address error and refuse to refund my credit card which was very efficiently charged. They have now sent me replacement product (without asking for my preference) of alternative product - worth about half the value of my original order. Further calls tell me that they have shipped part of my original order (in the wrong season) - I'm still waiting! I definitely will never deal with this company again and would not recommend them to anyone.
I'm not a picky person, and I understand how busy growers can get. But when I mail an order in July for fall plants and months go by where nobody so much as acknowledges me (aside from charging my credit card), I get a little concerned.
So I emailed them Oct 4th and told them to cancel the order, and was told Oct 6th that they would do their best to cancel it. Two weeks passed with no delivery, so I assumed they canceled it, but I didn't get my money refunded. I emailed again, and was told AGAIN that they would try to cancel it.
6 days later, my package arrived. It was a plastic bag, with tiny dried out crispy irises, skinny little itty bitty dormant hostas, and other items with no sign of life. The ferns do look green and somewhat healthy, but considering the temperature has been in the 30s/40s and winter is fast approaching, I doubt the poor things will have time to get established.
Weeks ago I assumed the order had been canceled, so I filled the spots I had saved for these plants. I don't even know where to put them at this point. My beds are all covered up with leaves, so I'm going to have to unbury sections to search for an empty spot.
This company seems to put in the absolute minimal effort required, with no thought to customer service, or how to package plants safely for shipping. Never again will I make the mistake of ordering from them, and you can bet I'm hanging onto my "original packaging and shipping label" for the likely replacements I'll need to ask for next spring.
Just got off the phone with their customer service department. I was told that even though I paid $9.99 for shipping & handling and my bulbs were squished & some rotted, I needed to have the label from the plastic wrap shipping envelop. I wish I had read your reviews. The bulbs were of poor quality, shipped cheaply, and poor customer service. They told me everyone knew that they had to have the label to get a replacement.
All items were of inferior quality and very small. Cannas and dahlias were in plastic bags and beginning to rot. None of the cannas and dahlias have broken the ground, nor do I have much hope that they ever will. Gladiolus corms were about the size of my thumbnail ( and I don't have large thumbs).
Called today to get money back. Was advised no money back, only substitution of product, but have to have mailing list on box, which of course I have recycled. Informed that had to send a copy of my credit card bill even though I explained to them I had my printout from my Internet order with order number and shipping information.
Talked to supervisor who was just as unhelpful as the person who answered the phone. Asked to speak to supervisor's manager. I was given the manager's name but informed that only responds to written requests and does not take phone calls.
Very shoddy product and shoddier service. Expect customer to jump through hoops to even get a replacement (of some more inferior product) and cannot get money refunded. NEVER BUY FROM THIS COMPANY!
First, when I first ordered I knew there would be a 1 or 2 week processing time. I figured it would be 3 weeks at the most to receive the plants and bulbs. It took a little more then 5 weeks before I actually got the order. Ordered about March 24, received May 8.
Second, the Rose of Sharon plants looked like sticks with a lot of roots. I'm hoping that they will grow once they are settled in. The summer daffodil bulbs seem to be a decent size, so no problem there. The Mexican shell flowers seemed ok, since I'm not sure of bulb sizes with those. Then the magnolia plants, not very big but were in small container. looks like they started some green growing on them. Hopefully they will grow ok.
Third the packaging wasn't that great. It was a big green plastic bag. Somewhat moist when opened. Probably ok for things like the plants.. Not so good for bulbs. Fortunately, once it had been shipped it arrived fairly quickly. So, I think they were out of the bag before the moisture started causing problems.
Finally, I probably won't order from them again. Partly, because of the length of time it took before I finally got the order, and the quality of plants isn't that great.
Posted on April 19, 2010, updated May 6, 2010
I am very disappointed. I placed my order for Anastasia and regal lilies back in late February, which here in Seattle is a good time to plant lily bulbs. It is now nearly too late, and after three inquiring emails, all I have received back is three generic form emails. The products I ordered from another company are in the ground, growing.On May 6th, 2010, Brittanicals added the following:
Finally got the bulbs I ordered. They were half the size of most bulbs I have ever planted, somewhat sprouted, and the sprouts were pale and flimsy.
I do a lot of planting every year, and will now avoid this company at all costs.
I ordered from Royal Dutch back in February. I received my first shipment on April 30th. Firstly, I am impressed that I got this shipment just at the right time to begin planting in my area - a week earlier would have been too soon, and any later and I would have exploded from anticipation. I admit I was pretty nervous after reading all these reviews.
The first plants to arrive were the Angel Trumpet collection, and 3 Bonfire Euphorbia. Everything was wrapped individually in plastic, and each plant had only a cell-sized plug. Most of the leaves had fallen off the Angel Trumpets in transit, but each plant is alive and should recover with some TLC. The Euphorbia are tiny (3-4" tall), but in fine condition. Everything was sort of root-bound, but I'm used to buying plants like that on the cheap.
Between their prices and their selection, Royal Dutch is ok in my book. I could find much better quality plants locally, but at 3 times the price and up. I'm alright with working a little harder to raise my plants if it saves me money.
I will update my review as the rest of my plants arrive.
I ordered a collection of gladioli bulbs and a bi-color butterfly bush from them this spring...received some of the tiniest corms I've ever seen ( short of growing them myself) and a stick with two buds on it for the butterfly bush ( my own cutting grown buddleia were twice the size, and far healthier). The "free" bonus plants, two daylily roots were completely rotten.....I wish I had seen this "review" of this company before I ever ordered, but rest assured I will never order from them again.
I ordered 2 sets of dahlia tubers from Royal Dutch. They were interesting varieties and the prices were very reasonable. I was honestly skeptical after reading the reviews but went ahead. The tubers I received were large, firm and healthy, and are beginning to sprout. All in all I am pleased with my order.
Some order status information or update along the lines would be appreciated though. There is a lag between ordering and shipping (which they do disclose from the outset) that causes some nervousness. It seems that this could relatively easily be alleviated.
I feel compelled to defend Royal Dutch since my order of canna bulbs, butterfly bush, azalia, and a dozen burning bush plants (which looked to me like dead sticks with a root attached) are all thriving and growing. Even after being sent through the mail in a bag to Idaho and feeling a little sick after reading all the negative stories prior to arrival, I must say I am very pleased with my purchase. I have ordered from three different catalog companies and have been pleased with all of my purchases. These purchases certainly are money saving compared to our local greenhouses. The plants are small, but I have nothing but time on my hands and love in my heart for flowers!!
TomCamfield Port Townsend, WA (1 review) April 15, 2010
Looks like a lot of customers, judging from their comments, are just a bit overly picky. I was pleased with the prompt shipping, for one thing. The lilies were nicely just sprouted also. I would shop here again with no problem.--Tom Camfield, Port Townsend, Wash.
I received my shipment from Royal dutch and upon inspection I found that the quality of bulbs were very inferior. Among all my online orders from different suppliers throughout the years, this was the worst!
1. all items were in a plastic bag and not in a box, damaging small lilly bulbs.
2. Bulbs were bad quality and so small, contrary to the size listed in your catalog.
3. Lily, Oriental and Asiatic were damaged and I don't think they will grow.
This company's reputation depends on quality product and service. I give them a grade of "F-" Please never buy from this company.
I can't believe this company is still in business. My daylillies were rotten, molded and broken apart. I asked for replacements, no problem. When the replacements came, same thing. Now, however, you cant get a refund, only a credit. What am I going to do with $156.00 worth credit if the company cant even ship out good products the first time. Can't something be done? Do the management know what kind of garbage is being shipped? How do we get in touch with a manager? If you get a bad shipment from these people, get the money back the first time. Don't give them another shot.
I orderd some ground cover lilies, I got them several weeks earlier than I had expected as I do not plant my bulbs till the start of fall.
When I received the package and opened it, the ground cover lilies that I had ordered where moldy. I put them in anyway and will see what happens.
They state on their label to keep just in case I have a problem, well as much as I spent and the bulbs do not sprout next spring I will diffently email them and expect a refund of my money spent.
amnesiadream Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7b) (3 reviews) July 19, 2009
I placed an order on June 23rd 2008 and waited and waited and waited for my order to arrive. I didn't receive anything so I contacted the customer service department and they said that my order would be shipped. They forgot to tell me that the order wasn't in stock and that I'd have to wait months for it to be shipped. Since I didn't receive anything, by May 7th 2009 I requested a refund and they bounced me around from department to department and no one would issue a refund. My credit card was charged on June 27th 2008 and I tried communicating with the company several times only to be given the run around so I notified them that I'd contact the better business bureau and post negative reviews. I didn't get a refund until June 18th 2009... almost a year after the original order was placed. I will NEVER order from them again. The only reason I got a refund was probably because I kept writing them so many emails.
I ordered 12 Strawberry Candy Daylilys and 2 Hardy Red Fuschias. Two of the Daylilys and both Fuschias looked bad and dead when I took them out of the bag. The bag also contained two extra daylilys, no name or color given. The two Daylilys and both fuschias did not grow even after tender loving care. I called today and was told to send the shipping label and a list of the dead plants in and they would replace them. By the time the mail goes both ways and they send the plants, if they have them, it will be too hot to plant in Alabama. I learned a lesson. Never order from these folks again.
I ordered an assortment of plants from Royal dutch. I planted then within a few days. Nothing from the bunch came up. I was a little disapointed because it took me hours to plant this stuff. Called and they said no problem and mailed out a duplicate order. Two items grew really nice. the 24 creeping red sedium didn't grow again. These were planted on a steep hill in my back yard. I wanted something there to stop erosion.The beautiful trumpet humming bird vines never grew either.
Well I called them today and went as far to talk to the supervisor and too bad they did not grow.Only a 1 yr warranty. I'm done with catalog orders. Do not order from Burgess seed, Four season nursery or Royal dutch they send poor quality seedlings, and some were dead on arrival with slime and mold. I've learned my lesson. The magazines will go straight to the garbage.I lost money and time with all of thes nurseries. NEVER AGAIN.
neptunia2 Hayward, CA (Zone 10a) (2 reviews) May 18, 2009
I placed my order March 23rd, 2009. My Creditcard was charged March 29th. I figured my order was shipped.
April 18th I called Customer Service about my order, very rude, I was told it's in the mail. April 23rd I received a partly shipment. I ordered Hostas, Gladiolus, a Fern, Walk on Me Plant. The Hostas were fine, they all came back, the Walk on Me plant was all dried up and never recovered, the Glads were a partial shipment and all covered with mildew. March 27th I called for the rest of my order, and found out it was never mailed. This time I got a helpful customer service. She told me she will have it shipped out that same day. I received the rest of my order May 8th. They give you a free Lily with any order, it was all mushy, didn't even plant it, the Fern was only wrapped in cardboard and all dried up. I planted it anyway, maybe it comes back. I won't find out until later how the Glads are and if I got the right colors.
It took from March 23rd until May 8th to get my order.
They have a return policy if the plant dies they send you a new one. I will try that, just to see what kind of response I get.
I placed my first order with this company this year, before reading these reviews. I'm now very nervous because even though there are some positive reviews, there are plenty negatives as well and, it seems as if the company hasn't been addressing the negative issues since May 1, 2007 (here on Dave's Garden) which gives the impression that they have given up on customer satisfaction.
I placed my order over 2 weeks ago and have not received it yet (but it is not planting time in my zone yet either, so allowing the benefit of the doubt to prevail).
I'll be back to change my rating to (hopefully) positive or negative when my order is received or by May 1st, whichever comes first.
On April 16th, 2009, JMKM1976 added the following:
Sent an email on 4/13 asking when my order would be shipped. An email arrived on 4/15 saying my order had been shipped and should be delivered in 1-2 weeks. Seems like a long time to have live bulbs in route... getting more worried about what I will (or possibly won't) arrive.
On April 20th, 2009, JMKM1976 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I recieved my order from Royal Dutch today and will go over each individually:
1- Caladium, Elephant Ear $1.47, small bulb, half the size of those I have seen in WalMart for $3.00 (but half the price too) The bulb is firm and should grow well. I don't mind the small size since I will pot it anyway, since Elephant Ears are not hardy in my zone and will need to come inside for half the year.
10- Gladiola, Orchid Hardy $2.17 bulbs are firm and are sprouting. They are small bulbs, but these bulbs don't run very large anyway, about 3.4 the size that I would get buying bulk at the local greenhouse and well below half the price.
10- Hardy Glads $1.99 great bulbs, firm and well formed, same size as those I purchased from the local nursery
2- Lily Collection, Fan 5 Oriental $29.98 Siz bulbs from these two collections appear to have been damaged in shipping. 3 Lovely Girl and 3 Dizzy bulbs seem to have been crushed in route. These 6 bulbs don't appear as if they will survive, 2 are completely smashed up and 4 have lost more than half the "cloves" that form the bulb. The Stargazers are on the small size, about 3/4 the size of other stargazers purchased this year but firm and showing life signs. The rest are good sized bulbs, firm and alive. I have my original shipping label and will request replacement of the damaged Lovely Girl and Dizzy bulbs (will let you know how that goes too).
50- Liatris, Blazing Stars $3.49 Not bad sized bulbs, again about 3/4 the size from other companies but at half the cost. All are firm and beginning to sprout.
100- Shamrock, Flowering $5.00 Very small bulbs, about half the size of those purchased from the local nursery but I know from experience that these bulbs are very vigorous and fast growing and will even spread quickly, so I am not discouraged by the size. 100 bulbs at the local nursery would have cost me over $25, so a huge bargain there!
2 free hybrid daylilies- very small roots and a little sick looking, this discourages me from buying plants rather than bulbs from Royal Dutch. But, these were free and I will plant them and see what happens anyway.
So far, I am very pleased with my order to Royal Dutch. If replacements for 3 Lovely Girl and 3 Dizzy bulbs come through safely, I'll be 100% satisfied. Damaged bulbs aside, I feel confident in ordering bulbs from them again (probably not plants though).
On April 21st, 2009, JMKM1976 added the following:
I was so excited and relived to see a lot of healthy bulbs, I failed to inspect my order completely. I discovered while planting that I am missing oriental lily bulbs and that some of the Hardy orchid glads and flowering shamrock bulbs were DOA, after taking my elephant ear from the package, it felt slick and slimy and moosy on the tip (where the foliage should shrout from).
I won't change my rating yet, not unless Royal Dutch fails to supply replacements for missing and dead bulbs.On June 2nd, 2009, JMKM1976 added the following:
I sent my original shipping label and list of missing/dead plants with a written request for replacement and a little over two weeks after received replacements. The bulbs were not as fresh and well conditioned as the first ones I received but were unbroken and appeared to be alive. I've planted everything and am keeping track of what comes up and what does not.
It dawned on me that there is an unfortunate aspect to sending that original shipping label when things are missing and damaged in transit... it is now gone, so if things happen to die and do not live past the first year, I will have lost my money because I won't have that label to send, only a label for replacement items (which I have saved, especially because some of the bulbs looked stressed).
Anyway, I am sticking with the positive review, they have, thus far, done everything that they promised and so far, I have an entirely live order (minus the two free daylilies, they weren't replaced but I am not exactly concerned because they weren't something I paid for).
I think the key to getting the best possible BULBS from this company is to order EARLY. I think perhaps, all their stock it pre-packed and slightly cooled to prevent growth before shipping and the later you order, the longer the bulbs are being kept in plastic bags without soil or much packing material and the less effect their cooling system has as the temperatures rise. So, I will be certain to always order my bulb choices in March. I still do not recommend ordering any of their bare root items or plants... only bulbs as the plants tend to be tiny and obviously will resent the packing and storing techniques much more than bulbs.