On May 24, 2012, roberta1977 Orchard Park, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on May 24, 2012, updated May 24, 2012
Posted on May 1, 2012, updated May 24, 2012
I made several orders -- all specials at very nice prices -- this spring of perennials and an ornamental grass. I included a note that I was concerned about the new pots and I asked that they not be shipped until the last of April. They responded immediately to all my emails and assured me that the plants would be lovely. They were shipped April 30th as requested, arrived the next morning. All were in beautiful shape; the pots were not dried out, soil was moist, plants were all green. They were packed very carefully and no peanuts or newspaper or anything to unwrap. I'm very happy with them. I like the size of the plants as they are easier for me to plant than the larger sized ones. I hope to plant them later this week and will report back. I do intend to purchase more, especially when they have specials that I'm looking for.
On May 24th, 2012, roberta1977 added the following:
On May 24th, 2012, roberta1977 added the following:
I have ordered some additional plants which were shipped on May 23 2012 and arrived May 24th. All looked beautiful with full -- and slightly damp -- coco pots. They are well leaved out and look very healthy and are a nice size. Again I bought specials and the prices very reasonable, even with shipping. The packing was again very good.
The plants I ordered earlier in the year and planted in early May are all doing well at this point.
On May 24, 2012, vommarlowe Overland Park, KS wrote:
Posted on May 2, 2012, updated May 24, 2012
I decided to give Bluestone a try after hearing that they had good quality plants. I was not able to afford their regularly priced plants, but I did find several on special that worked for my garden that I could not find locally.
My plants arrived exactly on time for my zone. The packing was beautiful and no leaves were crushed or damaged. The soil was appropriately moist without being soggy (good, as I have had trouble with other companies about this due to distance travelled, etc).
About the coconut pots. Bluestone's pots are very nice, and there are roots showing through, so I feel that's a very positive sign. I do think that coconut dries out more quickly than peat, so I made sure to keep on top of the watering until I could get my plants in their new homes.
Overall, I'm pleased with my purchase. I still wouldn't be able to afford the full sized plants, but perhaps I'll find more on sale.
On May 24th, 2012, vommarlowe added the following:
I got a great coupon and went ahead and placed two more orders. The plants are gorgeous--healthy, well-packed, and shipped much more quickly than other places. I am also pleased that they let me know which order was shipping and on what date.
The plants I planted from my first order are doing better than other companies--we've had an unusually hot and dry spring and the Bluestone plants are a head above the others (who shall remain nameless but which were more expensive).
I was surprised that 3 packs were no longer available-but that didn't stop me from placing 2 orders with Bluestone Perennials this year. I've been ordering from them for about 5 years. I'm very happy with the plants I received in the past and I am still happy with the plants I received this year. The plants are in very good shape. I've never had a plant from Bluestone fail in my garden. I will keep ordering plants from Bluestone-until I no longer have any garden space left :o))
I was surprised that I did like the coco pots...it does make it
a little more difficult to keep the plants watered for any length of time before planting, but in my case I was able to plant quickly. I removed the coco pot before planting...probably a no, no, but I just hate peat pots, all those pots in general.
All of my plants and I had a large order are doing well. I don't think I've ever lost a plant and I've been a customer for many years even before I moved from PA. Their customer service is unbelievable...real people with answers...unheard of these days.
Posted on March 10, 2012, updated May 18, 2012
Posted on September 23, 2011, updated March 10, 2012
Posted on August 8, 2011, updated September 23, 2011
Posted on June 4, 2011, updated August 8, 2011
Posted on June 4, 2011, updated June 4, 2011
Posted on September 24, 2010, updated June 4, 2011
Posted on April 13, 2010, updated September 24, 2010
Posted on June 15, 2003, updated April 13, 2010
I placed my first order with Bluestone this year, and am very pleased. Their small perennials are already almost as big as the ones I bought in the local garden center this spring. And, though I was skeptical about the shrubs, they surprised me. I planted the three tiny shrubs - a weigelia, butterfly bush, and white forsythia - in big pots to let them grow a bit before planting them out this fall. Already, they're turning into nice-sized shrubs, and the weigela actually bloomed this spring. After some miserable experiences with some other (reputable) mail order companies lately, it's nice to find a company that does it right the first time
On April 13th, 2010, AS added the following:
Since my first order, I've ordered nearly every year from Bluestone. They are just plain consistently good. This year, I'm starting a new garden with their plants. Tiny though they are, I know from years past that they'll do very well and impress me even their first year.
On the rare occasions that I've had to ask their customer service dept. for a replacement plant or two (mainly for plants smashed in transit by UPS), they have been excellent. On September 24th, 2010, AS added the following:
Just wanted to add that that a wide variety of their perennials survived, and even thrived, during the summer-long record heatwave. (what someone said about their plants being part-cactus must be true. :) ) Most even grew quite a bit. The catmint, salvia, hardy geraniums and gaura, which arrived in their usual tiny pots, are already almost full size. Their salvia actually outgrew a much bigger plant I transplanted from my old garden. Bluestone's plants have always done well for me, but this summer was really a test of plant health. They came through with flying colors.On June 4th, 2011, AS added the following:
My two orders this spring (regular spring order and clearance sale purchases) were fine as usual, and everything is thriving, except one plant that was eaten by a critter (it happens).
It's probably too late to help, but I wanted to share my method of dealing with the peanuts in case anyone still has an order coming. I always remove the plants from the peanuts, instead of the peanuts from the plants. In other words, I go into the garage or the laundry room, fish around and find a pot, pull it out, shake plant to remove any stray peanuts, set plant on floor. Repeat until all plants are out, then dive into the peanuts for the plant tray, turn it sideways, pull it out, and replace the plants in the tray. I end up with almost no peanuts on the floor, and it takes 5 minutes.
Actually, I had a persistent peanut that wouldn't come loose on the mock orange this last order - until I realized it was actually a bud. Surprisingly, that tiny plant has burst into bloom. The shrubs do seem to vary quite a bit - from more-or-less sticks to well-branched (and now blooming) shrubs. On June 4th, 2011, AS added the following:
My one fear with the new packing system is that shipping costs will go up. The peanuts were cheap, and worked, so I didn't mind them (except for feeling slightly guilty about the ecological impact).On August 8th, 2011, AS added the following:
Just received my new Bluestone catalog, and I'm disappointed. I liked this company because I could fill new borders inexpensively with lots of healthy plants that grew fast. But all of their plants now seem to be sold in what used to be their "large pot" (3.5" square) size - though now 4" instead of 5" deep. Plants I could have bought this spring at 3 for $14-16 are now $8-$9 apiece. This also makes their shipping charges correspondingly higher per plant. As an experienced gardener, their coco fiber pots are no great inducement - I have nothing against them, but I've planted hundreds of plants from plastic pots without losing them. What a pity - Bluestone really was the backbone of my garden for many years. I'll still order from them, but only the occasional plant.On September 23rd, 2011, AS changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I didn't want to downgrade them from positive based just on the price increase, but now...
I am not at all impressed by the new coco pots, which are very soft and flexible (not at all like the firmer "peat" pots I use for starting tomatoes). The plants arrived with very dry soil - a good bit of it was loose on the bottom of the box instead of in the pot, one plant was starting to wilt, and the first thing I had to do was find a bag of potting soil to refill the pots. (so much for having fixed their shipping problems).
Since so much of the soil was gone, it was easy to see the roots. One plant had roots that would have approximately filled one of their old (small 3-pack size) pots - they were nowhere near the sides of the bigger coco pot. The root system was better on the other two, but the plant size still didn't justify the big increase in price. I would much rather have had their old "large size" plastic pots. At least, the root balls used to fill the pot if I splurged on those instead of getting the 3-packs.
It will also be harder to keep the coco pots moist until I have time to plant. And I don't trust the fibers not to wick moisture out of the soil, so I'll have the bother of cutting off the tops of the pots.
In a nutshell, I'll be looking for another supplier for most plants. On March 10th, 2012, AS changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Unfortunately, I can no longer recommend this company, since that would be based solely on their past performance. Especially not for fall planting. I received one variety last fall that was a vigorous grower. It had decent roots and did OK in spite of the awful sawdust-like "soil" Bluestone is now using with the coco-pots - that one is coming back this spring. The more delicate plants simply disappeared over the winter. And it's not the site - I was so disappointed last fall, that I went and bought a similar variety from a local grower. It did well, and never even went fully dormant over this mild winter (sheltered site). So I'm not sure their new pots are all that wonderful with less vigorous plants. (Admittedly, this conclusion is based on just a few plants.)
And I have to agree with others - in these tough economic times, Bluestone's new business model of only selling much more expensive plants did not go over well with me, either.
To be fair, though, regarding one earlier comment from me - their coco pots were no longer as impossibly floppy after they had been rehydrated. That was apparently from the severe drying they experienced in transit.
So I've gone from "maybe a few plants" to becoming another former customer.On May 18th, 2012, AS added the following:
Just to let people know, I recently dug up one of the coco pots from last fall, and there were only minimal signs of decomposition so far (approx 8 months). I had planted it intact, except for cutting the top off. It was still completely solid and looked like it did when I received the plant, though a few coco fibers were visible on the outside - perhaps the first signs of disintegration.
On May 17, 2012, marmiekali Laconia, NH (Zone 4b) wrote:
I've ordered from Bluestone multiple times in the past few years, and I intend to keep ordering from them. Sure, I've had a few plants that weren't as well-rooted as others, I've had some "clearance sale" plants that looked a little scraggly, and I've even had a few plants that didn't end up making it. But, that can also be said about plants I've bought from other high quality online sellers, Lowe's, and local nurseries. The vast majority of my plants have done very well. Their customer service is fast, fair, and friendly, and I LOVE the Coco Pots and packaging. And, I definitely love the coupons that come with each new order!
On May 17, 2012, hardyinokc Oklahoma City, OK wrote:
Posted on May 15, 2006, updated May 17, 2012
This was my first order with Bluestone. I ordered 2 of the blue satin rose of sharon. I was REALLY surpised by how small the plants were and the fact that, although they were in pots, there was no soil in the pot, and the roots were completely bare. I think both plants will probably survive, but it will take years for them to get anywhere big enough to have a decent bloom. I was very disappointed with what I received for the price paid, especially after researching Bluestone on this site prior to ordering.
On May 17th, 2012, hardyinokc changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Was curious about the coco pots BS has been so proud of, so I ordered 4 sedums. The plants arrived yesterday (I am very impressed with the new packaging). However, I saw no evidence that the coco pots have any significant beneficial impact on root growth. 3 of the 4 sedums had roots that barely filled 1/3 of the soil in the pots; the 4th had roots filling about 1/2 of the soil. All four plants were practically falling out of the coco pots upon removal from the packaging. Must say I am very disappointed in the root development of all four plants I received (just very glad I was able to get 3 of the 4 sedums on sale; would have been even more upset if I'd paid full price for all 4 plants, seeing the very poor root development). I can see that the coco pots are ecologically a improvement, but I do not feel that BS can honestly claim that the coco pots have any positive effect on the development of roots, otherwise the plants I received would have had much more developed root systems.
FYI, neither of the Blue Satin Rose of Sharon mentioned in my previous posting survived.On May 17, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
On May 19, 2006 10:11 AM, Bluestone Perennials added:
Please contact us so that we can reship. It sounds like your package was handled badly in shipping, as it certainly had soil when it left here. We pride ourselves on our packing, and it is possible your package was mangled and re-boxed by the carrier."
On May 15, 2012, Scooty Peterborough United States wrote:
Posted on May 12, 2011, updated May 15, 2012
I have purchased lots of plants from Bluestone Perennials and again, this year they did not disappoint. About 50 large columbines and 6 large foxgloves. All expertly packaged and really large size - 10 inch. Last year I made the mistake of buying from American Meadows and the difference was amazing. Those plants arrived half dead, 30% actually did just have some shriveled roots in them. I received a partial refund and they went on my black list. Bluestone came through once again and I will definately order more form them during 2011.
On May 15th, 2012, Scooty added the following:
It's May 2012. Our lack of snowcover caused most of the colombine and all of the foxgloves to die their first winter in the ground. As this was a hard winter that way, I did not expect to get a replacement shipment, but to my surprise I will be receiving new plants this week. Their customer service has always been great, this time they are outdoing themselves!
On May 14, 2012, PlainFarmer BIRD IN HAND, PA wrote:
I decided this year I would try a couple of different stores that were "cheaper" because of the slight price increase at Bluestone. BIG mistake. I ordered 6 delphiniums from the first "cheaper place" (not mentioning names) and just got an ENTIRE package infected with crown rot. The second store (again, won't mention names) I ordered 6 Tangerine Geums and they all came so root bound I had to practically step on the roots in order to loosen them :(
I'm sticking with Bluestone perinnials for my flowers...period. Thank goodness I did order several other plants this year (Russian Sage, rudbeckia and some Austrailian Astroturf) from Bluestone and they came BIG, healthy and PERFECT. They also came in these neat coconut pots which I am going to re-use and plant start tomatoes in next year. I'm sticking with Bluestone.. lesson learned.
Posted on February 7, 2012, updated May 11, 2012
Posted on August 22, 2011, updated February 7, 2012
Posted on April 21, 2011, updated August 22, 2011
Received a large order yesterday from Bluestone which I placed back in February. The plants look very healthy and were packed nicely. The ordering experience was easy and their prices are very reasonable, especially when you add in certain discounts they give for ordering early. Excellent selection of plants also.
On August 22nd, 2011, pmabreu added the following:
The plants I received this Spring have been fantastic through the summer.
I am disappointed in the number of negative comments about the new catalog. I went back to look at my order back in February to compare it to the new catalog when I saw all these comments. I had ordered 21 different perennials, so a good cross section of prices. The prices for the individual plants did not change at all. The price difference did show up with the comparison to the old "3 pack" but that is not a fair comparison and I think that is where the negative comments have gone wrong. The old 3 pack were very small plants compared to the new pots they are using, honestly the plants did so well it really was not necessary to have a 3 pack.
Compared to other online nurseries their prices are competitive. Comparing them to a local nursery or big box store makes no sense, the variety that you get at Bluestone cannot be matched at a local nursery and they should not pretend to compete against those prices.
We have to take our postings seriously, many of these nurseries are family owned small businesses that are trying to make it in a tough economy, as we all are. They should be applauded for listening to their customers in getting rid of the peanuts (and who wants to be bothered with returning them). They did not go the easy route of just copying other vendors, they got creative and came up with the coco pots not as a money making adventure but as a win-win for their customers and the environment. You may pay more than before but that is no reason for a negative rating, they give superior customer service and deliver high quality plants. That is what they should be judged on.On February 7th, 2012, pmabreu added the following:
After all the comments about the prices I decided to compare Bluestone to a Watchdog top 30 company. I chose six plants from each, Delphinium, Coreopsis, Rudbeckia, Salvia, Penstemon and a Lupine. A good cross section of perennials. There were not exact matches on the varieties but close enough. I did not use any discounts or sale items. The price difference before shipping was $3.00 more for Bluestone, it was a total of $49.70 for Bluestone and $46.70 for the other company. Yes perhaps Bluestone's prices are more than before but the fair thing is to compare to other companies in their industry and on that measure they are about equal. People looking at these reviews may think that Bluestone is incredibly expensive compared to other companies and that simply is not true nor fair to them.On May 11th, 2012, pmabreu added the following:
Received my shipment of 15 plants last week, the first since they went to the coco pots. I can now say definitively that the plants are bigger than before with the three packs. The plants look to be in excellent health and the packaging was perfect. I will reiterate what I have said before, that it was wrong what happened to this company with the negative comments about the price increases with the change in packaging. The negative comments were not about service or quality of plants. This company went out of its way to answer customer complaints about packaging (ie, peanuts) and came up with an innovative solution that is good for the environment. The negative comments removed Bluestone from the top 30 so the message we are sending to all companies out there is that you should not change your business practices to be environmentally sensitive or else you will face a backlash. I don't think that is the message we want to be sending. Perhaps the injustice can be rectified with an increase from Top 30 to a Top 40 or 50, because the Top 30 distinction is very important for these family businesses.On May 11, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On Aug 23, 2011 2:51 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Thank you so much, pmabreu! You have hit the nail on the head, and we are grateful for your support. We have just posted a video showing our new pot, the new size (with a size comparison) and the new packaging. The link is above, but it is http://www.youtube.com/user/BluestonePerennials?feature=mhee We start shipping next week and the plants look fantastic!"
I have ordered many plants from Bluestone in years past with no problem. I needed 2 day lilies and saw the new use of coco planters and that the size of the plants were larger than in past years. Trusting the fact they guarantee the plants, I ordered them. They arrived on time and WOW. The plants arrived healthy, green, safe and secure and well packaged. They were so easy to plant and had no wilting problems. To say I was impressed is an understatement. Very very satisfied as usual. Can't wait to see the first blooms.
I have ordered from Bluestone about 4 times in the past few years. I have always been pleased with the plants. My most recent order arrived Friday 5/4/2012. The plants were a good size and very healthy, with blooms on some plants. I have no problem paying a bit more for larger plants. I agree with other posters who object to negative ratings due to price and packaging changes. I found Bluestone because of good ratings on Daves Garden. If they had changed their prices 2 years ago, they would not have made the top 50 and I would not have tried them.
On May 5, 2012, bluecolumbine Milwaukee, WI wrote:
I have ordered from Bluestone several times and I haven't had any trouble. I just received my first order since they changed to the coco pots and the plants all arrived in good condition. If you don't like the coco pots they are easy enough to cut apart to get the plants out of them, but I left them on when I planted. I like that you don't have to worry about disturbing the roots in these coco pots.
One of the reasons I keep ordering from Bluestone is because they seem to try hard to provide healthy plants. I like that they mentioned in their catalog that they switched suppliers for hostas to decrease the risk of transmitting Hosta Virus X (a problem in hosta that many other nurseries are not yet addressing at all). They also are very easy to deal with if you have a customer service issue. I placed my order back in December for May shipment. Right before it shipped, I requested several changes and the customer service reps handled it very promptly and easily by email.
Even though the prices on some of their plants are higher than at other places, they offer a lot of sales and deals so it's really NOT that expensive if you are a savvy shopper. I also believe in supporting them because they offer quality, healthy plants.
I've shopped at Bluestone for over 20 years, but this year I opened my first shipment since the packing change with fear and trepidation. Somehow I'd stumbled on a lot of negative comments about the packing. But I was absolutely delighted. The plants were bigger than they used to be, no spilling at all. They were more evenly moist than I was used to. I think this new packaging is terrific. And no peanuts to try to sweep up! I'm wondering if they changed anything in response to the negative feedback. Specifically, did they always have a tight plastic band around the top edge to hold everything together?
On May 4, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On May 4, 2012 2:16 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Thanks for the nice comments, LAS. We always listen and constantly strive to improve our product and our delivery. We want you to be delighted every time you open a box from Bluestone!"
On May 1, 2012, Jlmyers72 Commerce Township, MI wrote:
Posted on January 6, 2012, updated May 1, 2012
Posted on May 13, 2011, updated January 6, 2012
Posted on April 12, 2010, updated May 13, 2011
Posted on April 12, 2010, updated April 12, 2010
I have been ordering from Bluestone for a few years. Yes, the plants are small, but will fill in very quickly. I like to order from them because everything comes in a pot and not a bare root so I can leave them go for a few days and not feel rushed to get them in the ground. I bought the shade garden from them last year and it has performed wonderfully. Only one plant in that garden did not make it and I e-mailed them regarding it and no questions asked, they are sending me a replacement this spring. I placed a spring order and can't wait to receive it. I would recommend to anyone who needs to get a garden going with out a lot of money.
On April 12th, 2010, Jlmyers72 added the following:
Ohh, and I forgot to add that I also purchased an additional 30 or so plants for the sun last spring and that every plant that I ordered did bloom their fist season, including the 3 daylilies (Chicago appache I think they were called). All of these plants except the one I noted above (and possibly my leadwort) made it through the winter and are looking very strong this spring. The leadwort is said to be late to start up in the spring, so I still have hopes for those 6 plants, but I have every confidence that if they don't make it, Bluestone will replace with no problemsOn May 13th, 2011, Jlmyers72 added the following:
Receive my order for the spring. I put in a rather large 6 x 32 ' shade garden. Again, I was very happy with most of the order. A couple of plants arrived a little off, but I e-mail the company and received replacements for the 4 plants I noted in less than a week.
My only dissapoitment were the 2 shrubs that I ordered. One was a flowering Quince and one Clethera Vanilla Spice. Both of those were not much larger than a stick with leaves. But they appear heatlhy and the leaves on them are very green, but will take MANY years before they are an acceptable size. Exp. for the fact that I paid $15.00 a piece for them
I found both of these plants at another company here in Mich. Garden Crossings, LLC and for $35.00 each they shipped to me Huge 2 gallon plants. The Clethra allready has flower buds on it. I will use Garden Crossings in the future for all larger shrubs, but will stick with Bluestone for all the rest. If able, I will post photos of the 2 shrubs side by side here at the site
On January 6th, 2012, Jlmyers72 added the following:
Am I dissapointed in the huge mark up in price? You betcha, but I went ahead and order a couple of hunder dollars in plants again this January. Thankfully they had a ground cover that I was looking to purchase anyways in the 50% sale. I own over an acre of land, hilly in the back and wanted to start goundcover there so I no longer have to try to mow it.
Honestly I have been looking for a new supplier, but I have always been so happy with Bluestone that I can't see me never ordering from them again. Tthis fall I recevied a few replacement plants from them in the Coca pots and they were a very good size and healthy.
I will still order from Bluestone, but I just won't over as much as I used to. No reason to give them a negative. Their plants always have been and I feel always will be a good choice. (But I really do wish they would still offer the 3 packs)!!!On May 1st, 2012, Jlmyers72 added the following:
Just received my 58 plants that I ordered in January. They are very large and very healthy. The only complaint that I have and it's not a huge complaint, is that I do not like the potting mixture that they now use. It dried out and spilled in the bottom of the boxes. I just swept it up and replaced it in the pots. The core of the plants were still wet so no harm no foul.
Use their 50% off sales and they are by far still the best value for plants you can't find locally. Their customer service is one of the best in the business. Just don't order shrubs, they come way to small.On May 1, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On May 2, 2012 4:18 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Thanks, Jlmyers72, for the post. We also noticed the soil was drying too quickly and we have changed our potting soil mix for the future. "
On May 1, 2012, Lindyhc Ann Arbor, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I have had nothing but excellent results and service from Bluestone Perennials, and this year was no exception. True, the prices are higher, but the product I received was in excellent health and growing condition. Shopping the sales gets the customer back to that sweet price where one can buy three of an item and get larger plants for the same $10-15 price. Of course not everything is on sale, but Bluestone usually has a 15% off early season sale. The packing of my order was a thing of beauty and so good I took a picture of it in the hope of posting it here. Plants are nestled into cardboard cartons of three items each and then placed in shipping cartons in such a way that they are not crowded, cannot tip onto their greens and be crushed or mold from lack of air. They are easy to maintain and carry to their planting spots. I highly recommend them.
On May 1, 2012, terri_emory Alba, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
Posted on May 19, 2010, updated May 1, 2012
I have been ordering from Bluestone for a really long time. In fact I just realized that I placed my first order back in the 90's! Wow!
Yes, the peanuts are a pain, but the quality and variety of plants are super. Prices are excellent and the online specials are a great deal!
I would and do often recommend them.
On May 1st, 2012, terri_emory added the following:
I just received my latest order! All plants in excellent condition and NO PEANUTS! Love it. The pricing allows me to buy multiples of the same plant and the new potting method is nice. I did score the pots prior to planting to give the root system a head start. Still my favorite source for perennials!
This was my first order with Bluestone Perennials and it will be my last. I received my plants today they were very small, in scraggly condition and not worth the price that was charged. I am a master gardener and frankly, I am not sure even I can help them survive. Waste of money.
On Apr 28, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Please be in touch! Your plants are guaranteed, and we will reship or refund immediately at your request. We hope you will give us a chance to make this right, and we apologize for the condition of your shipment. We will do better if you will give us the opportunity."
On Apr 28, 2012, JulieBW Geneseo, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:
My box of plants arrived in excellent condition. I have been served well by Bluestone in the past, and will continue to order from them. I don't miss the three-packs, many times the plants were just too small to do well without a lot of extra attention. I am reserving judgement on the new pots. Some of the roots had grown into the coir, as described in the video, but several had not. I would not recommend planting the whole pot: if the top edge pokes above the soild surface, I believe it will wick moisture away from the roots. I used a scissors to cut off the top inch or so, bringing it below the soil surface level.
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...
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!
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.
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.
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.
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."
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!"
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?
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.
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!)"
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.
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.
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.
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: