Worst, most confusing catalog I have ever seen. But, the trees I ordered from them are OK with the exception of a tiny lemon tree or rather a barely rooted cutting.
The 5 years old Quince produces nicely. My only complaint that Mellinger's website do not (or did not) provide cultural info, so I could not find out what kind of fungicide I should use to prevent the fruit disease prevalent in this climate. I should add, I could not find this info at other websites offering Quince either..(Fortunately my Coop Ext. Service could help in this matter)
I ordered two chestnut trees from them 2 years ago. One died in a month but replacement was sent in two weeks.
Both the Quince and the chestnut trees were priced very favorably.
And,it is true that they have an extensive selection of planting supply, fertilizers, insecticides and almost everything one can think of
I have purchased several items including plants and I am very disappointed at how small the first set of plants are. I am hoping the columbine survives. I will let people know in the coming season. I am however still waiting for the rest of my order. That was 6 weeks ago. I wanted my order right away and was firm to let them no that I did not want seperate shipping or substitutes. I recently called and now I have to wait until SPRING 2003!! That is not what I wanted. I do not understand why rose markers can not be delivered until the Spring planting season.
I placed an order on June 29th. I got less than half of what I ordered. The plants that came were the right ones. However one of the plants hasn't done well from the start. The rest of the plants seemed okay. I now hear that they dont ship bare root plants during June 30th and November 1. (via order acknowledgement) When you order you aren't aware that certain plants won't be shipped right away. (bare root) That was discouraging.
This was on my acknowledgement *You will receive an acknowledgment
telling you when the plants will be shipped UNLESS they are shipped within 30-45 days after ordering.
Supplies are usually sent within a weeks time. If a supply item cannot be
shipped within 30 days, you will receive an acknowledgment.*
I found this unacceptable. Surely they can let us know faster, or send us our money back. They have a great selection at reasonable prices. I will wait to see what happens. I hope they will make me change my mind about their business. I like giving nurseries a high rating, that is well deserved.
On July 19th, 2002, Kelly333 added the following:
I got a letter from Mellingers. Apparently they read the Garden Watchdog, or maybe one of their employees does. They were very kind, and tried to explain the bare root shipping and why they werent shipped during the timeframe of June 30th and November 1. They said it wasn't safe.
My beef is that when you do order you aren't aware what is bare root. However she said that the plants are guaranteed for 13 months, excluding sale items.
I will await further to see if I will change my rating. I wrote them back and explained my side as a customer to them. I told them also I usually rate highly, and prefer to do so. I would be happy to change my rating if the situation warrants it. I was impressed they wrote me. That is worth something!
I placed a small order for plants and bulbs. I was disappointed that one item was out of stock; however, the remainder of my order arrived in good condition. The bulbs and plants were very healthy and are doing fine in my garden.
I am amazed that so many people have had a bad experience. I have bought from then since 1986, and had only one problem. I bought 500 Vinca, and only 20% survived. The promptly sent another 500 at no charge
I visited the retail store and nursery in late May 2002. The retail store and nursery were not bad. They had an excellent selection of garden supplies and nursery-sized plants. However, when I wandered into the "mail-order" greenhouses I was unpleasantly surprised at the sorry state and extremely small size the plants were (most offerings were only about an inch in height). I would recommend the place if you want gardening "hardware" or if you can visit for nursery-sized plants.
This company specializes in small specimens of trees and shrubs, with a varied assortment of perennials, houseplants, bulbs, 'novelties' and supplies. I have had excellent results with their trees and shrubs, which are so inexpensive that the curious gardener can afford to experiment. This year I ordered some annual ornamental grasses and a tropical 'cycad'; I received a mail acknowledgement. As expected, the plants were shipped promptly and though small, were perfectly healthy.
On May 14, 2002, jcsgreenthumb Pisgah Forest, NC (Zone 6b) wrote:
I have ordered from them a number of times in the past few years. The supplies I ordered were sent promptly and I was pleased with their quality. They have great prices on gardening supplies.
This year I ordered seeds for the first time. I had to call a number of times to check the status of my order. One time I called and they assured me the order was being shipped that day. I called a week later to find that my order hadn't been shipped yet. Also, they listed seeds on their site that weren't going to be available this season due to crop failure. Even after I got my order (minus the seeds) the seeds were still listed on their site.
I haven't ordered any plants due to the fact that they often don't list latin names.
On Apr 20, 2002, lupinelover Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
The one and only time I ordered from this company, 1999, the bareroot and potted plants I ordered in January had still not arrived in May. I called repeatedly in March and April (bareroot planting season). They kept assuring me that the plants would be sent that day. Finally, the day after Mother's Day, I called one more time and threatened legal action if I did not get them by the end of the week (we live 100 miles away). They arrived on Friday. The bareroot trees had leafed out and the leaves were white and very withered. The same with the bareroot shrubs. The potted perennials had dried out weeks before, and were dead. One potted shrub had its only stem (3" tall) snapped off at the base, due to bad packing.
Out of an order of 13 plants, one survived.
I immediately called and demanded a full refund on my credit card. The paperwork arrived in July. Never again.
On Apr 19, 2002, heidski Arlington Heights, IL wrote:
I ordered a number of different items from them. Most of the items were OK. One was completely different than it was described. I was able to return it, but then they charge a return fee of 10%. I know of no other company that charges this return fee. Afterall, I paid the shipping cost to have it sent to me and then the shipping cost to return it to them.
On Mar 15, 2002, Copperbaron Vicksburg, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:
I ordered about 15 trees from them at very reasonable prices and they all arrived safe and sound. I was pleasantly surprised at the size of many of them and would order from them again.
On April 2nd, 2003, Copperbaron changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Well, I spoke too soon. The two sassafras and two bald cypresses that I ordered died on me. They sent me replacements, but they are pitiful. One of the sassafras trees had no roots (literally) and the bald cypresses were so root pruned as to be suspect as well. Additionally, I ordered five pyracantha that were 4" tall and shipped bareroot with nothing but some dry newspaper wrapped around them. The leaves were like potato chips and I doubt they will survive. Basically, some really crummy plants.
Before buying from Mellingers, go to ForesFarm's, Camelia Forest, Greer Gardens, or Arrowhead Alpines website or get Woodlander's catalog and see what they have. You will get a whole lot better plants packed a whole lot better for shipment.
On Feb 7, 2002, DawnG Chardon, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:
Although I do appreciate the varied selection, I have had three different plants arrive under the wrong cultivar names. It's a little disappointing when you wait for a year or two for a specific plant to bloom and it ends up being the wrong plant.
On Nov 30, 2001, snowhermit Woodsville, NH (Zone 4a) wrote:
I have ordered tropicals from them and found the plants to be very small for the price.2 out of 3 died within two weeks.
On December 23rd, 2001, snowhermit changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
When the company became aware of the loss of the two plants they immediately sent a credit memo with an apology and will send two new plants in the spring.Even though I think their plants are small,a company that shows that they care about their customers and stand behind their product earns respect and I would buy from them again.
In early 2000, I ordered two vanilla orchid plants and three aromatic ferns. Neither of which our local nurseries had. The vanilla orchids arrived poorly packed and in poor shape. Very small to start with, perhaps an inch high. One had already had the terminal bud nipped off.They were not well-rooted, so they were mostly out of their two inch pots. One survived - hardly. And we are in the tropics, so it is not the climate.The ferns arrived bare-root with no green whatsoever. They were as dry as twigs. It is the first time I ordered fern by catalogue, and I was used to planting green, living plants. So I emailed them and asked them what to do with these twigs - is there some secret to planting them. Plant in a cool, shady place was the best answer they could give. Six weeks later, after planting one in a pot and the others in soil, I had nothing more than underground dead twigs to show for it. I mailed them and told them that they did not sprout. I gave them my address again, they still have not have replaced them - six weeks later. They used to have a good reputation - I guess they don't care any more. Order from somebody else, or buy from your local nursery.
I to would not order from Mellinger's again. I had to make repeated calls where I was treated poorly. Plants DOA - not worth the effort. Do they know that are killing their business by such shoddy practices?
I was disappointed in their bare-root stock. Ordered 2 honeysuckles and 2 snowberries from them. The honeysuckles are now doing well but as we know it's not easy to kill a honeysuckle even if you try. The snowberries were DOA; never leafed out.
I have to say I had the same experience with this company. I ordered 35 Japanese Barberry from them two years ago. When they arrived, they were tiny and most were broken or had damaged roots. Also, the bare roots had dried out pretty badly. Out of those original 35, only two survived. Same story with a Burning Bush. Same story with Echinacea and Coreopsis, which are pretty difficult to kill. I gave up calling to request replacements or money back from them, and wrote them instead. Got a nasty letter in reply, but they did give me a percentage of the money in return - the only problem was that it was a credit, not cash refund. Never used it. I don't need the hassle!
I was burnt here with very poor bare root stock. Undersized, poorly packed, back-ordered into infinity. I learned quickly. But you have to look at each catalog for what they do best. The gardening aids and supplies they offer are extensive and reasonably priced. If you are looking for seed trays, etc. they offer everything under the sun at any quantity needed; even hoop-house components. It almost seems as though the plants they offer are just a "side-line" for them to fill the catalog.
Used their catalog but ordered online. The order was lost. After I purchased the plants locally, they found and sent the order. Everything arrived paper-packed and in fairly good condition; everything survived. The rare exotics that I purchased were neither charged nor backordered; they just eliminated what they didn't have available from the order. So, as of May 1999, I'd have to say I agree with everyone else and probably would not order from them again.
The worst bare-root shipments I've ever seen. Less than 30% survival rate on the original order; the replacement order was all DOA; and the second replacement shipment I cajoled out of them that got shipped this Spring had bone-dry roots on arrival. Still hoping against the odds on that one. Very shoddy packaging, low-quality plant material.
I had the same problems as previous responders, attempting to get a large variety of new plants at reasonable cost I ordered from them. Most plants arrived in poor condition and few survived. Of those that survived, many were not the variety or even species I ordered. Never again!
I, too, had an awful experience with this company. The order I received contained none of the plants I requested. I called to explain the situation and was treated poorly. After repeated attempts, I finally got my requested plants but the quality was inferior.
I also had more time than money and very carefully ordered many starts of the shrubs I wanted at very low cost. I set up a shrub nursery in the garden. Many did not make it, despite pampering. The ones that did were not the varieties advertised by botanical name but inferior ones. Imagine my disappointment pampering and waiting two years to find out the wonderfully fragrant shrubs I had dreamed of and worked for were not fragrant at all, but varieties that specifically had no fragrance to start with. The only thing I will still use Mellinger's for is supplies like flats, etc. I did have a problem there also - I ordered fade proof markers and got the run of the mill Sharpies that you can get anywhere and DO fade quickly!
I have been getting this catalogue for more than six years and have seen it change from having a huge variety of plants and seeds to having a huge variety of supplies and garden ornaments. I absolutely hate the way that they split the order form so that they get you twice for shipping charges if you order plants and seeds on the same order. (Seeds and supplies are shipped separately from plants.) I have ordered live plants, and have been impressed with how nice they looked and how well they were packed. I did not order from them in 1998 because their seed selection has become so poor. Even the feed store display has more varieties of vegetables than Mellinger's now has. Alas. And they were once such a huge catalog.
They are a local company to me and they do sell an unusual amount of plants, ones that you cannot always find easily. The prices are good and they have stood behind their warranty for me every time. The supplies for gardening also are very good and extensive.
What can I say, but a poor choice. I ordered from them a few years ago. A lot of the plants were not true to name. I asked for replacements, but got more plants that I didn't order. I haven't ordered from them since.
I was very disappointed in my spring order from Mellinger's. While they have some very interesting and unusual plants the chance of your receiving them in viable condition is very poor. I found most of my order to be very small plants, bareroot, and badly stressed. I do not believe I would reorder from them.