Just got my new fern in the mail today from Charles Alford. It was love at first sight. Beautiful little guy!!
I've been growing Platycerium mostly but love all ferns. I have bought from Charles Alford Plants numerous times and have never been disappointed in his plants nor his prompt service. He always sends a form to fill out but his stuff sells so fast, I just pick up the phone and call him. I recommend you do the same. Another reason to call is he knows where to plant his offerings. He's an awesome guy and really knows his plants very well.
This email is my first contact with "Daves Garden" about anything.
I have been ordering from Mr. Alford for 20 years or more. I have been collecting staghorns since the '70's and Charles is my go to person. Charles is an amazing asset to the world of ferns. Mr. Alford has always given credit to other growers including Jerry Horne, whom was also amazing..
He is always responsive to my phone calls when having a problem. He is happy to diagnose any problems that I have.
I live in Houston, TX. I suck at ridlei and coronarium (and he warned me), but all else thrives here.
His plant descriptions and growing issues are right on. Which is amazing given the wide range of growing areas of people which purchase his plants.
Back in the 70's I ordered a number of stags from California and they all died. Houston is much closer to the climate in S. Florida. The plants seem to acclimatize more easily. I have now discovered that some plants are available on ebay from the far east. I would be very careful that these could acclimate to my area.
Over all these years I have discovered that our resources for exotic plants is almost extinct (not just in Houston). Charle's offerings are very difficult to propagate and take years to become a saleable plant. I believe growers like Mr. Alford are doing this for the love of the plants, and hope any financial gain will cover the cost to reach the saleable plant size with a little profit. Thanks to him we have more options than pothos ivy. As conducive as our climate is for growing ferns, this really big metropolitan area has been reduced to a miniscule number of growers who are willing to spend the time to grow some of these exotic ferns. Leaving us to the mercy of Home Depot, Lowes, Houston Garden.
Thank you Charles!!! I thank you every day when I look out the window and see the ferns I have purchased from you!!!
I am so very pleased with Charles Alford plants, I have been and continue to be an avid collector of beautiful, rare, and hard to find
ferns and Charles Alford has some "beauties"!!! I am
always looking forward to his offerings, he posts his current
releases by email, so you must subscribe to his e-list , act
fast, he sells out quickly, the plants are healthy, and hardy,
he can coach you with growing tips if you need help, check
him out at http://www.rareferns.com if you really want something
special, Many Many Thanks Mr. Alford for growing these
very fine plants, and offering them to us!
ryt2ber Coconut Creek, FL (Zone 10a) (1 review) April 1, 2015
Charles Alford is legendary in the world of tropical plants.
He sells very rare plants that are of excellent quality.
I've purchased many and I would certainly buy more given the opportunity. I'm just glad he's willing to sell them to me from time to time!!!!
Charles supplies rare ferns and Fern allies. This isn't a big box store supplier, but for Fern collectors. I've been dealing with him for years. All his plants have arrived in great shape, well packed for shipment. If this rating were on a "star basis," he'd be 5 stars (out of 5), maybe 6. Beyond the point-of-sale Charles is also glad to share his own experience in growing these plants. A wonderful source for the rare and unusual!
Charles sells beautiful plants, reasonably priced, especially considering their rarity. I have ordered from him a number of times and always look forward to his offerings. He offers plants that are often unavailable anywhere else. They always come to me (very) healthy and meticulously packaged. Highly recommended, 5 star.
charles grows some wonderful plants. though a surprising number of them have died in the first 6 months, i have continued to order because many can be obtained nowhere else. this year, however, i had a most unpleasant experience. he misread my order and added a plant. out of respect for his good work, i paid for the extra plant. when he learned of his mistake, he attacked me repeatedly in a patronizing, disparaging, most unprofessional way because i hadn't "simply told him of his error." you may read this and think, that doesn't make sense. i agree entirely.Company representative comment on August 1, 2013: On Aug 1, 2013 8:38 PM, Charles Alford Plants responded with:
The most important point I must make is that jonnyss states that he "paid for the extra plant." This statement is absolutely false. Indeed, it is clearly libelous. No money has changed hands, and no plants have been shipped.
This began when jonnyss asked about a variety of Ophioglossum pendulum. I answered that query, and he then asked me to quote on a different variety. For whatever reason, I mistakenly quoted a price for both the varieties he had mentioned. He did not question my quote, and said he would send a check. This check did not come.
A month later, he said he was going to send the check. When the check arrive,there was no information about what he wanted, and I no longer recalled the specific exchange. He also faxed an order from plants for a new offering, including one of the plants he had already ordered. I reasonably assumed this was a new order, in addition to the prior order.
Not recalling exactly what he wanted for the original payment, I asked what the payment was for. This led to increasingly blunt exchanges, and I threatened to cancel the order.
While enduring increasingly abusive responses from jonnyss, I finally stated that I would cancel his order, and return his check. After this had all blown up, he mentioned my initial error, which made it all clear. He wants everyone to believe this is my fault. He knew of my mistake, I didn't. The mistake was the cause of the confusion, the answer to all my inquiries, and the solution to this problem.
I don't know why he was reluctant to mention it.
He says many of my plants have died soon after he got them. He also mentions they are not available anywhere else. It is true I grow and sell some very challenging plants. I often discourage customers who seem to be getting in over their heads.
However, I can not fix what I do not know about. I learned in this post of his troubles with my plants. I freely give advice where I can, and gladly replace any plant which seems to perform poorly for reasons which may be my responsibility.
Indeed, he told me the plant in the original order had died. How do I do business? It was my intention to replace that plant at no charge, even though he had not asked me to do so.
Jonnyss has clearly shown he does not like me. He believes I am rude, condescending and unprofessional. Well, I will not address his opinion, but I learned some lessons about rude in my dealing with this customer.
DannyH Fort Pierce, FL (7 reviews) January 24, 2011
I totally agree with Tall Shadow !
Charles Alford is great when you are looking for something out of the ordinary.
This business is on the internet at http://www.rareferns.com. You must
request the plant list which will arrive quarterly by email.
Most of the time these very rare ferns are grown from spores by Mr. Alford himself.
This is the place to find exceedingly rare staghorn ferns as well as other epiphytic ferns. But don't expect to find common ferns on the list, these are truly rare.
The list often has items never listed along with some that can be re-listed more often.
Mr. Alford is a supplier to many Botanical Gardens. Many of the ferns he offers cannot be found anywhere else, at all.
Everytime I have ordered, and the times are many, every plant has been healthy and flawless. Expertly packed, arriving much as they were sent. The prices are amazingly good considering what you can get.
This business is number 1 with me. I will order again and again.