On May 29, 2012, imagerep Westlake Village, CA wrote:
Happen to find them while surfing on-line. I saw their Black Magic Elephant Ears available (Colcasa esculenta) and bought 2 one gallon plants. After the on-line purchase I immediately received a order confirmation and notice of approximate ship date (agricultural inspection required). I got another email a number of days later with a shipment update. Received the plants on the date promised. They were well packed with no damage to the plants. Shipment was from East Coast to West Coast in hot weather so I was surprised to find the soil still moist. They also include enough fertlizer for each plant during transplanting. Plants look great as they are just starting to take root. Very impressed and will buy from them again.
On May 21, 2012, AtlDave Atlanta United States wrote:
I have spent $323.54 on this order.
The plant that has subsequently died is one of two Hot Lava coneflowers. The other plant is beginning to flower.
They were planted the same with different results.
Now I have to pay for additional shipping for one defective plant: I'm not paying for any additional shipping.
On May 21, 2012, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:
Dave, I'm sorry you are so discouraged with our company and had to post this negative. We have ship several thousand orders this season, and we really hoping to not have any red. This is very discouraging for us also!
We post our 30 day guarantee and our 1 year guarantee throughout our site, so customers are completely aware of our policies. Even though you requested us to ship your order in February which is out of our posted recommended planting time, which voids all guarantees, and you notified us 2.5 months after receiving them we still replaced a Hibiscus totally at our expense. When you requested a second replacement on a coneflower that that is not dead but is not growing like the other. I explained our policy which is the email I sent you below.
I received your dvd requesting replacement a coneflower. I completely understand the expectation of having every plant flourish, and I stand behind our plants . However I also expect our customers to do their part. Our pricing structure is as follows.
We price our plants to be competitive with garden centers across the country.
We price our shipping to cover boxes, UPS costs and a small labor fee .
We give our customers a standard 30 day guarantee when purchasing plants. We know plants fail for various reasons. We also offer a 1 year guarantee for 10% of the plant price. This small insurance policy allows our company to collect some monies to provide replacement plants when needed. It is a win win for both the customer and us. However it is completely at the customers option to participate. It is not fair to not purchase the guarantee, but then also expect to get free replacements after 30 days. Even with the purchased guarantee the customer pays shipping costs. These shipping cost go entirely to shipping. The Box cost and UPS costs total up to a minimum of $14.00. We cannot ship anything less than $14.00. I ‘m sure you can see how sending replacement plants without collecting any monies from the customer is not profitable business.
We replaced the Hibiscus completely at our cost, even though you requested “Ship Now” when you placed your original order, and it was not within our recommended shipping time for your zone 8, which is March 15th – November 15th. I will be happy to replace a coneflower at our cost, to go over and above our policy, however I would request you pay shipping. This policy has worked well by all our customers and we have not had any dissatisfied customers because they knew our policies when they purchased from us.
Regarding the Hot Lava we do not have any more of those available at this time I can suggest Tomato Soup as an alternative.
I hope you understand we do all we can for our customers, and we also state policies on our site so our customers know them upfront.
Please let me know how to proceed.
***Once again, we strive very hard to give a customer a fair deal and we go above our stated policies to satisfy, but we still get a negative because of a customer says give me, or I will bash your company. Dave Garden has been tremendous blessing to us and we are very thankful for all the wonderful customers we have had the opportunity to serve. Unfortunately, this site can also put good companies in a defensive mode to protect what is right and fair.
When purchasing online or from a store please be aware of the company policies and if in doubt contact them for clarification if needed. We do not hide our policies and we will stand behind our plants and policies 100%
I'm a newbie to this company. First order came in quickly and the plants are amazing. Can't believe the size of the plants for the price. I don't mind paying shipping for great plants and will be ordering from them in the future. The packaging is amazing.
1st order from Sooner plant farms this year. I had been dealing with another online company and was becoming frustrated with repeated back orders and changed shipping dates.
First, the website is very easy to navigate and I really like being able to see inventory levels. The order must have been almost processed the same day I placed it as the plants arrived 3 days later.
The plants were larger than what the other company I had been dealing with sends. All plants went into the ground at the same time and are doing well and growing vigorously.
I wish I would have found out about these folks before I placed my order for clematis from the other company. While the clematis are doing well, bigger plants would have been a god send for this variety, in trying to get them established early for the heat.
I also found them to be very helpful on the phone, looking for a very specific plant type. Full sun, shallow roots and fairly drought resistant. (Going to be used to shade the roots of the clematis and didn't root interferance as the plants tried to establish themselves). Thier suggestion of Blue Plaumbago was a great choice and it seems to be working well.
I look forward to doing more business with these folks in the future.
I have ordered from this company several times and all experiences have been great. Their shipping might look steep, but their plants are MUCH bigger and healthier than any other mail order nursery I have used so you are getting what you pay for. Their plant prices are a good value, the selection is pretty impressive and their customer service is professional and efficient with a nice personal touch. If there is a question, the proprietor will contact you himself to address it. Most importantly to me, I have relied on this company to provide tough plants that grow in my difficult climate when my local nurseries continue to promote plants with built-in obsolescence. They have enabled me to introduce better varieties of plants to my garden, and it is really starting to pay off.
Our Winterberry plants were dormant but very healthy when they were delivered November of last year. I brought them out of dormancy in the greenhouse and they overwintered with no problems and look great! The price was fair and delivery was fast.
We just received our first order from Sooner Plant Farm. It consisted of 9 - 2 Gal. Firehouse nandinas, 5 - 3 Gal. Autumn Chiffon Encore azaleas, 2 - 3 Gal. Crown Jewel gardenias, 1 - 3 Gal. Rose Creek abelia, 1 - 3 Gal. Blue Price holly and 1 - 3 Gal. Blue Princess holly.
The plants were shipped on Tuesday and received Thursday afternoon. All were undamaged. Their packaging is very precise and robust; unpacking is a chore even with a box cutter. The plants are in very good to excellent condition with absolutely no sign of stress or disease. We live less than three hundred miles south of Park Hill in East Texas but could not transport them ourselves for what they were able to pack and ship via UPS. Their prices are somewhat higher than you may find at Lowe's, Home Depot or your local nursery; but speaking as one who has purchased literally hundreds of plants for our 1/3 acre lot landscape over the last 16 years I can attest to the fact that their plants are head and shoulders above the quality you get from the above mentioned retailers. All the plants are now happily ensconced in the beds prepared for them and we look forward to enjoying them as they mature.
Posted on July 20, 2011, updated October 15, 2011
Posted on July 13, 2011, updated July 20, 2011
The order was for four different echinacea. The plants were well-packed and arrived in excellent condition. Although the plants I ordered from Sooner were slightly more expensive when shipping and handling were included, I preferred the plants much more than the echinacea I ordered from two other companies. The plants from Sooner were larger and the containers were larger. I have already ordered more orange/red echinacea from Sooner.
On July 20th, 2011, pickles12 added the following:
Today I received my second order of echinacea from Sooner. As with the first order the echinacea plants were well-established and much bushier than echinacea I purchased from two other retail internet plant companies. Again the pots from Sooner were much larger than the pots from the other companies. Responses to feedback to the company is quick and pleasant.On October 15th, 2011, pickles12 added the following:
After several additional orders from the company I am still very pleased with the plants received and communication with company associates.
Received two Maple trees on date as requested a few months ago: Bloodgood and Weeping Red Dragon. Both are very healthy and arrived in a well designed root protection felt bag. I'm looking forward to seeing these two beauties grow.
I ordered for the first time from Sooner Plant Farm a few weeks ago. There was a slight problem with the order and I e-mailed Brian. He quickly responded and set about remedying the problem. He bent over backwards to ensure my experience was top-notch and was very gracious about it.
I would happily recommend this nursery and plan to do business with them in the future. Thanks a bunch, Brian!
Ordered 14 OSO EASY roses on their 2 for 1 special. All looked healthy on arrival and were well-packed. However, although I usually have great success growing roses, these have become scrawny and are most unattractive. I planted some pavement roses in the same bed with these and the pavements are doing fine but the oso easy roses I got from Sooner are very disappointing. I will change my rating to either postive or negative depending on how the roses are doing in the future.
Hello, thank you for feedback regarding your OSO easy roses. Can you contact me at email@example.com so I can review your order and hopefully offer some assistance to make sure your roses flourish.
I ordered a crabapple from Sooner last year. This year it didn't bloom (not necessarily a problem) but thus far has shown no new top growth. I finally decided to replace it and on digging it out discovered that there was also no evident root growth. It was planted and cared for the same way as all my others, from other vendors, which are doing great. Also had a problem last year with security on their website (which of course they denied) and they refused to delete my information from their records. Definitely will not order from them again.
I'm sorry your plant did not perform as expected. I wish you would have contact us regarding the problem before giving us a negative post. It is our #1 goal to fairly satisfy all our customers even if we are not to blame and it costs us. Plants fail for many reasons and many times for no identifiable reason or at the fault or blame of anyone. I have planted thousands of plants in landscapes and sometimes they just don't make it. If your plant does not perform I would first recommend contacting the supplier to see if they could help you. If they are unwilling to help, then a publicly viewed feedback may be in order, but please be fair in your reporting as I can bet most companies care very much about their reputation, just as do we. I would appreciate if this post could be changed to as it does bother me to see our reputation get smudged after all we sacrifice to keep our customers satisfied.
As for the security of our site we have a secure website and have never had a single issue since 2004 when our site was started, other than the one reported here. I do remember a customer calling us about a year ago, I suspect this is the same customer, but no further correspondence has been established. I tried to find who this is by searching our database, but with such limited data I was unable to locate this customer. If she/he is indeed still receiving any email correspondence form us I apologize and if contacted I will double check to see why the email address was not correctly opted out .
Sorry for any hassles we have caused you, it is not our intention.
Posted on June 22, 2010, updated May 26, 2011
I ordered a dwarf crape myrtle "Orchid Cascade". When it arrived I was impressed with how carefully it was packed. However, I immediately
noticed many, many leaves with black leaf spot. I called the company and Brian said it probably would be fine once it had air and water, but that he would make a note of it in case it didn't resolve. I ordered another one (I had intended to order two initially but somehow only ordered one.). When the second arrived a week later it again was carefully packed. This one looked so much better than the first! By then the first had been anted carefully, and watered yet it steadily lost leaves -- it looked like it was steadily dying with many bare branches. I called the company again and left a voice message. The next morning I got a return message from
Brian saying a replacement would be sent. A week later the replacement arrived. Like the second plant it looked good. I was imprssed with the excellent customer service!
On May 26th, 2011, lafu115 added the following:
I ordered another Orchid Cascade this year. Plant arrived looking great. Very pleased again with this company.
On May 20, 2011, tepelus Nashville, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:
My very first order with Sooner arrived today, and I couldn't be happier. The plants are big and healthy and packed in the long, heavy cardboard box so well it was a struggle for me to remove my fothergilla from the box! I've been wanting a Lavender Twist (Covey) redbud for a long time and finally decided to order one through Sooner, which is a great looking tree, about 4-5 ft tall, and very healthy, and the price on it was great. I also got a Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, which is another plant I've been coveting for a long time, and two Blue Shadow fothergilla which were buy 1 get 1. Although the shipping was a bit high, almost as much as the total for the plants, I'm not too bothered by it since the plants were very well packaged and arrived unscathed, with the exception of one broken baby branch on the redbud, but also if I had to buy these same plants locally I would have had paid two to three times as much. I'm really happy I purchased my plants through Sooner and I will recommend them to my friends and family.
On May 1, 2011, oldroselover Fort Worth, TX wrote:
I made my first orders with Sooner early this spring. I ordered three hydrangeas (Pee Wee, Little Lime, and Invincibelle) and a Miss Ruby butterfly bush. I am in Fort Worth, TX. The shipments arrived the very next day each time, which amazed me. The plants are all beautiful, large, and healthy looking, and so far are growing really well. I am so happy with my plants! I will most definitely be buying again from Sooner Plant Farm.
Ordered bloomerang lilacs and gardenia crown jewel, received the order today and all the plants look very healthy in their pots. This is the first time I ordered and will definitely look into ordering more plants from them.
On Apr 15, 2011, mad4roses Georgetown, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
Posted on April 2, 2010, updated April 15, 2011
Received a beautiful weeping redbud from Sooner yesterday. This tree is 6' tall, well-branched and in bloom and it arrived without a scratch. The only thing I had to do was plant it and re-stake it as it had shifted slightly during shipping. None of the flowers even fell off when I planted it!
It is immediately providing the focal point I thought I would have to wait until next year to see. Yes, I am definitely happy with my purchase.
On April 15th, 2011, mad4roses added the following:
Placed another order this season for a couple plants I couldn't find locally. Again, I'm amazed at how well they can pack large plants.
Although I couldn't find gold heart dicentra at my local nursery, they did have the regular bleeding heart. The gold hearts I received from Sooner were larger and and fuller than the regular bleeding hearts at my local nursery. The oakleaf hydrangea 'Alice' were outstanding, and although I worried about ordering such a large size, they arrived in perfect shape. I have *the* perfect spot with the perfect soil for them, so that was one of my top wishlist items for this year.
I was very happy to discover Sooner had both of these plants available. I wish I could order all my plants from Sooner as they have such high quality stock, but I get such big eyes every planting season I'd end up putting every UPS driver's kid through college if I did that.
sooner plant farm is still my new best friend.after ordering for my second year i am still in awe if the plants they send. as healthy as they are beautiful. love the new packing i think they could be run over by a ups truck and still arrive in superb condition and on time. thanks to dave's garden, customer reviews lead me to sooner plant farm.
I purchased 2 Abelia 'SILVER ANNIVERSARY' plants in 1 gallon containers in November from Sooner. The plants were healthy, good-sized and delivered as promised. They are still doing great, even through a few very cold nights.
On Oct 16, 2010, KariGrows New Lisbon, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:
Posted on October 1, 2010, updated October 16, 2010
Posted on September 16, 2010, updated October 1, 2010
Shipment of my Viburnum Raspberry Tart was very speedy, shipped on Tues, and arrived Thursday morning! This plant which is in the 3 gallon pot is the healthiest plant I have ever received from ANY mail order company.. Its beautiful and full, and very green . I am certainly going back to them.
On October 1st, 2010, KariGrows added the following:
Sooner is awesome... I have now ordered a number of different shrubs from them, and all have come in very careful and safe packaging and are nice and healthy! I cant wait to see how beautiful they will be growing and blooming next spring!
I certainly give Sooner an A++++++++++On October 16th, 2010, KariGrows added the following:
I am chuckling over the turn of events.... I was so happy with the plants from Sooner, I ordered three gallon pot shrubs... then a few days later I added a 4th to the order so they could all ship together. ... When the shipment came, it was 3 items... and I thought they didnt catch it...but the next day I got a shipment of ALL 4. .. I called Sooner and they said Our mistake, your good luck, you have 3 free bushes.... So I planted them all... having a farm means lots of room for shrubs thank goodness.
A few days later I had a funny feeling about two of the plants, they seemed to have the wrong leaf shape for the species I ordered. I called Sooner, and she checked! Oh boy, they sent the bushes that were next to the one i had ordered dug them up and put the wrong label on them!! They were being nice sending big bushes, as the correct one was only about 6 inches high!! But she said it was healthy, so they sent it immediately and its already in the ground.
I have found Sooner to be very accomodating and every plant has arrived in beautiful shape and well packed. I didnt like the styrofoam peanuts either but they do the job.
Ok no more orders until Spring.... Thanks Sooner for being upfront and honest and trying to make me happy.
And admitting when you make an error... you are only human.
On Oct 1, 2010, marthooo Madison Heights, VA wrote:
I have recently ordered several things from Sooner. The ninebark diablo were particularly stunning, and even in this relentless end of summer have made the transition into the ground quite well. The packaging and communication was great. I DO wish, though, that they used biodegradable "peanuts" in the packing-the styrofoam peanuts are annoying and not so enviro-friendly, eh? Still, I'll order from them again!
On Oct 1, 2010, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:
"On Oct 1, 2010 12:55 PM, Sooner Plant Farm (home of Imagine Backyard Trees®) responded with:
Thank you for the positive feedback. In response to the peanuts, I tried the bio-degradable peanuts, Bad choice, when setting on moist soil the peanuts become a slimy mess, a good idea that did not work. We dislike the peanuts also and only use them when necessary, we will continue to search.
Ordered a JAPANESE MAPLE 'EMPEROR 1'. Communication was good, received emails when shipped, and the packaging was terrific (as another reviewer stated, took me several minutes to get the packaging open!). The Japanese Maple looks very healthy and is the size (4-5 ft.) as advertised. Not my first purchase from this company and always very pleased with the plants and trees.
To anyone who is looking to buy a tree? This is the place to buy!! Let me start from the begining so all you people who think you had a negative with Sooner. I first started out in the spring looking to buy trees for my yard. I searched high and low. I found the company which shall remain nameless. I ordered, paid and nothing. I emailed time and time again, nothing. I filed complaints with the District Court, Federal Trade Commision and so on. Then I found a second company, which will also remain nameless. I ordered and with multiple emails and phone calls I finally got my trees. Out of the 7 trees I bought, 2 survived, which were small and sickly.
This time I ordered from Sooner. I fully read the return policy and understand it. If you did not read it that's on you. Don't complain and give a negative for something you did not read, understand or care about until you wanted to.
Ok I ordered on the 2nd, trees sent on the 8th and got them on the 10th. The packaging was great. It took me 5 minutes to get into the boxes. When I opened them up, to my suprise were three of the most beautiful maple trees I have seen. Far better than I expected. They were bigger and all had new growth.
You should look no further. Yes, if you want cheaper you will find it but you will not like what you get. These trees were bigger and stronger than I expected. The communication was great and shipping was fast. I will order again and again from this company. Thank you for such healthy and beautiful trees.
Best plant mail order company that I ordered from to date. I requested an earlier ship date: DONE. Plants were in fantastic shape, even after 4 days of shipping through UPS. And finally the quality and size far exceeded not only my expectations, but even their own description.
Their selection and customer service cannot be beat, and have every intention of ordering from this company again, again, and again.
On Aug 28, 2010, crazygardener Upper Darby, PA wrote:
I bought an Avondale Redbud from Sooner in 2006 and up until last winter it grew and bloomed beautifully. Due to our severe winter (2009) the redbud died back seriously. Brian advised me to cut it back as the root is very healthy. Now the tree is bigger than when I first bought it. I will prune it this winter and await a new crop of flowers. Sooner's customer service is top notch. I have had several conversations with Brian as to the care and pruning of the redbud. His advice has been thoughtful and accurate. I have consulted him on future aquisitions I plan to make and we have discussed the pros and cons of various plants.
I would buy with confidence from Sooner. There is nothing as valualble as information. Know your planting site and only buy suitable plants. So many people don't do this and they are quickly disappointed. Also, we can't control the weather or Mother Nature. We an only work with her.
Sooner Plant Farm truly came through at a time in need. Being a little late in the season, I was having a difficult time finding the tree I was looking for. My dog recently passed and I had my heart set on "just the right tree" to bury her cremains under. I had never heard of them before, but they had both the trees I had spent all week desperately in search of. I settled on the Lavender Twist Redbud and placed my order.
To my great surprise, not only was it still in stock, but at a price far below what I had been seeing. Even after s&h, ordering from them saved me a lot of money. Which was really nice because I had spent quite a bit of money already caring for a sick and elderly dog.
The tree arrived in perfect form...well, it had a few small spots of transplant shock - not the companies fault though. I'm a novice gardener, so when it started to wilt after planting it, I freaked. This tree means a lot to me. I contacted Sooner Plant Farms and they got right back to me. They were personable and helpful, even giving me a tip on how to care for it.
Within a few hours of steady sunlight, the wilting went away and my tree has been gorgeous ever since.
What I've learned from this experience is should you have problems with one of their plants, it's doubtfully due to the companies treatment and far more likely the cause of your own hand. Sooner Plant Farms will be my first stop for online gardening and I'd happily recommend them to anyone.
Since I live in Bentonville, AR we were able to drive down into Oklahoma to pick up our plant order. Although we had been told all of our order was available, when we got there they were unable to provide some of the things I ordered but made substitutions that I requested after inspecting the shrubs, trees, & vines myself. Overall a very satisfying experience. Plants were of excellent quality & have done very well since they were planted & have been watered on a regular basis. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a family owned business that was willing to understand that they can't always be there to answer the phone when you have a question but are just an e-mail away.
I followed the planting instructions to the letter , but within weeks the bushes were showing signs of failing. I contacted Sooner Farms to find that after 48 hours, you're on your own--Too bad!! NO refund--NO replacements! You're stuck with dead bushes. I have been gardening for 30 years I am no neophite to planting so I would sooner( get it ) blame the growers than myself. Don't go near these people!!! Joyce Counsil
I'm very sorry the plants did not survive. We clearly state in our guarantee: We guarantee the plants received to be true to type, healthy, free of insects and diseases and in good condition. If anything is wrong with the plants when they are received, we will without question refund or replace the plants. As stated in our guarantee and on the planting instructions included with every order is the Warning notice to contact us within 48 hours if anything is wrong with the plants and we will note the problem in our file. We without doubt stand by our written guarantee 100%. Also any orders placed on our website require the customer to check I agree to the written guarantee, before the order can complete. We are very upfront and clear about this.
Once a noted problem is on file we take care of the customer if the plant does not survive.
Again I'm sorry for this customers experience, it seems this forum is almost a blackmail tool for the customer.
Please be aware of the guarantee from any vendor, before you agree to the purchase. Going back later only leads to a bad experience for both parties.
If you have purchased from us in the past and had a positive experience, please take time to post it, we appreciate your comments and support.
Posted on May 20, 2010, updated June 22, 2010
Posted on May 18, 2010, updated May 20, 2010
The shipping was expedient , packaging was ok, and price excellent.
Unfortunately the Maple tree was infected with Leaf symptoms of anthracnose. Most or all the leaves have brown spots and upon further research found it was diseased.
Now in an effort to save the tree additional money will need to be spent for chemicals.
Now they seem to be good with plants, shrubs, and flowers. But just an FYI, it does seem they may have an infection problem with their maple trees.
On May 20th, 2010, Zercon changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Due to the excellent customer support and willingness to come to arrangement that works best for both the customer and the company I'm changing to Neutral.
1st: Contact was made prior to posting the comment. Possibly blocked thinking it was spam? We were able to resolve that issue.
2nd: Like the shipping instructions, keeping the customer informed and aware would limit confusion on plants that could develop symptoms of infections. Informing them in the order of issues as stated in the reply would have lowered my surprise and lead to a positive feedback because I would have been better prepared. Also providing cures or steps to correct issues with plants or trees which may occur after received would limit the customer having to research the issue and provide a better experience for the customer.
I hope this helps, and thank you for the support. On June 22nd, 2010, Zercon changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
As per our agreement on the phone they stated they would update their website to inform customers of the issue with the maples they were sending out being infected. They failed to add any notification to keep the customer updated to this issue.
Changing back to my previous rating as the tree has died and no update was found on their site as per phone discussion.On Jun 22, 2010, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:
"On May 19, 2010 7:41 AM, Sooner Plant Farm (home of Imagine Backyard Trees®) responded with:
Although this tree was inspected by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture before being shipped , we cannot dispute the tree now has leaf spot. Leaf spot is a bacterial disease and the spores of this disease are present everywhere, on every nursery and in every garden. When conditions are favorable like cool /moist and rainy the spots will develop on plant leaves. Although this seldom results into a serious health problem the spots are unsightly and should be treated. We spray the nursery with fungicides to help control the disease, although in spring with continual cool wet rainy conditions, it is almost impossible for a nursery, landscape or garden to avoid any leaf spot. Unfortunately when we ship the plants in dark boxes this can cause the leaf spot to develop rapidly. The cure is a fungicide spray, avoid wet conditions especially at night and improving air circulation. We send a care sheet in each order and ask our customers to contact us immediately of any problems with the plants they receive. Unfortunately for us this forum, is the only correspondence we have had with this customer at this time. I will attempt to contact them by phone, in hopes to resolve this problem. We appreciate our customer comments both positive and negative as they both help us provide better products and services.
We have put the tree variety that is in question on shipping hold until a release from our Department of Agriculture has been obtained.
If you have any questions regarding this or any other matter, please feel free to contact us.