I have ordered from Bluestone for several years and have usually been pleased with the plants and certainly with the customer service. I agree with others that I preferred the 3 plant format, and I don't think the plants now offered are larger than before. I definitely do NOT like the coir pots! It's a pain to cut the rims down so they don't stick out of the ground (and, yes, I do mulch) and wick moisture. Yanking them out of those pots causes trauma to the plants. Since plastic pots are recyclable I see no reason not to use them. As did a previous reviewer, I have lost viola Etian two years in a row. Additionally, the Tomato Soup echinacea, which was replaced by BP once, didn't make it. All of this being said, I like the company, their plant choices and their customer service. A gift certificate from them is always on my birthday wish list.
I ordered 18 plants from this company this past spring. They arrived within 2 days from ordering. The plants were very well packaged. A couple of the plants looked a little sad on arrival. I watered everything well, then removed the pots they were sent in and planted. Everything is growing fine and several have already begun to flower, even the one I though for sure would die is up and doing well. I'll be a repeat customer.
I have ordered various perennials that are not available at big box stores from Bluestone over the years and never been disappointed. This year I was especially pleased with the packaging. The plants arrived very fresh looking encased in cardboard boxing, all recyclable. I removed the "coir" pots and used the coir for other purposes in my gardening. The plants are thriving in my garden. I found the prices very reasonable and will certainly order again from Bluestone.
On Jun 6, 2014, hypocondro houston United States wrote:
I got my plants much sooner than i expected! They are all healthy and growing well. i will most likely order from them again in the future. From my experience with this company, they are vigilant to their customers and offer a wonderful array of plants that are sparingly seen else where for the prices they have.
On Jun 3, 2014, nevadagdn Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on May 27, 2014, updated June 2, 2014
Posted on April 13, 2013, updated May 27, 2014
Posted on April 1, 2003, updated April 13, 2013
This is another company I'd rate a solid "B", somewhere between positive and neutral. The plants are small, and I freely admit that I ordered plants that turned out to be growing wild in the woodlot behind my house in Kansas. I felt quite the idiot for paying money for stuff I could have dug up and planted for free, but Bluestone isn't to blame for my ignorance.
I prefer plants in the 3-6" pot size, because they seem to perform best for me, needing the least care and coddling to survive and reach maturity. Again, that's mere preference on my part, and my only complaint with Bluestone is that they aren't completely clear that the plants they ship are in smaller containers than I like. That could be remedied with a photograph in the catalog.
The plants I have received over the years have been healthy, and not excessively expensive. I just wish (and don't we all?) that they were larger.
On May 11th, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:
This year's order was much better than the orders I received 10 years ago. The pot size is a little larger (no more 72's, I assume), and the plants are also correspondingly larger. They arrived in good condition, even though picking out styrofoam peanuts is a pain. My order this year consisted of 12 chrysanthemum plants (the football mum and quilled/spoon collections). I ordered from Bluestone because I couldn't find this kind of mum except through one other source, and I didn't want quite as many plants as they offered.On May 26th, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:
I have to add another non-complaint--Bluestone sent a packet of all these great coupons for my next order. But I already HAVE all the varieties of the specified plants that I want and/or have room for! I wish Bluestone grew more unusual plants more to my unusual tastes, but to be fair, there are other companies that cater to the plantlover in search of the extremely unusual. Bluestone fills its niche admirably and I can't justify asking them to change because I'm a plantoholic.On September 15th, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:
With all the coupons I used and a half-price sale on selected bulbs, I can't complain about my most recent order. Some plants were a bit small, or a bit anemic-looking, but overall they are healthy and I'm sure all will grow just fine. The mums I ordered in May have done beautifully. Overall, good value for the money.On April 3rd, 2006, nevadagdn added the following:
Can I complain because I FORGOT where I planted many of my bulbs and plants and it's still too early for many of them to emerge? Naaah...that would be silly!On November 1st, 2007, nevadagdn added the following:
An order of half-price bulbs from the recent sale is completely satisfactory; they aren't the largest bulbs available, but they are still excellent value for the money. Ordering, communication and timely order processing/delivery were excellent as usual. The asters I thought were a bit anemic in 2005 have survived and grown beautifully.On April 3rd, 2008, nevadagdn added the following:
I placed a very large order this spring, just received. The 3-pak plants range from small to good-sized, all perfectly healthy and vigorous and ready to either go straight out in the garden or be moved up to 4" pots. I have no complaints.On June 7th, 2008, nevadagdn added the following:
My end-of-season sale order was exactly as I expected. Very nice.On April 13th, 2013, nevadagdn added the following:
I can't decide if I like the new coir pots or not. The plants themselves look really nice. Prices seem to still be reasonable for what I got.On May 27th, 2014, nevadagdn added the following:
I just wanted to point out that I always (and did so in 2013) remove plants from coir pots, regardless of where I bought them. Coir pots may be more ecologically "friendly" than plastic pots, but my experience with them is that they do not degrade, even in the compost heap.
My guess is others' results will be better if they remove the plants from the coir pots.On June 3rd, 2014, nevadagdn added the following:
I placed an end-of-season sale order. It arrived in a timely fashion, and the plants are intact, good-sized and healthy.
On Jun 2, 2014, lbgardens Palatine, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on May 3, 2008, updated June 2, 2014
I had ordered from Bluestone in the past and been very satisfied. This year I sent them a large order. My order arrived yesterday and I couldn't be happier with their plants and packing. Every plant is so healthy. The Geranium Biokovo even has buds! Although their plants are small, they really do take off. I have never lost one of their plants from previous years and am sure these will do just as nicely providing years of enjoyment and beauty. I have read the other comments but think they sent the best plants to me. I would definitely order from them again!
On June 2nd, 2014, lbgardens added the following:
Ordered several more varieties this year which arrived in perfect condition. They are happily growing and blooming even though I did not have the opportunity to plant them right away. Yes, I do slip them out of there coir pots. They adapt with no problem. My only problem was not being notified of their shipping until they arrived. Luckily I had been on the lookout for them. A 100% positive experience and would order from them again without hesitation.On Jun 2, 2014, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On Jun 2, 2014 3:18 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
I'm glad to hear to you are enjoying your plants, and thanks for the nice comments! I apologize for the missing notification of shipment - we had an email glitch for 2 nights when our shipping notifications looked like they went out but didn't. Unfortunately, by the time we noticed, there was no way to recreate the list and re-send them. Shipping notifications go out every night and are very helpful - especially when they work! Again, our apologies."
On May 31, 2014, CarynDalton Marysville, OH wrote:
Just received my order from Bluestone this past week. I ordered during their 50% off spring sale which is the best time to buy, in my opinion in order to beat the heat of summer (which means almost certain death if plants are not babied in my hot and dry clay Ohio soil) and to get the best prices from this company. The first part of this review is only for the shipping and the condition of the plants that I received. I can update later as I see how the plants perform. I planted most of the plants the same day and the rest are being planted today, so they are going in the ground right away. They came packed very well. I am impressed with their packaging inside the box though the outside of the box had taken a bit of a beating during shipping and was softer than normal due to the fact that the soil was moist when they shipped. There was adequate airflow in the box and the moisture during shipping did not cause any mold. The hosta that I ordered was beautiful and the root system very healthy and large. I scored some harder to find elderberry bushes and can't wait to plant these today. All but one of the elderberry bushes already had multi-stems as they should. The one that didn't has a healthy stem and I trust more will grow. If not, I trust Bluestone will replace if necessary. This is not the first time I have ordered from Bluestone and I was happy the last time I ordered from them too but never placed a review. The last time I ordered, they were using different shipping methods and were not using coir pots. While their coir pots are thin, I knew better than to use them in my "soil" which is heavy on the clay. Here in my area (midwest OH) starting around first part of June the soil begins to transform into hard pan unless it has been amended diligently every year with a ton of compost (my yard is too big for that so I stick to amending around certain plants). The fact that I have a lot of shade does help but still, I do not have enough moisture throughout the summer for even the thinnest coir pot to break down. I DO appreciate that they are using coir pots but I simply peel the pot off the plant (some just slid out) and plant the rootball which were (mostly) all intact and nicely formed. Peeling the coir plant off of healthy root systems does stimulate root growth and as long as the planting hole is nice, I find plants respond very well. So, please don't freak out about those coir pots! If you have nice friable, moist soil, then you can tear off the top part of the pot and plant the pot. I still recommend tearing the bottom off the pot, though to encourage downward root growth. The pot will break down over the season. However, if you have any kind of dry issue, or have clay, I'd just peel the pot. I compost my coir and it breaks down over the season. Anyway, the condition of my plants were all fine. For the most part, healthy large root systems. One or two plants (lamium for dry shade) had smallish root systems but are healthy. I know how to work with what I purchased so I am not concerned that they will do fine. I was so pleased with the hosta that I ordered that I was sorry I didn't order more. Maybe next year... I saw no insect activity in the roots or the plants but did find a couple of worms which is a good thing. A few of my dead nettle (lamium) didn't have the most attractive foliage but who knows why. They looked healthy to me and I planted them. Overall, a very positive experience and I would order from them again..but only if they have another 50% off sale. No way could I afford their normal prices.
On May 27, 2014, psychloman Brooklyn, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on July 28, 2004, updated May 27, 2014
This was the first time I dealt with bluestone and I am satisfied. The plants I ordered arrived in good shape. Their plants are rather small and why they insist on selling lots of three, I don't know. I would order from them again. They are quick and have an incredible variety.
On May 27th, 2014, psychloman added the following:
Very happy with the three plants I ordered. Plants were a nice size, very sturdy and well packed. I haven't ordered from them in a long time, but I will order again.
Posted on July 8, 2013, updated May 26, 2014
Posted on May 7, 2013, updated July 8, 2013
My first order with this company. Plants arrived as scheduled, nicely packaged. Healthy and a nice size. Coco pots are great, will not be my last order.
On July 8th, 2013, Gully changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Plants ordered this spring have not thrived. They are still alive but not doing as well as other plants purchased elsewhere, having very little, if any, growth. I have come to believe this is because of their coir pots. Like others have said, I wish I had removed them before planting.It looks like I will have to replace them with plants purchased elsewhere.On May 26th, 2014, Gully changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Sadly, not one single plant survived the winter which I believe is due to the Coir pots. The plants died but the coir pots are still completely intact. I would highly recommend to future buyers to remove them before planting. Disappointing experience.On May 26, 2014, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
I am so sorry to hear your plants did not survive this year's brutal winter. So many people have lost so many plants!
We have made several improvements to our pots since you ordered, and we have since discovered that they do not disappear in the soil, they decompose slowly and amend the soil, becoming part of the soil. The pots can be removed, but we find it sets the plants back by 3-4 weeks as they recover, but they will catch up to the plants planted in the coir pots during the season, so it really comes down to personal preference. Our newer versions are thinner, and just as easy to work with. I personally do not use mulch in my garden, so I plant in the pot, but trim off the top rim of the pot (3/4") with a scissors as I plant so that the rim does not show above ground. It only takes a moment, and I like the look.
I hope you will give our plants(and pots!) another try, and that Mother Nature will be more kind to us all this coming winter. Jan / Helpdesk"
On May 26, 2014, plantgnome1 nowhere land, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
Posted on September 28, 2011, updated May 26, 2014
Posted on September 8, 2011, updated September 28, 2011
Posted on May 2, 2010, updated September 8, 2011
i already rated this company positive under just plantgnome, but I wanted to rate again-This years purchases came in much larger than the past couple of years orders-great plants, all are thriving and they even replaced a couple of plants that didn't make it thru our harsh winter. I highly recommend this company for both value, plant health and customer service. AAAAAA++++++
On September 8th, 2011, plantgnome1 added the following:
I still feel this company is one of the top perennial online nurseries-I am however unpleasantly surprised at how the "3 for $" is now single plants for what appears to be alot more money per plant. for instance 3 starfire tall phlox I believe was about $15.00 and now they are each about $9.00-(can't check for exact amount as their site is down right now) which is a huge pricing increase. Shipping costs remain reasonable as opposed to other companies exorbitant shipping costs. Perhaps because they raised their plant prices to absorb the shipping costs. I am anxiously awaiting several orders in their "new" packaging and hope I do not have the problems listed recently here at garden watchdog. As per other reviewers I have created numerous different gardens in my yard with Bluestone plants and i would say 95% of them survived pretty nasty weather including late spring freezes, and Tropical Storm Irene recently. Having lost my job 2 years ago my ordering is not what it used to be, but they are one of two companies I still give most of my orders to. Keeping my fingers crossed.On September 28th, 2011, plantgnome1 added the following:
I received my sizable order in a timely fashion, as I always did from them. two of the packages were shipped fed ex ground-Those arrived in perfect condition- all plants a nice size and no packing peanuts-thank the lord. the third box some reason was shipped UPS-that one came with the plants in the box but not in their pots-soil all over the place. I promptly filled the coco pots with more soil and put the plants back in them as they looked okay, not dried out. I soaked the repotted plants overnight in a pan of water with a few drops of Miracle Grow starter. Planted them the next day and they appear okay. I am keeping a close eye on them. I like the new pots-of which most of the plants roots were already showing thru the sides and bottom of the pot. I feel this protects them thru the winter freezes. Two plants which I expected were not shipped due to a crop failure but to make up for this they are sending a free plant of my choice! Also adding plants to an order which was almost ready to ship at the last minute. I am still very happy with bluestone (other than the huge price hike).
So-I think alot of the issues people have regarding the condition upon arrival of their plants has more to do with the shipping company (UPS) than the packaging. I rather have my orders shipped Fed-ex-as they come intact. The other issue-pricing-the other companies are charging ridiculous shipping amounts for minimal orders, but their plants are cheaper-one way or another you are paying. For instance up to a $25 order is 7.95 shipping with bluestone. Other companies-every plant you add raises the shipping charges and start at 7.50 for just 1 5.00 plant and rises as you add more plants especially during sales. So really its 6 of one half a dozen of another-thats the way online plant companies work. I rarely order plants from companies with a minimum order requirement either as I feel thats not a really good business practice. Some companies charge almost $20.00 to ship one plant-thats pretty much price gouging unless they are sending a gardener with the plant to dig the holes. LOL
Finally-I will still purchase from Bluestone and a few other reputable companies and have removed about 5 top watchdog companies from my previous list as they not only overcharge for plants but to add insult to injury and also overcharge for shipping or have minimum requirements.
Lastly-Companies are in business to make money so use your common sense when choosing one. On May 26th, 2014, plantgnome1 added the following:
Still getting nice plants, I take them out of the those "coir" pots as I lost several plants that I planted in the ground still in those pots. The ones I removed from the pots did much better and came thru this awful winter.
This year their sale is not the great sale that they have had in previous years. They are not all half price as they used to be. Some only 25% off, some 35% and some 50%. So my orders are not the size as they used to be either. In the past I have gotten fantastic priced Hosta etc. This year not the case. So I only ordered 1. I waited for the old sales every year, very disappointed this year.
On May 16, 2014, esanita TYASKIN, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:
Customer service is top-notch. But the coir containers don't seem to work well. I've received plants in plastic containers and even in plastic bags, and they all grew better than ones in the coir pots. I've cut off the top of the pots so that there isn't any coir above the soil line. Even so, these plants don't seem to do as well as from other mail-order companies.
I have been buying from Bluestone Perennials for several years. They are, by far, the best mail order nursery I have ever done business with.
I've had a few occasions where plants have not come back the following year and B P has always followed through with replacements. No hassle. Ever.
Some mail order companies won't replace your plants the following year unless you send the dead thing back to them (if you can even find it in the dirt) - in the original packaging!! Why would anyone want to keep all that packaging around for a year?? Bluestone Perennials NEVER makes you do that!!!
I've had a couple plants that I just can't get to grow, for what ever reason - coreopsis and euphorbia. B P replaced them a couple times, but to no avail. I've come to the conclusion that I just need to give up on these two plants. Definitely not B P's fault. It could be a soil or drainage issue. Everything else flourishes.
I've purchased the butterfly garden - wonderful!! I've also purchased numerous shrubs and many, many other flowers as I expanded my landscaping. My first orders came UPS and arrived in very good condition. Then a couple orders came by USPS - damaged, no dirt left in pots, plants dried and dead. I contacted B P and my poor, abused plants were all promptly replaced. I requested they send all future orders UPS and have had continued success receiving undamaged, healthy plants!
I will continue to buy from Bluestone Perennials!!
Very pleased with the quality of plants and promptness of service at Bluestone. Their packing is exceptional as well as product information that is included. I would rank it tops in the mail order plant category. I have dealt with this company for several years and had several plants that didn't survive as you frequently do. No questions asked, they sent replacements. I prefer to buy locally but can't always find everything that I want so when mail order is the answer I would go first to Bluestone with the assuarance of getting quality product.
On May 4, 2014, oscarkat01 Rochester, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on May 20, 2008, updated May 4, 2014
I have bought quite a few plants from Bluestone at various times. Everything came promptly, all shipping and communication were good. The plants were healthy and are still all thriving. I would highly recommend using them and I will again.
On May 4th, 2014, oscarkat01 added the following:
I continue to use Bluestone Perennials. Their plants are reliable and they just hold up. I recommended them to my Dad this year as he caught the gardening bug. I'm really picky about where I buy my plants. Certain items are just way more reasonably priced at Bluestone than our local nurseries or some other mail order places. I trust that my plants will thrive from Bluestone.
On Apr 29, 2014, Sequoiadendron4 Lititz, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
This is my first experience with Bluestone and it was definitely a good experience! They have an amazing selection of plants. All but one of the plants I ordered came in great condition. I called them about that plant and they promptly replaced it for free. Excellent customer service! Also, they have the best packaging I've ever seen. The way they package the plants makes it nearly impossible for them to get damaged. What a great company to buy from!
On Apr 27, 2014, DonnaMack Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on April 27, 2013, updated April 27, 2014
Posted on June 2, 2012, updated April 27, 2013
Posted on May 7, 2003, updated June 2, 2012
First, I must thank all of the people who took the time to recommend this great company. Because of the detailed feedback, I confidently ordered, and today received my first order from Bluestone. I purchased 33 plants and the quality is excellent. They are smaller that the plants one would purchase at a nursery, but I would say that they are the same size as the far more expensive White Flower Farm plants. I usually grow my own plants from seed, only buying what I cannot grow, so I am accustomed to robust plants, and these are. And some of the varieties I purchased, such as Heuchera Firefly and Heucherella Bridgett's Bloom, are usually quite expensive. And the prices! Taking advantage of some specials and 3 for 1 offfers, I paid $98.75 for 33 plants - including shipping - less than $3.00 a plant! Receiving an e-mail and a UPS tracking number was an unexpected plus. Another bonus - did anyone notice that the plants are hardened off when you receive them? They note that they can be exposed to temperatures as low as 26 degrees. What a great company! They are my first stop from now on.
On August 1st, 2003, DonnaMack added the following:
After I printed the above I ordered additional plants from Bluestone, and continue to be impressed. Of the total of 49 plants I put in, 49 took! I put in arabis, a spring blooming plant, and it bloomed in summer, and has spread considerably. The verbena Homestead Purple, Heucherella, Tiarella, and most of the others actually bloomed. Some look like mature plants, blooming with no restraint. I installed all of them in May and June!
I'm working on my fall order. These guys are incredible.On May 14th, 2007, DonnaMack added the following:
I have ordered annually each year since my above review, and have been pleased with my orders, but my most recent experience with the company was the best thus far. I was having trouble entering coupon codes, so I called and spoke with a wonderful representative who explained to me the numbers on the codes and then offered to take my order over the telephone. This was very much to my advantage, because she (I'm so sorry I did not get her name) repeatedly brought specials to my attention of which I was unaware. The result was that I received 12 free plants. My order came yesterday and every plant was healthy and viable. I also received a HUGE primula Japonica (much larger than my favorite local nursery) as a replacement for a plant that was mistakenly labeled as such last year. Better yet, I was given a delivery confirmation from Fed Ex, and my plants were delivered as promised on the afternoon of May 12, the day before Motherís Day (what a tough day to keep a delivery commitment!). And our last frost date in zone 5a is May 15. Perfect.
I cannot imagine how this entire transaction could have been better. On June 2nd, 2012, DonnaMack added the following:
I had hesitated to purchase from Bluestone this season, given the comments and the higher prices. But they sent me an email about discounted items, and I could not resist trying them again, so I ordered a few plants.
I must say that I was very pleased with the quality of the plants. I found that the roots were somewhat embedded in the coir so I could not remove it, but the fact that they had grown into and in some places through the coir is a good sign.
I also had a free shipping code from three years ago - and they honored it!
I will be back.On April 27th, 2013, DonnaMack added the following:
I must say that I am very happy with Bluestone this year. I ordered all half price plants in January: 3 Campanula Bellringers, 2 Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red', a panicum and 2 Fothergilla Mt. Airy shrubs. The plants are just excellent. The qualuty is very high. They are of nice size. I remove the coir immediately because I have trouble cutting it away - and the soil was dry. But the plants are perfect!On April 27th, 2014, DonnaMack added the following:
I took advantage of Bluestone sales from December on to order quite a few plants. I didn't realize how many until they came a few days ago. I must admit that I consistently cut the plants out of the coir pots. But I actually gasped when my order came. The plants are much bigger than they were a few years ago, and the quality is better than my expensive garden center, which I visited after I received them, in order to buy compost and mulch. I no longer need to hold them for transplanting - they are eye catching.
But what I really love was the ability to pay for each order and have it "held". So I got pristine fresh, large plants while paying ONE shipping cost for plants ordered in December, January, March and April. It actually allowed me to buy much more than I would have if I had ordered them all at once, and there was a single shipping charge.
I had concerns about Bluestone a little while back, but the quality of the plants, the Friday specials (dangerous) and excellent shipping have made me a believer again.
I have ordered from Bluestone for six or seven years and I have never been disappointed. I just received this year's plants, and (as always) I gasped in joy when I opened the box. They were beautiful! All 10 perennials were tightly packaged. They were robust and healthy. Only once have I had a plant dislodge during shipping. That was a hen & chicks. Those are pretty tough little buggers with shallow root systems, and they're doing just fine now. Every gardener loses some plants along the way, but I have lost only one of the Bluestone plants over the years. That was probably my fault for siting it wrong. I would heartily recommend this company.
On Apr 25, 2014, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
I'm shocked to find myself giving Bluestone Perennials a negative review, but I can't help it.
I started ordering from BP back in the last millennium--before they even had a web site. I was always, ALWAYS thrilled with the plants I received, both in terms of how they arrived and how they ended up growing.
But last year's order yielded a terrible surprise of plants that were not thriving when they arrived--and 90% of which have since died. They included several varieties of Iberis, along with Stachys, Penstemon, Viola, and Clematis.
In the past, on the very rare occasions when I had a problem with a BP plant, I contacted them and they immediately and fairly took care of the issue. This time, though, I've held off contacting them because I'm concerned that it'll seem outrageous, as in I'm making it up so I can get a bunch of free plants. But I'm not making it up, and I am extremely disappointed.
Also, while I wholeheartedly approve of their switch to biodegradable pots, what I'm finding with their new coir pots is that they're not dissolving as expected, even a year after being planted. So it's a good idea, but not quite there yet as far as working as expected.
On Apr 18, 2014, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
I hope you will be in touch with us so that we can make amends on your order. We appreciate that growing perennials in California can be challenging, especially with the recent drought conditions in much of your state, but we stand behind our plants and we can always, if nothing else, refund your purchase price. I also wanted to let you know that we have made several changes in our pots, and continue to make improvements every year as our experience with them grows. Our current pots are much thinner than the originals, and we have found that, rather than dissolving (so to speak) they are gradually becoming part of the soil - a soil amendment as it were - and will be identifiable/visible for years, especially if your soil is not consistently moist (which allows the pot to decompose). You should not hesitate to cut off the top rim if your area is hot and dry, as this will improve the look and tucking the pot below the soil line will allow the needed contact with moisture that speeds the breakdown."
On Apr 12, 2014, LysmachiaMoon Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
Received an order of three Delphiniums and three Johnson Blue geraniums yesterday (April 11, 2014) in EXCELLENT condition. I was very impressed with not just the good condition of the plants, but with their size. The geraniums are nearly a foot tall and they were packaged with cardboard box inserts so that the foliage would not be bent or crushed. All six plants look as fresh and healthy as if they were just purchased from a local greenhouse. I'm also very happy with the company's environmental consciousness re: coir pots. I will most definitely be ordering from Bluestone Perennials again.
I had an ornamental oregano on backorder. Bluestone left a message that they were no longer stocking this plant and to choose a replacement. As the oregano was on sale, I chose a plant of equal value (also on sale). Customer service advised that I didn't have to worry about matching the cost but since I had they would send me two. Great customer service,
Posted on July 1, 2013, updated April 5, 2014
Posted on May 27, 2013, updated July 1, 2013
Posted on April 21, 2012, updated May 27, 2013
Posted on April 10, 2012, updated April 21, 2012
Posted on June 11, 2011, updated April 10, 2012
I had ordered 3 Salvia plumosa as part of an order in April. Only 1 of 3 survived (all other plants were fine). I called customer service and they replaced all 3 plants, received within 4 days of the call. These are actually nicer than the first group. A great company to deal with. The nicest and most efficient customer service staff, and true to their word regarding 100% customer satisfaction. This is my 3rd experince with them and I hope to have many more. Highly recommended.
On April 10th, 2012, planter52 added the following:
I just received my fourth order and the plants are in fantastic condition. Large, healthy and beautifully packaged. I'm sorry so many shoppers went negative due to the price and packaging change. They're definitely a plus, and folks should give the change a chance before they criticize. I'll definitely be ordering again. Great company and products.On April 21st, 2012, planter52 added the following:
Another order, great communication, fast shipping and excellent quality. I really think Dave's Garden should remove the negative posts which were based on price increases and new packaging. Too many opinions were expressed before trying out the new set-up. The costs are a bit higher, but the plants are larger and I'm personally having an easier time establishing the larger sizes. They should be a top 10 company again! Keep up the great service and products.On May 27th, 2013, planter52 added the following:
Just received my latest order.3 Heucheras, 2 Astilbes , 2 Echinaceas. All arrived in great condition. Very nice specimens, especially the Astilbe which are sending up flower buds already. Terrific communication regarding delivery. I wish the new price structure's negative comments weren't counted against them as they should be a top 30 company. Keep up the good workOn July 1st, 2013, planter52 added the following:
Had a problem with the Joe Pye Chocolate Eupatorium I'd ordered. The small specimen seemed O.K. but collapsed and died within days. Called customer service, and as usual they were courteous and sent a replacement immediately. Much better size and it's already doing well. I've read some reviews and have purchased at big box stores as well, only to find the plants don't return the following year. Bluestone's quality is excellent and once established, the plants do beautifully each year. Thanks.On April 5th, 2014, planter52 added the following:
Just received another order- Plants are in great condition, beautifully packaged and great shipping information. One of the best companies to do business with- always a winner.On Apr 5, 2014, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
I love this company. I have ALWAYS received fabulous, healthy, quality plants from them. I know that when I order from them, I will get a great product. I have recommended them to several of my friends and family who have asked where I bought a particular good-looking plant.
I've ordered from Bluestone at least three times over the years. Communication was excellent, I received exactly what I ordered when I expected it, and the plants were well packed.
Customer service was excellent. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this nursery to anyone.
My only quibble with this nursery is their use of coir pots. I've long found that the only way to get a plant in a coir pot to survive in the ground is to rip it out of the pot before planting, not an easy task.
Even though I had numerous problems with my last orders ( damaged plants upon arrival, wilted, small, barely grown plants, top of the plants cut even though there was plenty of room in the box) I can't help to rate this company as positive. Every time I call customer service I am taken care of to my satisfaction. That said I really wish I had no reason to write or call.
I am their customer for many years. Almost all of the perennials and many shrubs in my gardens are Bluestones.
I welcomed coco pots idea- I am very environmentally conscious- until I planted them and many perennials did not survived. Now, year later I simply remove the pots before planting. Coco pots end up in compost pile. There are some plants that that are able to shoot roots thru Coco pots but plants with finer roots just suffer.
Prices are significantly higher -comparing to the prices when I started shopping with them- but so are prices of other suppliers with no comparable customer service. I somehow try to compensate by placing larger orders at the end of the May when Bluestone announce summer sale. For smaller orders I use offered coupons and also buy special collections that Bluestone puts together- Like Echinacea Red Hot Trio, Heucherella Trio...
I hope to see Bluestone Perennials again as TOP 5.
I believe that the heart of the company is in the right place.
On Jan 8, 2014, daigwil Iowa City, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Sorry Guys, I used to order from Bluestone quite a lot, but I had the same experience with others with these coir pots. Quite a lot of the plants died, and when I looked the following spring the pots were still there, in one piece. It seems like a good idea, but it just didn't work reliably enough, at least in my experience. And the prices increased enough that I really couldn't justify paying thata much for their plants. They do have an awesome selection, so if you are looking for something really specific, it might be worth a shot, but now I just stick to my local nurseries.
On Nov 21, 2013, lsm1 Williamstown, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:
I frequently buy with them and the plants are usually excellent. The few I got that did poorly were promptly replaced. They also have an excellent variety and good prices (not the cheapest, but for a great service and great plant quality it is well worth it).
I have had excellent experience with Bluestone Perennials. In October of this year, I ordered 2 Penstamon Huskers Red. I received 2 well-packaged, perfect plants, and they are doing very well in my garden.
I would highly recommend this company.
Posted on May 19, 2013, updated October 30, 2013
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I have just received my 4th order from this company. I was quite disappointed as the Astibles were in terrible bent over and broken condition due to the packing peanuts. I wrote the company and they immediately shipped out a replacement order without further questioning. You cannot beat that for customer service. I would highly recommend buying from this company. I will most surely continue buying at Bluestone.
On April 24th, 2009, stormcloud added the following:
Bluestone Perennials remains one of the best online nursery's in customer satisfaction as well as fairly priced plants of high quality. In my opinion and I have ordered from many !On October 12th, 2010, stormcloud added the following:
BLUESTONE is the best....you can count on them to always be reliable and stand behind their products without giving anyone a hardtime. On April 29th, 2011, stormcloud added the following:
I placed an order here mid winter and it arrived as scheduled in early April.
Apparently shipped too early as some teeny tiny seedlings were crushed,and broken. The quickly replaced them with hearty looking plants so they are as good as their word regarding their guarantee.
Their packing is just terrible and things arrived dumped and broken when you finally get thru the peanuts to locate the plants.
I DO THINK THEY ARE THE BEST ONLINE NURSERY TO ORDER FROM AND I WILL CONTINUE.On April 17th, 2012, stormcloud added the following:
Yesterday my Bluestone order arrived and was I ever shocked ! Opened the box quickly since it was very hot here....the little plants are just as full and perky as can be,
The new packaging is fantastic and well worth paying more for.NOW ALL I HAVE TO DO IS HOPE THEY GROW !! LOVE THIS COMPANY !On April 17th, 2012, stormcloud added the following:
P.S. With all the poor companies online, and I have had my fill of them, I cannot imagine why anyone would give a negative rating to Bluestone.On May 21st, 2012, stormcloud added the following:
I received another terrific order from Bluestone !! Went ahead and placed yet one more since there were coupons in the box with the order.
The first group are in bloom already !! I just love these new pots....top soil did fall out during shipping but added a few spoons of soil until I got to planting..This has been a great experience for me as I am handicapped and do most all of my ordering on line. I have received so much junk and so many problems from several online nurseries and am just delighted with what I have received from Bluestone !! MANY THANKS FOLKS !On May 14th, 2013, stormcloud changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I am no longer happy with Bluestone perennials. Not a one of the plants I ordered and planted last year (2012) has returned this Spring. Each of my other perennials is up and thriving. I was so pleased with the coir planter pots when they arrived but I am so disappointed now.
What has further happened is i wanted Dorothy Rose Aquiligia and nowhere cold I locate them except at Bluestone. So I took a chance and ordered 3 and they arrived last night...Another great disappointment !
One of these tiny little plants has the main stem broken off. They are each 2 leaved plans and a total disgrace at $9.5 each plus $9.99 shipping I thought I could expect a reasonable order to be delivered. NOT SO.
I do not know what has happened to this former top 30 garden center.On May 15th, 2013, stormcloud changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Unfortunately I feel the need to post NEGATIVE on my feedback now.
I wrote to the company about the defective plant I was sent along with other issues....
They have not responded to either my personal e mail or my neutral post on here. I am so disappointed...what has happened to this once great company ?On May 15th, 2013, stormcloud changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
OK..perhaps I changed my original rating too quickly, however they do say to notify them as soon as possible if plants arrive damaged.
I am terribly aggravated over all the dead and not dissolved plants from last year .
I will wait until the new plants arrive and then may upgrade once again. Original email was sent on the 13th.
Thank you for responding here.On May 19th, 2013, stormcloud added the following:
Bluestone is a reliable honest company. They have replaced the the 3 Columbine they originally sent with reasonable plants. However, I am not changing my rating from neutral because I do not think it should be necessary to go through all this in order to get something reasonable for their high prices. The new plants are more than double the size of the original ones which should never have been shipped in the first place.On October 30th, 2013, stormcloud changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I need to update my comments for others to read. Not even 1 of the items I bought from Bluestone in the past 2
years has survived.
When I remove the dead plants from the ground they are still intact in the coir pots having not ever grown at all.
I do not know what has happened to this once A+ company .
It is much too embarrassing to be writing to complain to Bluestone so I will just not be buying from them again.On Oct 30, 2013, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On May 15, 2013 1:30 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
We received the email you sent last night when we opened this morning, and the office will be responding directly via email to resolve your shipping damage with either a reshipment or a refund, at your request. Also, we were notified of your change in our ranking this morning, and I have every faith we will be able to regain your trust in us. We are the same company we have been for 40+ years, and we stand behind our plants - guaranteed! Note: the office advises me we are reshipping your Aquilegias today."
On Oct 22, 2013, lilaclily Lombard, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on June 28, 2013, updated October 22, 2013
Posted on June 19, 2013, updated June 28, 2013
This year marks the last time I order from Bluestone. There are some things that I don't mind - the coir pots, even getting 1 plant when you used to get 3. But what I do mind, and mind enough to take my business elsewhere - is the price paid for what you actually get.
I order from their 50% off sale every year. And even 50% off is too much to pay for the plant that you receive. Maybe if it's harder to come by, one doesn't mind paying $7 for what amounts to a tiny stick, but paying that for something one could procure at a big box store for $5.99 that is literally 5x the size? (recently came across a bunch, that was kind of a sinking feeling). I just can't do it any more.
Looking back at all my orders for what amounts to dozens of different plants, I can't recall even one of them standing out as impressing me as to its size and quality upon receiving. Looking out at my gardens, many of those plants - all perennials - died. Even their replacements. While I am an experienced gardener that enjoys nurturing a plant and watching it grow, after making all the correct efforts in planting it the first time around (light, soil conditions, etc), one thing I don't have time for is babying something that arrives barely a grade above a plug/liner. One shouldn't have to for that price - even at 50% off.
I ordered about a dozen shrubs in my order this year. 2 of them arrived basically DOA (no longer in stock so a refund was issued), 1 went into the ground, and the other 9 have been potted and I am babying them along for the summer before I can even think about planting them in the ground. Out of the echinaceas, 2 were plugs that had been uprooted in transit (even their packaging could not secure these, they were so small). Their replacements won't arrive until the end of August.
Their customer service is top-notch, but one reaches a point where one just doesn't want to call and complain any more.
Before writing this review, I stopped myself and stepped back and did the old, "Is is me?" before posting it. I buy a lot of plants, both in-person and through mail order. My expectations are not extraordinarily high because I base them on pretty much a rolling average of all experiences. Have I received plants from other companies in worse condition or much smaller? Of course. Have I received worse customer service? Or course. Hence my neutral rating. To some, Bluestone is exactly what they need and never disappoints. To me, I just can't justify the price with what I actually receive. Not any more.
On June 28th, 2013, lilaclily changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Wow. Talk about going downhill fast.
4 of the "shrubs" I potted up have since died. The weigela "Ghost" was the first to go, followed by all 3 of the chaenomeles that I ordered. I had them in a sheltered spot (filtered sunlight), not too dry, not too damp.
Never again.On October 22nd, 2013, lilaclily changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
In retrospect, I am a bit embarrassed that I let my emotions write such an unhappy review. Yes, the plants died. Yes, many have died in the past as well. But the truth is, I did not alert Bluestone to the problem and didn't allow them the chance to turn my frown upside down before posting feedback here. For that, I apologize.
Pat contacted me and was very patient with me as we went back and forth trying to figure out the high percentage of fatalities. Because I am an experienced gardener, it is hard for me to accept when I or my conditions are responsible for the fatality but I do feel I was honest in listing the plants that died at my hand - there were not many of them but they did exist. The rest, who knows? Circumstances are mysterious at best, especially when I have a garden filled with literally hundreds of successful perennials.
I will again say that their customer service is top-notch. Pat truly seemed to care about my unhappiness and I will say that she went completely above and beyond in trying to make me happy. She succeeded. On Oct 22, 2013, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On Jun 28, 2013 3:30 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
If you will be in touch with our office, we will refund your purchase price. We apologize that our plants have not worked out for you."
On Oct 19, 2013, PapayalizaLiza Lincolnville, ME wrote:
I've been very pleased with everything I've ordered from Bluestone. they ship quickly, the coir pots are great, and though the plants arent giant, they really do establish much more quickly than would a larger, pot-bound specimen. By the end of the summer the plants have tripled ( at least ) in size and are thriving! Highly recommended.
I just received my order from Bluestone Perennials. It was my very first order from them but sure won't be the last. The plants were much larger than I expected and in just perfect condition; what ingenious packaging! Love the Coco Pots too; planting these without disturbing the roots will be a cinch. I couldn't be more pleased with my order and I highly recommend this company to anyone wanting the very best!
On Aug 15, 2013, ClevelandLinda Cleveland, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I ordered 2 viburnums - one arrived dead and the other hasn't grown beyond the 6 leaves it came with. Three dropmores also arrived dead. The aster I ordered is doing very well. Bluestone will be sending replacements of the DOA plants. Bluestone's plants are very small for the price.
On Aug 15, 2013, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On Aug 28, 2013 10:41 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
I'm glad you have given us the chance to make good on your order. I am sorry your original order arrived in poor condition, and I have every faith that the next set will arrive in great shape. Please don't hesitate to let us know, as we can take further action if needed."
I have been ordering from Bluestone Perennials for the last 4 years. My perennial gardens (shade and sun) are comprised almost exclusively of Bluestone plants and I've only lost one and that was due to my dog digging it up repeatedly. My last experience ordering was the spring 50% off sale. When some plants didn't arrive (and weren't listed as sold out) I contacted customer service. I wasn't happy with the 1st response from them and let them know it. Pat, in the Cust. Serv. office took great pains to make it right. Fantastic, prompt response! The hosta I did order is doing beautifully, as are the salvia. The coir pots seem to do well if you rip and loosen the bottoms prior to planting. I love Bluestone's variety, online plant finder, thorough and clear instructions and plant information. It is a great site for a rank beginner (as I was 4 years ago) as well as an experienced gardener. I have tried other online sites but never had the success I've had with the Bluestone plants.
I made my first purchase here during their last 50% off sale. I had purchased several widows tears, some astilbes, and a few heuchera.
The plants all arrived in some of the largest boxes I have ever seen plants shipped in, but everything was intact and healthy. The coconut husk pots take some getting used to, and I let then soak in some water for an hour before planting. Considering how well they retain water I suspect it's the only reason the plants haven't dried out and died in this heat yet. For those complaining they don't decompose properly, I've noticed a light mulching on top of the pots helps.
I was a tad worried about the astilbes, they turned brown and withered a week after planting, but I noticed today that they're coming around and starting to bounce back.
All in all, I'm quite happy with my purchase and will continue to buy from them next year.
Posted on February 7, 2010, updated July 8, 2013
I ordered 13 plants from Bluestone during a half price sale. I ordered Astible, Sweet Woodruff, Sandwort, and White Bleeding Heart.
The plants were small but healthy. Some of the items I got were purchased with the future season in mind so I can't tell about their blooms but the plants grew and spread beautifully over the summer. My Astilbes bloomed and were lovely.
The only problematic plant was the White Bleeding Heart which arrived broken. I was assured by the friendly customer service agent to plant it and it should come up in the spring so time will tell. If it does not, I was told to call for a replacement. Reading the feedback on this site and from my own experience, I truly trust that this will be the case. I just hope I won't have to as I will love to have a blooming white bleeding heart this spring!
On July 8th, 2013, miss_sassy changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
I hate to write this complaint about Bluestone as I have thoroughly enjoyed ordering from them for years and given a few gift certificates. However, as another reviewer noted, you just don't want to call customer service and complain again about dead plants.
Unfortunately, over half of my order from last year did not come back this year. I think it might be their coir pots. The plant aren't there but the pots still are from last year - they haven't completely broken down. I wish I had taken the plants out of the pots to plant them.
I also have a few more expensive plants from them that have failed to thrive or died from previous years (two clematis and a hydrangea come to mind).
I wish there had been another outcome. Receiving the Bluestone catalog in the winter gets me dreaming of summer. I love their selection and while the replacement policy is great, I just don't feel comfortable calling and asking for a replacement for so many plants.
On Jun 11, 2013, lemurianne Ida Grove, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on May 8, 2013, updated June 11, 2013
Posted on May 14, 2008, updated May 8, 2013
I received my very first order from Bluestone Perennials today, and I'm a little disappointed. I did take advantage of their recent sale, and most of those sale items look great, BUT I also ordered a viola (Etain) at $15 for 3 that is in just awful shape. It looks like something you'd find in a clearance bin in mid-July! All yellow and spindly with no blooms.. very disappointing. I love violas and was so excited to have this unique plant, but that excitement has turned to disgust. I have written to Bluestone to ask for a refund for this particular item, but have not heard back. If I do receive a response and refund I'll gladly change this to a neutral, but I really wish they'd not bother sending out these spent plants, especially at these prices!
On May 14th, 2008, lemurianne changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I received an email from Bluestone today that states they'll credit me for the violas AND send out more next week at no charge. I will update again when I receive the new violas.. if by some miracle they are in good shape I may change this to a positive -- Clearly this company wants to keep its customers happy, which I do appreciate.On May 24th, 2008, lemurianne changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
After having complained about the state of a plant shipped to me, I received a refund and a free re-shipment of the same plant the following week. Though I still feel that the plant in question (Etain Viola) should be in much better shape for the price, I appreciate the service and have to admit that the other, CHEAPER plants I ordered look great so far! I will most definitely order from Bluestone Perennials again. The fantastic customer service makes up for the annoying packing peanuts and spindly, yellow-foliaged violas.On May 8th, 2013, lemurianne added the following:
It has been several years since I last left feedback, but I do think I have ordered something from Bluestone Perennials each year since and been pleased. When I was a just starting out as a gardener, I loved BP for their incredibly cheap prices and sets of 3 that would fill in a space quicker than one plant alone. But now, as a slightly more experienced gardener, I appreciate their new format -- bigger, healthier single plants for more money, but still very reasonable. I don't pay more for the plant + shipping than I would if I was buying something this size from my local nurseries this time of year. And the selection at BP is so much bigger! I received an order today and couldn't be happier -- everything is big and healthy and arrived undamaged.
I will say that I always remove the coco pots because they don't break down fast enough in my gardens' soil. The few time I did put them in the ground the plant became root-bound and died, but since I've been removing the pots I've had no trouble :) I will continue to order from Bluestone Perennials.On June 11th, 2013, lemurianne added the following:
I ordered a second time this year to partake of their great sale, and I was terrified when I received the email stating that the plants were shipped via UPS ground ON A FRIDAY!! There is no excuse for that. I almost called to complain immediately, but thought I'd go ahead and wait to receive the plants. The plants arrived the following week, alive but wilted and starting to yellow. After a couple days of nursing them along they looked no worse for wear and upon planting them I felt that they were obviously healthy, well-rooted plants when they were shipped. I still can't believe any nursery would ship via UPS on a Friday, but the plants are already sprouting new growth and buds, so I can't complain too much!
On Jun 11, 2013, wmc Oak Park, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on May 20, 2012, updated June 11, 2013
I returned to Bluestone after having abandoned them a number of years ago, thinking that they had become too big and their delivered plants too small and insecurely packaged. I was very pleased to receive large, healthy specimens in a timely manner, package it a box with dividers fitted as if tailored to the plants. Bodes well.
On June 11th, 2013, wmc added the following:
Following up on my last review, Bluestone stands behind their plants. Without going into detail and in contrast with another vendor I have been dealing with, Bluestone's customer service was responsive to a concern I raised recently and rectified the issue without hesitation.
On Jun 10, 2013, frahnzone5 Bensenville, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
I ordered several plants during their 50% off sale. Half of the order arrived if good shape. The other half was blackened and shriveled. This was not a case of shipping damage, those plants were boxed and sent in that condition. It only took 3 days for the plants to arrive at my door and I unpacked them immediately. I emailed Bluestone and they responded promptly and said they would either send replacements or give a credit. I received a credit. So I would give them a 'A' on customer service and a 'D' on plant quality. And I absolutely HATE those coir pots.