On Jul 13, 2012, WoodlandLisa KILLINGWORTH, CT wrote:
Posted on July 10, 2012, updated July 13, 2012
I had made 3 purchases from Bluestone Perennials and up until the 3rd order, I had been satisfied. It was upon receipt of my 3rd order when I opened the box to find 1/2 of my plants (barely seedlings) sickly looking and half dead. I took pictures of them all along with the plant ID cards, and then I emailed Bluestone Perennials the pictures, complete with the order number and advised them of the plants' conditions upon arrival, expressed my severe dissatisfaction and asked them to kindly respond. I never heard a single word back from them in response... not by email, phone or USPS mail. I understand things go wrong in shipping -- anything can happen. But when a customer reports a valid complaint and the company ignores it? Unacceptable. I got no apology, no explanation, no acknowledgement, no attempt to make things right. Of the order, there were 3 of each of following: foxglove, sweet woodruff, zing rose dianthus, and 3 different types of campanula. After planting all 18, only 10 survived. After this, I have never and will never order from them again. I still get the catalogs and merely use them for reference... when I find something I like, I spend my hard earned money elsewhere.
On July 13th, 2012, WoodlandLisa changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Addendum/update: Bluestone Perennials responded to my post w/ apologies and explanation for why they never received my original email. While I never received any kind of system notification indicating that my email was returned and/or undeliverable to Bluestone, I have since spoken w/ Bluestone and they were extremely pleasant, apologetic and willing to remediate the problem to my satisfaction - either by refunding my money or shipping new plants.
I have elected to have new plants to replace those that died sent to me in the fall. For now, I am keeping my status for this company as neutal until I receive the new plants and see the condition that they are in. As I indicated in my original post, all my plants in that order were not healthy looking and for this reason, I am not fully confident giving a postive status. I will gladly update this post in the fall once I receive new plants.On Jul 13, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Sorry to hear that your email was lost in transit. Our server will refuse emails with large pictures or many images, so that may have happened. Please be in touch by phone, or try sending your images individually. We answer every email we receive within 2 days. Let's get this resolved right away to your satisfaction. We can reship or refund at your discretion. Please be in touch, and never hesitate to call if you have not heard from us - we are standing by to help!"
I have ordered from Bluestone the past 2 years. I love their selection and quality of information on their website. I am new to gardening and don't really like the coco pots, but my experience could very well be a product of my inexperience--ended up removing the majority of them from the pots because they seemed to get dry so fast, when I did everything did much better.
I have ordered from Bluestone many times in the past because I loved their "3 small plants" pricing structure. I emailed them and complained to when they announced their change to the new coir pots and increased their prices. They said the plants would be significantly larger than they used to be in the 3 packs. But I ordered this spring, and they're not. Now, Bluestone is charging as much for small plants as I pay for significantly larger plants at my local nurseries. So I won't be ordering from them again unless I find something really unusual in their catalog. It's too bad -- they're reputable, nice people. But they've lost a good customer.
I ordered a large number of perennials from this site to begin a garden at a new house. All of them arrived in beautiful condition. The selection was excellent. I'm not sure I've seen so many varieties of capanulas anywhere else. I was so grateful that all of the plants were in grow pots and that there were NO packing peanuts. The packaging all recycled beautifully.
My excellent experience with Bluestone started with ordering process. As a new DG member, I found BP in the last 2 days of their half price spring sale (without realizing deadline). Took me 2 days to fill my cart with about 40 plants. Next day, went to edit to make sure I had right spot for each plant and found prices doubled. Not having read all the wonderful reviews, thought this was an online gimmic. However, Pat was wonderful extending prices for, what became, 2 more days to accomplish edit. The plants came within a week, large, green and beautiful (except 3 hollyhocks which, after reading reviews, I'm convinced BP will replace if necessary). Propitiously, arrival preceded 2 cooler days of drizzleing rain in our SC 7b/8a climate. Accomplished easy planting in 3 days, following directions. Now, after reading reviews, I question if coir pots should have been slashed or bottoms removed as I am sure to order again before fall.
Much thanks to Pat and advanced thanks in hopes of a reply to coir pot planting methods. Claudia T.
Posted on May 9, 2011, updated June 10, 2012
ordered 5 sets of plants. One was an out-of-stock item from the previous year. They were out of it again and sent me a credit slip. The plants I got were very small and one set looked like a rabbit had eaten the tops off.
The whole point of ordering early (and having your charge card billed at the time of the order) is to reserve the plants for the customer. I suspect it is the colder zone places get shipped last and end up with poorer stock or none.
On June 10th, 2012, bryana changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I ordered 6 plants at the end of the season sale. All arrived well packaged in moist pots. All are growing well - good value as most were half off.
Posted on September 3, 2011, updated June 9, 2012
Posted on May 26, 2011, updated September 3, 2011
Today I received my order from Bluestone's Spring Sale (saved a LOT!): thyme "Annie Hall", Phlox "David", crested iris "Powder Blue Giant", campanula "Elizabeth Oliver", oenothera "Sunset Blvd", eupatorium "Wayside", and coreopsis "Sweet Dreams": all look terrific. In late April I received another order in perfect shape; I order from BP usually at least 3 times a year. My garden has been built from the ground up from their catalog- 75%, I'd say. I know I can count on Bluestone for excellent plants and outstanding service. The recycling program helps a lot with shipping costs, and is well worth it!
On September 3rd, 2011, lisaaj added the following:
I just receiving a mailing from Bluestone that they would not be able to ship the plant (backordered from my Spring order), and a refund check. Fair enough. What blows my mind is that they ALSO enclosed a voucher for a free plant! Once again they go above and beyond. I am interested in trying their new coco-fiber potted plants, and this is my chance to do it!On June 9th, 2012, lisaaj added the following:
I received a Bluestone order in April 2012 (1 helleborus "bicolor mix", 2 pieris "Passion", 1 geranium "Orkney Cherry", 2 salvia "Plumosa", 2 mum "Matchsticks", and 1 hydrangea "Blue Bunny". They also included a free plant (I had a coupon for one), a cardinal flower, which I had actually come close to ordering, so it was perfect. All are thriving in my garden now. Received and planted 2 columbines "Songbird Cardinal" and 1 daylily "Raspberry Pixie" this week from the big sale, all great. The new larger size plants in coco pots seem much more likely to survive; with the 3packs, the cheaper price was offset by the tendency of one of them to not make it, at times. They still have terrific coupons and amazing end-of-season sales the last week of May and I think also at the end of their fall season.
On Jun 8, 2012, pollyk Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have been ordering from Bluestone for years and years. I have a very small nursery, so sometimes I order wholesale for the nursery, and sometimes retail just for my garden. I've always been a happy customer.
Recently I ordered from their 50% off sale. Received the plants in a timely fashion. 14 plants total. 2 of them were not looking well, the rest were great as always.
I kind of hesitated to contact them, as I've always had such great service, what's a little fluke? But I did. I sent them pictures of the two plants in question. I think it's only fair nowadays, with digital cameras and the internet to send a company pictures of any plants that are questionable the day you receive them.
The next day I heard back from Bluestone. They felt the plants had not been watered properly before shipping, and that is what I felt to. They said replacements were on their way. Apologies were given.
Two days later, and here comes the replacement. In excellent condition, along with some coupons for further purchases.
I like getting plants in good shape the first time. But mistakes happen. It's how a company handles their mistakes that means all to me. They could have argued, or offered credit only, but no, they shipped new plants at their shipping expense.
On Jun 8, 2012, smallville Newton Highlands, MA wrote:
I placed an order before I was sure about my planting site, and in remorse, I cancelled it. No problem. They don't charge you until the plant materials are in the pipeline and they know they have it in stock.
I then went ahead and placed four more orders, and although they did not take the initiative to combine (though they might have done so if I asked), the price of shipping was modest, not like some fancy Connecticut place I can think of.
If something wasn't in stock, I didn't get charged and handed a backorder of uncertain future date.
The stock arrived looking wonderful, without the usual styrofoam peanuts, but just simple cardboard holders, and the plants themselves are in plantable coco fiber pots.
I did receive one hosta which turned out to have a different stick than the label taped to the pot. Turned out it was alphabetically just before the one I ordered (Ice Age Trail came to me, when I ordered Independence). I called and they are sending me the right one, saying that they hadn't seen Ice Age Trail in awhile, thought they didn't have it in stock, so I must have gotten the last one which I could just keep for free.
Anyway, I am happy with everything and with the way the people in the business treated me, every step of the way. I'll definitely choose them again.
Posted on May 6, 2012, updated June 6, 2012
Let me start by saying the number of negative comments is unfair to this company. People should not be allowed to rate them just because they are unhappy with a change to the pricing structure.
My order arrived a week ago in great condition even after sitting in a UPS warehouse for the weekend. The plants were all healthy, and they are bigger than previous orders. I planted them right away, and a week later, they are looking great. I would not hesitate to order again, and will gladly pay more now for a plant that will thrive.
On June 6th, 2012, kschlub added the following:
I just received 24 plants ordered from Bluestone's spring sale. They look fantastic, and all but the sedum have roots growing through the pots. I have no doubt they will thrive! Can't wait to order some bulbs!
Posted on September 23, 2008, updated June 2, 2012
My first order with Bluestone was for 5 shrubs and 9 groundcovers early this spring. The shrubs were small (4"-6"), but very healthy and in 4" pots. While Bluestone quite clearly states the size I guess in my poor feable brain a 4" pot is much larger. I was rather concerned that if I planted them in the ground would they make it through their first winter in my zone 5. But I don't think I'm going to have to worry at all. Those shrubs that I planted in late June have grown from 4-6" to over 3' tall each. I will definitely order from them again.
On June 2nd, 2012, dfulton added the following:
Update: really late getting to this , but 4 of the five shrubs died their first winter. All the same species all planted in same bed, soil and light. Think their root mass was too small. Would change this rating to neutral but since I wait so long I don't feel that would be fair. I haven't purchased from them since, but I'm not saying I wouldn't. Just more selective next time.
On Jun 2, 2012, SunshineMaura Strasburg, CO wrote:
Well I ordered from Bluestone for the first time about two months ago. I originally ordered four plants and decided I wanted to add one more last minute (five days later). So I called to see if I could and they told me my order had been processed but they would be happy to add my desired plant. I was a lil nervous that my order would be incorrect or be pushed back due to my addition but I was pleasantly surprised when the order arrived less then a week later correct and packed very nicely. As it said in other reviews the plants were pretty small (but for me part of the enjoyment will be helping them to grow)... unfortunately two did not make it. So I called Bluestone to get them replaced and they were out of the one I had originally ordered till fall. So I really wanted to get it planted asap so I accepted a different kind of Clematis instead. This time the two replacement plants were not packed well and the post office obviously miss handled it cause there was no dirt in either pot and the plants arrived dead. Sooooo I called again kind of ready to give up but wanting to let them know my disappointment. Bluestones customer service is EXCEPTIONAL! Even with the let downs I will order from them based on the type of customer service they provide (polite understanding and timely) The truth is there is always a chance of mishandling especially when you are ordering a plant from across the country but Bluestone stayed true to there guarantee and made me feel they were happy to do it. Some of the other places I have ordered from made me feel like an inconvenience if I asked any questions even during my purchase. These other companies have made it even more difficult to feel confident that if there is an issue with the order that it will be handled in a customer service orientated manner. Even if the plants arrive more mature I prefer enjoying every part of my gardening experience (even purchasing)! I will definitely continue to use Bluestone and look forward to receiving the original clematis I ordered in the fall! There is no substitute for great service and feeling like a valued customer Thank You Bluestone!
Posted on June 3, 2011, updated June 2, 2012
My recent order from Bluestone arrived with all but one of what I ordered, their typical small and healthy appearing plants. (The other is out of stock and I will cancel as I don't want this plant in the fall.) I always open a box from Bluestone with trepidation, knowing that I will have to spend an hour or more dealing with packing peanuts, trying to tease them from the plants without causing damage, usually damaging at least one beyond retrieval. I have to unpack inside as outdoors the peanuts would be distributed hither and yon by the wind, and the recycling or returning is a hassle. So it is with joy that I read the reply from Bluestone's customer rep that they are changing their packing system, which has always been the worst of any of the several plant nurseries I order from.
On June 2nd, 2012, NHBabs added the following:
Ordered twice from Bluestone this spring. My first order has arrived, and the plants looks happy and healthy, far larger than their previous small 3-packs. The issues they had last fall (when I received one plant from them) as they changed their growing pots have been resolved with a combination of new soil and different shipping style. It only took me a few minutes to unpack my boxes, the plants all looked great, and only a tiny amount of plastic. Last fall I trimmed the top of the coir pot to soil line and then planted it, and I'll do the same this year. The coir will disintegrate over time, adding organics to the bed, and is loose enough for roots to grow through without being pinched, so I am pleased with the whole new system. Great service, healthy plants.
On Jun 1, 2012, roseydew3 West Jefferson, OH wrote:
Posted on May 30, 2009, updated June 1, 2012
Excellent Excellent Excellent!!! Two shipments of plants arrived and I could have not asked for better packing, healthier plants and service. One small shipment and one for almost $200.00 both arrived in near perfect condition, some perennials blooming, healthy roots on everything! I would recommend this company 100%.
On June 1st, 2012, roseydew3 added the following:
Just want to say that I ordered from the spring sale and 27 individually packed plants in 2 boxes arrived at my house in perfect order. Growing, green, lush, with damp soil still in the pots. I do have to say I love the new pots. Excellent choice for growing and shipping it seems. The prices have gone up but so has the size of the plants which for me is a good thing. No digging through "peanuts" to find plants is a plus. I will continue to do business Bluestone Perennials.
On Jun 1, 2012, mackenziecrane Granville, OH wrote:
I ordered plants using the wonderful spring sale from Bluestone. I was VERY HAPPY with the quality of the plants, but MORE IMPORTANTLY the shipping container and pots are totally recyclable. This is the best experience I have had with mail order plants! Top Marks for being a good planet citizen. (and having a swell selection of plants.)
In April 2012, I contacted Bluestone Perennials regarding 2 Brunnera plants that I had ordered from them in the Spring of 2011. Much to my dismay, the plants did not come up again in 2012. They promised to send out replacements, and they did. However, one of the replacement plants I received was quite tiny (maybe 2” tall & 2” wide, with fingernail-sized leaves). I sent them a letter, saying that if this had been the original plant I received when I first ordered, I would have been very upset. Since the tiny plant was a plant that they replaced free of charge, I didn’t feel that I could complain too much, but I wanted to make the point that I was not completely happy with my order. You can imagine my surprise when I received not one, but TWO more, BIG, BEAUTIFUL brunneras! As always, their customer service was wonderful, and I really felt that they went "above and beyond" what was required in this case. I will definitely not hesitate to order from them again.
On May 25, 2012, ge1836 Pittsford, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on April 21, 2012, updated May 25, 2012
Posted on April 25, 2009, updated April 21, 2012
Another year ordering from Bluestone.(this is my second year for this garden,new house)
The only negative is those darn peanuts.
Plants are small but the price is right and they thrive the first week theyre set in.
I always referr to Bluestone website for plant info even if I'm not ordering from them.
Many sites dont give usefull info about height and spacing.
Bluestone answers the phone and tries to make accomodations where ever possible. And the 50% off sale in May,? who wouldnt love-em
On April 21st, 2012, ge1836 added the following:
I love Bluestone plants and have ordered from them for five years.Iwas reserved when they went to coir pots and abandond the tripple plant pots that were less expensive.
I must admit there were losses but Bluestone always made it right.
I placed an order a few weeks ago and was willing to give the new pots a try.
The box ,minus the peanuts,of seventeen plants arrived in great shape. A few were under moist but they are having a drink. The rest were in good shape and many had roots comming thru the pot.On May 25th, 2012, ge1836 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
My April order is doing well.I am giving a neutral to my rating because the co-co-pots are a bit of a nuisance to me, the extra handling is a peeve but necessary I believe.
The April order was planted with some of the tops of the co-co pot exposed,they began to dry out,after a week I dug them up and replanted the co-copot with the bottom cut off. I also slit the sides to allow root growth.
Since my replanting the plants are doing well.
The April order plants that were completely covered with dirt did well from the beginning.
I just received a "sale" order and cut the bottoms off the pots and slit the sides then planted and watered well. It will be awhile to see if this handling method works.
Posted on April 21, 2011, updated May 24, 2012
I absolutely love this company. I love the website, it is just packed with items and the specials are great. I like that there are tips for caring for the plants. The catalog is also beautiful. My plants have always arrived in good condition, and although they are small, they usually do very well. The few times the plants have not survived, I have been sent replacements without question. The customer service is excellent.
On May 24th, 2012, ablesq5678 added the following:
I have remained a Bluestone customer through the switch to the coco pots, and although I now order primarily from the specials to keep my spending in check, I still believe this is one of the best companies out there for perennials. I added 10 to 12 new plants this spring, and all are thriving. My neighbors are always asking about my variety of plants, and I never hesitate to direct them to Bluestone Perennials. The customer service is incomparable.
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!