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Comments regarding Bluestone Perennials

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1045 positives
95 neutrals
74 negatives

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RatingAuthorContent
Positive Ispahan
(55 reviews)
On Apr 10, 2012, Ispahan Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

Posted on April 4, 2012, updated April 10, 2012
What a wonderful ordering experience. Just received a sizable spring order from Bluestone and I could not be more pleased. Packing was extraordinarily efficient with no tape, staples, packing peanuts, shredded paper or other extraneous materials. Just pull out the cardboard inserts (each one holds three plants), unhook the bottom, pull out the plants, break down the insert and move on. Doing this, I was able to unpack 5 large, full boxes of plants in about 10 minutes. Even the shipping boxes themselves could be broken down by hand with no blades (to cut tape) or tools needed.

The plants were HUGE and bursting with vitality and health. There was not a single dud in the batch. Many of them even have vigorous roots already bursting through the sides of the coco pots. And there was no loose dirt anywhere. All of it remained in the coco pots where it belonged.

I absolutely love this company's commitment toward choosing materials with a better environmental impact. All packing materials are recyclable and there is no messy plastic pot to deal with. People are complaining about that?!

As for pricing, if you compare plant pricing along with shipping to any other mail order company, Bluestone's pricing is still very much on the low end. I will GLADLY pay a few extra dollars for materials that are more environmentally friendly, even if that means buying a few less plants overall. Come on, folks, let's look at the big picture here!

One constructive criticism I would offer to Bluestone: after being in transit for two days (Ohio to Chicago) in very moderate 50 degree F weather, I was surprised to find that some plants (maybe 5% total order) were quite dry and even wilting. Plants revived beautifully after being watered, but I would be a bit concerned if temperatures were warmer or if the plants were going longer distances. Maybe your packers should just double check for moisture in each pot? Otherwise, you have a nearly perfect growing and shipping system.

All in all, this was a GREAT experience and I would not hesitate to order from Bluestone again.


On April 10th, 2012, Ispahan added the following:

Just received a second "mini order" from Bluestone using some of the fun coupons that were included with my first order. I am still just as pleased with the quality of the plants and shipping.

Also, as for my previous comment about possibly shipping the plants too dry, I was quite happy to note that all plants were nicely moist this time.

For all of the negative reviewers, please think twice (or three or four or five or six times) before posting a negative review. You are really hurting a business here, and if you really are so unbelievably upset about Bluestone's changes, at least give your post a NEUTRAL rating. Is it really that hard? Come on.

Isn't there any way the Garden Watchdog moderators can switch some of these unnecessary posts to neutral? Many of these people have never even tried ordering plants grown under the new (and improved) system and yet feel like they have the right to trash an excellent family-owned business with phenomenal customer service. What is wrong with that picture?



On Apr 10, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Apr 5, 2012 9:38 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Thank you Ispahan, for the post! We heard similar reports, and are now sending our plants out a bit more moist. We're glad you are enjoying your plants."


Positive barrykerry
(5 reviews)
On Apr 10, 2012, barrykerry South Dennis, MA wrote:

I've been a Bluestone customer for 8 years and even though I enjoyed the lower pricing in past the changes made recently have made me even happier!
My recent order was beautifully packaged. No plant damage due to shipping. Best of all NO PEANUTS!!! I still find a random peanut in my compost area or greenhouse from previous orders!!!
The coir pots are great - no plastic pots to recycle.
The plants were much healthier looking than past orders.
All in all a very positive experience....still a great sale every now and then would be welcome!!!

Positive elklake
(1 review)
On Apr 9, 2012, elklake Elk Rapids, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have watched the negative ratings here for a number of weeks with puzzlement. I have ordered from this company for 9 years and it is the largest single source for my perennial gardens, which are extensive. They have exemplary customer servicer, dependable quality and amazing variety. The negatives are coming from folks who are upset that the unique (yes, some use that word) approach used by Bluestone in the past is being replaced by a more traditional approach used by most others. Really? So companies that have always used the more typical model get posiitive ratings and this company gets a negative rating for changing? Some of you sound like you are having preschool temper tantrums. These ratings are very important to these companies and it is ridiculous to punish this company for making a change that doesn't suit you to something that everybody else does! It sounds like some of you are intentionally trying to harm a good company that has been doing a much better job than most for years and continues to do so. Comparing them with what they did in the past instead of comparing them with other companies that actually exist is beyond unfair; it is irrational. How many companies guarantee their plants beyond about 5 minutes after you receive them; how many companies have awesome customer service? (They recently went to great lengths to try to reconstruct my orders for the last 9 years when most other companies I contacted did little to help me). Let's be fair folks. Be fair.

Positive RUBYS
(15 reviews)
On Apr 9, 2012, RUBYS Wrens, GA wrote:

Posted on April 7, 2011, updated April 9, 2012
I received my first order from Bluestone today and was pleasantly surprised by the size and health of the plants. I placed an order from their specials page and wasn't sure what to expect. The packing was done well. All plants look ready to go in the ground. I also ordered a few daylilies and was concerned that one came with only one fan, but was told by rep that it would grow to blooming size this season. I look forward to ordering again from bluestone in the future. I also want to mention that I was impressed with their recyling program.


On April 9th, 2012, RUBYS added the following:

I received an order this weekend and was very please with everthing. Last year I bought a 3 pack of stokesia Klaus Jelitto and none survived. I did not complain because it was a very long hot and dry summer where i live. I bought 2 replacements and the new coco pots are at least 3 times the size of the the 3 pack and the root are already coming out of the bottom of the pot. I bought 2 Aquilegia and 2 days later they are blooming. Only disappointment was a lavandula large coco pot but very tiny plant. I would order again especially when I can find a plant on my wish list on sale
Negative emily3cat
(1 review)
On Apr 6, 2012, emily3cat Ames, IA wrote:

Bluestone used to have a unique concept--3 packs for a reasonable price. At that rate, it was affordable to try out new plants. I'm happy that I ordered a starter garden way back when because now I can't afford to shop there anymore. For me the tradeoff of smaller plants for lower prices was terrific, as it gave me a chance to try out new plants and see if they liked my soil and climate. I grabbed the catalog this year, and WOWZA, what a change. I went to the website hoping that one could still order three packs. Nope. I can't order there anymore. Wish that they had told longtime customers about this change in store so that we could place large orders last fall. Or, why not a choice between the old size and pricing and the new size and pricing on the plants? This makes no sense to me. I found Bluestone through Dave's Garden many years ago. Now, they have no chance of rating high.

Positive Washyourhands
(1 review)
On Apr 4, 2012, Washyourhands Richmond, VA wrote:

I've been ordering from Bluestone for several years. I ordered less this year because of the higher prices. My order of 8 plants arrived today and I am very pleased. The plants are big and healthy. The packaging is great and the cardboard is recyclable. Like another poster said, with the smaller plants, I usually lost one or two (and the company always offered a credit) but with these plants I don't think that will be a problem. Plus the package arrived with coupons I can use to buy more plants (which i plan to do this weekend). I buy locally to, so I also support local nurseries but most of what's in my garden is probably from Bluestone. I get compliments all the time on the centranthus ruber when its blooming, and is has multiplied (not aggressively) so that I have more plants. My mums from Bluestone last fall were spectacular. (and they were the tiny plants ordered last spring) I know folks are still not happy with the higher prices, but I feel like I'm getting my money's worth. Gardening is my therapy/relaxation/exercise, so I consider what I spend an investment in my physical and mental health!

Positive trackinsand
(42 reviews)
On Apr 4, 2012, trackinsand mid central, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Posted on October 9, 2011, updated April 4, 2012
Posted on November 25, 2007, updated October 9, 2011
i've had several shipments from bluestone this year and i am pleased in all respects. aside from my own inability to care for the last shipment properly, everything has lived and flourished and even some of the last shipment lived. they are the nicest people to do business with and their prices are among the lowest anywhere.


On May 6th, 2008, trackinsand added the following:

i've placed several more orders this year and am completely happy! i love this place. for anyone seeing some of these small plants for the first time, please be patient. they grow fast and are very vigorous and healthy plants. bluestone rocks!
On October 9th, 2011, trackinsand changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

i've placed many orders over the past 5 yrs. with this company and have always been happy...up till now. my latest shipment arrived last week and the 5 hems were all dried out, dirt out of the pots and just plain sickly looking.
i know they may be going dormant where they come from but i've ordered 'Happy Returns' before in fall and they were always still green and growing.
i will place one additional order for spring. it will be the "test" order to see whether or not they've improved their new packing methods.
On April 4th, 2012, trackinsand changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

i just received the four "test" plants that i ordered for a spring delivery.
i'm very, very pleased. the plants are big (i expected them to be dormant) and very healthy.
i don't have any problems with the new pricing as long as i continue to receive such high quality plants.
ps. the hems received last year are doing beautifully.
i'll continue to order from bluestone.
On Apr 4, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Oct 12, 2011 8:19 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

We are sorry your latest shipment arrived in poor condition. Please be in touch so that we can make amends. From your previous posts, it's clear that you have been a loyal customer, and we sincerely appreciate that. We will continue to tweak our packaging as we receive feedback, and our goal is always to be "Your garden's best friend". We look forward to hearing from you.


On Apr 6, 2012 3:40 PM, Bluestone Perennials added:

We are glad to hear we passed your test with flying colors! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to regain your trust."


Positive Cearbhaill
(13 reviews)
On Apr 4, 2012, Cearbhaill Russell, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I order from them frequently mostly because I am in the one day shipping radius and so don't have to worry about shipping stress. I have always been pleased with my plants and the new shipping system is impressive- easy to unpack and the plants don't even have a crushed leaf.

I had never before had occasion to have a complaint, but the pink daffodils I got from them last fall came up yellow this spring, so I emailed them to see if I could get more. Of course bulbs are not available in the spring but they offered a refund and I didn't have to ask, argue, send photos, or jump through any hoops at all. Even better, the refund showed up immediately on my card- no "wait for the next billing cycle" delay at all.

In this day when customer service seems a thing of the past I am happy to give my business to companies like this who clearly value me as a customer. That the plants are nice and the varieties available wide is icing on the cake for me.
Good customer service trumps everything and these folks have it!

Positive melody
(37 reviews)
On Apr 4, 2012, melody Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

My order from Bluestone just arrived and I can't be any more pleased. The plants are large and thriving with not a leaf out of place. The carefully constructed packing is heads and shoulders above most mail order nurseries, with each plant held securely in a fantastic system of cardboard baffles and sleeves. I love the coir pots! These are large, healthy plants and the pots just ensure that they stay that way. My order arrived via Fed-X and hardly any soil was shifted out of place. I'm extremely pleased. Thank you Bluestone!

Positive schcomm
(1 review)
On Mar 27, 2012, schcomm Albuquerque, NM wrote:

I just received my box of plants from Bluestone Perennials, and I couldn't be happier. I received nine plants, efficiently packed in one box. Inside the box were three cardboard inserts that each fit three plants. Very cool packaging design. (No packing peanuts. Yay!) Because they were snugly and safely packed, all of the plants arrived in perfect condition. They just needed a little water.

And the coco pots that everyone talking about? I love them. They are larger than the old plastic pots that Bluestone used to sell. Consequently, my plants looked full and healthy, with well-established root systems.

I think this company is way ahead of the curve on the way they grow and ship their plants. I am a VERY SATISFIED customer.

Positive tlc01
(1 review)
On Mar 24, 2012, tlc01 Pickerington, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I, too, was unhappy about the change of pricing and packaging, but I was driving past Bluestone last August and decided to stop and check out the changes. I ended up buying 14 plants. They were definitely larger. To be honest, I usually lost one or two of the little plants anyhow before they were ready to bloom. So far, 12 of the 14 are up and thriving. I'm glad I waited until now to give feedback. I am definitely pleased.

Neutral woodweasel
(3 reviews)
On Mar 22, 2012, woodweasel Fleetwood, PA wrote:

Posted on February 21, 2012, updated March 22, 2012
Posted on August 15, 2011, updated February 21, 2012
What a shock to find that the fall order I planned to make with Bluestone was now going to cost $150.10 instead of $90.70! Plants that were 3/15.95 are now $8.95 each!
And, no more recycling credit for returning peanuts!
Needless to say my fall order is now getting cut way, way back. I was a loyal Bluestone customer but I will be seriously looking for another supplier. I can buy plants in 6" pots at the garden center for 7.95, 4 for the price of 3.
I will place a very small order just to see what the plants in the cocoa pots look like (no more 3 packs). I will be sorry to loose them as a source for plants. The Bluestone catalogue may become research material for the plants I will buy elsewhere.


On February 21st, 2012, woodweasel changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

I am changing my rating from negative to neutral. I am still not happy about the price increases and I have to say the plants I got in the new pots didn’t look a whole lot different than the 3-packs. Prices have been creeping up over the years anyway from 10-11-12 dollars to 14-15-16 dollars per. Now I will buy the 50% off sale plants when I see something I can use.
Here is why I am changing my review to neutral: great customer service. I had multiple little problems using the website yesterday and in the end I was not sure if my order went through or not. So I called. Problems solved right away, my order was attached to a previous order saving me a few additional dollars on shipping (I tried to order a certain plant that was on special. By the time I got to pay for it it was off special – yikes! Then, a few weeks later, I saw it was put up on the special page again and decided to place an additional order). The operators always sound so kind and concerned. In addition to being competent at their job they are knowledgeable about the plants and they will still replace failed plants without question.
And, it’s worth calling just to listen to the voice of the man who answers the phone!
Additional bonus of high Bluestone prices: I get to try out some of the other recommended companies whose prices I previously thought were too high!

On March 22nd, 2012, woodweasel added the following:

I decided to give Bluestone’s much touted coir pots a try and ordered 6 plants from them last fall. Here is my assessment of the new product: One plant is doing fine. When I brushed away the mulch of chopped leaves of four other plants I found them sitting up in their little square holes like cups in a cup holder – the soil was moist around them but because the plants had popped up (no roots extended beyond the coil shell) and the coir pot was sticking up in the air wicking moisture, the plants themselves were dry. These were not happy plants. I picked them out, cut off the “pot”, replanted and watered. Hope for the best…The last two plants disappeared over the winter. Curiously, their pots were still there sunk in the ground and moist. But no plant. If you order from Bluestones you must plan to cut the pot down by half before planting (I cut a half inch of mine before planting but it wasn’t enough.) It’s tough stuff, but remove it you must. If you aren’t planting right away you must take them out of the coir pot and slip them into one of the square plastic pots you surely have hanging around or submerge temporarily in a tray of compost. This is progress?
On Mar 22, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Mar 23, 2012 8:19 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Dear woodweasel,
Please contact us directly as our guarantee is 100%. We would need more information to diagnose the problem. Your experience is not typical - and we don't recommend cutting half of the pot away as it is not necessary. We are awaiting your call, and are standing by to help."


Negative janetgot
(1 review)
On Mar 16, 2012, janetgot Boxford, MA wrote:

I used to love Bluestone Perennials, and, like many others here, I ordered many of their three packs to try out new varieties in my garden. What a great market advantage to offer SMALLER plant so people could try them and see how they did in their own garden. I was so disappointed this morning when I opened their catalog, to see that they are now just like all the other catalog companies out there in terms of pricing. I thought they were a great company, with excellent customer service. Several times I had to have plants replaced that didn't survive shipment, but they were always a pleasure to deal with. Now with the higher prices, there's really no incentive for me to buy with them, as I can get the same pricing at my local garden center, not pay for shipping and be able to pick my own plant. I'm sorry to see them change their policies, and I will miss them. Too bad. I'm hoping to find another company that will fill the void, but in the meantime, I'll plant more perennial seeds, I guess.


On Mar 16, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Mar 22, 2012 9:04 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Dear janetgot and other concerned customers;

We’ve been growing and selling plants since 1972, and we are always searching for ways to improve our plants and service. We knew we had found a better way to grow and ship plants when we began testing a breathable pot made from coconut husk fibers. The one word our propagators kept saying was “Wow!” The plants grown in the coco pots were more vigorous and had dramatically healthier roots than plants grown in plastic pots. Plus, the coco pots could be planted directly in the ground, which eliminated transplant shock.

That, in a nutshell, is why we now grow all our plants in coco pots. It was a product quality decision. Our new plants are more than 2 ½ times larger than those grown in our previous 3-paks, so it’s not a fair “apples to apples” comparison to look at the prices of our new larger plants versus the prices of our old (much smaller) 3-pak plants. Our plants are still a great value—but now we’re selling larger plants that will provide superior performance in your yard and garden.

Please shop our competitors and compare prices and delivery fees. We think you’ll agree that Bluestone prices are very competitive. We’ve kept our shipping and handling charges the same (even though we’re shipping larger plants) because we redesigned the packaging to be more efficient.

All of that being said, I would like to apologize for the confusion we’ve caused our customers who enjoyed the old 3-paks. We know you loved these small plants—particularly because they were priced way below the market. If you choose not to buy plants from us anymore, we’re sorry to lose you as customers and we thank you for your past support. If you do favor us with an order in the future, you’ll see why we’ve made the change to our new coco pot. The plant growth is truly amazing.

Quite frankly, we have been surprised by the recent number of negative reviews on Garden Watchdog. We loved being a Top 30 company, and we plan to earn our way back into that elite ranking. We still offer the best guarantees in the business, and our customer service is second to none. When our customers start receiving and growing our plants grown in coco pots and see first-hand how well they perform, I sincerely believe that they will be happy.

We’re still the same family-owned company, and our goal is to continue to offer exceptional plants.

Best Regards,
Bill Boonstra, Second Generation Owner and Grower
Bluestone Perennials
"


Neutral HankerB
(4 reviews)
On Mar 9, 2012, HankerB Jordan, MN wrote:

Thank you, thank you, thank you, everybody. We love to garden. So much so, we just bought a 10-acre hobby farm so we can go crazy.

I have been getting BP catalogs for three years but couldn't order because we didn't have enough room on our quarter-acre city lot. We were ready to splurge and had budgeted over $1000 for stock alone this summer. BP having been one of DG's top 10 was one of the first places we intended to look. When we used this web site to access BP, we were surprised, to say the least, at all of the negative reports.

After reading most of them and to be fair, the positives, we've decided not to order anything until all of this settles down. In our opinion only, they might be trying to capitalize on the good reputation they established and might even be on the way out - take the money and run, so to speak.


On Mar 9, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Mar 10, 2012 10:11 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Dear HankerB and other concerned customers;

We’ve been growing and selling plants since 1972, and we are always searching for ways to improve our plants and service. We knew we had found a better way to grow and ship plants when we began testing a breathable pot made from coconut husk fibers. The one word our propagators kept saying was “Wow!” The plants grown in the coco pots were more vigorous and had dramatically healthier roots than plants grown in plastic pots. Plus, the coco pots could be planted directly in the ground, which eliminated transplant shock.

That, in a nutshell, is why we now grow all our plants in coco pots. It was a product quality decision. Our new plants are more than 2 ½ times larger than those grown in our previous 3-paks, so it’s not a fair “apples to apples” comparison to look at the prices of our new larger plants versus the prices of our old (much smaller) 3-pak plants. Our plants are still a great value—but now we’re selling larger plants that will provide superior performance in your yard and garden.

Please shop our competitors and compare prices and delivery fees. We think you’ll agree that Bluestone prices are very competitive. We’ve kept our shipping and handling charges the same (even though we’re shipping larger plants) because we redesigned the packaging to be more efficient.

All of that being said, I would like to apologize for the confusion we’ve caused our customers who enjoyed the old 3-paks. We know you loved these small plants—particularly because they were priced way below the market. If you choose not to buy plants from us anymore, we’re sorry to lose you as customers and we thank you for your past support. If you do favor us with an order in the future, you’ll see why we’ve made the change to our new coco pot. The plant growth is truly amazing.

Quite frankly, we have been surprised by the recent number of negative reviews on Garden Watchdog. We loved being a Top 30 company, and we plan to earn our way back into that elite ranking. We still offer the best guarantees in the business, and our customer service is second to none. When our customers start receiving and growing our plants grown in coco pots and see first-hand how well they perform, I sincerely believe that they will be happy.

We’re still the same family-owned company, and our goal is to continue to offer exceptional plants.

Best Regards,
Bill Boonstra, Second Generation Owner and Grower
Bluestone Perennials

"


Positive jenturk71
(4 reviews)
On Mar 8, 2012, jenturk71 Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have been a devoted client of Bluestone for years. Great selection, quality, prices, and customer service. I have no doubt that they continue to offer the same top-notch quality as ever, but sadly with their slightly shocking price increases this season I can no longer afford to buy from them (at least not to the extent that I once did.) Love the company, sad about the changes. That being said, if you can afford it I highly recommend Bluestone.

Negative LindaWillaredt
(2 reviews)
On Mar 8, 2012, LindaWillaredt Davenport, IA wrote:

Every winter, right after the holidays, I eagerly anticipate the arrival of the new Bluestone catalog so that I can begin to plan my garden for the upcoming season.
What a disappointment this year!!
Normally, I start out with my 'dream order,' and then winnow it down to what I can afford. This year, the prices went through the roof, the number of plants for the price declined from 3 to 1, so we passed through the threshold where it is no longer practical to purchase from this company.
I will have to get used to purchasing plants locally. Probably should have been doing that already to save energy.
I am a small business owner myself, and I have to wonder how a company could raise prices this much, in this economy and on an item that is optional. So sad to see a business implode like this.

Negative littlegray46
(1 review)
On Mar 7, 2012, littlegray46 Point Roberts, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Looks like I'm not alone here. I, too, was a long-time customer of Bluestone Perennials, placing orders twice a year. While the plants were small, the prices were great, and they came in 3-packs, and they were healthy & living. In 2012, the prices increased, the price was for a single plant, and then when my plants arrived, they were the same very small perennials and shrubs. I detected no difference in the size I had gotten for years and what I was now getting. Whats more, for the first time, I had two varieties that arrived dead on arrival. So-o-o-o, it would seem the great new pots were not that great a deal after all, and I was getting the same tiny little plants, not arriving in as good a condition and at a much increased price. Now, my Bluestone catalog will serve as a reference for me, and I will not be ordering from them again. Sometimes, a merchant might want to consider that there is no need to change the system at all.

I wonder whose bright idea the change was? Was it a subtle way to sell the same amount of plants at a now inflated profit, thus increasing the bottom line? Is there a new owner? Why on earth would they alienate so many of us long-time customers?

Negative sussexgirl
(1 review)
On Feb 20, 2012, sussexgirl Sussex, NJ wrote:

I just got off the phone with a Bluestone representative after asking that my name be removed from their mailing list. The representative was most helpful, as they always have been. The new prices, though, are unconscionable. Since I like to plant in groupings, one of the things I loved about Bluestone was that I could order three little plants at a time for a very reasonable price. I'm patient in my garden. I don't mind waiting for little things to mature. For the price I'd have to pay now for three plants, I'm better off going to my local nursery, which carries a wonderful variety of native plants, and saving the postage.

I can appreciate that the larger plants now come in biodegradable pots, but I always recycled or reused the little 3-paks. And if using biodegradable pots is expensive, I can't wait until my electric bill goes up 30% from using renewable energy. Saving the planet, one middle-income household at a time.

Neutral juliabears
(6 reviews)
On Feb 19, 2012, juliabears Harrisburg, PA wrote:

Posted on December 12, 2011, updated February 19, 2012
Posted on April 19, 2010, updated December 12, 2011
This is my second year of purchasing perennials from BP. Both orders were shipped and delivered in two days. The flowers were VERY HEALTHY. What more can I ask?


On December 12th, 2011, juliabears changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

I used to really love Bluestone because the of the wide selection at decent prices. The plants were small but they grew quickly so the small size was okay for me.

But a +60% price increase? Fortunately I purchased most of the perennials I needed before the drastic price increase.

Smart business people don't increase prices by +60%, especially in today's economy.

Bluestone, go back to what made you a Top 30 company.
On February 19th, 2012, juliabears changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

I may have been a little too critical with my comments from 12/12/11. Yes, they are a lot more expensive than previous years. But in comparison with the other vendors, they are fairly close. I will use their website for ideas and possibly purchase in small quantities in the future. They do have a fantastic selection.
Negative l_m_stephenson
(9 reviews)
On Feb 6, 2012, l_m_stephenson Saint Louis, MO wrote:

Posted on April 30, 2010, updated February 6, 2012
The plants were were in pretty good shape even though they were on the small size. As this is a mail-order company, small plants are to be expected (who wants to pay the shipping on a gallon container!) and they all look exceptionally healthy. There is plenty of new leaves emerging and very good root systems.
Only one plant did not come (the burning hearts bleeding heart) due to a backorder.
I am very pleased with this order and will definitely be back (and since they send many many coupons with the order and I will probably be tempted back sooner rather than later!


On February 6th, 2012, l_m_stephenson changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

I'm giving up on Bluestone. Many of the plants I ordered last year died (the 2 oakleaf hydrangeas I ordered were VERY poorly rooted and died very quickly). I didn't have much death from any of the other vendors I ordered plants from (and I ordered plugs!) Since the quality of the plants seems to be declining and the prices went through the roof, I'll support other nurseries.
Positive LinL
(1 review)
On Feb 6, 2012, LinL Carlisle, PA wrote:

I've ordered from Bluestone in the past, and have been very pleased with their plants and their customer service. The prices have gone up this year, which is disappointing, but prices for *everything* have gone up, including the prices in other garden catalogs I receive. Bluestone's effort to use ecologically sound practice in their business is one reason I continue to buy from them; as a gardner, the well-being of nature is a concern for me, and I'm glad it's a concern for them as well.

I didn't order as much this year from them because of the pricing, but I'm looking forward to receiving my plants. Their shipping methods and quality always outstrip those of other mail-order nurseries.

Negative yardenman2118
(2 reviews)
On Jan 25, 2012, yardenman2118 Waldorf, MD wrote:

I was surprised when I opened the 2012 catalog and saw the price and quantity changes. Comparing prices to last year's order, I see I would be paying 33% to 60% more per plant. I don't need to start with larger plants, I don't mind the packing peanuts, and I don't trust biodegradable pots. What I DO mind is suddenly paying $22.50 per 3 plants instead of $13.95 (or less). I can't afford that increase.

I'm going to have to go in 3 directions now. First, use more of the plants I have that can be divided every few years or that spread gradually. Second, use more annuals grown from seed (I have a very nice light stand). Third, buy plants from local "big box" stores. I probably will not be placing an order with them this year. If I do, it will be for just 1 each of a few different plants that can be divided in the future.

I have no doubt that Bluestone will continue to provide the fine quality plants, excellent replacement policy, and great customer service, but I still have to consider this a very negative change.

Negative jhughbanks
(1 review)
On Jan 23, 2012, jhughbanks Story, AR wrote:

I made a good sized order on plants and was OK with them when they arrived but not really excited because they looked puny and sickly. Not surprisingly they died very shortly. I won't be ordering from them again.


On Jan 23, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Jan 23, 2012 4:02 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Sorry you waited so long to speak up, jhughbanks. Your guarantee is still in effect, so give us a call (or an email) and let us know what you lost. We will refund or reship (starting in late March) at your preference. You will love the new size!"


Negative warrennj
(9 reviews)
On Jan 21, 2012, warrennj Great Meadows, NJ wrote:

Posted on May 27, 2010, updated January 21, 2012
I have placed several orders with Bluestone and have had nothing but excellent results. If there is one negative it is that the shrub plants tend to be on the very small side, but they are in excellent condition and thrive once planted. This is a company I recommend to everyone.


On January 21st, 2012, warrennj changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

I hate to do it but I have to change my rating. After many years of doing business with Bluestone I was very saddened to see my 2012 catalog. Gone are the great prices for small plants and now comes the high prices for "bigger" plants. What made this company so attractive was being able to buy multiple plants of the same species at a reasonable price. Those "small" plants were perfect, they always arrived in great condition and always caught up to the larger plants I bought locally by the end of the season they also allowed me to plant larger groupings of the same plant at a reasonable price. It is sad to see a nursery that filled a perfect niche decide to become just like all the rest.
Positive dave12122
(69 reviews)
On Jan 17, 2012, dave12122 East Haddam, CT wrote:

I haven't dealt with Bluestone in a number of years....I do remember getting some nice grasses in small pots that all lived and 8-10 years later, are still flourishing!
My main reason for writing concerns the number of complaints aired here recently about Bluestone's prices. I decided to spend a couple of hours on the website to really examine the prices and compare Bluestone's offerings to other well known perennial/shrub nurseries.
What I found is that while Bluestone's prices cannot be considered "cheap", their prices for single plants are pretty much in line with most other comparable nurseries, $6.95-$10.95 for perennials and $8.95- $13.95 for most shrubs. I think this suggests a new buying strategy: instead of getting the old 3 packs, all you would really need is one big plant to fill the same amount of space. I understand that some people like to watch things grow, but you would get a flowering sized plant much faster with the larger pots, so not everything is negative about the price increases. My only cavil is that the size of the SHIPPED plants are not indicated for the shrubs. (although Bluestone does list the size of a mature plant). For example, if I ordered a Daphne, would I get a plant 2 inches high or 12 inches? Some nurseries, such as Siskiyou, actually list the size of the shipped shrubs and conifers, and I find this enormously helpful. As far as where to go if you have truly "had it" with Bluestone, I would suggest Santa Rosa Gardens. They have competitively priced plants and are a pleasure to work with.

Positive claire25
(13 reviews)
On Jan 17, 2012, claire25 Salisbury, MD wrote:

Posted on May 9, 2010, updated January 17, 2012
Just received my first order ever from Bluestone Perennials. It will be the first of many! Plants were clearly of top quality and arrived safe and sound.

I had contacted Bluestone previously because I learned that I would not be at home the week that my plants were originally scheduled to ship--the customer service person I spoke with was very courteous and friendly. My request to change the shipping date was carried out with no problems!

Again, I'm very happy with this company. Now, I just have to find some way to justify placing another order with them this fall...oh wait, there's that free shipping on your next order deal they give you if you return the packaging materials from your last order to them. Problem solved!


On January 17th, 2012, claire25 added the following:

I had been counting on making yearly orders from Bluestone for the foreseeable future, but the price increases have made this impossible. I truly hope they are doing what is best for them as a company, but I can tell by reading many of these comments that I'm not the only gardener who'd rather have smaller, less expensive plants. Ah, well. My positive rating for them stands, of course. I just hope they're still around to do business with when (and if) I can afford to order from them again!!
Negative Skypilot3474
(2 reviews)
On Jan 16, 2012, Skypilot3474 NELLYSFORD, VA wrote:

I'm really disappointed with Bluestone. I bought perennials from them for years, but their prices have gone up on the plants I was going to order this spring a huge 60%! My 12 plant order would have increased about $30 from last year's catalog.

They say they're sending larger plants! I don't want larger plants. The smaller plants they send grow into sizable plants the first year. Expensive biodegradable pots? I'm not going to pay for those. I reuse the plastic ones over and over again and then recycle them.

I understand the rise in medical costs as part of their increases, but I sure won't help them pay for their other uneconomical decisions. I'll deal with unruly peanuts if I have to in order to save money. People are hurting out here, but Bluestone doesn't get it. Were they bought out or something? Something went wrong there.

By the way if you post your grievances at Gardenweb, forget it. They'll delete your complaint.

Negative crocus1
(7 reviews)
On Jan 16, 2012, crocus1 Lawrence, KS wrote:

Posted on October 18, 2008, updated January 16, 2012
Bluestone P. is amazing. The plants are always in perfect condition and well-packed and shipped on time. It is also one of the few companies that has managed to keep their prices reasonable and even low! While other nurseries have suddenly started charging (understandably) $8.00 and more for 4 in pots, you can still order 3-packs of perennials from Bluestone at reasonable prices. This year I ordered from one of the top 30 and from Bluestone for same plant, different varieties. Bluestone had 3-packs 3 for $15 and the other (shall remain nameless as I can't really blame them for charging more in this economy and with rising shipping costs) charged $7-8 per 4-inch pot. Bluestone's 3-packs were beautiful, healthy plants with seriously healthy roots. The other 4-in pots were disappointing for $8 plus postage: they had stick-ons that said "careful, shallow roots." Although it's possible that was because of the plant, I have to say I was disappointed to get $8 plants with barely established roots. We'll see how they do next spring.

Hugely recommend this company. Always have a good selection, prices can't be beat, and customer service is excellent.


On October 18th, 2008, crocus1 added the following:

Almost forgot, the ONLY company I order from so far who offers to recycle their peanuts for shipping credit. Good for you.
On January 16th, 2012, crocus1 changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

Sad to see Bluestone price themselves out of business. Yes, the plants are excellent, but the real draw was the 3-pack good pricing for GOOD healthy SMALL plants. Telling customers how thrilled we'll be with the bigger healthier plants is missing the point. You were the only nursery that I could afford to buy plants from in bulk. Now I can't. I am happy to see biodegradable pots, but you should keep the 3-packs OR get the pot company to produce 3-pack biodegradable that can be cut/pulled apart. Can't be that difficult. Again, an increase in price is understandable, but 60%!!! Very unreasonable. I prefer to give my money to nurseries, but now will be forced to buy from a local grocery store that supplies 4 in pots for under $4. At least in 2011, they did. If Bluestone is going to price up to match regular mailorder nursery prices, there is no point in going mailorder. The local grocery orders from local wholesale nurseries, so I don't feel bad about supporting them per se. But I do feel sorry that Bluestone Perennials that had a GREAT huge inventory of plants not available locally is now too expensive for me. I may still order 1 or 2 of these unavailable plants, but will no longer buy in bulk. Too bad as Bluestone is a great company and their SMALL plants were as healthy as 4 in elsewhere. I was willing to wait for them to grow in. Most gardeners would be, and I see from other comments that you are hugely disappointing a major portion of your customers. Maybe you will survive but you will lose those of us who valued you as a company that provided options for those of us who don't have tons of extra money to buy plants. Last year I couldn't afford any and this year--finally--I had planned to buy hardy geraniums and other perennials from you. Will have to find another source. Sad. I will keep an eye on your 50% sales, but it's ridiculous to have to check every week for what MIGHT be on sale. And impossible to plan a garden that way. For you all to tell us to check the sales if we can't afford big plants is a big ... well, the polite thing is to say, I guess you don't care about your lower income customers and maybe you are looking to enter a higher income market anyway. Sad and somewhat disappointing in an old established nursery. Heirloom Bulbs has been struggling and god knows their prices are high, but whenever possible, they give discounts on bulbs that are particularly abundant. They are ALWAYS thinking of their customers first and understand that gardening is a luxury for most people who are currently struggling in this economy.
Negative seedreemer
(1 review)
On Jan 16, 2012, seedreemer Springfield, MO wrote:

I've ordered from Bluestone several years in a row now, but this year I'll be looking elsewhere. Bluestone filled a much needed niche with their small plant sizes for such affordable prices. I've never minded waiting for my plants to grow, and it was a delight to be able to obtain so many varieties to experiment with.

In addition, I'm not interested in shelling out my hard earned dollars to help Bluestone line "Big Eco's" deep pockets.

I hope all that eco-green propaganda keeps you warm at night, Bluestone.

Positive FLStu
(5 reviews)
On Jan 16, 2012, FLStu Lowell, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

Posted on March 27, 2006, updated January 16, 2012
I've ordered only once last year after seeing the variety of Sedum available in a catalogue that my sister-in-law had. We are Zone 9A. All have come through the winter well, even with the current drought and being newly established. I have been impressed with the size anbd quality of the plants and have not yet had to see how they deal with replacements. I will be placing another order this year. Only critisism: I received a 20% off voucher too late to the expiration date to utilize.


On February 12th, 2009, FLStu added the following:

I continue to use Bluestone and there is a definate reason that they are in DG's Watchdog top 30....... friendly and courteous service, qualityof plant material and the fact that they stand behind their product. I look forward to this year's catalogue.
On June 17th, 2009, FLStu added the following:

I, again, have received two orders this season from Bluestone Perrenials. Can you get addicted to a company? I have nothing but high praises for the plant quality and their response if any problems occur. Beware of the half price plant offers...... you can wind up with a garden.....LOL
On January 16th, 2012, FLStu added the following:

I have to say that last year, ordering the three for 'x' priced plants, I was highly disappointed with the size of the plants and conditions in which they were arrived. Between the weak or dead plants that arrived and those that didn't survive long once in the ground, I almost gave up on bluestone. However, they replaced the plants without question, some even twice. I blame the in-route deaths on the unpredictable heat during the shipping season. and,once again, they were replaced without issue.

The last replacements were in the compostable pots. I think that this is a big improvement. While the three-packs may go away, starting with slightly larger plants and not having the shock of replanting did make a big difference in the ability of the plants to accept their new locations. Time will tell how they wintered, but, though I'm sorry that the multipacks may be a thing of the past, I look forward to plants that actually live and grow. And, without them, the # of selections will need to be less this season to stay within budget, but I will still be ordering plants unavailable to me locally.
Neutral sheepwrecked
(3 reviews)
On Jan 15, 2012, sheepwrecked Mutual, OH wrote:

A couple of comments: First, I work in the plastics industry and plant pots are highly desirable recyclables. We make as much of our products as possible out of "regrind" plastic, for which we pay a premium price, and we never have enough. I personally put all my plastic plant pots in my recycle bin at the curb and they are all taken, even the trays under the pots. Here's something to think about re plastic--we make plastic pallets vs. wooden ones. Wood pallets come from cutting down trees, are generally used once, and most often end up in the landfill. (yes, I know some people burn them for fuel, more pollution by the way, but most are landfilled). Our plastic pallets are re-used over and over again and when they get damaged are ground up and remade into a new pallet. Plastic resin is much too expensive (as high as 70 cents a pound) to waste in a landfill. We buy old plastic from every source we find. Our process does not produce ANY air pollution and we don't need any EPA air permits and don't even have any "smokestacks" or vents.

For several years and landscaping 2 different homes from scratch, I shopped using the printed catalog then made a driving expedition to Bluestone Perennials and bought an entire pickup full of plants to landscape my yard. There was a substantial discount doing this as they didn't have to pick/pack/ship. The small plants allowed me to transport more, and they transplanted better. I did not bother to shop at any other nursery during that time.

Several years ago they stopped mailing the catalog, although I phoned several times to request one. I find the website much harder to shop through and it does not have the complete growing information that was in the catalog. I had bought several thousand dollars of plants during those years, so don't know why they wouldn't give me a catalog. I suspect they need to save the cost of printing, as many other businesses have had to do.

The economy has been hard on everyone, and their business obviously requires that they charge higher prices to stay open. However, they had a niche market with the smaller, lower price plants, and I believe that was one of their main advantages. As others have remarked, they have now lost that competitive advantage and only time will tell if that was a correct marketing decision. I have always gotten excellent plants, excellent variety from them, so have no complaints on that score. Due to the high prices now, I'm unlikely to buy in the future.

Positive MrSteven
(3 reviews)
On Jan 12, 2012, MrSteven Pinardville, NH wrote:

While price increases are never something anyone likes, I will say my review is based on the quality of the plants. People can decide for themselves if the quality product is justified by the price. But I bought an assortment of plants for my shade garden and was quite happy. Plants were packaged well and in good shape. And best of all, almost all bloomed at least somewhat in the first year.

Negative Kate1970
(1 review)
On Jan 11, 2012, Kate1970 Manassas, VA wrote:

How can Bluestone justify selling the butterfly garden that was $59.95 in December 2011 at $165.00 in January 2012? At first I thought it was a mistake, or a larger/different butterfly garden with more plants. Imagine my surprise & dissapointment to realize its the same package. That's an additional $106.00! How can you justify this?

I understand gas prices are up and that price increases are due to happen. But a 60% price increase? Thanks but no thanks, I'll be taking my business elsewhere.


On Jan 11, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Jan 13, 2012 9:45 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Before you leave us, please consider watching our video showing the new larger size in direct comparison to our previous size. Our new pot holds a plant that is 2-3 times the size of the our previous 3-pak size. The environmental friendliness of the coir pot is a nice bonus, but the new larger size / larger plants are the real plus. We know things are tight, and we are continuing our deeply discounted specials, reward coupons, and early order promotions to help. The video link is above and it is also viewable on our home page http://www.bluestoneperennials.com We hope you will reconsider and stay."


Negative awholenewworld
(1 review)
On Jan 10, 2012, awholenewworld Ambler, PA wrote:

It was so upsetting to see the new pricing. I have been an enthusiastic customer for many years. Goodbye Bluestone. You are no longer the value you have always been. Sniff

Neutral aglading
(3 reviews)
On Dec 30, 2011, aglading Rochester, NY wrote:

Spring of 2010 I placed an order with Bluestone and was extremely pleased with the product. Of over 75 plants, all had nice sturdy root systems, and only one was lost due to predation.

Spring of 2011, I placed a smaller order (actually placed the order in January). When my eagerly anticipated package arrived, I found out that they had only shipped half my order, despite getting my order in so early. How early do you need to order to get your plants in the spring?

The plants were going to ship in the fall, so I waited, and ordered more plants to combine with the fall shipment. Well, despite the large price increase, and the new biodegradable pots, I'm not sure the plants I received in the fall will make it. Their root systems were very small, and the plants themselves were puny and withered, despite that the "new pots" are larger. I will wait until spring to see if they make it, and change my review accordingly. I'm afraid that if they don't make it, I'll have to wait another year to get replacement plants!

I have strongly recommended Bluestone to friends and family in the past, but with the huge price increase and the lower quality, I may not do that again.


On Dec 30, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Jan 3, 2012 2:57 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Hello aglading, and thanks for letting us address your concerns. First let me apologize for the need to backorder from your spring order. Our standard policy is to grow more plants than we think we will need so that we can fill every order through to the end of the season, and not disappoint anyone, ever. Unfortunately, crop problems arise at any time from any direction, and even plants that are ordered early can bump into them. Mother Nature plays a large part in the equation and this year she certainly had her way with us. The long and the short of it is, we strive to do the best we possibly can, and then stand by our guarantee. Please let us know if your fall plants are not gorgeous next spring and we will reship fresh vigorous plants to you or issue a refund, at your discretion. I hope you will allow us this chance to rebuild your trust in us, as the new product line is very exciting!"


Neutral mikerotell
(9 reviews)
On Dec 23, 2011, mikerotell Franklin Park, NJ wrote:

I've ordered from Bluestone in past when they sold in 3 paks and have always been pleased with my purchase. Bluestone filled a niche, strong young plants at reasonable prices. There were no other quality mail order nurseries that were offering the same quality and value. Sadly, Bluestone lost it's focus. The very thing that made them unique and great is no more. There is no dispute that their plants are still top notch but unfortunately there is no longer anything that sets them apart from other nurseries. Granted, going 'green' is nice, but do I really need to a pay a premium for the cadillac of biodegradable pots? Where is the value in that? Besides, bidegradable pots in one form or another have been around for years. This isn't exactly new technology. Do I need or even want larger plants? Well, to be honest, not really. I was perfectly happy with smaller plants, they were healthy, well rooted and sturdy. They offered an excellent value and within a year or two proved to be superior to other plants that I paid much more for. I won't go off the deep end and say that I will never order from Bluestone again, but what I can promise you is this- you will no longer be my first choice. Judging by the recent customer comments on this forum it seems as though I am not alone. Please reconsider your marketing tactics. I would hate to see you lose you Garden Watchdog Top 5 rating.


On Dec 23, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Jan 3, 2012 3:14 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Thank you for your concern, mikerotell. We still strive to be your first choice for perennials. Our product is now larger with superior root growth compared to our previous 3-pak (wait til you see!) and pricing on the plants that were previously in 3-paks has, obviously and necessarily, gone up. Our goals in all of this were to offer a better plant at a competitive price while improving our impact on the environment. We have looked at options for years that would allow us to quit using huge quantities of plastic, and to get away from the packing peanuts. This new coir pot and its packing carrier fit the bill for both, and as a fringe benefit, is producing plants with fantastic growth and vigor. I hope you will stick with us and give this new product a try - I know you will be impressed!"


Neutral calstateworker
(4 reviews)
On Dec 15, 2011, calstateworker Sacramento, CA wrote:

You know, as potential customers, we already have the ultimate defense against being overcharged. If the prices are rediculous, don't order anything. There, fixed it.

Negative yukons_mom
(13 reviews)
On Dec 12, 2011, yukons_mom Boise, ID wrote:

Sorry Bluestone, maybe your prices are OK with some customers - but not with me. At a time when people are having a hard time buying food for their tables you have eliminated the 3 packs at reasonable prices and replaced them with single plants in single pots whose prices plus shipping are exceeding my comfort level.

Please do not tell me I should have checked neutral! I was anything but feeling neutral after I anticipated and viewed your new catalog!.

You have lost another customer. I will start my own plants from seed and get many more choices than you offer! And I won't go broke in the process!


On Dec 12, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Jan 3, 2012 3:36 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Thank you for the honest feedback, yukons_mom. We would never want you to check neutral if you were not feeling neutral. We are truly sorry if you have left us as a customer, but please allow me to mention a few cost saving options. Keep an eye on our specials - often at 50% off - that change every week to 10 days. In addition, we allow you to "build" an order thru the season by adding on to the same order and saving on shipping costs. Our shipping rates are lower than our competitors; an additional help. We then send coupons with orders that can help lower the cost of future purchases. I hope these ideas will help to keep costs down for you and that you will still consider our plants for your garden."


Neutral ladybug61
(1 review)
On Dec 11, 2011, ladybug61 Ocala, FL wrote:

I haven't placed an order with Bluestone Perennials yet but I have been reading many of the customer comments, and in particular the negative comments in reference to their large increase in prices on plants as stated on the Garden Watchdog site and it would seem to me that Bluestone's explanation for their increase in prices was a little lame stating that the newer type of pot costs more. However, since they no longer have to purchase the packaging peanuts used for shipping AND the various size plastic pots wouldn't that HELP to defray the cost of the newer pots? Their increases in prices does seem a little exorbitant. Just wondering!!

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