It's time to read and vote for your favorite article in the 2013 Write-Off Contest! The four finalist's articles are featured in the May 13 newsletter and can be found through this link. Hurry! Voting ends May 18.
On Apr 2, 2013, shelbycountyal Lake Purdy, AL wrote:
I was leery about ordering from this company after reading the negative comments posted here. However, my experience was fantastic! The bulbs were healthy and well labeled and they even sent large lily bulbs as a bonus. MZ carries difficult-to find bulbs, including new cultivars from Terra Nova, at a great price. I will definitely order from them again.
On Mar 31, 2013, cathy166 Stamford, CT (Zone 6b) wrote:
When i see the negative comments, I think it is only fair that I add my positive experience.
I ordered some Thai caladiums last year and was disappointed that one was missing from my order. I called them, and within one week they sent the missing variety and actually sent 2 plants to replace the one missing plant.
I have ordered from M&Z for years now, and never had a problem, so I'm really surprised to read some of these comments. I have not ordered live plants, and mostly I order more "common" bulbs. But I've always been pleased by bulb size and quality, price and service. I've been fascinated by their selection of exotic or uncommon items, and I'd be curious to know if those are the items people have had problems with.
On Mar 1, 2012, justtheflaxmaam Sacramento, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
Have been ordering from them, mostly small orders of species and standard tulips and unusuals like camassia, for over 10 years. I don't think I have ever had to throw out a dried or moldy bulb, even after my refrigerating them too long. I gave up on some other firms because they mislabeled/represented their products.
I've only had to call once because my shipment wasn't arriving as quickly as usual. An order from another company was also late; both arrived soon after. I think you do have to consider that the weather where you are is not the same as the states being shipped through. I avoid ordering when temps elsewhere are extreme.
On Oct 23, 2011, Emma75 DeLand, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
I just received my first order of 5 amaryllis bulbs from M&Z, and am more than satisfied with the plants I received. All 5 bulbs are top-size with healthy roots and new growth starting after they appear to have been in storage. I also received a gift of 6 iris bulbs, though I've yet to research if they are a variety that will grow in FL. As a first-time customer, I am very pleased, and plan to use this company again (though much of their variety are items that will not grow in this sub-tropical climate).
On Jun 14, 2011, morgen San Luis Obispo, CA wrote:
I have been searching for some very dark Agapanthus for a long time locally. I found some on sale for a very decent price with this company. I tested the waters with them and only ordered 2 Agapanthus, Mood Indigo and Back in Black and a bag of Ranunculus. One of the Agapanthus was potted and so much bigger than I expected-I am SUPER pleased with it. The other was bare root in a plastic bag and looked a little anemic, but that's OK because I know Agapanthus and they can grow from almost nothing-it was more of what I expected via mailorder. The ranunculus were pretty good sized I guess. I've never grown them from bulb, so I don't have anything to compare them to. I followed planting instructions from Sunset Western Garden book, so I'll see what happens. Definitely will give this company another try with a larger order. I am very pleased so far and am almost hyperventilating over the potted Agapanthus. I think it may bloom within a year and I'm soooo excited to have found it! Pretty fast shipping too.
On May 16, 2011, pirl (Arlene) Southold, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:
When I spotted the Japanese iris, 'Lady in Waiting', I quickly ordered it (April 30, 2011) along with another JI and a Melittis. They were shipped within just a few days and they sent bonus Asiatic lily bulbs. I put both JI's in water to start them off right and simply am very impressed and wish I could post a photo here to show how extremely well they are doing. 'Lady in Waiting' has turned into a clump of five fans and the other one has six fans - that's much more than I've received in the past from the big named JI companies! I planted the Melittis immediately and it's been green for over a week now.
Great plants, excellent packaging and fast shipping - who could ask for more? Thank you, M & Z. I'm very pleased.
Ordered some lily bulbs (Silk Road and Triumphator) and Crocosmia (Limpopo). MZ was the only place I could find both of these lily types I wanted. Crocosmia were on the small side but MZ was absolutely the only place I could find this cultivar. All lilium were fat, moist and healthy with no mushy or moldy spots. Shipping was timely and rates were fair. Shipping doesn't seem to be a profit center for them like it is for others. I will never pay as much or more for shipping than I did for the plants themselves! Last but not least I got three fat, healthy asiatic lily bulbs (London) free! I can't remember ever getting anything free from any m.o. nursery! Will use them again.
I have had nearly all good experiences with McClure and Zimmerman and have ordered bulbs and roots from them for at least 15 years. I only had one problem a couple of years ago with one item and they replaced it. I especially love the detail that they go to in the catalog. and there is a wide variety of offerings. Having lived in TX for years, I found many bulbs for the south that grow well without the extended cool dormant period. All in all, I love McClure and Zimmerman.
I am torn as to how I should rate M & Z, for I have come to respect the opinions of my fellow gardeners. I have, however, read the negative ratings, and cannot relate my own experiences to them. For the several times that I have ordered Fall planted bulbs, each Spring I find myself as satisfied with M & Z as with two of the "Top 30" companies with which I also have done business. In fact, one of those two has managed to disappoint me more often than M & Z and I have still not reconciled in my mind how I should rate that particular company. To put things in perspective, my average Fall order with M & Z has run between $200 and $400. I will often spend the same with other companies for Fall planting and it is not unusual for me to spend more than $2,000 when all purchases are combined. I enjoy Spring blooming bulbs VERY much! You might, thus, infer that my dealings with M & Z are not my major primary experience in purchasing bulbs. Of course, as an home gardener, I do not claim any expertise resulting from my experience. All I can report are my experiences. I must say that I am very disappointed with the recent obvious attempt to bolster ratings. For whatever reason M & Z felt the need to do this, it has backfired and that singular "neutral" rating probably hurts more than any negative. That being the case, I do not feel it necessary to include that in how I rate a company (If one studies the ratings, it becomes obvious that many companies, even some in the "Top 30" have resorted to this [or other such] attempts to help themselves....They just have not been caught.). As for my experiences with M & Z, I have always received a good quality product for a better than fair price. Shipping has not been a rip off and items have been sent on time and without problem. I typically do not purchase items from with in my state's borders, for the taxes combined with the shipping costs negate any savings that the merchant might offer (plus my state already taxes way to high for even living here). So, it says a lot that I continue to order Fall planted bulbs from M & Z . One particular thing that draws me to do business with M & Z is the large variety of the harder to find bulbs. Each year, I will spend a great deal with two or three companies that sell hard to find species priced per bulb. This gets very expensive. M & Z, quite frequently, offers larger quantities of these same bulbs at much more affordable prices. I cannot comment on their Spring planted material, for I have not ordered any from M & Z. Neither can I comment on their customer service when dealing with a problem, for there have been no problems. In summary, despite the experiences reported by others, I find otherwise, and I will continue to order from McClure & Zimmerman.
Posted on June 15, 2003, updated October 26, 2010
I ordered a few bulbs from McClure and Zimmerman last year, since they had such a nice selection of fall blooming crocuses and some other things that are hard to find. Admit I was cautious and a bit skeptical, since I've had poor experiences with their sister company, Jung's, lately. But the bulbs were all VERY large (including some of the biggest daffodil bulbs I've seen in a long time) and healthy, and everything did quite nicely this spring. They even sent some nice little species tulips as an unexpected bonus. This company seems a little pricier than John Scheepers, which is my favorite bulb company, but a very good experience overall.
On May 13th, 2005, AS added the following:
The spring planted bulbs I ordered this year were respectable but less impressive than the fall bulbs from a couple of years ago. The rain lilies, in particular, varied from fat, healthy-looking bulbs (white) to very small bulbs (pink). I would have thought this was just a difference in the variety, except that I later bought mixed rain lilies from Home Depot that were *all* much larger than the pink variety from McClure and Zimmerman. On July 26th, 2007, AS added the following:
My continuing impression is that their fall-planted bulbs are always wonderful, but the spring-planted bulbs can be hit or miss. My mother raved about the tulip bulbs I sent her last fall - huge bulbs and spectacular flowers. Of the summer-bloomers I planted last year, most were fine but the Spring Valley eremerus ranged from miniscule to acceptable (all much, much smaller than the eremerus I've planted from John Scheepers or White Flower Farm, and rather rubbery and dry.) The smallest, most shrivelled roots failed to come up at all, and none bloomed this year, though they probably will next year (again, Scheepers' eremerus have always bloomed first year for me). Their customer service was very responsive, and replaced the ones that didn't come up. On March 26th, 2008, AS added the following:
Last year was NOT a good year for them. Besides the sorry little eremerus, I also had two duds of begonias. One was a good-sized tuber that grew nicely and eventually bloomed - but it was some sort of upright begonia with horrible, coarse-looking, bright orange-red blooms, not the Champagne begonia I'd ordered. They sent me a refund after I contacted them. (That was probably the one and old begonia I've actually thrown out, it was so ugly.) The other begonia was a tiny little bulb, and still hadn't bloomed by the end of the summer, so I have no idea whether it was the right plant or not.
On the other hand, the bulbs I bought from them last fall are coming up beautifully. The earliest bulbs are starting to bloom - so far, they're gorgeous and true to name.On April 4th, 2009, AS changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Fall 2007 bulb order was, for the first time ever, a mixed bag. Most of the bulbs were nice and bloomed well, but I had some real duds of tulips - bulbs were small to start with, and too many came up with only a single leaf, instead of a flower and a couple of healthy leaves. Also one rather expensive lily was pretty pathetic. I can't continue to rate them positive. (btw, typo in last update - "...one and ONLY begonia I've thrown out." )On October 26th, 2010, AS changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Maybe last fall was just bad luck. I ordered from them this year, mostly because I wanted a few things Scheepers doesn't carry, and the bulbs were excellent. Absolutely enormous daffodils, fall crocuses that came up reliably already, and tulips that were about the same size as John Scheepers and Colorblends. One nice thing about buying fall crocuses, colchicum, etc from McClure and Zimmerman is that there's only one shipping/ handling charge even though they send those bulbs early, and send a second shipment with your tulips and daffodils later in the season.
I don't think I have the courage to try their spring-planted bulbs again (too hit or miss), but I'm adding them back to my list of reliable fall bulb suppliers.
On May 12, 2010, bbrookrd nantucket, MA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I have ordered a variety of spring bulbs for the last few years from McClure and Zimmerman. I have been most pleased with the quality and service. They have all thrived in my garden.
I did have a group of Hyacinth bulbs come up the wrong color this spring. But a quick email from me was answered immediately by them with the promise of a refund check . The check arrived a few days later, so I got great Customer Service from Linda.
I am always impressed with their selection of unusual Narcissus and Tulips and have found a couple of very special crocus through them. I now want an army of them. I will be placing with pleasure and confidence, my fall bulb order very soon with them this year Patti
McClure and Zimmerman are probably my FAVORITE company to order bulbs from. They deal in wholesale quantities, so I frequently order and then split with my gardening buddies.
I find their prices extremely reasonable, their bulbs have always been top quality and in good condition. I have never had a problem finding out when things are going to come, but I also have never had to deal with their customer service people because I send an order, they acknowledge it and tell me when it will come, it comes and I plant it.
I have over 80 varieties of daffodils, hundreds of crocuses in my lawn, snow drops, oriental lilies, species tulips, asiatic lilies, turks cap lilies, iris reticulata, hyacinths -- all from M&Z, all returning year after year. The miniature daffodils and species tulips I ordered last year are up now, the early tulips are blooming.
I couldn't be happier with this company and have turned several people on to them.
On March 12th, 2009, EllieSmith added the following:
Oh, I forgot to mention that I have also ordered colchicums and autumn blooming crocuses from them that were beautiful when they arrived and performed fabulously.
I've ordered many times over the years from this company without problem. I tend to order bulbs rather than bare root plants and typically order fall bulbs rather than spring bulbs. However, I've been thrilled to find a number of Pleione species through the years and all have arrived while dormant (best time to ship Pleiones) and have increased well over the years. Thanks McClure & Zimmerman!
On Jun 8, 2008, lakesidecallas Dandridge, TN (Zone 6a) wrote:
McClure and Zimmerman is another bulb resource I use every year. This year I ordered some Callas and 2 Monkey Puzzle trees. They were shipped on time for my area, and the trees were in wonderful, healthy shape. Out of the many bulbs, one was a little moldy, which usually isn't a problem, but it was also very soft.
I meant to email them right away (you should let a company know of any problems immediately), but a week or two slipped by until I finally emailed them. I received a quick apologetic email, and a fresh bulb shipped to me the next day. Great customer service in my book!
McClure and Zimmerman have a very good selection, often offering bulbs and plants no one else carries.
I recommend them strongly. I also recommend that you follow their advice on shipping- it's best if they ship the plants or bulbs to you when it is time to plant in your area. Don't try to jump the gun regarding the planting season!
McClure and Zimmerman has been a great company to deal with. I have been pleased with their bulbs. This past fall (07) I was missing a bulb in one package and another package had a rotten bulb. I called the company and they quickly replaced the bulbs. I will definitely order from them again
On Oct 24, 2007, soapwort243 South Milwaukee, WI wrote:
I love this company. They have beautiful bulbs. I had alot of trouble with getting on their website this year.--I don't know if it was on my end or theirs. I finally was able to and I placed on order, and in 3 days, I received my bulbs!! I could hardly beleive it !! They are all beautiful bulbs- top grade!!
On Oct 22, 2007, DeborahLink New Canaan, CT wrote:
I have ordered a lot from McClure and Zimmerman for five years or more. Each set of bulbs has come and been fruitful. Since I share my garden with a woodchuck family and roaming deer I have turned seriously to the Allium family of plants. This catalogue has a wide variety and is responsible ecologically about its sources. My garden is a (very local -- to my street) allium showplace. I recommend this source tops. I personally, like the hand drawn pictures of the flowers -- in fact I leave the catalogue in my office waiting room.
On Oct 22, 2006, gdionelli Huntington, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have ordered small quantities of bulbs several times from McClure & Zimmerman. The bulbs have always been good quality. I recently ordered tulip bulbs to be shipped to my mother in another state. She just called to say that they had arrived and that the bulbs are enormous and healthy.
On Oct 21, 2006, soapwortcrazy South Milwaukee, WI wrote:
I ordered alot of WONDERFUL looking tulips and lilies. All the bulbs received are large and healthy looking. I even got a great free gift, which was tulips that I almost ordered. All is planted and I am SO excited for next year !!!! (They had the Rembrandt tulips that I had been looking for.) Their catalog is very interesting and different.
I will have been at my "new" house for 11 years this summer and I have ordered bulbs from them every fall but 1!!
My daffs have been specatular - both when received and when they bloomed!
And I think I have 20 or more bulbs of almost every species tulip they carry - and I can't see where even 1 bulb planted has failed to delight!
There have been very few mishaps - with 1000 or better ordered, I have called with a problem only 3 times. One of which was my fault(put in the wrong item #!) and when I called to order the correct item - they insisted on sending it at no charge!!
Can't ask for better than that ..............:)
In fact, I'm going to put a wish list together NOW for this fall!!!
I purchased some dinnerplate dahlias from this company and another. M&Z was less expensive, allowed me to choose the colors I wanted, and sent larger, healthier looking tubers. I did have less luck with some other varieties I purchased (tuberose, peruvian daffodil, and a couple of colors of spiderlily), but I cannot be sure that the company was at fault, because I waited too long to plant those, and also, Florida is tough on bulbs. In any case, the dahlias were so stunning in the yard this fall that it more than made up for those that were smaller than I would have liked or didn't come up.
I've ordered from McClure & Zimmerman for several years now, starting back in the late 90s when I had an extra fridge available to force species tulips and muscari for indoor bloom.
More recently I've ordered bulbs both in the spring and fall for container gardening and have had no problems with customer service or the shipments I received.
I've had occasional disappointments (bulbs here and there don't perform as expected), but overall the quality is consistently high. I always receive what I ordered or a refund for unavailable bulbs, since I specify 'no substitutions' on the comment line.
On the one occasion that I asked for a refund (one of my Eucharis amazonia bulbs did not sprout) they refunded money for the single bulb and apologized.
Amaryllis bulbs from M&Z are champs and consistently bloom twice a year, once after the dormant winter period and again in summer in a sunny location.
Last year I ordered four begonias and all of them overwintered and have put up new shoots for this summer.
I'm very satisfied with my experience and now that I'm moving to a house with a yard, I look forward to planting bulbs that require conditions my apartment wasn't able to provide.
My mail-order experience with this company has, I feel, set the standard by which all others will be judged. Two orders of lilies were sent quickly (within a week) and well packaged. Of 18 bulbs ordered, two were unusable. I contacted Customer Service and was promptly told replacements would be shipped as soon as possible. They, too, arrived within a week, were larger and more plump than the bulbs I had ordered previously. I even had a stowaway bulb that wanted to live in my garden! Cheerful, friendly staff, excellent quality product, followed by quick delivery goes a long way in building a loyal clientele. I will definitely be ordering from McClure and Zimmerman in the future.
On Oct 27, 2003, nevadagdn Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:
I've been ordering from McClure and Zimmerman for a few years now, and the vast majority of plant failures I've experienced have been my own danged fault (putting my bulbs in the garage and forgetting about them until March--that kind of stupidity). The most recent shipment was received about when I would expect to receive it, and the bulbs were of good quality and in good condition with the exception of one daffodil bulb which had rotted. Since I let the entire shipment sit in its original box for two weeks prior to planting/discovery and the rot wasn't far advanced, I can't fault the company for that either.
I keep going back to McClure and Zimmerman mostly for the selection, and the ability to purchase small quantities of bulbs. Prices are okay, not excessive and not wonderfully inexpensive.
On October 23rd, 2007, nevadagdn added the following:
I placed a web order for some bulbs tonight. I know it's late in the season, and I can only hope that the bulbs will be delivered soon and in decent condition. On October 26th, 2007, nevadagdn added the following:
The bulbs arrived today, in good condition and of decent quality to begin with. Included was a nice bonus of 6 'Baby Moon' daffodils.
Great place to find heirloom and unusual bulbs. Purchased many from them and they shipped quickly. All were large and healthy and are growing well. Good prices too. The catalog is for people that know plants - which is OK with me. Will buy from again. A+++
On Apr 6, 2003, mngardenaddict Minneapolis, MN wrote:
I ordered several amaryllis from this company and was very happy with my purchase. They offered many singles and doubles and the prices were very reasonable. The bulb sizes were very large. They were shipped quickly and all bloomed well. I'll definitely be back for more.
On April 30th, 2004, mngardenaddict added the following:
I ordered fall bulbs that were good size and shape. One of the packages was a little short of the 25 bulb amount so I contacted customer service. They were very friendly, understanding, and immediately sent me another whole pack of 25.
I again purchased bulbs for Christmas of 2003. They are even larger than my original purchase. One of the 6 was a little mushy so I again called customer service. They quickly sent me another in replacement. I will continue to order because they are willing to quickly resolve any problems and offer such good merchandise at a reasonable price.
McClure & Zimmerman has a great selection of bulbs: common and rare and Heirloom. Their prices are quite good (a lot better than many places who also have poorer selections, Brent $ Beckys Bulbs prices tend to be better but you must order larger quanities). The largish order I placed arrived in excellant time and the bulbs were all good size and good quality (a couple were soft, I called them and received repkacenents in less thana week!). They are professional and seem to be a very good outfit.
This is my second time ordering from them. I was happy with my first order. This time I'm ordering lily bulbs. The varieties I ordered are usually very expensive when I've been able to find them. Price has kept me from ordering them from other companies. Their prices were very reasonable. I'll have to wait and see how the bulbs arrive and grow.
Great place to order those hard-to-find bulbs, especially natives, some of which sell out quickly. Most of my bulbs didn't show up the first summer and I called them. They said to be patient as most natives take up to 2 years to start growth. This spring WOW, what a show. Worth the wait. Trilliums I ordered for this spring came right up as did the Virginia Bluebells (w/o flowers, which is to be expected).
I've ordered from McClure & Zimmerman over the years, and though I've generally liked what I've gotten, they can be unreliable and sloppy. One year I ordered ""Roman hyacinth,"" but instead they sent me regular Dutch hyacinth bulbs that had been split so that they would produce multiple stalks. Twice I have ordered Achimenes, both times they have failed to grow. And another year I ordered 6 mixed Early Spring tulips, but what I got appeared to be 2 Mentons (Single Late) and 4 Golden Apeldoorns - nice, but not what I ordered. When I've complained to them, they tell me they don't grow the product, they just sell it. But despite the problems, I keep ordering from them, off and on, because they have such a great variety of interesting varieties, and they sell small quantities at reasonable prices. I think that John Scheepers actually has the best prices, but they require a $35 minimum order, and I don't always need that much. That's when I order from M&Z.
I ordered Lily of the Valley late this spring when most mail-order companies were already sold out. McClure & Zimmerman filled my order with smaller than usual pips but gave me a discount for the reduced size. Every one of the 96 plants I received has flourished despite the late planting, and one even bloomed - in late June! I am more than pleased with their plants and service.
I placed an order for the first time last Fall. My eremurus and iris are coming up now right on schedule. This is a bare bones catalog in that it is black and white paper with only random sketches of plants.
This is not the catalog to go to if you are unfamiliar with botanical names or need a picture to identify the plant. However, you will receive great descriptions of plants and their requirements. You'll also see lower prices than other companies! Your order will be shipped at proper planting time, too. I'd rather know what I'm shopping for, find it in a catalog and then pay a lower price for a quality product from a trustworthy company.
In the fall of 1999, I ordered a variety of bulbs from McClure & Zimmerman. The bulbs I promptly received were large, fresh and well-packaged to protect from shipping damage. Although I still don't have the results of the bulbs I planted, those that I forced produced lush, fragrant blooms.