On Dec 10, 2011, Gsdperson Miller Place, NY wrote:
It was with much anticipation that I received Bluestone Perennials latest catalog, and with great disbelief that I saw the outrageous price hikes. While I am supportive of biodegradable pots (local garden stores have had them for years), I don't believe this justifies tripling the price of common varieties of plants that, quite honestly can be easily (and now MUCH more cheaply) be obtained elsewhere. How can your company substantiate charging $165.00 for the SAME butterfly garden that was $59.95 two months ago? As a loyal customer who has purchased from Bluestone for quite a few years, and has frequently recommended the company to family and friends, I am disappointed that in light of today's economy, a decision like this would be made. I unfortunately will not be purchasing from Bluestone anymore.
I have been a repeat customer for years and have always been excited when the new catalog arrives. This year, the prices of the first two items I wanted had gone up an average of 64%. How dumb do they think I am? I threw the catalog away and will support my local nurseries in the future. Good bye Bluestone.
On Nov 7, 2011, mspencer1818 Salt Lake City, UT wrote:
Posted on November 7, 2011, updated November 7, 2011
Like many commentators here, I am very disappointed by the changes at Bluestone Perennials. I was shocked to see the hike in prices represented by the new catalog. In the past, I have made a real point to always search out Bluestone Perennials whenever I have been in the market for new plants. My husband and I are young homeowners, and Bluestone was a place where I could purchase items on a budget. Although I knew it meant waiting for smaller plants to grow, it was a real way to fill in a large yard for a family without a great deal of disposable income. This was the niche, the very needed niche, Bluestone filled. I have spent hundreds of dollars over the past few years with a company I felt was performing a real service, and making gardening more affordable for the average person.
I think Bluestone has done a bad thing for their loyal customers. I love the idea of biodegradable pots (although in the past, I have enjoyed using Bluestone's three packs to begin my own vegetable plants for the garden - my own personal recycling program), and I can understand the need to raise prices from time-to-time. But to raise prices so much, all at once - I simply don't get it. I am not generally one to complain about this sort of thing, but this was so egregious and unexpected that it really got my goat.
Now, it will take longer for me to fill my garden. That's OK. I will be doing something that I would encourage others to do as well - start shopping at your local nursery. Why pay the same price (and more with shipping) to a mail-order nursery when you can support a local business? Plus, you can see the plants and make real choices about plant health, etc.
I am sorry to see the changes at Bluestone. I will miss the company I really used to adore and recommend to others.
On November 7th, 2011, mspencer1818 added the following:
I wanted to add something more after thinking a bit. I read in several reviews where those of us who are giving the increased prices and change of focus a negative review were being taken to task for this. Instead, we are asked only to rate plant size, health, and customer service.
As I stated in my earlier review, I very seldom post negative reviews of companies. I do appreciate that prices need to rise from time to time, and I appreciate that companies need to make changes to adapt to maketplaces, etc. When I have received damaged or mislabled plants from Bluestone, I have always been happy to contact their customer service department, and have never made an online complaint my first choice for dealing with issues.
But this was no small or even moderate price hike, And, frankly, in my opinion, Bluestone abandoned many long time customers. This IS a customer service issue, although it is related to company philosophy rather than to replacements or plant guarantees. I do take posting a negative review seriously, and I DO stand behind this one. On Nov 7, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On Nov 10, 2011 9:17 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Sorry to hear of your disappointment with our discontinuing our 3 pak line, and our pricing. It is a decision we did not reach lightly. Moving to an earth friendly product does cost more to produce. (There is a reason why everyone uses plastic!) We realize we are ahead of most nursery companies, but we feel strongly that removing all the plastic from our packages it is the right thing to do.
On our pricing, we left our larger pot and shrub size pricing unchanged and now offer a new price break for 3 or more of a variety. Our varieties that used to be in 3-paks did come up in price as the coco-pot is almost 3 times the root zone size and requires double the greenhouse space to produce. Now that we have all our plants in just one size it has allowed us to rid our packaging of those dreaded shipping peanuts, and with the use of pots instead of 3 packs, customers can now purchase in any plant quantity they wish.
Please shop our competitors and compare prices and delivery fees. We think you will quickly see that they are experiencing the same pressures that we are experiencing. If you find a new supplier and we’ve lost you – then we’d like to 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 100% biodegradable coco pot. The plant growth is amazing. You’ll also find that we are still the same people, growing a great product, with the same exceptional level of customer support.
Posted on September 13, 2011, updated October 17, 2011
This is my first time ordering from Bluestone Perennials, and I can't say that it's been a pleasurable experience. I placed an order for three Lavender Ellegance Sky in August and requested that it arrive the first week of September. I live in Massachusetts, and of course we had a hurricane the weekend before my order was due to ship.
So, I call the first week of September and my order is delayed. Understandable. I reschedule it to ship the following Tuesday the 6th (because of Labor Day), and the rep said it would arrive that Thursday the 8th. I call the following Thursday and the order has not shipped because they "weren't sure" if it could go out, even though I told them there are no mail delays in our area. So we reschedule the order AGAIN to ship the following Monday the 12th, to arrive on Wednesday the 14th.
I call today, Tuesday, because at this point I don't believe my order is ever going to ship. The rep told me the order went out today (not Monday...) and that it will take 5-7 business days. Excuse me?! Why have I been told EVERY OTHER TIME that I will receive this order in TWO days?! How are my plants supposed to survive 7 DAYS in a box without water?! She offered no apologies or explanation as to why I was told it would take two days from other reps.
At this point I am cranky and irritated by this lengthy process, all for three stupid plants. I'll send an update once/if I receive my order...
On October 17th, 2011, khoy changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
My plants finally arrived in 4 business days, and one was certainly worse for wear. There was dirt scattered around the package and one of the plants was ejected from its pot. The company is using eco-friendly coco pots, which is a nice gesture, but I think the pots dry out too quickly. One of my three plants flourished beautifully, but the other two never acclimated and died. I emailed the company, received a prompt response in two days, and received a refund soon after that. I did not have a good experience with this company but they handled the situation appropriately.On Oct 17, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
We can certainly appreciate your frustration, khoy. We as a company have never (in 38 years) had to deal with the level of disruption that Irene caused in the shipping stream. We chose to err on side of caution and not burden our storm-beleaguered customers or our shippers by sending a perishable product into a storm ravaged area. Unfortunately, there is no clearing house of information regarding areas that are closed to shipments so we took our best guess and held the shipments to most of the East coast. Who could possibly have predicted that the next week would bring 10" of rain and flooding to the same area? It was a nightmare. I have checked and your package was sent UPS Surepost, and is scheduled to arrive Friday per UPS. I apologize for the misrepresentation of the usual time in transit. Don't hesitate to call us if there is anything less than perfect about your plants when they arrive, since we want to make this right for you despite the numerous delays."
On Oct 14, 2011, bottlegreen Saint Paul, MN wrote:
Two years ago I ordered 12 Lobelia 'Ruby Slippers' from Bluestone. The very small plants arrived in the fall, and only 6 survived. But those 6 were so lovely that I didn't complain and promptly ordered 3 more. These were specimens I wouldn't even have given away to anyone (limp, yellowish, fragile); they didn't come through the winter, and this time I did complain, choosing their offer of replacement instead of refund. They're obviously having trouble with this plant. I got a check for $12.50 (less than the cost of the plants) and a coupon. I remember when Bluestone sent you tiny but healthy and very cheap plants. Now they cost what you'd pay anywhere and are measly specimens, at least in my experience (the wedding phlox didn't survive either).
On Sep 28, 2011, plantgnome1 nowhere land, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
Posted on September 8, 2011, updated September 28, 2011
Posted on May 2, 2010, updated September 8, 2011
i already rated this company positive under just plantgnome, but I wanted to rate again-This years purchases came in much larger than the past couple of years orders-great plants, all are thriving and they even replaced a couple of plants that didn't make it thru our harsh winter. I highly recommend this company for both value, plant health and customer service. AAAAAA++++++
On September 8th, 2011, plantgnome1 added the following:
I still feel this company is one of the top perennial online nurseries-I am however unpleasantly surprised at how the "3 for $" is now single plants for what appears to be alot more money per plant. for instance 3 starfire tall phlox I believe was about $15.00 and now they are each about $9.00-(can't check for exact amount as their site is down right now) which is a huge pricing increase. Shipping costs remain reasonable as opposed to other companies exorbitant shipping costs. Perhaps because they raised their plant prices to absorb the shipping costs. I am anxiously awaiting several orders in their "new" packaging and hope I do not have the problems listed recently here at garden watchdog. As per other reviewers I have created numerous different gardens in my yard with Bluestone plants and i would say 95% of them survived pretty nasty weather including late spring freezes, and Tropical Storm Irene recently. Having lost my job 2 years ago my ordering is not what it used to be, but they are one of two companies I still give most of my orders to. Keeping my fingers crossed.On September 28th, 2011, plantgnome1 added the following:
I received my sizable order in a timely fashion, as I always did from them. two of the packages were shipped fed ex ground-Those arrived in perfect condition- all plants a nice size and no packing peanuts-thank the lord. the third box some reason was shipped UPS-that one came with the plants in the box but not in their pots-soil all over the place. I promptly filled the coco pots with more soil and put the plants back in them as they looked okay, not dried out. I soaked the repotted plants overnight in a pan of water with a few drops of Miracle Grow starter. Planted them the next day and they appear okay. I am keeping a close eye on them. I like the new pots-of which most of the plants roots were already showing thru the sides and bottom of the pot. I feel this protects them thru the winter freezes. Two plants which I expected were not shipped due to a crop failure but to make up for this they are sending a free plant of my choice! Also adding plants to an order which was almost ready to ship at the last minute. I am still very happy with bluestone (other than the huge price hike).
So-I think alot of the issues people have regarding the condition upon arrival of their plants has more to do with the shipping company (UPS) than the packaging. I rather have my orders shipped Fed-ex-as they come intact. The other issue-pricing-the other companies are charging ridiculous shipping amounts for minimal orders, but their plants are cheaper-one way or another you are paying. For instance up to a $25 order is 7.95 shipping with bluestone. Other companies-every plant you add raises the shipping charges and start at 7.50 for just 1 5.00 plant and rises as you add more plants especially during sales. So really its 6 of one half a dozen of another-thats the way online plant companies work. I rarely order plants from companies with a minimum order requirement either as I feel thats not a really good business practice. Some companies charge almost $20.00 to ship one plant-thats pretty much price gouging unless they are sending a gardener with the plant to dig the holes. LOL
Finally-I will still purchase from Bluestone and a few other reputable companies and have removed about 5 top watchdog companies from my previous list as they not only overcharge for plants but to add insult to injury and also overcharge for shipping or have minimum requirements.
Lastly-Companies are in business to make money so use your common sense when choosing one.
I love this company and although the plants are small-- they are healthy and it is no deterent for me to reorder from them. I have received 4 or 5 orders from them. The plants are consistently healthy, they quickly grow and develop well, and they are nicely packaged. It's obvious that Bluestone takes pride in shipping healthy plants. (I did receive a note from Bluestone about their 'new packaging materials' and did notice the price increases in their fall catalog; however, the price increase is not a deterent to prevent me from ordering from this great company because I am aware of what great plants they ship).
Posted on September 10, 2011, updated September 16, 2011
I am a new customer and placed my first order a week ago. I have absolutely no problem with the prices of the plants or the shipping, I LOVE the selection they offer, the sale items, and the pre-planned gardens which I might try next Spring.
I am eager to received the 15 plants I've ordered and when they arrive I will adjust this review to Positive or Negative depending on the condition that everything arrives in.
Compared to Jung Seeds, which I just received my first order from, I am sure that BS could only be an improvement in both size of the plants and customer service.
On September 16th, 2011, coolnigh changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
All plants arrived 2 Day FedEx in perfect condition. no spills, no dry soil, not even wilted. Absolutely beautiful.
The coir containers make it SO easy to transplant.
I have nothing but positive things to say; will order again in a heartbeat. A++
The first time I ordered from Bluestone Perennials I was disappointed that the plants came unsecured in a box filled with white styrofoam peanuts. The plants had definitely suffered from their trip but the customer service was very good and they replaced the destroyed plants, the problem was that even some of these replacements suffered because the packing method had not changed. Now I am happy to fine that not only have they changed their packing methods but these must be the best packing methods in the industry. They now use biodegradable coco pots that you can plant directly into the ground (no waste), and each plant is packed separately and secured so the dirt isn't thrown around during transportation and the plants look hydrated and without damage.
This has to be the turn around of all time.
Well done Bluestone! You can count on me in the future and I am just glad I went with my gut and did not cancel future orders. You listened to your customers and you made the necessary changes and now you seem to be ahead of the ball.
My order arrived on time, healthy and complete with the exception of one backorder. The backorder did arrive on the exact date it was scheduled for and was in one of the new coconut pots, which I love. In spite of the severe drought in my region this year, my plants did well, and even thrived, especially the Boltonia Snowbank - this thing was not deterred by dog 'attention', drought, my neglect or an iffy location, and grew from one tiny sprig to a plant that actually looks bigger and better than the picture in the catalog. The biggest problem I have had with the plants I've ordered from Bluestone is their sheer health - they tend to grow so well and enthusiastically, I've had to divide and move several of them to give them more space, or give several of the divisions away to neighbors. I'm an extremely picky consumer, and I can't think of anything negative to say about this company.
Posted on August 31, 2011, updated September 9, 2011
This Spring I ordered Rozanne Geranium. They sent 3 of the wrong plants. They finally filled the order with just one dead plant! Their new pots are horrible! The plants didn't even take root into the pot before shipping and are all dried up and scattered in the box! My replacement Kent Beauty Oregano plants were not in the pot either. Their new mix looks like dried up saw dust. The main pots that are coco are just sitting in the bottom half empty! They didn't even wet the mix!
The only plant that's alive is my Clematis. Bless its little heart.
This company just lost a customer. I don't know what happened to their service but it has fallen drasticaloy!
On September 9th, 2011, echinaceamaniac changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
This company has such wonderful customer service. They have gone out of their way to help me with my problem order. I really believe they deserve our patience until they get their new shipping system corrected. The new pots have great potential. The Clematis that came is doing really well.
No other company stands by their plants so much. I'm impressed with their friendly staff!On Sep 9, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
We are so sorry to hear your order was incorrect. We are working the bugs out of an entirely new shipping procedure, and there are have been some bumps in the road. I hope you have or will contact us directly as we won't rest until you are satisfied. We have hopefully fixed the problem of plants going out too dry, so I hope you will allow us to reship. A refund is also available to you, but I hope you will give us a second chance to get it right."
Just received th Heuchera I ordered and was thoroughly disappointed. Their new packing was used and my plant roots were all dried up in fact it fell out of that "pot" and I had dusty dry dirt all over my floor. Unhappy,may not order again.
On Sep 3, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Please be in touch with our office as your plants are guaranteed and we can reship or refund as you see fit. We have made some 'tweaks' to our packaging and what you experienced should not happen again."
On Aug 26, 2011, mrsrudy Wappingers Falls, NY wrote:
I have been ordering plants from Bluestone for a few years now. I appreciated the low prices of the 3-packs and have had much success with their plants. I was dismayed to see the price hikes this fall, like others were, but I just received a shipment of 3 Ceratostigma in the new coco pots, which was from a backorder from last spring. The plants are very nice - big and healthy looking. I was unsure if they were going to charge me the new prices since this was a backorder from spring when the prices were lower and the plants were smaller. But they sent the bigger plants in the new pots and only charged me the spring prices. They are a good, reliable, responsive company. Although I probably won't order as many plants as I have in the past due to the higher prices, I will certainly still continue to order from them.
Posted on May 20, 2005, updated August 18, 2011
I just received my order from them and they are all looking healthy. Some of the perennials and shrubs are a bit small but at least they’re not dead.
And their prices are a bargain.
Will order from them again as I have for the past 3-4 years.
On July 12th, 2005, beblue3333 added the following:
This is a great company that offers a wide range of perennials and shrubs.
They are however small but for the price I can wait. Most perennials do great the 2nd year anyways. You can also get quite a bit of a deal with their specials and closeouts. I have always received live and healthy plants from them and most are doing great.
Their shrubs are small though, so if u can't wait for these, i'd get gallon ones from elsewhere.
Will definitely order from them again and again.
On August 18th, 2011, beblue3333 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I have been ordering from them for a number of years now. And I, like others on here, am shocked by the new prices for the Fall catalogue! This can’t just be from the new eco pots. (I think it’s great that they switched to this). I can’t no longer afford to order from them much anymore. Some of the items cost even more than the local nurseries here! Really too bad!
On Aug 16, 2011, bookreader451 Troy, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:
Posted on May 7, 2009, updated August 16, 2011
I got my first order from Bluestone today. The plants were all healthy and all the soil was moist. I water them all (as instructed) and put them out under the deck. I am a gardening novice and the information that came with the order is priceless.
The only negative was the catalogue.........now I am coveting.
On August 16th, 2011, bookreader451 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I have been ordering from Bluestone consistantly for the last few years and I too was shocked at the price increase. I am disappointed because I was always able to find a great selection at a reasonable price.
On Aug 15, 2011, mudbugs56 Monessen, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on May 23, 2008, updated August 15, 2011
Just received another quality order from Bluestone, consisting of several hostas, hens & chicks, and other assorted plants. All arrived in great shape, still moist and nice and green. One hosta plant is actually just a hosta "leaf" sticking out of the dirt, but 99% of the order was really nice. They do package with care and none of the plants were damaged in shipping.
On August 15th, 2011, mudbugs56 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
After several orders with Bluestone over the years that I was mostly satisfied with, I must express my disappointment with the changes they have made. I had already planned a fall order, but now that the catalogue has arrived I am dismayed at the astronomical price increases. I can no longer afford to order from Bluestone Perennials; my money will go a lot further elsewhere.
On Aug 15, 2011, dixiedumplin Riceville, TN wrote:
I have always been so pleased that I could buy healthy (but small) plants that fit into my budget. I was very content to wait for the small plants to take off and make beautiful large plants. No more! If I had the money to shop at Bluestone I might as well go to my local nursery and not have to wait for plants to be shipped. I'm sorry that Bluestone ignored those of us on small budgets and fixed income.
POSITIVE: I too, have been a very satisfied customer of Bluestone Perennials for many years. Plants are very healthy, and the customer service I have experienced has been very positive. I usually spend $100-200 every year, at least. I enjoyed participating in their recycle program. Was very happy to have heard that they would be going to coco pots this year.
UNFORTUNATELY, with the recent and HUGE price increase, I will no longer be able to afford to make purchases from them. Purchasing the coco pots in Bulk should NOT have perpetuate a skyrocketing price increase. The pots come in many different sizes and configurations. Using a smaller pot may be an option? The plants that are shipped are usually pretty small anyway.
Been buying from these folks for over 20 years - never a problem with plants and very affordable. Not any more : add my name to the people upset with the huge (make that HUGE) price increase for individual plants. Last fall, I purchased the Shade Garden for $119 - this year it's $295!!
Posted on October 17, 2006, updated August 12, 2011
I would like to give kudos to Bluestone Perennials. I recently ordered one of their pre-planned gardens. Not only was I really impressed with the shipping speed, but I also appreciate that the plants are a perfect size for transplanting. I'm really quite pleased and will continue to purchase from Bluestone. I have no doubt that I will have lots of blooms next spring!
On August 12th, 2011, kofi19 changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Yikes! The price increase is huge- and I will not be able to order from Bluestone this fall - and very sorry to say that since they have been so great in the past. The new rating is based entirely on price- not service or quality.
This company needs to go from the Top 5 to the -5 category for the biggest unrealistic price increases ever!!!! Check out the differences between the Spring and Fall catalogues! Price for the Drought Tolerant Garden in Spring was $159.95...and now folks, don't drop off your chairs, but it is a whopping $445.00. I thought it was printed incorrectly...but no...that's what it really is! ....they say it's because they are providing new pots....I say...leave things well enough alone and provide decent prices that the majority of people can afford!! I am very sorry to say...that's the end of it for me with this company...I will look elsewhere and will urge other customers to do the same.
I have previously and recently ordered from Bluestone and have had a very positive experience. However, I recieved by Fall Catalog yesterday and they have DRAMATICALLY increased thier prices, and eliminated the popular "3 for x$" feature. Part of the Bluestone appeal was the wonderful value, now they want you to pay half (or more) of the "3 for" price for one plant.
On Jul 26, 2011, shine389 Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have been a customer of Bluestone for many years...over 20 years. I couldn't say enough good things about them.
Something has changed though. Just today I e-mailed them about the following problems.
The Tiki Torch I purchase this year, in lieu of what I wanted because you were out of everything, well, the pathetic plant I received never got alit, in fact it was put out before it ever arrived at my house, in my honest opinion.
The coreopsis "pinwheel" plant (that was really only a plug half eaten by fungus gnats) that I babied all summer is NOT pinwheel, but Creme Brulee.
The Echinacea I got this year is NOT double decker. There isn't a double on any of the blooming stems. I realize they don't all double deck, but come on, at least one would. Definately not Double Decker. So, I purchased it locally.
And I love daylilys, but why in the heck would I have purchased this "Janice Brown" I've been thinking...it's so plain. Well, I come in and look it up on google, and a few years ago, when I purchased this, obviously, "Janice Brown" wasn't sent to me either, but some plain pink daylily...
They always take care of their problems, but lately, their problems seem to be out of control. That's 3 plants received, planted, nurtured, etc., that are NOT what I wanted. I'm 50 now. I don't want to plant and replant. And I don't want plants whose roots are eaten by fungus gnats, and I don't want to have to reorder and replant. And I don't want to have to pick between
I would have given them a negative, if it wasn't for the many years of fine service. I hope they take this as a message. If I'm complaining about them, things aren't good, because they have been my friends for years. Perhaps they got too big, I don't know, but I hope this gets them moving in the right direction. Change is needed Bluestone. It really is. I still love you, but take this as a wake-up call.
On Jul 26, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Gloria - thank you for your heartfelt comments and concerns. It sounds as if everything that could go wrong with your order, did. We will of course make the situation right with you (via separate correspondence). We appreciate the chance to salvage our reputation with you and we thank you for your years of support. Look for our more detailed email shortly."
Posted on May 18, 2007, updated July 25, 2011
I had ordered from Bluestone years ago and was sorely disappointed so they have been off my list of catalogs to drool over in February for a long time. Due to the feedback here, I decided to give them another try. I was VERY pleasantly surprised. Plants that have arrived so far are larger and healthier than I expected. Most plants are already doing very well, especially the achilleas and hostas. The alchemilla mollis arrived browned and yellowed but is picking up. The ligularia still looks iffy, but I will give it a bit more time to see if it bounces back. I just wish their print catalog design was less confusing - The organization is poor and the descriptions and photos of items are often not even on the same page. Very time consuming and annoying to use. Stick to the website for now.
On June 20th, 2009, phdler added the following:
This year's order arrived with nice sized gorgeous healthy looking plants. Better than last year's. I'll be shopping at Bluestone again. On July 25th, 2011, phdler added the following:
I have ordered from Bluestone again the last two years and have been very happy with their pricing, quality and service. Plants from them have been thriving. I still find their website much easier to use than their printed catalog, which is still confusing to use.
Don't know about the future though, as they no longer offer their "threefers" and, although I applaud their potting and packaging changes, I just wish they had kept the same sizes and prices as their prices are no longer among the best and have gotten quite a bit pricier.
On Jun 28, 2011, SheilaMcDevitt Pittsburgh, PA wrote:
Bluestone has, for many years, been my go to mail order plant source but I am so sad to see that they are changing their inventory to larger, more highly priced plants. They will be sent in coco fiber pots which is nice but I have always liked that most plants came as a quantity of 3 very small healthy plants very reasonably priced which, once planted, quickly adapted to their new environment. Their service has always been, and I assume will continue to be wonderful but there are a handful of great nurseries carrying a large variety of healthy plants in 4 in pots within 10 miles of my home. Their prices are 1/2 the new prices being charged at Bluestone. I will, however, continue to use Bluestone for shrubs, bulbs and harder to find perennials and hope they never go to 1 gallon pots for their shrubs.
On Jun 26, 2011, gardadore Saylorsburg, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on May 4, 2005, updated June 26, 2011
This is the third year I have ordered from this company and as usual, I am very pleased with the prices and quality of the plants received. They sent the plants exactly when I requested them. They have superb customer service. This company is a class act and it shows by all the positive statements it receives. I hope they can maintain these high standards as they continue to gain in popularity!
On April 28th, 2006, gardadore added the following:
This is my fourth year ordering from Bluestone. Any concerns I might have had about their standards dropping as they continue to grow vanished when the order arrived yesterday. The plants arrived bigger and better than ever before. I ordered early and used the coupons so feel that they still offer a good deal even if the deals aren't as good as when they offered the third plant free. However costs are going up in all industries so it makes sense that plant growers have to increase their prices or cut back on previous great deals. As long as the quality remains the same or improves I am satisfied.
I was sorry to read that a couple of customers received poorly packaged, dried out or very small plants. I must admit that has never been my experience with this company. While it is true that there are other reliable companies which send larger plants I find that I am usually paying a good deal more. With Bluestone I expect to wait longer for the plants to catch up but the price is therefore lower. At least I can depend on getting healthy plants and that is what I have always received.On June 6th, 2009, gardadore added the following:
I see I have not updated my comments for the last two years. I placed orders in 2007 and 2008 as well and was very satisfied. This year, for the first time, I took advantage of the 50% sale. The plants arrived today and were among the strongest and healthiest I have ever received from this company. Thank you, Bluestone, for continuing to maintain such high standards and offering your wonderful 50% deal in these demanding economic times. This old customer really appreciates it!!On June 26th, 2011, gardadore added the following:
Again I took advantage of the 50% sale (9th year ordering from them) and was well pleased with the plants I received. All were healthy and are doing well. Plants I received last year 2010 were also excellent quality. Happy to hear they will be changing to coir pots.
On Jun 26, 2011, Hemhostaholic Scranton, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:
Posted on May 26, 2011, updated June 26, 2011
This was my first time ordering from Bluestone, and it will be my last. As any reading this can see, I have done, and will continue to order from various online nurseries. The kick in the pants for me, was that this order was going to be a surprise from my significant others Mom. The first order was: 3 Achillea, 3 Adenophora, 3 Agastache, 3 Aster, 3 Chrysanthemum, 3 Digitalis, 3 Echinacea, 3 Alcea, 3 Monarda, 3 Perovskia, 3 Stachys, and 2 Centaurea. The total bill, with s/h, was just shy of $200. I got that order, first, when I opened the box I was greeted by packing peanuts and fungus gnats...I can deal with fungus gnats...as I was unpacking I touched something slimey, I thought it was a dead leaf that happened in transit, NOPE, slug...I found 6 slugs all in all...they pretty much munched down the Monarda to nubs...at the soil line! For this particular order I was happy with about 1/2...the plants looked health, the roots were nice, foliage was green and fresh. The other half of the order, one was mowed down by slugs, the others to puny to even mention...one of the Russian Sage was a mere 2" tall...no side branching!!! I mean, seriously? The Achillea looked like they were thrown in the box last minute, all were crushed, the Adenophora just looked pathetic, I wasn't happy at all with the other Russian Sage, they were maybe in the 2-3" range, the Monarda was the slug buffet, and the Agastache were extremely spindly and sad looking. I called their Customer Service, I believe her name is Dawn...she was extremely apologetic, and put in a replacement order, for the plants I was unhappy with. Well, I got the replacement order today (the first order I received last week...so props to them for promptness!)...The reason for this negative review, is for what they had the nerve to send me as a REPLACEMENT. The Russian Sage and the Achillea...were excellent, no complaints at all...but, here goes again with the 1/2 thing...the other 3 plants in the replacement order...oye...Adenorpha...one was almost rotted, and looks dead, the Mondarda...2 are black, one looks like it should make it, the Agastache...tall, spindly, one has no leaves, one has 1 leaf, and the other has 2 leaves...no slugs in this order...fungus gnats, yes, AND now I see spider mites...I called Customer Service back again, and Dawn apologized, and offered to send a replacement...I politely told her that I really didn't want any more plants from Bluestone, and that this was supposed to have been the replacement. So that would have meant, I would need a replacement to the replacement...seriously? After reading all of the positive comments, and other people speaking highly of them, I for one, will gladly spend my money else where.
Plant material from them= 1/2 arsed
Packaging= The packing peanuts...come on...everything, literature, was all green this and green that...I don't know about anyone else, the closest Post Office is about 10 miles from me, and the closest UPS store is about a 20 minute drive, so to recycle them, I'd have to drive...Not happy with their choice of packaging materials...and with my two orders it didn't really protect anything.
Customer Service= for the one person I spoke with, this is, by far, the only thing excellent about this company.
If opening a box of perrenials you just spent hard earned money on, and expecting a box full of goodness, is your thing, SHOP ELSE WHERE.
On June 26th, 2011, Hemhostaholic changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I hate to leave a negative comment, so I'm updating this review from negative to neutral. My significant other called, spoke to someone in customer service, and they immediately put him on the phone with the manager of customer service, they refunded the whole lot/cost to his CC. A complete refund! I was not even bothering to call, as it was his CC that was charged. I thought that BP would have refunded just the plants I was not happy with, not the entire order. So, again, in my dealings with this company, their customer service is second to none!
I was informed by a few members on the NE Forum that have ordered from BP, that my plants should bounce back, they there's always had. I went down to my SO's Mothers house, and checked on the plants. About 1/2 of them look like they will make it, about a 1/4 of them are down to the ground, with no visible signs of growth, and the other 1/4 of them are not just going strong, but are flowering and look about what you would expect from a trade gallon nursery pot from a local nursery! I believe the reason for 1/4 of the plants being gone was poor plant material + a rabbit population that is crazy. I'm not down there every day to see what gets mowed down by the furry things, but I have seen the outcomes.On Jun 26, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On May 26, 2011 2:52 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
We're just as disappointed as you are. Please contact us directly for a full refund. We hope you'll give us a chance to salvage our reputation with you sometime in the future, and certainly understand your frustration. Gardening is supposed to be fun.
After this spring we will have all the plastic out of our boxes except for the plant tags. We've been looking for an good alternative to packing in peanuts for decades and are very pleased with our new system of growing in coconut fiber pots which ship in cardboard carriers. (no peanuts!)The pot plants directly in the ground with no transplant shock, and quickly breaks down.
Again, we apologize profusely for the condition of your two packages and hope you will be in touch."
Posted on September 22, 2007, updated June 25, 2011
My first order from Bluestone Perennials arrived exactly when I requested it. The plants were in excellent condition and larger than expected. They have been in the ground for about a month and are thriving. I don't mind the styrofoam peanuts - they're easier to deal with than a mashed plant.
On May 15th, 2008, go_cats added the following:
I placed an order for perennials in February, with delivery scheduled for early May. They arrived right on time, and a number of the plants (salvia and viola) had blooms. After planting, they've continued blooming, despite the coolish (actually, downright awful) weather we've had. Though a few of the plants I ordered last year for late summer/fall planting didn't make it through the winter, they had a better survival rate than the 1-gallon garden center plants that I set at the same time. On June 4th, 2009, go_cats added the following:
I took advantage of Bluestone's half-off sale to fill in some bare spots. The plants were shipped promptly, and a couple of the plants were a little mashed up from shipping. Most are thriving (new foliar growth and even some flower buds three days after planting), but even the slightly damaged ones are sending up new growth. Top quality plants for a great price.On June 25th, 2011, go_cats added the following:
We're moving some things around, and will have a bare patch. Naturally, I went to Bluestone to find plants to fill in. They revised their website and raised prices about 30%. Still, they have excellent plants. I'll have to wait for next May's sale, I guess!
Posted on May 12, 2010, updated June 20, 2011
I have ordered plants for several years from this company and am never disappointed with both quality and service. Their selection is outstanding and they have a very knowledgeable staff to answer any gardening questions. I highly recommend this company for both great service and great variety of plants offered.
On June 20th, 2011, sdube60 added the following:
I have ordered for several years from Bluestone Perennials and have always been very pleased with my order. This year's order shipped during a heat wave and one set of plants arrived in very poor condition. It seemed like they had been overlooked when the order was watered prior to shipping. I called customer service immediately and spoke with a pleasant woman who asked if I would prefer a replacement or refund. I chose a replacement and the new, beautifully healthy plants arrived within three days. I have never been disappointed in the selection, quality or service from this company and the staff is extremely pleasant and helpful.
Posted on June 10, 2011, updated June 10, 2011
I have purchased several times in the past usually during sales and have always received healthy plants in a timely fashion and they carry a lot of new varieties that my local nurseries don't or are more expensive.
My only complaint has been that they keep mailing me catalogs after I've requested no catalogs more than once. I buy online and don't want paper catalogs, they go straight to the recycle bin .
This time my box took over a week to arrive and the hydrangea I ordered 'Little Lamb' was totally defoliated and dead. I don't call a 3" grower pot a "large pot" either but I should have read the fine print on that one. The hardy geraniums were covered with dead blooms and foliage but I am sure they will be just fine. The hosta was fine. The packing peanuts were so full of dirt and dried leaves that I had to throw them away rather than re-use them.
I sent an email right away with photos but it wasn't answered so I sent another one without photos thinking the attachment might have been the problem. Then I called and was told they would get back to me that they were checking on stock of the hydrangeas to know if they could replace. I later got an email that day that I would get a credit. It wasn't clear if my card would be credited or I would receive store credit.
I am disappointed. Even at the tiny size the hydrangea is one I haven't found locally. I've never had a shipment of mail order plants take so long to arrive nor had them arrive looking so bad. I believe I've read that they changed shipping companies and maybe this is the problem.
On June 10th, 2011, LeeAnne151 added the following:
Oops, it was Little Honey not Little Lamb hydrangea.
On Jun 4, 2011, gdionelli Huntington, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:
It's been several years since I ordered from Bluestone. I decided to place an order because of their ongoing sale. I was a little concerned when I received a ship notice that said the plants had been shipped on Friday - and it was predicted to be a really hot weekend. I pictured the plants sitting in hot trucks all weekend.
But not to worry! They arrived vie FedEx on Saturday. In beautiful shape. A few plants were back-ordered till August - I don't think I can complain about that, since they were sale purchases.
Yes, they were packed in styrofoam peanuts - lots of them. The plants were in great condition because of that. I always recycle peanuts anyway, so I'm not too concerned, and I know that Bluestone is working on the problem of finding better packing materials for the environment.
I was impressed by the speed of delivery, and by the quality of the plants, for sale plants. Thanks, Bluestone!
I've shopped with BP for several years, and never had a problem until now. I'm posting a negative revew here because my emails to BP are not being answered in a timely fashion, and they owe me money.
On Saturday May 14, I ordered several plants from them, and used the free shipping coupon that I had from sending back previous packing material. My credit card was not charged until May 18, and the plants were shipped the same day, arriving on Sat May 21.
My purpose in placing the order on a Saturday was so the order would process on Monday and hopefully ship the same day, arriving by Wed, before our streak of cool weather turned hot again. Their delay in shipping meant my plants traveled via USPS trucks in 90F weather to my house. Of the 7 plants I ordered, 4 arrived half-dead and another has died since arrival, despite my precautions.
I had to email them twice to get a response on my refund request. I was told by Pat at BP that she would refund the agastache and the liatris. That was May 24. It's now June 2 and no refund has appeared, and my reminder email of May 27 is still unanswered. If Pat said on May 24 she would refund the $$, why was the refund not processed the same day? That makes no sense to me.
This is not normal behavior for Bluestone Perennials, and I am deeply disappointed that they are not living up to their usual high standards. Maybe seeing this review will wake them up.
On Jun 2, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On Jun 2, 2011 9:34 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Our apologies for the delay in the processing of your credit. We submitted the credit on the day you requested it, but thanks to your input, we have discovered a handful of credits that were "stuck" with our new credit card processing company. These are now "un-stuck" and you should see the money for your credit in the next 2-3 days (normal processing time on their end - and it is worth noting that that is a standard time frame with any processor). You may be able to see it being processed if you view your credit card account online as early as today. Again, our apologies.
Regarding your first shipment - our shipping time online acknowledges that your plants will reach you within 2 weeks of receipt of your order. However, if you (or anyone) would like to request a specific shipping day, there is a place to enter that in our checkout sequence, and we will honor it. "