Posted on June 21, 2013, updated June 21, 2013
I placed an order on June 6 for terrarium plants. I read and fully understood the policy that plants do not ship immediately, but that within a week I would receive an email confirmation with my invoice update and estimated ship date. By the 12th of June I had not heard anything from anyone. I attempted to call and I received a recording. I left a message requesting an email or phone call regarding the status of my order. I never heard a reply. I proceeded to send an email every day from Saturday-Monday requesting an update on my order or I would file for a charge back with my bank. Late Monday June 17 I received an UPS shipment notice stating that my plants were shipped.
I have had two retail stores and have been in the industry of customer service for the past 10 years. If I were to ignore customers such as this I would surely be out of business. I never received a personal email or phone call with any information, just a plain ship notification. I am one of those "old school" people who prefer to be contacted by the merchant with a verbal or at minimum email update and a reason as to the long delay without any updates.
To top it off, I received my plants (packaging was done incredibly well, I will absolutely give credit for that) but the plants do not look great (many dead/wilted/dying leaves, small/young plants) and there was NO INFORMATION as to what I received, how tall they grow, etc etc. There are little plastic sticks with names of plants written on them, but some I could not read. I went through the website to locate as many as I could based off the names provided on these stakes. There is info on some plants ("verticle growing", "ground cover") but does not provide info as to plant heights or growing widths. I have no idea how to plant them since I do not have this info. I am not entirely new to terrarium planting but there are still specimens I do not know about. I had to look them up on the internet the best I could. I ordered plants from another site that is similar, and they provided immediate updates on my order status, as well as proivided an itemized list of the plants that I ordered on my invoice, and the website tells you exactly how they should be planted (by size/height).
I am just overly disappointed in the serious lack of communication. Placing an order on June 6 only to basically FORCE shipping on June 17th is unacceptable. If plants were unable to ship due to weather or other reasons, that is FINE, but update the customer, don't just leave them out to dry! I never contacted GHW's until 9 days after my order was placed to inquire about the status. I will definitely take my business elsewhere, as I never plan to do business with this place again.
On June 21st, 2013, zeabird added the following:
My husband just informed me (as he's planting the plants) that two plants don't look like they will make it. Some of the roots appear to be molded/disintegrating. I feel I wasted a good deal of money, and should have spent it on the other site that is more costly but has excellent service and beautiful, health, LARGE, plants. : (
On May 15, 2013, shakergardener Beachwood, OH wrote:
They shipped my order in the middle of April...when I asked them to ship in May. They said it would be 'NO PROBLEM'. The plants were very small and sickly. I even sent them pictures of some of them.so they could see how awful they were. Emailed them 4 times with no response. Totally not satisfied.
On Feb 23, 2013, robert_milton Riverside, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
When I lived in Athens, Ohio (ten minutes from their greenhouse), my partner and I would visit Glasshouse Works regularly. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and helpful, and have no problem just sitting and chatting with you about anything. Though a small facility, their selection of rare and exotic tropicals is top-notch.
In the past, I had purchased many great plants from them, but always in person, so I cannot comment on their online ordering. At any rate, everything I have ever purchased there was of very high quality, and everything I saw there was healthy and growing vigorously. Two nepenthes I had purchased died, but that was my fault entirely. Sarracenias purchased were exceedingly beautiful, vibrant, and healthy.
I would recommend this company to anyone interested in strange and unusual plants or those wishing to build a terrarium.
I needed a variety of plants to use in creating a terrarium and Glasshouse Works offers an abundance of just what I was looking for. Their selection is fabulous, the packing is exceptional, and I was quite pleased with their customer service. In every way, I am happy with this company and plan to use them again in the future.
On Dec 7, 2012, catherinecarney Mount Vernon, OH wrote:
I received my large, diverse order from Glasshouse less than a week after placement. Everything was packed beautifully (individually wrapped and labeled, with plenty of paper fill between the plants to cushion and prevent shifting during shipping), plants were well rooted and larger than expected (great value!), and even "hard to ship" items like orchids and begonias arrived without breakage.
In addition, they shipped a bonus plant (thank you!) and subbed in larger plants for no extra charge in two cases where they were out of the smaller size (another thank you!).
I have ordered similar plants from other growers in the past and have not received this quality of stock, care in shipping, or level of customer service. I plan to be a loyal and happy customer for many years to come.
I placed an order with Glasshouse Works on Tues. am ~ within a couple of hours, I received an email stating the product was available, looked good and they would try to ship it that day. Wow! too good to be true. Later that day I got another email from UPS notifying me of a shipment from Glasshouse. Today (2 days later) my shipment arrived. The packing was superb, the plants are awesome ~ size & quality for the price unbeatable. This experience was as good as it gets. I called Tom and expressed this to him personally.
Absolutely outstanding product, service and company.
I highly recommend this company!
On Oct 6, 2012, Toddott Kentwood, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
Ordered three plants: Peperomia fraseri, Oxalis rubra, and Hoya cumingiana. Very nice, large, healthy plants, shipped within a couple days, along with a very nice bonus Oxalis variety, which actually was three plants in one pot. The Oxalis rubra bloomed a few day after arrival with many bright pink flowers. The Peperomia also arrived with a tiny flower spike which has grown into a giant mass of flowers.
On Jun 5, 2012, MTVineman Helena, MT (Zone 5a) wrote:
Wow! I just went through the comments about these guys and it was a bit shocking I must say. Shocking in that I have been dealing with these guys for quite a number of years and I am a person who is into very odd and rare tropicals but also some very common plants too. I'm also extremely picky. To see people give these guys negative comments is really weird to me. These guys are just not like that at all. ALL emails are promptly answered and they are very nice to deal with. Ordering is easy and convenient. As far as the plants themselves go, I have never received such huge and beautiful specimens from a mail order nursery! Hands down, these guys are the best and they do know what they are doing. It's surprising what some people will complain about or what they expect sometimes. Glasshouse Works has been my main source for all my tropicals and weird plants that no one else carries. They also always add in one or two free plants and they are not "trash" or whatever some obviously bitter person wrote about them. If they run out of a certain plant they always ask before sending something different but I'm not too worried as they know what I like and I'm always excited and pleased with what they do send in case the plant I wanted is out of stock. Living where I do in very rural Montana, there are no nurseries or stores or anywhere that carry such exotic, tropical, desert, succulent, caudiciform, common annuals, common perennials as well as exotic annuals and perennials, tree's, shrubs, and the list goes on! These guys have been in business a long, long time and they know exactly what they are doing and they do a very excellent job of doing it. There is no one better in my very humble opinion. I have tried other mail order nurseries but I always return to Glasshouse Works because they just have the best plants out there as well as the best variety. Where else can you get a giant Fockea edulis or a giant Adenia or perhaps some rare, fruiting and heavenly smelling Passionflower for a VERY reasonable price? The pot sizes are generous and not in tiny little pots like some other nurseries I can think of that also charge an arm and a leg or two. If there are any in smaller pots from these guys, they are huge and totally rooted, usually with roots coming out of the bottom and the most healthy I have ever seen from a mail order nursery. I can't say enough good things about these folks. I absolutely love them and have never, ever been disappointed with anything except maybe a plant I wanted and it's out of stock! That's certainly not their fault! I'm a person who will give credit where credit is due and I will be brutally honest also if the product I buy isn't up to par. I have no problem telling a company they suck but these folks always go above and beyond what you expect. They will always be my number one plant source. I just put a new order in a day or so ago because I received my last order two weeks ago and it was so impressive and stupendous I thought I was going to swoon. Huge, healthy, well rooted and beautiful plants, shrubs, vines and desert succulents. I couldn't have asked for better. I'm a good customer and I always will be. Thanks for giving me the chance to rave about my favourite nursery, Dave's Garden! And thanks especially to the folks at Glasshouse Works in Ohio!!!! - MTVineMan
Beginning long ago (20 years) I've always been very satisfied with Glasshouse Works' fine service, robust plants, fine packing, and quick delivery. Just recently, I ordered some Sansevierias from them, and again I was just as satisfied. I've never had occasion to contact them with a problem, because I never had a problem with their service. What a great nursery this is!
On Apr 4, 2012, Ispahan Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on May 23, 2004, updated April 4, 2012
I had been wanting to place an order from this company for several years, but because of the many negative comments found on Garden Watchdog I hesitated. I finally decided to give them a chance and I was happy I did. My first order came within a month of ordering and the plants were small but very healthy and beautiful. They are currently thriving. I have had a similar experience with both my second and third orders placed with Glasshouse Works. Although I do agree that this company could seriously improve its cumbersome website and perhaps hire more office and/or greenhouse help in order to allow things to run more smoothly, one cannot deny that this company offers an extraordinary selection of plants at very reasonable prices. And since they consistently include a thoughtfully selected bonus plant with each order, I do not see how you could go wrong.
On April 4th, 2012, Ispahan added the following:
Just received an order for a rare allium hybrid and tulbaghia. Plants were beautiful, healthy and well packed, and they arrived efficiently and with no fuss. I have now been placing orders periodically with Glasshouse Works for several years and I have never once been let down.
This is truly a great company with a wonderful and unique selection of plants.
On Mar 28, 2012, MONSOON123 Kachina Village, AZ wrote:
Just received my first order from glasshouse , I ordered 3 terrarium collections ( 30 plants ) plus some individual ones.What a great company.Out of 30 plants , only 1 was duplicated. All arrived in excellent condition and was shipped when they said it would.I've been ordering plants by mail since I was 6 yrs old, I am now 54 and this is one of the best companies I've ordered from. Will be placing another order this week.
Posted on July 15, 2010, updated February 29, 2012
Posted on November 13, 2005, updated July 15, 2010
I have been ordering from Glasshouse Works for several years. Although I have ordered from 20 to 30 different garden companies over the years, Glasshouse Works is by far my favorite, in terms of plant quality, variety, and service. They are particularly strong in coleus and other foliage plants, and I love the various plant "Collections" like Coleus Craze and Tropical Cheap Glitz. It's great fun to receive these plant collections, like opening a mysterious treasure chest. The day my Glasshouse Works shipment arrives is the highlight of the gardening season for me, as I am always astounded by what I find when I unwrap all that newspaper.
My guess is that I have purchased over 2000 plants from Glasshouse Works over the years, and have never been disappointed with a single one. Their shipping methods are impeccable, with every plant arriving safely and in good health. And if they cannot provide a specific plant, they always send a great substitute--sometimes the substitute is even better than what I had ordered!
I have also found that I am in good company with my high opinion of Glasshouse Works. Two years ago I became a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener, and learned that not only did many of my fellow Master Gardeners order from the company, but that the Extension Educator who taught our course on annuals was also a big fan. In fact, when he assembled the University's exhibit at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show that year, the backbone of the exhibit was Glasshouse Works' tropicals.
And this year I entered my rooftop container garden in the 49th annual Mayor Daley's Landscape Awards competition. My design was rather Hanging Gardens of Babylon-ish, with hundreds of tropical plants and coleus from Glasshouse Works. The City of Chicago horticulturalist who judged my garden for the competition smiled approvingly when I told him I obtained most of my plants from Glasshouse Works--in particular, he was smitten with the coleus rheltianus 'Dusky Trailing Prince'. I must have done something right--I won First Place Citywide for my rooftop garden.
On September 1st, 2006, spinnerama added the following:
This is a follow-up to my comments of last year. Another gardening season has come (and almost gone...) and once again I ordered over 100 plants from Glasshouse Works for my rooftop garden. As always, every one of them arrived in perfect condition, and the company sent me several freebies besides.
I have been reading through the comments and have noticed three trends on the negative side.
(1) Most negative comments come from "unknown", or "anonymous" sources that GHW is then unable to contact. And they have not contacted GHW either, before posting negative remarks. Rather cowardly and suspicious, I think.
(2) One of the main threads of complaint is that the plants are of a small size. It is true that GHW does not in general ship quarts or gallons. But if they did, we'd be paying for bigger, heavier plants, what is called in the trade "buying dirt". Have you ever gone into a big box store and pulled the larger plants out of their pots to check what they are selling, for three times the price of their cell packs? If you did, you'd see that what is in that larger pot is mostly soil, not roots. Not truth in packaging. Shipping charges are high enough (not GHW's fault, see UPS, Fedex, and USPS), without paying for pounds of soil. And unless you are skimping on the water, sun, and fertilizer, you should notice that those "little" plants turn into giants fast enough. In my experience, those little coleus and colocasia grow up to be three feet tall so quickly that it's almost scary.
(3) The other main trend of complaint is that GHW charges up front. Sorry, but that's not all that uncommon a practice in the garden world. Nurseries--especially rare plant specialists--cannot afford to grow out a multitude of unusual plants based on our January orders, only to find out in June that their customers have decided to cancel.
How do you think they pay their bills all year long, for electricity, water, payroll, property tax, etc? Do any of you disgruntled customers out there get paid once a year in June? Do you think you could live that way?
Some of the worst buying experiences I have ever had involved the celebrated Heronswood Nursery. They did not charge you upfront. However, I learned the hard way that they grew a discrete number of plants on a first come, first serve basis, and if you wanted X number of bromeliads or whatever, then you had to be willing to accept substitutions--their choice, their discretion. Since I tend to have very specific tastes and needs, I declined the substitution option, and each June I'd find out that 3/4 of my order could not be filled, because they hadn't grown enough of what I really wanted. Or maybe they had "preferred" customers who got special treatment, i.e. the plants I had ordered? (Heronswood was bought by Burpees then shut down this year, but I wasn't particularly dismayed since I stopped ordering from them long ago.)
Given a choice between paying up front for plants I know I'll receive, and not paying up front for a crap shoot, I'd rather do the former. Come on, folks--the interest you'd lose on thirty dollars worth of plants for 4 months is piddling. The concept is called Opportunity Cost.On July 15th, 2010, spinnerama added the following:
Another gardening season, and I am still totally delighted with the plants and customer service I received from Glasshouse Works. I have now ordered from GW for at least 15 years straight.
Not only have I won Chicago's Mayor Daley Landscaping Award for best rooftop garden in the city with GW's plants, but this spring my garden was featured in Lowe's Creative Ideas magazine, and in the Chicago Tribune---thanks to GW's terrific selections. Right now we are having a heat wave and my GW Colocasias and Alocasias are already 5 feet tall, with some leaves as big as two feet across! And yes, those arrived just a few weeks ago in those so-called "tiny" pots that some people have complained about.
More puzzling to me are the odd complaints that "my order was placed in April and I had to wait two months for my plants". Excuse me, but do any of you folks who whined about that understand horticulture at all? Plants take time to grow into a size that can be transplanted; they just don't go from seed to one-foot tall overnight. Yes, that can take two months if it's springtime (more if it's winter!). Maybe you can expect to order and receive a plant in a week if you place your order in July, but that wasn't what you stated in your negative review.
This spring I started over 500 plants from seed in my workshop under professional plant lights, and none of them were ready to be planted out before my GW shipment arrived. I don't get it--do you think you can plant Caladium outside in April in Zone 5? If so, then reading a couple of good books on gardening is a better use of your time than complaining about GW. Once the weather turns hot and sultry, your "little" plants will grow exponentially like my GW elephant ears.
This is Nature, people. You can't force it. And you can't control it. You can't get blood out of turnip and you can't get a turnip until the weather complies. Last year, June was horrid and wet, which slowed down the growing process considerably, and was accompanied by a terrible epidemic of early blight which nearly wiped out all the tomato farmers on the East Coast. This year, May was a problem, again cold and wet and nasty. GW can't change the weather!
I mail-ordered from 16 different sources around the country this spring, and not a single one of them shipped earlier than GW did. (In past years, some other companies shipped heat-loving tropicals to me in Chicago in March! You can imagine how well that worked out...Not.) Those sources included 4 companies on the celebrated "Watchdog 30"--all of whom also charged me upfront, by the way. IMHO, GW certainly deserves a spot on that list!
As for substitutions, when you place your orders with any company, including GW, you can specify "no substitutions". They will all gladly accomodate you and credit you if a specific plant is not available. The fact that the folks who wrote the recent negative reviews did not contact GW FIRST before posting a negative review here tells me they knew they were at fault, not GW. Bet they didn't say "no substitutions, please" when they placed their orders. Very cowardly to complain anonymously, and also not very smart. GW--like all good companies--would be sure to correct any mistakes.
I have never met either of the owners but they have sent me emails over the years about shortages or suggesting subs, and have always included hand-written notes on the invoices telling me what's new and giving me recommendations on what to plant where, etc. If you look at the order form, you will note that GW actually asks for information, like where you intend to plant something, and they have saved me a bunch of money over the years by telling me that a particular plant I picked out won't work in my climate, or won't bloom until winter, or needs to be in a greenhouse.
And...they always send me a wonderful surprise or three along with my shipment. Bottom line, if you don't communicate with GW if you are dissatisfied with something, you will not get it fixed. And that's truly YOUR fault, not theirs! This applies to any company, anywhere--they don't have x-ray vision, don't know if you have a problem unless you tell them.
On February 29th, 2012, spinnerama added the following:
On Jan 29, 2012, tussingteacher Canal Winchester, OH wrote:
I had a wonderful experience shopping to buy plants for terrariums for Christmas. I spent a delightful afternoon in the stocked-full greenhouses and, with help, chose some beautiful and healthy plants to create my tiny gardens. Thanks so much for your help and guidance!
Posted on November 14, 2011, updated December 28, 2011
Tom is a liar. I ordered and waited 6 weeks for my order after requesting updates on the status several times. I ordered in July and received my order in September - their "reasoning" was temperature (even though they are in Ohio and I am in Illinois).
My order was comprised of mostly multiple cuttings of epis. What I received was unbelievable - so much so that minutes after opening the package I called them and spoke to Tom. We went over each item and I explained what I had received (2 cuttings I deemed "ok"). Basically - I was sent short, torn, spotted, infested, worthless items which I would not keep for fear I would infect my beautiful plants with whatever diseases the cuttings had. The top 2 cuttings were wrapped, then a layer of paper, then everything else was in a loose pile on the bottom of the box. It was impossible to determine which cutting went with which nametag. He also charges a ridiculous amount for shipping - all bare root but he puts each cutting in a 5 cent pot so the volume size is exaggerated. I told him I was contacting VISA and he begged me to wait - that he would replace them all and would send them out the following Monday. Multiple contacts again - it is now November and NO CUTTINGS. VISA is looking in to it - but warns that he immediately charges and when it takes 6 weeks to receive them it puts in to question complaints. Glasshouse Works is NOT a member of the BBB.
Bottom line - beware of Glasshouse Works - sickly products, sky high shipping, 6 week or more waiting for arrival - and Tom is a flat out liar.
On December 28th, 2011, jmgrammer changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I have an update which has caused me to upgrade my rating. I was contacted by Tom quickly after my original posting. He remembered our phone conversation when I had received the original order and said there had been a death in the family and he had left the replacement order in the hands of an employee who had not followed through. He said he would issue a refund to my credit card and apologized. He asked me to change my rating here and I said I would as soon as I received the refund. A few days later he contacted me again and said he was going to send a replacement order at no cost as an apology - a very thoughtful gesture. Unfortunately, he omitted my unit number and UPS could not deliver as there are over 100 condos in this complex - he contacted me again and asked me to contact UPS (he had used the info from my original order which did include the unit number) which I did. They told me he (as the sender) had to do it - so emails later he made the contact and eventually the package was delivered - a week later. I don't know how UPS stores packages - but 8 days in 30 degree weather took its toll and only 2 are left to try and make it - but I do appreciate the thought.
I have upgraded to neutral instead of positive because of the drama in the original post. My repeated contacts did not rectify the situation until I posted here at Dave's Garden (which, incidently, I found after going on a google search for Glasshouse Works complaints). Kudos to Dave because it did bring about resolution.
It took from July 27th until December 28th - 5 phone calls, 18 emails, contact with the credit card company, a google search and a post here. Tom did refund my credit card - based on past experience I waited until I had it in writing via my monthly bill which I just received. He did indeed follow through with a replacement which was very thoughtful - it just didn't work out well. Although I will not ever order from GHW again, Tom clearly rectified the situation.
Thank you Tom - I wish you well.On Dec 28, 2011, Glasshouse Works responded with:
"On Nov 19, 2011 10:42 AM, Glasshouse Works responded with:
As soon as I found out that this lady was not pleased (from this Gardenwatchdog.com entry), I called her and apologized for the mess up. I gave her an immediate total refund on the order. I thought her order had been reshipped after her initial correspondance with us, but it had not. We are a small company which deals with a lot of plants and a lot of plant enthusiasts. Most of our feedback is good, so when something like this happens, we take care of it. I will update these notes in a few days. Tom Winn, Glasshouse Works."
I would like to thank you for sending what I consider to be absolutely beautiful plants. I have had such poor experiences with other venders that I was pleasantly surprised at how well these were packaged and how well they responded to their transplanting. I can not say enough good about your company. AND the prices were very reasonable. Thank you so much and I will be ordering all my future plants thru you site. Carolemnr...California
Posted on July 10, 2008, updated December 19, 2011
I just love my Glasshouse Works!!! On numerous occasions I have ordered from them and, oh -- do they have many treasures to entice and allure the fancy of any true plant aficionado no matter what ones preference. My appetite is for succulents; I received superb specimens of prickly Euphorbias and Pachypodiums that are compact, nicely shaped, & erect. I am quite happy with the size. Every box contains a bonus -- I was pleasantly surprised.
The endless choices & rarities just makes me dizzy. A trip to their greenhouses reveals that there is something for everyone. Even a non-plant person can find a unique specimen of interest there, as the owners are so knowledgeable, at times erudite, and always entertaining. If possible, I strongly recommend a visit to their greenhouses and glorious display gardens especially during these summer and fall months. I look forward to my next visit as I am looking for the darling Tiny Blue Bells and many, many more little succulents.
On December 19th, 2011, flitafolia added the following:
I got my order and was more than uber satisfied. It was nicely bundled and packaged and I could hardly contain myself as I unwrapped it to expose the treasure what lay within. I screeched with joy as I pulled out my succulent bonsai. It was in glorious shape after having been so nicely packaged. The girls at the Glasshouse Works really came through. I am a satiated customer until and plan to order from them again. You go girls!
I am new to gardening and just planted my first enclosed terrarium this week. Much research and preparation went into this project, which I look forward to tending and nurturing for a long time to come. I truly considered all of the vendors with whom I had the privilege of working a part of my team, and Glasshouse Works certainly played a pivotal role in the successful implementation of my very own indoor garden. The experience could not have been more pleasant. Tom graciously took a call from me on a Sunday evening and doubled his efforts on my behalf. He took into account my terrarium dimensions and the enchanted forest theme I employed when making the final plant selections; the plants were shipped promptly and arrived in excellent condition; and the communication was superb. I have no doubt that Tom and GHW will be available to assist me with any questions or concerns that may arise, and I look forward to giving them my business in the future. I appreciated their personal touch as much as their professionalism. Once again, Tom, thanks so much! -Lori
Posted on November 5, 2011, updated November 5, 2011
Posted on November 1, 2011, updated November 5, 2011
Posted on October 26, 2011, updated November 1, 2011
Plants are not what they are described as. I bout a "Variegated Ponderosa lemon" from them. Turned out to be a regular variegated Eureka lemon. Beware of what you purchase from them.
Now I see they also stole my photo of my Sungold lemon. I do have the original with a date stamp.
On November 1st, 2011, Laaz changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
They made good on my purchase. I would however recommend that they let their plants fruit before listing them, so they know they are selling the correct plant.On November 5th, 2011, Laaz changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I give up with this place, the guy sends a refund check unsigned & then doesn't respond to email. Total fail !On November 5th, 2011, Laaz changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Cleared things up.On Nov 5, 2011, Glasshouse Works responded with:
"On Nov 1, 2011 3:17 PM, Glasshouse Works responded with:
This plant was purchased in 2005 and we had never heard back from this person about any problem. As soon as I found out that he was displeased and that we had mailed him the wrong plant (it can happen but not very much with our greenhouse business--because we are plant fanatics) we refunded his money for this plant, even six years after he bought it. That is the kind of business we are! As you can see from all our reviews we have many very satisfied customers and good public relations. If something is wrong, we fix it. Tom Winn, Glasshouse Works."
Posted on October 15, 2011, updated October 16, 2011
I ordered 10-coleus because it is the ONLY plant I like, and there are some incredible colors in the hybrid ones. I made that clear with an email I sent. I ordered 10 in a pack called 'Coleus Craze.' Because I ordered so late in the year, I would have to take what was left. No problem. When I realized that the turn-around time would mean the plants would arrive when I was on break, (I'm in college), I tried to cancel the order. They said they'd pull the order right away and send it. Very considerate. When the plants arrived, HALF of them were not even coleus!!!! I contacted them. The response I got said that the guy who filled the order took it upon himself to send other plants that would be more colorful during the winter. The resolution: Half the cost was refunded to me. I don't consider this resolved. I STILL paid for shipping 5 plants I do NOT want, and 2 of them I could have purchased at Walmart. When I receive FIVE more coleus, the plants I purchased, this will be resolved. I do not consider it as 'doing good business' for ANYone to NOT send a customer what they paid money for and to instead send them something else. The cost of the five plants...when considering what I paid for shipping, the refund was in no way a fair resolution. It was a mistake to send me products I didn't want, and it was not my mistake. I am, however, still out the cost of shipping. A fair resolution? They would have shipped five coleus and THEY would have paid the cost of shipping. Their mistake - not mine. I believe a business with integrity would have done more to take responsibility for their mistake. Instead, they only paid a PART of what their mistake cost me. I'll never do business with this outfit again - not if they decide how to spend my money and when they do not do what would be reasonable to correct their mistake(s). I consider it disrespectful and borderline arrogant to make assumptions that lead to a customer NOT getting what they paid for - ESPECIALLY when it's a new customer they do not know. I expressed a SPECIFIC interest in coleus. Regardless of whether their intentions were good or not, I got ripped-off. NEGATIVE experience....definitely NEGATIVE.
On October 16th, 2011, MiJosD changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I am one who will complain when I believe a business is treating me unfairly, is not providing products/services for which I paid money, or is unwilling to go about doing business in a responsible way that demonstrates an integrity a customer can trust. I am also one who will be the first to speak up when a business/company stands out from others with respect to the business practices I've listed above. If I find it possible to remove my comments above, I will do so. In the meantime, I will add these details. (Perhaps my two postings will make a more powerful statement as to how these gentlemen do business than simply removing the original post). I just spoke with one of the owners. He stepped up and did what he could to resolve my issue, and in doing so, he demonstrated that integrity about which I wrote above. I now must retract my statement/opinions and admit that I was mistaken. It is my impression that Glasshouse Works is run/managed in a conscientious manner and that they strive to provide their customers with the products for which they have paid. I know, first hand, that if there is an issue/dispute, Glasshouse Works maintains their integrity and demonstrates that they value their customers. Bottom line - they run an honest business, and in this age of online/internet shopping, this is an invaluable quality. It is also a rare quality. It is my opinion that if one is shopping for products and that Glasshouse Works offers those products, they would be the company/business that could be trusted to go the extra mile to provide what they say they will provide, and they will do so with integrity and honesty. In my experience, that is a rare thing. You'll find that with Glasshouse Works.
Posted on May 18, 2006, updated October 12, 2011
I always enjoy getting plants from GHW's. Last wk I got on order I placed a while back, but they held them because I'm in Il and winters are harsh and icy.
The plants were packaged thoroughly, and arrived in perfect condition. Toni
On March 7th, 2009, Toni05 added the following:
Received 4 plants, and a Bonus plant today. Like usual, plants arrived in excellent condition. The bonus plant is gorgeous, but I already have that particular species..:)
When I phoned in the order, outdoor temps were between 30-40F degrees. The person I spoke with explained it'd be best to wait instead of risking frost-bitten plants. I agreed.
Although our temps increased since ordering, a heat pack was placed in the box. My new plants arrived safe, so it was worth the wait.
After reading numerous feedbacks, I notice many negatives (for different nurseries) given because shipping takes 'too long.'
Weather is one problem. Shipping plants during winter months can kill plants, especially tender tropicals. It's better waiting, then receive dead plants.
In spring there are rush orders...everyone wants their plants, ASAP. I've learned after years of ordering, patience is the key. (there are some exceptions, of course, nurseries that take money but do not send plants.) One owner in particular, (since I almost ordered a citrus from him) should be in jail! I am grateful GardenWatchdog is around..
Plants were well-packed, secure. Every leaf in place. The owner, or whomever I spoke with was friendly and patient, since I couldn't make up my mind whether or not to purchase a couple types of plants.
GHW's has many rare species that are either hard to find or impossible locating. So, keep up the great work, and thanks, Toni
On October 12th, 2011, Toni05 added the following:
Received three healthy Begonias.
I phoned GHW's back in July to ask if they had B. bipinnatifida and B. aconitifolia. He told me they were on back-order but would be ready by Sept, 'since they're rare and sell fast when available.'
The Begonias arrived when he stated. Each have perfect foliage, and pest-free. All securely wrapped.
On Oct 8, 2011, justalilrowdy Clearlake, CA wrote:
Posted on October 7, 2011, updated October 8, 2011
They are terrible.. I placed a large order and waited for a response.. I sent e-mails only to get a snotty phone call from Tom to say I was impatient!! He was rude and told me the plants weren't all ready but he would send the ones that were ready and refund my money for the rest. He sent half my order.. 3 of the 10 plants look awful and will most likely die.. 1 is the size of a dime and it was $17.00!!! No money refunded to my account. This place is a total rip and I would never buy anything from them again. Beware!
On October 8th, 2011, justalilrowdy changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I want to say I was too soon to judge Glasshouse Works. Very good customer service. I received some beautiful plants as well as the 3 that didn't look so healthy. Even the 3 seem to be doing fine and I got a call from Tom to make sure I was completely satisfied. I will buy from them again and they do have a good selection of hard to find plants.
I have ordered from this company several times. I got some rare house plants that i just love. They came in good condition and a good price. Also they included a free plant of like kind. It was a varigated phlo. They seem to be a good company to deal with.
Respectfully, Stan Quick
The owners of Glasshouse Works, Tom and Ken, really know their plants. In many ways they are like the classic British plantsmen you read about in English gardening books. Glasshouse Works maintains an extensive list of plants rare, and not so rare. If I find a plant on the web or in a book or magazine that I would like to grow, I always check their site first. Most times they have it for sale. Glasshouse Works provides a valuable service for anyone interested in quality plants, especially interesting and uncommon ones. Their prices are very reasonable for the size and quality they ship. I met Ken and Tom on a visit once. Tom seems to be the more out-going team member, for he always answers my e-mails and phone calls. I suspect that Tom also writes the descriptions in the on-line catalog. Read them carefully, because he sometimes slips in a comment about a plant that probably shouldn't be ignored! I understand that Ken prefers to work with plants--and he seems to have hybridized a number of the begonias they sell.
Their listings are so extensive, that some plants may be in short supply, or at a stage they are not comfortable shipping. Glasshouse Works is probably not the place to go to place an order on the Saturday before Mother's day for that Sunday's delivery. But they do try hard to please their customers, and their efforts are successful. I am always happy with the plants I get from them, and if they make a substitution, it is often a better choice than the plant I selected originally. Tom will patiently answer any questions I have and will tell me of any difficulties they had in growing a particular plant. This is the kind of practical growing information you do not get in most other sources--in print or on-line.
I trust them explicitly and hope that you will give them a try. If an order seems to be taking time to fulfill, give them a call or send them an e-mail. Tom always responds with an explanation.
I am always pleased with their efforts. Any grower that produces the variety of quality plants that they deliver deserves to be supported. They run a business which is surely a labor of love, and plant lovers in this country owe them a debt of gratitude for their efforts.
we've ordered plants from glasshouse works on three different occasions. all plants have arrived sound and healthy. quite a feat considering that ahonui botanical gardens are on the island of kauaii,(in the state of hawaii). glasshouse works is our favorite mail order company.
On Jul 11, 2011, Pinguicula Yelm, WA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I placed my order March 7th and was told the plants would ship in April when the weather was warmer. I anxiously waited all of April and never relieved notice of shipping. In May I moved and sent several messages asking that they change my shipping address before anyone replied to confirm the change. I was told at that time the plants would ship in June. Now it's July and work has me moving yet again. This time I am canceling my order rather than updating the address. I just can't wait any longer.
On Jun 24, 2011, FlaFlower Miami Dade, FL (Zone 11) wrote:
Posted on June 7, 2011, updated June 24, 2011
Posted on April 17, 2011, updated June 7, 2011
I waited 14 months, yes, 1 year and 2 months for 2 vines I had paid in advance for. I got an abundance of excuses as to why the plants did not arrive in a timely manner over and over again, he did throw in a bonus plant for my patience?...Low and behold they arrived last week. I have waited till now, till I was calmed down enough to write this without going on an uncontrolable RANT!! The box when it arrived was warm to the touch, when I opened it I found a large warmer wrapped around the plants (multi-purpose jumbo shipping warmer) for three 4 inch pots. The plants I have waited 14 months for are cooked...literally cooked, dry, brown and black, hard, crispy leaves, nothing green COOKED...never again!!! These plants were $75.00 EACH in 4 inch pots? You have got to be kidding me? Yea I am more than disappointed I am P!ssed :-(
On June 7th, 2011, floridaheat added the following:
Yes, I see the reviews...Tom I sent you 1 of the dead plants back , I wasn't going to spend more money than that out of the 3 at my expense, explaining I would try to save the other 2 crispy ones, they in fact did not survive as well.
I expected to at least have a replacement for the one, that didn't happen either. You had a basket full of excuses, the one you mentioned is a new one...I have all the e-mails. On June 24th, 2011, floridaheat changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Tom finally made good on the order, I DID in fact get new plants, they look good and are thriving they came fine. He made more than good on the order. I am not happy about how much time all of this took but none the less I changed my rating from a negative to a neutral. They look good Tom thanks :-)On Jun 24, 2011, Glasshouse Works responded with:
"On Apr 17, 2011 8:34 PM, Glasshouse Works responded with:
I have already emailed this customer using her Dave's Garden address.. We are very sorry the shipment did not arrive well. I told her at this time that we would replace the plants in the shipment and monitor the shipping so that she would know when the plants would arrive and not sit in the sun in Florida. We worked very hard to get these rare plants ready for her after a crop failure last year. I also told her here in my email to her that if she wanted to use the money for other easier plants to grow, I would reship her order with other plants. We want our customers to be pleased with our plants and our service. I had told her of our problems with this difficult plant. We work hard to grow plants that other places do not. I hope to hear from this customer to talk over a reshipment. .I do wish at times when there is a problem with a shipment that the customer would email us first. Things like this can be easily taken care of. You can see from our other reviews that we do take care of problems. Tom Winn "
On May 20, 2011, planthugger Rogersville, MO wrote:
I have ordered plants from Glasshouse Works for the past three years, probably five or six orders in total. They have never failed to send healthy plants. I just received my most recent order of 49 plants (!), and was quite pleased with the healthy specimens. The plants they send are often small, but when you see the bargain prices for them, that's quite understandable. Some of the tropical plants I ordered the first time I did business with them, that were perhaps 4 inches tall when shipped, are now enormous! An example is a Philodendron that is probably 3 feet tall and 4 or 5 feet wide. I've always been impressed at their careful packing of plants for shipping. I'm surprised someone has reported a negative experience about Glasshouse Works, because I am living proof, and my many plants are living proof, that they send high-quality plants. (And I've unfortunately dealt with some very shady companies such as Burgess and House of Wesley, so I know the difference between good companies and bad ones.) Thanks. Planthugger
First sent an email with a question about shipping, and was promptly answered. I followed up with an order for two crinums that were on sale. Company was very good with communication regarding the order. Received an email when mailed, along with a tracking number. Plants arrived quickly, were well packaged with a small heat pack. I followed directions and waited a few days before repotting- very happy to see such healthy roots! I was treated graciously even though order was less than $50.00.
On Nov 25, 2010, artflorissant Washington, DC wrote:
Across nearly six years, Glasshouse Works has been my main source for hard-to-find plants of every kind. The collections are endlessly astonishing in depth and variety: there are few houseplant genera for which you won't find some (often-unusual) example, and the range regularly expands. (GW also has larger outdoor plants, but I've never ordered any.)
For each order of minimum qualifying value (which, I'd guess, is somewhere in the low double digits, around $25), GW includes a bonus plant related to a specimen you have ordered. This is always a treat, especially since the bonus may turn out to be a rarity not shown online. My plants have always arrived in good health, and except for one baby slug (quickly dispatched!), I have never found any pests in GW shipments.
Finally, I must say what a great pleasure it is to do business with these courteous and attentive folks. They pay attention to proper shipping times and will tell you when your shipment must wait for warmer weather to ensure safe delivery. I've never received a dead plant from GW. (I made several orders when I lived in New England, so this weather factor can be very important. Another grower, down in Georgia, once sent me some amaryllis bulbs in the midst of an extreme January cold snap. Despite prompt shipment, the bulbs didn't survive. I can't imagine such a mishap with Glasshouse Works.)
All in all, this is one of my all-time favorite plant suppliers. Try them, and I think you'll be more than pleased with the results.
I was extremely pleased with my order from Glasshouse Works. They have an extensive selection and I really like the grab-bag collections they offer. Prices are reasonable. I'm no expert, so I was happy to see the order confirmation included thorough instructions for unwrapping and acclimating new arrivals. It took about two weeks longer for my order to ship than they had estimated when confirming my order, no big deal. I think I waited about a month total to receive the order- they waited to ship until the weather cooled down. I received nine plants, all more generous in size than I expected, and all perfectly packaged. A couple of the plants dropped a bunch of leaves after arriving, but a week later they had new leaves sprouting out. The plants are doing really well and I'll be ordering from them again soon.
Glasshouse Works is VERY GOOD. But they are not great at marketing what they are really doing for us. These guys are doing something for us that no-one else in the business does, and you can't expect a cookie cutter experience. Let me explain: As a former commercial greenhouse grower and landscaper I have some insight. Glasshouse works under propagates their stock and grows the rest of their plants to order. Plants being grown to order is very common in the plant business when ordering unussual plants, and even sometimes for common plants.
Imagine you are a landscaper or own a big property and you make plans for repeat annual installations, and you want dozens of particular plant(s) to complete a design (even for perennials, if a new installation). To ensure that you will have enough of the right plant you go to a smallish commercial grower and place a special order in the fall or winter. Occasionally it is even cheaper than going through your regular nursery because you are ordering in bulk.
For the grower, each year you calculate how much money you need from sales to cover your costs (heating oil!). You divide this by your square footage of greenhouse space and you come up with your "dollars per square foot". Meeting this number is harder to do if you are a northern grower because your fuel oil prices are higher. It is very hard to stay in business with the southern mega growers trucking in cheap, often low quality plants. The last thing you want is to get stuck with plants you can't sell. Growing unusual plants is clever, because they command a better price and you don't have to compete with Wal-Mart, but it's very risky. If you choose to propagate the wrong amount of things (and gardening trends are fickle), you will get stuck with all those precious, expensive plants to keep you company and no money for fuel oil for the next year. Glasshouse Works is ensuring they can stay in business, and supplying us with cool, unusual plants (which are getting harder to find as quirky, local growers are squeezed out of the annual growing business) by offering retail customers the same gig I had when I was a landscaper: grow to order. They ensure they are only growing EXACTLY what we want! It is like custom tailored clothes for our gardens and windowsills! The fact that they will do this with a quantity of "1" and will work with you if you are unhappy is too good to be true folks.
Lastly, remember that rare plants are living things, and shipment is rough on them. There is no such thing as 100% of plants arriving in great condition 100% of the time. Pests, disease, uncontrollable jostling and environmental conditions, fussy tropicals (oh, but we WANT them!)...
You want the plants. Get excited. Place your order. Be patient. Tell everyone you are waiting for your specialty grower to propagate your custom order of rare plants. Enjoy them when the arrive. And contact GW if you are unhappy. : )
PS: Small plants usually acclimate to their homes better. It's a scientific fact.
On Sep 10, 2010, dsa2591 North Port, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
Posted on September 10, 2010, updated September 10, 2010
Posted on September 10, 2010, updated September 10, 2010
Posted on September 10, 2010, updated September 10, 2010
I ordered a rare Rhoeo from this company, and asked that they not ship before the end of September, maybe mid October, because of the heat in SW Florida. I received it today, September 10. Luckily, it was overcast today, so riding around all day in the hot mail truck did not destroy it. I was very specific that I wanted a well-established plant, and if they did not have one, to let me know and I would wait.
I am very disappointed. This plant has very few tiny roots, and was evidently just stuck into a pot and sent before it was rooted at all. It is way too small for a plant I paid $22 for, with an additional $12 in shipping costs. They did send a bonus plant, but that is a very common variety that I just bought half price at Wal-Mart for $1.75 a one gallon pot.
I will be contacting the company to let them know that if this plant does not live, I expect a refund. I will update when I hear back from them.
On September 10th, 2010, dsa2591 added the following:
Update: Phoned the company, and the man who answered the phone was borderline rude to me. He kept overtalking me, not letting me say what I was trying to say, and swore that this plant was not root rotted when it left their place. I tried to tell him that I am a horticulturist and I know that root rot takes more than a few days to set in this badly, and he just kept talking, saying they would give me a credit for my next purchase, and that 99% of their customers were thrilled with their purchases, etc. I tried to explain to him that I was not those 99%, I was me, and my plant was not satisfactory. He just didn't want to hear it. I told him that I have cleaned all the rot off the plant and am trying to save it, but I don't expect it to live, and he wanted to even argue with me on that. I will never order from this company again, even if they give me a full refund. I have never had someone be so condescending and uninterested in what I was complaining about.On September 10th, 2010, dsa2591 added the following:
I meant to add that when I further inspected the plant, every single root on it was completely rotted.On September 10th, 2010, dsa2591 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Changed my rating from Negative to Neutral, because I just came in to find a message from Tom saying he was sorry if he sounded rude on the phone, and that his partner said that he had rooted that plant just for me, and it looked good when it left the greenhouse. He reiterated that if it did not live, they would make it right.
While that is all very nice, and I'm impressed with the customer service, I'm still unhappy with the plant being root rotted when I got it. I feel they should have checked the roots before they shipped it. On Sep 10, 2010, Glasshouse Works responded with:
"On Sep 10, 2010 2:40 PM, Glasshouse Works responded with:
I was surprised to hear that this plant did not arrive well. I tried to say that we stood behind our plants and that we would make this good if it did not put out new roots. I guess we kept interrupting each other, because I was trying to explain that she did not need to worry. I said that the plant was specifically rooted for her order. I kept trying to say that if it did not root up again, we would take care of this. I also said that even if the plant did start growing again, we would give her a bonus or a credit on her next order anyway. I could barely get a word in because of her being so upset. I was trying to tell her not to worry. That is why I am writing this now because I want her to know that we appreciate her business. She is obviously a real plant lover!!!. She ordered a very uncommon plant. And I want to know that it does start growing for her. It has been a difficult summer to ship plants. And we have gotten very little feedback about problems. But once and a while, something bad does happen. That is why I told her not to worry. We appreciate our customers. I do wish we could have talked more calmly on the phone. Perhaps I was a bit brusque myself. If so, I apologize for this. I will try to call her again. Tom
On Sep 1, 2010, alhexehla Yellow Springs, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
I own and operate a small, enthusiast plant shop in Yellow Springs, Ohio and when my staff and I travel to the little town of Stewart, Ohio we consider it a pilgrimage. Every time we go to see the folks of Glasshouse Works we feel like (and we actually use this term) we are going to visit with the 'Jedi Masters'. So while we don't have much experience with their mail order side, I can just say for the record that the plant industry needs to have people like these sitting on top of the rat-race with all the wisdom in the world. So order from them and don't worry about if your stuff comes in 2 days or 2 weeks. It’ll be great quality stock, and from one of the few places you can actually find depth in what you’re looking for. And by all means, go visit them (if you're REALLY into plants). You won't be disappointed. I believe they're open to the public, at the very least, Saturdays between May and September. Their place is a wonderland for rare foliage enthusiasts!
On Jul 16, 2010, tobee43 groveland, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
Posted on May 23, 2006, updated July 16, 2010
Although there has been many comments both good and some not, I can, of course, only relay my experience with this company. While I usually place between 30-50 large orders a year, this year was a record high of 120. Out of all those orders up to this point, less than 10% were complete or considered acceptable. I’d be the very last, and I’m not trying to make excuses for the suppliers, but most of those were from northern growers, whom all experienced bad weather and skyrocketing fuel cost as contributing factors to their lagging behind in their order filling. This has a direct effect on my efforts in launching a successful attempt at a plantscaping business. However, in this business, most know that unfortunately, there are unforeseen and unpredictable circumstances that we have learned to expect from time to time.
Here’s what I can say about GHW: Many of the companies that sent inferior or no product, just basically said… “To bad” and what a hassle it’s been trying to get credit or replacements. However, GHW has bent over backwards and forwards, and even perhaps sideways to help me with my order. Whether it was replacement of plants or issuing credit for those that could not be replaced. I personally, have never heard of a company that would go to other suppliers and ask them to help fill my order. Tom had to pay out of his own pocket to make sure I rec’d want I needed.
Many may not agree with this philosophy, but a true test for me of just how good a company is; is NOT just by receiving great plants, actually, that’s a daily occurrence, but the truth of a company is reflected by the way they handle a bad situation. What efforts they make to resolve the issues and what the results of those efforts are. If we purchased a shirt from Macy’s and it was defective and Macy’s returned all our money or replaced the shirt we’d accept that. That would be the end of it. But, we all know , we LOVE our plants, it’s emotional for us, we look forward to them all year and the disappointment just can’t compare to that shirt, but………. Basically, in reality, (removing our emotional attachments from our BELOVED plants), it’s the same thing. Once a company either replaces or refunds…what more can we want or expect them to do.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel for myself and the problems that this year has presented to me and others. But as far as dealing with GHW it’s been one of the best bad situations I have dealt with ever.
I take Watchdog rather seriously, so for me; personally, I would not consider rating any company negative without first attempting to contact them and give them an opportunity to correct the situation. I understand that with some companies putting up a negative response is the only way to get their attention, but in the case of GHW when I called about any problems I had with the order they immediately went into “let’s fix this right away” mode. No questions asked, and that is what I needed to hear.
After thinking about it, I for one will be ordering from them again next year. I’m not trying to do a testimonial for any company, including GHW; I just see two sides to the story. At least I know one thing that’s probably the most important to me, and that is: they stand behind what they do.
On July 16th, 2010, tobee43 added the following:
i just rec'd my order and it's just lovely!! thank you so much for picking my such large and beautiful plants!!
i have been dealing with glasshouseworks for years and find every year they are just getting better and better! it's always like xmas when i rec my order!
i would highly recommend glasshouseworks to everyone without hesitation!
On Jul 15, 2010, plantmepleazek San Bruno, CA wrote:
This is my 5th order with this wonderful nursery. I am so impressed with the customer service and prompt shipping....And they managed to do it AGAIN. ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!!!
I opened the box and found each and every plant packaged perfectly. All the plants were in EXCELLENT condition. I would recommend them to anyone looking for the best that one can find in a nursery.
I really am so thrilled to find such a great selection of rare plants available and glasshouse continues to provide to the public consistently year after year. What a find! DO NOT hesitate a moment to place your order you will not be disappointed!
Thanks again and I'll be placing another order for next year, you can count on that!!!
On Jul 15, 2010, donnanewjersey Bound Brook, NJ wrote:
I really wanted to express my completely and overwhelmingly positive experiences with Glasshouse Works. I was totally shocked to hear of any negatives and want to let all know that the extremely rare selection is amazing and the follow up for my orders has been excellent. I have ordered rare plants from GHW for 15+ years and have acquired everything from unusual begonias to cycads to epimediums to odd sanseverias and much more.
I have had personal phone conversations with each of the owners who have provided specialized tips for best results. I have also ordered plants from GHW to be sent as gifts to family members -- each plant was exactly as ordered and all thrived.
We all have bad days so maybe the last individual's experience was linked to some other unrelated unfortunate experience. I love the the selection and the prompt response and accurate order completion I get from Glasshouse Works!