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Comments regarding Bluestone Perennials

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1056 positives
95 neutrals
76 negatives

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RatingAuthorContent
Positive marhar123
(1 review)
On Apr 27, 2012, marhar123 New York, NY wrote:

First-time order: beautiful plants, excellent customer service, good prices!!!

I rarely order from on-line nurseries due to bad experiences in the past, but the fantastic selection Bluestone offers persuaded me to order a plant that has been very difficult to find in the US, even locally. So I was a little alarmed to get a phone call explaining that the shipment had been misdirected & wouldn't arrive on time. Not a good start w/a new company & new order. But the plants arrived only a couple of days late & were healthy & in perfect condition. 3 healthy plants per pot!

The soil medium was still damp but the coir had dried so I amended the planting instructions by slicing the pots w/a blade to increase root contact w/the soil & making sure the loosened pots, including the lip, were covered w/soil. Added lots of bone meal to the planting site & a dose of Superthrive & diluted rooting hormone to water in. 6 weeks later, the new plants are thriving & producing new growth.

If I'd waited til the April 6 ship date (I'd asked for early shipping), I'm sure the roots would have been even more developed. Delayed shipping never helps. But between the extended cool Spring temps we've been getting in the NorthEast, extra attention to transplanting needs, the careful packaging & especially the fantastic quality of the plants, I feel confident I'll have beautiful plants blooming in the Fall.

I waited a while before posting this comment, just to make sure the plants would make it. And I'm happy to see that more gardeners have posted positive remarks to counter that earlier barrage of diatribe from the unhappy customers. Considering the quality of the plants & the packaging, Bluestone's prices are fair & comparable to other sources -- box stores, gardening centers, local nurseries, farmers markets etc. Their selection is exceptional. They were one of 2 nurseries in the country where I could find the plant I'd ordered.

I'm happy to be a new Bluestone customer & am ordering things for Fall planting to take advantage of their coupons.

I'd also like to say that their catalogue is one of the most helpful of all catalogues. All gardeners know that nursery catalogues are like porn for the winter lol & all the pretty pics of all the new things are fuel for the fire. But Bluestone's assessment of real light/sun needs is the most accurate & most realistic.

They deserve to have their Top Garden status restored. Just sayin...

Positive shamrock46
(1 review)
On Apr 26, 2012, shamrock46 Bay, AR (Zone 7a) wrote:

I just received a my latest order from Bluestone, the first since they have revamped their packaging and changed to the new coco fiber pots. I love the new packaging! No more peanuts! The larger plant size is also wonderful. They appear to be very healthy and vigorous. The plants all have large root systems growing through the sides of the coco pots. I can't wait to get them into the ground and see how quickly they start to grow. The pricing is very competitive. The shipping charges are better than most. I also like the coupons you get with each order. Good job, Bluestone!

Positive OHGardenGuy
(3 reviews)
On Apr 26, 2012, OHGardenGuy Loveland, OH wrote:

Posted on May 20, 2011, updated April 26, 2012
Posted on April 26, 2011, updated May 20, 2011
I ordered from Bluestone for the first time this year and just received my order. All plants were very healthy and in great shape! I managed to plant the shade-loving varieties in between rain showers (hostas and ferns). Just waiting for things to dry up a bit before I finish with everything else this weekend.

Thanks for the excellent service and products. I will be ordering again soon.


On May 20th, 2011, OHGardenGuy added the following:

Just an update. Everything I ordered was planted and is now growing wonderfully! Even despite the miserable cool, rainy May we have had here. Thanks again.
On April 26th, 2012, OHGardenGuy added the following:

I just received and planted my 2012 shipment of plants from Bluestone and, like last year, everything was in great condition. This was a bigger order than the previous year and I do like the new pots and packing method.

Of course, UPS left the box on my doorstep, upside down, so there was some soil that came out of the pots, but that was obviously not Bluestone's fault. Just UPS's fault in not heeding the "this side up" message. Thankfully, no harm done.

My 2011 Bluestone perennials are growing like mad. I expect the new plants will do just as well.
Positive edelbevan
(1 review)
On Apr 25, 2012, edelbevan Carmel Hamlet, NY wrote:

Third year I have been using Bluestone as a primary source for plants. Experience has been consistently great: excellent plant quality, fast service, plants arrive extremely well-packed and in good condition, customer service knowledgeable and pleasant -- even replaced some plants that failed that I did not ask to be replaced! I love their new coir biodegradeable pots! Really easy to plant.
Recently I discovered I needed more plants for a bed and wanted to have them planted before a big family gathering in a few weeks...customer service quickly and happily helped move the order along and got it shipped so I will have in plenty of time. A pleasure to deal with them.

Positive cinti5291
(4 reviews)
On Apr 24, 2012, cinti5291 Cincinnati, OH wrote:

I ordered 3 Blacklace Elderberry plants. They were approx. 4" tall and had good growth. The plants revived with a quick soak. The price was quite fair for the size. I'm pleased with these plants that I could not find locally.

Neutral Samlau
(6 reviews)
On Apr 23, 2012, Samlau Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

Just received my 4 plants today i ordered from Bluestone.
I thought i would give them a try since i am in Ohio as is Bluestone. This was meant to ease the shipping burden on the plants and wallet.

They arrived and looked like 2 dogs had fought over 3 of them.
I have received shipments in the last 2 weeks from Oregon and Oklahoma that shipped better than these from within my own state.

Half of ALL the pots dirt was outside the container and laying in the box ... 3 of the plants ordered looked like freddy krueger trimmed them to make them fit in the box.

Seriously ... If you have to mangle the plants to such a degree to fit them inside this tiny box .. then this is all just a waste of my time in dealing with Bluestone.

The only reason this is not a Negative review is because i think (and i emphasise the word think) they will live.


On Apr 23, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Apr 23, 2012 12:40 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Please be in touch, Samlau! We will immediately reship your entire order. You should not have received plants in such condition, and I apologize that they had such a rough ride. You are welcome to nurse the original shipment along if you want to, but you deserve better, and we ship again."


Positive ellep
(1 review)
On Apr 22, 2012, ellep Lansdale, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have been a loyal Bluestone Perennials customer for a number of years, so I was saddened to see all the negative comments here at the Garden Watchdog about the changes the company made. I have always been satisfied with the plants I purchased from the company and thought most of the negatives were premature. Yes, the prices are a bit higher than in past years, but they are still comparable to those of most other mail order companies and my local garden centers. Plus, the sheer variety of plants Bluestone offers means I don't have to order from several different places and pay each company's shipping!
When I placed an order this spring, the coupons Bluestone sent with my last year's order saved me $5 off my total. The plants arrived a week and a half ago in very good shape; only 1 was a little dry and it revived after a good drink. All my new plants are settling into their new homes very well so far. I am very pleased with Bluestone this year--just as I have been every year since I started ordering from them. I appreciate the environment-friendly changes they have made; the coco pots mean less plastic I have to try to recycle and good riddance to the styrofoam packing peanuts! Thanks, Bluestone Perennials!

Positive ladyisle
(34 reviews)
On Apr 21, 2012, ladyisle Bohemia, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Posted on November 9, 2011, updated April 22, 2012
Posted on August 14, 2011, updated November 9, 2011
Posted on July 21, 2005, updated August 14, 2011
I love this nursery. Such an extensive selection-I wind up ordering too much. I have been ordering plants through the mail for many years, but only recently found this company.

Many commented that the plants were "small", so I was actually happily surprised by the size and quality of the plants when I received my first order, which was pretty large. Everything survived, and grew, so I placed a second order the same season. Only one item (Chantrey Land Violets) mysteriously collasped after growing lavishly and blooming their hearts out.

I E-mailed C/S, and got a prompt response. They even called me to find out what I wanted to do as they did not have the Violets for Fall shipment. They offered me several alternatives (unusual in my experience). I chose to order a substitute to ship in the Fall. The price of the new plants were not of concern- Gail said I could order whatever I wanted. I felt even more special when she said I could order something else-no charge. This was unheard of.

Did I mention the great cupon booklet that arrives with all the orders? Not only are they a good savings, they are also good for an entire year, unlike most other mail order nurseries.

This company is definitely at the top of my list.


On August 14th, 2011, ladyisle added the following:

I am disappointed to see negative comments before people have even tried the new pots. At least give a Neutral if you want to vent so as not to negatively affect the company's rating.

I applaud Bluestone for considering the environment. Also like the option of ordering just one plant if I don't need more, but if I do want 3 or more I will get a discount. The prices are very competitive with other mail order companies. Also the shipping rates are excellent.

I never enjoyed fishing around in the peanuts anyway, and now won't have to deal with them or pots for that matter, which will make unpacking and planting a breeze.

100% guarantee works for me too. Local garden centers don't ever offer that. Bluestone, you still have a loyal customer.
On November 9th, 2011, ladyisle added the following:

I just received my bulb order and am very pleased. Very large healthy bulbs from their bulb sale. So sorry to see all these negative comments for a company that has always stood by their plants. Can't wait to try live plants in their new pots. Keep up the good work and don't let the negatives get you down. Change, even positive, is never painless.
On April 21st, 2012, ladyisle added the following:

I recently received my Spring order. Every plant is healthy and vigorous. The packaging excellent. I ordered many plants from their 'Specials' and am impressed by the quality. Even replacement plants were top notch. Bluestone, you did not disappoint and I am so happy that I supported your environmentally conscious changes. I don't know about all you folks out there who think that a local nursery is a better deal. Have you ever tried to get replacement plants at no charge? My experience: never happens!
Positive runner73
(3 reviews)
On Apr 20, 2012, runner73 Milwaukee, WI wrote:

I have been ordering from Bluestone for a number of years and always been happy. I know that they have changed this season. I have a number of things coming in a few weeks. Hope that I am as happy as I have been in the past.

Positive chre
(2 reviews)
On Apr 20, 2012, chre Randolph, MA wrote:

I have been a customer of Bluestone Perennials for a few years. I have been quite satisfied with the old and as well as the new sizes of the plants. I just received my order today the plants look very healthy and were well hydrated when I opened the box. I will be planting them in the next day or 2. As far as the prices go I think the new prices are competitive with other vendors who are offering similar products and sizes. I will continue to business with them.

Positive aileen246
(19 reviews)
On Apr 20, 2012, aileen246 Priest River, ID wrote:

Posted on September 20, 2011, updated April 20, 2012
Posted on May 2, 2011, updated September 20, 2011
Last fall I ordered a pentstemon for myself and a phlox garden collection for my daughter-in-law. When they arrived later in the month, the pentstemon was fine but most of the phlox were wilted, crispy or damaged. When I notified Bluestone, the customer service was sympathetic. They offered to replace the phlox in the spring and add another plant of my choice for the delay. On the April 25th they sent the replacement order by Fedex with tracking and It was delivered on the 29th. The order was in good condition, although one of the phlox was quite small in comparison to the others. The bonus plant, a buddleia, was a nice size and very healthy. I would order from Bluestone again, but earlier in the year to give the little plants more time to grow before fall sets in. Also, separating the plants from the plastic peanuts is no picnic. I would be willing to pay more for shipping to unwrap dampened newspaper like Edelweiss Perennials uses and not have the bother of the peanuts.


On September 20th, 2011, aileen246 added the following:

Just received an order for three Hemerocallis, Chorus Line and am well pleased with the plants Bluestone sent. Their customer service is excellent. I had to change my order and had no problem getting the plants I wanted. The new packing is fine. Will continue ordering from Bluestone.
On April 20th, 2012, aileen246 added the following:

In February when I discovered I had a certificate for free shipping, my catalog came. On it was a certificate for 15% off the next order. I e-mailed Bluestone and was assured I could use both coupons. I ordered three Sedum Autumn Fire to be sent in mid-April. They arrived today by Fedex, delivered to my door. I'm just amazed at the freshness of the plants, with not a leaf out of place. The new packing system is amazing. There was a scant teaspoon of loose soil in the bottom of the package. I'm very happy with this purchase.
On Apr 20, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On May 11, 2011 12:17 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

You are in luck! We are going peanut-less this fall, and I think you will like our plant offerings even more! Watch for our Fall catalog and check our website in about a month for lots of environmentally friendly changes!"


Positive roadster3791
(2 reviews)
On Apr 19, 2012, roadster3791 Ellicott City, MD wrote:

I ordered a variety of perennials and received them on time, all well-packed and in excellent condition.. I appreciate the new packaging and the coir pots. I am very satisfied with my order. Yes, Bluestone is definitely pricier than the home improvement chains, but is on a par with local nurseries. The difference is that Bluestone's quality is clearly a cut above the chains, and their catalog is considerably more expansive than the selections at local nurseries. Even though I live in a major metropolitan area (Washington-Baltimore), Bluestone offers a wide range of plants that are simply unavailable locally. For example, looking at their catalog I see 22 different varieties of aquilegia. I won't find anything close to that at even the largest local nurseries. For the most common plants you may/may be better off at local stores, and local nurseries can at times provide better bang for the buck for less common plants. But beyond the relatively small local selection of plants Bluestone clearly, and pretty effectively, fills a major gap, providing (in my experience) consistently good quality plants over a huge range of selections. BTW, I do not understand the logic in giving Bluestone a negative rating just because they did away with their three small plant specials or because their prices may have gone up. Shouldn't ratings hinge on whether they give good value for the money? And if you haven't ordered from their new catalog, how can you possibly judge that?

Positive Doodleng
(1 review)
On Apr 16, 2012, Doodleng BALL GROUND, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have ordered from Bluestone Perennials several times. My most recent order arrived a couple weeks ago and I was very pleased with the size of the plants and how well they were packed, especially that I didn't have to deal with all that packing material. The box was well designed to assure the plants weren't damaged in shipping. The website has many good sales and the prices are as good or better than any local nurseries. I usually only use mail order for different varieties than I can find locally. I will continue to order from Bluestone.

Positive Pfg
(2 reviews)
On Apr 14, 2012, Pfg (Pam) Warren, CT (Zone 5b) wrote:

Posted on May 29, 2011, updated April 14, 2012
I ordered from bluestone because of what i've read on DG. My plants came quickly and in very good condition. I took advantage of the 1/2 price sale and got very full 2" pots, much more mature plants than I had dared to hope for. I'm pleased to see in another posting that they will not be using styrofoam peanuts after this year. I really, really hate them- that was the only negative part of my experience. I'll be back next spring once they've changed the packaging.


On April 14th, 2012, Pfg added the following:

I was somewhat concerned after reading negative reports last fall about the new packaging, but ordered anyway. Because of other commitments, I had to request a special shipping date. Customer service came through brilliantly. My plants arrived on schedule in perfect condition. Three cheers for the new system! My plants were moist and healthy, and the pots are full of roots. Best of all, no peanuts.

Yes, the prices are higher- but the plants are 3 times the size. I could get three little ones out of some of the ones I received, particularly the Veronica and Salvia if I wanted to. But between 3x pricing, all the discount coupons I had from my last order and the fact that so of my faves were on sale, I ordered 3 of each without breaking the bank.

And except for co-ops, I don't know where you'd get better prices anyway. Most places are more expensive.

So add my plea to all the others who are urging the complainers to think again before giving a negative rating to a company that works so hard to make us and our gardens happy. They are doing a fantastic job.

On Apr 14, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On May 31, 2011 1:37 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Thanks for the kind words and positive rating! Just a clarification that our packaging will change for our Fall shipments starting in late August (just in case you need something sooner!)"


Positive Pattyw5
(10 reviews)
On Apr 12, 2012, Pattyw5 La Salle, IL wrote:

My Bluestone pants came last week exactly when I asked for them, Packaging was superb as good as I seen in many years of mail ordering. Plants were healthy and I followed instructions for planting pots to the letter. Hoping for good luck with them. They say the roots will grow and I trust their word.
Pat Wallace

Positive jasperj
(1 review)
On Apr 11, 2012, jasperj Plainfield, NJ wrote:

I've ordered from Bluestone for years and have always been pleased. I was a little startled at the price increase last year when they switched to the new "coco" pots so I called them. They told me that with the new pots, the plants don't suffer transplant shock because the pots go directly into the ground, and as a result the plants get bigger faster. I thought I'd give it a try even tho the costs were higher.
Several months later, I'm very pleased at the results. The plants from my last order are indeed growing up faster than my previous orders where the plants had to be removed from the plastic pots so you could plant them. Some of the plants are dramatically bigger than you'd usually get the following year.

Positive PAMSPACE
(4 reviews)
On Apr 10, 2012, PAMSPACE Temperanceville, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Posted on April 8, 2010, updated April 10, 2012
Just received another order from Bluestone, everything looks great! Last year one of the butterfly bushes I ordered from them bloomed in the wrong color. I had the plants in the ground for several weeks by the time I was sure the flowers weren't pink. I called Bluestone and they replaced it no questions asked. That pink (I hope) butterfly bush was included in this springs order. Way to go Bluestone!


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

Just received another order from Bluestone. All the plants came well packed, glad to be rid of those peanuts. Prices are still good, you just have to shop a little. Will order from them again & again.
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
(43 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
(41 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
(7 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.

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