On Jun 9, 2015, magnaastra Charleston, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:
Quite possibly, this was the most unique buying experience I have ever had, plant- or non-plant-related. Never have I had a proprietor take such genuine concern with a planned purchase. I ordered three 'Superhardy' agave plants for my cactus garden. Almost immediately, I received an e-mail reply, asking if I was sure about my selections since they might not be cold- and/or moisture-tolerant enough for my location (zone 6a, 30 - 40 inches of precipitation annually). I assured them that, yes, I really did want the plants, so I was very promptly sent not three, but four beautiful agave, bursting with vitality, obviously lovingly cared for, and so well-packed that not a leaf or a root was harmed during their journey. AND, there was a handwritten note from the owner, containing planting and growing tips, and some much-appreciated words of encouragement. Glasshouseworks just made a customer for life.
On May 15, 2015, Houseplantz New York City, NY wrote:
This was my second order from Glasshouse works. First order was in mid winter. The weather wasn't too great for shipping and they communicated that to me in a timely and friendly manner. when the weather permitted the plants shipped and arrived in AWESOME shape! I ordered again in April and what I ordered wasn't available, again they kept me in the loop. Second shipment arrived and again they were in great shape! Bursting with buds. Love Glasshouse! Oh and the prices are fantastic.
I have been searching for a tiger fern, or "nephrolepis exaltata variegata". No one here in Memphis seems to have them this year and after searching online I found them at Glasshouse Works. I ordered it and they sent it in a timely manner, along with an additional fern which I really like. The plants arrived in great shape. I'm very pleased with this company.
On Mar 23, 2015, RussRAB North Richland Hills, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
Our weather in North Texas has been very erratic during the month of March 2015. My order was shipped from Glasshouse Works on a day in March when our weather was fine, but during the process of delivery, we had several cold fronts pass through and temperatures dropped to freezing. The plants I ordered were cold sensitive and after a couple delivery delays, they arrived showing damage from the cold. When I contacted Glasshouse Works and explained the situation, they immediately and without question replaced the order. The second shipment arrived with the plants looking great and they even included a bonus plant. I am very satisfied with my experience with Glasshouse Works. I will look forward to buying from them in the future.
I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Glasshouse Works. Twice I ordered some Hippeastrum Species, not only did they arrive quickly, but they were very healthy. To boot, they were nice enough to add a bonus plant!!! I highly recommend them and I encourage you to look through their extensive catalog. They showcase some real hard to find plants and their prices are very reasonable.
On Dec 2, 2014, tdfallon Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:
Posted on November 29, 2014, updated December 2, 2014
Looks like a complete loss of $142.00 dollars.
After reading other reviews where customers say *“You\'re unlikely to ever get a refund from this company and it will never be in full” , *“No refund. I\'ve put in a paypal claim and escalated it to a dispute” * ”I was not reimbursed for the shipping cost”
I get a response they want me to send back the dead plants to them, because these of all the plants they sell are the “rare, oddball and difficult to propagate plants, that other customers want”.
Of 11 plants, (2) of them had not one leaf not one stem, nothing but dirt and roots in a pot.
(4) of the 11 plants have three leaves or less and are more brown and black than green.
Another (4) are very very poor in quality. And (1) yes 1 out of the 11 plants is green, however not worth the $32.59 I paid for it.
I went out and smashed each and every one of the plants, no one else will be shipped these plants for me shipping them back to Glasshouse Works
They got my money don’t let them get yours.
A robber will steal from you as many times as you let them.
On December 2nd, 2014, tdfallon added the following:
The resolution to my disappointment.
I asked them to make things right.
If the problem was cold weather and shipping, and not dead dying and rotting plants before they were packed, to replace 4 of the plants, and send 1 that was missing from the original order, a total of 5 plants of the 11 plant order.
I did not want them to think I was out to defraud them like I am sure happens plenty of times to even the best businesses.
These 5 plants where not the rare or expensive plants of the order. These were ones commonly found at home centers. This would cost $45.00 “their retail price” of the $142.00 original order. I thought if they sent good quality plants I mark my experience as just another wonder of the world as to how these plants got in the box.
Instead since I did receive one good green plant out of the order, the plant was $32.50 they refunded $98.00 so this $32.50 plant cost me $44.00.
I am very happy to get $98.00 back from these guys.
$44.00 is cheap lesson to learn to check reviews on businesses before you buy.
On a happy note I placed an order with “ Secret Garden Rare Plants ” and could not be happier with what they sent. The best plants I have ever received, including plants I personally pick out myself.
Posted on June 26, 2014, updated July 10, 2014
Posted on June 19, 2014, updated June 26, 2014
Posted on June 19, 2014, updated June 19, 2014
Ordered 70$ worth of succulents on June 8'th. I waited 10 days and kept checking the mail every day and nothing has come. So I emailed them and they responded saying my order would ship in 2 weeks! So first I waited 10 days for nothing and now I have to wait an additional 2 weeks for it to ship out?!?!
These are just kalanchoe plants. I have a feeling they are either intentional or unintentionally stringing me along to the point where I will be beyond the 45 day paypal dispute window. I'm not going to wait 3 weeks for shipping. I started a paypal claim today, 11 days after making the purchase and viewing the massive amounts of negative reviews I feel I've done the right thing. This company is clearly not being run very seriously, customer service seems to be poor and in many cases non-existent. They shouldn't be selling things they don't have readily in stock! And if they don't have it in stock their website should be letting you know that you're buying something on backorder.
Very Unhappy. Won't be doing business with them ever again. Hopefully I get my money back.
On June 19th, 2014, MaxWest added the following:
June 19'th seller emails me this
"The reason why some of the orders take longer to be shipped is because of the current stage of development of that particular crop. We propagate almost all of our plants, thus the vast variety that we can offer. We are a small company, we do not always have a large inventory per plant - and like I said, the plants are in various stages of development. Some of the plants that are not ordered often, we will propagate to order. We do not ship the plants until we feel that they are in a mature enough state to survive the transportation and arrive at your door with the best possible chances of flourishing. We assume that you want the same thing.
Our grower has been working on the Kalanchoe's that you ordered. Not all of them are ready, but he said that he will ship what he is ready this coming Monday. He may sub with other, interesting, rare Kalanchoe that matches the description you wrote in your comment section - he is very good with such things, the vast majority of people love the surprises that he sends.
I hope this answers your question. Plants do not always obey our desired schedules.
Your order will be shipped Monday or Tuesday. UPS will email the tracking number to you on the day the order goes out. We will also notify you.
This to me is totally crazy. 11 days later and they tell me that some of the plants are apparently still growing to meet the correct size and others are being propagated O_O Are you kidding me? That's like selling a tree and telling the customer you have to wait for it to grow from a seed. I didn't pay for that. Then he says this third party grower is going to send a partial order (I didn't agree to that) and/or whatever he wants to send me that he thinks I'll like. I didn't give anyone permission to "substitute my order with other interesting items". This is just crazy, poor customer service. Never sell things you can't instantly produce or tell them at the time of purchase it's going to take weeks for delivery. I wouldn't have ordered if I knew this was the case. On June 26th, 2014, MaxWest added the following:
Recieved two voice mails over the weekend from the guy Ken. I didn't feel like calling back either as both of the voice mails did not even remotely address my concerns regarding the serious amount of time it was taking to receive the plants, nor any acknowledgement that they try to sell full plants depicted on the website and then when it takes weeks to get them you find out that they are trying to grow each one for your order. It's silly. I told them 3 times that I wanted to cancel the transaction and have my money refunded. No refund. I've put in a paypal claim and escalated it to a dispute. Sad that I have to do that and they can't just apologize and return my money seeing as they never shipped anything. So I'll have to wait a few more days for paypal to hopefully side with me so I can get my 70$ back. This is one of the worst companies I've ever dealt with in my entire life. His voice mail was condescending and totally made it seem like it was my fault I didn't understand that all these plants would take weeks upon weeks to grow and that I was being too demanding actually wanting what I paid for instead of substitutes they would just try to pawn off on me. What total lunacy. I would advocate everyone steering clear of this company. I should have known it was too good to be true for such a company to have all these rare succulents and it is, because they don't!! They have very little of any of it in stock and will try to propogate per order and make you wait weeks to try to send you something small or send you something totally different and hope that you'll be pleased enough to not complain. Don't shop Glasshouse works. What they are doing is selling things they don't have and can't produce in any kind of a timely manner. It's tantamount to fraud. On July 10th, 2014, MaxWest added the following:
Finally got my paypal money refunded to me (3+ weeks later), no thanks to glasshouse works. Why they couldn't just accept that I was unhappy after several emails and didn't want them to ship the plants I had waited weeks for and just GIVE my money back is beyond me. These guys are con artists, that's why. They quickly take your money with little sincerity or commitment about ever delivering your order.
I implore everyone who thinks about ordering from glasshouse works to read every comment on this site before making a decision to purchase. As of this writing 68 of their feedback are negative/neutral and only 154 are positive. That means half of the time they are either outright screwing people or doing a poor job. Is that the kind of company you want to spend your money with?!?!
What I realized from reading everyone else's posts is that my experience is strikingly similar to what others have experienced.
*They list tons of items on the site that they do not have in stock and most likely can't produce.
*They immediately bill you but then expect you to wait (weeks, months, sometimes years) for items to be grown/propagated -which may or may not even be happening.
*They have millions of excuses as to why orders are not shipped in a timely manner or in many cases not at all.
*They will substitute all orders at any chance they can get, since they don't have most items. They hope sending you "something else interesting" will appease you. What kind of company does this!?!?
*Any complaint you have is your problem, something you don't understand about growing rare/exotic plants, or is not their fault because of some delay, weather, lack of sun, etc. -whatever they can dream up that day. They are adept at ignoring emails and paypal claims!
*You're unlikely to ever get a refund from this company and it will never be in full unless you've made a chargeback with your bank or filed an escalated claim with paypal.
Spending money with this company is risky and foolish. It's throwing money away with little to no expectation you're going to receive any success. If you've been scammed by this company I highly suggest filing a complaint with the better business bureau. Selling things you don't have, and can't produce within a claim dispute period is FRAUD! I hope this company goes out of business just so they can't steal from more new customers.
On Jun 19, 2014, thezookeeper Sioux Falls, SD (Zone 4a) wrote:
Posted on May 8, 2014, updated June 19, 2014
I ordered 9 plants on 4/17/14. They sent me an email on the order. On 4/19 I received notice of shipping and a tracking number. I received the plants on 4/25. They were packaged very good and were bigger than I thought they would be. All 9 plus an extra plant I didn't order are doing great. I will be ordering from them again.
On June 19th, 2014, thezookeeper added the following:
Just wanted to add that I have ordered twice from Glasshouse since my first order in April and have had no problems. All the plants were in good shape and packaged well. Both orders were shipped in less than a week and the plants were exactly what I ordered and much larger than expected.
Posted on May 25, 2014, updated June 1, 2014
I ordered 2 OAK leaf ivies 'Fionia' and a 'Bonnie' curly spider plant. I never gave permission for any kind of substitution.
It was shipped in a very timely manner BUT when it got here it was VERY obvious that I had been sent GRAPE leaf ivies. I have several of those, don't want those, I want oak leaf and only oak leaf. The spider looks ok though it isn't over curly but that could be just due to youth of the plant so I won't automatically call it bad though it is suspect simply because of the rest of the order that was labeled OAK leaf ivy when it is very clearly not. The two ivy varieties have dramatically different shaped leaves.
I contacted the owner as he has requested here repeatedly to be given a chance to make it right. I waited three BUSINESS days (not counting the weekend or the day I sent the email). Nothing.
So in order to protect my interests I filed a complaint with Paypal because they have a time frame to lodge such complaints (ALWAYS use paypal to pay these people if you HAVE to get something from them because you can't get it anywhere else- because paypal has a protection program I'm now advising, AND lodge a complaint if the item has not been sent by the deadline to file a complaint- don't wait) and it has been over 3 days since THAT and nothing. It would be better apparently to buy at one of a number of other places when possible to try to avoid hassle.
For all of the owners protestations that people should have contacted them and they would have fixed it right up....we see this is not the actual case. I have given them plenty of time and an official nudge to get back to me. I at least expect return contact to advise me how they propose to make it right and discuss the options. All I really want is my two oak leaf ivies 'Fionia' like I originally ordered with no more hassle. That's all.
On June 1st, 2014, Windchyme added the following:
Here is the words in the introduction of this page that I wish to draw your attention to.
"Recently, we have noticed a couple entries here from people who have never called or emailed us about a problem before they post a negative rating. Please notice that most of our ratings are almost always positive. I urge all customers (and potential customers) to always contact us first about an order or a concern; we will take care of any problems with your order...Our customer service is constant and timely...
Those who have posted negative reviews have always been contacted and their problems worked out."
Update: I still have not been contacted and it is 6/1/14 and I have emailed them through the paypal complaint process two days ago or so and told them that if they do not contact me by Monday 6/2/14 that I will escalate this to an official complaint and claim.
I no longer want the plants...I just want a complete refund at this point. I'm SO done.
I don't like to make negative comments about a company but I feel I need to share my experience with Glasshouse Works. I made a purchase on April 1, 2014, Four crotons Pele's Fire, three Tripogandra False Bromeliad and Sanchezia Nobilis Singapore Gold. I received a confirmation that my order would be shipped out last part of April. It was May and I haven't received my order so I decided to inquire about it. I was told it would be shipped out May 5th and that the Sanchezia was not available due to crop failure. If I wanted a refund for that there was a charge of $2.00 for PayPal charges. Or I can get substitute plants. I chose the substitute plants. They said okay order will be shipped out on the following Monday. By the end of the next week still no plants so I emailed back....plants will be shipped out the next Monday. I finally receive my order on the 22. The crotons sent were not Pele's Fire and the Tripogandra False Bromeliads were not all variegated, one was all green. All the plants arrived limp and crushed except for the crotons. I was most upset with the crotons not being Pele's Fire. Those were the plants I wanted the most. I emailed Glasshouse Works and never received a response. Luckily the next day I went to Home Depot and they had Pele's Fire there. The plants at Home Depot were properly identified and were large healthy plants. I will NEVER shop Glasshouse Works again and will not recommend them.
They may be nice people but bought 4 ficus trees for $12 and when I got them they had given me 4 $ 2 cuttings. Sure they put in an extra little ivy plant but when I complained they ignored me. I asked for my money back and they ignored me. Finally I complained through pay pal and low and behold I got three emails that morning.
I asked for my $63.50 back, I paid $ 9.50 to return them from NJ to OH where they are. They gave me back $55.50 minus $8.00 dollars for handling. They charge $15.00 to ship as you can see above it only cost me $9.50.
I settled for the $55.50 just to get it over with and now I am out $17.50 with nothing to show for it but aggravation. The excuse they gave to pa pal was that my order was a 'substitute', don't buy from these people there are far better places to purchase plants from like, ' Musser Forests' who are honest and do not give you the Ebay bait and switch.
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