My experience with Hosta direct customer service has been terrible. My opinion is Buyer Beware!
I found their web site for plant labels misleading. Pictured product was not what they actually offered for the posted price. Along with this, they showed the item was being offered at 30% off the regular price but failed to honor the posted reduced price.
The shipping and handling cost were overstated compared to USP common pricing.
Communication attempts with them have been frustrating, unanswered emails to them, their listed phone number is not answered and has a mail box that was full and would not allow a message to be left.
I have now checked their e.com rating on other sites.
I see they posted favorable reviews posing as customers on this site., A prelude to how they manage their business?
Many genuine reviews call out the same poor customer service as I have mentioned above.
I would not recommend buying from this company based on my attempted business dealings.
cowboy cairo, GA (Zone 8b) (10 reviews) June 6, 2016
As a plant collector I order plants from lots of companies. I am in the deep south, not your typical hosta growing region. Five years ago I bought two cultivers from Lowes. They have done good, so each year I have started testing more and more of them. So far, so good. I learned from Hostasdirect that the blue leafed ones are not suitable for my heat and humidity. Before learning this, I had gotten two blue leaf ones. Both are in year 2 or 3, and doing nice! Will observe closely these 2. I recently made my first order from Hostasdirect, 20 Starter size. This brings me up to about 45.]
They are a GOOD company to do business with!
The adventure continues!
I ordered some pot hangers and one heuchera. They arrived today and the plant is in perfect shape and was packed perfectly, of course.
The healthy plant will be planted tomorrow and I'll be ordering from Hostas Direct again. I'm very pleased with both the prices and the service.
I hesitantly ordered a Coral Bell variety after being unsuccessful in finding it locally. After placing my order, I decided I wanted two of the plants instead. Although cancelling and replacing my order caused a bit of confusion, HostasDirect Inc. sorted it out very quickly. The Coral Bell arrived in great condition and soon after planting it out it would have been difficult to think it hadn't come from my nursery downtown. Great stock and great service!
I ordered 36 heuchera liners when they were all marked down to 3.95. Shipping via usps priority was included. Plants were healthy, tags included as well as 2 bonus heucheras.
tewksbury Califon, NJ (Zone 6a) (1 review) September 24, 2015
Just received 12 hostas (starter size but definitely large enough) for just over $50. The packing is excellent and the plants are in great condition. I am an avid hosta grower and only buy from Hosta's Direct and Russell Gardens Wholesale (in PA close to me) because of the problems with Virus X. Dave, who owns the company in MN, and his people are a pleasure to deal with, and every time I have bought from him I have received more than I expected.
Received my plants, I was surprised they were fairly good size for the price. I have ordered from nurseries where plants they send are an inch long or the size of my thumb nail.
Very happy to receive beautiful plants,can’t wait to see how they will grow in the next few years.
I just received my first order from HostasDirect and couldn't be more pleased. The order was received in just a few days and all plants were still hydrated and vigorous without a sign of wilt. I have never seen better packaging which protected the plants and provided for no movement during shipping. The newspaper holding the soil around each plant was still wet. Root development was outstanding on all items ordered. The free items were a surprise and I got some good ones that I didn't already have. I will definitely buy again and again.Thanks so much HostasDirect.
Just a note to let you know that I received my order yesterday and couldn't be more pleased. The Hosta was expertly packaged and arrived in great condition. I wouldn't hesitate to order from your company again! It's nice to know that you can purchase different varieties of Hostas that you can't get at local nurseries. Thank you. Denene
I've placed several orders this year with HostasDirect. Each order has been filled exactly, and shipped promptly, even with a disclaimer of bad weather in the northern tier of states.
I've ordered starter hostas with each order, and the plants are always larger than I expect, very healthy with good roots, and plenty of leaves.
But most importantly, the plants are strong enough to withstand transit via the USPS. That means for me plants ordered in June end up spending time in hot trucks and occasionally half a day in the mailbox...a black box in full sun. HostasDirect's packaging also helps minimize damage. The hostas are watered well before they're shipped and wrapped in wet newspaper. While the plants may be warm to the touch when the box is opened, they're still healthy and in good shape. Prompt planting and a good drink, and they take off growing.
I will only order hostas from HostaDirect in the future. They're one in a million.
I have ordered starter plants from HostaDirect several times. I prefer small plants that can spread their roots into the soil and grow in place instead of large plants that have a harder time acclimating. The low prices also allow me to order more varieties. Love it!!!!
The shipments from Hosta Direct have arrived 2-3 days after the ship date with very healthy plants packaged very carefully. There was no damage to the young ones at all. The planting directions are very easy to follow, and I was able to plant the shipment the day after arrival. All the plants I have ordered are alive and well in my garden. I do water daily until they are established, and water at least every other day during hot southern weather. It is also my therapy as I watch these wonderful varieties grow and duplicate.
HostasDirect has a super selection of varieties you will never find at any garden center. I highly recommend them as a source for unusual hostas. I am running out of room in my garden, but I can probably find another shady spot in my yard for several beautiful varieties I don't have yet.
I placed an order for mid May shipping and took advantage of their free shipping with minimum purchase. I discovered that two plants were missing and there were two incorrect plants were in the order instead. I contacted the company and was promptly emailed back and sent the two correct plants right away and also got to keep the other two incorrect ones. Mistakes happen, and I really appreciate this company working hard to make sure I was happy! All the plants I received were carefully packaged and doing well. I will order from them again without hesitation!
Last October I contacted HostasDirect because we had a pair of Aphrodite trying to bloom & I wasn't sure it wasn't too late in the season with frost warnings already out. Tom & Susan were great! Not only did they tell me to "let nature take it's course" but Tom assured me if they didn't survive the winter HostasDirect would replace the pair! These 2 Hosta came back bigger & stronger early this month to prove Hosta Direct employees knew exactly what to do, I now call them Toms Aphrodites because I was on the verge of digging them up & putting them inside for the winter! Thank you Tom & Susan!
I enjoy ordering from HostaDirect. Their prices are very reasonable and they have a large variety. And if you can wait until the end of summer / beginning of fall, the sale prices are even better. I usually order the starter hosta. The plants are small, but the roots are always strong and well packed. The plants grow well in my garden.
I've ordered from HostasDirect several times now, both in the spring and late fall. All of the orders I've placed have been delivered quickly and (more importantly) correctly! I've had the wrong plant shipped to me from other vendors, but not with this company. The plants arrived well packed, well watered, and in good shape. I tend to buy the smaller starter plants since they ship better, and the ones I've received had well developed root systems - even the smallest ones (I love those little mini hostas!). Their selection is expansive, their quality high, and their prices good. I preordered from them this year, and can't wait until I get my next box full of hostas this spring!
I have ordered several times from Hostas Direct. They are a very professional company that sell excellent quality plants. The plants are well-packed and arrive within a week of ordering. I like the fact that they deliberately mail your order at the beginning of the week so you'll receive it by the end of the week. That way your plant(s) don't sit over the weekend at the post office and potentially get stressed out. The one time a heuchera arrived damaged, Hostas Direct promptly sent me a new one that was strong and healthy. I should add that the representative, Susan, is very prompt on replying via email to any questions or concerns you might have. I highly recommend this online nursery as a company that is reputable, reliable, responsible and reasonable in their prices.
I ordered 2 hostas from Hostas Direct. I wanted to see what their stock was like before I ordered much. Have been burned too many times by other mail order nurseries. I had commented as much when I ordered on a Sunday afternoon. Less than an hour later I received an e-mail back from the owner of the company thanking me for giving them a try. I hadn't expected any response from my comment at all and was totally impressed by not only a response but from the owner on a Sunday afternoon.
They were a little slow in arriving due to all the horrible weather we received this last winter. This was expected when I ordered so it wasn't a problem. I did e-mail them once to get an idea about how much longer the delay might be. I promptly received an e-mail back the next morning letting me know they should be shipped within a week.
The hostas arrived the next day with an added bonus of an extra gift hosta for the delay. The hostas were packaged properly to prevent damage. The hostas were IMPRESSIVE. I had ordered the starter TC so wasn't expecting anything very big. The hostas that arrived were all VERY nicely sized. In fact, bigger than some of the hostas I have purchased at other nurseries.
They have also been very helpful and with prompt replies to questions I have e-mailed after receiving the order.
I will definitely be telling people about Hostas Direct. Can't wait to see how big these hostas get.
I'll give them a weak positive. The hostas were shipped well, and in very good health. So no complaints there. The order took several weeks, but I was never notified why the delay until I emailed them. Then they very cordially informed me they were backlogged from the spring, overwhelmed, and just catching up. Would have been a better experience if they would have let me know up front. So good quality, friendly, good packaging, not great communication. I would probably buy again, but first inquire about how busy they are.
Hosta Direct sells the BEST plant markers for gardens! The IDeal Garden Markers held up to the 2nd most snowy recorded winter for eastern PA! I have tried copper markers, zinc markers with one spike or double spike, plastic markers. These did not come out of ground, the paint-ink did not wear off or fade. The plastic tops stayed attached to the stainless steel spikes! I think the "bent" spike really helped to keep them in the ground! The price is do-able. Not cheap, but well worth it! I cant tell you how much I spent on others, that either disappear or fade or fall apart! If you like to keep your plants labeled, this is the best way to go! Oh, forgot to mention that you can order the labels so that the "sign" is tilted back... this makes it soooo much easier to read! Other wise you have to squat to see the label! Superb design! Thanks!
imobsessed Highland Acres, DE (1 review) May 31, 2014
I have loved hostas for years they are so beautiful and sturdy. After looking around locally both in New Jersey and in Delaware and finding only the common ones I decided to go on line. That is when I found Hostas Direct. I have ordered from them at least three times. I was told when the plants would arrive and they arrived on time in excellent condition. It does not matter if it is the starter division or the mature division, they all grow into healthy beautiful plants. I am expanding my small garden each year to add additional hostas. Each year there are new hostas to choose from, one more eye-catching then they other. If I have a question it is answered immediately. I would highly recommend Hostas Direct. Their plants are healthy, they have great variety, and shipments arrived timely. Thank you guys!
In mid-March 2013, I placed an order for the first time with HostasDirect. I ordered 8 hostas. My order totaled over $60, so I was allowed to receive a free bonus plant.
A couple weeks after placing my order, (April), I received an email informing me that one of the hostas I ordered was no longer available from their supplier.
Another month goes by, (May), and still no plants, so I email HostasDirect. I received a prompt reply telling me that due to unusual bad weather in March & April deliveries are behind schedule and orders are being shipped out on a first ordered/first shipped schedule as fast as they can.
O.K….. I am a fairly patient individual, but at this point I have been waiting almost two months and have no idea where I stand in their shipping lineup.
I wait another 3 weeks and email once again of the status of my order. I am told, once again, they are backlogged and still waiting for some shipments from their suppliers.
I finally received my order the 8th of June (minus another hosta).
Out of my original order of 8 hostas and bonus, I received 6 hostas and bonus.
To say I was disappointed with my plants is an understatement!! These were the most pathetic (size-wise) plants I have ever ordered from any online company AND I had the honor of paying them $13.75 to ship these pathetic plants to me!! (sarcastic)
I received six plants plus a bonus that were so small I could hold ALL seven plants in one hand!!! (And I have very tiny hands).
HostasDirect sent an email announcement to their customers apologizing for the shipping delays and for the slightly smaller than normal sizes of their plants. These were more than "slightly" smaller!
THEY KNOWINGLY SENT OUT SMALLER SIZED PLANTS, YET CHARGED THEIR CUSTOMERS THE PRICE OF THE NORMAL SIZES!!
It will take my plants YEARS before they will be a size I can plant in my garden. I have them in pots for now. Hopefully they will survive.
HostasDirect knew their plants were below par, yet still shipped them to customers.
Knowing that their plants were smaller than usual, they should have offered their customers a few options:
1. Reduced the prices of the plants (due to the smaller than normal sizes)
2. Offer a discount on a future order
3. Offer free shipping on a future order
4. Inform customers of the smaller sizes and the option of cancelling their orders with a full refund.
Unfortunately, I will not be ordering again.
Also, just wondering why they call themselves HostasDirect when their plants don’t come directly from their own fields or greenhouses? Customers have to wait for suppliers to ship to them BEFORE they can ship to us. That doesn’t sound direct to me. Just a thought!
Company representative comment on May 9, 2014: On May 9, 2014 8:45 AM, HostasDirect Inc. responded with:
This is Tom Carlson, Owner of HostasDirect responding.
In the spring of 2013 we had RECORD SEVERE BAD WEATHER. We do have a great reputation earned over 10 years with thousands of customers in 49 states. You can see the many years of wonderful reviews from our loyal and happy customers of our company on Dave's Garden.
I do understand why you are upset. Please try to let me explain a very complicated situation that happened last spring due to record bad weather.
In April and May of 2013 we had by far the worst weather ever in Minnesota history. Normally, our snow is gone by late March. We had 18" of heavy snow, little sun and record cold over weekly snow storms through April 24th and a cold dark May and early June! Local Farmer's Markets had very, very few people because the weather was so bad. The weather was all over the news here. The weather was terrible and unpredictable.
The weather was so bad we were not even able to have our vendors ship plants to us - we changed delivery dates 3 to 4 times and plants arrived 4 weeks later than planned. I finally took a chance to have some shipped to keep customers happy and unfortunately some froze in transit.
We are honorable people that take great pride in being straight with our customers. It was very difficult to plan our business and communications with customers as the weather forecasters thought there would be a break in the weather and then a another weird, unprecedented storm would hit - by surprise. We thought May would resume normal weather and it did not happen. Obviously, none of us can control the weather. Farmers and plant growers are in a very risky business.
Although the Minnesota and Wisconsin area was hit the hardest by these intense localized storms, as you recall most northern states had a terrible winter the past two years. Other nurseries had trouble getting their plants to grow including our well-know, reputable, top growers that are in northern states.
Many plant businesses, including a local, dominate and famous 100 year old company with 50 locations called Linder's Nursery in our area went out of business from the terrible weather. Very sad for the community, the Linder family, their employees and vendors.
Most of our plants continue to grow and grow fast when they get some heat and sun. The feedback we received from most of our customers was to ship them their plants as fast as possible as they knew they would grow fast. We were doing our best to be candid with our customers - in spite of having thousands of orders and customers, the record, unpredictable bad weather and vendor's supplies to coordinate,
And, keep in mind when everything gets off schedule like this things can get backed up in all areas of a company. Staffing a seasonal business is not easy. We had 4 months of orders to ship in 2 weeks. We plan things based up weather patterns that have existed for years. Now, due to possibly climate change, it has become much more difficult.
I am sure you have seen the tragedies around the country from unprecedented bad weather - the northeast, the south east, the south, the west, the midwest, the north.
As for plant size, yes, most varieties of hostas grow fast but we do have a data base where you can pick plants based upon their growth rate. I do not know what hosta sizes you ordered but we sell mini, small, medium, large and giant hostas - some arrive small no matter what the weather is like - they are just small plants. As an example, mini hostas only get 6" tall at maturity - some are even smaller.
We try very hard to not mislead the public about the size or quality of our plants many places on our website including photos and a reminder on the check out page. We get very, very, few complaints about our plant sizes.
Frankly, we would rather not sell customer plants than get a complaint. It is not only fair to the customer but the cost of unhappy customer or bad reviews can put us out of business.
In fact, our customer reviews are usually just the opposite - the customer comments are they would rather get disease-free plants, with decent roots systems and save the money or buy more plants for the same amount than pay full price at a garden center for larger plants.
I believe we are the only company that offers three different maturities of plants - Starter, Advanced Starter and Mature Divisions so the customer can pick maturities and price points. We did not even even put our Mature Divisions online last spring as the weather was so bad. That has never happened before.
As to why our business is called HostasDirect....... I believe we were the first business in the country to sell starter plants directly to the public. We now have competitors because the customers love the cost savings, getting disease-free plants, and more. We use the word Direct because in much of the ornamental plant industry, there are growers that only sell directly to garden centers. The garden centers buy plants from the same growers we do but pot up the starter plants and grow them for a a while and then sell them to the public at higher cost. Our business cut out that middle step and thus sell more Direct to the public. And, we do grow our own plants as well - our Mature Divisions.
I realize you are unhappy about what happened last spring and the bad weather might seem like just an excuse. We try very hard to prevent situations like this but the weather was just totally extreme and unprecedented and it went on and on for 2.5 months - unusually bad weather from April until about early or mid June.
I would appreciate the opportunity to visit with you personally on the phone and try to make amends. Please write to our customer service department with your phone number and I look forward to visiting with you. My staff and I are hard- working, honest people. We are deeply disappointed when any customer is unhappy.
I hope it is not climate change but we are experiencing our third spring in a row of weird weather. Scary stuff for the entire planet. At a time when the world and the bees and butterflies need more and more plants, it is getting more difficult for plant growers and farmers due to extremes in weather.
Again, my sincere apologies. I look forward to visiting with you soon and trying to find a solution to this situation. Again, I understand why you were upset.
Tom Carlson, Owner of HostasDirect
virginiarose Portsmouth, VA (Zone 8a) (64 reviews) October 13, 2013
Posted on September 28, 2011, updated October 13, 2013
Posted on August 6, 2011, updated September 28, 2011
Received my order yesterday from Hostas Direct. Great Packing and big, healthy plants! I like the selection of sizes even though my favourite is 'big' !! This company really delivers the goods, I am very happy with my plants and this company is at the top of my list and if they have what I want I will order again and again. (see my thread,'Mail order experiences for pictures)
Another good thing now a days is using USPS they keep the boxes moving all weekend and you get Saturday delivery. Way to go!On September 28th, 2011, virginiarose added the following:
Another great order !! I am extremely happy about FALL BLOW OUT SALE. I got eight mature clumps,(division is not the word for these things!) Four Advanced Starters and Four Starters. Everything I have been wanting on sale, WhooHoo!! :)
(Pictures on my thread-Dave's Garden Hosta Forum-'Mail Order experiences')On October 13th, 2013, virginiarose added the following:
I am happy with these starter hostas I got on sale. As usual the service was great and I got email confirmations. The shipping was right on time.
My mom and I placed an order from them during one of the end of the season sales. We ordered starter plants so we knew they would be smaller but we figured and the prices they have listed that is ok. They had some heucheras that are rare and also the cost for big plants elsewhere was quit a bit more. All our plants arrived healthy. I ordered some "little cuties" coral bells and they sure are cute! I was sad because one that we ordered they were actually sold out of but the notified us right away and refunded us the money right away for it. We were so happy when I had to make a trip to the cities we stopped at the outlet store. We got several more plants as little as $2.50 a plant(although those were very small with half the plug missing). We potted them up and stuck them under the lights and they are doing great! My mom placed one last order from them late this fall to get a plant that they didn't have in there outlet store. Great selection also.
I ordered several different hosta varieties from HostasDirect Inc. I received beautiful plants, but one of the varieties was not the variety I had ordered. After notifying them about the problem, they apologized and told me to please keep and enjoy the hosta they had shipped by mistake. They immediately shipped the variety of hosta I originally ordered along with another variety as a gift. What spectacular customer service!!!! How refreshing in this day and age of no customer service! You guys ROCK! All of my future hosta purchases will be made through HostasDirect!
Batcrash Peoria, IL (Zone 5a) (3 reviews) June 26, 2013
I ordered 3 hostas on June 8 and they arrived June 26. The website says they were behind in shipping in the Spring and would only ship when the plants were ready. I was a little worried when I ordered and didn't hear anything in over a week. It would be nice for them to let you know that they are delaying orders and when one might expect their plants to ship. They have a "help desk" on the website, and I sent an inquiry about when I could expect my plants after waiting and hearing nothing after 2 weeks. Four days later, I finally got a response that the plants shipped yesterday. In my view, they could do more in the customer service dept. I don't mind waiting, as long as I know I'm not being ignored of forgotten.
That being said...
Of the 3 hostas I ordered, 2 were what they call a starter (1-2 divisions) and 1 was an advanced starter (multiple divisions). They are very specific in the size of the plants you are ordering. I knew what sizes I was ordering, however I ordered different hostas from another site (out of stock at Hostasdirect or not carried by them) the same day. The competition had quite larger hostas to me in 4 days for comparable cost. Again, I knew what I was paying for, but an apples to apples comparison left me hoping for bigger plants.
They have a large selection and some harder to find names. I found their prices to be comparable to slightly lower than my local nurseries. For the same prices though, the local nurseries have more mature plants, however only about 20 varieties.
Once they shipped, the hostas arrived 2 days after shipping via priority mail. They were nice and secure and no viable damage or wilting and the roots were damp.
I gave a neutral rating for the lack of communication. Overall, I am satisfied (not the same as happy or excited) with Hostadirect, ie. I got what I paid for. The hostas are in the ground and depending on how they do, I may change the rating later.
I was looking for professional looking and long-lasting plant markers that were not going to cost a fortune, and I finally settled on HostaDirect's Ideal Garden Markers.
They look great and I was able to customize each one to identify trees, shrubs and other specimen plants around my property. Perfect!
joweber Reading, PA (2 reviews) September 11, 2012
Love dealing with Hostas Direct. I buy hundreds (literally) of plants from all kinds of nurseries on line. Hostas Direct is tie with 1 other for the best plants, service, and helpfulness. The cite is easy to use. The hostas I received were huge compared to any I've received from other nurseries/ farms. They were not the usual teeny things that take forever to take off in growth. The roots were white and big and very healthy looking. Oh and best of all the prices were great. Plant I paid $6.00 for I've seen elsewhere for $20.00. Buy your hostas at hostas direct. You won't be disappointed. Jo Weber. Reading, PA
I am writing to tell you how pleased I am with your service and your
product. I ordered three Midnight Rose Heuchera, a somewhat rare new hybrid. In all honesty, I ordered from you because you had the product I wanted at the best price. But you also wrote that you grow from tissue culture and that means there are no diseases in the new plants. I was amazed when they were at my house
three days after ordering. Never, in 20 years of ordering on line, have I
received such well-packed healthy plants. They sat on my porch for a week, and they never flagged. I put them in the ground on a Sunday, carefully
following your instructions (not the Sunday part, of course) and
honest-to-goodness, on Thursday they were blooming!
You sent absolutely beautiful, healthy, perfect plants.
VERY impressed with the quality of the hosta's I got. I have never been happy with any garden order I have ever gotten from any other place. These looked like they had been dug the day before, the leaves were green, fresh and the root systems on every one of them were amazing! Clearly these plants were lovingly packaged each one gently in a box without crushing. I will certainly be ordering from Hosta direct again!! Keep up the great work.
mc003 Crown Point, IN (Zone 5a) (7 reviews) July 4, 2012
Posted on July 2, 2012, updated July 4, 2012
Posted on June 28, 2012, updated July 2, 2012
This is the second year ordering from HostasDirect. They have many varieties you can't find elsewhere at a better price. Love them, nothing but positive experience so far. With that being said...I placed two orders earlier this month and both came very quickly. The mini heucheras were freaking adorable! Like them so much I wanted to place another order on the 25th. When I went to place my order, a message popped up at the top of my cart in red saying the 'Striptease' starterTC was unavailable at the quantity I ordered. I only ordered 1 so I zeroed that line in my cart and proceeded with the order. Received the order today, along with one I placed after that larger one for a mature division of 'Striptease' to replace the one that was unavailable. Order came today and when I was opening up my boxes it became apparent that the first order went through twice! I'm hanging on to one of the duplicate orders in hopes they'll take it back for credit. I've already contacted them through their website, I wish they had a phone number to contact them more directly. I don't want to pay nearly $150 dollars twice! Hoping they get back to me soon with some sort of response. On July 2nd, 2012, mc003 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Even though I'm dissappointed I'm not going to change my comment to negative. So they ended up accepting the order back but won't reimburse me for the shipping. I was told I should have reviewed my order. Why would I think to when I was given no indication that the first one even went through?? Never received an email confirmation for the duplicate order, yet I did receive one for the other two I place that same day. And the orders shipped out the very next day, not allowing a whole lot of time for me to discover the problem. (props for the fast shipping) I work for a company that has ordering software that occasionally does somethings similar. When customers call us we usually apologize for the inconvienence and take care of the problem and usually at our expense. So yes, I'm dissappointed. Will this effect my ordering in the future? I'm not sure, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth. Maybe I'll cool off by next year.On July 4th, 2012, mc003 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Not to sound so flipfloppy, but every thing is settled now. All is well in the Hosta World!!! Thank you Susan in Customer Service for dealing with me. I think I would wholely reccommend this company to anyone I know. (including the weird Hosta lady that I recently met on a garden walk) So thanks again for taking the time to iron out the problem. And yes I believe I will do business again with HostasDirect. Yes you may have a problem or two with any order you make online, but its how that company makes an effort to rectify the issue that will make any company stand apart from the rest! That an their great product!Company representative comment on June 28, 2012: On Jun 28, 2012 4:11 PM, HostasDirect Inc. responded with:
Thanks for your nice comments. We are glad you love our company and appreciate your business.
I can't look up your order with our software based upon information posted here.
It is 5 07 p.m here. If you have written to our customer service department, I am confident you will hear back from them soon.
Don't worry, we are more than fair and take care of our customers.
Posted on May 22, 2012, updated June 29, 2012
Posted on December 26, 2011, updated May 22, 2012
This is not my favorite online Hosta source, because of the size of the plants they sell. Oh their prices are great, but the Hostas that you get are about a year's growth behind those of other top Hosta sources such as Hallson's or Naylor Creek.
Last year I ordered 4 Hostas from them. Three were what they called "Advanced Starters." One was referred to as a "Mature Division." The mature division had a good root system, but it only had three leaves. I survived the summer, but barely. By September it had only one leaf left. One of the Advanced Starters was so small (the entire plant, roots and leaves, was smaller than my hand), I asked to have it replaced. They gladly replaced it with a much larger plant. Great customer service.
All in all, I was not totally disappointed. They had one plant that I couldn't find elsewhere. It was small but beautiful. Just remember that you get what you pay for with this company. Low prices and very small plants.On May 22nd, 2012, steve_mass changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Well, I ended up disappointed after all. Of all the Hostas I ordered last year (about 100) only one failed to come back this Spring. It was a "starter" plant from Hostas Direct. I asked to have it replaced because I believe it was too small to be able to have survived the winter. The company agreed to do this but asked me to wait until mid-May to be sure it didn't emerge late. They told me they would "hold a replacement" for me. I agreed to wait. In mid May I emailed them back with pictures of the dead plant. Now they tell me they are all out of that plant and would I like to select another plant. No, I wouldn't. I feel like I was given the run around and directly lied to. OK, I'll take my lesson and learn from it, but I won't be back.On June 29th, 2012, steve_mass changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Well today they delivered a Lakeside Paisley Print. It was small but in much better shape than the one that I received last year. I'll pot it up and see how it does. The plant does look healthy, showing new growth.
As I said before their customer service is usually very good.Company representative comment on May 30, 2012: On May 30, 2012 7:23 AM, HostasDirect Inc. responded with:
This is Tom Carlson, owner of HostasDirect. Please let me explain why I think you are being unfair. I deserve the chance to defend our hard-earned reputation.
It is possible we did nothing wrong here based upon your emails, although we can make mistakes that we happily fess up to and gladly correct.
As you noted, we gladly replaced the plant you complained about from last fall and you also noted we provided great customer service.
Please note some hostas do not have as many leaves on them as others due to their genetics. And, we sell mini to giant hostas in three different maturities. Some hostas have different growth rates than others. Depending what time of year you purchase them, or when certain shipments come in, there may be fewer or more leaves. As you said, you received a good root system.
I take responsibility for our plants but do you think there might be other reasons you only had 1 leaf left in September? That is the month when hostas shed their leaves in most parts of the country. Or, it could have been rabbits, wind, or all kinds of things out of our control. Can you please contact our customer service manager and leave your contact information so I can visit with you on the phone. I would really like to learn the plant’s name if we have a plant that did not perform so we can remove it from our product line. We are very careful in the plants we select to sell and ship.
We do not give customers “the run around” nor do we “lie.” We would not have the reputation or ratings over the past 8 years it we did. I have a great staff of very reputable people. We don’t operate that way. We never have and never will. I find your comments unfair and frankly offensive but I am sensitive to your feelings and frustrations. How about if you leave our customer service person your phone number so we can visit?
We ship thousands of plants, often in a very narrow window of time. Keep in mind we have growers that get unexpected crop failures due to weather or other reasons. We can get them as well. Both can throw off our inventory numbers and change what we told a customer as might have happened in your case. That does not mean we lied or gave them the run around. Plants are living things. It is different from selling non-living things.
The reason our Starter TC’s are less expensive is because they are not as mature – or large, so we do not charge as much. And, we have pictures on our website and a comment in our shopping cart to remind people of that. We are not interested in creating false expectations. But, the root systems are significant. That is why we offer three maturities, to give customers pricing and size options. You are not “comparing apples to apples” here with our competitors. We put lots of pictures on our website so customers can see the difference in our Starter TC, Advanced Starter and Mature Divisions and compare with competitors if they wish.
This past winter in many parts of the country there was severe drought and lack of snow cover. Gardeners around the country lost MILLIONS of plants and trees this past winter due to lack of snow cover that insulates them from harsh cold and from drying out from wind and thus lack of moisture. It is important hostas get moisture in the fall. I assume you followed our over wintering instructions that came with your plant? You kept the hostas moist in the fall, covered them with leaves, and covered the leaves so they would not blow away, but did not uncover them too early in the spring, etc. As noted, first year plants might need a little extra care in the fall, winter and spring.
And, we are human. In my case my wonderful 87 year old Mom came down with cancer January 16th. She passed away April 7th and we had the funeral May 19th. I missed a lot of work providing hospice care in her home until she passed on recently. My wonderful staff helped me through this difficult time with their outstanding work and caring for our customers, my family and me. Other workers can get sick. We have good information systems but things can happen, in particular with LIVING plants. Yes, we can make mistakes. We do try to resolve customer problems if they arise, like we did yours.
Our reputation and our customers are our most important asset. I think your remarks, in particular about us being liars and giving you the run around are unwarranted, unnecessary, and unfair and mislead the public about the quality of our company and our sincere efforts on behalf of our customers to provide high-quality, disease-free plants and service they deserve and we work so hard to give them.
I wish you could personally meet our staff. Wonderful people!
Posted on May 31, 2012, updated June 27, 2012
Posted on May 30, 2012, updated May 31, 2012
I ordered from this company for the first time on April 8, 2012. I chose Hostasdirect because of the positive rating with Davesgarden. My order consisted of three different hostas, including a Loyalist - total order $44.38. I immediately received confirmation of my order with a note stating that the order would not be filled until after May 27th when the Loyalist Advanced Starter would be ready for shipment. My order arrived on May 26 by USPS but there were only two small hostas. The Loyalist Advanced Starter was not in the box. My online account indicates that all three plants were shipped. I immediately contacted Hostasdirect (and contacted them a second time this morning), but so far I have only received an automated reply saying my message was received and someone would contact me. So far my experience with Hostasdirect is negative since one out of three plants are missing, no one from the company has contacted me, and the $44.38 charge has not been adjusted accordingly. On May 31st, 2012, RebeccaLynn changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I received email from Susan at Hostasdirect. She said that my Loyalist hosta was on backorder. Once the Loyalists have been received by Hostasdirect, they will remain in their greenhouse to settle in and hydrate before they are shipped out. That sounds reasonable. I look forward to receiving a healthy Loyalist some time in June. The two hostas that I received from Hostasdirect last week are looking good in my woodland garden. Thanks to Tom for his concern and response to my Davesgarden post also.On June 27th, 2012, RebeccaLynn added the following:
My Loyalist Hosta (advanced starter) arrived today! Good timing, as several 100 degree days are forecast later this week, and my plant would have fried in no time in my black metal on-the-street mailbox. It looks really good. I have unpacked it and placed it in a temporary container of moist potting soil until this extreme heat wave has passed. Then I will plant it in my shady woodland garden. Company representative comment on May 30, 2012: On May 30, 2012 7:06 AM, HostasDirect Inc. responded with:
It is only 8 am here Central time. I am sure our customer service people will be in touch with you shortly.
This is Tom Carlson, Owner of HostasDirect. Thanks for your business. We greatly appreciate it.
Our wonderful supplier had an unexpected delay in growing Loyalist and thus it is not arriving until I believe this week. Plants are different from other products in that they do not always grow as fast as we want them to or the weather is poor.
We wanted to ship you the remainder of the plants, at our expense since we are paying for the extra shipping cost, so you could have as soon as possible what we had in stock.
I can assure you we are a good, honest, and reputable company. Your Loyalist plant will be shipping as soon as possible.
I purchased three host as from this company and they arrived in great shape. They were secured and packaged very well. I received the Maui buttercups, Rainbows End and appletini. I followed the packaged instruction thoroughly and all of my hostas are doing great. Just added them to my garden and will look to enjoy them for years to come. Will definitely order more from them as I will expand my hosta collection. Anyone looking for beautiful healthy hostas I encourage you to look this company up and order, You will not be disappointed. They offer different size divisions that you can select from, they also offer garden markers if you want. They offer helpful videos on their website or just contact customer service. I told my friends and family and they are going to order very soon. Great Company
On Feb 19th I ordered 4 hostas and 2 heucheras, and requested a late May delivery. I received all the plants promptly in late May, and they looked great. For the hostas, I received 2 mature divisions, and 2 advanced starters. All the plants were packed nicely, very healthy, and of good size. They've been in the ground now for almost a couple of weeks, through a 90-degree Memorial Day weekend, and look great with no babying. I'm very pleased, and looking forward to watching these hostas grow.
I live just a few miles south west of Ely. The climate perhaps had a mitigating effect on my order from HostaDirect---none of them survived out horrendous winter! I probably should have protected them more---they are wee little plants when they come---and well that old buyer beware.
Each year I hit the big box store at the end of the season and buy those yellow hosta that are on the brink of death's door! THEY LIVED AND ARE FLOURISHING!!! I am looking for an Empress Wu at the end of the season.
Protect, protect protect-cover, cover, cover and think about K-Mart!!!!Company representative comment on June 3, 2012: On Jun 3, 2012 4:13 PM, HostasDirect Inc. responded with:
You are in growing zone 3 almost in Canada in Minnesota's arctic circle, where the temperatures can reach 30 to 40 below zero. One of my best friends lives way up north in Ely, MN. I canoe up there in the BWCA
You live in the outer most range most hostas can survive. But, we have many happy customers way up north that love our plants. Sorry you had a bad experience. What variety or varieties did you lose?
Did you read our detailed planting instructions that come with your order and that are on the internet that say you should cover your hostas and other perennials in particular the first year?
This past winter there was very little snow cover nationwide which means the soil can dry out fast from winter winds and the soil get even colder than normal. Both are bad for perennials. Millions of established perennials and trees died.
Yes, as you say, protect, protect, protect and please read the instructions in particular when you live where you live! We have other customers up that way that love our plants but they protect them the first year.
As for K Mart, they don't sell the same varieties we sell.
I am sorry, I can't be there to take care of your plants before winter. Living in zone 3 frankly you should know better. Keep hostas moist in the fall and cover them, per the instructions, and they will be more than fine, even in your climate.
Amazing, we work so hard to provide quality plants and have a great reputation and then someone can admit they did not take care of their plants and then bash us with a negative rating.
Had you ever thought of calling us first?
kentstar Ravenna, OH (Zone 5b) (39 reviews) May 10, 2012
Posted on June 9, 2011, updated May 10, 2012
This was my first order from your company. I ordered Risky Business hosta that I couldn't find elsewhere locally.
It came just when expected thankyou! Packaging was great. The plants look good, but I was just a little disappointed by the size. They were pretty small for the mature divisions I ordered. One had just two large leaves and the roots were only about 2 inches long! The other had a couple more leaves but the roots were just as small. I don't really care if they have huge multiple leaves or not but I do expect a great rootsystem for mature divisions.
I kept my rating positive because there is no reason to expect that they won't do fine with time, love, and water.
I'll post again when I see how they are faring. On May 10th, 2012, kentstar changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Very disappointed in the Risky Business hostas I planted from you last year! Very small rootsystems and tiny plants, and these were supposed to be mature divisions that I paid for and waited for!
Both are still extremely tiny with no rootsystems greater than a couple inches even now in their 2nd year!
I will go to dealers that honor their "mature divisions" by actually delivering "MATURE divisions." These must have been starter plugs instead.
Highly disappointed!Company representative comment on May 10, 2012: On May 10, 2012 6:18 AM, HostasDirect Inc. responded with:
This is Tom Carlson, the owner of HostasDirect.
Thanks for letting us know about this. As you can see from our past ratings, we have had a very good reputation for years.
We try VERY hard to ship quality plants. I am straight with our customers. We have recently hired a couple of new diggers and perhaps they made a mistake and it also slipped by our QC person and packagers. We are presently swamped with orders and have had to hire some additional people. With the unusually early spring nationwide, we are shipping plants often 1 to 3 weeks earlier if we feel they are ready as so many customers want their plants earlier this year. That is another reason your particular plant might be smaller but please let me see a picture.
I can not see what you were sent but please keep in mind that Risky Business is a smaller plant as well. Please send the pictures.
We will more than rectify this situation.
By the way, Risky Business is one of my favorite hostas and I am disappointed it is no longer available in Tissue Culture via our reputable growers. I am going to talk to them about starting to grow more. I think it is a great plant.
Thanks again for your business.
Tom Carlson, Owner HostasDirect and IDeal Garden Markers
Got the shipment today, 4/24/12. Everything looks great. It was a bit of a challenge getting the plants out of the boxes because they were taped so securely. I suppose that's a good thing though - they don't bounce around. Actually it was fun unpacking them, like opening a Christmas present.
One suggestion: You need to do a much better job of securing the TC plants in the plastic tray. One had fallen out. Thankfully, the root ball was not too dry. Maybe strips of cardboard rather than 3/4" masking tape would work better. The masking tape was all bunched together so it wasn't laying flat over the little root balls like I'm sure you intended. The plastic tray was taped into the cardboard box but since there were also Advanced Starters in the box, the lighter TC tray was upside down all the time.
All of the plants looked very healthy and much larger than I expected. I was expecting the TC plants to be bare root but they had little root balls just like the annuals we buy at the garden centers - a pleasant surprise. Our order was mostly the larger varieties of Hosta. These will be a nice addition to the collection we already have. Once we get them planted and growing we'll need to get some smaller filler plants to put between these big ones. If all goes well, we'll be back.
P.S. Thanks for taking advantage of the early spring and shipping before the date your order confirmation said they would be shipped.
I have recently ordered over 30 new plants from them. They have come shipped to my house in the best condition I have ever seen for a mail order plant! They were well protected and the plants just couldn't look any better. I was so happy with my first order that I immediately placed a 2nd order and have more on my 'Wish List' waiting to be ordered! Simply the Best!
Phalanopsis Holliston, MA (1 review) September 13, 2011
Hostas Direct has redefined customer service and satisfaction. There was a very minor glitch with my first order with them but I was treated as though I was their oldest and largest client. Their inventories and options are large and I look forward to working with them again in the future. They are supremely professional and a pleasure to work with.
This was the second time I have ordered from this company. One of the items I ordered was supposed to be a mini hosta, but when it came it was already 9" tall. I emailed them with a picture and the customer service rep said that what I had seemed large for that variety (Little Sunspot) and that they would send me another one. It came yesterday and is a bit smaller although still too large for my mini collection. I will use it elsewhere. They were great helping with my problem, and I would definitely order again. Plants came in good condition even in the heat we had lately. Packing method is excellent (although the plants ARE a bit hard to get out of the box). Very satisfied