We ordered $500 worth of assorted plants and received 22 plants in 4 inch pots, some broken. We contacted Andy and he emailed us stating "that is what is senT OUT to everyone< and with no complaints".
Andy said that he would be willing to replace the damaged plants, but that we would need to obtain a phytosanitary certificate to return plants from Hawaii to California. We feel that we were overcharged and that we were misled by the photos on the website into thinking that we were purchasing quality specimens rather than the seedlings that we received.
We opened a dispute claim with our credit card company.
Ordered a blue ice calathea, among other things, and was sent some sort of mucna vine (no species given) instead. Not really a good substitute and no substitutions were authorized anyway. Currently trying to get replacement or refund but no response yet. I will resort to contesting the charge with credit card company if necessary.
Posted on August 2, 2010, updated June 14, 2013
Posted on April 24, 2009, updated August 2, 2010
I have read about a lot of bad experiences with Aloha Tropicals from forums online. And for years, I stayed away from this company. Then all of a sudden, I wanted this one plant really badly. Turns out they were the only online mail order that had a white Calotropis gigantea available which I just had to have (you would understand if you are crazy about plants). I emailed them if they had it in stock and I promptly received an email about that, although another email I sent after I made the order was not answered yet. I received my plant in under two weeks and it was very well packaged. The bad thing is how expensive they are for what you get. The plant I got was not a picture of health, but it looked okay and I believe it is going to survive. However, if this was a type of plant that was more finicky, then one might have some problems there. I ended up spending roughly $35 including shipping for a plant in a 4in pot. I will give an update if this turns out to be the wrong color, then I would really be mad. :DOn August 2nd, 2010, musaboru added the following:
Just wanted to update that my flower/weed that I got from Aloha Tropicals finally bloomed. I probably would not order from them again considering the cost of what a tiny little plant they sent. What a shame though as they have many rare varieties of plants.
This may be time consuming, but I think they should update their plant descriptions with the sizes of the plants like Almost Eden. And even better would be to include pictures of an example plant rather than use stock pictures (which are pretty poor quality anyway). That way you know what to expect in the mail.On June 14th, 2013, musaboru changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
They sent me the wrong plant on my next order (which was in late 2011).
When I first ordered the Rauwenhoffia siamensis from this company, I was hesitant for obvious reasons. But I wanted to give them another chance. I had suspisions from the beginning the plant they sent me was not a Rauwenhoffia. And more than a year and a half later, I can say for sure it's not. After I had received the plant, I emailed Andy and he assured me that what he sent was a Rauwenhoffia. Well, now it's 2013 and I know for sure that it isn't the right plants now because the leaves are opposite leaves. Rauwenhoffia leaves are alternate if you look at all pictures of it available online. What a waste of my time growing an incorrectly identified plant and also a waste of my money. Buyer beware!
I ordered the impatiens Hians but was sent another plant. I tried several emails and 2 phone calls to them without a response. I am convinced these people are dishonest and unconcerned about negative reviews, but I will continue to warn others that this company should be investigated by the law, and STAY AWAY FROM THEM. Its about a 50/50 chance that you will be cheated out of your money.
reeve1 Plano, TX (Zone 8b) (39 reviews) February 9, 2012
Posted on February 7, 2012, updated February 9, 2012
STAY FAR AWAY!! Andy Zook is a Crook! If you order common plants, he might have what you want and you MAY get it. But if he does not, he will substitute cheaper plants and pocket the money or not send anything at all and just keep you hanging. Just read all the negatives here.. this is how he does business. He doesn't respond to emails or phone messages and he has a D- Rating with his local BBB. It may be F in a couple weeks because I just filed a complaint, too. I ordered Impatiens Hians and received I. Niamniamesis. I also ordered Caladium Thai Beauty and got 2 tiny pea-sized pieces of a bulb. Save your money and aggravation. Go to Eldon Tropicals or Kartuz Nursery, or ANYONE else. Aloha Tropicals only provides heartache. He should be ashamed for taking advantage of good people's good nature. This is not the honorable way to earn money or more business, Andy. It's nothing less than stealing! Except I'm going to get mine back from my credit card company...!On February 9th, 2012, reeve1 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
You know, I think sometimes the comments on here can make you jump to conclusions without giving the company sufficient time to respond to problems. This was the case for me. I emailed on Saturday and when I didn't hear back on Tuesday and then read comments here on Dave's, I jumped to conclusions. And I'm sorry for that. Andy contacted me and is doing everything he can to replace the bad plants at his expense and even to refund some of my costs. He didn't have to do this, and I can't ask for anything more than this. I think I was having a bad day and got a little spooked. I think if you give them a chance, you will find that they are really a nice and caring group of people. I would recommend giving them a try. I think you won't be sorry that you did ;-) Aloha!
Janmarleen Bridge City, TX (1 review) January 11, 2012
I will never ever use this company again ! They should be closed down . They owe me money and never got my order right . Beware of this company .
kingkong3 Oceanside, CA (1 review) August 27, 2011
Aloha Tropicals is awesome!!!!! I've collected some real exotic beauties (many from Thailand). I had one rare white torch ginger flower (Thai Queen) that I drowned and caused it to rot. Andy "Zook" (owner) replaced it for me! Anything that I have asked for, Aloha Tropicals has provided to me at my convenience to pick up. Some exotics that I've purchased this season are the Black Beauty heliconia, Splash heliconia, Thai Giant elephant ear, Indo. Wax ginger, Thai Beauty caladium, Australian tree fern, and the Thai Queen white torch ginger. I am very pleased with the with the specimens and customer relations/service....I would share this quality find with confidence.
Posted on August 13, 2011, updated August 13, 2011
I bought michelia/magnolia coco for $50.90 incl shipping.
This plant is rare and only few vendors has it.
I bought it from Thai ebay seller and it didn't make it and saw it when I travel to Hong Kong and Indonesia so I know what the leaves looks like.
Before I ordered I feel hesitant too since the last time I read on forum , mali chat jasmine that aloha tropicals has isn't mali chat and they always send you a regular jasmine sambac.
Based on that posting, I already not sure to order for michelia coco but since I don't want to throw out money by buying it from Thailand then I take a chance.
It arrived 2 days ago and I didn't think it looks like michelia coco I know.
The leaves is exactly the same like magnolia egg which is softer and bigger while the real magnolia/ michelia coco leaves are pointer, thinner, narrower and stiffer.
Also the michelia coco leaves color is very dark green, darker than egg magnolia.
This will be my last purchase from aloha and I will try to ask for my credit card for my refund if they refuse to replace it to real magnolia coco.
So I don't recommend aloha tropicals for a place to buy rare plants especially they send different plants from the one that you ordered.On August 13th, 2011, chubite added the following:
I won't bother with replacement since when I read the mali chat garden web it seems they even send the wrong replacement.
I'd rather take my business somewhere else and get my refund back.
Grnjns71 Streamwood, IL (2 reviews) April 18, 2011
I read the reviews about Aloha Tropicals a little hesitant but they had what I was looking for so I took the chance... Wow I could not have been happier. I sent an email and asked what size they were. I was told the right size and was told one of my plants was not ready. I called Andy and he said it was small but available so I said send it.
I received my plants right away and they looked great. Potted them up and within three days they are already growing without even a hiccup. Even the extremely temperamental Coco tree looks great.
I guess when you have been ordering plants by mail for over 34 years. you look at it differently .. I am a gardener and if I can espalier a fruit tree.... I can grow anything. Some plants just need a little more care when you get them.
As for the coco,I can put it with my order now and grow it myself or I can wait and pay for shipping again later. Not really cost effective ...as for over all price. I cannot complain what I wanted is hard to find.
Two other places had what I wanted but for some unknown reason not all were available at the same time and good for me because I found Aloha Tropicals.I received the plants I wanted for 1/3 the price the others wanted and they come potted, not bare root. Great experience and will do it again.. ...Michael
I am really shocked and a bit blown away by the negative feedback on this company. I live in AZ and I recommend this company to people all the time. There are several plants that Aloha tropicals carry that do extremely well in our desert climate and of the dozens of people that I know that have ordered from them ALL of them were thrilled with the companies service and the quality of the plants. I especially enjoy the feedback from those who have bought the crown flower plant as I grew up in Hawaii it is a fun plant to have in the desert to make leis with. I have ordered guava, bay leave, jacaranda, bird of paradise and more from these wonderful people and have always had a positive experience. I would highly recommend Aloha tropicals to everyone.
tobee43 groveland, FL (Zone 9b) (37 reviews) May 7, 2010
i did place my order with the company and also as someone else mentioned emailed the company with a question. i rec'd an immediate response. i also emailed them again and once again rec'd an immediate and professional response.
i must admit i was a bit leary with the feedback i had seen here, because i was ordering also a blue jade vine......
the order arrived, packed very well. the plants were vibrant and showed signs of excellent growth.
now...of course the jade hasn't bloomed, however, i'm quite certain since i have owned one before that this is the correct plant. i do have a variety of cultivars of Thungbergia as well, and the plant i rec'd at this point certainly does not have the same form or resemblance of a Thungbergia i hope i hope...but at this point, once again i will not know until it blooms...so, it's hard to tell.
all i can say is communication was excellent, packing of the plants excellent and arrived promtly, and the plants themselves arrived in perfect condition.
Scarlett2 Shreveport, LA (4 reviews) December 7, 2009
What a disaster. I ordered 12 hedychiums advertised as being heavily fragrant. The small rhizomes came in satisfactory condition, but when they bloomed, over half were not hedychiums but were the shampoo ginger instead. To make matters worse, the gingers I ordered and paid for were nearly double in price from what these shampoo gingers cost......I lost a lot of money here. I cannot tell by looking at a rhizome what the variety is. I expect the owner of a company to be honest enough to send the correct plants. Apparently this owner sends the least expensive thing he has regardless of what you order, then pockets the excess amount. Look elsewhere.....there are too many honest nursery folks out there to have to put up with people like this.
ptooming Titusville, FL (Zone 9a) (6 reviews) December 7, 2009
*WARNING* Last year I ordered several plants from this company, most didn't make it poor packaging unrooted plants ect. I ordered a Mucuna Bennettii "Red Jade Vine" VERY EXPENSIVE at $29.95 + S&H and a Strongylon Macrobotrys "Blue jade vine" also VERY EXPENSIVE at $27.95 + S&H. The Red Jade vine was recieved dead, a mear twig stuck in an expensive plastic pot. I tried as I could to revive the poor leafless twig to no avail. The Blue jade vine came in the same condition a small leafless twig with a name tag, now 9 months later I have finally revived it enough to find "IT IS NOT" a Blue jade vine I paid $27.95 for but rather a "Thungbergia Mysorensis" which in there catalog sells for $16.95!!!
This year I explained to them again about the problems I had with my last order and mentioned to them there poor rating on "Daves garden watch dog" expecting better than I had received from my last order, wouldn't you know it seem they think I enjoy collecting there plastic pots!!! Yet another dead "RED JADE VINE TWIG" no leaves just a twig after all efforts were exhausted and I announced official time of death I exhumed the buried portion to examine why...NO ROOTS!!!
Just a lifeless, leafless twig of unknown origin stuck in the dirt.
If you purchase from these people this is what you get...what they want you to have, but not exactly what you paid for...EVER!!!
I sent the company an e-mail before I ordered as I had a few questions and the response was very prompt. I got my order right away and packed good. I would order again from them.
ooiholmes Pittsburgh, PA (6 reviews) August 11, 2009
I called the company before I ordered as I had a few questions. Many times the phone was not manned, but I persisted. I ordered 2 tropicals from them, one gardenia and one orchid. Plants arrived in good condition although very small in size.
The orchid ended up giving me x2 baby orchids plants and the gardenia at the moment have many buds, though still small in size. I ordered the same gardenia species from a different vendor, much bigger plant, but it is producing much less flower buds.
If there is something I want that they have, yes I would order from them again.
i placed an order for a rangoon creeper in feb09 and received an email late mar09 saying my order has been delayed due to slow growth.it's now mid JUNE 09 and i'm still waiting.an email update would be niceor something.
In summary, this experience with Aloha, my first, was a very positive one all around. I ordered a Langsat (Lanzones) tree, a rare tropical fruit tree that I had become somewhat obsessed with after recently seeing them, eating their fruit, and attending a festival in their honor in the Philippines. (I had been searching for literally months online for a source since coming back, until finding Aloha). I also ordered a Costus speciosus ginger. I placed my order on April 2nd, 2009 and it arrived on the 15th via USPS Priority Mail. Plants were very well-packed and in own soil in 3" (trade size) square pots. The pots were wrapped in plastic bags and had shredded moist newspaper topdressing to retain the soil and moisture. I'm very happy they were not barerooted. Both arrived in good condition, the Lanzones tree about 4" tall with two character leaves and the Costus with a couple canes already growing (I was very happy it was not dormant because I was eager to get it planted and hoped that I wouldn't have to force it to break dormancy first).
The Lanzones tree will eventually be planted at my Florida (zone 10) residence when large enough, and the Costus will be planted in NJ, as they are reputedly root hardy to 0F (I've had multi-year success with Alpinia zerumbet, Philodendron bipinnatifidum, and many other supposedly "not for my zone" tropical plants grown as dieback perennials here). While some may say that larger plants can be obtained on Ebay, my experience with buying plants on the latter has generally been unsatisfactory, so I do not patronize it. I would definitely order from Aloha again (and I'm planning to, since they have a number of other unusual exotics I've been drooling over.)
enocchen Hacienda Heights, CA (2 reviews) October 30, 2008
shipping time is ok.
But the trees are so tiny. They might not survive. For same or less price, you can order much better/bigger trees from eBay.
i have made about 4 purchases from aloha tropicals over the past three years and i will continue to order from them - my last order was a rangoon creeper which i just planted this weeked. i have a beautiful thunbergia vine which has been growing for 2 years which is a show stopper in my yard now - there is not one single person who comes to the door who does not comment on it and ask what it is - it has been in constant bloom since this past november - yes, sometimes the plants take a bit of time to arrive due to availablity - but the waits have been worth it - obtaining plants i have not been able to get elsewhere
DonnaB Vancleave, MS (Zone 8b) (9 reviews) July 10, 2008
This is second time I have ordered from them in about 2 years. Received 7 big beautiful healthy plants again. The only negative thing I could say about them is communication. If you don't contact them after ordering you don't hear back from them for what ever reason.
I have ordered twice from alohatropicals, I ordered and paid for 2 items. I received 1 in 3weeks and the other item that is paid for(shipping included) and it has been almost 3 months and no word on what I had originally order It's always not availible. My concern is how can they sell you something that they don't have. I mean the item was $26.00 it may not be much to them but,it is to me. I gaved them a second chance and ordered 1 more item from them 3 weeks it's been I finally sent a matter a fact email and was told we forgot to ship it. If I get the 2 items I paid for no more chances for these guys Thanks for allowing me to sound off Bobby
I order a couple hundred worth of tropical fruit trees from this company. The plants were very small (6" to 8") and came from seeding. The sizes of the plants are not mentioned on the website but they do put pictures of a much healthier plants on the shopping pages. ALL die after one season. I will not buy from this company again.
Bec_No_Va Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b) (38 reviews) April 7, 2008
Received my order today and wanted to post a VERY positive feedback about this vendor - I was apprehensive due to prior feedback - but, they had what I was looking for - received order confirmation immediately after ordering, order arrived in 9 days - I contacted them about delivery time because I will be out of town - received an immediate reply advising the order was already on its way! The plants look great, healthy and I will DEFINITELY order from them again with no hesitation!
In september last year I got from Aloha Tropicals a Heliconia regalis @ $ 65.95, a H. xantovillosa @ $135.95, a H.chartacea and a H. pogonatha. The last two are doing o.k., but the H. regalis and the H. xantovillosa where small rizomes, badly cut, one with a broken plantlet. Even after I bathed them with captan, they rotted right away.
These where not cheap plants, and I have a lot of experience growing Heliconias. I send them pictures of them both rigth after I got them, and they e-mail me back saying that they will be o.k... Then never heard from them again.
I spend a lot of money in plants, but I will never buy again from this company.
I am very disappointed, having read all of the negative comments about this company. If I had checked this website before, I may have made a different decision...
I had ordered three plants from Aloha Tropicals, sometime last year. I received them all in the time frame given, and all three plants were well packaged and in great health. The Gardenia I had ordered bloomed two days after it's arrival here in Connecticut!!!!!
Two of the plants continue to thrive. I accidentally broke the main stem of the Gardenia I had ordered, and I will definitely reorder this variety when the weather permits. I will have faith! On June 17th, 2008, Jeelli changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
I ordered plants back in April. On their website and in the email confirmation they state that they will ship within two to three weeks. Four weeks later I sent an email inquiring about my order. An "Andrew Z" emails me back stating that they will ship my plants at the end of that week. That was May 21. It is now June 16th. I had emailed them three times in this past week. SURPRISE!!! NO RESPONSE TO MY EMAIL!!!!
They had PROMPTLY TAKEN MY MONEY- BUT I HAVE NO PLANTS!!!
I have informed them that I now want a REFUND. Let's see if I get a response now. I already have the paper work for the Better Business Bureau complaint with copies of all correspondences, and my bank statement from April- ready to file!! They suggested I give Aloha Tropicals a little more time. Huh! We'll see.
BTW- I had ordered from Kartuz that same night back in April. They ONLY took my money when they shipped. They sent me an email to let me know the plants were on the way. I received them within the two to three weeks as promised. That's who you do business with!!!
Please listen to the posts- my first WAS positive- now I'm just mad-I wish I had listened to all the others.
(I will update)
paniolo Cambria, CA (3 reviews) September 24, 2007
I got my order right away and packed good. A little pricey for the size, but I figured that. It's worth the price, as there are no nurseries in this area that have any of the plants I ordered anyway. I'd order again from them.
drdon Temecula, CA (Zone 8b) (5 reviews) June 2, 2007
I really like these guys! Yes the stock is somewhat small, but they've yet to send me any plants, and I've ordered large quantities of material from them, that was anything but viable and healthy.
I ordered a white sapote about a month ago. Well, it's relatively cheap and labeled "yellow sapote". I did communicate with them as to variety and to my pleasant surprise they told me "Suebelle". My only concern is after 4 weeks and not getting a confirmation or the order itself I had to email them. They assured me it would be sent out next week! Well, I finally got the item in about 5 weeks. Sapling is healthy enough and about a foot tall.
I recommend but be prepared to wait a bit.
plantophobe Scottsdale, AZ (6 reviews) December 17, 2006
I'm suprised at the negative ratings because I was very pleased with my recent order.
I ordered a Traveller's palm, Cyperus Papyrus plant and a Strobilanthes and was very happy with how healthy they looked (the Strobilanthes is gorgeous, even being so young) and they were also packaged very well with no shipping damage to the plants.
STEELVIPER Riverside, CA (3 reviews) December 16, 2006
Ordered 1 heliconia rhizome. Dwarf rostata. Paid over 28 bucks with shipping included. I got a very small , very badly cut rhizome. So badly cut that it rotted in 2 weeks. I've grown heliconas for 10 years now,and this by far was the worest rhizome i have ever recived. For as much money as they charge for their plants, i would think you would get a nice fat rhizome with at least 1 root growing out of it. geessshh!
ToughTags Blacksburg, VA (1 review) October 8, 2006
I had ordered two ginger plants from Aloha tropics. One plant was very health upon arrival and is still thriving today. However, my Siam Rose, which I paid over $30.00 for, looked ill when I received it and died within 2 weeks after arrival. I never called them about it since it has been over 2 months since I ordered it.
GardenFL Merritt Island, FL (2 reviews) August 21, 2006
The plants arrived quickly and in perfect condition. It was clear that much care had been taken in packing and shipping. I will definitely order from this company again.
I am very pleased with Aloha Tropicals. My first order was for several plants. 2 rooted Plumerias, 2 Gingers, 1 Pakalana Vine, 1 Sego Palm & 1 Pikaki plant. ALL are doing very very well currently indoors. I have all plants potted in pots and they get 5- 6 hours of afternoon west sunlight in my living-room window area. I have had the plants about 5 weeks and all are flouishing. Plumerias have many new shoots, Pikaki bloomed already, Gingers have new shoots and are already 4 feet high. The Pakalana Vine has new shoots and may produce flowers in a month or so. I must say the Sego Palm is a bit iffy but I believe only due to not enough light. I am moving it outdoors to my west facing deck. I have experience with Plumerias, as I have grown 3 from cuttings that I brought from Hawaii, which bloom every 2 years, so am aware of their needs. This is my first experience with all the other plants. But so far all is well.
All plants arrived within 2 weeks as stated on website and packed in damp newspaper with roots in plastic bags to preserve moisture.
Due to my excellent experience, I will continue to recommend and purchase from Aloha Tropicals.
vch Isabela, PR (Zone 10a) (2 reviews) July 19, 2006
I ordered 5 heliconia's rhizomes from the company. The rhizomes were VERY small (I paid an average of $25 per rhizome) and two of them looked rotten (the packing was too wet) and unhealthy . After 3 weeks those two have not break to the surface. I am an experienced heliconist who lives in a tropical island so I am confident that I planted them correctly. I gave the company a second chance (two years ago I had a similar experience with them), but not any more.
I ordered Jasmine (Duke of Tuscany) on the first week of May. They sent me a confirmation of my order thru email. Then they sent me another email with the invoice but the invoice is supposedly for somebody else. However, the credit card number was indicated in the invoice. I emailed them back and copy furnished the person who really owns the invoice. I had to email them again since I have not received my order. I received my order last week of May but I was so frustrated of the plant they sent me. It is about 4 inches tall and the leaves are not healthy. I am trying to do my best to bring it back so that it may survive. My experience with them was very frustrating and I won't do business with them again.
tyler70006 New Orleans, LA (3 reviews) May 10, 2006
I just received my order from them. The plants I got were very well packaged every thing was taped up and packed in newpaper and they were the size I expected. The palm tree was about 14" high and the banana plant was about 8" high. They appear health and I just repotted them. The delevery took 2 weeks which was what they said it would take. I would buy from them again.
ahelms Kannapolis, NC (Zone 7b) (42 reviews) February 5, 2006
I purchased a Siam Rose Ginger for $32 plus shipping which promptly died a few days after I received it.
gotti2421 San Diego, CA (3 reviews) November 24, 2005
Just over one year ago I spent several hundred dollars at this store. Most of my orders were placed online and all but one order were sent to me by mail (I picked up the other one in person). All plants arrived in great condition and I was satisfied at the time. However, once the plants started to bloom, I realized that several were not even plants that I ordered (even though I was told that all those I ordered were in stock and when each plant arrived they were labeled according to what I purchased).
I ordered a canna 'cupid' and was sent a canna 'ellen gallow.'
I ordered and paid for 2 costus spiralis @ $10.95 each and was sent 2 Costus Spicatus(Indianhead) which were priced @ $8.95 each.
I ordered and paid for a Costus 'Peruvian Pineapple' @ $27.95 and received a Costus Laevis priced @ $8.95.
I'm still waiting to see what heliconias will look like compared to the ones I ordered and paid for.
I was never made aware that substitutions were made and was never refunded the difference(s) in price.
I feel completely ripped off by this company. When substitutions must be made, the company should not mislabel the plants or charge $27.95 for a $8.95 plant, etc.
Very frustrating experience.
adam7twiddle Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) (5 reviews) August 17, 2005
any company that does not respond to reapeated emails, telephone calls, and answering machine messages over a four month period is not worth dealing with. after having received only half of my order, which was mediocre at best, and being charged for the shipping and cost for both, i attempted to contact them in order to at the very least recieve a delivery estimate, or discuss possible refunds. however, all of my attempts (at least 5 emails, 10 calls, and 5 voice message over a 4 month period) at contacting them proved futile. even if they do recitify this situation, i would warn anyone about even thinking of doing business with such an unprofessional and negligent company. caveat emptor.