When I owned in DC, I ordered only a few times from Burpee and had a good experience. Now moving to a house in VA with a lot more space to garden, I ordered from them and several other companies. After a week and a half and no order (I received all my other orders from 4 other companies), I called to find out the status and learn that because I ordered by plants "late" they would not be shipped out for another 2-3 weeks (order placed on morning of 21st).
I asked where on the website did it say for Zone 6 my order was "late", she tried to find and I actually end up finding that my order which was for perennials was order 9 days within the time period and even within the correct time period if they were all annuals. She indicated that to have it shipped at this time, I would have had to order back in January...ah...that makes no sense.
I then asked to cancel my order and was told that my order was filled and sitting in the nursery waiting for shipment...huh (then why has it not shipped???)...and if it ships out and is not canceled I will have to send it back to them. At this point, I mentioned that that was ridiculous. You won't ship my order within the 7-10 business days as indicated in my receipt but if you ship late after my request to cancel...I have to make arrangements to ship back??? She finally talked to her "manager" and said my order would be canceled.
There are too many companies that clearly state when they will or will not ship to you to deal with this kind of bs. I won't even buy burpee's seeds in the store due to this poor customer service and mishandling of my order. I am extremely disappointed.
On May 27, 2007, saintartaud Kansas City, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:
I've placed 2 orders with this company over the last year and a half, generally with good results.
Last year, I ordered some Brandywine tomatoes, a variety of jalepeno pepper, Connecticut field pumpkins, catnip, basil, and a fern. Of the vegetables, the peppers were the only vegetable that produced, but this was probably due more to a fungus infestation and the weather than seed quality. The free packet of mini-greens I received did well too. The fern plant arrived rather dried-out and nothing I tried was able to remedy. Since then, I've decided to avoid purchasing any bareroot plants via mail order--too risky. I'll add that the order shipped very quickly and was well packaged.
This year's order has done much better. In particular, the Johnny-jump-ups, which have weathered less than optimal condition. The Swiss chard, impatiens, cucumber, etc. have all done just as well, and I have no complaints overall. Have not been able to plant the dolichos or alyssum, so can't report on those results yet.
I'm giving them a positive rating, despite my problems with the fern, since the majority of my experience with them has been good. Their seeds are a bit more expensive than some other companies, but IMO worth it.
I have dealt with Burpee for years and this is the first bad experience I have had. This was an online order and it took a week to get a confirmation of my order. My plants were placed sideways in a box that said "This Side Up" and the box was shipped to me sideways, meaning the plants were shipped upside down! The Red Lightning tomatoes were all broken and didn't survive the trip. Too bad. I particularly wanted those. Surprisingly enough, everything else is now thriving. I am delighted that, after three years of trying, I now have two healthy rhubarb plants.
On June 4th, 2007, the2diehls changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Burpee made good the three plants that couldn't survive and added three plants each of two other varieties (to fill out the box, they said). All plants arrived tall and healthy with minimal soil spillage. Once again, I'm a believer.On May 23, 2007, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
On May 23, 2007 4:22 PM, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) added:
I work for Burpee and would like to apologize for your poor Burpee experience. Can you provide me with your name and zip code and we will ship out new plants right away or refund the cost of your plants. Please send your information to [e-mail:PHofer@Burpee.com]. Also, if you are going to make rhubarb pie, my Mom has a great receipe I can send you.
On Apr 28, 2007, Flower_Child21 Alexandria, VA wrote:
After reading the comments from other gardeners, I was quite worried about ordering plants from Burpee. However, I couldn't find yellow impatients elsewhere, so I ordered them from Burpee this winter. They just arrived, and they look great. The packaging was excellent, and the plants are healthy. I'll buy from them again.
On Apr 16, 2007, rucereus Carpentersville, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
I will start with a neutral rating as I haven't received the plants I ordered. As far as my experience with their seeds, the cosmos are doing well, the zinnias did not do a thing, and Saturday I planted more Zinnias, white wedding and envy. Will wait to see what happens there. I also noticed the packets of seeds did not contain the full amount ,they were all short a significant amount of seeds. Hopefully I will be able to change the rating to a positive after seeing what the new seeds do and the delivery of the impatients.
On May 22nd, 2007, rucereus added the following:
I'll leave my rating at neutral. The second batch of zinnia seeds were a bust also.I will chalk it up to my inexperience with seed propogation. The impatients arrived Friday. Very small but at the price I paid it's what I expected.They do have great root systems. All in all don't think I'd order from them again.
On Apr 14, 2007, rabbitrunfarm Alburtis, PA wrote:
i received 2 orders of perennial plants: one was very nicely packaged, the other had quite a bit of soil spillage and the plant tags had fallen out so i needed to do some guessing about what was what. an emailed inquiry about zone recommendations for a pampas grass they offered went unanswered. i would still order from them, but cautiously.
An off-season internet search in the winter of 2007, established Burpee as offering the best price on Reflective Red Mulch Film in the 100’ by 4’ quantities. My on-line order for this product arrived within 10-days without incident, in adequate, if not exceptional packaging.
I would not look to Burpee as my seed vendor, but would use them in the future for similar purchases.
On Mar 12, 2007, Allie88 Palmyra, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I went against my better judgment in ordering from this company. I had read the reviews on this site, but I was so intrigued by some of their seed offerings. I placed the order on Feb. 25 and on March 8 I had still not received the order, although it was only for a few packs of seeds and I live in the same state as the warehouse. When I did finally get them (on March 10, 2007) the pelletized pentas seeds were completely crushed and no longer pelletized. The torenia seeds were completely missing. There were no seeds in the packet whatsoever. I will call them about that, but by the time they come it will be too late to start them. So, the lesson I have learned is that I will pay very close attention to the Dave's Garden reviews from now on!!
On February 25th, 2009, Allie88 added the following:
2 years later...I decided to try once again, because I love their selection of white marigolds. What a bummer...their minimum shipping is $6.95!! For 3 seed packets I would have had to pay $20. This would take my average cost for each packet close to $7. Ridiculous!! I wish someone else would sell white marigolds. Until someone does I guess I won't be growing them.On Mar 12, 2007, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
On Mar 13, 2007 11:33 AM, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) added:
I work for Burpee and would like to apologize for your poor Burpee experience. Can you provide me with your name and zip code and we will ship your seeds out right away. Please send your information to PHofer@Burpee.com
It was a good one!
My seeds may or may not havve been in the big boxes with tomato cages. Burpees's took me at my word.
Coukd I have missed them? Sure, but i wanted them bad, so not likely.
My past dealings were uneventful, and that's how it should be.
After 20 years plus buying from Burpee, I can't do it any longer.
1- Their guarantee only works if they (Burpee) respond to your comments/complaints
2 - In 2005, after taking my order, and not receiving anything for 4 weeks, I called and was informed that my entire order was being held due to one iten (seed starting formula) was not available, whne my order finally arrived, several of the items I ordered were not included, with a note that they were no longer available.
3 - In 2006 upon receipt of my order, I was informed that one item was no longer available. Also, germination rates were unacceptable (compared to seeds purchased from other providers) - Biker Billy peppers (excellent peppers) - a total of 4 seeds germinated out of a packet; New Guinea Impatients - 6 seeds germinated out of a packet. I also ordered their new Salsa Tomato, and as plants grew, it became obvious when fruit set, that not all plants were "Salsa" tomatoes - half of my plants were of some other variety all from the same seed packet, which were terrible.
I emailed and called Burpee to inform of my experience, and they provided no solution nor did they respond to my emails.
I recommend Territorial Seed - Far Superior experience with product and service.
On Dec 21, 2006, PoconoPlants Jim Thorpe, PA wrote:
As Christmas approached, I was looking for a different gift for a few friends. I received an email from Burpee with a pitch for "The World's Greatest Ketchup" - so that looked promising. Ordered a couple for some friends and one for myself. Shipping was FAST. I received my order within a few days and my friends called right after I received mine. I thought the ketchup was very good and my friends loved it. The ketchup come in 4 bottles with 4 different flavors. All are good.
Decided to try Burpee this year. Ordered some plants and they arrived in fairly good shape and at the right time for planting. The packaging is cardboard with some stuffing inside that is supose to hold the soil, however, some of the soil had fallen out The plants did well, however. Ordered throught the internet and it was fast and easy that way.
I have been a long time customer of Burpee and have always had good results with its products and the customer service has always been outstanding. This year has been no different. All the seeds that I had ordered in the spring had good germination and the yields from the tomatoes and peppers were greater than ever before..... Keep up the good work!
CLEOME did well/ok-the ones that germinated- 5 from the packet
The directions on the package did not indicate stratification needed-though I found this out afterwards while researching on internet, since many seeds did not germinate, apparently stratification helps.. and directions to do that on the seed package would help too:)
DAHLIA -ordered "CACTUS flowered Dahlia seeds" packet arrived with label "Cactus Flowered" Dahlia, but they grew to be small dwarf variety, nice flowers, but NOT Cactus, maybe they were Unwin or Rigoletto, 12" tall, not 3-4'
ASPARAGUS BEAN [yard long] and they never made any beans, just foliage, although other beans from other providers grown alongside did fine, not sure what happened
I wouldn't say totally screaming crazy negative, but the mislabeled seeds and the poor growing directions aren't" A+" either
I wasn't able to determine that they were bad beans or bad dahlias until end of season.. oh well.. but they did offer a refund without any problem, and there as a courteous email w/ apology
Will see how long it takes to get refund/credit -that would probably swing my vote to poz or neg
I've ordered seeds from Burpee more than once, and I've never had any trouble getting them to grow. I've only had two problems with them: they once sent me an empty packet of strawberry seeds, and I also ordered Walls O' Water from them once, and one had a broken tube. I suppose the former was probably a glitch in the system, and has not happened again. The latter was probably the manufacturer's fault, not Burpee's. I never tried to get replacements for these.
Total disappointment! For what they charge maybe they could say when something's no longer available! Why would I waste my time ordering something when they don't have it! But they don't tell you that! Never again!!
On Aug 29, 2006, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
On Nov 1, 2006 9:52 AM, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) added:
We tried to contact Plantactic to get information on what they ordered, but they have not provided us with any details. At W. Atlee Burpee, we pride ourselves on providing, up-to-date inventory information on our website. We will remove any items that become out of stock. Furthermore, W. Atlee Burpee provides a 100% satisfaction guarantee - if at anytime during the first year, you are not satisfied with your product, we will promptly refund or provide a replacement for you.
On Aug 25, 2006, Niere Chepachet, RI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I planted Burpee's "Zinnia Giant-Flowered Series" and the flowers have been absolutely beautiful--I will definitely plant them again not only for the beautiful color and long-bloom time, but for the butterflies as well.
I also ordered some trellis netting from them and their customer service was knowledgeable and friendly. They were the only place I could find that had the trellis netting in the size I wanted. The netting arrived within a few days and I was very happy with their service.
Thus far my experience with them has been nothing but positive.
They gave refunds on their ultimate growing system when it was proven that it was not reusable. I've had good luck with germinating seeds, but their plants have not given me the best of luck. That's probably my fault - first year veggie gardener here. But for all the embellishment they give lackluster products on their website and catalogue (like for the tasteless red-lightning tomato), seedling packets are suprisingly stark, and once for the Kong sunflower, wrong. Also, both my best friend and I ordered about 9 tomato plants between us, all of which failed in the end - and it is beyond me why after ordering at about the same time and living only ~20 miles apart, hers arrived almost a month before mine. Their herb seeds were generally good though, and my Cherokee Purple seeds grew to give me delicious tomatoes.
I grew up with Burpee. As a youngster I spent much time looking thru their catalog and have so many nostalgic memories of the vegetables and annual flowers that I raised from Burpee seeds with my family back in Ohio. I and most of my extended family now live here in California and have continued to patronize Burpee through the years ....until now!
Several years ago Burpee purchased Heronswood Nursery. For those of you not familiar with Heronswood, Heronswood was the premier nursery in this country for rare and unusual plants. Dan Hinckley, the former owner, was the man responsible for so many of these introductions. Their catalog was a jewel in and of itself, just a wonderful read. Now Burpee bought the place and trashed the whole operation. The catalog was reduced to some glossy piece of garbage a fraction of the size of the former catalog. The former witty writing style was replaced with bland commercial script. Now they've closed the entire operation under the guise of wanting to better serve their national gardening audience. How was the dismantling of this treasure in the best interest of any gardener in any part of the country?
I and my family will never again buy anything from W. Altee Burpee !
I recently ordered six plants from them. I ordered late and the plants came in during 100 degree days. They were in shock and I lost one of the six. The three Brandy Boys recovered the quickest. They were nice plants and a good size. The only complaint I would have is they shipped by UPS and it took 6 days in the heat. If I ever order again will ask for another shipper and if that isn't possible I may not order. I never called them and asked for a refund on the one that didn't make it. I thought their shipping was very reasonable and their plants were as cheap as most I've looked at and packed a lot better. Of the mail order places I've done business with I would rate them in the top 3.
On November 4th, 2006, elkwc36 added the following:
Five of the six plants made it and did very well. Then in August I placed an order for seeds and they arrived quickly and well packed. Better than most of the message board favorites I've tried. Highly recommend them. On April 19th, 2008, elkwc36 added the following:
Ordered seeds again this year. Germination excellent. Around 98% I think. Their seeds may be a little higher but worth it for the germination rates they consistently get. Also the Brandyboy and Porterhouse are two of my better hybrids. Highly recommend for seeds. JD
On Jun 11, 2006, pookerella Bellmore, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:
I like Burpee. They are not good for everything, but they are a large company and have great customer service. Just tell them, this plant died, and they PROMPTLY either credit your card or send out a new one. They are LIGHTNING fast with shipment. On the negative side, they do run out rather quickly, seemingly quicker than most nurseries. I have not really had any bad experiences with them. Everything has been pretty good. I don't think they are that expensive; certainly cheaper than a lot of nurseries, and you obviously get what you pay for. Their plants, though a little smaller, seem to always grow....about 90% with my experience. I purchased quite a lot from them and only had 2 plants die on me. Their packaging is very good. Seeds are very fresh, though, a bit pricey and in plain bags. I would prefer the photo packaging considering the cost.
I recently ordered quite a few plants from Burpee. As a positive, they do have a very good selection. Most of my plants were fine. However, I ordered a hibiscus which never shipped with the order. When I called about it, they said it would ship from somewhere else. The package did eventually arrive, however the 4" sprig was just loose in a small pot. The dirt had completely come out due to poor packaging. I attempted to revive the plant, but it had been days without soil or moisture - so you know the outcome.
As a second positive, I called Burpee to complain and their customer service was excellent. They told me my account would be credited and it was. I could not help but think, though, that if I were ever in a nursery, I'd never pay $10.00 for a 4" sprig.
I have ordered from several companies and Burpee had to be the worst of all with packaging plants. Every plant was out of the container and the dirt was everywhere in the box. Although the plants are growing I hope they improve on their system of pleasing the customer.
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 Milton, MA (Zone 6a) 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