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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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) (24 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Posted on April 23, 2011, updated February 12, 2012
I wanted to plant some Helleborus for my wife. In order to get all the varieties I wanted, I ended up buying from 3 different online vendors. Most sold them for $20 each, including WFF. One had an internet special for $10 each.
WFF plants arrived 2nd out of the three. They were little tiny potted plants about two inches high and two inches in diameter. The leaves were brown on the edges. When I took them out of the pots the soil was TEEMING with pill bugs - literally dozens.
The plants from the other companies were about 6-12 inches high and 8-12 inches in diameter and very healthy. No pill bugs.
I just planted them so it is too soon to tell how they will work out in the long term, or if I have just infested everything with their pill bug, but by comparison, I have to give a negative rating.On February 11th, 2012, srvadt added the following:
Update Spring 2012: The tiny plants never grew larger. They did stay alive and green through the fall, but over winter the leaves turned brown on the edges and are now dead. My other hellebores are doing well.Company representative comment on April 26, 2011: On Apr 26, 2011 8:57 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
We regret that there were pillbugs in the soil of the Hellebores that you received from White Flower Farm. While we do try to avoid the use of pesticides as much as possible, these pests should have been noticed and eliminated before the plants were packed for shipment.
The plants themselves are sent in 3” pots, as noted in our catalogue. While small, they are in prime condition to start growing at once. Should you be unsatisfied with their progress at the end of the summer, please let us know so that we may make restitution. You can contact us directly at email@example.com or 800-411-6159.
This was the first time I ordered from White Flower Farm, and I purchased jasmine. I was a little put off by the price at first but understood when the plant arrived... It was extremely healthy and full of blooms. Well worth the money and came on time for holiday delivery. Based on the jasmine, I decided to place a second order for an amaryllis. I was very surprised at the size of the bulb! Largest I have seen and put the grocery store bulb to shame. I look forward to the bloom which should be any day now!Company representative comment on February 13, 2012: On Feb 13, 2012 7:55 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Thank you for testimonial on your first experience with our company. We appreciate feedback & encourage customers to post product reviews on our website as well. You can also include a photo of your amaryllis blooming to show its spectacular performance!
Posted on January 31, 2009, updated January 24, 2012
I've ordered Amaryllis bulbs for several years. Have been happy with the overall quality and correct labelling. I've had minimal problems with rotten bulbs, which were immediately replaced with a call to their customer service department. On January 24th, 2012, bsharf added the following:
I am very pleased with the quality of customer service. Two weeks ago, year I had a problem with one Amaryllis bulb in a large order. On calling WFF, I was immediately offered a credit, on that bulb, for a future order.
tealheath Colorado Springs, CO (1 review) January 16, 2012
Placed order Dec 19 for Amaryllis to be delivered to my Mom as a Christmas gift. White Flower [WF] guaranteed by Christmas delivery. Christmas came and went, no flowers were delivered. I wasn't too upset by that, called WF after the New Year [Jan 3rd], they told me to wait a few more days. Called WF back when the flowers still did not arrive at Mom's. They said they'd ship a whole new order and that the flowers would be there in a week. Well, 10 days later-still no flowers at Mom's. It's been a month. Nothing. So called WF today and just canceled. Result: Missed Christmas present [anywhere in Christmas day vicinity] Wasted time- 4-6 calls to WF. Nearly daily converations with Mom highlighting christmas present mess up. And even now-have to watch Visa to ensure refund comes through. WF Customer Service was never rude, but what a MESS. They could have had a life time customer in me...Company representative comment on January 17, 2012: On Jan 17, 2012 11:28 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
We apologize for the disappointment and any inconvenience that you have encountered with your holiday order. We would like to make amends as well as verify that the refund has been processed. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly at 800-503-9624 at your earliest convenience. We thank you in advance for allowing us the opportunity to correct this matter for you.
White Flower Farm
willmetge Spokane, WA (Zone 5b) (7 reviews) December 24, 2011
I ordered a couple of Dictamnus plants from this company this past summer. They were about $15 each and were advertised as bare root. In the past, when I have ordered from other companies, I have received a plant that has a crown anywhere from golf-ball size to soft-ball size. White Flower Farm, however, sent me a root-cutting, not a bare root plant. I was shocked at the size! It was a single root about half the diameter of a pencil and about 3 inches long with no visible crown. I planted them as instructed and they leaved out, but I'm very doubtful that they will make it through the winter.
They really set me up for failure with these. How did they expect a plant this size to put on enough growth to make it through a Zone 5 winter?
This was a huge waste of money, time, and effort. I would recommend looking elsewhere. It is too bad that I did not check here first and notice that almost half of the reviews are negative.
To add insult to injury, I just received their catalog and they are charging designer/patent prices for seed-grown stock (almost $9 for a Zinnia!). Most any high-end local nursery will beat their prices with plants in gallon pots instead of White Flower Farm's over-priced 3" rip-offs.Company representative comment on December 28, 2011: On Dec 28, 2011 11:57 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
We are sorry to learn you were unhappy with the size and quality of our bare root Dictamus plants. The size of the root systems of our bare root stock does vary according to Genus. However, all of our perennials, whether shipped potted or bare root, are guaranteed for a full year. Accordingly, your plants are guaranteed to come out of dormancy in the spring. The terms of the guarantee are for replacements sent at no charge or a merchandise credit or refund to your credit card for the value of the plant material. Please contact us at 800-411-6159 or email@example.com so that we can resolve this for you.
White Flower Farm
marving POCONO MANOR, PA (1 review) September 29, 2011
Rude customer service!!
Ordered bulbs for fall planting over a month ago. Ground starts freezing up in a couple weeks so I contacted them and was told they were so busy they couldn't ship before 10/10.
I explained that we started getting snow soon and then I was told their horticultural "specialists" said October is the right time to plant here but they would be happy to cancel my order if I like. Sheesh!!
Only reason I ordered was I was given a gift card for my birthday. Irritating how happy they are to waste the time I took placing the order and my sister-in-laws money. Company representative comment on September 30, 2011: On Sep 30, 2011 2:04 PM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Dear Gardening Friend,
We apologize for any inconvenience. The collection of bulbs and perennials you selected, is not harvested until late September and therefore isn't ready to ship until early to mid October, weather permitting as stated in our catalog and on our web site.
We guarantee our plants will perform and thrive or when notified we will issue a replacement or full refund. Please feel free to contact our customer service department at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can be of further assistance.
ycn4chin Dickson, TN (29 reviews) September 12, 2011
I ordered some special daffodils from White Flower Farms for a new garden bed. Yes, they were a little more expensive, but these were relatively new varieties. I placed the order in Spring to get a discount. I received an email last week stating that my order is being shipped, and the bulbs arrived last Friday. They were nice, firm, fresh bulbs, with over 50% double-nosed. I have always had good experiences with White Flower Farms over the years, and this order was in keeping with their reputation for quality. Company representative comment on September 30, 2011: On Sep 30, 2011 2:05 PM, White Flower Farm responded with:
michigan420 Muskegon, MI (Zone 6a) (2 reviews) June 25, 2011
I ordered three Wedding Gown hydrangeas because it is a new variety that I knew I probably wouldn't find locally. They arrived in good shape and I needed to keep them indoors for several weeks until our cold spring warmed up. They have all thrived since being planted and have bloomed beautifully. Company representative comment on June 28, 2011: On Jun 28, 2011 11:38 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Thank you for taking the time to rate our company & products. Feel free to post your Wedding Gown Hydrangeas on our Facebook page!! We enjoy seeing our customers gardens!
HeidiNH Brentwood, NH (Zone 6a) (11 reviews) May 24, 2011
Posted on May 18, 2011, updated May 24, 2011
I ordered five plants on May 3, and received a confirmation but no ship date, except the range they give. I called and was told "they have to be ready to go". I'm thinking if you're selling things that aren't grown yet, you're already behind the eight ball. So I wait patiently and I get a notice saying my shipment was accepted by the CT post office, and gave me a tracking number. They shipped on a Friday, which was already bad, the plants would be sitting in a box for three days before they got to me on Monday.
Unfortunately, they are apparently STILL lost at the CT post office. They didn't arrive Monday, and I emailed WFF and told them they needed to track that package. They responded that *I* should track the package from my end. That's chutzpah. How would I do that? If it never left CT, my PO isn't going to be able to do anything about it, nor is it MY responsibility to track their shipment. I told them THEY needed to track it down from where they left it, if it was really mailed, it's lost there. This morning I ran the tracking number again, nothing. So I emailed them that information, asked again for them to track the package down, and as of tonight, have had no response.
If I get no response of a very positive nature by tomorrow, I will be calling my credit card company for a charge back. The plants have been in a box for SIX DAYS. If you're not going to fulfill your responsibilities by making sure your package reaches me, at least do the right thing and send a replacement shipment ASAP. How hard is it, really? It should take a maximum of 2 days from CT to NH. If it isn't there in two days, it's not going to be, so fix it!On May 24th, 2011, HeidiNH changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I'm going to amend my rating to a positive, based on how the Customer Service Manager handled the problem. First, Michelle emailed and called me at work to apologize for the problems, and said that she was able to locate all the plants I ordered from the reserve stock in the warehouse. She shipped them via overnight UPS and they arrived today, in perfect condition - good size plants in healthy condition - I am happy about that. What also arrived yesterday was the original order, ten days late, with the plants in predictably bad condition, black and/or dead, although one or two might live if they can recover. Michelle said she will use this situation as a teaching opportunity for her CS staff. That would be a definite plus. Thank you again, Michelle.Company representative comment on May 25, 2011: On May 19, 2011 8:35 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
We are sorry for the vague information given when you called our customer service department. What the representative meant when they said "the plants have to be ready" is that the plants need to reach transplantable size when growing. The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship plants in 3in (25.9 cu in), 1 qt (0.94 liter), or 1 gal (3.78 liter) pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience.
We will gladly track your package for you and if the product arrives in poor condition we will cheerfully replace or refund the order. We guarantee our products 100%.
I am unable to locate your current order with us, with the information given on this post. Please email me directly at email@example.com & I will assist you. I look forward to hearing from you & resolving this issue as quickly as possible.
Customer Service Manager
On May 25, 2011 12:42 PM, White Flower Farm added:
Thank you for taking the time to update your rating of White Flower Farm. We appreciate the opportunity to ensure your success with our plants and to provide you with excellent customer service.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance to you.
Posted on August 22, 2010, updated May 18, 2011
Posted on April 6, 2010, updated August 22, 2010
Posted on June 15, 2003, updated April 6, 2010
I've always had a good experience with this company. I'm very selective about what I buy from them, since their perennials and shrubs are expensive. But if I can't find it locally or from any other reputable mail order company, I'll try WFF and they've always come through. I ordered a Cornell Pink azalea from them last year and it was the most carefully packed shrub I've ever received by mail. It was large, already had flower buds, and actually bloomed within a couple of weeks (I was surprised, not expecting any blooms its first year), then settled in and has been growing like crazy. I was also surprised to see that the bulbs in their fall catalog were quite reasonably priced last year. They were big bulbs, too, when they came - comparable to Scheepers, who I've always liked. Every one of those bulbs - even the winter aconite, which is notorious for drying out - grew and bloomed well.On October 12th, 2004, AS added the following:
I will not change my rating, since I have always been satisfied with the plants I have received from WFF (and with their customer service). But I do want to note that their prices seem to have gone through the roof lately. For this reason, I haven't ordered from them in 2 years and am not likely to order from them again. I've also noticed that they charge extremely high prices for annuals, including those that can be grown very cheaply from seed, like cleome.On April 7th, 2009, AS added the following:
Ordered another Cornell pink azalea from them this year, plus an English rose so the shipping cost for one plant wouldn't be completely ridiculous. They had this deciduous azalea for much, much cheaper than any other company. It's actually very comparable to the one I bought many years ago - which is now getting enormous (unfortunately, too big to move). And the rose is a nice, big sturdy plant. Both were packed very well, and arrived in fine shape. I was pleased. But I repeat - DO NOT order annuals from them unless you check the cost and availability of seeds first. There are some doozies in this year's catalog, including possibly the most expensive zinnias in the world. :) On April 6th, 2010, AS added the following:
I ordered a couple of shrubs and one perennial (Baptisia) this year from a gift certificate I received. All are healthy and in good shape, though the size didn't wow me. I'm not sure whether their shrubs are getting smaller, or I'm just used to other companies. The Baptisia is very small for $16 or whatever it was - for that price, I can get three plants that are only a little smaller from Bluestone. Still, they delivered healthy plants, and one shrub is already blooming in the correct color. The packing was also quite nice - the plants were well protected.
Customer service has also been decent for me. Last year, I got a post card saying that the English roses weren't up to par, and offering to replace mine. Mine was perfectly fine, so I didn't contact them, but I appreciate the offer.
I will definitely stay away from perennials, though and stick to shrubs - no matter how tempting. On August 22nd, 2010, AS changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
OK, after all these years of giving them the benefit of the doubt, I have to change my rating to neutral. Of the many perennials I planted this year (new garden), only their baptisia didn't make it and it had an ideal spot. I think it was too small to establish itself in the spring and survive the stresses of a hotter than normal year. For the high price, it should have been a sturdier plant. When I contacted them about a replacement, I found out that they don't have any in stock this fall, which suggests they no longer grow their own plants. I would have preferred fall planting, to give the small plant a better chance next year. Looks like I'll need to grow it in a pot myself for a year before setting it out.
I'd buy their shrubs again without question, but I can't honestly recommend their perennials. And as I've said before, the prices on their annuals are ridiculous. On May 18th, 2011, AS added the following:
No replacement plant arrived, and no offer of a refund. In fact, no communication from them whatsoever. So I went to their website and found out that they're not selling that variety this year.
Meanwhile, a baptisia from another company (planted 5 feet away from the one that died) has doubled in size and is blooming this year. I've learned my lesson. This is not the same company whose catalogs I used to drool over years ago.
marie_kap Williamstown, NJ (Zone 6b) (6 reviews) May 18, 2011
I just placed an order from here the beginning of May. I have not heard anything even after my email. They charged me already on my card but I have not heard anything about shipping. After reading this I think I am going to cancel that order. It was rather costly, and if what I hear is true, it will be rather small.Company representative comment on May 18, 2011: On May 18, 2011 9:23 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
We try to respond to each email within 24 business hours. I apologize if your email was not received. We would be happy to provide detailed information regarding your order, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our toll free customer service line at 800-411-6159.
If an email address was provided at the time you placed your order, we automatically notify you via email the day the order ships out of our facility. In most cases, it also provides a tracking number for your convenience.
We guarantee to provide healthy plants, true to variety and in prime condition for growing, and to deliver them to your home at the proper time for planting. We guarantee that our plants will perform and thrive for at least one year when properly cared for or your money will be cheerfully refunded.
The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship plants in 3in (25.9 cu in), 1 qt (0.94 liter), or 1 gal (3.78 liter) pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience.
We look forward helping you with your questions and concerns. Please contact us at your earliest convenience.