Bromeliad_FL Gainesville, FL (Zone 8b) (1 review) August 2, 2015
After reading the negative reviews of TopTropicals.com, I reluctantly ordered a Euphorbia punicae from them in April 2015, because they were the only vendor I could find with large plants of this slow growing species.
When the plant arrived there was significant healed damage about 1/3 of the way through each stem. I photographed the scars, emailed TopTropicals and was a bit surprised that they replied within a few hours.
TopTropicals customer service (Kristi) was very pleasant, and replaced the plant, with a high quality specimen.
Posted on June 24, 2015, updated June 25, 2015
Order 2 plants from TopTropicals.com. I am in Florida and they arrived overnight but the plants were wilted and waterlogged. The larger 3g plant was the worst, it arrived severely wilted and the root ball was waterlogged in a thick muck based soil. I planted into a small pot with quality soil and watered it in once. Now 5 plus weeks later the plant is still barely alive, leaves welted and falling off. It looks like a picture of death -- TopTropicals.com .
TopTropicals.com -- When the plants arrived they were not in a growing state. They were already exhibiting signs of root rot and shipping stress in less than 24 hours shipping time. Other Florida nurseries have shipped to me this year in 2015 and provided very healthy and growing plants. Shame on TopTropicals.com
On June 25th, 2015, pottedorchard added the following:
I have been given a refund for the 3g tree. My other one gallon tree was priced $29.95 and with shipping is now $58.58 for a 1 gallon, ouch. But Thank you for the refund -- TopTropicals.com
weRgroot New Port Richey, FL (Zone 9b) (6 reviews) May 14, 2015
Shipping costs too expensive; did not complete order
FishMang Grant Valkaria, FL (Zone 9b) (3 reviews) February 25, 2015
Posted on September 5, 2010, updated February 25, 2015
BUYER BEWARE - TOPTROPICALS OF PUNTA GORDA!!!
Ordered one plant received a similar but different latin named plant. Plant ordered very expensive, substituted plant inexpensive.
Wrong plant confirmed by tissue sample from U of Florida.
Multiple emails go unanswered.
I believe they knew they were offering a rare plant, substituting a common plant and hoping no one would know the difference. On February 25th, 2015, FishMang added the following:
THIS IS A NURSERY THAT YOU SHOULD AVOID. WAY TOO MANY PROBLEMS, AND THE CUSTOMER SERVICE IS SUBSTANDARD. THIS IS NOT A REPUTABLE COMPANY BUYER BEWARE!!!
reesemoose Fortuna, CA (1 review) January 13, 2015
i ordered two seed packets from this company. the order came with a disclaimer stating that their seeds are not guaranteed to sprout. in fact, not a single seed from either packet did. i purchased the same two seed packets from another company, Tradewinds, and did the same thing (heat mat, light, good humidity). both types of seeds sprouted. one good thing i can say about Top Tropicals though, is that their website is informative...
BCfromFL Youngstown, FL (1 review) September 10, 2014
I ordered a 3-gallon grafted Eugenia uniflora, and there was an issue that occurred with the shipping of this plant. I contacted customer service, and while it took some time for this particular plant to again be available in their inventory, they sent a replacement. It's in beautiful shape, and already sending out new growths a week later. I am very pleased.
There are so few sources for many of the tropicals this nursery carries, I would hope that other hobbyists who have order problems contact customer service before using harsh words here. I, for one, would certainly like to see this nursery continue offering the tremendous selection of hard-to-find plants!
I bought 10 trees and 3 small jasmine plants from Top Tropicals. They missed sending one of the trees but after I called them (e-mail doesn't seem to get a response) they promptly sent me the missing item.
Out of the 11 trees, so far 3 have lost all leaves (well, one of them only had 2 leaves to begin with) and are not showing any signs of new growth. It has been a month since I got these plants and I am hoping for the best.
If not for these 3 trees I would have given very positive review. I may change my rating yet if the trees recover.
I would recommend this seller for jasmines though. All of the jasmine plants I received are of impressive size and health compared to some I bought from other sellers.
mrickett Lawrenceville, GA (5 reviews) June 1, 2014
I ordered a jatropha berlandieri. I was expecting it to arrive as a bare caudex with no roots or foliage. I was surprised when it arrived in a plastic pot with a rootball, foliage and flowers! It was also larger than I expected. They put forth a lot of effort to pack the plant for shipment. The pot and soil were clear wrapped to contain the plants roots and soil. The foliage was barely wilted. I was really impressed with their detailed information sheet that was included. It clearly explained how to repot the plant as well as things to do and not to do to insure the plant thrived. I would not hesitate to purchase from them in the future.
Ordered over $800 of tropical fruit trees last year and had many issues from the start. First, the avocados arrived in rough shape and died within a few days to a week. They had many of the items back ordered and once they arrived they were smaller than advertised and purchased. Fast forward a few months and the 2 of the mangoes were diseased. I had to cut back the entire tree to the root and let it grow again. They had a fungus on them. The avocados have/had a separate fungus. The palms were covered in scale. I could go on and on about how poorly cared for these trees were. Both cacaos have died as well. We have a greenhouse and the plants we received from FGT and Fourwinds around the same time are in great condition. I would stay far away from these growers. They do not grow their items from seed and are merely a reseller on some items. They are disorganized and understaffed. I know this because we called/emailed them so many times. To their credit they did send out new avocados that died but it was simply another vendor's tree. Over half of the trees ordered from them either died or have been cut back to their roots to save them. What a waste of money and life of the plants. If you do take the risk and order from them, inspect every specimen extremely thoroughly, including the roots as I would personally guarantee that you have a 50% chance of buying a problem.
I live in Kendall Florida on 1/2 acre and I have about 200 fruit trees. Every tree is 100% perfect and that includes about 50 citrus trees.
I have bought around 25 mango and avocado and citrus trees from TT. I just recieved 3 Mango trees yesterday from TT. So I have planted 200 fruit trees over 8 years from many sources both locally and as far away as the panhandle. Nobody preps their trees like TT for shipping and this makes it so easy to get into the ground it's insanely fantastic. I'll explain this in a minute. Every tree I have ever recieved from TT has almost always been higher quality than for example Pine Island Nursery just a few miles from here. Better than any local nursery around here or anywhere else in this country of ours. (I did get a few avocado trees from CA.) And speaking of avocado trees, the ones from CA came with 2-3 days shipping. The ones from TT get to my house in a day. The difference on Avocados is huge because avocado trees do not do well in shipping and all a nursery can do is pack it well and send it very fast or you lose lots of leaves and possible death. So if you are not one day away pay more and get your trees alive.
So TT removes some of the soil at the rootball and packs the existing soil very tight and puts a plastic tie around the trunk to hold the saran wrap that they wrap tight around the rootball. They don't bareroot it and they maintain the integrity of the rootball. This is so much better and then they have a bamboo support inside the ball ready to tap into the ground and the truck and bamboo are covered with a sleak sleeve.
OK the tree arrives and you don't have to dig such a big hole like if it came in the pot this is good. Then you place the tree in the hole and push or tap the bamboo deep and this 100% stabilizes the tree perfectly straight and this makes it so easy. When you remove the sleave you see your beautiful healthy tree. Then you fill in your soil and the fact that the tree is super stable makes the rest so easy when you press down on the sides to firm up the surrounding soil.
It is such a pleasure to recieve and plant trees from TT. Every time I got one I've been super pleased.
Although almost 28% of customers have recorded their dissatisfaction with Top tropical LLC, I still was desperate enough to find a source for a fruit trees I had set my eyes on and took the risk of ordering them. Their response was rather prompt and when they shipped the items during a risky cold weather spell in the region, I inspected them carefully upon arrival to find that their packaging was impeccably proficient, using several different materials including cellophane tape, LDPE, tie-wraps, bamboo stakes, reinforced scotch tape and a liberal dose of Styrofoam peanuts! Indeed, their prices are on the higher side but if the quality of their merchandize deserves those prices, I'd be a happy camper. Only time will tell when the plants begin to bear the awaited fruits. In the meantime, I tend to think that they have delivered on my expectations.
Posted on November 13, 2012, updated March 6, 2014
Posted on October 7, 2012, updated November 13, 2012
I actually went there guys, right to the nursery itself!
Here's how it went down....
Day before yesterday they emailed me with a bauhinia I have wanted forever, it was finally in stock. Since I am merely
about 20 miles from them, I paid for the plant online in advance, lest they run out of this hard to find species.
This morning I drove down to the actual nursery, for the first time.
Pitifully cared for plants and trees. Although they have moved twice in the last year (first move from Punta Gorda to
off of Daniels prkwy in Ft Myers, and now north again to N. Ft Myers. I could tell they were still setting up, as the
guy who does irrigation was checking in with one of the owners as I waited for her to look up my prepaid order.
But even with the move, you could see the plants were cared for only minimally. The divaricata I chose was the tallest of all 6,
and had been ravaged by time and lack of care, fertilizer. But I took it anyway, as you just can't find them.
The other 5 were no more than 2 feet tall, and all 6 were stunted. I grow several species of bauhinia, and they usually flower
the first year or at least in 18 months, seed grown. This plant appeared to be several years old, and was clearly too weak to have borne flowers.
What should have been a trunk of over an inch in diameter, was instead about 1/4 inch.
I repotted within an hour of getting it home. It did have brand new root growth, but no thick, strong roots that bauhinia always have at this height. The leaves are not even half the size they should be, very small. stunted and in need of micronutrients.
They are very resilient, and I know mine will be fine, even if it is stunted, but I suggest my friends here beware when looking for plants
from them. I looked across the fields at all they had growing, and none of their holdings were what I considered loved. They were neglected.
The lovely photos on their website must be taken when they first get them in from mass nurseries in Homestead, and wait for them to flower and
take snapshots quickly.On November 13th, 2012, TrumpetFlowerz added the following:
***Update: Through constant care, I finally got one flower to open this morning. Guess what? Not only did they sell me an unhealthy
bauhinia, but it IS NOT THE SPECIES I PAID FOR.
CONSUMER-BEWARE!On March 6th, 2014, TrumpetFlowerz changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I am going to change my opinion of this company to neutral, based on a very kind and well thought out email I received
from their new manager, Chris. He was apologetic on my past experience with Top Tropicals, and said he was working diligently to change the way the place had been managed in the past. I believe him. He offered me the proper species, and for free. If I remember right, even 50 percent off another plant I had on my wish list plant as well.
I WILL try Top Tropicals again, and might just go meet Chris. He sounds like a man trying to turn this ship around. His knowledge of plants (through the d-mail I received) is certainly better than the past manager, Lynn.
The nursery is close to me so I went there in person. I was looking for Dichorisandra thyrsiflora Blue Ginger. Their website had three on Friday and on Monday just one plant was left. There are two or three shade houses full of plants. I went to the office and Kristi looked up my plant on their computer and then talked to a man with an ATV who took off to find my plant. In the meantime Kristi took me over to a shade house where my wife had a few plants to ask questions about. Kristi wrote the names down and ran back to the office. She came back with the information about the plants and the prices. In the meantime the ATV came back with two different dichorisandras, the one I wanted thyrsiflora,and the pendula variety. I decided to buy both, plus my wife found a brugmansia sanguinea 'red angels trumpet' and a 3 gallon pot stuffed with neomarica caerulea iris. I also picked out a Eucalyptus deglupta. The shadehouse we were in was well organised with pictures above most of the plant sections identifying what they had. For the most part it looked like a normal nursery. Kristi was helpful and friendly and if she didn't know an answer about a plant she looked it up on the computer. Another person in the office named Tiffany was also very friendly. For the life of me I don't know why this nursery has all the bad reviews? Yes, the prices are a little high, but the pot of iris we got has at least 10 plants in it if we divided it. Not over stuffed or potbound, just full. The plants are all as good looking as plants we've purchased at one of the many Fairchild Tropical Garden's plant show and sales. Before you think I'm a relative or something, this is the only time I have been there. I will be going back to shop when I am looking for plants no one else has. I've never ordered from them through the mail, but from what I saw, I wouldn't hesitate to do so.
grubersc Golden Glades, FL (1 review) October 29, 2013
I recently ordered a(1) rainbow eucalyptus that arrived in excellent condition, extremely well packed, that i subsequently exported to Jamaica( within two weeks of arrival) in its original packaging. This plant has thrived in Jamaica, springing from 24" to over 6ft. in three months. This company has excellent customer support and professionalism. Regret the negative comments, give them a try again people, lets keep planting!!
i ordered one tree about a week ago....3 gallon size.
it came today, well packed, looking very healthy and a VERY good size, 4' at least.
i'm completely happy with my purchase.
sorry to see all the negative comments here but mine is a positive.
I purchased a Dwarf Ylang-Ylang and it arrived looking NOTHING like their "actual plant" photo linked to the product on their online store.
I was a 12" tall 1/4" diameter trunk with 6 - 8 leaves all less than 1/2" long. Half of them where brown/black. I was optimistic that I could follow the instructions and bring it back to life.
I misunderstood some of the instruction and the plant died from over-watering 4 weeks after purchase.
So, I take responsibility for that. They offered to replace at half the list price (not half the sale price which I originally paid)...and with full shipping. I would pay $43 for the replacement of a plant for which I originally paid $53.
I'm sure if they sent me the plant that they show on their sites as "actual plant" it would have survived my initial misunderstanding of the instructions.
I was aware of the negative reviews for this company before I placed my recent order. I had ordered from them several years ago and had received dead plants which were never replaced and had pretty much taken a loss on that purchase.
However, for my current order, they had a type of bauhinia I was looking for and could not find anywhere else so I held my breath and ordered it from them. The entire purchase was expensive.
When I received the tree, the leaves were dead and dry and the tree looked pretty much uncared for. I followed the instructions and planted it in a pot. This was 2 or 3 weeks ago and there is still no sign of life on the poor tree. I am hoping it will make it but will not be surprised if it dies (or is already dead).
I didn't bother to contact the company since I had gotten no help from them for my previous order, years ago.
This company has some real problems.
sd915 York, SC (Zone 8a) (7 reviews) March 13, 2013
I ordered 4 items recently and they all came in great shape, well packaged and lush. It is disappointing to hear all the negatives, since my experiences (1 order per year over the last 5 years) have all been good.
DSwaim Altamonte Springs, FL (1 review) December 27, 2012
I ordered 6 bougainvilleas from Top Tropicals in August 2012. The web site described the plants as "large" and "3 gallon" size. The plants were small and spindly. The trunk diameter was less than 1 inch on each of them. The manager forwarded my complaint to the owner. The email I received included the following:
"On Sun, Aug 12, 2012 at 5:52 PM, Top Tropicals LLC wrote: Send him picture of plants in pot along with tape measure. Or simply ignore him."
The manager wrote, "they are all 3 gallon plants."
I bought a camera just to take photos of those plants. Three of them still bear the "TopTropicals" labels.
gardenpom Melbourne, FL (6 reviews) December 7, 2012
I have ordered several times from this company. Most of the time seeds, but a few plants. One time I ordered a plant that took a long time, with no updates on delivery. But when they finally sent the plant, they also sent a bonus plant to make up for the delay. I mostly order seeds, and last order was missing a pack. I notified them and they quickly sent out another pack. This company has a wide selection of tropicals, and is a pleasure to deal with.
Aslan89 Harlingen, TX (2 reviews) October 11, 2012
Just received my Cordia sebestena tree today (10-11-2012) and it is in perfect health. I ordered the 3 gallon pot size plant and the tree is nearly 5 feet tall which was unexpected. Nice healthy green plant with a sturdy trunk.
The tree arrived in a tall slender box, root ball was sealed in clear plastic and still moist, the tree was supported in the box by a bamboo stake, the upper portion of the tree was wrapped in tube mess to protect the leaves and branches which was really a nice touch, and the box was full of packing peanuts as well. No other company I have ordered from has ever taken this much care when shipping me a plant.
Will definitely order from them again!
Ordered a handful of tropical fruit trees which were shipped promptly. However, they arrived in terrible condition and not what we had ordered.. As with experiences from other members, trees arrived with wilted stems and dried up leaves... But the worst concern was we did not receive what we had ordered.
Wary of the negative reviews from other members, we e-mailed the nursery before ordering to find out whether the trees were grafted or not and the approximate sizes. What we received were seedling trees instead of grafted trees and trees that were less than half the size we were told. When we contacted customer service to let them know of the error, no apology or explanation was made for the error. We had no choice but to return the trees and request for a full refund. Customer service had surprisingly agreed and even offered to give us a discount if we wished to re-order the trees that we initially wanted. It took nearly a month for the entire process and after returning the trees, we only received a partial refund and they refused to honor the discount for us to re-order the trees we had initially wanted. Very disappointed. We would recommend purchasing from another nursery even if the item is difficult to find elsewhere.
Ordered 2 sausage trees. Were shipped promptly and I picked them up promptly at the post office. One was received dead and leaves crisp. The other was in okay shape except that it was totally root bound. Did some root pruning before putting it into a container so far it is okay, but would expect better quality merchandise.
gandyman33 Saint Louis, MO (12 reviews) August 6, 2012
I wish I could give Top Tropicals (TT) a positive review because after reading some of the other reviews I believe their customer service has improved. In July 2012, I purchased a "Florida Hass Avocado" to improve the pollination success with my "Day Avocado" - Type A and Type B. The tree arrived in a timely manner unpotted in a plastic bag with a protective sleeve around the truck of the tree. I was ready for delivery and planted the tree in large planter with new potting soil and perlite. After a couple of days the leaves began to wilt and fall off. I immediately sent an email to TT to notify them of the situation and to inquire about a replacement if the tree failed to live. I received a next day response asking about how the tree was planted. I responded with this information and asked for any advice to help ensure the tree survived. I did not receive a follow-up email and in the meantime the tree lost all of its leaves. I sent another email and this time I received a reply stating that I didn't follow the planting instructions and the plant could be suffering from root rot. Implied was that I had voided any replacement/warranty since I didn't following instructions. Well it wasn't root rot but what I believe to be a bad case of shock/stress. The tree is not out of the woods completely but I have noticed signs of new growth. Although I'd asked about a replacement if the plant died I never received a direct answer. I would hope they would stand by their plants/trees and would caution any future buyers to following any written instructions precisely.
rqhansen Mitchell, SD (Zone 4b) (3 reviews) August 3, 2012
I must concur with the other positive reviews. I have placed at least 8 orders to them over a 3 year period and not once was I disappointed! I just received a passiflora and a dwarf brazilian banana. Both were the largest plants I have ever received, in fact, MUCH larger and in perfect shape. A month before, I received 2 mangos, also in perfect shape. To be fair, I have never e-mailed or called for customer service, I found their website to have a lot of good cultural information. I know their prices are more expensive, but the plants are so much larger, at least based on my experience, that they are worth it. Based on my experience, I personally cannot say enough good things about this company.
I've recieved 3 orders from TT this spring and summer. a "3 gallon" brugmansia "super Nova" huge, branched plant with a 2 inch stem. It's blooming twice a week after a month in it's new pot. Thai adenium, perfect caudex, budding out now. Huge Condo Mango, no flowers yet, but next year? All were underpriced specimens, well pruned and grown hard. Perfect shipping, fast delivery to Northern Michigan.
Posted on June 21, 2012, updated August 2, 2012
Posted on June 6, 2012, updated June 21, 2012
Posted on March 23, 2012, updated June 6, 2012
Posted on March 23, 2012, updated March 23, 2012
Posted on June 27, 2009, updated March 23, 2012
I have always been happy with the plants I ordered from TT.
They arrive 3 days from the shipping date in good condition with planting instructions, and they are always larger than I expected. Also, their website is great. Green Thumbs Up to Top TropicalsOn March 23rd, 2012, jedoody added the following:
I order during one week and they ship the following week on Monday. They always e-mail when they ship and the plants always arrive here on Wednesday. The plants are always very large and well packed (sometimes too well). I follow their instructions to keep in the same size pot until I see new growth and the plants all do very well. They even sent me an extra desert rose when they felt one of the ones I ordered did not have a large enough caudex. I have ordered a lot of plants from them and have never had a problem. Thanks Top Tropicals. On March 23rd, 2012, jedoody added the following:
I order during one week and they ship the following week on Monday. They always e-mail when they ship and the plants always arrive here on Wednesday. The plants are always very large and well packed (sometimes too well). I follow their instructions to keep in the same size pot until I see new growth and the plants all do very well. They even sent me an extra desert rose when they felt one of the ones I ordered did not have a large enough caudex. I have ordered a lot of plants from them and have never had a problem. Thanks Top Tropicals. On June 6th, 2012, jedoody added the following:
In the past two months I have ordered a Michelia figo, Michelia Alba, Little Gem Magnolia, and an Osmanthus, and all have been in excellent condition, large, and leafy. I have ordered many plants from Top Tropicals and have never had a problem with the plant or the vendor. All have survived and flourished in this desert environment. On June 21st, 2012, jedoody added the following:
I just received an Osmanthus Aurantiacus from Top Tropicals, and, as always, the plant is very healthy. The packaging always keeps the plant very moist upon arrival, and I have never had a problem with customer service. On August 2nd, 2012, jedoody added the following:
Another successful transaction with Top Tropicals. They always notify when the plant is shipped, plant always arrives two days later, and is always very healthy.
I ordered an one gallon Jasmine maid of Orleans from them. When it arrived, the leaves are all yellowish, many of have brown spots. I took photos and emailed them for advice (didn't even mention whose responsibility is). No response from them.
Never buy from them again.
I am planting two trees which will only survive if this climate change continues (we essentially have no winters in Atlanta any longer) , a ceiba and a jacaranda.
Since they are new, my experiment is just starting; nevertheless, I can attest to this fact: once you order anything from them you are completely on your own/. They WILL NOT answer any e-mail or questions on propagation, planting or anything else. They WILL NOT ship ANY guides or instructions whatsoever, so be prepared to use references.
BTW---I would say conservatively the trees I received had 2000 plastic peanuts, all nicely electrostatically charged.
I ordered from Top Tropicals back in March of 2011; why am I just posting a review? Let me explain. Top Tropicals delivered a cashew tree to my house I was aware that they are difficult plants to maintain but when you recieve a dead cashew tree from the onset, the chances of the plant living is nearly impossible. I emailed and called the nursery the following day and explained my delimma and as I expected the owner quoted the disclaimer clearly seen on his page without noting that they "guarantee" to ship healthy plants. At the prices and the cost of shipping charged Top Tropicals could afford to be more courteous and customer driven. I will not be ordering or patronizing anymore of their products to say the least. Thanks for the lesson TopTropicals I now know what the worst in mail orders look like.
elfgarden Key West, FL (1 review) November 19, 2011
I ordered some Joy perfume tree seeds from this company. They charged about $5 for shipping for an envelope that contained about 6 tiny seeds with a 42c stamp.The seeds were sown according to tropical seed planting instructions for a humid climate. None sprouted which makes me think they were not fresh seeds. Whenever I've called the company to enquire about different plants, the Russian couple that run Top Tropicals are arrogant and abrasive. Also their plants are overpriced and many can be found in Home Depot at less than half the price. I would only consider buying here if I couldnt find the plant anywhere else but otherwise avoid.
lladonna27 Golden Gate, FL (1 review) August 9, 2011
I placed an order for a pineapple plant to be sent to a friend in CA. I made the mistake of not reading the disclaimer that they don't ship pineapples to CA.
My complaint comes from their next action that they chose to cancel the order AND charge me a 6% cancellation fee for an order that was never filled. They informed me of the charge via email 7 days after the order was placed and not filled.
I recognized my error of ordering a plant they could not ship to CA and requested that instead of cancelling the order and charging a 6% fee, they ship it my address in FL.
They have yet to respond (over a week ago) to that request even after a follow up email was sent. I contacted AMEX and disputed the 6% fee and AMEX removed the charge.
Charging cancelling fee's for responding to an email is a horrible business practice that I wanted others to be aware of.
I called, he didn't seem very nice at all. Then I read these and I wanted to say thanks to everyone... I was going to order a bunch of things that I really didn't know about and really wanted to buy them from someone helpful,that is obviously not this man. I wont buy anything from this company. Sorry to all of you who had bad experiences with him, and thanks for warning me. Jamie
My own experience with TopTropicals extends over about 3 years and probably north of a dozen orders worth many hundreds of dollars. My experience with this company has been uniformly positive. Plants typically arrive within 24 hours of ship-notification given my location in central Florida. They have without exception arrived well-packed and healthy. My only encounter with customer service involved double mailing of their magazine and was easily resolved to my satisfaction when I explained the situation by email. I consistently buy from TT for two reasons. First, although I'm no botanist and I have no authority to judge, the TT website seems to be science-based and to contain a really astonishing amount of information that is convenient to use. Second, TT sells plants that tend to be larger and more mature than those sold by other sellers. Naturally these are more expensive to buy and ship than smaller plants. Logee's for instance sells smaller, younger plants. (I order from Logee's as well as TT and have had nothing but positive transactions with them too, including customer service.) I'm not a shill for Top Tropicals nor do I suggest that critical comments aren't warranted. I'm just relaying my personal experience and it's been very good. Now, lots of my plants don't survive, but that's because of my relatively salty location 600 feet from the Atlantic and because I tend to have a brown thumb. With respect to salt-tolerance, I've concluded that guides and lists only take you so far. You have to try the plant exactly where you live. If it dies, well, one reason is you're too close to salt water. But you'd be surprised what works that's not supposed to. On the second issue, brown thumb, you just have to keep trying.
islandgirl37 Marathon, FL (Zone 11) (6 reviews) July 1, 2011
Posted on June 9, 2011, updated July 1, 2011
I giving top Tropicals a negative for several reasons. Their customer service is for the most part, POOR! I did speak with one woman named Lynn that was nice.... ONE time. The other time, not so nice. Madelyn was helpful regarding the care of some plants. I never spoke with Mike but apparently he is the head honcho there and they can't do anything without his permission including refunds.
My plants were shipped promptly and arrived in a timely manner, 2 days. Their packing was fairly well done.. One plant had the soft growth on the tips bent over or broken. I had to trim about 4" off.
I ordered several of the same genus. These were all in 3 gallon pots, advertised as bushy plants. 1 was nice, the other was a little twig with a few leaves on it and almost no roots. It looked like a cutting that they had started about a month ago. The other was full but the growth was all soft, as if it had been pushed to the limit with fertilizer.
Another was infested with scale, sooty looking mold, disgusting. I removed all of the leaves and cut it back. It was nice size, good roots, but I didn't want my other plants infested. I defoliated it, put the leaves in a ziplock bag and threw them away. The other was healthy but not a pretty plant. Leaves only on the tips.
2 plants were on backorder, even though they said they were in stock and it allowed me to order. 1 item they forgot to ship but did not charge me for it.
They do NOT like to give a refund under any circumstances. Be prepared that if the items are on back order, they want to use your money until it comes in. That is NOT how it works. Use a credit card. If they try this, send them an email and a letter and tell them to credit your account and cancel the item that was supposed to be in stock if you don't want to wait on it. If they don't do it, contest the charges on your credit card. They don't fight that, they know they will lose that battle and it's too time consuming.
Their shipping charges are ridiculously high. It cost them about half of what they charged. Boxes are free. I realize they have to pay someone to pack them, still, way too high.
To summarize: I do not like their customer service, their prices are too high for the plants they send. The plants they send look nothing like the ones in the photos on their website. I think they like to deal in quantity, not quality. Maybe their plants look good to people in the Northern states that never see really lush, healthy, tropical specimens. Shipping is too high. If you place an order and cancel it, even if it's 10 minutes after you place the order they charge you a cancellation fee. I would never order from them again.On July 1st, 2011, islandgirl37 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I'm changing my rating to a neutral due to the fact that I was issued a full refund for the back ordered items. I don't feel a negative is warranted due to the fact that they did issue the refund and the infested plant, that I had to defoliate and cut back, is coming back nicely and the size is very nice, twice as big as ones I ordered from another place.
I still would probably not order from them again unless it was something I couldn't find anywhere else, but with Homestead close to me, I can probably find there almost anything TT's has. Granted I have to drive there, but the gas is about the same or less as TT's shipping and I can pick out the plants myself.
I just ordered from Top Tropicals, well-knowing what a bad reputation they have. But they had two plants that were unavailable anywhere else. They were overpriced but I ordered them anyway. I received them yesterday afternoon. These were supposed to be 3-gallon plants and they'd shaved off two-thirds of the root balls and wrapped them in plastic, I suppose to save money on shipping (which I would have gladly paid for intact plants). Moreover the plants were under-watered. Because of the water-stress and the root stress, the plants are logically, now wilting. Frankly, I doubt they'll survive even when planted and well-watered. Garden Watchdog is oh-so-reliable and I should have listened to the advice here! Top Tropicals is a rip-off and I don't recommend buying from them under ANY circumstances! I can see why they're an LLC outfit! They would have lots of liabilities otherwise! This place is a disaster!
For the most part their plants are good sized even if a little over priced compared to other vendors.
However, if you have a problem with an order. In my case having a dead cashew tree among other items that were ok, customer service IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. They ignore phone calls and emails to resolve the issue. as always, BUYER BEWARE.
I ordered "Brunfelsia americana - Lady of the night"...arrived perfectly packaged & undamaged. I would highly recommend this company not only for the extra care taken in the packaging, but the large size/fullness/health of the plant.
Regarding the ordering process…When I ordered Brunfelsia seeds/shipped out the same day/received them in about 3 days. When I ordered plants, it took about a week for the order to be ready to send out…but once it was picked up by UPS, it only took 1 day for the delivery.