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Comments regarding Kelly Nurseries

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13 positives
5 neutrals
76 negatives


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Negative cupwithwater
(1 review)
On Aug 6, 2014, cupwithwater Byron, MI wrote:

Posted on August 6, 2014, updated August 6, 2014
I cannot stress enough about how much a rip off that this company is. This has been my second attempt to receive two different types of Canna, Bengal tiger and pink sunburst. so far I have had to replacements sent for each and they arrive completely black rotten and mushy. I wrote a letter to the company as well as emails. The company just dresses that they inspect every plant before it is shipped although I stressed that bare root plants like this do not turn black and mushy overnight. Their responses back to me I like it is my fault. I have even sent them pictures of their product and still the same attitude is conveyed. As with their policy the only way to get my money back would be to ask for a refund within 14 days of shipping. And it has to make it back to them in that time which is impossible. I will NEVER order from them again and due to how they are treating me I am going to be sure to let it be known about this company and its practices. I\'m sorry for the next person that orders anything from this company. I am disgusted beyond explanation and I really wish they were bbb listed so theu cpuld b looked into but this is probably the reason why.

On August 6th, 2014, cupwithwater added the following:

I have also had the same experience with their sister companies, Burgess seed and plant co. And royal dutch gardens. They should be ashamed of themselves, what an embarrassment of a company (s)
Negative loryb1958
(1 review)
On May 23, 2014, loryb1958 Plymouth, OH wrote:

Placed an order with Kelly Nurseries for the first time, will never do so again! We received only part of our order although the shipping label indicated that all of it was shipped. We did receive the free peony root and three dead sticks, which I have no idea what they were supposed to be. I called the company and was informed that I must send back the label with a note as to the problem, which I did May 10,2014. Since we received no communication from them as of May 23 I called them. Took a number of tries, first the number would ring a few times and then signal busy. Finally connected to Chrissy. I was informed that they do not communicate with customers unless there is a problem. (I consider not receiving 48 rose of rogusa a problem!) She informed me that my replacement order was in the computer but could not tell me when I could expect shipment. ( I don't quite understand how it could be considered a "replacement" order when I never received them in the first place).

I guess I will have to wait and see how this pans out but I do know that next season I will definitely NOT order from Kelly Nurseries!!

Negative jackson01
(1 review)
On Aug 3, 2013, jackson01 Tipp City, OH wrote:

I have never shopped with this company before but I thought I would give them a try.
I made an early purchase on Jan.24, 2013, thinking I would get the cream of the crop items. Not so!
Out of 44.03 order the only thing that lived was 1 Potentilla plant. The 2 maples didn't even sprout in the spring.
I knew the plants were dormant when they arrived so I planted and marked where I planted them. Blue Fescue died. Butterfly Plants didn't have any grow in the spring . Bleeding Heart plant didn't even shoot up in the spring! 3 Blue Spruce lost their needles.
Very disappointed in the products I purchased.

On Aug 3, 2013, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

"On Aug 16, 2013 1:37 PM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

A customer care representative has contact this customer for further information. We do have a 1 year replacement guarantee on all of our plants and do hope that the customer takes advantage of this guarantee."

Negative Taunus
(1 review)
On Jun 14, 2013, Taunus Rome, GA wrote:

Posted on June 4, 2013, updated June 14, 2013
I ordered some strawberries on 4-24-13, never got an order confirmation but they debited my account right away. Today, 6-4-13, I called to check on my order and got stonewalled. I was told to "write a letter" to cancel my order. After several calls I finally talked to a 'supervisor' named Cindy who announced a refund would take 30 days. I am holding my breath

The Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois has 151 complaints about them but gives them an A+ rating, which says a lot about the BBB.

On June 14th, 2013, Taunus added the following:

June 14th, 2013
Got home from a 2 day trip this morning and there they were in my mail box, had been for more than a day, in 95 degree weather. The little strawberry plants had pot bound root balls the size of thimbles, a snippet of a leaf on top and were near death.

I had asked for shipping information and a tracking number. I got nothing. The people that work there must suffer from horrible illnesses that leave them unable to accomplish ordinary tasks in a timely manner.

However, they do grab your money real fast and refuse to let go..

Go to your local nursery, don't deal with this crowd

On Jun 14, 2013, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

"On Aug 3, 2013 11:43 AM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would be happy to send a replacement order. "

Negative rockminer
(2 reviews)
On May 2, 2013, rockminer Scott Bar, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I'm sorry I did not find this resource before ordering from Kelly. The black Rasberries were dead sticks with no roots, Poker primrose were totally limp and, despite very gentle nursing did not even try to produce a leaf. Two of three Geraniums did survive but are miniscule plants. Clematis has finally given me one leaf and may survive. The tiny Pulmonaria plants are aparently alive but producing no evidence of new growth.

We have had a month of excellent growing weather since I received this order and I let my confidence run me past the guarantee date so I cannot even ask for a refund.

I have had over 50 years of gardening experience and am considered to have a green thumb. This entire experience was a travesty.

I hope you are reading this before ordering.

Best Regards, Bill

Negative swedey
(2 reviews)
On Jul 14, 2012, swedey Winnie, TX wrote:

i ordered a pear tree with 5 kinds of pears and a pair of elderberry plants. they came absolutly dry in a plastc envelope. the peare tree of coursae ws broken off at the first graft. it had four tiny hair sized roots and when scratched was dead as a door nail. the two elderberry plants had enough roots if they had not been dead for so long. they were black throughout. there is no way they were alive when shipped. a pure rip off. the story about the scratch test of course is crazy. why not scratch it before you send it instead of sending dead sticks in a plastic envelope. a $39 plusa lesson. ty ty did the same thing to me. sent me a stick with no root at all. just a piece of dead stick.

On Jul 14, 2012, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

"On Jul 16, 2012 11:44 AM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

We are sorry to hear of the problem with this customers order. A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. "

Negative terriergal
(1 review)
On Jul 3, 2012, terriergal Hutchinson, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

Well, I wish I had known this was a ripoff company. Thankfully I only ordered two mock oranges to try out. Placed order on June 2, 2012 and I finally had to write on the 20th to see what was up, as I had not received any notice of shipment.

They basically said "we're working on it" (nicely) and I said ok I was just checking, and they said "check back anytime for the status of your order" as if they had actually given me a status in the first place.

They arrived on the 29th, four weeks after ordering, when it was now very HOT and they were stuffed into my mailbox in a green plastic bag envelope with no moisture retentive material around the roots or anything. They had been broken because of the rough handling (which the packing did nothing to prevent).

I emailed immediately and they basically gave me the "it might be dormant" routine like they give everyone else. Yes I have ordered bareroot plants before and so I know what a dormant plant looks like. These were pretty much worthless for anything but firestarter, however I soaked them and then planted them in a pot inside the house, since we have about a week of 105 degree heat indices to get through. There might be a slightly yellowish tint (not green) under the bark. No sign of life at all.

They offered me a replacement or credit. I don't want credit and I never want to deal with them again, so I told them to send me live plants with protection around the roots and put them in a box with plenty of cushioning material. I doubt they'll do that. If they send me more kindling, I'll be sending everything to the attorney general. Horrible.

On Jul 3, 2012, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

"On Jul 16, 2012 11:47 AM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem."

Negative lindaMI
(1 review)
On Jun 20, 2012, lindaMI Concord, MI wrote:

I ordered 12 Snow in Summer, 10 Periwinkle, 12 Creeping Phlox, 4 Hardy Gloxinias on May 13, 2012, they charged my Credit Card for the full amount, I also ordered a Red Rose of Sharon. When my order was received I didn't get the Snow in Summer or the Periwinkle, the Phlox were almost dead and out of 10 I have 3 that are green. The Gloxinias I have 2 that may make it, I still haven't received my Snow in Summer and I sent a letter along with my mailing label on June 7, 2012 and was told that it would take another 2-4weeks before I would receive my balance of my order. Since I sent my mailing label I have know recorse to have the plants if thats what you want to call them replaced if they don't make it. The female rep. that I talked to when I called said that I was lucky that I got my order in the time frame that I did because it usually takes 4 weeks, per their shipping policy it states that you can expect them to ship your order within 1-2weeks of receipt and when I read that to her she argued with me. Today is June 20th, 2012 and I have still not received anything from them in regards to the balance of my order. DO NOT ORDER FROM KELLY NURSERIES!!!! I will be reporting them to the Better Business Bureau!

Negative sprklecity
(1 review)
On May 22, 2012, sprklecity LAKE PLEASANT, NY wrote:

Every thing I ordered died or arrived dead. I did not receive one plant, sent a letter (with the original mailing label as required) and never received a response.
I will never order from this company again. My order, was over $100 and all of it was wasted!

Negative ladybugshome
(1 review)
On May 21, 2012, ladybugshome Rochester, NY wrote:

Have been gardening for years and can usually bring back even the most dead looking plant. I ordered from Kelly Nurseries and they took my money back in January. The charge went through and was process. When you charge something you do not have over 60 days to dispute the charge. I found that out when I tried to have the bank cancel the charge. Called Kelly Nurseries and they will not refund my money or credit my account. I have to mail back the shipping label with what was dead or broken when it arrived. I live in Rochester NY, my order was shipped when we still had winter!
Frost still happens here well into May of each year.
Guess when this was shipped? April 10!!!!

It was all piled up in a green bag with everything piled on top of the each other. Trees were broken below graft line and out right dead. Perennials were all dead but a few. I am talking an order over 230.00.

Use to do business with this company in the 1980's and it is way worse then it ever thought of being now.

We are mailing back the shipping label which means that my order will not be easily revised for my own records other then a copy which they will not honor at all.

So..... here I sit saying I hope that no one else will get burned. Buyer beware of this company. I have ordered from other mail order companies and never had stuff shipped this way or this time of year.

Guess I am stuck with the Local Wal-mart and two local Nurseries that are here in the area with limited stock. We moved from our home which we raised our children in and needed a smaller yard and house. I wanted to landscape some for my old house had more land and this yard is easier to keep up.

When I logged in to see all of the different plants which were not offered when I started gardening I wanted to have them in my yard! Wrong!
Nothing grew and I have to start again in the fall when they are shipped (if they are shipped). Am tired of companies doing this to those who trust the company they order from.

Negative bbreech
(1 review)
On May 10, 2012, bbreech Bryant, AR wrote:

Order placed 3/3/12. Requested expedited shipping on 3/28/12. Cancelled my order 4/21/12. On 4/23/12 Kelly advised that they 'may be unable to cancel' my order as it had been 'forwarded to the shipping department'.... I guess sometime in the previous 50 days.
5/9/12 received pile of substandard plants and dormant roots.

Negative jayt36
(10 reviews)
On May 5, 2012, jayt36 Ashland, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have finally learned my lesson. I placed an order with Kelly on March 10, 2012. When the plants came, one of the yellow butterfly bushes was dead on arrival. Giving it the benefit of doubt, I re-planted it in good potting soil, kept it well watered in a sunny window. When it showed no evidence of rejuvenation, I finally wrote to the company on April 11th, requesting a replacement. I fully complied with their requirements, dutifully enclosing the shipping label. I received a reply from them telling me I must wait six weeks to see if the dead plant would miraculously resurrect itself. Well, although I am a religious person, I have no expectation for any such miracle to occur. And I have no intention of wasting another 40 some cents postage of this poor excuse for a company.
I will cut my losses and in the future deal only with reputable companies.

Negative vorlonken
(8 reviews)
On Apr 26, 2012, vorlonken Andover, CT wrote:

I really should give them halfway between neutral and negative since I got what I expected; but what I expected wasn't much.

I wouldn't have ordered from them except they had a daylily that I wanted that I was unable to find anywhere else - and I searched hard. Their shipping prices are high so I ordered 3 of the daylily. I got three small, single-fan plants. They're unlikely to flower this year because of their small size. The most disturbing thing was the packaging. Rather than shipping in a box they arrived in a heavy-duty plastic bag. Surprisingly they seem to have made the trip unharmed.

Kelly Nurseries seems to be a low-end nursery. It appears that they sell liners that they haven't bothered to grow on. Unless they have a plant that you can't find anywhere else I'd avoid them. Almost all of what they sell is widely available elsewhere. For GREAT quality daylilies use Oak's or their sister company Paradise Perennials.

Negative MargeTO
(1 review)
On Mar 21, 2012, MargeTO Arlington, VA wrote:

Do not order from Kelly! After bad first experience, thought I'd give them a second chance. Ordered early in March, when nothing arrived by May 1, called, told it would be sent. When I called again, said I was going on a trip and everything would be dead, I was told "That's okay, we'll just replace everything. I had gotten one plant, separately in March, a healthy, big euphorbia. When I re-ordered, the 3 euphorbia didn't even resemble plants, everything was tiny, slimy and disgusting. When I called, it was pointed out they only replace once. Clearly this company's technique is to guarantee replacement, send the dredges of their stock: you have no recourse and they keep your money. Btw-they cashed my check in March but hadn't sent 2 mo's later, finally after 2nd call, arrived sometime in June. Have talked to others, everyone says "stay away." Do not patronize, and watch out for their many affiliates, seem to be different names for same place.

Negative rocdoc77
(2 reviews)
On Sep 28, 2011, rocdoc77 Great Falls, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Letter about Kelly's and Burgess nursery.
> I guess I'm a glutton for punishment, because I bought plants from both
> nurseries
> The plants from Kelly's were dry beyond recovery upon were arrival, I
> complained by e-mail replacement plants were of no use to me they were also
> dry. I had ordered some plants from Burgess, when I found out that two are
> related I e-mailed to stop this order. E-mail after e-mail they said the
> the plants would be sent, I asked for a refund excuse was it would behard
> to stop. My last email I quote
> Sirs
> You took money in July 2011 and have had it over 2 months.
> I plan To Send a copy of correspondence tn to The Attorney General in
> Bloomington, IL Consumer Protection Division and Dave's Garden web site.
> Return my money.
> Donald Privett
> Thank you for your email. Once an order has been processed, it does become
> very difficult to cancel an order. Please allow more time for your request
> to be processed.
> Thank You 
Customer Care Departmeny

Negative jhkern
(1 review)
On May 9, 2011, jhkern Sunnyvale, CA wrote:

Posted on March 20, 2010, updated May 9, 2011
Hesitant to order as there are so many neg comments but decided to test the Co and was quite pleased with what arrived. Took about a month for plants to arrive, but postage date indicated 4 days of transit. That is about what condition the stock looked like. A little bit etolated but very usable. I would order from them again. This is a discount nursery so don't expect premium sized plant material.

On May 9th, 2011, jhkern changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

Posted positive last year after ordering plant material but this current order is becoming the same fiasco that so many others have experienced. Dead material arrived so I called next day for protocol on refunds. Told no need to send dead plant material back to Illinois but to send shipping label with summary of dead stock. 3 weeks later received the following letter;

We are sorry to hear of the problem you are having with your plants. Our guarantee policy states that if you are unhappy with the merchandise for any reason, you may return it with in 14 days of receipt for a full refund. Since you did not comply with the terms of our warranty, we are unable to issue a refund for the items in question.

I'll keep working on it, but this is just another FYI for Kelly Nurseries
Negative jrenea
(1 review)
On Mar 18, 2011, jrenea Austin, TX wrote:

I won't be doing business with this company ever again. I placed my order on 1/30/11 and have yet to receive it. They won't give me a ship date or any actual information, just that someone else is working on it.

I asked for a refund on 3/8/11 and have yet to receive a credit.

My first mail order experience and I got burned. Lesson learned.

Zone 8

Negative oona0
(4 reviews)
On Sep 12, 2010, oona0 Wilkes-barre PA
United States wrote:

Posted on May 4, 2010, updated September 12, 2010
Posted on May 4, 2010, updated May 4, 2010
Posted on April 28, 2010, updated May 4, 2010

I'm not ordering from this company again. They send your plants by normal snail mail only not UPS and they say they don't use tracking numbers. How do you do a mail order business with no tracking numbers? They told me my plant was in the mail 3 weeks ago. I have no proof that they are telling me the truth. And if I never get it, what proof will they have that I never received it? Even on ebay the sellers use tracking numbers.
I also want to say the few customer service people I did speak to where a bit rude and not educated on there products. I have not received my order yet but I am expecting something less then perfect seeing what I'm deal with. After reading some of these reviews about this company I'm worried that I may not get what I paid for and they may not return money if need be.

This company feels like a "fly by night" so far. I'm not comfortable one bit.

On May 4th, 2010, oona0 added the following:

I waited another week and still nothing. I been using redial trying to reach them all morning. Nothing but busy signals. :(
On May 4th, 2010, oona0 added the following:

Just got of the phone with customer service. He said that,"If I did not get my order by now then it is lost in the mail. Your order was shipped on the 16th of April and because we ship threw USPS we need to wait 30 days to put in a claim. That means the customer needs to wait the 30 days to ask for a reship or a refund."

I'm very angry. All of this could have been avoided if they had tracking numbers. I'm not going to go threw this again. I want my money back. I can find the same items somewhere else with less hassle.
On September 12th, 2010, oona0 added the following:

After just receiving an email on this website from Kelly's Nurseries I will let everyone know what my final out come was.
My tree arrived on the 28th day before the claim could be issued. The tree arrived in a RED PLASTIC BAG! There was no holes in the bag for the tree to breath. There was nothing stopping this tree from getting damaged. I was however amazed it made it in one piece. The roots where covered in mold and rotted from being in the bag that long. The plant showed no signs of life.
I now understand why they don't use UPS. If I was UPS I would not want my company to go bankrupt with the flood of claims that would come in because sending packages out in red plastic bags.
I called back Kellys to let them know the condition of the package. The woman said rudely... Sorry! any complaints you have you must summit a letter in writing.
I hung up and just decided to call it a loss and not to do business with them anymore. A month later I received another red bag in the mail. This one looked a lot better in condition. I put it in the ground and it's doing fine.

This story had a happy ending. I'm thankful for that. After this whole mess. Brecks, spring hill, and Michigan bulb has my business.
On Sep 12, 2010, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

"On Sep 29, 2010 11:11 AM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

We are glad that the customer received the 2nd shipment of the tree wisteria and that it is doing well.

This year we shipped by both Fed Ex and USPS. Most of the methods we use have a tracking service, but not all of them. For an extra fee, customers can request that the order be shipped either through Priority mail or Fed Ex Ground.

This customer's first order was sent on 4/16. We do not know why it took so long to be delivered and did not arrive for 28 days. In the meantime however, we had processed a replacement shipment on 5/14 that shipped 5/26.

We are glad that the second package arrived in a normal delivery time frame and that the wisteria is doing well."

Negative rusty1013
(1 review)
On May 13, 2010, rusty1013 Huntingtown, MD wrote:

This company fails to communicate when there are delays. When they finally shipped the partial order at my request, it took over a week to arrive by Stardard Mail. To say the least, the shrubs were bone dry and dead, the live roots shipped were wet and rotting in the package.

Calling them, you better be ready when they first open or it is busy all day.

Now, to get a refund on everything, i have to ship all the dead plants back to them on my dime.

Overall customer experience was poor at best. To say the least i will also be contacting the charge card company to ensure the money is recovered. Thier prices are too good to be true because they are. Said to say, a company treats people like this and is still in business.

On May 13, 2010, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

"On Sep 22, 2010 3:48 PM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

Since most of this customer's order was shipped dormant, the plants should have been able to survive just fine for a week during shipping. However, we do have a refund guarantee which states that product simply needs to be returned to us within 14 days of receipt if a refund is desired. This customer returned the product, and a refund was issued."

Negative tsarina1
(2 reviews)
On Mar 24, 2010, tsarina1 Hazel Green, WI wrote:

Only order if you are absolutely positive you want their product and are willing to put up with frustration if something goes wrong. It is impossible to change or cancel an order. No help from anyone . Everything goes through a catalog answering service and no one knows where the billing or credit department is located or any phone numbers . This is part of several catalog companies combined owned by Richard Owen in Bloomington , Illinois under the division of Plantron, inc.. Search the web and no info about this company and the other many catalog companies he owns or who they are, where they are or any phone numbers .Everything kicks back to the catalog answering service . They allow you no contact with anyone other than the answering service. This is not the way things were years ago but this corporation has gotten too big that their customer service is zero . If you pay by credit card or check good luck on getting your money back. I have email them 2 times a day , call them 2 times a day for the past week to get my $200 back and get nothing but nasty people. Not a good way to start off the season for people who love to garden and made these catalog people rich over the past 35 years. I will never again order from any company that hides the owner or grower from the consumer. Too bad because years ago you actually talked to a grower and now you are talking to an answering service who do not even know who signs their pay checks.

Negative lovesflowers70
(1 review)
On Jun 19, 2009, lovesflowers70 Lakeland, FL wrote:

I ordered flowers for my mom --- oh yea she received a package from them of what was suppose to be healthy flowers BUT the ones she got were rotten covered in mold and the stench of the flowers when she opened the box was terrible -- threw them away-- THEY knowingly MAILED MAILED MAILED to her from the get go bad rotten flowers .. .. oh but to get your money refunded you have to return them to Kelly nurseries,, 1708 Morrissey Dr., Bloomington IL 507-334-1623... with how bad they smelled I don't think the post office would allow them to go back thru the mail...DO NOT ORDER ANYTHING FROM THIS COMPANY....

(1 review)
On Apr 15, 2009, JAPMAPLOV Oklahoma City, OK wrote:


Negative mersiepoo
(7 reviews)
On Feb 11, 2009, mersiepoo New Freeport, PA wrote:

The only plants I had ordered from Kelly nursery was an 'arctic' raspberry plant and a van cherry. Both died immediately. They looked in bad shape when I got them and no amount of babying would convince them to live for me. I never ordered from them again.

Negative dlaGardener
(1 review)
On May 7, 2008, dlaGardener Stamford, CT wrote:

Kelly Nurseries sells junk... and then won't stand by their products!

Last year we ordered a whole batch of butterfly bushes, celamatis and a host of other items. The items that came in were about 2 inches tall and dried out... so we planted them anyway...and waited. By the end of the summer after watering them and taking care of them, most of the plants were dead. We called customer service and were informed that they needed the original shipping label to give us a refund. Thank goodness we kept that old plastic bag and sent them a letter asking that they be reshipped next spring. It was already September and we knew that we would not have time to plant anything. The replacements came in 2 weeks.. and they were all moldy and dead again! We threw them out!
So, again we sent them the original shipping label and a nice letter asking them to ship them in the spring. We never heard from them and assumed that they got the letter and receipt. This spring when nothing arrived, we called and they have no record of the letter or receipt. I even gave them the order number, costs, shipping date and item numbers. Their answer is: "too bad, we need the original shipping label". So I lost out on over $70 dollars worth of plants.
I even wrote them 4 emails asking for a replacement. "No way" was their answer.

So.... now none of my friends will order from them, my gardening club with over 60 members has a boycot on them and of course they have lost my business forever! I guess they depend on new suckers getting duped by their baloney tactics. They deserve to be out of business with customer service like that!

Negative buckstopple
(1 review)
On Jun 20, 2007, buckstopple Center Conway, NH wrote:

Ordered rose collection in Feb. to be delivered in May. It arrived on April 4 in a snowstorm. I refused it and the Post Mistress returned it that day. It did not arrive in May. I had back and forth email correspondance trying to find out what happened to my order. Was told to write to company declaring I did not have the shipping label and prove that the PO had actually returned the package. Did so. Still no answer to the problem after 3 emailings with required letters attached. Finally called on June 19. Where is my package? Was told it was in warehouse waiting to be sent. I asked if I could exchange bareroot roses for a perennial that would be better for planting at this time of year so far north (NH) or could I get my money back. In each case I would be required to write more letters. Gave up and requested the roses be sent ASAP. Now waiting for the roses. This company is very slipshod in dealing with their own mistakes.

Negative rxmanny
(1 review)
On May 23, 2007, rxmanny Milwaukee, WI wrote:

I ordered several plants, $86.00 worth. Most of the plants came mostly dried up. A packet with a clematis only had dirt in it, no plant. A rose came dead. This was the worst shipment of plants I ever received. I wrote the company but they never replied.

Negative pelham50
(1 review)
On Apr 9, 2007, pelham50 wrote:

Last week I received my order ot one bi-color butterfly bush, one Hardy fuschsia, and three blue columbines from Kelly Nurseries (after waiting an inordiate amount of time to receive the order). The flimsy plastic package had allowed the plants to move and they were bent and twisted. I immediately potted the fuschsia and butterfly plants in good potting soil to try to revive them. As the columbine plants were bare root and very dry, I immediately planted them in the flower bed and soaked the area with a garden hose to try to get them wetted and growing. I don't understand why the plants were sent in such packaging as it seems to me that nothing would survive the postal system conditions without some form of protection such as cardboard or styrofoam. Their prices are relatively cheap, but not so cheap that one would expect to receive dead and dying plants. I have wqritten to request either reimbursement or replacement with healthy and protected plants. If they ask for original package, I will be angry as it was only a green plastic bag and was thrown away, although I saved the shipping label. If the columbine does not emerge, I hope they don't ask me to dig them up as they are planted among other perennials and it would disturb the other plants to try to probe around to find the dried out roots that I planted. I ordered from them before and received plants in pretty much the same condition with only one of the plants surviving to date. I don't know why I ordered again from them as it appears they do not care about the ratings they receive. -Pelham

Negative IdahoMom
(1 review)
On Apr 7, 2007, IdahoMom Athol, ID wrote:

I ordered a bunch of plants from this company last spring. When they finally arrived, they were almost completely dead. This is to be expected because of the way they were packed and shipped. From what I see, this company doesn't care what happens to these plants once they have your money. The bareroot plants arrived in a big plastic bag. Nothing to protect the plants from damage during shipment, and the roots had nothing to keep them from drying out during their very lengthy trip to my home (which took approximately 3 weeks). Most of the roots were completely dried out and it took a very long time before these thirsty plants put out new growth, mostly from the bottom. Needless to say, the first year was wasted just trying to recover from the neglect they received in transit. It is so sad that this company cares so little about its product.

Negative AuntAnne
(2 reviews)
On Mar 31, 2007, AuntAnne College Station, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I wish that I'd known about this site before I did business with these people. I just received my order today March 31, 2007. I made the order back in Feb. they cashed my check on Feb. 20th it took a month and a half to get it here. Two of the 4 Yellow Ice plants are dead, the soil they were in was wringing wet. The other two, were in very bad shape I've got them in dry soil so we will see. Two of the four Butterfly Bushes, were dry but I think they'll be ok. The other two look to be dead, overwatered I'd say. If they are dead at the roots as I think I'll try to root the upper part which was leafing out at some point. The Tuberose bulbs looked ok and I've planted them, we'll see (I'll add to this post later) and the free daylilly, I don't know, they don't look so good but I'm planting them. I'll try sending back the ice plants. I guess I'll see how it goes and will write back here.

Negative tasintuck
(7 reviews)
On Jan 6, 2007, tasintuck Pawcatuck, CT wrote:

Kelly Nurseries in Dansville NY used to be my favorite place from which to order out of the garden catalog. The catalog looks the same and Kelly Nurseries in Faribault MN may have the same name, but it is not the same old company.
Like so many other people say, I received sticks that looked dead. I planted them all in pots, anyway. Lo and behold everyone one of them eventually sprouted, except the autumn clematis. The biggest problem is that they sprouted from the roots or just above the grafts, not from the terminal buds.
But hardest part of dealing this company is Plantron Direct Gardening's customer service and their poor warranty policy. After two months of trying they did replace the clematis with another lifeless plant that I could not nurse to life. Because THEY took 2 months, now they will not give me my money back. The warranty was only two weeks from the original shipment. They will give me a credit toward new plants. I am trying to decide if it is worth the bother. I think it isn't. There are other inexpensive catalog and online nurseries that deliver better product and stand behind their plants. I will just buy elsewhere from now on.

Negative r3sb
(1 review)
On Jul 13, 2005, r3sb Hyattsville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I ordered several plants from Kelly Nurseries / Direct Gardening, because their prices were so low. That should have been my first clue that "you get what you pay for".

EVERY SINGLE PLANT DIED, or was dead on arrival.

They ignored emails requesting replacements until my third attempt, after which I received a terse reply that I had to provide original packaging and the dead plant materials. I had already explained that I did not have the original packaging. (Because they used very poor-quality shipping materials, the box did not even survive the trip to the garden for planting).

I ordered from them because they are the only supplier I have ever seen for a Paulownia tree.

The Paulownia tree that arrived was a dead and hollow reed, about 6 inches long and in a plastic sandwich bag, which, when I took it out of the bag for planting, immediately seperated from a bundle of equally-dead roots. It was this that I tried, initially, to have replaced.

The dwarf fig was equally tiny, and in a sandwich bag, but had two green leaves. It did not survive the mild Maryland winter of 2004.

The iris corms looked dried out, but might have been alive. But there was no sign of life this spring.

The pampas grass, also in a sandwich bag, was a brown bundle of dried grass - but in the fall it would have looked like that in nature, I reasoned. But it, too, has never shown a sign of life.

Finally, the tree peony DID survive the winter, into the spring, and sent up new shoots in March. But then it died. It's located beside other peonies I picked up at Costco, at the same time, but they're doing fine, so it didn't die due to weather or soil conditions, or they'd be dead, too.

Negative ifdavis
(1 review)
On May 5, 2005, ifdavis Mountain View, CA wrote:

I ordered plants from Kelly Nursery in January. When the order did not arrive I tried to telephone them but found that the telephine was not connected. I finally got through to them via email in March. They told me most of the order would be shippped right away and the rest would arrive in April. That which arrived in March was either already dead or very nearly dead. I have been able to save the bare root rose. It is still very weak and just now beginning to leaf out. I ordered two Wisteria plants. That which arrived were just sticks, no roots. One is beginning to leaf out, the other is dead. In April I received three hydrangia plants. They were sickly and starting to rot when I received them. To date I have managed to get all three to survive but they are still very weak. What I got from my order was the worst nursery stock I have ever seen.

Negative missig
(1 review)
On Mar 31, 2005, missig Lewes, DE wrote:

Last year I purchased $200 dollars worth of plants from Kelly. I requested the delivery date be after Mid May. Well of course they didn't follow my instructions. Almost everything arrived dead. I planted everything in hopes it would come around.

I sent back all of the packing material with a list of the 3 things that lived since that was much shorter. I called today three weeks later they have no record of my letter or return packing. They told me to call next week. This doesn't sound good.

Negative FlowerPower___
(1 review)
On Jul 26, 2004, FlowerPower___ New Rochelle, NY wrote:

I’ve bought some plants from Kelly Nurseries catalog ( ) in early Spring 2004. To my dismay I received many of the plants totally dead, with no signs of life whatsoever. I wrote many emails to them, which were never answered. I called them and they said I had to send the label on the package in order for them to consider replacing it. I no longer had the package, but had the dead plants as a proof. They said that I could send my Credit Card statement as a proof of purchase, and that’s what I did. After months of having ignored my letters, statement and emails they sent another replacement. They replaced them in July, months later. Still I received a totally dead plant (a Mock Orange) – no sign of life, nada, and zilch! Then I called them again and they told me to send the Credit Card statement again. When they answer the call they mention that “your call is being recorded for quality purposes” but it wasn’t a recorded message, they answer the call like this every time, which sounded more like … “Anything you say may be used against you”. I told them I had already sent the credit card statement. I was talking to a female voice, which sounded young and very mechanic. She said there was nothing they could do. Then I asked to talk to the manager or whoever was responsible for the Customer Services. I told her I knew she wasn’t a machine and she could talk as a human being. After insisting a lot to speak to the Manager, she said I could write a letter to Grace Avory, but said she doesn’t receive phone calls. Very weird… A customer service manager that doesn’t answer phone calls. Well, I made a note and decided to call again. Next time a man answered with the same message. He said that he was going to talk to his manager/ supervisor, whatever… I waited and he came with the message that he wouldn’t replace the plant without the label from the package. I said to him I bought the plants and they sent me them dead. It means they were the same as garbage. Then he told me to send the credit card statement again and I told him AGAIN that I had already sent it. Then he said they were NOT going to replace it. I got so mad! I told them I was going to call the Better Business Bureau in Illinois, Office of the Illinois Attorney General and CBS Show “Shame on You”. He said I was threatening them. I just read a book called “Life’s Little Instructions", by H.Jackson Brown, Jr. It says that at least once a year we should write a letter complaining about some kind of injustice. I’m sure we all have experienced something like this and end up doing nothing about it. It’s our loss. This time I was ready to confront them, no matter what. It wasn’t a matter of money, it was a matter of being mislead. That’s why I am writing this letter. Kelly Nurseries always sends various catalogs with different names:
Four Seasons Nursery
Farmer Seed & Nursery
House of Wesley
Interstate Nurseries, etc
They are exactly from the same company, which is also called Direct Gardening ( If you go to this site and order their catalog, you will see that they say they have many catalog suppliers, which are exactly the same company. They hide behind all those other catalog names, but they are from the same address in Bloomington, Illinois. I’m going to go ahead and do everything I can to have my plant replaced this time, even if it takes me a lot of trouble. Let me know if this similar situation has happened to you. Maybe this way we can show how this company makes business to their only advantage. Next time don’t bother to buy from them. All they will send you is a dead stick in a plastic bag. This was the way my “plants” arrived. It proofs how misleading they are.
"This is not a threat in any way, but my rights as a consumer I’m defending and I will pursue it."

On August 24th, 2004, FlowerPower___ added the following:

Just to let you know that Kelly Nursery just refunded my money. They wasted my time and money, but in the end they at least had to refund the money I spent. See friends, when you are right you have to go till the end to get what you want. Those people are not worth dealing with. But it's always worth fighting for your rights and exposing bad businesses. There's a lot of competition in the market nowadays. And we consumers deverse to be treated well and with honesty.
500 South Second Street
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217)782-1090 Consumer Protection Division

PLANTRON, INC. (Kelly Nurseries)
1706 Morrisey Drive
Bloomington, IL 61704
Phone: (309) 663-9551
Don't waste your time sending them emails. They never answered any of mine.

Good Luck!

Negative georgekretschma
(2 reviews)
On Jun 11, 2004, georgekretschma Dixon, IL wrote:

On February 4, I ordered from Kelly Nurseries via the Internet. It was clearly a huge mistake that I ever ordered from this company. This company is like the Greek Medusa with at least three head companies: Kelly Nurseries, Richard Owen, and Four Seasons (there may be more than this).

The products each company sells are nearly identical by item and price, just the name of the company is different. Moreover a common customer service answers for all three nurseries (from Bloomington-IL). I received 3 orders, the first was so bad that I immediately sent most of it back because the shipment was badly packaged and in poor condition. The third package with the bulk of the perennials I ordered had items omitted, others in a dried up condition and was a screwed up confusing mess of jumbled up items . Once this company had my money, getting any type of redress from them is a matter of anger and exasperation. If you want to return something you have 14 days to get your money back, and if you want a replacement plant(s), you are required to send the exact shipping label from that exact shipment, no photocopies are accepted. It is obvious why this is done. This company counts on the natural sloppy way of customers who just throw away the package after they get them. Customers who go thrugh this frustrating attempt at redress will often give up and say to heck with this procedure. And this is how this company makes its money. When I talked with their Customer Service, they would not honor any replacment request unless I had the exact package number. Also I might add they are very good at losing correspondence. My May 6 letter has never turned up in their data base (more than a month has elaspsed) so they have done nothing about my replacement, nor reacted to my numerous telephone calls. My advice to any potential gardener considering buying from this nursery combine is:

DON'T BUY FROM KELLY NURSERIES; THIS IS MY ADVISE TO ANY POTENTIAL CUSTOMER. This company is a terrible excuse for a nursery with inferior plant materials, sloppy packaging, and a terrible return policy that is designed to ripoff the customer.
George Kretschma

Negative invermont
(2 reviews)
On May 11, 2004, invermont shelburne
United States wrote:

Like others, I wish I would have seen this site before ordering from Kelly's. I sent them an email complaining about their shipment a few minutes ago, before I came upon all your experiences. I have dealt with many mail-order nurseries before but have never encountered a place that shipped way too early for Northern Vermont and slimy dead miniscule plants to boot. ALL my 16 perennials were DOA and of the 80 red ozier dogwoods, they only shipped 77 and I don't see any sign of life from those almost rootless twigs that I planted 3 weeks ago. I should not have deluded myself into believeing that I could have a dogwood hedge for $55. I have invested alot more money into this hedge with all the soil amendments, mulch etc not including the time it took to dig 80 holes. So this is a major disappointment. I hope that enough twigs survive for me to have something that resembles a hedge...

On July 19th, 2005, invermont added the following:

I'd like to update about the red oziers. Only about 20 were ultimately alive so I told them I needed to have all of them replaced since I knew that many replacements would be DOA anyhow. I ended up with none to spare. This year, amazingly only 1 did not survive the winter. I would say that 20 are looking healthy and are over 2 feet tall and bushy, 20 are looking OK and are about 12-15 inches tall but have filled out. 20 are spindly twigs but are alive and 19 are clinging to life and not looking any different than last year in size. None of the other plants I planted made it except for the free rose they sent me. I just stuck it in a hole even though it was a dried up mess. Ironic, isn't it that the only thing I didn't want is the one thing that survived. As for the dogwoods, I'm hoping not having to replace the 19 dying little twigs but if I do, it will not be from this place. I'll buy at discount from a regular nursery at the end of the season. I'd rather pay more than ever give this place another dime.
Negative Barbaraboley
(2 reviews)
On Apr 19, 2004, Barbaraboley Noblesville, IN wrote:

I ordered from the catalog last year 2003. Several of the plants did not look good but I planted and water them as the others. I have never ordered from Kelly's before. I have a one year guarantee and as suspected several plants did not come back this year. I have sent e-mails and called several times. There is always a busy signal and they have not responded to my e-mails. I spent over $100.00 and got only a few plants that are still living. I am most unhappy with this unprofessional company. I HAVE SAVED ALL MY RECIEPTS. I would like compensation for the dead plants. END RESULT: DO NOT ORDER FROM PLACES YOU DO NOT KNOW.

Negative taken50
(1 review)
On Aug 18, 2003, taken50 wrote:

Last May I placed an order with this company specifying
delivery details and dates. Never received acknowledgement
or plants.
To date, and in spite of repeated e-mails all I have received is "a run around". Customer Service cannot help because they do not handle problems (!!!) The "Order Status"
department does not even address the problem.
Meanwhile, they cashed my check last June, I am out of the monies paid, which, apparently they do not intend to pay back, and I have lost a landscape customer whose garden is now unfinished for the season since, at this point, I cannot obtain those plants from other suppliers.
Kelly Nurseries has each and every detail on this transaction, PLUS MY MONIES.
I can only hope that others read this BEFORE they order from them.

Negative Anjcurtner
(1 review)
On Jul 14, 2003, Anjcurtner wrote:

Well, lets just say that I am not suprised at everyones comments. I have had NOTHING but trouble in dealing with these lovely people. First of all, I had problems in receiving all my merchandise. I still haven't receieved five plants that I ordered. Then, when you call to complain, they tell you just to mail in your shipping label and try to get you off the phone. Second of all, some things were in ok condtion when they were received. But by far, most were in poor condtion, and most of the things I received from them have died (and let me tell you, my husband and I worked for weeks preparing the soil before these plants were to come--I am a big "Jerry Baker" fan). Then, they were emailing me telling me they were shipping me my order (a second time) and I was concerned they were going to charge me again for it--when they already had. NO ONE must be reading these emails, because it took SEVERAL before anyone even responed back to me as if they had even read my emails!! Then, on the 5 plant I never received, I wrote them, but did not send them "the origingal shipping label" as they are so famous for requesting BECAUSE I WAS NOT RETURNING A PLANT FOR REFUND--I HAD NOT EVEN RECEIVED THEM!!! So, to me, why would I send the label, when I had ordered other plants, and there was a good chance they would die (due to their poor condition), and then I wouldn't get replacements for those plants. Well, I wrote them, and sent them a copy of my original shipping label. A MONTH later they sent me a letter saying to send them the original shipping label. Well, needless to say, I was not happy, and I dug up all my dead plants and sent them to them with all the shipping labels. It has been a month an a half, and just last week I received two of the over twenty plants (not including the five I have never received) that died--no other letter, no other plants, NOTHING. I am assuming that I will not be receiving anything else from them, or even a letter. OBVIOUSLY I will never order from them again--I just can't believe they can run a buisness like this. I made a huge mistake by ordering from them--and I am so glad there is this website--I will be checking here first from now on!!

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