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Comments regarding Annie's Annuals and Perennials

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258 positives
21 neutrals
21 negatives


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Positive Plantcrazylady
(5 reviews)
On Oct 14, 2015, Plantcrazylady Santa Cruz, CA wrote:

Applause for Annie's! I have been purchasing Annie's plants from my local nursery and garden centers for many years (I live less than three hours away from their nursery, so a wide selection of their plants have long been available at nearby retail outlets). Over the last couple years, however, my local outlets have cut back on overall plant selection -- not just Annie's -- and with our drought here in California, plant maintenance at these businesses has gone downhill. So when I decided to tear out and replant my large, abandoned garden and replant it with mostly water-wise plants and wildlife attractors, I turned to ordering the bulk of my plantstock online. At first I didn't think to order from Annie's because she sells so much stock locally, so I purchased more than 100 plants from another (online-only) California vendor. He ships his (frequently pot-bound) plants wrapped in many layers of paper and stacked up on top of each other in too-large boxes, so they arrive looking haggard and bruised (and are occasionally broken). I thought that having to nurse plants in the ICU for a week or two was just the price of ordering online. But then Annie's had a good sale, and the delivery fee (admittedly high) suddenly made more sense to me, so I purchased almost 80 plants at one go. And Holy Calendula was I impressed! The plants arrived looking bright, plump, cheerful, and ready to roll. Every single one. Out of all of that stock there were maybe two dropped leaves. The plants are shipped in corregated cardboard trays, with cardboard collars keeping them firmly in place. There is NO stacking, and no bruising, and not one of the plants was pot-bound. One thing to be aware of is that some plants are shipped in plastic pots and can be held back for planting later on, but some have their roots wrapped in paper and must be planted out or potted up within three days. If you order you might want to find out ahead of time how your plants will ship. As for how my mail-order Annie's plants have perfomed, they are thriving. I did lose a couple campanulas and a Francoa ramosa in a horrid heat wave that hit soon after planting (my fault, I think, for overwatering them in the heat, and campanulas just don't seem to do well in my garden), but everything else rooted out perfectly. And regarding the marvelously whimsical, groovy nature of the Annie's catalog, and the hyper-upbeat tone of plant descriptions -- both of which one rather rigid reviewer from the other coast disparaged here -- I love that entire vibe. But then I am Left Coast by birth and spirit, so these are my people!

Positive brianaucuba
(16 reviews)
On Sep 4, 2015, brianaucuba PEQUEA, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have ordered from Annie's several times and have not been disappointed. Their packaging is second to none. They have unusual plants that I have not been able to find anywhere else. The one time that I had a problem with plants that were damaged in transit Annie's replaced them in a flash, no questions asked. Their shipping charges are in line with other reputable nurseries on the west coast that ship to me here near Philadelphia.

Neutral siege2055
(1 review)
On Sep 4, 2015, siege2055 Stilwell, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

I liked the plant, but the shipping was craaaaazyyyyy. Way too expensive!

Positive CorrinaHughes
(1 review)
On Aug 28, 2015, CorrinaHughes Los Alamos, NM wrote:

Cannot say enough good things about this fantastic company !!! Great customer service from a very knowledgeable staff. The videos on their website and emails are very detailed and informative.I am a regular customer here and any time that I have ever had a problem or a question, they were really quick to remedy the issue or answer any questions/concerns that I might have. The selection of plants is always phenomenal-so many weird, rare and wonderful varieties ! I live in a zone that has a short growing season, so growing from seed isn't always an option for us. The plants are always healthy. They also have the BEST shipping setup for plants in the country. We have had very few casualties (I have consistently shopped with these guys for 3 solid years). We get our plants in 2 days via fedex. You just can't beat that ! Annie's will always be my go-to....and now Los Alamos gardeners are in on my 'secret'. Thank you, Annie's Annuals. You are the Gold Standard and you have a customer for life <3

Positive incagirl
(3 reviews)
On Jul 31, 2015, incagirl Los Angeles, CA wrote:

Posted on July 24, 2015, updated July 31, 2015
I was really excited to see all the amazing and unusual plants Annie\'s carries... and there are several really good videos on the website, along with information about how to care for each plant. I received my plants and most of them were doing fine, except 1, which looked pretty bad. I tried replanting it, but it just looked worse and worse... I emailed, twice. No response. Finally I called... and a very nice woman spoke to me and asked me to send a photo, which I did. She emailed me back asking me if I preferred a refund for that plant. I emailed her explaining what I might like a store credit. Never heard again. In the meantime, 2 of the other plants are not doing well... so I emailed again, adding photos and begging for help, trying to figure out what I\'m doing wrong... no response. I\'m starting to wonder (especially after seeing other complaints about email) if they know how to use email?? This 2015, most people who order things on line, etc, prefer to do business through email.. time to get move into this century, Annie\'s!

On July 31st, 2015, incagirl changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

WOW! Annie's responded to my review here on Dave's right away..explaining that their email wasn't working for a bit. I was out of town and didn't get the message, but by the time I got back to LA, I also had an email telling me that they had refunded the price of the entire order! In the meantime, It turns out the problem I had with 2 of the plants was due to soil mites (yes... my bag of soil...ugh!), so it wasn't even their fault that I lost 2 additional plants... soooo, I'm changing my rating. I'm ordering more plants, and hopefully everything will be fine this time. I still think it would be good business practice to update their email system (and their online shopping experience... I don't have an "account" that can save my info, or even save my shopping cart if I leave the site and come back later, but I'm definitely feeling positive about Annie's response to my complaint.
Positive LucasCatChow
(23 reviews)
On Jun 10, 2015, LucasCatChow Tulsa, OK wrote:

I read the comments on this company in February and then called and confirmed what I had read with Annies. Their catalog shows plants that are ready to ship the moment you see them. They do not hold plants for later delivery. If you order plants in January they will be shipped in January.......They had some plants I could find no where else so I crossed my fingers and hoped the plants would still be available when I needed them in mid April. They were and I ordered them. They were beautifully grown plants, but unfortunately one of them turned toes up and died the next day (damping off perhaps?). I immediately called them and couldn't be more pleased with their response. They got another plant out to me free of charge within a week. Nice plants good customer service spells repeat customer in the future.

Positive Blackbelt_Lizzy
(29 reviews)
On Jun 6, 2015, Blackbelt_Lizzy La Grange Park, IL wrote:

I placed 3 orders with Annie's this year. Annie's carries many unusual plants that I have not been able to find the seeds. Certain annuals just do not ship well and I have had better success growing them from seed. All of the plants I ordered were hardy enough to survive shipping to Chicago. The first two orders arrived in 2 days as anticipated and the plants were beautiful. They are all thriving outside. The 3rd order arrived 2 days late thanks to problems with the shipper - yes - the same shipper who handles anthrax shipments. Also, the box was handed to me upside down with total disregard for live plants or this side up! The mimulus pictus plants that I had ordered suffered significant damage. I called Annie's and explained the situation. They cheerfully issued me a credit for the plants. I could not ask for better service!!!

Positive retdogs
(1 review)
On Jun 5, 2015, retdogs Castro Valley, CA wrote:

I have nothing but high praise for Annie's Annuals! I've ordered several times from them and each time my plants have arrived in beautiful condition. They are packed with care
and are ready for planting in my yard. I would recommend Annie's Annuals online or better yet visit their nursery in Richmond, it's awesome. The only problem I ever have is in deciding which plants to pick!

Positive coriaceous
(18 reviews)
On Jun 5, 2015, coriaceous ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I just received my first shipment from Annie's.

Plants were bigger than I expected and in great health. Packaging was excellent.

Shipping charges are high, but Annie's insists on shipping to the east coast by 2-day air (I assume because of their experience), so I bit the bullet because I couldn't find these plants for sale anywhere else. Shipping was $29.95 on an order of $47.70.

Though Annie's carries a long list of excellent plants that are rarely available elsewhere, they rarely have enough of them in stock at any one time for me to put together an order that justifies the shipping costs. This is the first time I've ordered from this company, because it was the first time they've had six plants I wanted available at the same time.

There seems to be one labeling mistake, but I will see how their customer service deals with it.

Positive katznk9s
(1 review)
On Jun 1, 2015, katznk9s Bakersfield, CA wrote:

Posted on March 27, 2015, updated June 1, 2015
As a former orchid grower/fancier, I have purchased and received many mail order plants from all over the world. Plants arrived in various states of growth to dead. So I must say that not only am I extremely pleased with my order from Annie\'s Annuals, their packing was unique, superb, and the perfectly protected plants arrived in absolutely primo condition! Do not hesitate buying from this fabulous plant source!

On June 1st, 2015, katznk9s added the following:

I received my 2nd order from Annies Annuals, and again, was completely satisfied with not only their condition, but also the perfectly protected method of shipment. I'm looking forward to my third order soon, and if I can find room in my garden for more once the heat in Bakersfield lets up, I will be ordering more. That is, if I can wait that long. Many thanks to Annie's for such a wonderful array of unusual plants.
Neutral dave12122
(73 reviews)
On May 16, 2015, dave12122 East Haddam, CT wrote:

Posted on February 23, 2007, updated May 16, 2015
I have mixed feelings about Annie\'s Annuals. The biggest issue is that many plants they list are California natives and very poor doers elsewhere, but particularly on the east coast, with its slushy wet winters. Very little of the South African material will overwinter in my Zone 6b climate, as a cool wet Spring will \"melt\" everything. Annie and her staff appear clueless as to what does well in other areas. Not their fault necessarily, but those living in Eastern states need to take their advice with a grain of salt. The California Mediterranean climate is rather unique to the United States after all, and many of these plants are not used to the \"muggs\" ...steamy, humid days with highs in the 90\'s-100\'s, and will quickly rot away in such conditions. Lupinus albifrons is typical of that kind of plant. It\'s fine in a dry climate such as Denver, but a cold wet Eastern winter will quickly do it in. And valuable information like this is NOT available anywhere in the catalog. Annie\'s Annuals is in a prime growing area for most of the plants they list. Away from this location, they are often fussy and intractable.

I also question the value of many of the plants Annie lists. The variegated Money Plant has never been variegated for me, and pretty much resembles the normal plant. It is supposed to get variegated when it gets bigger, but mine is now quite big and absolutely no variegation. The many poppies listed are transient garden plants and poor garden subjects, due to an extremely brief blooming period, and coarse unattractive foliage.

Whoever writes the plant descriptions must have been injected with \"I love the world\" serum an hour before. Every plant is absolutely perfect, with stunning form, a long blooming period, excellent color, freedom from insects, blah blah blah. However, anyone that has gardened for awhile knows that any species has its particular foibles or limitations. I\'d respect Annie\'s a whole lot more if they presented an honest, balanced picture of a particular species. Such statements as \"difficult to grow away from habitat\", \"spindly and falls over unless staked\", \"blooms for a few days out of the year\", \"prone to aphid attacks\" are needed in many cases. Annie\'s Annuals is still in a world where sugarplum fairies and Peter Pan fly around. I have no idea if that really is Annie on the cover, but she looks like something out of The Sound of Music. I half expected her to start singing \"The hills are alive...\" In any case, if you are diabetic, I don\'t recommend this could succumb to terminal sweetness. I would prefer a more realistic approach to plant description, particularly as some of the species are little known as to hardiness, growability, etc.

One of the plants I ordered last year from a very remote genus came up and bloomed. Unfortunately, the plant was actually a common weed! The very nice woman on the phone admitted it was a common weed and sent me another member of the same genus. That plant was not a weed, but shrivelled and died in the next heat wave. Another plant apparently not prepared for the rigors of the East. (I unfortuantely cannot remember the genus!)

I think the plants are overpriced for what you get, and the packaging is unnecessarily heavy and bulky. I personally would take the plants out of their pots, scrape some of the soil off, and wrap the rest in aluminum foil, a la Siskiyou Nursery. The pots make the shipping box ridiculously oversized, and the resulting postage could be lessened considerably without them. Annie\'s apparenty pays people good money to pack plants, but I have received specimens in much better condition using more traditional methods that are not so labor intensive.

In short, if you live elsewhere than central California, please be aware that most of Annie\'s plants (even the true perennials) may be transient denizens in your garden. No amount of excellent care can overcome a plant being in a foreign habitat, and many western natives are extremely poor doers in the east, even for expert gardeners!

On February 24th, 2007, dave12122 added the following:

I was kidding about the sugarplumfairy and Peter Pan of course, but when I got my new Annie\'s Annual\'s catalog, there was Annie, on page two, dressed as a FAIRY PRINCESS!!! I\'m not making this up, I swear it! Unlike the sentiments of another poster, the tone of a particular catalogue is extremely important, as it can give one clues on how difficult situations may be handled. The tone here is apparently fun, fun, fun. Frankly, I don\'t think it\'s all that fun to receive plants that are not appropriate for your climate which then just slowly die. In that vein, I am going to take the time to describe some plants from this new catalogue which have not been good performers in Connecticut. I suspect they would not be worth growing or at best very short lived in most states East of the Mississippi, but that\'s just a prediction.

1, Convolvulus tricolor - Royal Ensign
Has a short blooming period, and the blooms only last a few hours. The stems soon trail and flop around the garden unattractively. In addition, this variety is subject to just about every kind of chewing insect going. So, you would have to spray vigilantly to control the many \"shot holes\". Almost never looks at its best even in full bloom. Eminently forgettable!
2. Anagallis monellii-
My experience is exactly the opposite of what the catalogue says. Has a short blooming period (the heat and humidity turns the flowers off here), needs rich soil and constant watering to survive. (mine wilted at even a touch of drought) and has never reseeded, even into nearby gravel. Yes, the flowers are pretty, but a weak plant and a poor doer unless you live in Seattle or Vancouver.
3. Papaver \"Lauren\'s Grape\"
A colossal disappointment. The stem looks like a drawn out pencil and bears ONE flower at the very end that lasts one day. Moreover, the foliage is sparse and unattractive. I fail to see the blue tone as in the description. Yuck!!!
4.Primula viallii-
A fussy species, even for experts, cannot take summer heat and is best for zones 5-6 or high elevations of zone 7. Certainly not appropriate for zones 8-10, unless grown as a short lived annual. In any case, even under the best of conditions is usually short lived. The resting winter bud is easily frost heaved. and even in flower, this really isn\'t all that attractive, the actual bloom is smaller and more tapered than the photo would have you believe.
5. Verbascums- All the listed Verbascums are poor garden subjects. The basal foliage looks like a weed and is coarse and unattractive. As for the flower spikes, only a few flowers open at one time, so that as the spike elongates it gets uglier and uglier, with bare spots at the base. At the end, you will have a few flowers at the top of a long naked stem that look absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention that the verbascums combine poorly with other plants. They stick out in the garden like that proverbial sore thumb and are difficult to utilize effectively.
6. Alcea rugosa- Here, it does NOT bloom from Spring to Frost. Three weeks is more like it, in early June. The stems can easily get to six feet or more, and have to be staked (a daunting task with this species), otherwise they easily collapse in a windstorm or heavy rain, and once collapsed are unspeakably unwieldy and out and out dangerous to any plant they happen to be smothering. I almost lost two very choice Azaleas because I did not realize the Alcea rugosa stems were on top of them! The foliage is also prone to chewing insects. An enormous plant with takeover tendencies (seeds everywhere and each seedling needs to be painstakingly dug out!) Use it sparingly!
7. Lewisia cotyledon- \"low maintenace??\" They\'ve got to be kidding! Needs absolutely perfect drainage, gravelly rich soil. Very prone to rotting in wet, humid weather unless perfectly sited. I grow mine in troughs which are put under a carport in winter. Lewisias in a wet winter climate will rot out unless a plastic cloche is put over them. They also cannot take hot, humid summers, and will develop a rust which disfigures the plant. Even under the absolute best of conditions, short lived in the east.
8. Gladiolus carneus- Yes more graceful than the modern hybrids, which are hideous. That said, a gladiolus is a gladiolus, which means:
a) stiff, unattractive fake looking foliage with combines poorly with other garden plants.
b) a flower scape which features only a few open flowers at one time . At the end you have the last blooms above many dying or dead ones, not a pretty sight. UNLESS you want to pull the dying flowers off every day. Doesn\'t sound like too much fun to me.
9. Cynoglossum amabile- Foliage is non-descript and prone to chewing insect damage. Airy flowers develop far above the foliage and flop all over the place, as the plant is very weak. Never looks right in the garden and it would be impossible to stake every stem. I would plant Myosotis instead, for a similar airy effect yet much better plant performance.
10. Oenothera pallida- An out and out thug in a hot summer climate, runs all over the place and is difficult to remove. Yes, the flowers are pretty, but at what cost?

If this saves some Easterner a disappointing experience, than I will be pleased. I might add that I have purchased these plants from other nurseries, not Annie\'s, and unless she sprinkles her plants with Fairy Princess dust, I assume their performance would be commensurate to those obtained from other sources.
On May 16th, 2015, dave12122 added the following:

I haven't ordered from Annie's in 8 years, and decided to give them another chance. I only chose 4 plants that are hard to get elsewhere. The specimens they sent were nice, if not overwhelming, and appeared to be healthy. The real test will be how they perform in the garden. As to the postage, I personally think a large flat rate box via USPS is the way to go, or they should at least offer ground UPS. Yes it takes 5 days to get to the East, but the plants would be fine, especially the way they pack them. I notice the catalogue appears to be less "fun" oriented then it has been previously. There still are a great number of plants listed that are short lived at best, and an even greater number of listed species that are "in production or "unavailable". All this can make for a frustrating buying experience, as every year the plants I REALLY want are unavailable.
Negative weRgroot
(6 reviews)
On May 14, 2015, weRgroot New Port Richey, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Shipping charges are outrageous; opted not to complete order.

Positive worlwind7
(1 review)
On May 6, 2015, worlwind7 Park City, UT wrote:

I cannot tell you how thrilled I was with my Annie's order. Their packaging and care with shipment is superb. After carefully unwrapping all of the thoughtfully packaged 4" pots and bare root plants, everything was happy and healthy.

I order on-line since, where I live, we have a short growing season and our nurseries seem to have the same expensive plants every year. I support buying local, but I need some variety! I have ordered from other on-line nurseries and been very/somewhat disappointed due to ailing plants and/or no stick identifier with the plant. I may love to garden but I do not have a degree in horticulture and need that little stick which was in every plant.

Due to the care Annie's takes with shipping, the packaging materials are quite profuse. So recycling is a must.

I will definitely be ordering from Annie's again.

Park City, Utah

Positive whitesam9
(1 review)
On Apr 29, 2015, whitesam9 Dayton, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I just got my first order from Annie's. I was nervous wondering if the plants would ship from California to Ohio okay. I ordered anyway because they had some rare varieties I couldn't find anywhere else. I'm so glad I did. The plants couldn't be in better shape. The soil was still moist and all were healthy and good sized. I have ordered from other nurseries that are closer to where I live, but the Annie's plants were in better shape. I will definitely be ordering from them again.

Positive shaoumill
(1 review)
On Apr 23, 2015, shaoumill Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

First off, Annie's was the only place where I could find the plants I wanted. Bloody Dock or Red Sorrel, whichever you choose.
My order arrived today. I could not be more pleased. The plants look perfect! Great job. They are outside now, getting acclimated I gave them a nice drink of water.
Thank you for such excellent service and plants.
Sharon Miller OKC

Positive rugosrose3
(1 review)
On Apr 13, 2015, rugosrose3 wrote:

Annie's has the best transplants I've found...through mailorder or through any of our local nurseries. Their packaging is superior and they ship well-rooted and developed plants in 4" pots that have been thorougly watered for the journey. Even though I live in western Washington, I'm able to order both perennials and annuals from Annie's location in California. They have valuable information in their descriptions including hardiness zone (look yours up on their website while taking into account microclimates within your zone), mature plant dimensions, water and soil requirements, and tolerance for deer and snails (slugs up here). This is the second year I've ordered and the plants I received two weeks ago are already thriving in the ground.

Positive Kilee1
(1 review)
On Mar 31, 2015, Kilee1 Lynden, WA wrote:

The folks at Annie's are exceptionally friendly, knowledgeable, and go over and above to provide that really rare customer SERVICE we all miss so much.
The packaging your plants arrive in will amaze you. I haven't seen anyone else really even come close. Your plants will thrive, due in large part to the care they received at the nursery and in the way they arrive at your home.
They are a wonderful company to work with and it's been a pleasure doing business with them for many years!

Positive Kriblett
(1 review)
On Mar 30, 2015, Kriblett Portland, OR wrote:

I have used Annies Annuals over the past 3 years, they are a wonderful nursery that knows the meaning of bee friendly plants. Everything I have ordered from them has always come to me in great shape. These guys really know how to pack & ship live plants. Whenever I have had a question or issue with my order they have been very quick to respond and have always been pleasant to work with.

Positive rebeccaellen
(1 review)
On Mar 12, 2015, rebeccaellen Los Altos, CA wrote:

I've been using plants from Annie's Annuals for over 15 years both in my own garden and in the ones I design (I'm a professional landscape designer) and have never, EVER had a problem with any of the staff or any of the plants. Yes, shipping is expensive, but you should see the care that goes into packaging them! The plants arrive safe and secure and the moment you open the box it's like the moment Dorothy lands in Oz - filled with life,scent and color. The shipping is worth every penny. Here's a little story to let you know how much I love them: A few months ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer and knew that I would have to immediately begin 5 months of chemotherapy, followed by a mastectomy. Before my first round of chemo I treated myself to a hefty order of my very favorite plants from Annie's, with the goal of quickly planting them in the ground, knowing what pleasure they would give me in the spring. Well, it's spring now and as I walk around my garden (in PAIN, I might add, due to my recent surgery) I can't tell you the joy I feel seeing these treasures growing at the speed of light with our unseasonably warm weather. Placing that order was the smartest thing I did for my mental health. This is a wonderful, thoughtful, caring nursery run by people who are as passionate about their plants and the environment as any gardener could be. I *heart* you Annie's!

Positive Betweenthelimes
(1 review)
On Mar 12, 2015, Betweenthelimes Arden-Arcade, CA wrote:

I have ordered from Annie's Annuals several times. I admit, the first time I ordered I was a bit sticker shocked at the shipping costs- but when my plants arrived I knew I got what I paid for. Most nurseries ship their plants wrapped in paper- Annie's ships each plant in their container, with each plant allocated its own space in the box. This is great for busy people like me who can't immediately put the plants in the ground (I'm ashamed to say I have some plants from Annie's that are still in their 4" container from last summer lol). I also love that I can pick the date I want the plants shipped. It gets very hot in the summer here in Sacramento so it's nice to plan my shipping for a cooler day, or for a day when I know I'll be home so they don't sit roasting on my patio. My plants have always arrived really healthy, and the only time I've had a plant die on me is when I bought a plant that was not suitable for my zone (I can't help myself- I want to be able to grow everything). Kudos to this small business for running such a unique nursery, thank you for the excellent customer service you provide.

Positive SusanLM
(1 review)
On Mar 12, 2015, SusanLM Concord, CA wrote:

I am a long time customer of Annie's Annuals, and have nothing but praise for the quality of their plants, service and selection. They are one of the few places I can be certain of getting neonicotinoid-free plants. As a professional landscape designer, my standards are high, and I not only shop here for my own garden, but regularly send clients either to order online, or visit in person. They carry many unusual specimens that are simply not available anywhere else. Highly recommended.

Positive maxinaustin
(1 review)
On Mar 11, 2015, maxinaustin Austin, TX wrote:

I have shopped at Annie's Annuals for more than a decade, and it is, by far, the best nursery I have ever visited. By best I specifically mean the coolest plants at the best prices, well-grown and carefully packed.

Any fellow Texan who orders Nemophilia from California in a snowstorm and then attempts to extort the nursery with bad reviews is... not a good Texan. Or a good gardener.

Positive kissmyaster
(1 review)
On Mar 11, 2015, kissmyaster Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

Kick ass customer service and rip-roaring plants. Nobody does it better! I'll buy from them again and again!
Thanks Annie's!

Positive Marilena
(11 reviews)
On Mar 11, 2015, Marilena Chicago, IL wrote:

Although I have not ordered from Annie's Annuals, I have to defend them regarding the comment below.

I was ready to place an order on their website yesterday and decided to wait since they specifically state that all orders will ship within 2 weeks. For the person giving them a negative rating, BLAME YOURSELF. Why would you order tropical plants in the dead of winter knowing they're going to ship them in 2 weeks?

The response from Annie's is extremely considerate - just based on their customer service, I'll be ordering. But since I live in the Chicago area, I'll wait until late April to put in my order.

Negative reeve1
(48 reviews)
On Mar 11, 2015, reeve1 Plano, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Posted on February 27, 2015, updated March 11, 2015
UNBELIEVABLE! I live in Dallas, TX and I receive their catalog in January and I got their weekly emails. I placed an ordered last week ($173.90, $71.00 of this was SHIPPING COST!!). It\'s snowing here, as can be seen on the National Weather service or anyone in the nursery business that actually checks the weather before blindly shipping live Zone 9-10 plants, and it has been bad weather for more than a week. This is the time of year we get this weather, every year! Yet, they blindly shipped my entire order without a second thought. What responsible company does this? I am at their total mercy and I paid $71.00 for this type of service? Even beginner gardeners know that Zone 9-10 plants will die when shipped in weather below 40 degrees. Cindy, the supervisor, even admitted that the average weather is 37 degrees in my area at this time of year, which still would not be sufficient to ship the plants I ordered, and prives that they ship blindly without consideration for a customer\'s order or taking proper precautions that it might arrive safely. Once they have your money, it\'s your responsibility! This is just not right. Apparently, that\'s too much to ask for them to put 2+2 together or take any responsibility.
Normally, you receive a catalog, you place the order and you rely on the EXPERTISE of the company to ship the order at the proper time for planting in your area. They are the experts! These people don\'t understand this concept that the rest of the world has been ordering under for the past 100 years. When I called to get help, they immediately began putting the blame on ME. It shocked me!! Their idea of \"working with me\" is to give me a gift card for half the cost, not even a refund! One of the Baby Blue Eyes was battered and broken off at the base. It\'s likely this was done during packing before they closed the box, as there should be box damage if it was done during transit, but the box is fine.
Beware when ordering from these people. Any warranty expires upon receipt of payment! You can get their plants cheaper elsewhere and from much friendlier and more responsible people who actually care how a customer\'s order is received and will take time to communicate with you. They said there is a box to check when ordering on the date to ship, but this should be their responsibility, not a beginner gardeners! I guess I just expected more professionalism from a company who is supposed to be the experts and know better. They seem to live in their own world in their part of Zone 9 California without consideration or respect for anyone else who gardens in other parts of the country! This is just not right. I\'m done with any more ordering from them with their over-inflated, one-type shipping and will be reporting my experience with them on every garden site I am a member, as well as any that I\'m not!

On March 11th, 2015, reeve1 added the following:

The appalling things is that I've talked to you twice on the phone to try to resolve this. Both times, before even fully understanding my issue, your people began throwing rather lame and unwarranted comments about it being my fault. Some of them didn't even apply, such as, "If it is snowing here, did I have a place to receive them?" and after stating that no one ships tender perennials and annuals when the weather at the destination is below 40. Your supervisor confirmed that our national average temperature at the time of shipping was 37. The actual temperature was 25 and snowing, as indicated by the National Weather service. Further, shipping from California to Texas, or any place for that matter, does not mean the shipment travels as the crow flies. FedEx's hub is Memphis TN, and there are other northern (frozen) cities that these would travel. When I spent $100 on plants and $71 on shipping, I expect your expertise to hold the shipment, particularly when you were already holding the order because some of the plants you were selling were "not ready- too small." You condemned the plants to certain death, then only offered half of the order total, not including shipping. This amounts to 1/6 of the total for me to order the plants again and to actually receive what I should have in the first place. You are no friend to gardeners, but operate in your own bubble, and take no responsibility for your own blatant failures. So, now it's a problem with the website? Does this mean, regardless of whether it's snowing again, you will ship an order without consideration and without responsibility for killing the entire order. BUYER'S BEWARE!!!
On Mar 11, 2015, Annie's Annuals and Perennials responded with:

"On Mar 3, 2015 3:28 PM, Annie\'s Annuals and Perennials responded with:

Dear reeve1:

We would like to apologize for the disappointment you felt with your last order with us. We try very hard to explain on our website and in our catalog that we grow and ship plants anywhere in the continental US, year-round. We are not set up to ship in windows or by zone - so the ship date you choose really is the date we will send out your order. Due to the seasonality of many of the plants we grow and limited on-site space, we cannot hold orders. So, while we make every effort to try and catch orders due to go out to areas suffering extreme cold or heat, the sheer volume of orders this time of year sometimes means that one or two shipments may inadvertently slip through the cracks.

For that, we apologize and would like the opportunity to make things right. Please give us a call at 1.888.266.4370 so we can address your concerns.

In the meantime, we will be making changes to our shopping cart emphasizing our shipping policies to try and prevent frustration like yours from happening in the future. "

Positive teritwinkle
(1 review)
On Mar 2, 2015, teritwinkle Morgan Hill, CA wrote:

The plants I received had been very carefully watered and wrapped. It was like receiving little gifts. They were delivered on the day they were shipped out; that made the shipping costs seem much more reasonable. One of my plants was flowering; all seemed very healthy. I was so pleased to see the care with which my plants had been wrapped and packed. If I can do half as well now they are in my care, they should thrive.

Positive Suzkling
(3 reviews)
On Mar 2, 2015, Suzkling Bandon, OR wrote:

Annie's Annuals/Perennials is my favorite online nursery...I have ordered many times....their plants arrive in the most perfect packaging imaginable and ready to go into the ground.....they have a decent root structure and are always healthy......their catalog gets the highest creative fun stars........I feel defensive of them and can only ask the negative reviewers some simple, why do you expect them to hold your order until your weather is better when you placed the order to begin with.......that's your responsibility.........I could break out into a rant here...........ok, I'm in OR and they are in CA.....similar people! use common sense and don't order plants that aren't going to be happy in your zone.............there, there Annie' keep doing what you always do............there will always be those of us who water your shrine...........

Positive Youniquelychic
(1 review)
On Mar 2, 2015, Youniquelychic Everett, WA wrote:

This nursery is amazing! All of the plants I ordered arrived way ahead of schedule and they were all in great shape! Each plant had plenty of soil which was wrapped in a damp paper towel and then the whole thing was inside of a wax paper bag to retain moisteure and then slipped into a small pot so I could transfer it right away if I wasn't ready to put them in the ground. The box they cam in had plenty of room for the tops of the plants with cardboard cutouts supporting each plant (hard to explain) but nothing got crushed or damaged and each plant had plenty of room to breath. I would absolutly reccomend Annie's Annuals and Perennials to anyone looking for a wide selection of plants and a company that actually knows how to ship them (most don't)

Positive davids10
(1 review)
On Feb 20, 2015, davids10 Reno, NV wrote:

the plants arrived in great condition. packing was the best. an aeonium arrived completely intact. the plants were shipped on the day i requested and arrived the next day. this is a good place.

Negative maureennn
(1 review)
On Feb 4, 2015, maureennn Beverly Hills, CA wrote:

I was so excited to see the wonderful and different plants in Annie's inventory , even though most of the ones I wanted were not in stock but that was OK. And even though they are expensive that was OK too, and even though the plants are tiny tiny tiny , that would be also be OK if they grew. I did order from them twice and both times one plant was half eaten by something (I called right away but they advised me to wait it out) and more than half of my orders did not make it in my yard within a few weeks. I DID call Annie's twice for help, of course it was my fault, too much water, too little water, not enough sun, too much sun, whatever..... It has been a while now and only one plant survived sofar, that plant cost me over $100. I live in Southern California and am still looking for a GREAT nursery .

On Feb 4, 2015, Annie's Annuals and Perennials responded with:

"On Mar 3, 2015 3:25 PM, Annie\'s Annuals and Perennials responded with:

Hi Maureennn:

We are also disappointed to hear your plants did not make it - or failed to thrive after arrival. We guarantee plants arrive in excellent shape and ready to go in the ground. If you were unhappy for any reason, please drop us a line and give us a chance to fix the problem. We are always happy to help! 888.266.4370"

Negative momlady
(5 reviews)
On Dec 31, 2014, momlady Camano Island, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Because I live in a "colder" climate (zone 7) I cannot take advantage of the plants that sell out quickly. Here's why:

The problem is that they won't hold my order until the correct planting time for my zone. So, if I make an order for plants that are in stock at the time of ordering, by the time they fill my order, they have run out of the plants.

Previous years, I ordered early but had them shipped at the correct time for my zone. I didn't the get the popular plants in my order because they were gone.

This year, I ordered them early and had them shipped early (way too early for planting out) in order to make sure they were in stock. (I got all the plants I ordered! A first! So far, so good.) They even helpfully called me the expected date of arrival to say that I was going to get receipt of the plants that day, and suggested that I get them in the ground that same day. When I said they weren't going to be planted for a month, the caller sounded absolutely flabbergasted. She warned me about how bad it was for the plants to be held before planting and told me I should have them sent later.

I explained to her that if I request the correct delivery date for planting in my zone, the plants are out of stock by then. I asked if I could place a "hold" on plants in my order if I paid in full up front, but she said they won't do that. They simply fill the orders at shipping time regardless of when they are ordered, and when they run out, they run out.

Anyway, I kept my plants in the house for a month and some were fine, but many were struggling by then. The struggling ones took a big hit and didn't bounce back in time to bloom much or even look nice.

So, keeping them inside isn't the solution, and It's too frustrating to order really interesting, unusual plants and have them unavailable by my correct shipping time.

I have decided to give Annie's a pass in the future. If you are below zone 9 I think you will have similar problems.

Positive HerMorningDove
(3 reviews)
On Nov 27, 2014, HerMorningDove Vienna, VA wrote:

I have ordered from Annie's Annuals and Perennials several times and have always been pleased with the quality of the plants and service provided. Earlier this year, I ordered some sweet pea and poppy plants for spring planting. The folks at Annie's kept an eye on the weather in our area and held off on shipping the plants until the weather warmed up. (As you remember, the winter/early spring was very harsh on the east coast.) I was stunned when they first called to arrange a better time to ship the plants. What remarkable customer service! I've also been impressed with the care they take shipping the plants. Yes, the cost is higher than some websites but I think it's worth it.

Positive sliderock
(1 review)
On Oct 12, 2014, sliderock Salmon, ID wrote:

This was the first time I ordered from Annie's and I was amazed at how well the plants were packaged. I received my order in a timely fashion and the plants were in perfect condition. I would certainly order from them again.

Positive annarborite
(4 reviews)
On Sep 18, 2014, annarborite Ann Arbor, MI wrote:

Made my first purchase from Annie's last year and among other things, bought 4 climbing asters. I could not believe the results this year. The plants grew to between six and seven feet and are just a mass of beautiful asters this fall. Everyone asks what they are as no one in this area has seen asters that size. I am beyond delighted and looking forward to many more fall seasons of these beautiful blooms.
The plants were shipped in beautiful condition and although the shipping was a little pricey it was definitely worth it. I would highly recommend this nursery for their quality and service.

Positive mosterbauer
(1 review)
On Aug 29, 2014, mosterbauer Sequim, WA wrote:

I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate the plants that you sent me and the care you took that they arrived in perfect condition. I have perused your site for over a year and even have a wish list. But my experience with mail order plants was so horrendous that I just could not bring myself to actually place an order. Thank you!! I will continue to go to your site and I will undoubtedly be ordering again in the spring.

Positive camrichdesigns
(1 review)
On Aug 20, 2014, camrichdesigns Scottsdale, AZ wrote:

I have been ordering from Annie's for several years, and have always been very happy with the service and quality. My selections have arrived in good shape, and well packaged. I like their wish list option when an item is not in stock, and look forward to getting that e-mail saying my wish list item(s) are available.

Positive kentsgirl
(2 reviews)
On Aug 11, 2014, kentsgirl Belton, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Plants arrived in good shape. I immediately had to leave town for a funeral trip across the country. A neighbor checked on things, and your plants are still in good shape a week later. Thanks so much for "filling the box". It feels like a plant gift at a time when plants are extra appreciated. And now plants are in the ground and hanging on in this Texas heat. I would love to visit Annie's nursery someday. Thanks for a good experience for my first time ever to order plants online.

Positive thetubeguy1954
(2 reviews)
On Jul 25, 2014, thetubeguy1954 Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have been doing business with Annie's Annuals & Perennials for 3 years now. What I really like about Annie's is it allows me to purchase plants for my garden that you cannot find in any of the local stores such as the 3 "Lobelia aquana" plants I recently purchased. This is great for having a garden that's unique from your neighboors.

Unfortunately in one of my last purchases the "Abutilon striatum" aka Redvein Indian Mallow plant I bought arrived in very poor condition ---{we all know when dealing in plants, occasionally 1 dies during shipment}--- so I called Annies and spoke with Cassandra Ramos. Cassandra's extremely pleasant personality is a real asset to Annies. She told me no more "Abutilon striatum" were available, which really bothered me. Because this was the plant I wanted the most.

Cassandra must have heard my disappointment, but she remained cheerful and as helpful as she possibly could be. She informed me I could wait for another "Abutilon striatum" to become available or order a different plant if I chose to. I stopped Cassandra and told her it really didn't matter what my other options were because I really wanted another of the "Abutilon striatum" plants. So I'd just have to wait for another "Abutilon striatum" to become available.

Cassandra informed me I could check my "Wish List" online daily at Annies to see when another "Abutilon striatum" became available and when one did I should call her immediately! Well Cassandra was so cheerful & helpful by the time the call was over I wasn't even bothered about the "Abutilon striatum" dying. To make a long story as short as possible, I continued checking my Wish List on Annies everyday to see if another "Abutilon striatum" became available. Then one day I called Annies again and asked for Cassandra Ramos when they picked up.

I was going to ask Cassandra about a different plant I saw in Annies catalogue, when she said; "Mr. Scata I just hand-picked the best 'Abutilon striatum' I found out in our greenhouse just for you!" Cassandra explained how there was only 3 or 4 "Abutilon striatum" plants left in their entire greenhouse and she realized how bummed I was about my "Abutilon striatum" dying. So she hand-picked the one she thought looked best and was about to call me and tell me the plant could be replaced after all!

Cassandra Ramos went well above & beyond the typical customer service I'm used to receiving anywhere ---{I want to be crystal-clear that I've always received good customer service at Annies}--- She is the person I'll always ask for from this point on. My "Abutilon striatum" arrived today and it does look very nice. Annie's Annuals & Perennials and Cassandra Ramos get's BIG thumbs up from me. Thank you both very, very much. ---Tom Scata

Positive daelanf
(1 review)
On Jul 15, 2014, daelanf Lake Stevens, WA wrote:

I placed two different orders for Phormium 'Black Adder'. Both shipments arrived with very nice plants, but also the shipping containers were the best of any mail order shipments I have received....and I have done a lot of mail order plant buying. The plants arrived fresh and perky, despite the weather being quite warm. The soil was contained and moist and none of my plants were crushed or otherwise damaged, even though the box was NOT lying " this side up" on front porch. I am impressed with the plants I received, but even more impressed with their shipment method. Altogether a very happy experience!!

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