Posted on February 26, 2015, updated March 5, 2015
I have been a customer of this company since the early 1980\'s, and have always found them to be a good source of seed and and having a very good selection. My problem is, starting about six years ago I noticed their prices rapidly increasing, much more than the other 20 or so companies I order from. It is now at the point where Burpee seed cost is more than double, sometimes triple, the price for the same exact seed varieties from all other sources! I don\'t see how they can stay in business with this practice, with most of their seeds costing 5 to six dollars a pack!!! I now order the bulk of my seeds from Jung\'s seed company and several others, who have much more reasonable prices! Check your catalog prices folks, and you will do as I and many of my friends have done, switch!!! Why pay so much more for the same seed?
On March 5th, 2015, designwell changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
While I still think you have a great selection and are all in all a great company, the price issue is still a sore spot for so many people I know and myself! In regards to your response, what I read is that apparently the 20 or so other companies I deal with must know how to manage their business costs 100 to 200 percent better than Burpee, if that is how the seed prices are arrived at! Also, I have noticed that the seed count for the others is mostly the same or perhaps even a little more than Burpee's seed packets. Any one with the catalogs can easily verify this. While I am not pleased at all with the price of your catalog seeds, I have no choice but to order the varieties I can not find elsewhere. I only wish you could lower the prices or offer more discounts!On Mar 5, 2015, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
Burpee’s prices, as with any business, are determined by our costs. This covers research and plant breeding for new and better varieties, production, warehousing, and catalog and distribution expenses. Some varieties are more expensive to produce, and our prices will reflect this.
Burpee sells seed in retail stores, online and through our catalog. When comparing our prices with those of other seed companies for the identical seed variety, or even our retail with our catalog/website prices, the seed count must also be taken into consideration. Typically our retail seed packets contain fewer seeds than our direct mail seed, to reflect different customer needs. We feel there is a market to offer seed for sale through both channels of distribution. Customers can then choose the method of purchase which is the most convenient and satisfying for them. We hope our customers will look at their total order cost, value, quality and our guarantee for customer satisfaction, and feel our pricing is fair.
Thank you for your feedback, as always we appreciate feedback from our customers."
In 2013 I ordered a new Sorbia Sem that showed delicate multicolored leaves, and what was then also a new hardy hibiscus - the midnight variety with dark red/maroon leaves and deep red blooms.
I also ordered several Echinacea for the goldfinches...
In what appears to have been a different order, my husband bought me the Ghost fern / Athyrium.
I noticed that when the Sorbia arrived, it was green. As it grew, it never resembled the image of what I had ordered. All green. I contacted the company with photos, who verified I had been sent another variety, and they offered to ship a new plant at the appropriate planting time. Very well. Worth waiting to get what I'd planned on for that spot in the garden...
The second plant, after arriving, displayed the same traits as the first. All green. Again, not what I ordered. Now I have two, and they are doing well...but not what I ordered, or wanted.
The hibiscus had arrived dormant, so I had to wait and see what that was going to do this year. It sprouted green leaves.
Not supposed to be green leaves. I waited...all green leaves.
Clearly again not the plant I ordered.
Blooms are now forming, so I will soon know what color the flower is, and I am hoping this IS a hardy variety, since it spent the winter inside my greenhouse but it now in the ground.
I have sent another email to customer service with more pictures of what I got, and what I didn't.
All the coneflower died in the ground over the winter, despite my older 'local' plantings having survived.
The only thing I can report as being successful is the Ghost fern. A very slow grower and needing a bit of coddling, it has filled out and looks lovely - true to the image shown on their website.
On Jun 25, 2014, soaringardener Soap Lake, WA wrote:
I gave a neutral experience, because it was not positive and most of the situation was resolved.Bought about $90.00 worth of seed online, and started some indoors. most sprouted, the seeds I planted out doors first of may with temps in 80's ,Corn , watermelon cantalope and honeydew, was poor to no germination, only 2 varieties of corn were reasonable, early sunglow and golden bataam, the peaches and cream was nothing as was all the melons. My garden is all set up with drip irragation on timers and the weather was in the 80's the ground was kept moist and plenty of heat, we live in a semi desert area of the columbia basin in central washington, an agriculture area and the corn was planted the same time as the commercial growers , their fields all did good, my garden was a disaster. contacted burpee and they immediately refunded $55.00 of my order, but that does not fix the lost time, and I have replanted with a different brand of seed, so we will see. WHY so much problem with germination??? I have gardened all my life,I am retired, and I have never had this much problem getting seeds to germinate ! ! ! any body else have that problem???
My first experience buying plants online was with Burpee. My colleague highly recommended this site to me so I purchased a number of plants amounting to almost $500. I shouldn't have but the pretty pictures on their website and a number of positive reviews here made me think that was ok.
First disappointment was that the plants that arrived were small. Not all items had indicated sizes on their website but based on the price I expected at least 4'-6" pots, or equivalent plant size for most of them. No. A lot are 2.5" baby plants, some bare roots (which is fine but I was not expecting it) and a couple of really expensive ones were 4". $34 for a 4" starter plant. Not a good deal.
Second disappointment, a lot of the plants were not ready to be shipped. This should have been made clear. I received plants late spring to early summer, at least a month after I ordered, because apparently they were still growing them. If that was the case I would prefer to have known about it so I know not to order it. I waited 2 months for some plants that came to me so young they did not survive the trip. They sent a replacement for one of them and refunded the rest. The replacement looked exactly the same and died the same way. I did not bother writing again. I've sent several e-mails before and I am just tired.
I was told that this company was a good seed place. I did not buy any seeds from them so I cannot comment if that was really their specialty. All I know is that they are not the best source of live plants. For the prices they charged, you could get 4x the size elsewhere.
I've never had any issues with Burpee customer service or their products, but I am giving them a neutral rating simply because of their outrageous prices - they are one of the highest retailers out there and their prices for most of their seeds is crazy.
Fall 2012 has been my first experience ordering from Burpee.
The bulbs came within acceptable sizes and health. Nothing overly impressive, but not disappointing, either.
My orders from 7/19/12 and 8/7/12 included:
Tulip, Huis Ten Bosch
Tulip, Fire Wings
Foxglove, Rose Shades
Columbine, Origami Red & White
Eragrostis, Purple Love Grass
Astilbe, Astary Mix
Echinacea, Purple Double Delight
Columbine, Lime Sorbet
Lavendar, Lacy Frills
Lily, Checkered Lily
Helleborus, First Cuckoo
The only reason I'm not strictly positive right now is because of customer service. I made a call in to ask about how well their tulips perrenialize. She responded that a supervisor would call me to let me know. They never did. It doesn't matter, now, as I ordered them, anyway. I'll just have to find out from experience. I will probably update it to positive if all of the plants do well or I have good service if they don't.
I will try to remember to update the next few years with how they are doing and anything else I order and how they are doing.
Posted on July 23, 2012, updated July 23, 2012
Posted on July 19, 2012, updated July 23, 2012
Posted on July 7, 2012, updated July 19, 2012
I moved back into gardening territory two years ago. I remember my Dad ordering from Burpee. He always let me grow something from them. Never any problems.
Now that I am back, I have ordered twice from them (two growing seasons in a row). I like their tomato cages, and accessories. They make sense.
I remember the count of seeds being on the packages (so important with veggies), and this seems a way of the past. They should go back to that system, and of putting MORE into each package. But they are not alone, so I do not cast a negative their way.
I have bought perennials from them in both orders, and they arrived just fine, with proper planting instructions.
All told, I will order from them again. What I really appreciate is their catalog arriving in the dreary winter, giving me allot of time to plan out my vegetable garden.
On July 19th, 2012, Gracye changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
How very sad. Now I MUST cast a negative rating. At the end of placing a recent Internet order, I was given an offer to give feedback with the promise of "free shipping" on a future order. The catch? I had to sign onto Facebook! I found this out after I'd spent time writing supportive words about them.
I do not have, nor will I, create a Facebook account in order to comply. I surely wish this had been stated BEFORE I spent time on behalf of them.
I sent an email to Burpee, stating that this process seemed unfair (totally excluding those without Facebook accounts). I asked Burpee to look at my account to judge my loyalty (and seriousness). Easily, in two years, I have spent over $500.00 with them.
The reply was "this is a one-time offer and will not reappear, and in this day of computerization..." There was no effort to extend another offer. This was new to me, as customer satisfaction certainly was a trademark of the way Burpee answered my father's occasional questions, why he stayed with them, and a fond memory for me. This reply explained company policy and the changing world, so my reaction, and direction, is to change as well.
I will, as my dear father advised, "vote with my money." Thank you, Burpee, for giving me the reason to try other companies, after a lifetime of loyalty. And the catalog? Please don't send me another, for I cannot afford your "free offers."On July 23rd, 2012, Gracye added the following:
7/23/12: Burpee has refunded my shipping cost on last order. Forwarded my comments to their Marketing Department. The refund is greatly appreciated, but is not the answer to my original question, as others will encounter the same until there is positive change. My rating stays the negative, pending future correction.
I hope that some staffer (or the President) of Burpee will read the negative comments by my fellow Dave Gardeners, many old-time customers of Burpee's, to address the whole of the problem. I read them, after this experience, and realized that I had looked the other way in company loyalty while Dave Gardeners spoke up about problems that I, too, had encountered. No longer!
Too many companies are losing touch with their customers, and I hate to see this "American Institution" do the same.On July 23rd, 2012, Gracye changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
This is my final comment on this company. Negative is changed to neutral, as the company again contacted me and explained their philosophy. They have different offers that appeal to different customers. Thank you, and I do hope that my effort was to some benefit.
The Iris Ensata and Tradescantia Bilberry Ice were received as described but I did not receive plants for the Polygonatum nor for the Tradescantia Osprey. The Polygonatum that was sent consists of a (1) 2.5" and(1) 1" piece of rhizome (no roots) stuffed in a bag with pine shavings and the Osprey was a small root cluster with a few weak white and yellow 1-2" damaged sprouts stuffed in another plastic bag with shavings. These are not plants! My confusion is further compounded by the fact that the other Tradescantia ordered did arrive as a plant in a pot. These "plants" were not cheap and I would have never ordered either of them at these prices (nor during this time of year) had your website accurately reflected them as bareroot rather than plants in 3.5" pots. Can you please look into this and see if a mistake has occurred? I will gladly send you back this shipment if you will send me the plants that I have ordered in return. Thank you
This pretty much describes my dis-satisfaction. The one plant that actually arrived in a pot is about 6" tall. I purchased other Tradescantia from Bluestone a couple of weeks ago and the smallest one they sent me was 18" tall and very full - all for about $4 during their springtime sale. I will not be purchasing anything else from Burpee's.
On June 18th, 2012, Old_Gardener added the following:
I received an email from Burpee's today. The email just provided me an RMA number and listed the 2 items invoice-style but there is no information regarding whether they will refund or replace these 2 items after I have returned them nor did they provide a mailing address to ship to. They also failed to respond as to whether a mistake had occurred (or a substitution made) in sending me bare-root stock as opposed to potted plants. I have replied to their email requesting clarification and a shipping address but, for now, my review remains "negative" due to inadequate communication.On June 18th, 2012, Old_Gardener changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I am upgrading to neutral. Marsha contacted me today and is refunding the 2 plants in question. Thank you, Marsha, for the communications.
I am really disappointed in Burpee I placed an order on the 4th of May and here it is the 12th of May and my order still hasen't shipped. I contacted them by e-mail through there website and it said wait 48 hours for a response from our customer service department. And guess what nothing heard back from them either and this is a Mother's day present now I am going to look really bad tomorrow on Mother's Day because of Burpee. No way it takes that long to ship 3 different live plants I am kinda wondering what the Burpee shippers do down there. Do they just stare at your order And gaze at it for a week I can't believe that. The Kid that started the company in 1876 probably dosn't deal with the company anymore that's why it seems it is going down hill because if he ran it like this in 1876 it wouldn't be as big as the company is today. Hope I receive my package soon I am really worried about it.
On Nov 2, 2011, mizznkeeper Lincolnville, SC wrote:
Posted on October 28, 2011, updated November 2, 2011
Twice now I have orderded and had to follow up with e-mails as to where my order is for both have taken months to arrive. When I order I have particular things in mind for the order but it negates my purpose when the order is months late. I order what I want and I resent that the company then can tell me it is not time for the particular item to be sent, one was a houseplant and some seeds.I orderded 8/8/2011, i called again last week and told them I was leaving for a month and would they send the order, they said they would send it this week, it is friday and it is not here yet!!!! Really hate having to hasstle a company for my order when they take the money up front.....
On November 2nd, 2011, mizznkeeper changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I apologize, this incident was for Burgess....I have orderded from Burpee in the past, actually these and Royal Dutch all don't have a reasonable turn around time. I have orderded from Park Seeds and they are good....
On Aug 20, 2011, paradacrades Hilliard, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
My family has ordered seeds from Burpee for over 50 years, but for the past few years we have not done so. Today’s Burpee is not the same Burpee that my father and my grandfather ordered from. Instead of a positive or a negative, I feel I have to rate the company as neutral. I have never really had a problem with the seeds I have ordered from Burpee. The germination rate was usually pretty good, but no better than the germination rates for seeds I have ordered from other seed companies. They also have a good selection of seeds, and I have never really had a problem with customer service. The reason I give them a neutral instead of a positive is for their prices. The price of their seeds is substantially more than other seed companies, and the shipping costs are quite a bit higher than other companies as well. I will continue to buy Burpee seeds if I see something I like in the store, where the prices seem to be a little more reasonable than in the catalogue, but I will no longer order from their catalogue. Why order something from Burpee when you can get the same or a similar product from another mail-order company for quite a bit less, not to mention save quite a bit in shipping while you are at it?
On Aug 1, 2011, laurieeirual Boston, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:
Posted on January 31, 2011, updated August 1, 2011
I bought some Burpee seeds in local stores last year and they were TERRIBLE. Simple things like nasturtiums didn't sprout at all.
I'm never buying their seeds again.
BTW A couple of years ago I compared the prices for some tomato seeds between Burpee's and my usual place and Burpee's was shockingly higher.
On August 1st, 2011, laurieeirual changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Okay, I think I need to partially apologize to Burpee. In the end I *did* buy a few of their seed packs this year (a certain monster of an orange store is so convenient!) and they sprouted fine.
Posted on June 1, 2011, updated June 11, 2011
I ordered some plants from Burpees, and while the perennial came in a reasonable period, there was no warning as there is from most companies. The annuals I ordered also just arrived one day, about 2 weeks later than I wanted, and also without warning. Three of the most expensive "Black Cat" petunias were barely rooted and are hanging on by a thread. They will need a lot of nursing along if they live at all. Last year I had a similar experience with a 3-pack of tomatoes, two of which were dead on arrival. For some reason, Burpee puts the most expensive plants in this large plastic packaging that keeps them so wet they seem to suffocate. The blue sky petunias I ordered in a larger pack were in better shape. Perhaps they ran out of the Black Cats and sent unrooted cuttings? Some companies just let you know they are "out of stock" right on the website, just like they let you know the plants have been shipped so you can track them. It's too bad as the breeders seem to come up with some cool plants but other departments are not there yet. Either way, my experiences in the last two years with DOA annuals and poor germination on some seeds have soured me. I have Johhny's seeds that are still getting high germination 5 years later while the Burpee seeds had only 50% germination the year I got them. I did not call customer service since replacements would be so late as to be pointless. I have purchased local plants instead and should have done so in the first place.
On June 11th, 2011, axelweed changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Burpees contacted me soon after my post, apologizing profusely and refunding my money. They were going to inform the various departments of my complaints. As a result, I am changing my rating to neutral. I hope they get it together as it is an old company and they have some nice looking plants.
On May 21, 2011, doccat5 Fredericksburg, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:
Posted on May 17, 2011, updated May 21, 2011
I ordered plants and seed from Burpee in Jan of this year. Last week my sweet potato vines arrived, looking a lovely shade of "slime". I contacted Burpee via email to let them know about the issue. Today, I received an email from them showing the shipping dates and tracking numbers for my order??? When I called, the representative was rude, snippy and finally offer to either exchange the plants or grant a refund. When I said I would like more plants I was told that they were at the end of the harvest and because I live in zone 7, sweet potatoes don't do well here. Golly and I've been growing them off and on for over 30 years?? Major duh!!! So glad she was able to help me with that (NOT)
So I asked for a refund, which is suppose to be forthcoming.
I have been buying from Burpee for over 20 years and never have I encountered such a rude representative. I believe there are other nurseries that could use my business.
On May 21st, 2011, doccat5 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I changed my comment to neutral. I did hear back from Burpee with a promise to talk to the rep I talked too and they sent a gift certificate by way of apology. I found my sweet potatoes elsewhere.
On May 2, 2011, OutlawHeart81 Syracuse, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on April 30, 2011, updated May 2, 2011
I'd order from them but they stil haven't sent my catalogue. ordered one online in february, the same day i ordered a white flower farm catalogue, which showed up in days! i contacted via facebook, with no response, and then called to order a catalogue and was not told there would be any wait. at this point i've given up. tomorrow is may first. i'll just hit up my local nurseries.
On May 2nd, 2011, OutlawHeart81 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
was contacted via D-mail by Marsha regarding my catalogue. She said she'd send it out 1st class today, in an envelope! i have amended my rating to neutral, and will update when...if... i get my catalogue this time. a positive review will follow pending a successful purchase from their catalogue.
Although I would not hesitate to purchase Burpee seeds at the local garden center, I will not bother myself with purchasing plants/seeds from their website in the future. In the Spring of 2009, I purchase several types of seeds (viola, hollyhock, and delphinium) with typically high germination rates, but nothing sprung up all Summer long; now Chicago did have an unusually cool Summer that year, but no seed germination--at all!
Also, I purchase (I belive 8) of the purple lisanthius which were, at best, wimpy. Only half of the plants had blooms and those were only 2-3 blooms a piece all Summer. The very few blooms were quite pretty but nowhere near the promised profusion of color.
Buy Burpee seeds in the store, but don't waste your time/money on the website.
All the seeds I purchased from Burpee Co. turned out well except for "Bush Bean Heavyweight 2". I had less than 10% germination no matter how I tried to grow them. Luckily Burpee guarantees that if you aren't satisfied, they'll send you new ones.
I got new beans no questions asked--I guess that's one of the benefits of paying for overpriced seed.
Since Burpee now supplies seeds on a massive scale to Lowes and Home Depot, I can tell their quality has diminished.
If you are looking for quality heirlooms, you should give Victory Seeds a try, I highly recommend!
This year, for the first time, I purchased plants and seeds by mail rather than waiting for my local garden centers to get their stock. I ordered from 3 companies: Burpee, Bluestone Perennials , and White Flower Farm. I've reviewed all three.
I ordered tomato plants, annuals, seeds, and a sunlight gauge all on-line, late at night, from Burpee. They called me early the next morning to alert me to a potential problem with my order (not even remotely their fault) but I tried repeatedly to return the person’s call and did not get a return call until very late in the day. When I contacted the other companies to alert them to the potential problem, I found they had not yet processed my orders, which made me feel good that Burpee was already on theirs. But I found that sometimes he who starts first can still finish last.
When I rec’d a shipping confirmation for my order – missing the annuals and the tomatoes – I sent Burpee an email asking for the status of those items. When I did not receive an answer, I had my admin asst call and she was told that everything else was shipping on Friday. On Friday, I rec’d my White Flower Farms and Bluestone orders along with half my Burpee order, but late on Friday I rec’d an answer to my email saying - not when my Burpee plants would be shipped - just that I would receive them in two weeks. This wasn’t going to do since I was leaving on vacation in a little over a week. I continued to email (and not hear back) and my assistant continued to call to try to get them to hold the shipment so that it did not arrive while I was away, and if they could not do that to simply cancel it.
Despite all this, I rec’d an email stating that the plants had been shipped and it appeared they would arrive the day I left on vacation. Not pleased, I called, asked for a supervisor, and explained the whole situation. She apologized and offered to credit me for the plants and told me to try to salvage them anyway. I did feel better then, as before this I was never going to order from Burpee again. It just wasn’t worth the hassle.
The plants arrived, sat here for about three weeks and just got into the ground two days ago. It looks like over half might survive.
I really wanted great plants and great service, not a credit in lieu of, but it was upstanding of Burpee to offer the credit. I may try them again if they have something I want, maybe just seed. I gave them a neutral rating because they caused me a lot of aggravation, but in the end tried to make it right.
Placed large order back in March which was sent over 3 shipments. Seeds were great. Perennials were great. Last shipment was vegetables and annuals. Pepper plant was broken, Tomato plant was dead (big pink), and the Gazania's were on the verge of death.
Just found the Caladium bulbs were rotten on the inside as well.
I emailed Burpee from their website days ago and got no response.
I'd order seeds again, but as for plants, I'd probably look locally.
Posted on May 22, 2010, updated May 25, 2010
Ordered 3 kinds of tomatoes seedlings, Tomande, Brandywine and Bush Big Boy. The B'wines showed up broken and shriveled and did the Big Boys. I followed the instructions for hardening them and the B'wines all promptly died, though I didn't have much hope since one was broken and the other was snapped in half. I am now currently watching the Big Boys shrivel and die as well. The tomandes appear to be doing well.
I also received : San Remo basil which are also dying, California Wonder bells, one of which was snapped, Anchos that are doing well and 25 Albion strawberries, of which 5 are actually growing. The bush sting bean seeds I planted last week still haven't broken earth, but I'll give then time.
To their credit, I called about the B'wines and the broken pepper and they credited me for the peppers and re-sent the B'wines. The thing is, they screwed up the shipping and instead of getting the plants yesterday like I should have, they're sitting in a warehouse for the weekend in Manhattan since they shipped them on a Friday. I don't have a whole lot of hope for this batch, either.
I'm sure others have had good experiences with Burpee and I know that they'll make good on this, the experience has been an unmitigated disaster. I could understand one or two things going wrong, but most of it? Sorry, but I think next year I just may get my plants at a big box store.
On May 24th, 2010, OKH changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Today while I was at lunch, I received a phone call from the Burpee CS I spoke to on Friday asking about my order. I have to admit I was impressed with that level of attention. For the record, the B'wines arrived tonight finally and they appeared to be in OK shape. I'll harden them for the next few days and then into the Earthbox with them.
Both varieties of pepper (sweet and poblano) are doing really well as are the tomandes. I pulled the big boys out of the sun for a few days and it appears as it they're looking to mount a rally. It looks like it's curtains for the San Remo, though. Nothing that was seeded except for jalapenos grew and that's using the Ultimate Growing System.
Based solely on the level of customer service that Burpee provided and the willingness to make things right, I feel comfortable in changing my rating from negative to neutral.
On May 7, 2010, kkirschbaum Yonkers, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
Posted on May 7, 2010, updated May 7, 2010
I've ordered plants from Burpee oncebefore and was pleased. However, earlier this week I received a large shipment that was in terrible shape. 15 plants in 4-inch pots arrived with the potting medium knocked out. Because I had to repot, I could see that the salvia were essentially plugs. It looked like the plants were plugs that were hastily potted up but not even watered in, because the potting medium was completely dry and loose - obviously why it fell out of all the pots in transit. I ordered 3 gomphrena two of which arrived decapitated. Then I had two flats of impatiens -- 1 flat arrived in a separate box with each plug popped out. Half of the impatiens were broken. I immediately sent an email to Burpee customer service the day after the shipment arrived, but I have had no response and as of today, the broken plant have not revived. I cannot imagine purchasing plants from this company again.
On May 7th, 2010, kkirschbaum changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Shortly after posting here, I received a response to my original email to Burpee's from May 4th. They offered to refund the cost of the unusable plants and a portion of the shipping. That seems fair enough, and I am changing my rating to neutral.
Posted on March 13, 2010, updated April 4, 2010
I ordered tomato and pepper plants in January. Burpee sent an email this week telling me that GA law would not allow them to ship the plants (although they sent the same plants last year with no problem). When asked, they said they did not know the statute number and I should call my county entension office, where I was assured there were no regulations prohibiting Burpee from shipping live vegetable plants into GA. Burpee then said they had chosen not to comply with the GA regs. I understand that explanation, but I am annoyed that it took them two full months to let me know and then they tried to shift responsibility to GA.
On April 4th, 2010, frweaver changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I do respect and agree with Burpee's decision not to treat their plants with this harmful chemical, but believe they did a poor job of communicating that policy.On Apr 4, 2010, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
The W. Atlee Burpee Company is equally disappointed in the series of events that has led to our company not being able to ship our vegetable plants to Georgia. Specific to your order, there obviously was a mistake that allowed your order in January to be processed; vegetable plant restrictions to Georgia were entered into our system in mid-December.
W. Atlee Burpee ships plants under approval of the Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture. Annually, PA AG officials review all states for their regulations, and in 2009 found a Georgia regulation that we cannot, and have no interest in complying with. Georgia requires that all vegetable plants entering Georgia be treated with Imidacloprid to control whiteflies.
Burpee grows vegetable plants using state of the art techniques, which does NOT include the use of Imidacloprid. Our growing practices rely heavily on best cultural practices, including the use of Integrated Pest Management of early detection of any insects and the growing of plants outdoors, where whitefly populations are non-existent.
I have had conversations with Georgia Dept. of Agriculture officials concerning their regulation, and have suggested that they change the requirements to allow companies like ours to ship plants into Georgia without the use of a chemical, as long as the plants meet the rigid inspection of the Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture.
W. Atlee Burpee is respectful of all states and their regulations and we hope that by 2010 through communications between the Burpee, Georgia Agriculture and Pennsylvania Agriculture, we can resolve this issue.
On Mar 9, 2010, blueeyeskms Waverly, KS (Zone 5b) wrote:
Posted on March 9, 2010, updated March 9, 2010
Posted on February 16, 2008, updated March 9, 2010
I have ordered from Burpee for a couple of years now. I have to say that their prices are a little steep. Sometimes I am willing to pay the higher price if I am really intrigued by a new variety - otherwise I wait until someone else carries it at a lower price. I have had trouble with one item having a very poor germination rate and Burpee quickly sent a replacement. I tried "Toy Pak Choi" for the first time last year and absolutely LOVED it! Additionally, customer service has always been a pleasure to work with!
On March 9th, 2010, blueeyeskms changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Well, sorry to feel the need to change to neutral. I had my order ready to go this year but just couldn't go through with it. I've been faithful through the years despite the increasing prices and S/H charges because I love their variety and always have great success. Well, I can't do it anymore. Prices just keep going up and S/H went up as well. I understand that everything has gone up but Burpee was already the highest (out of the companies I purchase from anyway) as it was and I just don't have the funds for this. Plus they didn't even offer a coupon this year as I have used every single year in the past.On March 9th, 2010, blueeyeskms added the following:
On Jan 21, 2010, brandywinefran West Chester, PA wrote:
Posted on May 18, 2009, updated January 20, 2010
Used Burpee for years and years. No problem with their products, but their shipping charges for seeds are just ridiculous. Almost $8 for shipping a few packets of seeds, which arrived for under $2 in postage. And they are local to us besides.
I understand handling charges, but it seems that the larger the seed order, the more you are "penalized" by high shipping costs. They need to provide a shipping charge specifically for seed orders, as I have seen other companies do.
On January 21st, 2010, brandywinefran added the following:
Hope this isn't too far down the list for the company to see!
I have my 2010 catalog, and was ready to place my order, but once again, my seed order will cost over well $10 in shipping costs!! This is ridiculous, for 8-10 packages of SEEDS, sent first class mail from a local business (about 40 min. by car from us). And we will pay PA sales tax, too, which we totally understand, but it still adds to the total.
And since most of the seed packets are about $4, for sometimes 16-20 seeds, it becomes quite an unjustifiable expense, no matter how much I want the seeds that are only available by catalogue.
Last year's shipping charge was about $8, and the postage was less than $2. I understand that there are handling costs, but come on!
When I posted last year, I received a response from a Burpee rep saying that they would be making changes for next year (2010), but apparently not. Very disappointing.
On Nov 21, 2009, Michaelp Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on November 15, 2009, updated November 21, 2009
they keep changing the names of the varieties, --and when you call to get some more of the seed you have planted last year, --they give you the run-around, --but still not available-- for a seed CO. --- pathetic, ----I will be shopping else where
On November 21st, 2009, Michaelp changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
---the rest of the story-- after writing the above very negative comment, I was contacted by Marsha Lance, a customer service rep for Burpee, --it seems it was just my luck to get a very poor customer service rep on the phone , who gave wrong info, and refused to sell me the replacement variety, for the Salad Giant, Radish I wanted, --so Burpee is sending me a free pack of Salad Rose radish seed, -- they did try to make this right - so --I changed my rating to nutral, --
I JUST WANTED TO LEAVE A COMMENT....I BOUGHT TWO PACKS OF BURPEE PETUNIA SEEDS
ONE PACK SAID 50 PELLETED SEEDS......I GOT 34
SECOND PACK WAS 15 PELLETED SEEDS.....1 GOT 4 FOR A $1.50 PRETTY EXPENCIVE SEEDS.....
I SENT BURPEE AN E-MAIL BUT NO COMMENT ......I DIDN'T ASK FOR MY MONEY BACK JUST WANTED THEM TO KNOW.
On April 29th, 2009, jjsges1 added the following:
After posting my comment Burpee contacted me by email and was very nice and said they would replace my packs of seeds.....and indeed they did, the problem is there were no pelleted seeds in either package they sent, just yellow powder. I think that shipping pelleted seeds are very hard to ship because the get crushed........I don't think they can correct that and I don't want any more seeds......Thanks for trying. Joyce
Similar to someone below, I placed an order for seeds in late January and when they arrived one packet of seeds was packed for 2008. I sent a complaint via e-mail. Customer service very quickly apologized and said they would send a new packet of seeds. When these arrived over 2 weeks later, the replacement seeds also were packed for 2008. Spending several dollars more for a packet of seeds directly from Burpee rather than at retail, one would expect the seeds to at least be fresh. The reason this is neutral rather than negative is because their customer service seems to be quite good trying to rectify their error. They definitely fell from my order first list to order only if I can't find it elsewhere list though.
On Mar 25, 2009, figaro52 Oak Lawn, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
This was my first and LAST order with Burpee. First of all I took advantage of their coupon for $5 off a $30 order. I placed an order in the amount of $35.30 BEFORE SHIPPING. An item in the amount of $9.95 was out of stock (and I was never notified). Needless to say, they took away the $5 discount. Had they contacted me I could have added something else to my order. I made the mistake of being lured by the glitzy catalog. The seed packets are very skimpy compared to other mail order seed houses, and twice as expensive. How big of them to include a new $5.00 coupon good on my "next" $30.00 order. Well, there won't be a "next" order. Burpee products are so much cheaper in the retail stores. W. Atlee Burpee would be very disheartened if he knew how today's customers are being treated. What a fool I am to have actually paid $8.95 to have 5 packets of seeds mailed to me!
On April 1st, 2009, figaro52 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
In all fairness to Burpee, I am changing my rating from negative to neutral. After I posted my original comment, Paul Hofer contacted me and offered to make good on the $5.00 coupon. A credit has been issued (although it's not yet hit my credit card account!). Even so, they've lost a mail order customer. If I use Burpee products going forward, I will purchase at the retail level.
I purchased some Burpee tomato seeds at my local nursery, based on the description of the tomatoes produced. No where did the packet mention disease resistance, however. The nursery looked it up in all the Burpee literature they had, but could find no mention of this seed ("Burpee's Summer Choice"). I called Customer Service and spoke with a wonderful person who could not find the seed in her info, much less the disease resistance. She said she'd research if further and call me back, which she did (thank you), but she did not have the info. I researched it on DG--no one knew--so I emailed Customer Service.
I got a nice reply in a few days, saying they would turn the matter over to their "Research Dept." That was 9 days ago, with nary a word. So, customer service employees, GOOD. Selling a seed about which your own employees know virtually nothing-BAD. No comment on the elusive "Research Dept." Will I purchase anything from Burpee again? Highly unlikely.
On March 17th, 2009, yotedog added the following:
Edited to say, I did finally hear from Paul Hofer at Burpee, at about the two week point, who did eventually send me the info that this variety has no specific disease resistance. So, again, they definitely have great employees. But I'm still wondering why it was so hard to get info on a seed they have on the market, in a timely fashion.
On Mar 3, 2009, botanikk sassari Italy (Zone 9b) wrote:
I recently tried to order from Burpee because I wanted to try their Sweet Seedless Hybrid tomato. I noticed that their website wasn't set up for international orders, and emailed them as to what I could do to place the order, since I couldn't even enter my billing address correctly. I got a prompt email telling me what to do, and also informing that my card had been accepted. Good service. I needed to have the packet of seeds sent to my friend in NY, and then she out it in an envelope and sent it to me. The only reason I'm not giving this company a positive is the shipping cost. I ordered 1 packet of seed costing $4.95 and had to pay $6.95 shipping! (and not even to me in Italy, but my friend in NY). Perhaps they could work out another system for shipping small orders of SEEDS ONLY, otherwise it isn't fair. My friend put the packet in an envelope and it cost one first class forever stamp plus 84 cents (to send to Italy), and I had to pay $6.95 to have it sent to her in NY!
On May 8, 2008, outdoorguy217 Saint Cloud, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
I ordered Sweet Potato plants and seeds on April 14th.
I had to call the company to find out when the plants would be shipped as they had not arrived in the 7-10 days indicated when ordered. They told me they would ship the following week from the nursery. They did arrive this week in good condition.
I ordered seeds at the same time as the plants. The seeds have yet to arrive. I was given two different ship dates during my first 2 calls to Burpee. On my last call I was told they were shipped on April 21st and I should have received them by now. The Lady said she would send a replacement seed order then said, um…we have one of the seeds you requested on backorder and they appear to have been on backorder for a while. She said she was confused because she was not sure if the backordered seeds had been originally shipped. She then said that she would send out a replacement order of all seeds they have in stock. She told me to call and cancel the replacement order if the original package shows up in the next week or so! So I guess they are holding my replacement order for a week???
The other “negative” about this review…The seeds on backorder are still on Burpee’s web with no mention of a backorder. The web page allows you to place the seed in your shopping cart. When does Burpee tell a customer that they can’t order something not in stock…after the order is placed?
I ordered 12 Lisianthus plants from Burpee,since these plants are
not very easy to find. They arrived in a timely fashion, yet all plants
fell out of container and the box was a total mess, not to mention
the roots all tangled up. I planted them right away and prayed for
their survival. The plants themselves looked fine upon arrival that's
why I give a neutral rating. Burpee can definitely do more to improve
Don't order a gift certificate! I ordered a gift certificate for a birthday. It did not arrive in the promised 10 days, though my credit card was charged immediately. When I contacted Burpee, they told me they were not sending out gift certificates until they printed their 2008 catalog. This was news to me! I regret that I will give someone a belated bithrday gift of having to deal with such poor customer service. Is an aplogy for an inconvenience they choose to force onto a customer meaningful?
On December 17th, 2007, morton8 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I might order from Burpee again. Their Customer Service was very responsive to my post here.
When I bought my house three or four years ago, I ordered a number of packets of flower seeds from Burpee (which my father had used for years and years for his vegetable garden). I was generally pleased with the seeds, which seemed to germinate well. They didn't send many seeds in a packet, but I was okay with the quantities (mostly). I give Burpee a neutral rating here because one of my last orders was for Dame's Rocket. I followed the instructions on the packet and planted the seeds in pots in early spring, but almost none germinated. Then I bought Dame's Rocket seeds from another source that said to plant them in late spring or even summer, and the seeds germinated like crazy. I ordered another packet from Burpee and planted them according to the other company's instructions, and the Burpee seeds also germinated fine. So, I emailed Burpee to suggest that they should change the instructions on their seed packet. I didn't complain unduly or demand a refund. I just thought they'd want to know that their instructions for germinating Dame's Rocket might be wrong. I got a very snotty email back that said they weren't going to give me a refund and their instructions were just fine. I guess no good deed goes unpunished. But I haven't ordered from Burpee since. So, maybe they should have at least humored me.
On August 1st, 2007, gsteinbe added the following:
I want to report that I received a private email from a representative of Burpee's in which the rep apologized for the snotty email I received from their customer service people. He asked if I had the name of the person who sent the email, since he would make sure to set that person straight on the nature of Burpee's commitment to polite customer service. Since the incident to which I was referring had occurred more than a year ago (probably closer to two years ago), I didn't still have the email or any information about it. I'm impressed and pleased that Burpee would follow up on this, but since my original rating was neutral rather than negative, I don't think I'll change it. I'll just say that I'm glad that Burpee cares enough to check into complaints, even neutral ones.
I've had mixed experience with Burpee over the last few years. They have a great selection of seeds, and most years the seeds I've bought from them have germinated well (primarily vegetables). This year, however, germination rates for most of the seeds I got (both veggies and annuals) seemed very low. I gave up on my coleus started from their seed when they were three months old and an inch tall. Finally just got plants from them - one of which was in miserable shape when it arrived but is starting to grow now. I had the same issue with the salsa tomatoes that another user had - not all of the ones that came up are salsa tomatoes! Haven't eaten any of the mystery tomatoes yet, but we'll see how they are.
On Jun 21, 2007, Ronni92 East Stroudsburg, PA wrote:
In March I ordered six sinonome to be delivered in April. When I received my plants ,the instructions were to plant them as they were not babied at the nursery and would survive very well in my area. So in went the babies with loving care and anticipation. Three weeks passed and only one tentative sprig with leaf attatched made an appearance.When I called for help an operator who obviously was shouting to another operator about my problem gave me advice. You see, I had to wait for at least three very warm evenings with 80 degree temperatures before the sononome could sprout. Four weeks later I again requested aid in the form of a credit card refund. Burpee apoligized and promptly credited me for the five dead plants.So you could say they did well by me and fixed their mistake.But I knew those flowers were dead four weeks earlier...
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.
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