Posted on December 23, 2014, updated May 27, 2015
Just wow. Took a chance on their recent sale. I am so glad I did. The \"Ben\'s Best\" Franklinia was bigger and more mature than advertised. You can see where it flowered last summer so I should be in for a treat next year in my middle Tennessee home. The Davidia \"Sonoma\" was as advertised and seems very healthy.
I was concerned that the trees had been kept in hoop houses and would not be hardened off yet against a hard frost but they seemed quite dormant with all the leaves gone. Highly recommmended. Can\'t wait to order a couple more plants next spring.
On May 27th, 2015, rdtjr05 added the following:
Based on the quality and prices of the plants I received last fall, I ordered again this spring. The 'Alley Cat' redbud was bursting with new growth, just waiting to get into the ground. The Alabama croton was small but very healthy. This is a very, very rare plant to obtain and the price was very reasonable so no complaints. This company will always be on my short list when I am looking for excellent plants at good prices.
PS - The Franklinia survived our worse than normal winter and is now growing gangbusters at the edge of my woods.
On Dec 17, 2014, ZonePusher Missouri City, TX wrote:
I've been purchasing plants from Rare Find every year since 2007 and never once have I been disappointed. During this time I've lived in IL, PA, and now TX. Most recently I bought two Magnolia Virginiana 'Marti Gras' -- I was happy with how large and healthy the plants were when they arrived. Recommended.
On Sep 20, 2014, thomasNYC New York United States wrote:
I owned a weekend place a 45 minutes drive from Rarefind. I often drove over and bought plants there. I always found the staff to be helpful, knowledgeable and a pleasure to deal with. My purchases always thrived. Now that I sold my house, I purchase mail order plants from Rarefind for my parents' yard in Northern New Jersey. Plants arrive intact and all have thrived. The one exception was a crape myrtle, which died to the roots and lower trunk after our very bitter winter. Of course, this happened to crape myrtles all around the NY Metro area after this winter. I love this place!
On Feb 28, 2014, Patty57 Wake Forest, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
Just got done dealing with Rare Find Nursery and, once again, am completely satisfied with their service and plants. Irv, who helped me over the phone, was very pleasant in our discussion. Shipped items very well and very healthy plants arrived.
Posted on June 4, 2013, updated June 16, 2013
Posted on May 25, 2013, updated June 4, 2013
Last fall I placed an order with Rare Find. The Hakonechloa macra 'Fubuki' I received was in bad condition. The planting medium in the container had a very hard crust on the surface over and around the crown of the plant. I soaked it in water for a while, planted, mulched and watered regularly. Plant did not survive. Waited until spring to see if it would come up but plant is dead. No response from Rare Find to my email. Would not recommend this nursery.
On June 4th, 2013, ras2mom added the following:
Received email from RareFind right after I posted here. They offered a refund in lieu of replacement, because the plant I had ordered was no longer available. Said they would mail a check - instead I received a store credit marked "Expires 5/15" which was mailed 5/30/13. Not resolved.On June 16th, 2013, ras2mom changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
This week received promised refund so am changing rating to positive.
I found out about RareFind Nursery in the Home Section of the NY Times in an article this winter about growing Zone 6 hardy Camellias. I called them last month about buying some for a customer, and both Ron and Ira spent much time with me, explaining the differences between the winter and spring-blooming varieties, and the proper culture for these gorgeous plants in our area (lower Hudson Valley). They were patient and cheerful, and when the plants arrived, within a day of being shipped, they were obviously packed with great care and looked healthy, vigorous, and quite beautiful. They were still in bloom, many with buds, and my customer was delighted.
I will surely order from this wonderful nursery again. The plants are top quality, and their staff is, as well.
Posted on May 4, 2009, updated April 17, 2013
I purchased a Cornus 'Venus' dogwood from Rare Find Nursery this spring. Few places had this cultivar and it was one that I wanted to try out. The tree arrived last week, exactly when I requested it, and it was a very healthy specimen and every bit as large as promised. I would recommend Rare Find Nursery to anyone.
On April 17th, 2013, BlackDogKurt added the following:
I've ordered from Rarefind Nursery several times in the past and I ordered some new trees and shrubs this spring (2013). As will all the previous orders from Rare Find, everything was delivered in good shape and right on schedule.
RareFind sent me Witch Hazels and a Mahonia japonica that are the BEST quality I have ever seen from any mail order nursery. The plants were large, well rooted and extremely vigorous. The packing was superb, no broken or damaged leaves or stems. Their communication with me was timely, professional and courteous. Clearly the people at RareFind love what they do - and it shows in the product I received. I will definitely re order from them in the future!
Based on my experience, I would say that Rarefind Nursery is much more than a mail order nursery.I visited the nursery in early spring, 2012, primarily for a Rarefind-hosted presentation on winter-hardy camellias that can be grown in the mid-Atlantic that was given by a camellia specialist from Longwood Gardens. Hospitality was very warm and very casual. It was a joy to be there. This was only one of several such presentations hosted by RareFind. Subsequent ones that I know of focused on rhododendrons and bog plants.
While visiting RareFind for the camellia presentation, I explored the extensive greenhouses and grounds with the goal of choosing rhododendrons for my drought-prone windy hilltop located in a part of Pennsylvania that has been experiencing increasingly hot Julys for the past several years. With these constraints in mind, Ron Rabideau shared his considerable rhododendron expertise with me, and helped me to choose four cultivars that could rise to the challenges of my site. So far his choices have proved quite worthy.
The grounds of RareFind Nursery are breathtaking in spring for a rhododendron fanatic. Under a canopy of pine trees are thousands of rhododendrons growing in the ground! RareFind is perhaps THE east coast mecca for purchasing rhododendron cultivars that are not generally available from garden centers.
RareFind, of course, offers much more than rhododendrons, but finding rhododendrons for my less-than-inviting site was the main focus of my visit, other than the camellia presentation. Visiting RareFind involved a 2 1/2 hour drive from my home, but the benefits were well worth the trip!
On Jan 18, 2013, ArnetteH Saugerties, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
My garden is filled with rhododendrons and azaleas from RareFind. This is a wonderful company and a pleasure to do business with. They pack beautifully and deliver healthy, generous-sized plants. . . . and they're friendly, too.
The Rarefind Nursery is one of the most amazing garden centers that we have found. In addition to some of the typical plants, Rarefind as a huge selection of plants, shrubs, trees that aren't available in any of our local nurseries. They even have a large variety of bog plants. Their plants/shrubs/trees are healthy and obviously grown with much attention and care. We have purchased many of their items over the years and never have lost one of them.
Visiting the nursery is a wonderful experience. The salespeople at Rarefind are also the same people who care for the plants; therefore, they can answer your questions with extensive knowledge concerning whatever plant about which you might inquire (yes, they are botanists). Someone will go with you to various of the greenhouses and/or fields to help you locate the specific species of plant for which you are looking.
We recommend that you visit this place or order their catalogue. Their prices are reasonable for these high-quality plants (no, you won't receive little half-alive plants).
I was thrilled to have this opportunity to write this review because we am so delighted with the Rarefind plants, shrubs, and trees that truly enhance our landscaping.
Excellent company. Have ordered many times with fast delivery and superior customer service. Was very sorry to hear Hank had passed away, he was a true plantsman and gentleman. They have not missed a beat with change of ownership. Will continue to populate my yard with their plants now and for many years to come. Highly recommended!
Posted on January 27, 2012, updated September 17, 2012
Posted on January 27, 2012, updated January 27, 2012
Posted on November 1, 2011, updated January 27, 2012
I am very pleased with Rarefind Nursery. I decided to use them because they had the tree I wanted (oxydendrum arboreum (sourwood) tree not terriblly easy to find), they were reasonably close (approx 600 miles) for quick ground delivery, had good ratings from customers here on Dave's Garden and had detailed service and product information on their website. I liked that they stated they send plants with the root mass still in the soil material (ie. not bareroot). I ordered the sourwood on their online form which was very easy to use. The default delivery date options allowed for sending on Mondays for intra-week arrival. I chose the next, coming Monday. I received an immediate email acknowledging my order with all the details, price, product and order number etc. A day later I received a voicemail saying they could send the tree sooner if I wished, but since I did not check my voicemail soon enough I merely called them back to reiterate that they could send it on the original date but I also took the opportunity to ask a number of questions about my purchase which they answered to my complete satisfaction. I specifically asked about the packaging and the size of the tree and the state of the roots, the responses were all in compliance with what was mentioned on the web site. I just needed assuarnces that I would be able to easily take the tree out of the box and be certain with what I would find inside it.
I received the package the Wed after the Monday departure and was easily able to extract the tree from the box without any undue damage to the tree. Somehow once I got the tree out of the box completely, I discovered the tree was in full fall colors. There were branches full of red leaves and the tree had a diameter of about 3+ feet. It was about 3 feet tall with a good amount of rootball in soil material. It's in the ground and still has the red leaves. I am very happy and will definitely order from Rarefind again. I think they have every bit the qualities of nurseries in the top 30 here. We'll have to wait and see. But I highly recommend them to those in the market for what they sell.
On January 27th, 2012, Rollandh added the following:
Ordered a second time with Rarefind and was totally satisfied with the Carpinus Caroliniana (ironwood tree). The tree was substantial, about 3-4 feet and well-developed and healthy. It was packed securely yet easy to get out of the box. I like their selection of plants and their overall quality of service--for example, they waited a few days for the weather to improve before they sent it. The package arrived punctually in less than two days after being sent. I think that Rarefind has been a rare find for me, from now on I will give them first consideration for my exotic plant purchasing.On January 27th, 2012, Rollandh added the following:
Ordered a second time with Rarefind and was totally satisfied with the Carpinus Caroliniana (ironwood tree). The tree was substantial, about 3-4 feet and well-developed and healthy. It was packed securely yet easy to get out of the box. I like their selection of plants and their overall quality of service--for example, they waited a few days for the weather to improve before they sent it. The package arrived punctually in less than two days after being sent. I think that Rarefind has been a rare find for me, from now on I will give them first consideration for my exotic plant purchasing.On September 17th, 2012, Rollandh added the following:
Rarefind is my favorite mail-order nursery. Placed my third order from them and got a Viburnum prunifoium 'big pink' and a aronia arbutifoia chokeberry 'brilliant". As expected the plants were very well established, fully leafed with large root balls, well--packed and easy to unpack. I can't afford to give them all my business, but I keep coming back because I can rely on their quality. So when I want to introduce a special plant to my garden, I don't fool around and I see if Rarefind has it and I don't worry (too much) about what it costs and I know that I will have this plant thriving in my garden as soon as it arrives.
On Sep 1, 2012, VA_GARDEN Hood, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on March 2, 2012, updated September 1, 2012
I would love to give this company a positive, as I have ordered from them and received lovely plants. However, the fact that I can't use their Website is a major negative.
I spoke with them on the phone nearly two years ago when I first encountered the problem, and they told me that the reason that I can't access their site is because Hughesnet is my internet service provider. Two years is a long time to be aware of a problem and not fix it. I order from many other internet sites, so the problem is definitely with Rarefind's site, not Hughes.
On September 1st, 2012, VA_GARDEN changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
The problem with the Hughesnet connectivity has been fixed and my online order of healthy plants arrived within days of placing it. I was a bit dissappointed that many of the catalog items I lusted after were not available, but it was late in the year when I ordered. I am very happy with the plants I did receive, and they are settling in to my garden beautifully.
Posted on May 8, 2007, updated March 15, 2012
A spectacular catalog in print and even better online. Have ordered twice and received generous size plants, well packaged, each time. They are very friendly over the phone, and respond to e-mail questions as well.
On March 15th, 2012, holly_grower added the following:
Still my all-time favorite mail-order nursery! Just ordered from them again and received two more generous-sized plants, packaged with great care. Their website is very informative, and their paper catalog contains even more items. This time I ordered over the phone, since the items I wanted weren't yet in the online catalog. The lady who took my order was obviously quite knowledgeable about plants and was very courteous.
On Mar 10, 2012, fel Wynnewood, PA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I have made multiple purchases from Rarefind over the years, and have always been very satisfied. Last year I had my first plant lost from a Rarefind purchase -- a camellia I bought from them directly at their camellia seminar last spring died without ever showing any growth. I called them in June to explain the plant died. Rarefind gave me a full credit for the loss, which I used at their next plant sale to buy loads of bargain rhodies. This company is not for the bargain hunter (except sale days!), but it does have great quality control and customer service. It is rather amazing that with all the plants I have purchased from Rarefind (perhaps 20 or 30), only 1 has died.
Posted on February 10, 2012, updated February 13, 2012
I normally LOVE LOVE LOVE this place, and did order more recently though I'm hesitant (not getting reply to emails).
But I did purchase a GOWDY ornamental spruce, it had a ... mark, near it's base on the wood, like a wound that was healed mostly over. I didn't notify them, Within a month this "mark" started oozing slightly.
I researched, cut out dead wood with bonsai tools, applied Japanese antifungal cut paste. A week or so later, resin started developing on the plant and the wound looked worse. The plant was kept dry, well ventilated... the plant deteriorated and I lost it... it was purchased late December.
I did send them an email explaining in extreme detail what happened, not expecting a reply. I did so b/c I was bothered I lost a lot of money on a plant. I guess I should have reported what looked like a healed base wound immediately. It was very expensive. I'm a master gardener, not a novice with plants.
On February 13th, 2012, greyandamy changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I communicated a lot with...sorry, I'm forgeting names, I'll call him the very nice man at Rare Finds. He is the most pleasant, helpful, courteous person I could ever imagine- add enthusiastic. At first I'm sure I frustrated them to death with order changes, they were quick to respond. They answered questions about shipping/etc.
Regarding the spruce, I wasn't expecting this but they are sending me a gift certificate for when I next buy from them. Talk about quality service, I never even took a photo!!
Give them 5 plus stars. Words getting around about how good they are, I read it in gardening magazines and online sources. It's a place you kind of want to keep your secret but you won't be disapppointed.
Oh, plant size is much, much larger than you'll expect, roots are HEALTHY, untangled and white, packaging is superb (get some scissors,a knife, a water jug, a chair), and they give you almost a book of very useful info.
Nice big healthy plants and excellent shipping. Many nice plants that you might not find everywhere. Customer sevice is superb. I do a lot of mail order and they are at the top of the list! I will be back!
Buying my first witch hazels from RareFindNursery was a great experience all around. I was trying to decide which ones to choose since they have an incredible selection. I spoke with several people there who were all so knowledgeable and emailed photos of various hamamelis flowers so I could decide. The witch hazels came quickly, were packed so well and they are beautiful plants. I am planning on buying from them again and would highly recommend this nursery as they are a pleasure to deal with.
On Oct 11, 2011, charliegardener Needham, MA wrote:
Wow!!! Great packing of my tree! I had been searching for a replacement for an Appalachian Spring Dogwood. This species is resistant to the anthracnose disease that has decimated American dogwood populations. This 3-4 foot tree arrived less than a week after I ordered it. It looks perfectly healthy. I looked through the packaging, but not a single leaf was lost or damaged! (I usually do worse than this coming home from a local nursery.) There seems to be a nice root ball on this tree. Thank you Rare Find Nursery for stocking this hard to find variety of dogwood and making packing into a fine art!
I just received an order for an unusual magnolia, a hydrangea, and a varegated climbing hydrangea. All three look great- very large, well packed and in perfect condition. And delivered on the day agreed. Will definitely order from them again.
I recently ordered a Camillia-April Kiss which arrived in perfect condition, packaged with TLC. The shrub is very healthy and vigorous. I can't wait to see what it does over the summer.
I will definitely order from them again. Great quality, larger than expected.
This was my first order with Rare Find, and the rhododendron I received was gorgeous- buds, lots of new growth, flower color exactly as described, and super healthy. This was the best looking plant I've ever received via mail order. Shipping was on the day I requested and it only took 2 days to arrive. I highly recommend Rare Find and will order from them again.
On May 3, 2011, moonlitegardern Greenfield, MA wrote:
Last week I ordered two bushes for my son’s garden. I called at 4pm and was distraught as I had not been able to locate the “wisely supreme” witch hazel anywhere. The lady that answered the telephone was wonderful. She was familiar
with exactly the shrubs I needed and the lady even told me that the wisely supreme, the one my son wanted the most, was such a beautiful bush. This made my day. I figured that my son wouldn’t get it by his birthday given it was only a
couple of days away. Imagine my surprise when the ladies said they would hurry and may be able to ship it out before 5pm.
They shipped it to my son, Raymond and by Friday afternoon he had planted it in his garden. Both shrubs arrived in perfect condition and on time. It is a pleasure doing business with a company whose employees seem to really care about the customers. YOUR employees are the
BEST!!! My thanks and accolades to these special ladies. Hazel has already sprouted leaves. My business will be returning to this nursery where the outstanding employees are a rare find too!
I ordered on line and picked up at the nursery. The people are very friendly, knowledgeable, and have a passion for what they do. The plants are healthy and the selection is broad. I wouldn't hesitate to purchase again from them. Rob W. Dayton, NJ
Rarefind Nursery is indeed a rare find! This year, I ordered a total of three dozen plants from them, mostly rhododendrons and azaleas, but also two enkianthus plants. They were able to fill every order completely. The plants were always beautiful and exceptionally well-packed and always arrived here in Rhode Island in either one (FedEx) or two days (UPS) from New Jersey. Their inventory of rhododendron and azalea hybrids is very extensive. Their website provides all the necessary information on each plant to facilitate choices well-matched to one's hardiness zone and site requirements. They even sent me a lovely Kaye Player rhododendron gratis! Wonderful folks!
I purchased an amazing BETULA nigra 'Shiloh Splash' from Rare Find Nursery back in June and carefully tended it through one of the worst summers I can remember only to watch it slowly drop its foliage and eventually die. I finally, with encouragement from friends, wrote to Rare Finds and asked if they would consider a replacement. They promptly said yes. I do not know them personally but know people who does. Everyone says that they are great people who run a first rate company. This experience reinforces that notion and I hope everyone will help to support their effort during this difficult economic time.
On Oct 22, 2010, dreamgreen Weaverville, NC wrote:
Buying plants from Rare Find is shear pleasure. I have ordered from them several times over a two year period and have never been disappointed. Well packed, healthy, good-sized plants with beautiful roots arrive in a timely manner. All have thrived in my garden. I have used mail order nurseries for three decades in both a professional and personal capacity and none out-shines Rare Find. Order with confidence!
I ordered 7 hydrangea that are difficult to find from RFN. They arrived today and I was impressed enough to become a member of Dave's Garden to give RFN a positive review. The DG reviews say the plants are large and RFN says their plants are large. Large can be subjective and I expected an acceptable size. The plants I received are big. They are very healthy. They were packed securely and shipped perfectly. I called RFN with a question earlier in the week. The person who answered the telephone was knowledgeable about the order and answered my questions courteously and expeditiously. I was looking for 2 particular plants and ordered 7 so the bill was considerably more than I had planned on. I am completely satisfied that I received my money's worth. I appreciate it. It was a good ending to the summer. I am looking forward to the next one when the plants bloom. Thanks!
After spending the large part of a day in traffic, I was allowed to stay an hour after closing! The staff was very nice, especially Ron Rabideau and gave me a personal tour of each greenhouse. I especially appreciated all the wonderful Rhododendron recommendations. There are so many new varieties one could not possibly know them all. Despite the hot summer the inventory looked great, especially the several amazing variegated plants (Clethra barbinervis, Caryopteris, Camellia, etc.)! The display gardens are vast and must be amazing in the Spring....I'll simply have to go back. I can't comment yet on the mail order aspect, but given the consummate professionalism exhibited elsewhere, I'm sure you can order from them online with confidence! This vendor is simply beyond words! I'm gushing! (but they are so worth it!)
I must say that the service, quality of plant material, packing and advice could not be any better. It was outstanding.
I was looking for a particular plant and just by chance came upon this company. I called and was told that it was available. I immediately bought it and it was delivered by UPS the next week. The plant was extremely high quality. It was much bigger than I expected. I buy many, many plants by mail order and RareFind Nursery has had the largest and most well developed plants with excellent root systems of any company. They fill a niche here in the United States for great selection. We are fortunate to have such a company to deal with. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and has advice for the customer at whatever level of understanding they may have, be it novice or expert (which I am both in different fields). I have bought 15 plants from them so far and will buy more from them in the future.
My plants arrived today in perfect condition and they were still damp! This was my second order from you. I can't tell you how impressed I am with your plants and packaging. They are so much larger then other mail order plants I have received in the past. Look forward to ordering more next year. Happy gardening.
On Jul 17, 2010, nightshade777 Philadelphia, PA wrote:
Posted on April 12, 2010, updated July 17, 2010
Posted on April 12, 2010, updated April 12, 2010
I paid $35 incl shipping for a curly-leafed rhododendron. It arrived with half its leaves brown and crusty hard. The advice I found online was to simply cut off the dead leaves to prevent the spread of disease. I did, but the problem continued. I planted it in slightly acidic soil in a spot with half-day sun.
I tried emailing "support" at rarefind to ask if I should spray the ailing rhodi but they never responded. They had sent me several earlier emails trying to get me to pay for an on site seminar at their nursery.
Sick plant + no support = no recommendation.
Meanwhile I keep searching for info online but the little rhodi is rotting away. It may have arrived DOA for all I know, and I may have been trying to revive a dead plant all along.
I noticed there was one other gardener here who bought sick rhodis from them. They responded to protest the "unfairness" of his/her post, but from their response you can see that they didn't pay much attention to the complaint, because they seriously misquoted it in their response.
On April 12th, 2010, nightshade777 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Hours after posting my initial negative review I was contacted by Rarefinds who assured me they stand by their plants. Taking them at their word I have switched my review to POSITIVE and will update as the issue is or isn't resolved.On July 17th, 2010, nightshade777 added the following:
Rarefind did indeed send a healthy replacement plant. It is a vigorous grower that has easily doubled in size in just a few months. They made me a happy camper and I would heartily recommend them.