On Mar 6, 2014, TrumpetFlowerz Ft Myers, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:
Posted on November 13, 2012, updated March 6, 2014
Posted on October 7, 2012, updated November 13, 2012
I actually went there guys, right to the nursery itself!
Here's how it went down....
Day before yesterday they emailed me with a bauhinia I have wanted forever, it was finally in stock. Since I am merely
about 20 miles from them, I paid for the plant online in advance, lest they run out of this hard to find species.
This morning I drove down to the actual nursery, for the first time.
Pitifully cared for plants and trees. Although they have moved twice in the last year (first move from Punta Gorda to
off of Daniels prkwy in Ft Myers, and now north again to N. Ft Myers. I could tell they were still setting up, as the
guy who does irrigation was checking in with one of the owners as I waited for her to look up my prepaid order.
But even with the move, you could see the plants were cared for only minimally. The divaricata I chose was the tallest of all 6,
and had been ravaged by time and lack of care, fertilizer. But I took it anyway, as you just can't find them.
The other 5 were no more than 2 feet tall, and all 6 were stunted. I grow several species of bauhinia, and they usually flower
the first year or at least in 18 months, seed grown. This plant appeared to be several years old, and was clearly too weak to have borne flowers.
What should have been a trunk of over an inch in diameter, was instead about 1/4 inch.
I repotted within an hour of getting it home. It did have brand new root growth, but no thick, strong roots that bauhinia always have at this height. The leaves are not even half the size they should be, very small. stunted and in need of micronutrients.
They are very resilient, and I know mine will be fine, even if it is stunted, but I suggest my friends here beware when looking for plants
from them. I looked across the fields at all they had growing, and none of their holdings were what I considered loved. They were neglected.
The lovely photos on their website must be taken when they first get them in from mass nurseries in Homestead, and wait for them to flower and
take snapshots quickly.
On November 13th, 2012, TrumpetFlowerz added the following:
***Update: Through constant care, I finally got one flower to open this morning. Guess what? Not only did they sell me an unhealthy
bauhinia, but it IS NOT THE SPECIES I PAID FOR.
CONSUMER-BEWARE!On March 6th, 2014, TrumpetFlowerz changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I am going to change my opinion of this company to neutral, based on a very kind and well thought out email I received
from their new manager, Chris. He was apologetic on my past experience with Top Tropicals, and said he was working diligently to change the way the place had been managed in the past. I believe him. He offered me the proper species, and for free. If I remember right, even 50 percent off another plant I had on my wish list plant as well.
I WILL try Top Tropicals again, and might just go meet Chris. He sounds like a man trying to turn this ship around. His knowledge of plants (through the d-mail I received) is certainly better than the past manager, Lynn.
I wish I could give Top Tropicals (TT) a positive review because after reading some of the other reviews I believe their customer service has improved. In July 2012, I purchased a "Florida Hass Avocado" to improve the pollination success with my "Day Avocado" - Type A and Type B. The tree arrived in a timely manner unpotted in a plastic bag with a protective sleeve around the truck of the tree. I was ready for delivery and planted the tree in large planter with new potting soil and perlite. After a couple of days the leaves began to wilt and fall off. I immediately sent an email to TT to notify them of the situation and to inquire about a replacement if the tree failed to live. I received a next day response asking about how the tree was planted. I responded with this information and asked for any advice to help ensure the tree survived. I did not receive a follow-up email and in the meantime the tree lost all of its leaves. I sent another email and this time I received a reply stating that I didn't follow the planting instructions and the plant could be suffering from root rot. Implied was that I had voided any replacement/warranty since I didn't following instructions. Well it wasn't root rot but what I believe to be a bad case of shock/stress. The tree is not out of the woods completely but I have noticed signs of new growth. Although I'd asked about a replacement if the plant died I never received a direct answer. I would hope they would stand by their plants/trees and would caution any future buyers to following any written instructions precisely.
I am planting two trees which will only survive if this climate change continues (we essentially have no winters in Atlanta any longer) , a ceiba and a jacaranda.
Since they are new, my experiment is just starting; nevertheless, I can attest to this fact: once you order anything from them you are completely on your own/. They WILL NOT answer any e-mail or questions on propagation, planting or anything else. They WILL NOT ship ANY guides or instructions whatsoever, so be prepared to use references.
BTW---I would say conservatively the trees I received had 2000 plastic peanuts, all nicely electrostatically charged.
On Jul 1, 2011, islandgirl37 Marathon, FL (Zone 11) wrote:
Posted on June 9, 2011, updated July 1, 2011
I giving top Tropicals a negative for several reasons. Their customer service is for the most part, POOR! I did speak with one woman named Lynn that was nice.... ONE time. The other time, not so nice. Madelyn was helpful regarding the care of some plants. I never spoke with Mike but apparently he is the head honcho there and they can't do anything without his permission including refunds.
My plants were shipped promptly and arrived in a timely manner, 2 days. Their packing was fairly well done.. One plant had the soft growth on the tips bent over or broken. I had to trim about 4" off.
I ordered several of the same genus. These were all in 3 gallon pots, advertised as bushy plants. 1 was nice, the other was a little twig with a few leaves on it and almost no roots. It looked like a cutting that they had started about a month ago. The other was full but the growth was all soft, as if it had been pushed to the limit with fertilizer.
Another was infested with scale, sooty looking mold, disgusting. I removed all of the leaves and cut it back. It was nice size, good roots, but I didn't want my other plants infested. I defoliated it, put the leaves in a ziplock bag and threw them away. The other was healthy but not a pretty plant. Leaves only on the tips.
2 plants were on backorder, even though they said they were in stock and it allowed me to order. 1 item they forgot to ship but did not charge me for it.
They do NOT like to give a refund under any circumstances. Be prepared that if the items are on back order, they want to use your money until it comes in. That is NOT how it works. Use a credit card. If they try this, send them an email and a letter and tell them to credit your account and cancel the item that was supposed to be in stock if you don't want to wait on it. If they don't do it, contest the charges on your credit card. They don't fight that, they know they will lose that battle and it's too time consuming.
Their shipping charges are ridiculously high. It cost them about half of what they charged. Boxes are free. I realize they have to pay someone to pack them, still, way too high.
To summarize: I do not like their customer service, their prices are too high for the plants they send. The plants they send look nothing like the ones in the photos on their website. I think they like to deal in quantity, not quality. Maybe their plants look good to people in the Northern states that never see really lush, healthy, tropical specimens. Shipping is too high. If you place an order and cancel it, even if it's 10 minutes after you place the order they charge you a cancellation fee. I would never order from them again.
On July 1st, 2011, islandgirl37 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I'm changing my rating to a neutral due to the fact that I was issued a full refund for the back ordered items. I don't feel a negative is warranted due to the fact that they did issue the refund and the infested plant, that I had to defoliate and cut back, is coming back nicely and the size is very nice, twice as big as ones I ordered from another place.
I still would probably not order from them again unless it was something I couldn't find anywhere else, but with Homestead close to me, I can probably find there almost anything TT's has. Granted I have to drive there, but the gas is about the same or less as TT's shipping and I can pick out the plants myself.
On Apr 17, 2009, hmingbrd Sebastian, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
I have placed several orders with this company since the beginning of the year, for both plants and seeds. The plants ( a Silk Floss tree, a Dwarf Ylang Ylang, and a Jasmine) all arrived in great condition and are doing well....I am quite satisfied with them. The seeds however (mostly quite a few different types of flowering trees) don't seem to have a very high germination rate and some types have not come up at all. It is always possible the lack of germination has been my fault.....but I haven't had this problem with seeds ordered/planted from other sources. I would definitely order from them again but I will stick to buying the plants!
On Sep 20, 2007, twohawk Blanco, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
My order was for seeds only, and my issue
was lack of specific planting/care instructions for those seeds.
The website seemed very general in it's instructions, saying
some seeds need to be cleaned first-How do they need to
be cleaned? What am I looking for when I clean them? Which
seeds are ready to go in a starting medium when they arrive?
Which seeds need constant light to germinate?
Very few of the seeds I ordered had any information on the
website about how long they took to germinate. I had to go elsewhere on the web to find the specifics I needed. I felt
as though if I were not experienced as a tropical plant grower,
I need not be ordering from them.
I purchased Jasmine sambac and cestrum nocturnum from TT. The jasmine was supposed to be a three gallon plant. It was shipped with the roots wadded-up and the plant, from what I can tell, isn't a true three gallon size. I paid a lot for a three gallon size slow growing 'Duke of New Orleans.' What can I say? I am happy it was as big as it was, but, I am also disappointed.
They have a nice selection. They have more mature jasmines than I have found elsewhere. But, if you go there looking for very large plants, you might ask first what size they are before having them shipped.
The plants were in good but not fabulous condition.
I ordered two plants in early February 2005 for delivery to me in Indiana. They held off shipping due to cold weather, informing me by email, saying they would ship if the daytime temp was above 35C. At first I was pleased by their concern. They said they kept tabs on the temp by computer but shipment never occurred even though there were several weeks in March when it was fine (it was 40+ C a couple of weeks) and I finally requested they ship in April since they seemed a little overconcerned about the matter. There was no offer of using heat packs on their part. When the plants finally arrived in early April they were well packed but were disappointingly small. The Murraya koenigii was advertised as a 1 gallon plant. It was more like a quart-sized plant (rootball) or so, although it was healthy. The Laurus nobilis was advertised as "nice large plants", 1-3 gallon pot size. I got a half-gallon, spindly small plant, with many black spotted leaves with a suspicious shiny skin-like surface. They have a very nice website with a very wide selection of hard-to-find plants with much useful info as well, but the plants I received (after a long delay) fell quite a bit short of their advertised descriptions on their website.
On April 19th, 2005, huiray added the following:
I emailed them about my disappointment when I received the plants. I have yet to hear from them. I must conclude that they are willfully ignoring negative experiences about their products.On April 21st, 2005, huiray added the following:
Top Tropicals finally responded by email at 11 p.m. on April 19 (time stamp on the email) (wonder what triggered the response...). They disputed my description of the size of the plants. However, I am sure of what I did receive. They also stated that they were waiting for temps of 50C before shipping, because of the Murraya, which I'm sure was the temp preferred by them - but they did not say that in all their earlier correspondences. Rather, they clearly said they were waiting for a 35C temp day. They offered to refund my money if I sent the plants back to them (shipping at their expense) properly packed, of course. It is too late, as they responded almost 2 weeks after I first emailed them (April 8) and the plants have been planted for more than a week. In fact, I did leave the Laurus alone in its saran-wrapped-root-ball condition for a few days while I waited for a response, which did not come until their email dropped into my mailbox on April 20.On April 21st, 2005, huiray added the following:
Correction: all the temps I cite above are in F (Fahrenheit) rather than in C (Centigrade)
I ordered four plants from Top Tropicals. They arrived promptly and well packaged. However, the received plant sizes did not match the description of these plants at their wonderful website. The Hylocereus undatus Guatemalensis was listed as 3 gallon size. It arrived in a 1 gallon pot, but could have easily fit in a much smaller pot. The Murraya koeniggii was a fine plant. But again, the root ball was more a 1 quart size, not the promised 1 gallon.
Similar results were noted for the Ceropegia ampliata and the Cymbopogon citratus.
Top Tropicals seems to have a wonderful assortment of interesting and hard to find plants, but I wish the descriptions would be a bit more exact.
On Jan 4, 2005, forestfern Fairport, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
There are many great qualities about Top Tropicals that impressed me, however I have to give them a neutral for the condition of my Brugsmansia sapling I ordered. The website is wonderful with plenty of rare and unusual plants which you can't really find anywhere else. I love that they really took the time to include tons of useful and interesting info on plants such as medicinal uses, culinary uses, historical significance, and so on. They were also wonderful when I had to correct a mistake I made with my billing info. They responded quickly and fixed the problem immediately. They seem like wonderful people with reasonable prices also. But when my Brugs came its top was bent over, the leaves tattered, torn, and nearly wilted. There was some new growth on it, but the tips of the baby leaves were dark brown and crumbly. The rootball seemed poorly packaged as well. I'm not a brugsmansia expert, in fact this is my first one so maybe these plants can take this kind of treatment, i dont know. I have to take into account the fact that the plant arrived from south florida all the way to the frigid upstate NY. This may have certainly been the major factor in my plants appearance. But so far so good with a little extra love and care I think my plant is recovering. I think I will order from them again because everything else was great and there's plenty more plants that I need to get and only they seem to have.