I have not ordered from mail order garden companies in years but this winter was so debilitating and unending that when I received a Burgess catalogue I just had to thumb through it and started mentally checking off unusual things I would like just to feel like I was actually gardening again. In the end I decided to order these plants, none of these varieties of which I have seen around here in the numerous nurseries I frequent. I ordered several shade plants (primroses, hosta, dianthus) and a fruit cocktail tree as well as red daisies, day lilies, yucca, etc. The order came to a bit over $100. I made the order back when the snow was thick on the ground and was rather surprised that they charged my credit card immediately and not on shipment, but that wasn't really a problem. I had no trouble getting through to order.
The plants arrived in a bag a few weeks ago, just about when they should have. The bare roots all looked healthy. In the booklet they had a paragraph: Is That Tree Dead or Alive? instructing you to scrape the bark a bit and see if, of course, underneath it was green or brown. My fruit cocktail tree (which was quite thick, unlike the twigs sent by the Arbor Day foks etc which are viable but tiny) was vibrant green underneath. I was able to plant the bare root plants and the tree immediately, but there was a warning not to plant the potted plants (there were about eight small ones) if there was a chance of cold and, Unending Winter, we were expecting temps in the low 30's for several nights.
So I put these plants as instructed in the basement.
Meanwhile I noticed that I had received two Stella d'oros which I hadn't ordered and didn't receive the hostas. One look at the form explained why: one of them was 7377 and one was 7337 - it was a simple error. In calling I did get a busy signal three or four times, which surprised me, but then got through and I admit I expected to be told they would simply ship the two hostas but was told I had to send back the packing slip. When I protested that this was for the warranty the clerk told me that it would be kept on file once they received it. Also a little surprising- I was starting to think the words "fly by night" described the company.
So I mailed it back that day with a note explaining the situation (again). Then I broke my foot. Between that and the ungodly unseasonable cold I didn't get the potted plants in the ground for a week and by then the edelweiss was a goner and the three primroses on their way out (the dianthus and other primrose seem to have made it). I figured a week in the basement should not have done the plants in so I attempted to call Burgess but again, busy signal. So I emailed them. I am thus postponing a verdict on their customer service. I fully expect them to send the hostas and replace the other four plants.
As for the plants themselves, outside of those weaklings that didn't make it, the others looked pretty healthy, as did two indoor citruses I ordered.
I placed an order 2 weeks ago online with a few things I was VERY interested in, although I'm taking the whole idea of getting really nice plants with a grain of salt....
I emailed them to verify my order was received - I sent it Sunday, I got a reply MONDAY, just 15 days after emailing them. Also, I got an original confirmation email (auto-generated) as soon as I placed the order, so I'm not surprised that they *DO* have the order in the computers. I was told that they are currently shipping seeds and hardgoods, with plants only going to the warmest areas of the country so far.
Putting my rating as "neutral" as I don't know what will happen from here, but the communication has been decent so far! I *WILL* update later once I have received my order (or have not received, as the case may be).
On Oct 2, 2014, antipegi Colorado Springs, CO wrote:
I will tell you now, I don't remember most of the exact numbers offhand.
The first time I ordered from Burgess I was naiive enough in my excitement to throw the bag out before making sure that all was well. Of ten strawberries and six blackberries, we managed to grow three strawberry plants. My bad. We tried again two years later.
This time we ordered a lot more. We had big plans. Butterfly bushes, blackberry bushes, a smoke tree, strawberries, pampas grass and more. All zoned for our area. The total came to a bit over one hundred dollars. The grasses have done great! One butterfly bush made it. Something like six of fifty strawberries. Two of the blackberries were clearly broken branches and not plants at all... They came bone dry and none of them grew. And so on.
To their credit, the second representitive with whom I had contact (the first was a jerk who basically told me it wasn't his problem) was pleasant enough and I did receive replacement plants for my second order after I mailed my bag to the address he gave. Every single dead one without question. Fantastic.
Unfortunately, only ten of these plants lived. We still have them set up, exactly as directed in the enclosed booklet, and nothing for the past month. We are expecting our first real freeze tonight, so I guess we will see what the spring brings.
They are willing enough to replace orders, if you are cautious and persistent, but it's very, very frustrating getting dead plant after dead plant. Don't order big!
Ps - Not a single problem with the seed packets given as free gifts!
On Apr 30, 2014, BrodyJames Greenfield, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I placed an order last year for trees, plants and fruits and vegetables. A bunch of sticks arrived along with some items in bags! Ok, I thought, not what I was expecting, but I'll give it a go. I followed the directions and planted everything up, then waited.
The strawberries, asparagus, yucca, hostas and Christmas cactus (which actually turned out to be a Thanksgiving cactus) were the only items that showed any signs of life throughout spring and summer. The yucca and cactus have since died, the hostas and strawberries have not shown any signs of life yet, this spring, but it is still early. The asparagus are the only items showing any signs of life. The 9 trees I ordered did absolutely nothing but shrivel and dry up.
I found this forum (of course after I shelled out the money), saw all the negative reviews and thought, well, there's money I'll never see again, but I've got to try. So, following their instructions, I returned the shipping label with a list of the plants that I wanted replacements for. Mainly it was the trees, since I can find everything else that I ordered quite easily where I live.
Again, I waited. I sent the replacement request in either late February or early March. After about 3 weeks, my husband asked me if I had heard anything. I told him no, that I was using a wait and see approach.
April 16th arrived and when I went to check my mail, there was that red bag again! Burgess had sent me replacements for my entire order, even the things that I didn't request! The trees were just sticks, again, but better looking sticks. The hostas have leaves on them versus just the shoots that I got the last time. The cactus plant is much larger and healthier looking than the last one, but the yuccas, although 3 were ordered and 4 arrived, look like someone plucked a few blades of grass and sent them. Last time I got 3 nice thick roots.
Everything was planted immediately. Now I wait and see. I feel a second chance is warranted since they did honor their replacement policy and even went beyond by replacing my entire order.
On Jun 4, 2013, BlondieMia Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:
I placed an order through this website before doing research on it. If I had, I doubt I would have ordered anything from them. That being said, my partial order arrived 17 days after placing it. I ordered mosquito "shoo" geranium (4), 1 orange velvet rose, 6 sub zero ivy, 1 stevia sweet leaf, 2 Tahiti sunrise dahlia, 1 pack of large gourd seeds & a pack of sponge (luffa) seeds. (The seeds arrived separately a few days later.) I took pictures of the order when it arrived, my fiancé was cracking jokes.."if I knew you were paying for twigs & dead weeds I would've brought you a truck load for free.." That being said, the plants did still have a little life in them. I soaked them all for 6-12 hours (depending on its condition) in water with some miracle grow all purpose plant food, before even attempting to transplant or plant anything. I wish I could add pictures to this to show the order & now (a 2 months later) of how the plants look. The geranium, stevia & velvet rose all lived & are doing well. The seeds are growing fine. Out of the 6 ivy, only 2 are still alive, but haven't shown more than an inch of growth. The dahlias (which came in the form of dahlia tubes) still to this day have not shown any sign of life, not any sprout.
The orange velvet rose had its first bloom a few days ago, & looks nothing like the picture. It looks more like a very light pastel colored small hybrid tea rose. And it's not much of a climber.
For the $40 something plus shipping I spent, I'm ok with that, because, well, you get what you pay for. I do not suggest ordering from this company unless you are fairly experienced when it comes to gardening, because the plants you receive are not strong & "ready to go". They require much attention for the first week or so.
I have not attempted to return or exchange the items that died, I see it as a waste of time considering the ivy was around 6 for $7. & the dahlias were 2 for $5.
Would I order from again? Maybe.. 70% no, 30% yes.
Would I tell a friend to order from them? Most likely not, unless your on a serious budget, have a lot of ground to cover & have a green thumb.
If you do order from here, don't order exotic delicate or unusual items. Stick with the basics & you might end up ok.
Now, from my experience, all the packaged seeds I received are growing great.. Including the free ones I received. So seeds are safe from here, but most likely cheaper at your local nursery after adding their flat $10 shipping to your order.
Bottom line is I think this company is legit, just poorly managed/owned. Buy using common sense & be ready to put your green thumbs to work in overdrive when your order does arrive.
On Mar 29, 2013, puuuurfect68 Beaver Dam, WI wrote:
im new here and people on here might already be too late for advice but if u look around virtually ALL of the nurseries hug the 50/50 live/ die sorta rating. ive been transplanting for a long time and u cant win them all no matter what. im gonna purchase some trees from burgess that i cant get locally and talked to them on the phone about some of the issues and i think most of it is the sending via USPS. i asked and she said i can request it be shipped fedex, its worth the couple extra bucks $11 to be exact... that way it gets some breathing room and actually gets there within 2-3 days for most and DOESNT stay baking in yer metal mailbox all day or weekend til u get it! ALSO>>>>>> i was at walmart today and saw an awesome product i never saw. prior to this its all kinds of plants in bags of dirt. rootings and flower bulbs. most were 2-4 of whatever type for $5.98. 3 hosta roots for $5.98 right off a warm shelf IN dirt i think is a no brainer. not worth it to go to wholesale mailorder when can walk right over to walmart and look at it. some of the flowers had nice green healthy blooms on them. well i thought they looked awesome and wanted to pass that on and if yer thinkin of buyin go there first and then like me try out a smaller order at the online sites to fill in the spots u want with more rare plants not available locally. GOOD LUCK and dont take it so hard when things dont live. just try again, noones really to blame for mother natures frailty!:) plus u have to be like me when it comes to gardening and really baby the things and have lots of free time for coddling....sometimes its a task that should only be attempted by the retired!:).......scot
I placed a large ($300+) order, which included over 250 plants.
The order came in 2 separate packages, approximately 2 weeks apart. I was able to plant the plants in the first package right away, and most of those did well. The second package came just before we left town. While we were gone, there was an unexpected hot spell, and even though I had heeled in the plants, many of them had dried out.
We still had to dig holes and make gopher cages for the 100 burning bush plants, which were our top priority. It took another week for us to get all of the plants in the second package planted. By that time, some of them had passed the point of no return.
We planted them anyway, knowing that we wouldn't really know the status of them until we had tried.
After 6 weeks, we counted it up. We had lost 38 out of 100 burning bush plants, 7 out of 12 lavender, 1 banana, both elderberries, 1 hosta. Actually, that's not a bad percentage, considering the circumstances.
Since I felt it was mostly my fault that the plants had died, and since it was now getting to be pretty hot weather, I emailed Burgess, letting them know I was planning on purchasing new plants to replace the ones that didn't make it, and asking if it was too hot to plant now.
They responded that if I had the original shipping label, they would replace the plants free. I hadn't kept the original label, and again, told them I was planning on purchasing the replacements. They offered, on a ONE-TIME basis to replace the plants using an alternative method of actual purchase evidence.
I thought that was EXTREMELY generous, considering that it was (mostly) my fault.
I also find their prices to be extremely good. I would guess that for the most part, it's because these are shipped as bare-root plants. As long as you're prepared to deal with the plants as soon as they arrive, this is an extremely economical way to buy plants.
And now, the Bad News:
Yes, it was a long time from the time I ordered until the plants were shipped. The web site said 2 weeks, and I think that's probably because it may take that long to actually dig the plants and get them ready for shipment. But that's still a long time to wait, and since the plants were shipped in 2 separate packages, the 2nd package took even longer.
There was no notification of when the plants were shipped, so I wasn't prepared for their arrival. I think it's very important to send an email when they're shipped. With any of the major shippers, it's very easy to do that.
Yes, some of the plant roots looked moldy. It's very hard to tell if that was due to the specific circumstances that my plants encountered. I really don't know if those were some of the plants that didn't live, because we went ahead and planted everything.
One of the plants that I ordered were 'out of stock' and they replaced them with a different plant that I knew nothing about, without asking me in advance. I would have, instead, asked them to cancel that part of my order.
All in All, with the good and the bad, I would order from them again.
Overall ordering from burgess seed co. was very positive...they were consistent with thier web site and sent the seeds I ordered two weeks after the payment was processed....I orderd garlic sets, and potatos from them and they arrived in great shape and are growing well....the bare root trees came exactly as described on thier website. They were dormant with many healthy roots, and even some buds...they seem healthy and strong....they were shipped lightning fast via fedex and arrived in a very thick sturdy plastic bag,NOT a flimsy garbage bag as some described...they arrived at the end of March exactly when they shoud arrive in my growing zone.....now for the negative (though there is not much to complain about I do have one complaint that may cause me to consider other nuseries in the future)....BURGESS PLEASE, PLEASE, adequately train your telephone operators....while they are all american (which I like) they are very argumentative and quick to LIE TO CUSTOMERS....i called about 5 times in six weeks to check on my order status (to see if i could have them move up the shipping date due to warm weather,) every time I called they said, "oh it just shipped today you'll have it in a week" based on thier responses I am assuming that your opperators either don't know how to use computers, naturally lie to customers, or have been trianed to lie to customers to get us off the phone quickly....I could give more exampls but this isnt a hit piece...I just would like some one from Burgess to explain why tso many of thier customer service reps are either unable to access information or lying....we are adults, if they don't know exactly when something will ship, or can't change the shipping date they should just say so...that is the only thing that might keep me from doing business with them again.....too bad, really are fantastic products, and this is comming from someone who worked ten years on a tree farm.
I'm rating the company as a neutral. I bought a variety of trees last year and did have the three multi-fruit tree types all survive. It will be a long time before I see them reach a productive size and can verify that they were as advertised but I'm in no hurry, just glad they've made it so far.
A cherry I bought was an irritating disappointment as it had obviously been been snapped and rammed in to fit, and arrived too far gone to recover. The "Lisa" noted as being responsible for that shipment should have been ashamed. Smaller bareroot tree's were more likely to be damaged and/or dry due to the lack of protective packaging, a few pulled through.
I am ordering the four multi-fruit trees again this year based on the fact that they were a bit sturdier and seemed to come through their handling and shipping better, a key there is that they don't really have branches which also helps I think. This year I'm passing on all of the additional items I thought were interesting.
Like other reviews, I am mystified as to why they don't put their tree bags in protective boxes with a little moistened newspaper around the roots like other online nurseries. I'd be willing to pay the extra few bucks for actually getting the products to me in better shape.
The adage "You get what you pay for" certainly applies. My orders for things that didn't come in good shape from them last year are definitely going elsewhere but my experience wasn't so terrible I'm not willing to give them one more shot.
On Feb 16, 2012, NC_Garden_Lover Angier, NC wrote:
I have just ordered a LOT of plants from Burgess and now I am reading so many negative comments about them and the quality of their products. I have only received 2 little packets of seed so far but I can tell you, I paid $6.19 for 12 cucumber seed!!!!! That is outrageous. I don't care if the cucumbers are lined in gold as they grow this is terrible so I am wondering if the remaining part of the two orders I have placed will have similar 'surprises' for me? I will keep you all posted.
On Apr 9, 2011, twosocksmom Adairsville, GA wrote:
Ordered birch and willow trees and hostas. Arrived in plastic sack, no protection around the plants. The hostas were in sandwich bags, no soil, no wet paper, etc. The "trees" are sticks less than 1/4 inch thick...yes, low prices but poor quality product. Poorly identified, some not marked at all; just identified them by elimination. Ordered other plants from another company and will use them again. Friend ordered also from Burgess and was also disappointed; she doesn't expect her plants to grow. Too bad, catalog seemed put together well. Guess you can't tell a company by their advertising.
On May 22, 2009, sonya51304 Jacksonville, NC wrote:
I have to say I havent had any problems with this company. The plants I ordered are doing well (Almost Black Roses), and I even had to email them about something, and got a quick reply. They even gave me some tips about bare root planting. I was surprised on how they were shipped. They came in a blue plastic bag. My Amazon orders dont even come in plastic. Not sure if thats how they keep their prices down. They have some of the best prices I have seen, but after reading all these reviews, I doubt I will purchase again. So I checked neutral instead of positive. I would say, purchase at your own risk. Sounds like luck is all it is when it comes to dealing with them.
Like others, I ordered from Burgess before reading the ratings here. Overall, I think I ot what I paid for but there were a couple of problems.
Below is a list of what I ordered and the state of the plants I got
wild ("ditch lily") daylilies - these were great. Got mostly very good size tubers and they are growing like fiends in the pots I put them in--will put out in the garden this weekend.
assorted daylilies - some of these tubers were good size, others were very small and a couple don't appear to be growing--but overall, givemn the price, I am satisfied
Stella D'oro daylilies - VERY disappointing--got these TINY tubers, about half of which are putting up tiny shoots of green-maybe they will survive but I'm sure it will take a couple of years for them to get big enough to bloom. Several (around 3) just weren't big enough to even sprout on their own.
Tophat blueberry - very small and apparently completely dead seeding. Will take years to be big enough to have fruit, if it even survives. Right now it looks completely dead.
Lilly of the valley pips--these are all sprouting except for one.
Mosquito repellent scent leaved geraniums. I ordered two of thes-ht elaves on both were rotting and black and fell off but one has put out a bunch of new leaves. The other may put out new leaves but I'm not sure it will survive.
shasta daisies - I thought these bareroot seedings weren't viable but about 3/4a of them (maybe more) have put up tiny shoots. With some coddling I think they'll make it but will take a couple of years to become decent sized plants
Mock orange--looked like a dead stick but is now sprouting new leaves. It is a very small shrub but reasonable for the price
White tree peony - I thought this was totaly dead but I can now see a new leaf sprouting so maybe it will make it. Again, it will be few years before it gets to be a size that has several blooms
"Peace" rose - no sign of life so far but I plan on giving some fertilizer and am still hopeful. Root stock does not appear to be rotten in any way.
So, all in all I am satisfied except for the Stella D'Oro lily tubers and the blueberry plant. Ironically, these are some of the things that cost the most. Still, I suspect the cost of shipping to return these would be equal to or more than what I paid so I may not bother to return.
All in all, they provided me a lot of plants for a low price so it's to be expected that those plants aren't huge and are shipped bareroot. Reading the other reviews here, I would say that anyone that does order from them needs to be prepared. You should open what they send immediately and, also immediately, put them in peat pots or trays (or other pots) with potting soil. If you let them sit for any time, I am sure they will rot or not survive. Thanks to the reviews of others here, I was prepared when they came for an evening of plant triage and overall most stuff survived. Still, perhaps I just got lucky too since I did have some things that didn't make it.
On Apr 21, 2009, chaosroselover Independence, IA wrote:
I placed my order from Burgess in February. I recently began receiving my items. (April)
I have only 2 complaints about them so far.
I was rather annoyed that they did not send me the root vegetables and indoor start seeds when I should have gotten them. I will probably have to deal with digging up potatoes after the fall frosts have begun. But it's not a huge deal for me.
The only other thing that bothers me is that my shipments don't really meet any specific order. I recently received trees and one package of potatoes, but not my other potatoes or onions. Just a little confused about that.
I am pleased with the plants that I have received so far. They are small, but alive and healthy. I can't wait for everything else to arrive. I am grateful for the items I have gotten and the money I have saved by buying from Burgess. (So long as everything turns out.) : )
I will add to this when I know how everything has done.
*Just a note to the "Negative's" that have been posted. If you wanted 100% Grade A Quality~you should have ordered from a local nursery, where you could have selected Grade A itmes, and paid the due cost. You probably should not have ordered from a discount mail-order company where you had no idea what you were going to get.
The day after I ordered from this company (Burgess) I read all the bad reviews and almost died. On 2-24-09 I ordered 1-fruit cocktail tree, 1-5 in 1 pair tree, 10-strazzberry, 6-walk on me plants, 2-mock orange, 1-thornless blackberry, 1-sugar sweet cherry, 25 strawberry bargain, 1-pixwell gooseberry, 1-red white blue grapes for $92.40. They arrived in a green plastic bag 3-17-09 they were all fine. There was no smell and they all seemed in pretty good shape. Right now I have had no issues. I did however keep all the plastic bags that the plants came in and all their tags. I also kept the green shipping bag with the shipping label attached just in case I have a fatality. So far so good is all I can say for now.
On May 4th, 2009, Hera1016 added the following:
I received everything I ordered, its all growing except 1 mock orange and 1 gooseberry and the walk on me plant was well kinda pooped out. All in all cost me about 6 bucks. I kept all the tags but have no desire to pack it all up and mail it. I'll take the loss. I will probably order from here again you just can't beat the prices. Just be prepared for fatalities.
I have mostly ordered from Michigan Bulb (Favorite) and Spring Hill Nursery and Logees these companies will replace their items with 1 phone call for up to one year on all plants. No shipping fees and no questions.
I have lost plants from all of these companies. It is just easier to replace them with the other companies I listed.
I placed an order in the amount of $171 on Feb. 6th, 2009 and was told that my order would be shipped according to MY GROWING SEASON. Well since I living in South Texas my season actually started in mid-Feb for some vegetables and the first week in March for others. After several phone calls to their Customer Service Dept I was told that they ship according to "their gowing season" and that it was still below freezing in IL.
I have emailed them numerous times asking for a shipping date and have been told that it will be shipped either "this week or next week". Never a definitive answer. When asked for a refund I was told "We will forward your request to the appropriate department to try to cancel the order before it ships out. In the event that we are not able to cancel the order before it does in fact ship, as per our warranty, you may return the plants within 14-days of receipt, with proper postage affixed, for a refund of the purchase price."
Considering they have told me it hasn't been shipped then I should get a full refund immediately. But I suspect after reading all the comments in this website that I will be told that my order was shipped and they couldn't refund my money but then not receive the order for many weeks to come.
I refuse to allow them to keep $171 so I will take all steps inclusive of the Better Business Bureau, the Illinois Attorney General and the US Postal Service since they are a Mail Order Company.
I have ordered from companies such as Henry Feilds, Springhill Nursery and Garden's Alive without any problems and assumed that I received their solicitation due to my orders from these companies. As a consumer, I should have done more research but it truly surpises me the amount of complaints against this company and related companies and they still continue to operate. Obviously, the correct consumer regulation department has not been approched with this company's activities.
I ordered some seeds and some plants. The seeds came, but the plants didn't. After one month, I emailed them for a status. They responded promptly, and this is what they said. "Seed will start to ship this month. We will begin shipping nursery stock in March and will ship to the warmest climates first. Houseplants and tender perennials will begin shipping in April." I was charged for the plants already, and have already waited five weeks for them, and now I have to wait another two months? I wish I had read the comments on this site first. I gave them a neutral because they did respond to my status email quickly, and that was to their credit.
My first experience with them this year sounds like everyone else's - spotty. The format of a plant by plant rundown is a good one:
Dwarf pear trees - all very inexpensive; 2 in excellent condition and doing well; 1 never broke dormancy and finally died.
French pussy willow - DOA - dried out and broken; never revivied.
Tree peonies - a bargain - quite inexpensive and all in good condition, doing well.
Phlox - good sized vigorous plants.
Foxglove - none of them ever woke up - all now rotted away.
American sycamore - never broke dormancy, now dead.
Butterfly weed - healthy dormant tubers - doing well
Bottom line - it's a grab-bag - you might get a great plant for a bargain, or genuine junk. I haven't tried to get a refund yet from them - will keep you posted.
I would have to rate this company both negative and positive. If you are expecting to get large perfect plants, Don’t shop here. I made a few purchases of a variety of plants and will rate them below:
100 Privet Hedges….they arrived small to medium size and the shipment was short by 5 pieces. I notified them of the shortage and they sent me 10 new ones. We planted them and all but about 5 are fine.
15 Jumbo Hemlock hedges $23.00….Mostly junk…received plants from 6 inches to 18 inches (and these are JUMBOS LOL. After 2 weeks most of them are dead
100 Hybrid Willows…they arrived small to medium in size. After about a week they started showing life and are growing very fast
Various ground cover…..Periwinkles, Walk on Me, Phlox, and Wintercreeper They are very cheap, but so small you can hardly see them in the bags…definitely not worth the bother.
Various vines….Arrived very small and didn’t think they would grow but planted them anyway. Silver Lace, Trumpet Hummingbird are growing very fast Hall's Honeysuckle, Passion Flower and sweet pea barely alive. Kiwi ….ordered 8 (6 f and 2 M) one female was received dead. The others are growing, but much slower than expected
2 Magnolia…receiver 2 mini pots with 3 inch trees….After about 2 weeks they started growing but very slow @ $3.00 each, they could hva e been better but are ok.
10 Weeping Willow Trees… We received 10 sticks. We planted them and they are growing fine. Considering they were $1.00 each we are satisfied.
2 Fig Trees…@ $7.50 each JUNK..received 2 tree’s approximately 3 inches each. After 1 ½ months, still alive, but still 3 inches .
2 Red maple…only $1.43 ea. Received 2 sticks, but they are growing fine
2 Rose of Sharon @ $1.25 ea….received 2 …about 2 foot high well branched.. After 2 weeks growing very nice
10 Red Twig Dogwood total $7.50….received 10 small sticks. After 1 month they are growing ok
4 Hansen Cherry bushes. total $5.80….. Received 4 sticks about 2 foot. They bloomed after a few days and even got a handful of cherries on them.
2 Firethorn…total $4.75 ..received 2 approx 2 inches. After 1 month, growing very slowly, but alive.
2 Mock Orange…only $1.50 for both. Received 2 about 3 ½ ft high well branched. After 1 month, I stone dead, one is just barely showing some sign of life.
9 Hibiscus total $5.75 received 9 about 1 inch. After a month 2 are about an 1 ½ but alive, the remainder show no life at all
3 Arkansas Ansonia total $10.95 Received 3 about 1 inch. After a month, there is nothing left but dirt.
2 Huron Sunrise Grass…..total $9.50 received 2 about 1inch…. After 1 month, growing about 3 inches now so very slow.
Various Roses…. Good price…received nice bushes but was short one. Notified them and they replaced the one missing. After a month growing very nice.
The purchases were made from Burgess Seed, Honeycreek Nurseries, and Direct Gardening. I contacted them by email and got quick response to the e mail; however; it took over a month for me to receive the missing items. It only takes 1 to 2 days to charge your credit card, but well over a month to process your order. I have not contacted them yet about the dead items that I received, so I can’t comment on how they will respond.
To sum it up, There are a lot of better nurseries out there, but not at these bargain prices. If you have the time to wait for these plants to grow, then you are getting a bargain. If they honor there guarantee to replace the dead plants, I will definitely shop there again.
On Apr 17, 2008, hoganhound Albuquerque, NM wrote:
Lots of stress in these posts about plants! Thats terrible and surprises me too...I Have ordered maybe 6 times 2007-2008 through burgess and friends, have had no problems as of yet. I see many posts regarding $100-$300+ orders...I would caution against such large orders from discount catalogs. If I dont know exactly what Im getting, nor in what condition it wil show up in, (IF I CANT PICK IT OUT!) well, then I would not spend an amount of money that would upset me if any problems arise. Rather, expect less from deep discounted sources, and you wont be (too) dissapointed.
Having said that, I have ordered small quantities of trees, bulbs, in/out plants and, so far, no probs...Tree seedlings are a bit small for my taste. If I can get it locally I dont buy catalog stock.
I want to say that if you want to dump $100 + dollars on plants, head to the local Native nursery and buy 2 really expensive, cool specimens and be much happier for it than with a large green bag full of "I forgot I ordered SO much" on your doorstep in 1-2-3 months. And, from time to times, for shts and gigs blow $10-$20 online...I and you will be happier and more confident/less stressed that way...isnt that the point of buyin plants? Good luck!
I ordered $66 worth of plants from this company on 3/15/2008. I ordered online and have not received any other communications from them, nor have I receive any product.
I emailed the about a week ago and never received a reply to my inquiry.
I tried to call them today, 4/3/2008, and their line was busy every time I called, no voice mail options or anything like that. This is getting ridiculous.
I then decided to come here and check to see if other have had problems as well, and after reading all the neutral and negative comments, I’ve decided I will NEVER, let me repeat that, NEVER EVER order from this outfit again.
My final rating will depend on the condition of the product when it arrives, IF it ever does, and if any of it lives.
I'm going Neutral as of now, it may turn negative later but will not be positive.
I ordered over 150.00 in fruit trees (apple and "fruit cocktail), shrubs (Hardy Privet, Rose of Sharon), berry bushes (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry) in early Feb. I was quoted a time frame of later April - Early May which was fine as I have a lot of work to do in the yard before planting (ie: fencing, mulching, etc)
The first part of my order arrived on March 26th, the rest arrived on March 29th. IT is still freezing here, actually snowed today. The timing is way off. In addition many plants appear to be less then 1 year old, while others appear to be 2+. I have some pieces of hedge that are over 3 feet tall and others that are less then 1 foot tall.
Also, I received 2 pieces of "sticks" that were labeled as Rose of Sharon, they have no roots at all, when i called and requested replacements I was told to return the shipping label... for a stick. Now I have to wait to plan the rest of my hedge due to their poor laborers.
AS mentioned. If everything survives and I get my replacements for defective trees this will be a "neutral" and I will probably buy from them again as the prices are great. If the plants don't survive or the warranty isn't honored this will be a negative. I doubt I'll be buying from DirectGardening.com or Burgess anymore unless the plants I have perform extremely well
Despite negative comments from other customers, I decided to risk $30.00 with Burgess seeds. I ordered one packet of seeds and 2 pairs of Elderberry plants in mid January from their web site.
The seeds arrived in a timely manner, along with my free promotional Peach vine seeds and tomato seeds.
I had not received my Elderberries by March 15th, so I e-mailed customer care to find out the status of my order. I received an e-mail the next day telling me I would get my order within 7-10 days. However, I got the package 2 days later on the 17th. Makes me think that customer care is not completely informed about shipping dates; or they are just telling customers what they think they want to hear.
The Elderberry plants were packed in a green plastic shipping bag. I think a box would have protected them better - but they were in good shape despite this. A tiny scratch test on each bare root plant revealed that they were alive and well. They were a healthy size as well, with pencil width stems.
I received a 2nd free set of the Peach vine and Tomato seeds in the mail with my Elderberries. This was probably an oversight on their part.
Overall, I'm happy with the plants and seed, but I'm left with the feeling that I was lucky - this time. I will probably order from them them again, but I still wouldn't risk more money than I'm ready to loose.
Also, this company does not send e-mail shipping notifications for customers who have ordered on-line. I hope this will change - it would help belay the wait and worry of dealing with a company with such negative reviews.
In the spring of '06 I ordered over $ 1,000.00 worth of perrenials, roses, bulbs, and other plants from various nurseries including the above-mentioned ones. I was new to outdoor gardening as was my yard and soil. I tried to do the best I could, but many plants died. I also recieved some plants sent to me in a very poor state, and were pretty much dead by the time I recieved them. I had kept meticulous records and all packing lists. I had no problem from any of the companies in being refunded, credited, or replacement.
My only gripe was that by the time I got any replacements, it was too late in the season to plant those particular plants, and they died because it was too hot.
I have to agree with lots of what is said here- but with caveats. I think you get what you pay for. If you buy cheap plants, don't expect stellar results. My parents have used burgess for years with good results. Now, understand my dad is a retired biologist so he has the time and knowledge to care for his plants. I placed a large order last year with mixed results. Considering how long I waited to plant and how little care I gave the plants, I'm actually pleased with the results. I've learned the following- 1) Don't order too much. If you can't spend a lot of time with the plants they won't do well. It's tempting to order all the neat stuff in the catalog- but you need to be honest with your abilities and time required to nurture them 2) Expect to lose a few. They're pretty cheap- it's worth the gamble. Take the honeysuckle, for instance. You can get three at Burgess for the price a "well rated" company on here sells you one for. If one dies, you're still ahead of the curve! 3) If you need reliable results, prepare to PAY at your local nursery. They put a lot of time and effort to grow those high quality plants.
I have ordered several things from them over the years, and I learned quickly not to order too much and overwhelm yourself or you WILL have disappointing results. So now I just stick to ordering a few things, like 5 or so, that I think may have a better chance of making it, and if they don't, oh well. Some things have grown VERY impressively well for me, such as a cherry bush, dwarf fountain grass, russian olive, perennial sunflower, etc.. Some things died as well, but I still can't pass up the chance for trying something new that I can't find locally.
I ordered 500 peate pots from burgess seed on 1-18 07 I have not received them and when contacting the co rep. did not know when they would be shipped i am due to start planting some of my plants next monday so i will have to go and buy at wal-mart to get going. its the 2-1 now. this will cost me a 40 mile drive. i will need 500 to a 1000 more. they could have sold me those also plus other items.
On Feb 1, 2007, Burgess Seed responded with:
On Apr 12, 2007 3:17 PM, Burgess Seed added:
Orders at this time of year take 1-2 weeks for processing and this customer's order was shipped on 2/5/07. We are sorry they didn't arrive quite as soon as he expected and needed them."
On Jun 30, 2006, LauraCharron Emmett, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I would like to be able to say that my experience with Burgess was totally positive, but that is not the case.
I received plants from them at the end of May 2006. Out of 6 raspberry plants, 1 was dead. Out of 2 manchurian apricots, 1 lived a week after planting and there was no indication the other 1 ever was alive. The stevia plant I ordered was dead in the bag. The hazelnut and cherries are all doing fine.
I sent the company the shipping labels and a note explaining my problem and desire for replacement plants as both the website and customer service told me to do on June 20th. Today, June 30th I received a 1 inch strip typed note saying to give the plants 6 weeks. This note was stapled to my labels, letter and envelope.
We called customer service and got a repeat of all the original conversations we had about sending labels, checking the bark etc. I am going to resubmit the labels with another note and hope this time I will get replacements as their guarantee promises instead of more runaround.
I will not do further business with them or any of their associated companies and my recommendation is for anyone else to really take care and do a lot of research to try to find other people to order from. I cannot in good conscience recommend them because if there is a problem, the customer service didn't give me any indication they cared.
I decided to place a small order with this company to see what all the fuss was about. I ordered a couple apricot trees, a couple of pawpaw, and a dwarf nectarine. They came yesterday. I read here about their poor packaging and when I saw it with my own eyes, I literally laughed out loud. The trees were all broken in half. Another complaint with the packaging is that the trees were provided no moisture in the shipping bag. No wonder many peoples trees arive dead.
I will say for the price payed, the trees weren't that bad and they were all alive. I trimmed the jagged edges where they had broken, planted, and watered well. So we'll see.
My only suggestion for this company is to buy some shipping boxes and shredded newspaper.
After reading all of the negative comments posted here, I was EXTREMELY nervous about ordering from Burgess. However, my husband wanted very much to order some Canadian Hemlock seedlings, and he didn't want to pay a lot of money for them, so we decided to place a small order and give it a try. They arrived last week, rather poorly packaged; they were mailed in a sealed plastic bag with no support of any kind. (Luckily, they were quite flexible, since our mail carrier bent the package in half to get it into our mailbox!) But I have to say that they looked very healthy, and we planted them this past weekend. My husband says that if they continue to grow and look as good as they do now, we will be placing another, larger order from Burgess in the future.
On June 30th, 2005, cobbie changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Well, now all of the seedlings have died. We are having a record drought here in our part of the world, but my husband says that the Canadian Hemlocks he received were all dead long before things got really bad, and that he was watering them faithfully all along. I will update this post again after we talk to the Burgess Customer Service people. Of course, we no longer have the "original packing container" the seedlings were shipped to us in, so that may be an exercise in futility. Good thing we didn't place a larger order!
On May 1, 2005, dirtlover El Dorado Springs, MO wrote:
I have ordered at least 3 times from Burgess. I already know before ordering that at least 1/3 of my plants will die. I have a greenhouse and am an experienced gardener and the loss of the plants is not due to neglect on my part. I've learnt that if you want to order from these type of companies that your best bet is to order bushes or trees. Perennials never hardly ever make it. I've received moldy strawberries and mushy plants and on one occasion had to fight with them for a replacement order which I eventually received. I have to admit that when I did receive it, they sent extra plants. My advice.....you get what you pay for. The reason I occasionally order from them is even at a 1/3 loss, they are still cheaper than the local retail center, plus I live in a rural area where the local nursery likes to stick you with large prices......my solution.....I started my own nursery. Now I can indulge myself in my love of plants and pass a great price onto my neighbors and friends and treat other gardeners like I would like to be treated....ha ha
When I received there catalog I was so excited, they had everything that I wanted for a fraction of the price that I would be paying for, and I would be ordering from one company instead of several. Then I looked them up on this sight and I couldnt beleive what I was reading! So I riped up my order. Needless to say I couldnt leave things alone ; ). I had made my orders to other company's and decided to place a small order with burgees just to try them out. I have a very limited budget so it was just to tempting, that way if it works out I have some more plants to show off, and if it didnt it was just a few bucks instead of my whole budget. I decided to order two rose bushes ( since I figure they are prety failproof ), and I thought I would take my chances with a queens tears. I placed my order late january and waited. In march I called for the stats on my order, the girl on the phone was helpful and nice. She told me that my order was being shipped in two shippments. I dont understand why since I only ordered 3 items and they were shipped only 4 days appart. My first package was shipped the day before I called. I received it one week later. I was shocked when I opened my door and my mailman asked me if I ordered some roses, then he pulled a plastic bag out of his mailbag and told me to be carefull. He must have gotten stuck from the thorns coming threw the bag! I have never known anyone to send plants in a bag before. I am just glad that they were not damaged in any way. Both roses were small but they were at least healthy, one is growing and the other is showing signs of growth. The queens tears took a couple of weeks to get here. I called them a second time asking about it since I should of received it a few days after the first package. The girl was helpfull and nice again. I had finally received it today, two days after I spoke to her, and I was glad to see that it came in a (small) box, but when I opened it, there was a SMALL plant in a little pot. All of its leaves were dried at the tips and faded. I think that it will come to full force with lots of TLC but I was expecting something bigger and healthier and greener. Over all, I'm glad that i got my plants and they seem to be doing well so far. I can definently say I wouldn't buy from them again. I would rather spend a couple extra bucks to get something bigger and better from someware else, even if it means buying less to get quality. Reading everyone elses experiences makes me feel bad for everyone that a company would just treat so many costomers so terribly and without care. I think its just so wrong! I have purchased from other companys on several occasions that have a negative rating and still got good service and great plants, which is why I still wanted to try burgees out, but I think that they take the cake when it comes to the the worst ratings and smallest plants that I have purchased anyware. I will not order anymore and hope that no one else will, just to save them selves any dissapointment that they might encounter, unless you don't mind takeing chances with small plants in plastic bags. I know I don't want to take anymore chances!
I too should have read this site before my order. I placed an order in early February. My credit card was charged on Feb. 17. I did at least receive a confirmation email about my order, but it's March 22 and still no plants. I understood they mail them at the correct planting time. But they have already charged me, and it is the correct planting time. I'd like to hope it will be a positive experience. I emailed them today asking about the status of my order.
On March 30th, 2005, krmtexas added the following:
I emailed them about my order March 22, and they emailed me back saying it would be 7-10 days. I received my order promptly March 28. Only one product appeared to be substituted, and it was equal value I would say. The roses look to be in great health! Everything looks good, except for one thing...I ordered a Shade Garden which included several varieties of plants. They were each individually wrapped in plastic bags and most of them had mold on them. I am hoping they will live. Other than that, the other items were bigger and healthier than I expected after reading many of these comments.
I have ordered from this company (and from some of the other Plantron companies) and it really is a crapshoot. Some plants have done well and were actually larger than I expected(bush cherries) while others were DOA. However, I would not chance it by ordering from them again.
i just ordered $200+ in plants from burgess and direct gardening. i went in to look for their website from a computer other than my home one, and when i did the search on google, i came up with this site to look at! how i wish i had known about your site before i apparently wasted all that money! there is something i would like to add that i don't see in the remarks here. since our orders online are by credit card, there are certain guarantees that go along with that. as far as i know, if you are not happy with the goods when and if they arrive, you can deny the charges to your credit card. after all, these businesses offer a year guarantee on their plants--let's make them live up to that! if these businesses, which are all a part of one parent one, it sounds like, are so bad, why has the state not put them out of business? thanx.
On Apr 1, 2004, sylvi74 East Bethel, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:
I ordered $50 worth of plants from Burgess and then found this website, so I was worried. My order came in yesterday (Michigan) and I am thrilled. The packaging was pretty bad-just a pile of plants in the bottom of a plastic bag-but the plants all look good now that I've sorted them out. I cetainly got more than I paid for. The roses were 3 for $10, and they look like number one plants to me. The magnolias ($1.50 each!) have little leaves already, and the climbing hydrangea is the cutest little plant I have ever seen. Everything else is good, and if a little small, was very cheap. I hope this company can be more consistant so that everyone can be as pleased as I am.
On April 26th, 2004, sylvi74 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Well, this company is really bizarre. I was pleased with my first order, but my second order just arrived and it is basically a bag of garbage. Some plants were both moldy AND dried out! The bags marked rhubarb were totally EMPTY! I am really puzzled at the lack of consistency here. I have emailed the company and will continue to update this comment. On April 30th, 2004, sylvi74 added the following:
I got an email back from Burgess only 24 hours after I contacted them. They were very polite and explained their warrantee. I haven't decided whether to ask for new plants or a refund.
WOW!! Now I'm scared. I recently ordered from House of Wesley ($26.62) and DirectGardening ($67.09) My debit card has already been charged. I was just about to spend another $100 when I came upon this site. All the negatives!! This is not looking good! I will wait and see what they send me. But I will contact the companies asap, to see what they have as a ship-date for my area. I ordered trees on ebay, and National Audubon, during this winter. The trees from ebay came as twigs (BUT THAT WAS OK, AS THEY WERE IN DORMANT) My trees are now blooming beautifully, in preparation for spring. So plants coming as twigs....aren't a problem, as long as they grow. My concern now, is that I ordered from House of Wesley and DirectGardening (affiliates of BURGESS)...and all the ship-date problems, refund and exchange problems, and wrong orders! I TOO, will WAIT~AND~SEE, will contact them immediately, and let you know what arrives! Gosh I wish I would have seen this site sooner! Gardening is my passion, and just bought a home with 2 acres I wanted to fill with my "dream garden". I have a fixed income....and my heart breaks for those of you that have been scammed in this way.
I'm scared now that I've found your website and discovered the substantial number of negative comments about Burgess Seed & Plant Co. Why am I scared? I'm a retiree that lives on just my pension and I have $182.56 order pending with Burgess. I mailed the order on 1/15/04 and my check cleared the bank on 1/29/04.
I have 27 trees, 1000 peat pellets, 20 asparagus crowns, and some seed on order.
I called them today (2/8/04) to see if my 1000 peat pellets were on the way as I need to get some plants started real soon. I was told that they don't start shipping nursery plants until after March 1st. I said that makes sense, but that these peat pellets weren't nursery plants. She said that there is no way for her to check on the status of an order that has already gone to shipping. She said to call back next week. I'm guardedly hopeful.
This is the first time I've ever ordered from this company. So I guess I'll take a wait'n see posture for right now. I hope I get the chance to come back here and upgrade my experience rating from Neutral to a real strong Positive. Burgess, here's your chance to shine!