I always thought Burpee was just a seed company. But last fall, I noticed they had very desirable perennials. I placed an order with them and was very surprised. The entire order contained the largest mail-order perennials I had ever seen. Big, tall, leafy plants. I am very satisfied and will order again.
I ordered 3 perilla plants from Burpee. I think the plants might have been in good condition when they left Burpee's nursery. However, by the time they got here only one plant was in good condition. Both of the other plants had branches broke off and laying in the dirt in the bottom of the shipping carton. Burpee ships in cardboard boxes which does little to protect the plants. Even though they said they will refund me the money, I am still out the plants and it is too late to replace them.
On May 22, 2006, alevy1954 Camden, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:
Positive so far, I ordered 117 plants from Burpee. I received 9 flower plants early in the season and they are doing great.
I just got the bulk of my order and I was missing 3 tomato plants and 18 flowers. They told me that they were very sorry and that they could not ship them because they were out of stock. They told me they would give me a refund. I also inquired about 3 tomato plants that looked questionable. They told me if they died to give them a call and they would also be happy to refund my money. Ordering on-line was very simple, and when I called about my order I was not on the phone more than 5 mins. If they do refund my money. I will be pretty satisfied.
On May 30th, 2006, alevy1954 added the following:
The money was in my account the next day and the 3 questionable plants are perky and doing just fine!
On May 13, 2006, White_Hydrangea Aurora, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:
A very strong NEGATIVE regarding Burpee, and I will never deal with them again. After a month and countless e-mails regarding my order that never showed up (most of which went unanswered), I still don't have the seed potatoes and garlic bulbs that I ordered. They falsely claimed that they delivered them, but there's zero indication of that, only their word, which is obviously worthless.
I just bought a new house, and for the first time in my life I have my own garden! Or I will once I fertilize, compost, cultivate, water, weed...etc. I was so looking forward to starting my first vegetable garden. I haven't worked on a vegetable garden since I was a little girl planting alongside my grandmother.
And Burpee, singlehandedly, ruined it for me. That, and they stole $50 out of my pocket, so I can't afford to replace their order via another company. So this year I look at weeds and dead dirt instead of potatoes and garlic.
Stay away! They once may have been a reputable company, but they aren't any longer.
On May 24th, 2006, White_Hydrangea added the following:
Burpee has still not deigned to speak to me or refund my money. It's too late to plant now. Even reporting them to the BBB didn't wring a response from them. They just don't care. They have my money, and I have NOTHING! If I could rate them more negative than I have, I would.On May 28th, 2006, White_Hydrangea added the following:
IT WAS NEVER DELIVERED! And you DON'T have evidence that it was delivered to me. Did I sign for it? Did I open my door and take the package out of the delivery man's hand? NO! Because it didn't happen. And that still doesn't excuse the uncaring, inattentive customer service or the lofty attitude. My first planting season in my first garden in my first house is RUINED, thank you very much. If you don't feel that you should be bothered with customer service or satisfaction, then don't be surprised when customers no longer care to bother about your company.On May 13, 2006, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
On May 24, 2006 11:00 AM, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) added:
We here at Burpee are proud of our customer service. Your order was shipped from our facility on 04/28/2006 by UPS. The UPS tracking number for your order shows that it was delivered to your front door on 05/03/2006 at 8:41 AM. Have you checked with your neighbors? Even though we have evidence that it was delivered to you, we issued a refund to your credit card on 05/10/2006. We cannot control what happens after an order leaves our facility, so consider that, before you vent your anger to us or any other merchant you deal with. "
Last year I had ordered Lisianthus plants...the order I received was a mess. When I opened the box all I could see was a box of dirt. The plants all came out of the cell packs and I actually had to dig through to find them. I immediately called Customer Service and my plants were replaced. The second shipment was in somewhat better condition...I babied the seedlings and had a nice result.
I gave Burpee's another chance this Spring and again ordered Lisianthus seedlings. Each and every one of them was perfect. I replanted them into some larger cellpacks and they're doing just fine.
I've also ordered seeds from them and have had no problems...they've arrived quickly and provided me with excellent results.
I'll absolutely order the seedlings again next year. I am very happy I gave them another try this year. I was not disappointed.
On May 12, 2006, healsing New York, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:
I recently ordered 3 Brandywine tomato plants from Burpee's internet site. I added some plant labels to make the shipping charge palatable. They did not have the plants at the time of shipping and shipped the plant labels with a note in the box merely stating that the plants were unavailable. Now I understand that cash flow is important but I do not understand why an item remains on a website that is not available. Burpee went through the trouble of putting a note in the box...would it have been so difficult to send an e-mail before shipping the partial order advising me that the plants were not available, giving me the option to cancel? I called Burpee and they did credit back my card but they can't compensate me for the inconvenience, the aggravation and the time I've wasted. Of course I can't find the brandywines at local nurseries. In the "computer age" inventories are easy to track and so Burpee I give you a negative for putting cash flow before people and ethics.
This company is the pits.. It took forever to get through to customer service to place an order. apparently I'm not the ony one. They took the order for seeds & plants with the seeds comeing a few days later. The plants weren't so lucky. Either the company or the shipping department have a problem filling orders. Only half the order came on the shipping date that was promised . I tried calling customer service & never got through, only because I later found out they only have one person to answer incoming calls. I live near their Warminster place so I went down there. Even bigger problem. The place is enormus but it's surrounded by a chain link fence & you have to go through the guard at the entrance. The office door is locked so that you need someone to let you in & that's where I found out they have one telephone operator. She called her boss who had to call someone else who finally admitted they never got my plant that was ordered. I got a refund in the mail the next month but after all this I'm staying away from Burpee's.
On Apr 14, 2006, carrielamont Euless, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
Well, nothing's bloomed yet, but I ordered three flowering perennials, they all got here at the right time and they look great. Especially the chrysanthemum sheffield, which I have been scouring the web for; I finally paid for it and it's looking terrific, for April! I don't do seeds yet. LOL.
On Apr 11, 2006, MelJayTanner Rochester, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
I ordered a bunch of seeds, some Perilla and a Verbascum from Burpee. The seeds arrived within a timely manner well packaged. Unfortunately the Perilla was out of stock, but I received a refund check in the mail right away so I didn't really have time to be disappointed. The Verbascum arrived yesterday, good packaging, moist soil, looking good with just a few dead leaves which I promptly trimmed . I would definitely order from this company again, especially because they were so quick to tell me they were out of an item instead of me finding out weeks (or months) later.
On December 9th, 2006, MelJayTanner added the following:
The seeds did great, particularly the nasturtiums...they went crazy, definitely the best variety we've tried so far (Fordhooks blend). The Verbascum bloomed all summer and right up till frost, we will be ordering more next spring.On December 8th, 2007, MelJayTanner added the following:
I just want to say, I ordered nasturtium seeds from elsewhere and they didn't even measure up to burpee's. Burpee's spread faster, had more leaves, and bloomed earlier.
On Mar 17, 2006, lafko06 Brimfield, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:
I ordered tomato seeds and Biker Billy pepper seeds. I have already started my seeds and every tomato seed has come up. The pepper seeds have not come up yet, but it has only been 14 days, so maybe I will get lucky. I will only update this experience if I get seedlings on the peppers.
On March 21st, 2006, lafko06 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Okay, my pepper seeds have come up and after further research, it is common for pepper seeds to take longer than tomato seeds. So all of my seeds have now germinated from this company. I will definitely order again.On May 12th, 2006, lafko06 added the following:
Excellent results in both my pepper and eggplant seeds. I won't put them out for a couple more weeks, but I am thrilled with the health and exceptional germination from these seeds. TY burpee
I have ordered annual and perennial flowers seeds from this company for three years and found that they offer a good selection of seeds at reasonable prices. I typically get great germination rates and grow strong plants from their seeds.
My only complaint with this company is how they package pelleted seeds.
I ordered Dragon Wing Begonia seeds last year and when I opened the seed packet, all of the pellets were crushed. I tried to sow the powder that was left but had minimal germination. I contacted Burpee and to their credit they sent replacement seeds promptly - but those were also crushed.
I ordered the Dragon Wing Begonia seeds again this year and only some of pellets were crushed. Still frustrating but better than last year.
I think that they should consider a change to the packaging to better protect the fragile pellets. Both Parks and Jung seem to do a better job of packaging their pelleted seeds.
I will still continue to order from Burpee but I will likely order the Dragon Wing seeds from another company next year.
On Mar 8, 2006, swineinsanity Graham, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:
I bought seeds on thier website. I recieved them. They germinated. They were shipped fast, so I didn't have to wait long and got my full order, plus some information on seed starting. I was very happy with my transaction and plan on visiting again. Thank you.
My seed order was shipped quickly--I think I got it in less than a week. Ordered seeds last year and also had good luck. I have not ordered plants, which seem to be the main problems others are citing.
On Feb 22, 2006, calypsa Plymouth, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I have ordered a few times from Burpee over the last several years. Their catalogue is a lot of fun to read through, and I always get sucked in to buying new seeds to try.
Our most recent order just arrived today. Items (seeds and seed-starting tools) were nicely packaged. The shipping prices were reasonable and delivery was quick. So long as the rest of our order, some young impatiens, arrive as promised in the spring and our seeds have a good germination rate, we will definitely continue to be repeat customers.
On Feb 12, 2006, BlackDogFarm Petersburg, KY wrote:
In the spring of 2005 we ordered from several seed companies so that we could compare the products of each. The seeds from Burpee were more expensive than those from Gurney's and Ferry Morse and we felt they were less productive. All were treated to identical conditions, and identical watering. The Burpee seeds simply did not produce as well. These were planted at our farm in Ohio in extremely rich river bottom soil and were watered regularly.
I've just had rather good experience with this company, despite some problems with their web site. I did not get an automatic confirmation that my order was received, but when I contacted their customer service people they were able to find and confirm the order. Ok, it took a couple of days to exchange email, but nothing out of the ordinary. It took 2 weeks to get the seed, again, not bad. And some of the seeds I planted 5 days ago have already sprouted!
Last year I ordered around $50 in seeds from Burpees well within the time alotted to receive in time for my area. Weeks went by and nothing showed up so I emailed them with my acct number and the date I had mailed the order/payment. I was told they were on there way. I wait another couple of weeks (as indicated by them) and still nothing by then it is summer/late spring and I still have nothing. I called and again I'm reassured that my order was on the way and that they'd send a replacement order. Again the waiting game, finally I'm told by the customer rep that they had mistaken my order from the year before and that they'd never received the order which is why I'd contacted them to begin with. So therefore I ended up going to a nursery and trying to find the pumpkins we needed for my daughter's kindergarden.
I'll be sticking with Gurney's, their plants may look half dead when you receive them but at least I get them!
On August 8th, 2007, chyna added the following:
I certainly learned my lesson but apparently my dh wasn't listening to me and ordered $100 in seeds from these people. Yes I got them this year however I would say that maybe 10-25% of the seeds even sprouted.
Come on these aren't fussy plants we ordered seeds for! Cosmos and marigolds are about the easiest things on earth to plant or start and I got none of them. Poppies grown wild around here and nothing from them either, zinnias are a bit zip. The sunflowers aren't even growing and I have volunteers from years ago still showing up all over the place around my yard. I just wanted to make sure I got some of the fancier ones and to start another sunflower forest. I will never and I mean never order a packet of seeds from this company again. And if my dh orders from them I'm going to lock him outside with the planting soil and shovels. I'd rather buy the lesser packets from Wal-mart and be out less money.
The rep has been apologetic about the seeds not starting but has also been condescending. I could care less that lanterns don't get big until the second year, they didn't start at all. so from nothing I'll have a bigger nothing the second year? On August 21st, 2007, chyna added the following:
After much emailing back and forth Burpees is going to refund us the money we were out for ALL the flowers we ordered. I don't htink she is refunding me the money for some of them since me telling her that all that came up were tomatoes, pumpkins and some geraniums but fine whatever just give me some of my money back so I can go elsewhere.
Never, never again will I waste my money and time with this company.
On Feb 10, 2006, 3boysmom Vicksburg, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:
I placed a small $30 order of seeds only. It took 3 weeks to receive it, although my credit card was charged the day after the order was placed. Nowhere on the site did it say that seeds could only be shipped after certain dates. I really doubt the mail could take that long. I am not too impressed.
In the spring of 2004 I ordered a set of tomato cages, three big mama hybrid tomatos, and several packs of seeds.
I did not have any issues with customer service or the web site. I have used the tomato cages the last two years and they are very sturdy. The tomatos arrived in excellent condition and provided plenty of tomatos throughout the season. The seeds were good as well.
On Feb 1, 2006, DanaDW Pahrump, NV (Zone 8a) wrote:
I order from many companies and 99% of the time have had excellent luck. Burpee unfortunately is one of the few exceptions.
Thinking my initial bad experience may have been my own fault or a fluke and because I do garden in a very challenging climate I did place a small order a second year, being very careful to order plants I knew to be extremely well-adapted to my area. Every plant promptly died, including every single bulb. I'm assuming this is due to a) worst packaging I've seen to date and b) my climate.
People in other climates may have better luck with them but all in all there are too many better nurseries to bother with this one.
On Jan 21, 2006, pooklette Janesville, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:
I ordered seeds from Burpee twice within the last six months or so. Each time, my order was shipped promptly and packaged well. I received my seeds less than 10 days after submitting my online order. Their website was easy to navigate and the checkout process quite simple. Overall, I was very pleased with my experience with Burpee and will order seeds from them again in the future.
I ordered some viola plants on Sept. 8, 2005 and did not receive them until Oct. 6 which I thought was a little slow. However the weather was unusually hot in Sept. so I thought that might have caused the delay. The plants arrived in decent shape except for poor root development which disappointed me considering the cost. They did include 5 free copper plant markers which were very nice.
I received my 2 orders right on time. The perennial plants were beautiful, really big and the shasta daisy is blooming.
All the plants were well rooted and the prices were fair -- Burpee ships a one-year-old perennial, the same as I would buy at a garden store for more money.
Both my tomato plants and flowers arrived the week before Mothers' Day. I love their tomato-growing tips/instruction sheet with lots of good information. I had no problem with the quality, and they had great root systems.
I am most pleased with Burpee using all recyclable products for their packaging: no plastic bags or peanuts, and their tomato package is fantastic.
On Jun 3, 2005, Biker1 McLean, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I have purchased seeds from Burpee's for years and years. The quality and selection are great. The reason for the neutral is that, like the other reviewers, I have received poorly packaged plants on the edge of death. This year I asked for a refund which was quickly and cheerfully given. Burpee's should really learn how to package plants properly.
Last year I ordered seeds and was very happy with them. This year, I ordered seeds again and a tomato plant collection.
The seeds, as before, did very well, almost 100% "took". The exception is some pole bean seeds. Started 2 weeks ago sowing beans and as of today I have 5 little bean plants coming up out of over 50 seeds.
The only thing stopping me leaving a positive for Burpee is the plants I received. Terrible! Small plants for price (averages about $3 each), out of the pots, one had only one side stem that was not broken! I am nursing that plant back to health (may not get any tomatoes, short growing season, but gotta try.)
On May 24, 2005, boilermaker2000 Gilbert, AZ wrote:
I have the same complaint as many other people - the packaging. I ordered Lisianthus plants this year, and all but one plant had been tossed from their packaging and consquently died. I sent an email including a picture to Burpee, and they issued a refund, although I did have to call them to find out that a refund had actually been issued.
On a positive note, because I ordered early I got two free packages of seed. My seeds germinated quickly and I have several productive cucumber plants and a nice patch of mixed flowers (mainly zinnias) as a result.
I will stick to ordering seeds and supplies from Burpee, but I don't plan on ordering live plants again.
On May 22, 2005, GingerC Murrells Inlet, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:
I wish this company would find a better way to package their live plants. The plastic tray is o.k., but the clips do nothing to keep the dirt where it belongs....with the plants. I've had this problem with them in the past and wasn't going to order this year, but they had a few varieties I couldn't resist. So I ordered a dozen of each (the minimum), and received healthy seedlings, but alot of them had no soil around their roots.
On May 11, 2005, Vashur Wichita, KS (Zone 6b) wrote:
I am a long time customer of Burpee(1975) but this was the first year I ordered live plants. My seeds came right away but since Burpee doesn't confirm orders I just had to look through the catalog to find out when to expect my herb plants. They did come today and ontime I might add. The packaging was less than adequate to say the least but the plants are all still alive. I have read a lot of the comments here about the Burpee live plants and I must say that this is the only place I have ordered premium priced plants where the packaging was inadequate. They use kind of an egg crate deal which keeps the pots immobile but does nothing to keep the soil in the pot. This seems like a simple thing to correct but evidently not...
For the second year in a row, I have received two separate shipments of poorly packaged tomato plants that were much the worse for wear after an eight-day cross-country trip in poor packaging.
The first batch, last month, contained three plants that had tumbled out of their pots and were tangled together within the inner packing material. The second batch of three, which arrived yesterday, was dry as a bone and, most likely, irretrievably wilted. One of the plants was DOA and another is in intensive care. I doubt I'll be able to save it. The third will probably make it.
I have for many years ordered seed from Burpee with good results. The last couple of years I've ordered plants out of convenience. I love Burpee's exclusive varieties, but they're not much good to me when they arrive dead or so severely damaged that they fail to thrive when planted.
I'm sure they will offer me a refund, they did last year when the wrong plants arrived in one shipment and damaged plants arrived in another. However, my concern is that year after year they seem to do nothing to improve the quality of their shipping or take into account that no plant should spend eight days in a dark, dry box. Other mail-order plant companies I do business with ship from regional growers, so transit time is minimized to a couple of days max. They also use superior packing methods and the items arrive in very good condition.
This is probably the last year I'll order plants from Burpee.
On May 5, 2005, 75751 Fort Mill, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:
I rate Burpee a positive based on the fall planted
bulbs that I have ordered from them. All have been
beautiful this spring (tulips, iris, daffodills, crocus). I would order from them again based on the results of these bulbs.
I had a similar negative experience to others listed. Last year I bought plants from Burpees. I also made a purchase from Krazy Keiths at the same time. The plants from Burpees were all but dead and were packaged very poorly. I planted them, hoping to salvage at least something. None were saved. All the plants from Krazy Keiths are alive, well and starting to bloom again this spring. I was very disappointed as I had purchased Burpee seeds for years and had always felt they were an honest, reliable company. I won't purchase from them again as I feel they must know they are sending out junk and apparently don't care. Buyer beware!
On May 4, 2005, dianeleonik Cape May Court House, NJ wrote:
I am a brand new Dave's Garden member. While I have not ordered anything from Burpee since last spring, I was a very long time customer of Burpee's and wanted to share my experience. I always ordered hard to find vegetable and flower seeds every spring from Burpee. My seed order always arrived promptly and the seeds grew fine. Then I ordered canna lilies last spring. Half of the canna lilies arrived rotted. I contacted Burpee's by e-mail, multiple times to request a replacement for the rotted cannas which were "guaranteed" according to their catalog. Burpee's didn't even respond to my e-mail's and I certainly did not receive any replacement cannas. Guarantee's are only as good as the company that offers them.
On May 2, 2005, MarianneJounam Somerville, MA wrote:
I have had very good luck with Burpee's seeds. The quality seems to be very reliable. The only seed-related complaints I have are that the seed selection in garden centers is nothing like the selection in the catalog, and the seeds ordered from the catalog do not have the picture of the plant on it. I have not had a good experience with their plants, however. The plants I ordered arrived as if a bomb had exploded inside the package. There was soil and pieces of plants everywhere. A refund was no problem, but I wanted the plants!. Not worth the risk to order plants from Burpee!
We received package of yellow watermelon and Black Krim tomatoes seeds. I planted them indoors in Ferry Morse "greenhouse". It has been over 3 weeks and seeds are still sitting in the soil, did not germinated. I am dissapointed since we paid almost $5 for 10 seeds of watermelon ( my husband wanted that specific kind of watermelon). I had a great experience with Ferry Morse tomatoes seeds from Walmart! Those plants are ready to set blossom!!!
Last year I order several seed varieties and the special 18 pack of Lisianthus. The seeds came within a few days of my order and the lisianthus arrived at the appropriate time for planting.
The seeds were fabulous. I grew my first lavender from seed and it even bloomed non stop the first year. I have tried to start lavender for several years running with no luck. Of the lavender I started, admittedly only about 50% germinted in my less than perfect starting conditions however I lost 0 to dampening off or any other perils.
The lisianthus unfortunatly was pretty beat up when it arrived. I don't think it was poorley packaged it looked more like someone had shaken the box up and down and then stomped on it. I don't think Burpee was negligent it was just one of those things. When I called customer service they immediatly refunded my credit card, sight unseen. I don't know if I will buy live plants through the mail again - seems iffy and there is great stuff available locally - however I will use Burpee for seeds again especially if they increase their selection of heirloom veggies.
On Apr 14, 2005, bleuayna College Station, TX wrote:
Experience is two edged. This was my first online gardening order so I didn't know what to expect. I ordered some seeds and some tomato plants back in December. Within 10 business days I recieved my seed order. It was complete as ordered. I was slightly surprised that my intire order was not on the invoice (the tomato plants) with a marking to say they would be shipped in spring sometime. Come April, after it started to be gardening weather, the tomato plants arrived in horrible condition. I opened the box and pulled out the packing box, dirt fell out everywhere. Once inside the plant packing box, the tomato plants were out of their containers, the dirt was bone dry to the point that the roots were bare and were starting to shrivel up. I placed them back in their pots and filled it with my own dirt in attempts to save them. They still look sickly, but they seem to be making a slow recovery. I called the company to complain about the shipping method and to let them know that packaging was insufficient when shipping through ups. Was told that it was standard shipping practice. I will not be ordering live plants again from them until they get their shipping straightened out.