I've placed several orders with Cook's including orders for flytraps, sundews (Drosera) and picther plants (Sarracenia). I can't say that I was really unhappy with the plants I received because the prices are the lowest on the web and reflective of the size of the plants. But the plants are exceptionally small and overall not in excellent health, so I can't say I was really happy with the plants I received either. Flytraps and Drosera are especially small. Sarracenia are definitely better, so if you're going to order from Cook's, I'd suggest sticking with the Sarracenia.
On Apr 26, 2012, Toddott Kentwood, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
Second time ordering from Cook's. Not impressed either time. Very small plants. Ordered a Pinguicula ($4.95) and a Smoke Seed Primer ($1.95). Shipped quickly (7 days) but not the healthiest looking plant. Placed in ziplock bag. Although it was flowering, had several broken leaves and almost non-existent roots.
Don't seem to be concerned with presentation. Lots of dead, dried out older leaves, which should have been trimmed off.
My nearly weightless $6.90 order was sent at a shipping rate of $6.30 in a giant 1lb shipping rate box. (At least there's less chance of it getting lost in the mail).
Nice variety of plants but a lot are usually out of stock (which is why I only ordered one plant. Several others that I wanted were (fortunately?) out of stock.
So some positives and some negatives equals a neutral.
Might order from them again, but will never be a large order.
Posted on June 22, 2011, updated August 6, 2011
Posted on June 19, 2011, updated June 22, 2011
I am assigning this a neutral rating so far, since I haven't received my order yet. If the plants and shipping are as bad as the customer service, then I am not very hopeful.
About six weeks ago I sent an inquiry about a plant, but got no reply. I sent another question about three weeks ago, with the same result: no response whatsoever. I decided to proceed with an order, for which I had to create an account with login. After assembling my order, attempts to use the login I created failed, so I waited till morning and phoned to place the order. Nobody answered the phone, but I was able to leave voicemail to call me back, cause I wanted to buy! Ten days has passed and nobody bothered to return my call. I was beginning to wonder if these folks were still in business!
In spite of this abysmal experience I tried to order on the web site once more and with some fiddling, I was able to submit an order. It took a week to get a message stating that my order had been "approved", but no information about when it would be shipped. All I can say at this point is that the plants had better be great or I'll limit myself to buying from California Carnivores, who have great plants and superb customer service.
On June 22nd, 2011, trospero added the following:
Updated June 22: plants arrived OK, they are as described and appear healthy. While the plants appear satisfactory, I just can't get very excited about the whole experience since the customer service aspect was so poor. I never did get a return phone call, nor email replies. On August 6th, 2011, trospero added the following:
Subsequent purchases from Cook's: disappointing at best. One specimen came with a thrips infestation, and although staff was quick to apologize and make amends, I would have much preferred it not happen at all. Another plant I ordered, which I knew was going to be quite small, I had the option of buying as a bare root division or potted. Since I much prefer receiving a potted division if its a small specimen (potted usually means you get an established root system), I opted for the potted plant. What I received was a tiny division that had clearly been potted up VERY recently (days, I expect) and was anything but an established division. In other words, I paid a premium price to have shipped a bare root plant + pot + soil. I won't do that again!
I have a number of Cook's plants purchased both directly and from a local outlet who stocks their plants, and none has died in my care; most are getting settled nicely. However, every plant has required extra attention to get it established and in all instances it appears the container grown plants were potted immediately before sale and have not established good roots yet. Some of the Sarracenia had to be staked to remain upright. The bottom line is that for the most part these are healthy plants, but I feel they seem hastily pushed into production and could benefit from some time to settle before selling to the customer.
I do not wish to discourage potential buyers from spending $$ at Cook's, I just want people to be aware of what they are getting for their money. I will likely choose other vendors in the future unless Cook's is the only source for the plant I am seeking.