I'm not usually daft at ordering from mail-order garden companies online. I do it enough to have experience with what to expect, so my experience ordering with this company may simply be an isolated incident. I ordered a flower assortment for hanging baskets only to realise the (read: high) price didn't even include a basket. Just 4 flowers - annuals. OK fine, that's on me for assuming.
Only 2/4 of the flowers arrived. OK fine, they let me know on the packslip that the rest would ship when available. Communication was key! Unfortunately, the 2 that did arrive were thrown about the packaging so that the soil was everywhere but in the pots (no damage visible to the box from the outside) and the plants were small and yellowed on arrival. Those 2 flowers shrivelled and died before their partners arrived. Requested replacements, was met with no resistance whatsoever, ultimately received 4 healthy flowers - packaged beautifully this time! The difference was like night and day. Plastic around damp soil - that stayed in the pots - little bits of cardboard to keep things spaced and in place. They must have hired an engineer between my shipments. Joking and trouble aside, the flowers were given a home in a shoddy hanging basket I made myself (cringe, it's all right) and they even came back from the "dead" this year. Can't really complain about any of it in the long run.
It's hard not to say I am disappointed... I was attracted to the company website for its large selection and proximity to where I am (Westchester county in New York). In the past 18 months or so, I spent a little over $300 on their website, and have been let down by the quality a few times...
I received bare root peonies that were falling apart, dahlias that 2 out of 3 didn't come up had sick looking tubers when I got them (the website no longer carries the same dahlia so my comment didn't even show up on the website). The Echinaceas I got, while quite healthy and thriving, were way smaller than what you would get for the same price at local nursery (of course I didn't know this in early spring when I pre-ordered my plants).
Some plants are of nice quality (I enjoyed my dutchman's pipe, bergonia etc.), but I am very sad that I lost so many plants due to poor qualities... disappointed...Company representative comment on June 28, 2015: On Jun 28, 2015 12:41 PM, White Flower Farm responded with:
I am sorry to learn you have not been pleased with the overall quality of the plants purchased over the course of the last 18 months. All of our plant material is guaranteed for your full satisfaction. In addition, our perennial plant material is guaranteed for one year from the time it was received. Please contact the Customer Service Department regarding compensation:
Posted on May 29, 2015, updated May 29, 2015
Spent hundreds of dollars with this company over a few months\' time, and was repeatedly disappointed. Their ordering system is a mess, and while customer service is pleasant, they are not very competent. The plants often arrived with stems cut off by cardboard inserts, dry roots snapping off in their paper(!) packaging, and the ones that did arrive somewhat alive either didn\'t thrive or were the wrong plant.
For example, I ordered tree form wisteria. For $238, I was expecting two trees. What I got were one (sort of) living and one dead vine. Because I used a gift card for a portion of this order, I was given \"merchandise credit\" for $100. When I attempted to place an order for $98, they charged my card $45. The only reason I was willing to place another order for overpriced, crappy plants was because of that credit. Requests that this credit be honored were ignored.
I posted honest reviews of the items I ordered on their website which have all mysteriously disappeared. So I made a post on Reddit to warn other gardeners away from this company, and was directed here to write this review.
STAY AWAY from White Flower Farms. On May 29th, 2015, NCgardener42 added the following:
Edit to add: Another "mystery" I have experienced with this company relates to the other negative review that has been recently posted here. When you try to cancel an order that has been sitting at "Processing" for a while, it seems to magically make its way out the door that day. I had to refuse delivery of some potatoes, tomatoes and peppers that I had asked to be cancelled & refunded after this happened on two separate occasions. Company representative comment on May 29, 2015: On May 29, 2015 8:38 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
We are sorry to hear of your disappointment with our plants. We guarantee your complete satisfaction and will gladly send you replacements or credit your purchase amount.
A third party software handles the reviews to our products and those posts can take up to 2 weeks to be visible on our Website. If it has been over 2 weeks and the review still hasn't posted, please contact me so I can look into it. We value all positive and negative posts regarding our products.
If we did not resolve your situation to your satisfaction, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to assist you. I sincerely apologize for the condition of the plants upon arrival.
Customer Service Manger
Posted on May 14, 2015, updated May 14, 2015
I am very, very disappointed in White Flower Farm. I ordered oak leaf hydrangeas in mid April for shipment in early May. When I hadn\'t received them (and the order was still in \"processing\" status) on May 7, I called their customer service group. After getting a run-around from the regular representative, I spoke to a manager. She said that they were very backed up because of Mother\'s Day, but she assured me that my order would go out on Monday, May11. She agreed to send it express and then gave me \"her word\" that she would take care of it and I would receive the plants no later than Wednesday, May 13. By Thursday, the 14th, the plants *STILL* had not shipped. I called and canceled my order. Fortunately, I was able to find the variety I needed at my local garden center.
I will never order from White Flower Farm again. I suggest that if you don\'t want this kind of aggravation and run-around, you stay well away from this firm. On May 14th, 2015, barbarasa added the following:
After I posted this review, I got the following email from Cathy Hughes at White Flower Farm:
I am contacting you today regarding the negative review posted to The Garden Watchdog earlier today. Let me begin by saying I apologize order 04198892 was not shipped at the time promised and I am sorry for the inconvenience this caused.
I was the supervisor that spoke to you on 5/7/15, as the manager of the department was out of the office at the time of the call. I neglected to make certain the ‘Snow Queen’ hydrangea was available to ship before promising it could be and I regret this error.
Would you consider accepting a gift certificate in the amount of $50.00 as compensation for the error? Please advise at your earliest convenience.
I replied with the following email:
Dear Ms. Hughes,
Thank you very much for your offer of a $50 gift certificate. However, I will not take you up on it. My comments about your company are not based on money – they are based on the kind of customer service which I received.
I find it very interesting that you promptly replied to a negative review, while you never bothered to follow up on whether or not the plants, which you had promised would be sent on Monday, in fact were. And, even though, when we spoke on the 7th, I asked you whether the plants were actually available, you never looked to see if the plants were in stock! You were obviously more interested in getting an unhappy customer off of the phone than in really trying to solve the issue. I think that this is an excellent example of why I will never do business again with White Flower Farm and why I will continue to recommend to others that they not buy from your company.
Obviously, White Flower Farm thought that I would revise my comments in exchange for a $50 gift certificate. I will not. Company representative comment on May 14, 2015: On May 14, 2015 3:20 PM, White Flower Farm responded with:
I am sorry to learn your request for delivery could not be honored and apologize for the inconvenience this caused. I will be contacting you directly via email regarding this concern.
Customer Service Supervisor CHughes@whiteflowerfarm.com
Ordered a clematis and a Miss Molly butterfly bush. Was very pleased with both plants. Miss Molly was larger and more robust than I had expected. Would recommend.Company representative comment on May 19, 2015: On May 19, 2015 10:46 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. Feel free to post a review with pictures on our website (www.whiteflowerfarm.com) of the clematis and or Miss Molly butterfly bush. We look forward to serving you again!
Thanks for contacting us. An operator will be with you shortly …
(Val) Hello, my name is Val. How may I help you?
(Paul) I’ve got some questions about your terrariums.
(Paul)Well Val. You seem pretty confident. Let’s see if you can give me some accurate answers to my questions. Last year I bought a “Stained Glass” terrarium. This year I want a “Victorian Conservatory.” How do I avoid any overlap in the plants they contain?
(Val) I’m not sure I understand your question…do you mean how do you space them accordingly so that the plants don’t end up on top of each other?
(Paul) Nooooooooooooooo. What I meant was if terrarium #1 contains an African Kaboodle plant, how can I avoid the plant present in terrarium #2?
(Val) Well, the kits are set up as collections. So in terms of switching plants out for different ones, I’m afraid we can’t do that.
(Val) In the Victorian Conservatory, there is Ruby Red Club Moss, Button Fern, Peacock Moss, Pin Cushion Spikemoss and a Bird’s Nest Fern.
(Paul) O.K. Could you list the plants present in the “Stained Glass” kit and the ones present in the “Victorian Conservatory” kit? This would help get started in choosing which kit I want.
(Val) Absolutely. Listed above your last text is the Victorian Conservatory, let me get the elements for the Stained Glass. Just one moment please.
(Paul) I await your answer.
(Val) In the Stained Glass, there is: Pin Cushion Spike moss (Selaginella kraussiana “Brownii’) Pin Cushion Spike moss (Selaginella kraussiana ‘Aurea’) London Pride, Button Fern, Tricolor Fern and Ruby Red Club Moss.
(Paul) It would be great if you could show me color photos of each of the plants you have listed. If you can do so I will be your friend forever (well for at least twenty minutes.)
(Val) I will try to find some for you. Can I try to attach them in an email to you?
(Paul) That would be great! Thanks for your efforts on my behalf.
(Val) Not a problem. Could you please provide me with your email address?
(Val) Okay. Give me just a few and I will send the email over.
(Paul) That would be a great help.
(Val) Not a problem at all. I am happy to help.
(Paul) I’m standing by.
(Val) Paul, I have just sent the email over.
(Paul) O.K. I need a few minutes to find it.
(Paul) Got it! If it was within my power to grant you a holiday bonus I would do so but for now a hardy slap on the back for a job well done will have to do.
(Val) Why thank you! If it’s not too much to ask, in place of a bonus perhaps you could give up a nice review on Dave’s Garden?
(Paul) Dave’s Garden? Who? What? Where?
(Val) It’s a website, where customers post review about every single nursery out there.
(Val) Called Dave’s Garden Watchdog
(Paul) Well, how about that! I’ll get on it right away OR as soon as I get the wording to my liking OR as soon as I prioritize it. But I will get it done. You guys certainly deserve it. Especially you Val.
(Val) Paul, thank you so much. I will tell my manager, and she will be happy to hear this as well as see the review. Thank you so much again.
(Paul) Well you not only talked the talk but you really did walk the walk. Over and out.
(Val) Take care Paul!
The operator has ended the chat. Thanks for contacting us.
As a result of this chat I DID buy the Victorian Conservatory terrarium. Paul Tobin Floral Park, NY
joevai1 Montrose, CO (4 reviews) November 26, 2014
Posted on November 18, 2014, updated November 26, 2014
I\'m not happy to be writing this review because I\'ve dealt with this company for many years. Their prices are high but everything I have received from them has been stellar quality and perfectly packaged for shipping. However, I feel I should give a warning about ordering their amaryllis bulbs. I received the rest of my bulb orders in a timely fashion but no amaryllis. Each order showed they would be shipped \"separately\". I placed this order in September so I would have the bulbs in plenty of time to flower out for Christmas. Since it is after the middle of November I called for a status of my order and was told the bulbs were just now beginning to be shipped and that somewhere in \"the book\" (I assume the catalog) it states that they won\'t be in bloom for Christmas. I still haven\'t been able to find that caveat anywhere. My order was checked and the bulbs shipped yesterday - still not enough time for a Christmas bloom. When I stated that I should have bought the bulbs locally I was told they are much smaller which, of course, I know and that\'s why I was willing to pay a premium price for these bulbs. I\'m just very unhappy that I didn\'t know about the shipping date in advance. As a parting sentiment, the rep noticed that I live in Colorado where it\'s been very cold and said she hoped they didn\'t freeze. When I questioned her she said that they ship UPS and sometimes the plants sit in the truck for a long time and that White Flower Farms had no control over that. That made me feel warm and fuzzy about my order. Not only are they later than expected but they may be frozen mush when I get them. There are many other reputable companies out there to order from. Guess in the future, I\'ll be ordering from them.On November 26th, 2014, joevai1 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I have happily changed my rating from negative to positive. A rep from the company contacted me and assured me this was a one-time incident. She then immediately took care of my problem to my sincere satisfaction. I'm pleased to be able to say I'll be buying from them again. It's said that you really only know a company by how they treat you when things go wrong. I couldn't have asked for a better response. In addition, the rep has also contacted their publication department to make sure that in the future customers are aware of the bloom time for the amaryllis. As a footnote, the bulbs finally arrived and they were not frozen!Company representative comment on November 18, 2014: On Nov 18, 2014 3:24 PM, White Flower Farm responded with:
I am sorry to hear about your disappointment with our amaryllis bulbs. I apologize that you were not aware when you placed your order that our Dutch and cybister amaryllis do not ship until mid November and take 8-10 weeks to bloom. Dutch and cybister amaryllis need a cold treatment and therefore ship later than our South African amaryllis (which ship in mid October). We ship all our products UPS or US Priority Mail and we carefully watch the weather to prevent any freezing or cold damage. In addition, we guarantee our products 100%.
We value you as a customer & I would be happy to compensate you for your dissatisfaction. I am unable to locate your order with the information provided above, so please contact me at your earliest convenience at at email@example.com.
Customer Service Manager
preashannah nj United States (1 review) November 21, 2014
I am AMAZED at the customer service of this company.
I has no idea about their guarantee when I bought my plants and when they arrived I was not satisfied so I called them up and within seconds they had refunded my full order and said I could keep the plants.
NO HASSEL, NO PROBLEMS, NO COMPLAINING!
I will definitely order again!
nitzi1944 Kings Park, NY (Zone 7a) (9 reviews) November 15, 2014
Posted on October 8, 2014, updated November 15, 2014
Posted on October 7, 2014, updated October 8, 2014
I had a gift cert. I ordered some Carnegie hyacinths and specifically told the phone person I wanted them delivered the VERY END of Oct. This is b/c I am having knee surgery the beginning of next week. Guess what? They just arrived and it will be 75 degrees today. Too warm to plant bulbs. I am going to refrigerate them. The shipping charges are TWICE the price of any other reliable catalog bulb seller like Brent and Becky or Colorblends.WFF is VERY overpriced and if it weren\\\'t for the gift cert., I wouldn\\\'t have ordered. MY first experience with WFF. I don\\\'t think I\\\'ll order again.On October 8th, 2014, nitzi1944 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I am impressed by the offer of WFF to refund shipping charges on my original and also to resend the bulbs at the end of the month when I will be home from the rehab facility after knee surgery. Gives me hope that companies want to keep a customer. I am taking advantage of this offer b/c I don\'t know if the refrigerated bulbs will survive. I am changing my rating to positive b/c of this offer. Thank you WFF!On November 15th, 2014, nitzi1944 added the following:
I received the replacement Carnegie hyacinths. Thank you for your kind consideration and offer. I got someone to plant them for me and look forward to Spring. WFF came through for me. Company representative comment on October 7, 2014: On Oct 7, 2014 10:53 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
I am sorry to hear that we shipped your order earlier than you requested. Please contact us at 800-411-6159 or firstname.lastname@example.org so we can refund your shipping and handling charge and or replace the order to ship at the very end of October as you requested. If you wish to store them in your refrigerator, please make sure the temperature does not go below 40 degrees. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. We look forward to correcting this error for you.
Customer Service Manager
Jadwin59 Rochester, NY (Zone 6a) (7 reviews) September 29, 2014
I ordered 7 "blue billow" gallon-sized lacecap hydrangeas in early September and received the order about two weeks later. The plants were carefully packed, in excellent condition with minimum breakage and sizeable, moist rootballs. They have thrived since being planted in a prepared bed.
WFF is not cheap, but it's a good source for a cultivar that I couldn't find locally at this time of year, and the plants appear to be very high quality.Company representative comment on September 29, 2014: On Sep 29, 2014 11:57 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Thank you for your positive feedback. Feel free to take pictures of your Blue Billow next spring when they are in bloom & post them with a review on our website at http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com. We appreciate your business.
I realize people have varying experiences with ANY retailer these days so I don't mean to refute the negative comments. I can only say that I have always rec'd excellent plants that have thrived beautifully in my NYC garden. Recently, one of my new three digitalis plants did not thrive well. I called for advice and the White Flower Rep immediately offered to replace all three of them, no charge, because they are sent in sets of three. I thought this was quite generous.Company representative comment on September 29, 2014: On Sep 29, 2014 12:27 PM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Thank you for the positive feedback. We hope the replacement digitalis are thriving well!
In the last 3 months, I needed to identify 2 plants. I emailed White Flower Farm with each picture and I received the identifications immediately. The emails were courteous and precise. I live in CT and have dealt with them in the past and have always received excellent service. Company representative comment on August 20, 2014: On Aug 20, 2014 7:50 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Thank you so much for the positive feedback. We were very happy to help you identify the plants. Please contact us anytime in the future. Happy Gardening!
Customer Service Manager
I ordered two Sweet Fragrance roses (my absolute favorite rose) earlier this year. When I did not receive any shipping notification, I contacted White Flower Farm and was told the shipment would be late due to the "the plant not quite ready to come out of the greenhouse." Then several weeks later I'm notified that due to customer demand and lack of product, they are shipping me a different rose. I immediately e-mailed back to two different e-mail addresses that I did not want a substitute rose. They needed to hold my order or refund my money. Within minutes I received a shipment notification . . . Basically too late. Neither of my e-mails were ever answered. I have no idea what roses I received. They were both labeled "Kiss Me" but one rose is coral and one is cotton candy pink. I will never order from White Flower Farm again!! Company representative comment on July 8, 2014: On Jul 8, 2014 8:39 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
While White Flower Farm does reserve the right to substitute with another plant of similar attributes, we always honor a refund if the customer is not pleased with said replacement, even if the plant has been received. Please contact me directly at the following email address regarding this concern: CHughes@whiteflowerfarm.com
Customer Service Supervisor
robeezee3 Englishtown, NJ (17 reviews) June 5, 2014
Posted on May 27, 2014, updated June 5, 2014
Posted on May 26, 2003, updated May 27, 2014
Ordered Phlox Davidii from them. Tiny plants arrived and failed to survive. Obtained much larger, healthier specimens from a local garden center. When I phoned customer service to inform them of my disappointment, and request a refund, I got an argument. Amos Pettingill, where are you when we need you?
Have had better experience with daff and lilly bulbs, but I still prefer ordering them from Brent & Becky's since WFF has become such a Goliath of a company.On May 27th, 2014, robeezee3 added the following:
I ordered some lily bulbs this spring (2014). When they didn't arrive as instructed (ASAP, since these bulbs should be planted in cool weather), I emailed them to ask when they were planning on shipping them. No reply.
I then phoned them and a representative indicated that the shipment was delayed due to the unusually cold weather on the east coast. I reminder her that orders containing only bulbs should not be held up, waiting for warmer weather, but she seemed more like a recording than a person.
When the bulbs arrived, they were in various states of hydration. In the case of one type of bulb, which is not supposed to be allowed to EVER dry out, the two bulbs that were shipped were bone dry. Other bulbs were shipped in a reasonably moist medium of shredded newspaper.
I will avoid White Flower Farms in the future - they have obviously become a victim of their own success and are no longer competent plantsmen.On June 5th, 2014, robeezee3 added the following:
Does WFF's comment (the same one over and over again in response to negative reviews) sound as lame to you as it does to me?
While I appreciate the offer of credit for the materials that did not work out, any gardener will tell you that once the season for a planting a particular thing passes, all of the credit in the world does not compensate for the negative experience. Care taken at WFF would be more appropriate than a Customer Service Manager that is seemingly unable to keep up with the complaints that originate from an operation that has poor quality control.
BobCompany representative comment on June 6, 2014: On May 28, 2014 12:23 PM, White Flower Farm responded with:
I am sorry to learn you were not pleased with the delivery time of your shipment or the quality of the bulbs received. We guarantee all of our products for your complete satisfaction. Please contact Customer Service regarding compensation: email@example.com
Customer Service Supervisor
On Jun 6, 2014 10:11 AM, White Flower Farm added:
I appreciate your constructive criticism about or products and service. At the time of your original complaint, you should have been offered replacements for the lily bulbs and phlox to be shipped immediately. If the products were not available or it was too late for you to plant, we should have offered you a refund in addition to our apologies. A customer should never get an argument, the customer is always right. We do our best to offer a solution that leaves a positive experience for our customers. Reading your feedback, I see that was not the case for your situation. I would like to opportunity to speak with the Customer Service Representative and use this negative experience as training. However, I am unable to locate your order history with the information provided on Dave's Garden.
I would be happy to send you lily bulbs and phlox this fall for planting - for your enjoyment next Spring. Please let me know if this would be a reasonable compensation in addition to whatever else may staff may have offered you. Please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions or concerns. If you wouldn't mind, please forward me your name and address or order number so that I can address the training needs to the staff you spoke with.
Posted on August 22, 2010, updated May 22, 2014
Last winter I ordered one fringe tree, and two astilboides. The items arrived this Spring, were planted and while the fringe tree is doing well, the astilboides have failed to do anything. After about 4 weeks of waiting, I contacted the company, was told they take a while to break dormancy and I should give them more time. I waited another month, contacted the company again, and this time they replaced the two corms. I planted one of the replacements in a location near the first two, and the other in a completely new location. NOTHING from ANY of them! It's the end of summer and I've seen nothing! This is very disappointing. I have not contacted the company again, it seems pointless. If these are difficult plants to grow it should be stated in their discription. I have been gardening nearly 20 years, so I like to think I know what I'm doing. These were expensive plants.On May 22nd, 2014, stanlesmith changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I never did see anything of the astilboides, never heard anything back from the company either. This year I forgot I had orderd the Astilboides so I ordered another. It looks okay, but I will wait and see. I also ordered a Kalmia Mountain laurel. The plant looked fine, but when I took it out of the pot it was horribly rootbound! I had to soak it for 45 minutes before I could even begin to scratch up the sides and loosen the roots. I don't hold out much hope for the plant. On top of that, it was a week from the "shipped" e-mail to when the package arrived at my home. A week bouncing around in a box and not getting watered. WFF USED to be quality company, I don't know what happened but from now on I'm recycling their catalog without even looking at it.Company representative comment on May 24, 2014: On May 24, 2014 9:28 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
I am sorry to learn the you were not pleased with the overall condition of the Kalmia. All of our perennial plant material is guaranteed for one year from the time of arrival.
If the plant fails to grow properly, please contact Customer Service: email@example.com
This guarantee also applies to the Astilboides. If you contacted us via email regarding this plant I apologize you did not receive a response. We have been having on-going issues with our email server that we are trying to resolve.
Sincerely, Cathy Hughes, Customer Service Supervisor
Read all the reviews and decided to order anyway.. I usually buy locally but this time I tried mail order. I usually don't leave feedback but wanted to give this company a high five!
I ordered tomatoes and vegetable plants from White Flower and was impressed at the quality. I had a question about planting and called the customer service department which was able to answer all my questions quickly. Very polite & great quality. More expensive then I'd prefer but I will happily pay more for great service & product. Company representative comment on May 22, 2014: On May 22, 2014 12:04 PM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. Feel free to take pictures of your tomatoes & vegetables at harvest time & post them with a review on our website at http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com. We appreciate your business.
Should have listened to other reviewers, lesson learned! Dealing with White Flower Farm has been a nightmare from beginning to end. My order was "in process" for much longer than I thought it should have been, my three e-mails and two phone calls were never responded to (its been 22 days!), and when my order did arrive three of the plants look like they won't make it.
I'd try to take advantage of White Flower Farms much touted (by them) guarantee, but how if they can't be reached by phone or e-mail? Smoke signals, certified mail, should I just drive my crappy plants up to Connecticut? What a joke.Company representative comment on May 22, 2014: On May 22, 2014 10:51 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
I'm sincerely sorry for the lack in response. Our business hours are Monday - Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 12-5pm. We did have some email complications and not all of our emails connected to our CS department. We can certainly replace the 3 plants that arrived in poor condition.
You can reach me directly at 860-496-9624, extension 6506 or call our 800-411-6159 CS line. I look forward to hearing from you so I can resolve this matter to your satisfaction.
I place an order with White Flower Farm on 5/9/2014. It was for the Dawn to Dusk Collection. When it arrived, I immediately noticed that I was sent the wrong rose. I called Customer Service and spoke with Carol Ann. She was apologetic about the wrong product. She informed me that I should have been called by Shipping and told that they did not have this particular rose in stock. She went out of her way to track down an acceptable substitute for me. Carol Ann shows exceptional customer service .Company representative comment on May 21, 2014: On May 21, 2014 9:54 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Thank you for your positive feedback. I will share this kind post with Carol Ann.
From looking at their web pages, one would assume that customer service is a priority. Apparently that is not the case, at least not with respect to their online ordering and communication. I placed an order for items scheduled to arrive for my zone. I've sent three email messages inquiring about the status of my order and when I might expect it to ship. I've received no response from this business...not even an automated message indicating my message had been received.The online chat function? It sends you right to email. So here's my issue, yes I could call them but if I wanted to interact with someone on the phone, I would have placed my order that way in the first place. Being mindful that there are/could be a handful of reasons why a person would not call (schedule, hearing impairment, ease of shopping, etc). If a business is going to offer online shopping, they need to provide the additional follow up support if in fact they truly value customer service. So my advice, order elsewhere if you are online shopper. Communication is nonexistent , anything but good customer service.Company representative comment on May 7, 2014: On May 7, 2014 3:36 PM, White Flower Farm responded with:
I am sorry to learn you have not received a response to the emails you have sent. We work diligently to respond to customer emails in a timely fashion and customers can respond to the following email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
On line chat is generally staffed during regular business hours as staffing allows. If there is not a company representative available to facilitate live chat, then customers are directed to leave an email regarding their questions and or concerns.
Please contact me directly with your order number and I will be happy to forward you information regarding the status of your order.
This is the second time I have ordered from White Flower Farm. Both times my order was received in great condition. I was leery of ordering potted plants to be shipped, but they did an outstanding job. The plants arrived in perfect condition. I gave them a little water and they perked right up. I highly recommend this company.
ScienceChick The Colony, TX (Zone 8a) (2 reviews) March 14, 2014
Ordered amaryllis bulbs - both potted and unpotted - for Christmas. They arrived on the third day of a five day ice storm (unusual for Texas). Sadly, they must have been frozen or nearly frozen at some point because all the bulbs rotted.
I called WFF (note - called, not emailed) and, although it really wasn't their fault that the bulbs froze, they replaced them. The customer service rep was very nice and very helpful. They were out of the varieties I had originally ordered but the rep took the time to find others that were close.
It did take a bit for the replacements to arrive due to bad weather in New England. The bulbs are HUGe and healthy. All are growing well and have multiple buds.
It's really nice to do business with a company that does what it says it will. When they say 100% guaranteed they mean it.
caltgarden Burlingame, CA (1 review) February 17, 2014
I sent a message (with a picture) 2 weeks ago about Order#03966072. I ordered 3 amaryllis tres chic bulbs - I bloomed, 1 had 1 bud and grew to 5" tall, 1 never sprouted. All 3 were in the same white bowl.
I got no response from customer service, guess the guarantee applies selectively?Company representative comment on February 20, 2014: On Feb 20, 2014 11:34 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
I apologize that you did not receive a response to your email. I have checked your order history and it appears we didn't receive your original email. I do show that a customer service representative corresponded with you on Monday 2//17/14 and refunded your order in full as we do not have Tres Chic bulbs to replace. Generally, the only condition that prevents amaryllis from forcing successfully, is cold damage during transit. Our guarantee applies to all of our products. Please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions or concerns.
I'm very disappointed with my experience ordering from White Flower Farm online. I ordered two items: one pot with bulbs and a houseplant. I received the pot with the bulbs, but I still haven't received the houseplant.
At every step, their customer service was poor. When I placed the order, I specifically requested in the comments section: "If you don't ship the plants right away, please let me know when you will ship them. Thank you." White Flower Farm's staff ignored that request and did not get back to me and tell me that they wouldn't be sending all of the items right away.
Next, I emailed their customer service to ask when the items would ship. I received a reply only six days later. The reply said that the plant I ordered would ship the next day and arrive a day after that, but according to the USPS tracking information my order still hasn't shipped yet.
I'm going away for the holidays (that's why I asked, twice, when the plants would arrive), so if the plants get here while I'm away, they won't survive.
I don't mind paying extra for good plants and service, but given how poor their customer service is, I won't be ordering from here again.Company representative comment on December 23, 2013: On Dec 23, 2013 8:41 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
I am sorry to hear about your disappointing experience with White Flower Farm. All of our shipping of tender plants is weather permitting as stated throughout our catalog & website. I am sorry this was not communicated to you when you placed your web order. During the past couple weeks weather here in New England has not permitted us to ship tender plants because they would arrive frozen. Should the plants arrive while you are away, you will be fully compensated with a replacement plant or a full refund.
We have upgraded our customer communication technology and unfortunately during the process emails were affected. There is a significant delay in us receiving emails from customers and therefore a delay in us responding to customers. It is currently being addressed and rectified.
Please feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com or 860-496-9624, extension 6506. Once again, I apologize for your poor experience with us.
Customer Service Manager
Barbstree El Cerrito, CA (1 review) December 17, 2013
I bought the tabletop tree Nutcracker Whimsy. It cost $89 plus $28 shipping from Connecticut.(way overpriced).
When it arrived, it was dry, misshapen (apparently pruned to be flat on two sides), and the decorations consisted of a long red paper tie, a wire with some gold stars attached, a few red balls and some small figures of nutcrackers (the best part).
I was so disappointed, it looked nothing like the picture in the catalogue and i was unable to make it look much better.
When I tried to complain, I was put on hold for 10 minutes twice (I timed it) without anyone picking up. I have always held WFF in high regard and so this treatment was a shock.Company representative comment on December 17, 2013: On Dec 17, 2013 12:09 PM, White Flower Farm responded with:
We are very sorry to hear you received a tree that is not up to our standards. The misshaped tree should not have passed our quality control check points. I have put a tree aside to ship to you as a replacement free of charge with expedited shipping. However, I need your information to mail it to you. Please contact me directly at 860-496-9624, extension 6506 at your earliest convenience.
I am sorry that you were put on hold for 10 minutes, that is not our standard practice, I completely understand your frustration.
Once again, please contact me directly at your earliest convenience so I can amend this situation for you.
Customer Service Manager
I'm surprised at the negative reviews here....I've ordered from them multiple times in the past few weeks, and each item has shipped out in a timely fashion...the Globemaster Allium bulbs I ordered from them were really big and healthy looking; same for the Hydrangea Color Fantasy plants I ordered from them...nice size, very healthy looking...and same for the Grape Hyacinth bulbs I ordered from them---very healthy too....YES, this company is a little pricey, but everything I ordered was shipped fairly fast and looked quite healthy...I give them a thumb's up....Company representative comment on December 17, 2013: On Dec 17, 2013 12:12 PM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Thank you for your kind words! We pride ourselves in shipping top quality, hardy and healthy plants to our customers.
With as many negative ratings as this company has received, I wish I had made the decision to purchase from a more reputable nursery. I purchased three Phlox Paniculata 'David', and what I received was laughable. For the size and development of these plants, they were very overpriced. All three were undersized, contained in dried-out soil, and quite poorly packed. One was acceptable, one raggedy and struggling to survive, and the third was separated from its roots, dead as could be. The dead plant appeared to have become dislodged from the soil and pot during shipping. I have placed orders in the past from White Flower Farm, although it had been several years between those orders and this recent one. I had never been very impressed with the quality of what I received, but this, by far was my worst experience with White Flower Farm. I had always found their prices to be far above what one would expect for the size and quality of the plants. Never again will I place another order with this sub-standard nursery.
BrisbaneAnne Brisbane, CA (Zone 10b) (28 reviews) July 17, 2013
I was a little anxious when I placed my order with them because of the mixed reviews. However, my own experience turned out to be positive. They arrived very nicely packed. One variety I can only find on their website arrived very stressed and eventually died. I contacted them about it, and they replaced them very promptly. Unfortunately the replacement also came in looking bad. They again promptly refunded my money. I am in CA, having plants shipped all the way from CT can be tricky. I appreciate their customer service. I will try them again, probably during early Spring.
recently ordered two bareroot roses and 3 malva plants. the roses were HUGE. beautiful roots and canes with new growth all over them. the malva were small, but looked healthy in their little pots. i'm very happy with these plants. this isn't the first time i've ordered from them and i've never had a problem or had to ask for a replacement or refund. great selection within plant types. i hope WFF keeps up the good work and doesn't deteriorate like some other mail order nurseries have.
Whiteflower Farm claims to be selling Dona tomato plants.
Though mentioning that Dona hybrid was "bred to please the
fastidious customers in small French markets" (how truly
bucolic!) they do not indicate anywhere that their product is
the genuine Dona F1 hybrid. They even include two "customer"
reviews from people who extol the virtues of Dona F1, neither
of whom indicates having bought their tomatoes from WFF.
They also have failed, after several days, to answer an
email to their customer service querying the nature of
what they have. To me it seems obvious if they have
genuine Dona F1 from a legitimate French source for
seed, that they would be proud to say so. After all, who
would doubt that White Flower Farm has the capacity to
obtain genuine seed in quantity and sell real F1 plants
when others probably wouldn't.
I'm not saying that I have seen White Flower Farm
misrepresent any of their plants but in the situation where
so many are selling fake OP Dona seeds and plants and
considering the cachet of their company, it just seems to
me that they would wish to distinguish themselves by
both having the genuine Dona F1 and by saying so. That
they don't do so leads me to, "um", question what they are
I have classed this comment in the "Neutral" category
because the nature of what they are selling is unclear.
I would very much like to see a representative of their
company stipulate that what they have is genuine Dona F1
(a registered and protected variety in the E.U). Should
they be able to do that, the category of my comment
would be "Positive" and I would be unhesitating in
recommending their product. Company representative comment on February 25, 2013: On Feb 22, 2013 10:31 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
We apologize for the delay in responding to your posting and your email regarding the 'Dona' tomato. We have forwarded your comments to our Marketing Department and are waiting for their response.
White Flower Farm Customer Service
On Feb 25, 2013 2:24 PM, White Flower Farm added:
We have heard back from our Marketing Department and our current supplier of the 'Dona' tomato is supplying us with the open-pollinated seed, so it is not the true F1 hybrid.
We thank you for bringing this to our attention and our web copy will be adjusted accordingly.We will continue in our on-going efforts to search for a supplier of the true F1 hybrid seed.
White Flower Farm Customer Service
My niece ordered a lavender plant to be sent to me as a gift. When it arrived, the box was damaged, the pot inside was broken into several pieces and the plant damaged. The apartment office it was delivered to took a photo of it which I sent to the company along with an email. I received a terse reply saying a replacement would be sent. It has been a week and I haven't heard anything. I will wait a little longer and then call them and ask them to refund my niece's money.Company representative comment on October 30, 2012: On Oct 30, 2012 10:18 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
We are very sorry to hear your original gift arrived damaged and of your disappointment. Upon checking your order, the replacement gift plant shipped on 10/24/12, the day after you reported the problem. I tracked the UPS package, and according to their website it is scheduled to be delivered by the end of today. Below you can see the actual UPS tracking number & delivery information.
Track #: 1Z0345330378738538
Scheduled Delivery Updated To:
Tuesday, 10/30/2012, By End of Day
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.
I bought 50 bulb cages and then another $450 worth of plants and bulbs. Everything was expensive but top notch. The plants arrived in amazing shape--hard to believe they were shipped. I wish the price was lower but the quality it truly amazing.Company representative comment on October 30, 2012: On Oct 30, 2012 10:28 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
We are very happy to hear how pleased you were with the quality of bulbs & the bulb cages. A protracted discussion with our partners at UPS has resulted in meaningful discounts in the cost of our shipping service, bringing down the delivered price of every item in our Holiday catalog.
Thank you for sharing your positive experience. We look forward to serving you in the future!
Today I received the first order I placed with this company. I ordered a Philadelphus Snow White Sensation and could not be more pleased. Through the years I ordered many plants from many different companies and have never seen a more carefully packaged plant. The shipping and handling charge is a bit more expensive than some other companies, but I rather pay more and receive an excellent plant. Not a twig was broken. I will definitely order more from White Flower Farm. Company representative comment on October 30, 2012: On Oct 30, 2012 10:29 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Thank you for sharing your positive experience. A protracted discussion with our partners at UPS has resulted in meaningful discounts in the cost of our shipping service, bringing down the delivered price of every item in our Holiday catalog.
We look forward to serving you in the future!
BlueJaguar Fall City, WA (1 review) September 6, 2012
We are very disappointed with our order and service from WFF. We received a gift certificate, and this was our first order. We ordered the 'casa blanca' lilies and the 'border of red' daylily mix (and a few other plants). When we received the bulbs, we dug a new bed and planted all of them along our walkway. When the flowers started opening, there were no casa blanca lilies at all. We had some solid orange and some combination orange and white lilies. The red daylilies appear to be okay.
I submitted a comment to WFF using the link they provide on their website. I explained was disappointed because we did not receive what we ordered. I attached pictures of the blooming flowers showing they were not casa blanca lilies. I also provided my name and customer ID.
It has been well over a month and we still have not received a response from the company. I am disappointed that I did not receive what I ordered and that they did not follow-up on my customer comment submitted through their own website.Company representative comment on September 7, 2012: On Sep 7, 2012 10:44 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
We are sorry to learn you were not shipped the correct variety of lilies. We have reviewed the history of our customer service emails and power reviews received over the last two months and have not found a record of an email concerning this issue. As we very much wish to rectify this situation, please contact us at your earliest convenience at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-503-9624. The Call Center is staffed Monday-Saturday, 9:00-5:00 EST.
White Flower Farm
I ordered bulbs on July 1 and within a day I received email the bulbs were being mailed. I inadvertently ordered spring bulbs. After 4 emails and one conversation I was told that I could plant bulbs now, in the spring or in the fall. I repeatedly was told that I had ordered the bulbs and no, no one realized that it was an error. I am returning the bulbs and cancelling my fall order. Wff rep could care less about my business.
Carol fizerCompany representative comment on July 9, 2012: On Jul 9, 2012 9:08 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Dear Ms. Fizer,
We apologize for the confusion. I looked up your order and the Strawberries & Cream Lily Mix is available for spring & fall shipment. If you would like to have them shipped in the fall, we can certainly do that for you. You can contact us at 800-411-6159 or email@example.com
I'm a new gardener, and this was my first purchase from White Flower Farm. It will also be my last. I bought four plants in "3-inch pots"--one of them a very showy Eryngium planum Jade Frost. They arrived, on a day when the temperature here was 102, in a plain UPS box (no notations of "live plants" or anything on the box) in terrible condition. The Jade Frost had three dead leaves on it (the soil was completely dry and hard) and the plant itself was one inch high, with two tiny leaves on it. The other plants all had long, tangled roots extending out of the bottoms of the pots--roots that will have to be cut, causing stress to the plant. Those plants are about two inches high. There is not a flower or flower bud to be seen on any of the plants.
For this, I paid $83.
My understanding is that plant pots are measured across the top--as the diameter. These pots were NOT 3-inch pots.
I thought I'd be buying something special, based on the company's reputation. The joke, sadly, is on me. What I bought was something that my local nurseries would never think of selling. Company representative comment on June 29, 2012: On Jun 29, 2012 9:26 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Dear Gardening Friend,
We are sorry to hear about your experience. The plants are guaranteed to arrive in good condition, regardless of the temperatures. We will gladly issue a replacement or refund if you are not happy with the quality of our plants.
As this is the time the ‘Jade Frost’ Eryngium would be in bloom, it may have been pruned back because the bloom stem would not have survived transit. It will not dramatically stress the plants if roots needed to be pruned back, however it would have been better if the pot had be cut so the roots could have been removed intact.
We do not guarantee blooms on any of our perennials when they are shipped or even the first year they are planted. We cannot ship the same size plants that can be purchased at local nurseries because plants of that size cannot be shipped to arrive in good condition.
I am not sure why the box wasn’t marked live plants - all of our boxes marked that way.. We will look into that promptly.
The notation of 3” pot refers to the amount of soil the pot holds and this is standard for the industry. The diameter of the pot may vary slightly from 3”.
Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-411-6159 so that we can issue you a replacement or refund. We want you to be successful with our plants and we stand behind our guarantee.
This review compares my experiences ordering from Gurneys and White Flower Farms. (I'll also post this review under Gurneys on this website.) I had positive experiences with both companies.
I ordered one raspberry variety from Gurneys, and one from White Flower Farms. The raspberry bush from Gurney's sprouted right away and is doing marvelously. The raspberry bush from White Flower Farm took a few weeks but is beginning to sprout leaves now.
I wanted to try three different heirloom tomato plants this year and wanted to be able to choose each variety. Gurneys didn't offer such an option so I ordered from White Flower Farms.
Unfortunately the plants arrived about a week before I could plant them (impossible to plan since they just say the plants will be sent at the right time - no specific date), so I followed the instructions on what to do with the plants in the meantime.
Two did just fine and are now flourishing in the garden. One went rapidly downhill while still in its pot and by the time I knelt down to plant it, it literally came apart in my hand. I called the company and asked if I could split the cost of a replacement plant with them since it wasn't their fault I couldn't plant it right away, but they wouldn't hear of it; they sent me a new plant at no charge, and it arrived in perfect shape and is now flourishing in the garden.
I ordered four strong tomato cages from Gurneys (they only come in sets of two) and though they were quite a bit pricier than your average tomato cage, they're also *quite* a bit sturdier than your average tomato cage. They look great and were worth the extra cost.
TOMATO AND RASPBERRY FOOD
I ordered tomato and raspberry food along with a tomato blossom rot prevention product from Gurneys, and they arrived promptly as did the other items in my order. It's too early to say how they'll perform, though.
I ordered zucchini and summer squash plants from White Flower Farms, and a winter spaghetti squash seed packet from Gurney. (A plant wasn't available.) The zucchini plant arrived broken in a box with other plants that were perfect, and White Flower Farms immediately sent out a replacement free of charge. It and the summer squash are both doing great. The winter squash is also doing great; it germinated and grew faster than I would have thought possible.
I ordered a yellow pepper plant from White Flower Farms. It arrived quickly and in perfect condition, and is flourishing in the garden.
I ordered sweet potato plants from Gurneys. They were the last to arrive of my order but they kept me informed so I wasn't left wondering. Of the 12 plants, a few were quite vigorous and a few were almost dead. I planted them all and so far about 9 appear to be healthy. They haven't been in the ground long, though, so the others could still come back.
Here my experience differs between Gurneys and White Flower Farms quite a bit. I wanted to order plants but in many cases they weren't available, and so I had to order seeds instead. This was the case with green onions, too, which I ordered as seeds. These were my orders:
- French tarragon plant
- Green onion seeds
- Basil seeds
- Dill seeds
White Flower Farms:
- Oregano plant
- Thyme plant
White Flower Farms: the oregano and thyme arrived in perfect condition and are doing great.
Gurneys: my order arrived quickly. The French tarragon plant didn't look all that strong, but I figured once it was in the ground it would perk up. It didn't; instead, it weakened every day until it was dead despite special care and attention. I bought a new tarragon plant at a local nursery to replace it. The seeds were even worse. The basil and dill seeds failed to come up at all, and I planted *many* of the seeds. (And I did follow the instructions!) After 3 weeks I finally dug some of the basil seeds up to see if there was any activity, and there was none. Just dead seeds. Of 12 green onion seeds, only 3 came up. I looked at the packets and there were no dates, so I wonder if I was sent seeds that were years old, especially when I compare how fast the winter squash seeds from Gurneys came up. So, I bought herb plants at a local nursery to replace the Gurneys no-shows.
White Flower Farms herb score: 100%
Gurneys herb score: 0%
That said, I didn't call Gurneys to ask them to replace the plants, as I was at the local nursery with my husband anyway and it was easier and quicker to just buy the plants there. Gurneys may have gladly replaced the plants if it had known of my experience.
Overall my experience was positive and I would order from both companies again. I did feel White Flower Farms had an edge in that I felt like I was dealing with a smaller business and real human beings more so than with Gurneys, and they also had more live plants in the fruits and vegetables I wanted (rather than seeds), but on the plus side, Gurneys offered better specials and they sell some nice extra items like the strong tomato cages.
I have been buying flower bulbs from White Flower Farm for over 20 years. Every bulb that I have received from them has come in excellent condition and has bloomed successfully. I especially love their wonderful tulip selections, daffodils, and alliums. My favorites are the Marit and Blushing Lady tulips, and Best Seller and Carlton daffodils. They were all were beautiful in the spring garden. I also have had wonderful results with the Gladiator, and Cristophii Alliums in my garden. I look forward every season to their beautiful photos in their catalogue. I don't buy perennial plants from them because I have wonderful garden centers nearby. They are not the cheapest company but I have been impressed with the quality of their bulbs and how they were always delivered on time for planting in the fall.
pinballer3 Brighton, CO (Zone 5a) (2 reviews) April 14, 2012
I ordered two Hosta varieties for spring shipping. The plants were well packaged and very healthy on arrival. I used a gift certificate for the purchase and had no problems.
acddemilner South Bend, IN (3 reviews) February 25, 2012
I recently subscribed to Country Gardens magazine and was offered a $ 25 merchandise credit with White Flower Farm. I tried to order merchandise from them over the Internet but was denied the credit. I asked two friends to try and they were not successful either.
Now that I look on Dave's Garden, there are a lot of negatives re White Flower Farm. Has anyone else encountered this?Company representative comment on February 27, 2012: On Feb 27, 2012 8:18 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Dear Gardening Friend,
We apologize for the inconvenience you experienced when you tried to redeem your credit. When placing a web order, the credit is not applied to the balance until the order is completely processed. If you would like to contact us to obtain your customer number & actual credit number, please do so at your earliest convenience at 800-503-9624 or email us at email@example.com. However, it is not necessary to have these numbers to place your order. I assure you if you have a credit, it will be applied.