Since 1988, Plant Delights Nursery has been the choice of serious gardeners and plant collectors looking for the best and rarest perennial plants. We are pleased to have received the Perennial Plant Association Retail Award in 2011, the American Horticulture Society Commercial Award in 2002, and to have been selected as one of the Best Mail Order Plant Sources - Garden Design Magazine 2010. Welcome to our family of plant lovers!
This is our family's first time ordering from Plant Delights Nursery and we are very happy with our experiences. The staff was very kind, knowledgeable, and patience with every questions and changes we made to our order. Shipping was very prompt and a tracker number was provided. When our plants arrived, our family immediately inspected the package and we were very pleased at how carefully everything was packed and how generous in size our plants are. We're glad we discovered and gave this nursery a chance.
We look forward to ordering more plants from them again next spring! Yes, we would recommend this nursery!
I was so excited last year to find and place an order for not 1 but 3 Clematis glaucophylla 'Panhandler'. Arrived timely 2 out of 3 looked poor (strike one) was told it's a vive not to worry new shoots from base will come but they never did on the two. Mulched for the winter in case of a bad weather as we had the year before. Now Spring arrives and the 1 that was in good condition came up just fine and is beautiful. The other 2 never came up. I called and they said give it sometimes, after another couple weeks nothing, called back and (strike two) I was told "Tony only guarantees they will get to you in good condition (which was not the case anyway). They put a big Hoopla about there customer satisfaction!! It's simply not there from my experience, I am a very experienced gardener and g found them to be a company who toots there own horn and does not stand at all behind there product. At high price, higher shipping and absolutely NO caring. I would have been happy if they extended an olive branch and offered me a reduced price on a replacement, ANYTHING. I would NOT recommend them to anyone. Also I did state to the woman answering phone that I would appreciate how deeply upset I am with their lack of Guarantee Directly to Tony. Never heard a peep back (strike three) It was very clear I was not a happy customer and my concerns were are are still legitimate. I don't normally leave anyone negatives reviews but this company really deserves it from me. I will share my story throughout internet land and among fellow gardeners. I almost ordered another series of vines but my husband reminded me of the problems and as much as I would love the vines I cancelled. If you cannot count on customer satisfaction guaranteed what can you count on after all we are blind to picking our specific plants... Company representative comment on July 8, 2015: On Jul 8, 2015 1:43 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
I'm very sorry to hear that not all of your Clematis came back from this past winter. We've talked with many gardeners this year (and last) who have experienced losses in their garden as winters were harsher than years past. Plant loss over winter usually has little or nothing to do with the quality of a plant or whether the plant makes it through a winter as advertised. Plant death of zone appropriate plants can be influenced by many different winter conditions, not just temperatures. For instance, It can be too little rain in the fall, too much rain in the winter, ice vs. snow, warm-ups in January or February and the list of conditions and combinations – well, you can see the variables are many.
We understand how our limited guarantee policy can be puzzling given the extended guarantees that are prevalent in the green industry today. A customer can forget to water, plant in poor soil, neglect to provide winter protection to mention a few, and large garden centers/big box stores will replace or refund with no questions asked. Plants are our only source of income which is why we cannot compete with these long-term guarantees.
If we ship a plant that left with undiagnosed problems, we will gladly replace it, even beyond the initial 7 day period. We check our nursery notes in cases such as yours to see if we have experienced any failures here that might indicate a problem with the crop. In this case we have not lost any of this clematis from 2 months before your order was shipped all the way through this spring.
We want to be fair, and in every case we want to replace or refund any plant loss that is our fault. We guarantee our quality, but we do not guarantee that everyone will be successful gardeners. We have killed our fair share due to improper drainage, too much sun, not enough sun, neighborhood dogs, insects, vermin, improper plants for our zone and a myriad of other reasons including quirks of mother nature that no one has control over.
I apologize for the lengthy note, but it is important to us that our horticultural friends around the circle understand our logic when questions arise about our limited guarantee policy. I do hope you find this information helpful. I'm sorry to hear that you have decided to cancel your newest order. Please let us know if we can be of assistance in the future.
Manager of Customer Service & Shipping
garden_ny New York City, NY (1 review) June 1, 2015
Posted on May 26, 2015, updated June 1, 2015
I ordered 10 Echinaceas “Fatal Attraction” from Plant Delights last July 2014 (I am a big fan of Piet Outdolf). Two of the plants came in horrible shape, perhaps due to transit damage. I called the nursery, and while they were initially almost rudely questioning my ability to identify a “damaged plant” (i.e. it will eventually recover, so just go ahead and plant it), after I provided photographs showing the state of the two specimens they agreed to graciously replace them. They were nice and apologetic.
It is now almost June 2015, a year later, and NONE of the 10 plants grew back. I have a large terrace garden in NYC, and have been growing plants for a long time… this is the first time that I plant 10 perennials and zero make it. I just called the nursery to ask what is their policy in such cases. All other places I have dealt with (Romence Gardens, Santa Rosa gardens, Joycreek, Lazy S’S farm, and Bluestone Perennial) have always found a way to solve problems with fair solutions. Regrettably, Plant Delights just brushed me off: in essence “this is no longer our problem”. Too bad, this is about the joy of caring for our plants and gardens, and a big part of the mail-order side is the relationship between gardeners and providers.On June 1st, 2015, garden_ny added the following:
I am afraid the response is not quite correct. I called, explained in the nicest way what the issue was, described the facts (left out that it took me 3 calls and 2 sets of photographs last year to have them agree to replaced the two echinaceas), and was told matter of factly " it is no longer our problem". There was never an offer to discuss it further, to talk to their growers, to explore options or solutions, or to even suggest other plants. I would be happy to engage. I strongly believe that growers should be supported for their efforts.Company representative comment on May 30, 2015: On May 30, 2015 1:21 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
As you stated we did replace the 2 Echinacea last year that arrived damaged. Since we did not hear from you further last year, we can only assume they performed for you the remainder of the season. Our guarantee policy does not make provision for plants that fail to emerge due to the many cultural factors that are generally the cause of a plants failure to thrive. Plant loss over winter usually has little or nothing to do with the quality of a plant or whether the plant makes it through a winter as advertised. Plant death of zone appropriate plants can be influenced by many different winter conditions, not just temperatures. For instance, too little rain in the fall, too much rain in the winter, ice vs. snow, warm-ups in January/February followed by colder temperatures and you can see the variables are many. Growing in a terrace situation at a higher elevation presents its own set of challenges such as more variable soil temperatures, increased wind exposure, etc. We do not sell plants as a loss leader as the big box stores do and offer a 1 year guarantee no questions asked.
We are always available to discuss plants with you. It is about the relationship as you stated which requires a two way conversation. I’m sorry that you did not have a desire to discuss further with our horticulture staff to help learn what may have occurred. Instead you quickly hung up and posted here instead. While we can’t replace every plant on every occasion, we will continue to offer exciting plants and top notch cultural advice. The offer still stands if you have some time to speak with our garden supervisor to help with your future growing seasons.
Manger of Customer Serivce
Plant Delights Nursery, Inc.
jmcarolina Greenville, SC (8 reviews) May 16, 2015
Posted on May 29, 2006, updated May 16, 2015
This is not a cheap nursery but their plants really are top notch. I have ordered from them three times and will do so again. They will not ship you a plant that you will be disappointed with. As a bonus, the catalog cover art and plant descriptions are witty and humorous and we could all use a bit of humor in our lives. The only negative is that they will charge your credit card as soon as the order is put in the computer rather than when it ships. If a plant is not available at shipping, you will be given the choice of a refund or nursery credit. Keep in mind this is not a discount nursery. They obviously try to keep the emphasis on quality rather than price.On April 27th, 2008, jmcarolina changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I was less than thrilled when I received my latest Plant Delights order. Some of the plants were leggy, some were bone dry and others were wet to the point of being very difficult to unwrap and plant. They have all been in the ground for over a week now and most seem okay but, considering the price of the plants and the nursery\'s reputation, I was not happy about the state of the plants I received. I did email this info to them and am sure they will make good on any plants that do not survive. But still.....On October 4th, 2008, jmcarolina changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
The problem I had with the spring shipment was probably at least partly due to FedEx and their less than speedy shipment. Plant Delights replaced the unacceptable plants with no problem and they have done well this summer.On May 16th, 2015, jmcarolina changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
The change in my rating is due to problems I had with Plant Delights last year. I really hate doing this but it bothered me enough to cause me to stop ordering from them this spring and I have been a good customer for several years.
Last spring I placed 3 orders in March with them to be delivered after mid April. I realized around the end of that month that I had never received my first order. I called the office and asked about it. I was told they had new software and that a malfunction in it had caused their shipping department to never process my order. It was shipped but 2 or 3 weeks later than I had wanted. Subsequently, I had the same experience with the next 2 orders and plants that I wanted to put in the ground no later than early May were not received till the end of the month when planting is more difficult. I have a hard time understanding that this did not happen to others and I felt like I should have been given a discount or some other form of apology but none was offered even after I expressed my frustration and feelings that this would be fair. Plant Delights always has a nice selection and I had been a very good customer for a long time but my heart is not with this company anymore.
I have purchased from Plant Delights for many yrs. I have Always received Healthy Large Plants.. I recently received an order that did live up to my expectations.. Customer Service was Amazing and the issue was handled Promptly and with my Satisfaction being their Goal.. Outstanding Company with the Utmost of Integrity!!!
Best plants I've found and I love the variety. Everything was healthy, larger than other suppliers and just beautiful. Generally good packing. But shredded paper is a pain and dirt not as contained in pot as I liked. Still one of my top two suppliers and I bought 150 plants this year.
bobbi_s Richland, WA (Zone 7a) (20 reviews) April 20, 2015
I placed an order almost two weeks ago, and these arrived last Thursday. The plants were very large for a mail order, and were protected very well. They were packaged nicely, and were in great condition. The plants I ordered were: Tiarella 'Pink Skyrocket, Pulmonaria 'Dark Vader', Begonia grandis 'Heron's Pirouette', and Pulmonaria 'Raspberry Splash. I am very pleased with all of these plants, an d would recommend this mail order nursery to anyone.
have ordered several times from Plant Delights......initially worried that plants needed to travel across the country.....NC to OR.....but they carry varieties I couldn't find elsewhere................usually I simply order from Annie's or Far Reaches Farm (both highly recommended)......but surprise!....plants were fabulosity! good size and uber healthy............they arrived wrapped in several layers of careful care..........
I have ordered many times from this company and have never been disappointed. I knew they were having problems with their new system, so I expected somewhat of a delay. I will never stop ordering from them because they are the only company that has such unusual plants! Every plant I have received has been full, and packaged well.
Shipping for my small order was expensive however it was lightening fast. I ordered two clematis glaucophylla. I couldn't find them anywhere else. They arrived small but healthy.
matthewhg Charlotte Hall, MD (4 reviews) October 2, 2014
I just received an order of mostly Epimediums and Hellebores, and am very pleased! They arrived in 1 day after being sent, and arrived safely. I recently became interested in Epimediums, and am looking forward to the blooms this spring!
LarryR South Amana, IA (Zone 5a) (3 reviews) August 18, 2014
Posted on August 18, 2014, updated August 18, 2014
Posted on August 17, 2014, updated August 18, 2014
Posted on August 13, 2014, updated August 17, 2014
I\\\\\\\'ll preface my comments by saying that I have been a longtime customer of PDN and that I admire Tony Avent\\\\\\\'s accomplishments and goals.
My problem is with quality control. In the past I\\\\\\\'ve always been impressed with the size and quality of plants I have received. Unfortunately, this spring was an exception. I ordered three plants of the same species and received them jostled out of their pots, dry, and slightly wilted. The reason for this was that the plants were barely three inches tall (mature plants are 18\\\\\\\") with a very small root system. I would have expected this from Michigan Bulb Company, but not from Plant Delights. They were potted in 3.5\\\\\\\" pots that were much too large. Had the plants been larger and had the root system filled much of the pot, there would have been no problem. These plants should never have left the greenhouse. I was charged the full price of $14 each.
I note that a similar problem has been mentioned before in these reviews.
Like several other reviewers, I also received no response to my emails, so I called instead. The lady I spoke to was very accommodating and happy to make things right. I questioned her about the reason I hadn\\\\\\\'t had a response to my emails. She said that they have been having computer problems. That would make this the second year that that reason has been given for lack of response. I would like to urge PDN to get its electronic systems in order ASAP. The bad PR that this situation generates could endanger their customer base.On August 17th, 2014, LarryR added the following:
These comments are in response to Virginia Meehan\\\'s reply to my earlier post here.
I posted my comments AFTER I had contacted Plant Delights because the gardening community needs to know that the problems I referenced are ongoing (see also other posts in this comment forum). In the interim, I received an email from Virginia. It detailed the problems Plant Delights is experiencing but offered no detail about resolving the problems, how they would go about doing that, or when they expected some sort of resolution.
Here is an excerpt from my response to Virginia\\\'s email:
Virginia—Thanks much for taking the time to explain your problems in more detail. Would it be possible to assign someone the duty of checking the junk mail folder once a day? Would Anita be willing to do this? Or a volunteer? If done daily, the task wouldn’t be so onerous.
While I sympathize with your nursery manager, he needs to find out how to grow Euphorbia corollata to a decent size before it’s made available for sale. I have received this same plant from other mail order sources, and the plants were a very nice size, certainly a lot larger than three inches. The three-inch plants that I received would not have survived if I had planted them in one of my beds. The established plants in those beds would have quickly overwhelmed those tiny plants...Best—Larry On August 18th, 2014, LarryR changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Owners Tony and Anita Avent have become personally involved in the problems I outlined in my earlier posts. They pledge to \"monitor all process (email, chat, written correspondence) with a more watchful eye and have restructured some roles and responsibilities to that affect.\" Regarding the Euphorbia corollata, \"Tony corroborated that it is a tricky plant in a black plastic pot in a nursery setting and will be revising his description accordingly.\" On August 18th, 2014, LarryR added the following:
I failed to add earlier that I also just received a generous credit from Plant Delights to make up for the condition of the plants I received.Company representative comment on August 13, 2014: On Aug 13, 2014 5:06 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
We thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention, although I must admit I am surprised that you would go to this forum AFTER speaking with someone in person today, who you've stated was happy to work with you to make things right. This particular Euphorbia is not happy growing in a small nursery container and will typically send roots straight to the bottom of the pot, but not fill in the pot. It is a tricky plant to ship successfully and is much happier if in the ground where it fills out quite vigorously.
While email is now the preferred method for most folks to communicate, email is not perfect. Email addresses can be typed incorrectly and spam & junk filters can capture all manner of correspondence, based on a particular word or phrase or attachment. Technology is great when it works, but a real pain when it does not.
As you are a long time customer, I assume you are getting our newsletters and are aware of the myriad of computer issues we've run up against this year. Our new software which was supposed to make things better has actually had a detrimental effect on our ability to service our customers at the high standards we've had for years. Please know that we are working diligently to fix these issues because we know that this has a negative effect on our customer relationships.
I hope that you will take our many years of positive interactions into consideration when making future perennial selections. Going forward, I would implore you to give us a phone call if you do not get a response by email in 48 business hours . We can't fix a problem if we don't know that a problem exists, so I thank you again for letting us know about your Euphorbia. Please let me know if you should have any additional questions or concerns.
Manager of Customer Service & Shipping
Plant Delights Nursery, Inc.
I rarely order plants from across the country, since different growing conditions often cause failures. However Plant Delights has so many unique plants, I took a chance and ordered some that I couldn't find anywhere else. Their prices are high, but the quality of the plant material made up for it - everything was very robust (its not their fault that a critter dug up one plant the night after I put it in the ground, and it didn't recover).
What I most wanted to comment on was their packaging. Extraordinary! These plants were shipped, in summer, from North Carolina to Oregon, and arrived with the soil, and the newspaper wrapped around it, still damp! The plants didn't appear to be stressed at all, just a little crumpled (very temporary).
virginiarose Portsmouth, VA (Zone 8a) (64 reviews) July 17, 2014
Posted on March 14, 2012, updated July 17, 2014
This company was a delight to work with from beginning to end. I was able to find plants I wanted at a fair price and was very happy to find they are close to my zone. I had a little problem with my bank and received a polite email from Diane who worked with me professionally and did not make me feel like I was ruining her day. Actually I felt like she enjoyed helping me. I got email next day telling me everything went through and my plants were on the way. Next day I received 6 beautiful plants that are just breaking dormancy, they look very healthy and have big healthy root system. I found the packing to be very unusual but effective, no dirt missing and they were still moist. I just love this nursery and would be happy to order again and recommend them highly. On July 17th, 2014, virginiarose added the following:
Another delightful order from Plant's Delight! Love the website, customer service, strong boxes, packing method, and fast shipping. The plants are a fair price for the size and they are very healthy with big roots. Establish quickly and that is what I like the most.
I will definitely order from them again! Thank you Plant's Delight, keep up the good work!!
saturnalia Winston Salem, NC (3 reviews) July 13, 2014
I ordered 6 heucheras of 3 different varieties from Plant Delights. The company was easy to communicate with--they answer their phone and their representative was polite and helpful--and the plants shipped promptly and arrived exactly when promised. Some were smaller than others, but all were acceptable size and are beautiful and healthy. Would definitely order from this company again.
Posted on May 26, 2014, updated June 6, 2014
Posted on May 24, 2014, updated May 26, 2014
I have been a customer of this company since the early 90's and happy with the company and their customer service. This year was different. I placed 2 orders with them and one came in fine but a few of the plants were quite small for a price of 24 dollars each. The second order was missing a plant I ordered so I called customer service and they said they would check on it and get back to me. I found that pretty insulting that they would "check" on and get back to me instead of taking care of the problem and get the missing plant out to me ASAP. I then found the number of plants was one too many and they had shipped me two "Miss Ruby's" buddleia instead of one, so I immediately called back and talked to another customer service rep and told them what had happened and they said they would get the "Miss Molly" in the mail to me and they were sorry about the mix up. It's bee about a month now and nothing was sent. Guess I was supposed to just forget about it. Not a happy camper in Owasso, OK! On May 26th, 2014, jbf16falcon added the following:
At any rate the number of plants shipped was correct, but one too many of one plant ordered and missing one of the plants I had ordered. Two follow up emails sent asking for status went unanswered.On June 6th, 2014, jbf16falcon changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Plant Delights contacted me and said they were having problems with their new system and assured me they would take care of my problem. Today the missing plant was delivered as promised and was in very good condition. For that reason and the fact that for 20 years they have delivered my orders properly I have changed my rating from Negative to a Positive one. I hope they have their problems figured out as good mail order plant companies are far and few between.
Posted on May 22, 2014, updated June 1, 2014
Posted on May 22, 2014, updated May 22, 2014
Let me state first off that my quibble with Plant Delights is not with the plants, which are fabulous. I am a garden designer, and like to experiement in my own gardens with different cultivars. I ordered well over $1000 of plants this year alone - only one looked sort of sad, and it is now recovering.
Their service had always been excellent. Even earlier this year, I made a mistake and ordered some items twice. They contacted me to make sure that I really wanted both orders, and changed the orders with no problem.
Then things went downhill.
One of my orders was about $600, including shipping. It was scheduled to go out 4/28. On 4/22, I got an email saying my order was rescheduled to go out on 5/14. This was kind of upsetting. I had wanted to get many of the plants started earlier, and I might have gotten something else (or the same plants from somewhere else) to fill those spaces had I known. I wrote back asking if there was any chance we could make it earlier. I got ZERO response to my email.
On 5/18 (four days after the already-more-than-two-weeks-late order was supposed to go out), I got a generic email saying that they were very sorry, they had been busy, this isn't how they usually do business, etc. etc., and my order would now go out on 5/19. I wrote back saying that I was pretty upset about being delayed a second time. Again, ZERO response. Certainly no offer of a discount!
I was notified that the plants shipped on 5/21, still later than the second delay.
It has taken more than a month to receive my order that was supposed to arrive in 11 days, with no response to any of my emails. Totally unprofessional. I wish I had not given them nearly so much of my money.
The only way I could ever see using them again is if they have a plant absolutely no one else has.On May 22nd, 2014, MDepicci added the following:
This order situation gets worse and worse. Today I was sent a fedex tracking number. I clicked on it; it claims the order was delivered. All I actually received were 5 plants. There are 26 that I have NOT received.
It is now 33 days after I placed my order. I still have received no response to my initial two email enquiries. I sincerely would have liked my plants to have had this past month to grow and establish themselves. I sincerely would have liked a response to my emails. Let's hope they respond to the third email I wrote to them.On June 1st, 2014, MDepicci changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Plant Delights readily resolved the situation (with a hitch or two). Since most transactions other than this one have been positive, I am changing my rating. Company representative comment on May 23, 2014: On May 23, 2014 10:38 AM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
We want to address your concerns posted about the delay of your orders. While your first 3 orders from us were shipped without delay, we were unfortunately unable to meet our originally scheduled ship date for your most recent order. Since our new software folks seem to break something every time they try to fix something. During the busy spring season, we schedule the maximum number of plants that our two car garage shipping department can process so the perfect storm of errors created a backup that we are working diligently to correct with additional staff and man hours. I see that your emails asking for multiple changes to your orders were addressed by myself or other customer service individuals , but could not find the email you refer to regarding asking that we ship sooner after getting the delay notice nor the email you reference in your second post yesterday. I hope you can let me know to which email those were sent so that I can investigate further.
Your order this week does show delivered, but I'm afraid not all of your plants were correctly addressed since your tracking information shows only 1 box, when there should be multiple boxes for 31 plants. So I have left you a telephone message and sent an email to you directly so that we can determine which plants you have not received and get them shipped today or with your remaining order scheduled for next week.
I would like to reiterate that this is not how we normally conduct business and hope that your prior experiences are evidence that we have no interest in delaying plant orders at any time of year. I look forward to hearing from you so that we can work to resolve any and all issues.
Manger of Customer Service & Shipping
Plant Delights Nursery, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
This spring I was excited to place my 1st order with Plant Delights as they have a great selection of rare plants. Unfortunately one of the plants was damaged in transit. Three emails to customer service were all ignored. Very disappointing. I purchase a lot of plants by mail order and have never had this experience.
While I have placed small Plant Delights orders in previous years with satisfaction, 2014 has been my first year for significant purchases. Plant Delights prides itself in unique specialty plants, well researched, test-grown in their NC gardens and grown under expert care. Their catalog is a horticultural education course in itself; it can usually be found on my nightstand (or bathroom vanity).
Their prices are not for the faint of heart. These are “show-stopper” plants! By all means continue to support your local nursery/ garden center…learn and purchase locally. But when you find yourself wanting to go to the next level (which usually occurs about the same time you spend hundreds of dollars to amend your garden soil), Plant Delights will be your Mecca! That’s right, these aren’t your Home Depot caliber plants and the responsibility of the buyer is greater. Do your own research, know your zone, your sun/shade, summers/winters, your successes/failures and mindfully select.
Over a two month period, I made three purchases totaling almost $500.00. Every plant is healthy and I am very pleased; no regrets. Three plants arrived dormant (and they are normally dormant for the time of the year they were shipped) but with warmth, sunshine & time, they are awake and flourishing. It’s not time for anything to be blooming yet but growth is evidence that they are acclimating well to their new home. Plant Delights have done a great job with my new “garden amusements” thus far, now it’s my turn to foster them to my best ability.
I must confess that I do suffer from mild case of sticker shock when I see their shipping costs. But when each order has arrived, those doubts quickly disappeared. They try to anticipate any common shipping problem by impeccable packing and experienced shipping practices. Why cut corners during the final step with cheap & risky packing and shipping? Most of these plants are grown in their entirety at Plant Delights; pride and uncompromising quality is evident.
The selection of plants from PDN is fantastic. The packaging was great and the plants were all in excellent condition save for one that I may have broken when unwrapping it. I was so pleased, I immediately placed another order for plants that were unavailable at another mail order. Their prices are high in comparison to their nearest competitors but it's worth it to get a hard to find plant. I really only purchased from PDN what I couldn't find elsewhere but I'm definitely glad I did purchase from them :)
sehanley Rancho Cucamonga, CA (5 reviews) February 7, 2014
I've only placed one order with Plant Delights, and it was initially a bit rocky, but I am so immensely impressed with the quality of their plants and their customer service that I believe the positive rating is well-deserved.
For the sake of transparency, I should admit that I've never really been a fan of the infamous Plant Delights catalog covers, or their "colorful" plant descriptions (the domestic violence one springs, violently, to mind). The "helpful" instructions on how to conduct oneself as a customer are glib, condescending, and a little too pleased with themselves. The website (though recently lightly re-designed / re-formatted, making things somewhat easier to read) is a lesson in poor design and amateur coding. Photographs are mangled, poorly-lit, and laughably edited.
None of this really matters to me. They offer plants I can't get anywhere else, and their reputation for gargantuan, healthy specimens at reasonable prices makes up for any distaste I might have for some of their "hilarious" marketing "quirks."
I kept minimalist for my first order--again, a bit wary of those instructions--and limited it to three plants. My order was confirmed and processed promptly. A third e-mail confirmed shipment, with a helpful tracking number attached. The day it was set to arrive, I received on my door a form from my local ag commissioner's office: the shipment had been seized, suspected of harboring delinquent, out-of-state live pests. In addition, the package itself was rejected for delivery by the California FDA because accompanying certification stamps were illegible. It was with a touch of trepidation that I phoned Plant Delights to inform them of the problem.
To reiterate, their customer service is superb. I was immediately in touch with the manager of the customer service and shipping department. She assured me that Plant Delights acts in accordance with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture protocols concerning pests and quarantines and that orders sent to California are packaged and treated according to prevailing inter- and intra-state regulations. She followed up our phone conversation with an e-mail, restating this information with greater detail, and contacted me again when she got word from California quarantine officers concerning the insect found with my order. The insect turned out to be benign and was probably associated with one of the three species I had ordered. Plant Delights' on-site pathologist and nursery manager suggested to her that I might prefer to select an alternative to this plant, whereupon they would ship a replica of my order immediately. I did so, she overnighted me that order, and it arrived in excellent condition. In addition, and to prevent a potential problem with their printed certification stamps, a full size copy of their certification was included in a pouch glued onto the outside of the box along with my invoice.
Throughout this experience, the manager was polite, informative, and helpful. We exchanged a number of e-mails, sometimes overlapping, but she sorted out any potential confusion, and was concise and detailed throughout, quick to return e-mails. Although I missed two of her phone calls, she phoned me to expedite the second order and e-mailed again following delivery to ensure that my order was in good condition and that I was satisfied.
The plants I ordered are thriving. I wouldn't hesitate to order from Plant Delights again, catalog be damned.
Last night I received my first ever order from PDN. The only negative thing I can say about it was a nasty comment from my husband about my plant buying habits. As I pulled one plant after the other out of a box that I just knew was too big for the number of plants I ordered I just kept saying "Oh my, Oh my!" When they were unwrapped they were beyond gorgeous! They were huge!! They were green!! They were so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes!! Yes they are a bit pricey for mail order but "Oh my!!!!" A botanist friend came over and she just kept ooo'ing and aahh'ing over them. PDN you've not only earned a place in my heart you have a place in my favorites list as well. PDN, well done!
Absolutely dreadful experience. 2 out of the three plants I ordered arrived in OK but not in perfect condition. According to their most condescending return policy, these plants were not deserving of a phone call to them within the 5 day window they provide in order to complain about an order so as to be guaranteed a replacement. The plants deteriorated thereafter and are both now dead. The third plant I ordered was so small in size it was shocking. It was basically a very poorly rooted leaf growing in a loosely packed container of "soil". Although this plant is still hanging on and arrived over 2 months ago it is not even close to being even half way grown and can't possibly flower this season. The company never bothered to respond to an email I sent them expressing my dissatisfaction with the plants I ordered and with their return policy. Company representative comment on August 22, 2013: On Aug 22, 2013 12:21 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
I'm very sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience with our plants. While our guarantee policy is very limited, especially in light of larger big box companies which offer no questions asked, 1 year guarantees, you may have missed the sentence that reads "Of course, if a dormant plant fails to emerge, or if there is a problem related to a cultural factor here at the nursery, we will guarantee against such problems outside of the 5-day time frame."
I'm glad to you took the time to reach out to us by email and I must apologize that your email was not responded to. We've had a very overactive spam filter in place which has cause many delays in correspondence this season. Thankfully just this week we have a new, different spam filter in place and trust this will help resolve most of those issues. I would ask that you email me at email@example.com and I'd be happy to review the particulars of your order and check our spam folder for your original email sent. I will follow up with a D-mail as well and hope that we can make a better impression. It is certainly never our intent to ignore customer correspondence and we want you to be sucessful with your plants.
Manager of Customer Service & Shipping
Plant Delights Nursery, Inc.
I placed my first order with Plant Delights this Spring and it was a resounding success. The plants arrived in near perfect condition and very well packed. One of the two raspberry hibiscus I ordered arrived with a broken stem; I called and was assured it would throw up another within a couple of weeks. I did and both are already blooming and 4 feet tall. I was assured they probably wouldn't bloom until next year. These people are very knowledgeable and super to work with. I can't wait to order more treasures next year.
brianaucuba PEQUEA, PA (Zone 6b) (15 reviews) July 11, 2013
I can't say enough good things about Plant Delights. They always have the most unusual, quality plants. I ordered Kniphofia 'Lola' a few years ago even though I was a little skeptical about the mature size listed. I was amazed at just how large it grew. Their catalog is always a good read because of the plant material offered and Tony Avent's humor. My only problem is that my budget doesn't allow me to order all of the cool plants from Plant Delights that I want to.
Posted on May 10, 2012, updated June 14, 2013
Posted on September 7, 2006, updated May 10, 2012
i just received my plants today. i think this is my 3rd or 4th order from PDN. they are terriific. their selection is awesome, communication is first rate, they ship right on time (your choice of dates) and i love how they package with the shredded paper. i also get a kick out of the box itself. it says, "help, let us out of here". best of all, of course, are the plants themselves, big and healthy. thanks to all of you at PDN....a job well done.On April 1st, 2009, trackinsand added the following:
just received another order today (april 1, 09) and as always, they are big, fat, healthy, happy plants. always a great experience!On May 10th, 2012, trackinsand added the following:
just received an order and the entire transaction was perfection. why oh why can't other companies pack plants like PD? love that the peanuts are gone and love the paper "netting" stuff.
i shall return!On June 14th, 2013, trackinsand added the following:
received four Hedychium recently and they were huge and very well rooted. this order completes my plant purchases for the year....what? did i say that? lol
I have been ordering from Plant Delights for years and have always been extremely happy with both the quality of their plants and their customer service. I just received a shipment of 8 Colocasias and was amazed at the way they were packed: Filler of shredded newspaper, then a wrapper of tissue paper, then an outer wrap of some sort of stretchy material that was definitely high-tech. The box itself was padded with huge bubble cells, no horrid styrofoam peanuts or other messy stuff. The delicate plants--which were huge, by the way--arrived in perfect condition, without a single damaged leaf. I love this company so much that we're going to spend our anniversary visiting them and their botanic garden in July during their 'open days'...all the way from Chicago!
Bought plants several times from this company. This time I purchased several hellebores. Phenomenal plants - large and healthy - all doing well. I high;y recommend this company.
mgarr Hanover Twp., PA (Zone 6a) (1 review) May 22, 2013
Posted on May 13, 2013, updated May 22, 2013
I never thought I would be writing about the quality of the plants I received from this supplier. I ordered early on in the season and again late in the season last year. The first order arrived in great shape. The second time the order was sent most of the plants looked like their stock had been picked over and they sent me the leftovers. I had ordered Paris polyphylla and Helicodiceros muscivorus both of which were marked dormant. Also a Paeonia ostii that was just a stick with maybe two buds, they were gracious and replaced the $65.00 stick with a better specimen. The Stachys coccinea 'Hot Spot Coral' were rotted and they also sent me replacements. The Helicodiceros came up early this year. It is a very young plant but I'm old and am going no where so I can wait a few years and enjoy it developing. STILL waiting for the Paris to emerge but I have no real hope there. My friend grows Japanese wood Poppy and she still had foliage on her plants. So this year when I ordered the Glaucidium dormant and again nothing was happening as the Paris root I removed the two roots of the dormant Glaucidium to inspect them. They were rotted. The roots were black and when I broke one it was hollow inside. I sent a message to the company and they never acknowledged my Email. Each bulb was very expensive. DON"T ORDER DORMANT BULBS FROM THIS COMPANY. On May 22nd, 2013, mgarr changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
WOW! I came back from my trip to find the nicest E Mail from the company. My husband said I should have waited to complain. Anyway, it seems that the company will honor the defective roots that haven't survived. I've ordered from this company before and hears Tony Avent talk at Conferences so once again I am sorry for not having faith in the company.Company representative comment on May 20, 2013: On May 20, 2013 9:02 AM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
Thank you for sending your photographs of the Glaucidium that you received from us earlier this year. I do apologize for the delay in the reply to your email during this busy spring season. Unfortunately when plants are dormant, we do not always know which are not viable until the don't emerge here at the nursery. We have lost several of this plant in the nursery this year and as mentioned in my email reply, we will be happy to refund or issue a credit for this plant since we do not have more to send as a replacement. As for the Paris received last July, while it can skip a year of above ground growth after transplanting, I see that we had significant losses of this crop last year/this spring. While yours still has a chance of coming up after a year of rest, we feel it best to give you the benefit of a refund or credit for that as well. Please rest assured that we do guarantee that a dormant plant will emerge at the proper time and will always be happy to reship/refund/credit if dormant plants fail to break dormancy.
We thank you again for your order this spring and ask that you please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns. We're here to help!
Manager of Customer Service & Shipping
Plant Delights Nursery, Inc.
Good communication, company supplies shipping date shortly after order. Plants arrived on time and in wonderful shape. I also appreciate that Plant Delights has so many unusual plants.
FlaFlower Titusville, FL (Zone 9b) (7 reviews) May 17, 2013
Well... I ordered 3 plants that were "In stock".
Paid for them via there website and waited.
I got a package with "2" reasonably sized plants and a note that says!!!
"Sorry to report we do not have your "THIRD" plant available to ship with your order...You have a credit of $$ for future use"
So I guess I am not going to get it at all, I have to reorder again and pay another shipping fee?
I don't want a credit, I either want my plant or my $$ back.
How dare you sell me a plant you don't actually have THEN ALSO KEEP MY MONEY!!Company representative comment on May 20, 2013: On May 20, 2013 9:26 AM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
A plant can become not availabe for shipment for many different reasons such as crop loss, lack of root developement, etc. Additionally our current website is not "live" when it comes to inventory management (although our new site later this year will be!), so at the time your order was taken, we may have had only 1-3 plants left while someone was purchasing on site.
We clearly state in our catalog and on our website that if substitutes are not listed, we will post a credit to your account, unless you specify otherwise. Not knowing the details of your order, I cannot address that until getting some additional information from you. If you would prefer a refund, we will be happy to refund your credit card. If you will please call the office or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, we'd be happy to issue a refund to your credit card.
Manager of Customer Service and Shipping
Plant Delights Nursery, Inc.
hardyinokc Oklahoma City, OK (26 reviews) May 13, 2013
Posted on May 8, 2013, updated May 13, 2013
Posted on May 7, 2010, updated May 8, 2013
Posted on May 25, 2006, updated May 7, 2010
My very favorite mail order garden place. Cool plants, Good info, and great customer service!.On May 7th, 2010, hardyinokc added the following:
Received two plant orders from PDN yesterday...all six plants were well-grown, with roots extending out of the bottom of the pots. I definitely recommend PDN to everyone. On May 8th, 2013, hardyinokc changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
placed my order the beginning of February 2013...the money was charged to my account at that time...ship date set for May 6th...May 8th no notice of order shipping, so called...was informed that my order was NOT shipping this week as one of the items I ordered was no longer available...PDN ordering policy indicates that when the payment is charged that the plants are set aside at that time, so I do not understand how a plant I ordered 3 months ago & paid for 3 months ago is suddenly not available...if PDN cannot supply the plants ordered, they should not charge when the order is placed...the customer service person I spoke with was very nice & apologetic about the situation & did agree to send a different plant as replacement for one not available...also stated that the order would ship today...also bothers me that the email I received from PDN confirming my order states I would be contacted if there was going to be any delay in shipping...I was NOT contacted about this order not shipping...c'mon PDN, get your S**T together!!!On May 13th, 2013, hardyinokc changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Received my order...changing my rating from negative to neutral as the plants arrived promptly in good condition & well-packaged...will possibly change my rating to positive if PDN actually follows their own policies on my next order
My first order from this company...and it was very well done. The packing was evironmentally friendly (it is in the recycle container now). The plants (all primulas) came from the southern east coast to Alaska in fine shape. Wouldn't hesitate to order from these folks again.
Just received my first mail order package from Plant Delights. Nice plants, exactly as I expected from the online catalog, well hydrated, and carefully packed. They were shipped exactly when I requested, and PDN even e-mailed a FedEx tracking number so I could know when exactly to expect delivery. I would not hesitate to order from them again.
Love my plants. Love the service. Think the catalog is a hoot. Yes I would love to order everything. My list of wants is long.
cyrusdust Raleigh, NC (2 reviews) September 24, 2012
I just picked up my order today and the plants look fabulous! I made my order online on Sept 20th and it was ready to pick up today (Sept 24th). I really like that Plant Delights allows locals to pick up their orders even though they are a mail order company because I was able to save shipping cost. The staff that I dealt with today were all very friendly and helpful.
The following plants were nice big healthy plants: Acanthus mollis 'Tasmanian Angel' Bear's Breech, Rohdea japonica Sacred Lily, Vinca minor 'Illumination' Periwinkle and Aspidistra sichuanensis 'Ginga' Speckled Cast Iron Plant. Both of the Ophiopogon japonicus Mondo Grass cultivars 'Seoulitary Man' and 'Gyoku Ryu' were so big that I was able to divided them when I planted them! The Asarum takaoi 'Roundabout' Japanese Wild Ginger was a little small compared to the other plants, but this is a slow growing plant and it looks very healthy with lots of new shoots.
The Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' Siberian Bugloss was on backorder. I received both a call and an email with apologies from Plant Delights Nursery. The lady I talked to was very pleasant. She asked if I would rather receive a refund or wait and they could have a plant to me by Oct 17th when they were ready. I told them I would wait for the plant to be ready in a few weeks. I'll let you all know how this plant looks when it comes.
This is the second time I have bought plants from Plant Delights (the first time was last year during an open house). Both experiences have been a pleasure as the gardens are gorgeous, the plants although a little pricey (at least the ones I'm inclined to buy) are well worth the money, and they often have unusual plants that you can't find elsewhere. I will definitely be ordering again from Plant Delights Nursery!
gregr18 Bridgewater, MA (Zone 6b) (28 reviews) August 17, 2012
I finally made an order after years of looking through their catalog. Most of the plants I received were big or average-sized. A couple were smaller, but were well within my expectations for mail-order plants. I thought the prices were competitive for plants that were available from other outlets, and reasonable for plants that were only available through PDN. Packing was good, and nothing in my order was damaged even slightly. I was very pleased with the overall experience.
I ordered 5 Echinacea (cone flower) plants - all arrived in good condition, good sized pots and healthy looking tops.
mikeys_gardn Deltona, FL (Zone 9b) (3 reviews) August 4, 2012
I have ordered from here in the past and have enjoyed the plants I've received. I enjoy their catalog with great pictures and descriptions. This Spring I decided to purchase some new Hibiscus. I ordered ' Moy Grande' and 'Plum Crazy'. Both came packaged very well and were healthy when they arrived. They have since grown into full plants with beautiful blooms. I'm just amazed with the size of the blooms of 'Moy Grande' - Huge ! 'Plum Crazy' has a beautiful purple/violet/plum color bloom. Even the foliage is purplish.Very nice plants.
Although it can get a little pricey - you do get what you pay for. I would definitely order from them again .
Received my order from PDN Saturday, and WOW! the size of the hosta I received was such a pleasant surprise. It was a variety that I could not find any where else on the internet, and listed as a 24 oz. container. The container was bulging, and I could see that they had removed several leaves before shipping. The other plants I ordered were healthy and well rooted. The packaging was very eco friendly and held everything together. I have ordered from PDN for years, and the quality of this order was superb.