In May 2013 I ordered several coneflowers from this site and was generally pleased with my order except for a slight delay in shipping due to their web page not being completely clear about their shipping dates. There was a discount coupon enclosed and I placed a second order for more coneflowers and some Heucheras. While the coneflowers were decent size, the Heucheras were still quite small. When I questioned "Steve" about the size he was quite defensive and told me that I could return them if I wasn't satisfied. If I shipped them back then of course I'd be out the cost of shipping both ways instead of one. Obviously I kept them. Since then all of the coneflowers have bloomed at least once but one of them is obviously the wrong plant as it is a creamy yellow single instead of a bright yellow double. I sent a email message to him with a photo of the plant in question and got no response. That was on July 15 and two days later I followed up with another email asking for a replacement plant or credit for a plant of my choice. Still there has been no response. Since there is no telephone number, only a fax number, there is no way to contact him directly. While I realize that this is a small family business I feel that I should have gotten a response by now. Unless I get a satisfactory response to my message I will no longer buy plants from Casita Azul.
So this goes back starting last summer (2012) after purchasing over $400 worth of Echinacea from Casita Azul (OakCreekGrower) off of Ebay. I chose to buy from them because of great selection of Coneflowers and they were only some fifty miles from me. I figured they would stand a better chance of overwintering. Plants arrived quickly and were packaged fine.
One they started budding, I noticed many of the blooms were deformed. After doing some homework and reading up on Echinacea some more, I realized they were both infected with mites and some Aster Yellows. I shared my concern with Steve from Casita and he answered back shortly and said he would look into it after I provided him with many photographs of my problem plants. When I hear a reply, I was told to remove them from the ground, discard into the trash, and that they would send replacement next spring.
Fast forward to this May 10th 2013, I sent a friendly reminder to Steve for shipping my replacement plants that he said he would take care of for me.
He responded May 16th with:
- "Thanks for your email. I am sorry for my late reply, this is our super busy time of the year and there just never seems to be enough time to get everything done :)
I remember last year, we owe you a few plants. We can send them now if you like, however if you have the asters yellow disease you will be infecting any new plants you bring in. I went to a seminar last fall and they talked about asters yellow. It swept across the US, devistating coneflowers everywhere. It is apparently not curable. It is spread by a tiny insect that feeds on the leaves of plants.
Let me know if you want your plants now, or advise when it is good to send them.
I responded with now would be fine, I had removed all the plants that I believed to be problem plants.
Then he responded May 21 with:
-"We guarantee delivery of your plants, however we can not guarantee them after that. We would love to follow them to their new homes but of course we can not do that. There are too many factors involved once they leave our care [delivery mishandling, customer abuse, mother nature's challenges, etc.]. However, I know you have had a very difficult time with your coneflower garden so we are going to replace your lost plants and waive the replacement fees [$5.00 per plant plus S&H]. My concern for you is that apparently the Asters Yellow stays in the plants and there is no cure. The disease generally does not kill the plants but rather affects the growth of them. In echinacea it can cause distored foliage and flowers. If any of the affected plants from last year are still in your garden it is almost certain that plant feeding insects will quickly feast upon your existing coneflowers (at an almost microscopic level) and pass the virus along to your new plants this year.
We can ship your replacements in about 2 weeks. Please reconfirm that you are ready for them at that time."
I thought great, he is going to help me out and take care of a good customer and we will continue doing business. Well, three weeks went by and I heard nothing and received no flowers after trying to contact him again on June 5th and 13th, no response.
Finally he responds June 14th, four weeks after our May contact and says "The coneflowers are behind this year. We have just begun to ship pending orders. It will take us the next 2 weeks to get all orders out. An email will generate when the shipment is made to you."
Then I tried contacting him again on June 29th...nothing. I tried again on July 8th...finally I hear back later on July 8th and he had this to say:
"Sorry, things are still super busy here. You are right, I said that we would need 2 weeks to get caught up. My email was sent to you on Friday, June 14. The following 2 weeks we worked hard to get the orders out. That put at week when I had hoped to ship your plants. We did very limited shipping last week due to the holiday delaying most packages. Echinacea do not do well in boxes during delays.
I should have replied to your last email but I had a choice of shipping orders or answering emails last week and I had to ship orders or I would be even farther behind. I am pretty much a 1 man operation and all the email inquiries put a big dent into my shipping abilities.
I had hoped to ship your order this week but I find myself replying to lots of emails again. I will attempt to get it out this week or next. An email will generate when the shipment goes out."
SO REALLY? He would "ATTEMPT" to get them out this week or next? TO NO AVAIL EITHER! I was so frustrated at this point I sent an email tactfully expressing my disappointment. I also offered to pay for shipping. Then I even sent another email asking if it would help if I came and picked up the plants to save him the money and effort of shipping?
SO HERE IT IS JULY 17TH AND ONLY PROMISES BROKEN AND NO FLOWERS. Now the sweltering heat is here and pretty hard to be planting right now, as if I had any to plant.
Anyhow, I cannot believe the trouble this has been for him to just do what he said he would do. I guess he got my business and that was good enough. Well, he has lost a lot of business from me this year since I have been completely redoing my yard and have spent a lot more on plants elsewhere than I did from him last year. All he had to do is what he said he would do and he would have had all that business from me this year. Shame. Has taken some of the fun out of it for me. Just trying to keep my business local and that's the thanks you get.
Sorry so long but it says be "concise and complete". Thanks for listening.
MsKitty31 Fowler, NY (Zone 3b) (2 reviews) June 24, 2013
This is the second time I have ordered from this company. Both times were very positive. Plant size and condition were great as well as packaging. Quick shipping and good prices. Will definitely do business with again. Thank you.
mc003 Crown Point, IN (Zone 5a) (7 reviews) June 15, 2013
Posted on June 28, 2012, updated June 15, 2013
Posted on June 26, 2012, updated June 28, 2012
First time I placed an order with this company I was looking for a heuchera that was sold out at the site I normally buy them from. Happened upon this company and I'm more than pleasantly surprised. The size they sell is exactly what I was looking for-a starter. Flat rate shipping was a plus too. So not only did I get the heuchera I needed, I tried another one and fell in love with it too. So much so, I used the coupon they gave me when I received the first order to place a second, which shipped today and should be arriving tomorrow. Love that they are a small outfit....they seem more personable. Looking forward to doing more business with them in the future!On June 28th, 2012, mc003 added the following:
Received my order today. Packaged beautifully, they even went as far as putting in some ice packs to keep the plants cool. AND they gave me a coupon for 25%off due to my order being delayed because of the heat. Great customer care! Love you guys!On June 15th, 2013, mc003 added the following:
Thanks again for another great order! Recieved the last of my order yesterday and everything was great! Almost got everything in the ground already, it rained this morning so once it dries up a bit I'll get the rest in. I tried another variety of huechera (Glitter) and I'm already loving it. The overlay on the leaves really does look like glitter! Also I got an email from the owner Steve because I had a question about my order and he mentioned that one of the varietites I had ordered didn't look too good this year and would I like a replacement. One of his suggestions was a variety I was interested in so I told him it would be ok to replace it with that one. When I got my order I was surprised to see I recieved BOTH! So thank you for the freebie! You guys Rock!
Paul2063 Pleasant Grove, UT (1 review) April 6, 2012
I ordered 4 Hosta. They came well packed and in wonderful condition. One had 3 divisions, 2 had 2 divisions, and one had one large division. I am well pleased and will order from this company again.
virginiarose Portsmouth, VA (Zone 8a) (52 reviews) November 16, 2011
It is kinda late in the season, I ordered 2 heucherella on 11-11-11 and received them today 11-16-11. Packing was real good and plants were all tucked in very little dirt lost and slightly moist. I was very suprised to get a free gift which was the nicest smelling soap I have ever smelled. It's Goat's Milk soap and they have a new line of full sized all natural soaps. I cannot wait to put in another order so I can get more of this soap!!
I too am absolutely astounded at the quality and size of the plants I received on 6/4/2011 - 2 Ostrich Plume Astilbes, in 3" square plastic pots about 4 inches deep and wrapped with foil, each individually packed in brown wrapping paper - the plants were about 10" tall and STILL WET!! Root systems were UNREAL! The packaging was fantastic - I ordered from eBay on Monday 5/30 (didn't bid, just bought) and they let me know via email that they shipped on Wednesay 6/1 - I didn't pay extra for the shipping, it was $5.99 for anything you bought, no matter how many. I planted them immediately and they are so fluffy and healthy- I am thrilled. So I ordered 3 ferns and a coral bell on 6/4 after I planted the astilbes - got notice today(6/7) that they're shipping via UPS and should be here on 6/13 - They sent 2 free fertilizer plugs with the astilbes and I got a coupon for 10% off if I ordered before 6/30 - they also sent an email stating that the spring has been very cold & cloudy in Wisconsin (where they're located) and that many of their perennials are behind schedule & some plants may be shipped just as they're breaking dormancy (weather exactly like what we've had in Spokane, WA this spring - HORRIBLE) but I sincerely appreciated that bit of information as I have a better idea of what to expect when I receive my ferns. I will DEFINATELY be ordering from this company again! Unreal quality for the money, inexpensive shipping, informational and FAST! What else could you ask for (the astilbes put my one year old plants that I ordered from Springhill Nursery last year TO SHAME!
After placing an order on Ebay and another directly with their company, I am blown away. I ordered 2 hostas that were over 10+ inches tall on ebay. I followed that with another Ebay order for a bi-colored buddleia which was was small, but they grow like weeds here. I then ordered from their website. I decided I needed more ferns for our front yard, so I ordered 3 of their overstock ferns. I couldn't be happier. I received 3 ferns, a Christmas fern, a Ghost Painted Fern and another unmarked fern. All are green and healthy.
All their plants on their website are reasonably priced and shipping is more reasonable than from many other suppliers.
Thank you Casita Azul! We'll be back to order some perennials. It is growers like you who make me want to rip out the existing front lawn and plant flowering plants.
cramsey1 Salt Lake City, UT (Zone 6b) (24 reviews) July 21, 2010
I placed my first order for coral bells from this company a month ago. The plants were reasonably priced with very low shipping cost and arrived quickly. They were well packages and nice size healthy well rooted. I was so impressed with them, that 2 weeks later I placed another larger order with them. These guy are fantastic and provider quality plants at reasonable prices with good customer service.
I received my order and was blown away by the beautiful plants that I got. They were so well packed that after 4 or 5 days in transit, they looked like they had just been dug. In my opinion Casita Azul has set the gold standard for absolutely beautiful plants that are well packed and shipped. Rock on guys. Pete
quilter_gal (Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX (1 review) October 4, 2009
I LOVE this company - very fast, low cost and absolutely beautiful plants!
I ordered eight heuchera, a "new" white coneflower and two hosta, plus I received a brunnera bonus. All the plants arrived in great shape, thanks to the expert packing and to Priority Mail taking only two days to get here.
The plants were (of course) a little flat after two days of being folded into brown paper, but in a couple of days, they were all fluffed back out again and looking lovely.
This purchase was a tremendous bargain.
The plants' root systems filled the 3" pots in which they arrived and they were transplanted immediately into 6" pots. The plants weren't huge like the gallon pots at the big box stores, but they're just as large or larger than the ones I bought on eBay for $25-35. And the coneflower from Casita Azul is much bigger than a similarly "new" coneflower for which I paid three times as much. Even the free brunnera is healthier than the one I bought on eBay for way more than I should have.
I will definitely order from this company again. The colors are a gorgeous addition to my garden and I can't wait to increase my collection, next year!
I have ordered twice from this company and I love it. I have ordered several sedums from them and they were all healthy and good sized.
The Owners are the sweetest people and promptly answer questions and are very down to earth people that care about their customers. I will be ordering from them many times in the future and with the small handling fee they charge and free shipping they are an awesome company. A great company in my book!
ic_conifers Iowa City, IA (Zone 5a) (14 reviews) July 15, 2009
I was happy with my order this year. I ordered early in the year for May shipping. One plant never arrived from the hybridizer (a problem with tissue cultures) and Steve told me that I could choose a plant with twice the value from what we left in stock. I thought that was a very nice customer service touch. Prices were reasonable and shipping was free. Everything was packed well, arrived in great shape and is doing terrific in my yard.
I love this online store. I bought coral bells that I wasn't able to find anywhere. The packaging was the best, the plants very healthy and still moist even though they were shipped from Wisconsin to Delaware. This business really goes the extra mile and the extra efforts much appreciated.
BIGardener Bainbridge Island, WA (1 review) June 22, 2009
I found Casita Azul via ebay. I was searching for some Heucheras that were no longer available at my local nurseries. I bought 3 Heucheras from them - via ebay, not directly from their website. And I wish I did buy directly from their site. After making the online payment on ebay, I was a sent a confirmation email from Casita Azul and saw their website URL on the email. I found out that the plants I bought were $4 less per plant and the shipping was $2 less. Their email was friendly and prompt and considering this was my first plant mail-order ever, I was nervous. The plants did arrive super-fast - within 3 days of ordering. The small parcel box left on my doorstep was a BIG surprise since I couldn't believe that 3 Heucheras would all fit into such a TINY box. The plants were very-well packaged and the soil nicely watered and moist, BUT the plants were TINY! They came in littel 3" containers and the Heucheras themselves were SO SMALL. They barely had a root system and were no more than little starter plants. The website advertises that all their plants have been winterized and are at least 2 years old. After seeing my Heucheras, these were barely 1 years old and had tiny little leaves. I don't mind paying $13.99 for one Heuchera but at least I want a larger plant. These will take at least 2 years easy to get to size. So for around $50, I received 3 little Heuchera starters. I am very disappointed. Casita Azul (if you order directly from their site) is very affordable. They charge only one-fixed shipping price regardless of order size, which is great. But for the size of plants, it was a rip-off.
Tskstar Los Angeles, CA (3 reviews) October 6, 2008
I have ordered from this company 4 times in the last 2 months. That should say it all. Casita Azul has EXCELLENT customer service! The plants I ordered were sizeable, healthy, and gorgeous! AND my gift plants were no ordinary run of the mill plants either! Not to mention, the cheapest, fastest shipping you'll get anywhere!
colliwobbles (Jana) Shoreline, WA (Zone 8a) (9 reviews) August 13, 2008
I ordered two Samuel Oliphant sedum plants, and two sedum Sieboldii Mediovariegata. I e-mailed the company to find out the status of my order, and I received a response within a day. My plants didn't ship right away, due to the summer heat.
When they did arrive, I had totally forgotten about the free plants you recieve. The Samuel Oliphants were a little beaten up (due to shipping I presume), but they are planted now and are getting stronger each day. I have no doubt that they will come back with a vengeance next year. The other sedums looked perfect!
The best thing about this company is that they had two of my favorite (and hard to find) sedums. I can't wait to order from them again!
Meig Far Northwest 'burbs, IL (Zone 5a) (13 reviews) June 13, 2008
Got a nicely sized, healthy looking clump of 'Strawberry Fair' siberian iris from them today and they included detailed planting instructions and also a trial size packet of fertilizer. Shipping was fast and their emails were friendly.
marea Albany, OR (Zone 8a) (5 reviews) June 2, 2008
I have received generous portions of virus tested hostas that I can't get locally from this company for the past couple of years. FAST shipping, the best packaging I've come across and superior customer service - including sending along a pkt of fertilizer for my new hosta!