On May 16, 2014, esanita TYASKIN, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:
Customer service is top-notch. But the coir containers don't seem to work well. I've received plants in plastic containers and even in plastic bags, and they all grew better than ones in the coir pots. I've cut off the top of the pots so that there isn't any coir above the soil line. Even so, these plants don't seem to do as well as from other mail-order companies.
On Jun 10, 2013, frahnzone5 Bensenville, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
I ordered several plants during their 50% off sale. Half of the order arrived if good shape. The other half was blackened and shriveled. This was not a case of shipping damage, those plants were boxed and sent in that condition. It only took 3 days for the plants to arrive at my door and I unpacked them immediately. I emailed Bluestone and they responded promptly and said they would either send replacements or give a credit. I received a credit. So I would give them a 'A' on customer service and a 'D' on plant quality. And I absolutely HATE those coir pots.
I miss the old Bluestone. They used to be, in my experience, been the best mail-order company around. Good selection, healthy plants, and unbeatable prices. They changed all that a couple of years ago, and it's a much less appealing source now. First, they tripled their prices. Sure, they upped the size of their plants, but I think few of their regular customers appreciated the trade-off. Second, the put their plants in "biodegradable cocopots." I am not sure about how well these degrade, but I urge you to NEVER PLANT THEM DIRECTLY IN THE GROUND. Most of the plants I tried this with last year are still relegated to that little 4" x 4" space. A very few were able to grow through it, but I will never plant it directly again. Now I'm left with the choice of digging the plants up, thereby disturbing their growth, or watching them be small for however many years it takes for the cocopots to disappear. Sure, you can cut the pot and remove the plant, but this is much more likely to damage the roots than removal from a plastic pot.
In general their plants still come in decent shape, but some of this spring's shipment are a little questionable. Time will tell.
Why oh why did they have to make these unfortunate changes?????
On May 14, 2013, mariaverderamo Townsend, DE wrote:
Posted on December 19, 2007, updated May 14, 2013
Bluestone is fabulous! They sent me a replacement order this past September for cyclamen that did not grow; unfortunately I never received it (I think someone took it out of my mailbox), and they credited my account immediately. Awesome.
On May 14th, 2013, mariaverderamo changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Bluestone sent me a refund check for the cost of the clematis, so I am changing my rating from negative to neutral.
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!"
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.
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.
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."
Posted on February 21, 2012, updated March 22, 2012
Posted on August 15, 2011, updated February 21, 2012
What a shock to find that the fall order I planned to make with Bluestone was now going to cost $150.10 instead of $90.70! Plants that were 3/15.95 are now $8.95 each!
And, no more recycling credit for returning peanuts!
Needless to say my fall order is now getting cut way, way back. I was a loyal Bluestone customer but I will be seriously looking for another supplier. I can buy plants in 6" pots at the garden center for 7.95, 4 for the price of 3.
I will place a very small order just to see what the plants in the cocoa pots look like (no more 3 packs). I will be sorry to loose them as a source for plants. The Bluestone catalogue may become research material for the plants I will buy elsewhere.
On February 21st, 2012, woodweasel changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I am changing my rating from negative to neutral. I am still not happy about the price increases and I have to say the plants I got in the new pots didn’t look a whole lot different than the 3-packs. Prices have been creeping up over the years anyway from 10-11-12 dollars to 14-15-16 dollars per. Now I will buy the 50% off sale plants when I see something I can use.
Here is why I am changing my review to neutral: great customer service. I had multiple little problems using the website yesterday and in the end I was not sure if my order went through or not. So I called. Problems solved right away, my order was attached to a previous order saving me a few additional dollars on shipping (I tried to order a certain plant that was on special. By the time I got to pay for it it was off special – yikes! Then, a few weeks later, I saw it was put up on the special page again and decided to place an additional order). The operators always sound so kind and concerned. In addition to being competent at their job they are knowledgeable about the plants and they will still replace failed plants without question.
And, it’s worth calling just to listen to the voice of the man who answers the phone!
Additional bonus of high Bluestone prices: I get to try out some of the other recommended companies whose prices I previously thought were too high! On March 22nd, 2012, woodweasel added the following:
I decided to give Bluestone’s much touted coir pots a try and ordered 6 plants from them last fall. Here is my assessment of the new product: One plant is doing fine. When I brushed away the mulch of chopped leaves of four other plants I found them sitting up in their little square holes like cups in a cup holder – the soil was moist around them but because the plants had popped up (no roots extended beyond the coil shell) and the coir pot was sticking up in the air wicking moisture, the plants themselves were dry. These were not happy plants. I picked them out, cut off the “pot”, replanted and watered. Hope for the best…The last two plants disappeared over the winter. Curiously, their pots were still there sunk in the ground and moist. But no plant. If you order from Bluestones you must plan to cut the pot down by half before planting (I cut a half inch of mine before planting but it wasn’t enough.) It’s tough stuff, but remove it you must. If you aren’t planting right away you must take them out of the coir pot and slip them into one of the square plastic pots you surely have hanging around or submerge temporarily in a tray of compost. This is progress?On Mar 22, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On Mar 23, 2012 8:19 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Please contact us directly as our guarantee is 100%. We would need more information to diagnose the problem. Your experience is not typical - and we don't recommend cutting half of the pot away as it is not necessary. We are awaiting your call, and are standing by to help."
Thank you, thank you, thank you, everybody. We love to garden. So much so, we just bought a 10-acre hobby farm so we can go crazy.
I have been getting BP catalogs for three years but couldn't order because we didn't have enough room on our quarter-acre city lot. We were ready to splurge and had budgeted over $1000 for stock alone this summer. BP having been one of DG's top 10 was one of the first places we intended to look. When we used this web site to access BP, we were surprised, to say the least, at all of the negative reports.
After reading most of them and to be fair, the positives, we've decided not to order anything until all of this settles down. In our opinion only, they might be trying to capitalize on the good reputation they established and might even be on the way out - take the money and run, so to speak.
On Mar 9, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On Mar 10, 2012 10:11 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Dear HankerB and other concerned customers;
We’ve been growing and selling plants since 1972, and we are always searching for ways to improve our plants and service. We knew we had found a better way to grow and ship plants when we began testing a breathable pot made from coconut husk fibers. The one word our propagators kept saying was “Wow!” The plants grown in the coco pots were more vigorous and had dramatically healthier roots than plants grown in plastic pots. Plus, the coco pots could be planted directly in the ground, which eliminated transplant shock.
That, in a nutshell, is why we now grow all our plants in coco pots. It was a product quality decision. Our new plants are more than 2 ½ times larger than those grown in our previous 3-paks, so it’s not a fair “apples to apples” comparison to look at the prices of our new larger plants versus the prices of our old (much smaller) 3-pak plants. Our plants are still a great value—but now we’re selling larger plants that will provide superior performance in your yard and garden.
Please shop our competitors and compare prices and delivery fees. We think you’ll agree that Bluestone prices are very competitive. We’ve kept our shipping and handling charges the same (even though we’re shipping larger plants) because we redesigned the packaging to be more efficient.
All of that being said, I would like to apologize for the confusion we’ve caused our customers who enjoyed the old 3-paks. We know you loved these small plants—particularly because they were priced way below the market. If you choose not to buy plants from us anymore, we’re sorry to lose you as customers and we thank you for your past support. If you do favor us with an order in the future, you’ll see why we’ve made the change to our new coco pot. The plant growth is truly amazing.
Quite frankly, we have been surprised by the recent number of negative reviews on Garden Watchdog. We loved being a Top 30 company, and we plan to earn our way back into that elite ranking. We still offer the best guarantees in the business, and our customer service is second to none. When our customers start receiving and growing our plants grown in coco pots and see first-hand how well they perform, I sincerely believe that they will be happy.
We’re still the same family-owned company, and our goal is to continue to offer exceptional plants.
Bill Boonstra, Second Generation Owner and Grower
Posted on December 12, 2011, updated February 19, 2012
Posted on April 19, 2010, updated December 12, 2011
This is my second year of purchasing perennials from BP. Both orders were shipped and delivered in two days. The flowers were VERY HEALTHY. What more can I ask?
On December 12th, 2011, juliabears changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
I used to really love Bluestone because the of the wide selection at decent prices. The plants were small but they grew quickly so the small size was okay for me.
But a +60% price increase? Fortunately I purchased most of the perennials I needed before the drastic price increase.
Smart business people don't increase prices by +60%, especially in today's economy.
Bluestone, go back to what made you a Top 30 company.On February 19th, 2012, juliabears changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I may have been a little too critical with my comments from 12/12/11. Yes, they are a lot more expensive than previous years. But in comparison with the other vendors, they are fairly close. I will use their website for ideas and possibly purchase in small quantities in the future. They do have a fantastic selection.
A couple of comments: First, I work in the plastics industry and plant pots are highly desirable recyclables. We make as much of our products as possible out of "regrind" plastic, for which we pay a premium price, and we never have enough. I personally put all my plastic plant pots in my recycle bin at the curb and they are all taken, even the trays under the pots. Here's something to think about re plastic--we make plastic pallets vs. wooden ones. Wood pallets come from cutting down trees, are generally used once, and most often end up in the landfill. (yes, I know some people burn them for fuel, more pollution by the way, but most are landfilled). Our plastic pallets are re-used over and over again and when they get damaged are ground up and remade into a new pallet. Plastic resin is much too expensive (as high as 70 cents a pound) to waste in a landfill. We buy old plastic from every source we find. Our process does not produce ANY air pollution and we don't need any EPA air permits and don't even have any "smokestacks" or vents.
For several years and landscaping 2 different homes from scratch, I shopped using the printed catalog then made a driving expedition to Bluestone Perennials and bought an entire pickup full of plants to landscape my yard. There was a substantial discount doing this as they didn't have to pick/pack/ship. The small plants allowed me to transport more, and they transplanted better. I did not bother to shop at any other nursery during that time.
Several years ago they stopped mailing the catalog, although I phoned several times to request one. I find the website much harder to shop through and it does not have the complete growing information that was in the catalog. I had bought several thousand dollars of plants during those years, so don't know why they wouldn't give me a catalog. I suspect they need to save the cost of printing, as many other businesses have had to do.
The economy has been hard on everyone, and their business obviously requires that they charge higher prices to stay open. However, they had a niche market with the smaller, lower price plants, and I believe that was one of their main advantages. As others have remarked, they have now lost that competitive advantage and only time will tell if that was a correct marketing decision. I have always gotten excellent plants, excellent variety from them, so have no complaints on that score. Due to the high prices now, I'm unlikely to buy in the future.
Spring of 2010 I placed an order with Bluestone and was extremely pleased with the product. Of over 75 plants, all had nice sturdy root systems, and only one was lost due to predation.
Spring of 2011, I placed a smaller order (actually placed the order in January). When my eagerly anticipated package arrived, I found out that they had only shipped half my order, despite getting my order in so early. How early do you need to order to get your plants in the spring?
The plants were going to ship in the fall, so I waited, and ordered more plants to combine with the fall shipment. Well, despite the large price increase, and the new biodegradable pots, I'm not sure the plants I received in the fall will make it. Their root systems were very small, and the plants themselves were puny and withered, despite that the "new pots" are larger. I will wait until spring to see if they make it, and change my review accordingly. I'm afraid that if they don't make it, I'll have to wait another year to get replacement plants!
I have strongly recommended Bluestone to friends and family in the past, but with the huge price increase and the lower quality, I may not do that again.
On Dec 30, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On Jan 3, 2012 2:57 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Hello aglading, and thanks for letting us address your concerns. First let me apologize for the need to backorder from your spring order. Our standard policy is to grow more plants than we think we will need so that we can fill every order through to the end of the season, and not disappoint anyone, ever. Unfortunately, crop problems arise at any time from any direction, and even plants that are ordered early can bump into them. Mother Nature plays a large part in the equation and this year she certainly had her way with us. The long and the short of it is, we strive to do the best we possibly can, and then stand by our guarantee. Please let us know if your fall plants are not gorgeous next spring and we will reship fresh vigorous plants to you or issue a refund, at your discretion. I hope you will allow us this chance to rebuild your trust in us, as the new product line is very exciting!"
On Dec 23, 2011, mikerotell Franklin Park, NJ wrote:
I've ordered from Bluestone in past when they sold in 3 paks and have always been pleased with my purchase. Bluestone filled a niche, strong young plants at reasonable prices. There were no other quality mail order nurseries that were offering the same quality and value. Sadly, Bluestone lost it's focus. The very thing that made them unique and great is no more. There is no dispute that their plants are still top notch but unfortunately there is no longer anything that sets them apart from other nurseries. Granted, going 'green' is nice, but do I really need to a pay a premium for the cadillac of biodegradable pots? Where is the value in that? Besides, bidegradable pots in one form or another have been around for years. This isn't exactly new technology. Do I need or even want larger plants? Well, to be honest, not really. I was perfectly happy with smaller plants, they were healthy, well rooted and sturdy. They offered an excellent value and within a year or two proved to be superior to other plants that I paid much more for. I won't go off the deep end and say that I will never order from Bluestone again, but what I can promise you is this- you will no longer be my first choice. Judging by the recent customer comments on this forum it seems as though I am not alone. Please reconsider your marketing tactics. I would hate to see you lose you Garden Watchdog Top 5 rating.
On Dec 23, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On Jan 3, 2012 3:14 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Thank you for your concern, mikerotell. We still strive to be your first choice for perennials. Our product is now larger with superior root growth compared to our previous 3-pak (wait til you see!) and pricing on the plants that were previously in 3-paks has, obviously and necessarily, gone up. Our goals in all of this were to offer a better plant at a competitive price while improving our impact on the environment. We have looked at options for years that would allow us to quit using huge quantities of plastic, and to get away from the packing peanuts. This new coir pot and its packing carrier fit the bill for both, and as a fringe benefit, is producing plants with fantastic growth and vigor. I hope you will stick with us and give this new product a try - I know you will be impressed!"
I haven't placed an order with Bluestone Perennials yet but I have been reading many of the customer comments, and in particular the negative comments in reference to their large increase in prices on plants as stated on the Garden Watchdog site and it would seem to me that Bluestone's explanation for their increase in prices was a little lame stating that the newer type of pot costs more. However, since they no longer have to purchase the packaging peanuts used for shipping AND the various size plastic pots wouldn't that HELP to defray the cost of the newer pots? Their increases in prices does seem a little exorbitant. Just wondering!!
Posted on September 13, 2011, updated October 17, 2011
This is my first time ordering from Bluestone Perennials, and I can't say that it's been a pleasurable experience. I placed an order for three Lavender Ellegance Sky in August and requested that it arrive the first week of September. I live in Massachusetts, and of course we had a hurricane the weekend before my order was due to ship.
So, I call the first week of September and my order is delayed. Understandable. I reschedule it to ship the following Tuesday the 6th (because of Labor Day), and the rep said it would arrive that Thursday the 8th. I call the following Thursday and the order has not shipped because they "weren't sure" if it could go out, even though I told them there are no mail delays in our area. So we reschedule the order AGAIN to ship the following Monday the 12th, to arrive on Wednesday the 14th.
I call today, Tuesday, because at this point I don't believe my order is ever going to ship. The rep told me the order went out today (not Monday...) and that it will take 5-7 business days. Excuse me?! Why have I been told EVERY OTHER TIME that I will receive this order in TWO days?! How are my plants supposed to survive 7 DAYS in a box without water?! She offered no apologies or explanation as to why I was told it would take two days from other reps.
At this point I am cranky and irritated by this lengthy process, all for three stupid plants. I'll send an update once/if I receive my order...
On October 17th, 2011, khoy changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
My plants finally arrived in 4 business days, and one was certainly worse for wear. There was dirt scattered around the package and one of the plants was ejected from its pot. The company is using eco-friendly coco pots, which is a nice gesture, but I think the pots dry out too quickly. One of my three plants flourished beautifully, but the other two never acclimated and died. I emailed the company, received a prompt response in two days, and received a refund soon after that. I did not have a good experience with this company but they handled the situation appropriately.On Oct 17, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
We can certainly appreciate your frustration, khoy. We as a company have never (in 38 years) had to deal with the level of disruption that Irene caused in the shipping stream. We chose to err on side of caution and not burden our storm-beleaguered customers or our shippers by sending a perishable product into a storm ravaged area. Unfortunately, there is no clearing house of information regarding areas that are closed to shipments so we took our best guess and held the shipments to most of the East coast. Who could possibly have predicted that the next week would bring 10" of rain and flooding to the same area? It was a nightmare. I have checked and your package was sent UPS Surepost, and is scheduled to arrive Friday per UPS. I apologize for the misrepresentation of the usual time in transit. Don't hesitate to call us if there is anything less than perfect about your plants when they arrive, since we want to make this right for you despite the numerous delays."
Posted on May 20, 2005, updated August 18, 2011
I just received my order from them and they are all looking healthy. Some of the perennials and shrubs are a bit small but at least they’re not dead.
And their prices are a bargain.
Will order from them again as I have for the past 3-4 years.
On July 12th, 2005, beblue3333 added the following:
This is a great company that offers a wide range of perennials and shrubs.
They are however small but for the price I can wait. Most perennials do great the 2nd year anyways. You can also get quite a bit of a deal with their specials and closeouts. I have always received live and healthy plants from them and most are doing great.
Their shrubs are small though, so if u can't wait for these, i'd get gallon ones from elsewhere.
Will definitely order from them again and again.
On August 18th, 2011, beblue3333 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I have been ordering from them for a number of years now. And I, like others on here, am shocked by the new prices for the Fall catalogue! This can’t just be from the new eco pots. (I think it’s great that they switched to this). I can’t no longer afford to order from them much anymore. Some of the items cost even more than the local nurseries here! Really too bad!
On Aug 16, 2011, bookreader451 Troy, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:
Posted on May 7, 2009, updated August 16, 2011
I got my first order from Bluestone today. The plants were all healthy and all the soil was moist. I water them all (as instructed) and put them out under the deck. I am a gardening novice and the information that came with the order is priceless.
The only negative was the catalogue.........now I am coveting.
On August 16th, 2011, bookreader451 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I have been ordering from Bluestone consistantly for the last few years and I too was shocked at the price increase. I am disappointed because I was always able to find a great selection at a reasonable price.
On Aug 15, 2011, mudbugs56 Monessen, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on May 23, 2008, updated August 15, 2011
Just received another quality order from Bluestone, consisting of several hostas, hens & chicks, and other assorted plants. All arrived in great shape, still moist and nice and green. One hosta plant is actually just a hosta "leaf" sticking out of the dirt, but 99% of the order was really nice. They do package with care and none of the plants were damaged in shipping.
On August 15th, 2011, mudbugs56 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
After several orders with Bluestone over the years that I was mostly satisfied with, I must express my disappointment with the changes they have made. I had already planned a fall order, but now that the catalogue has arrived I am dismayed at the astronomical price increases. I can no longer afford to order from Bluestone Perennials; my money will go a lot further elsewhere.
POSITIVE: I too, have been a very satisfied customer of Bluestone Perennials for many years. Plants are very healthy, and the customer service I have experienced has been very positive. I usually spend $100-200 every year, at least. I enjoyed participating in their recycle program. Was very happy to have heard that they would be going to coco pots this year.
UNFORTUNATELY, with the recent and HUGE price increase, I will no longer be able to afford to make purchases from them. Purchasing the coco pots in Bulk should NOT have perpetuate a skyrocketing price increase. The pots come in many different sizes and configurations. Using a smaller pot may be an option? The plants that are shipped are usually pretty small anyway.
Been buying from these folks for over 20 years - never a problem with plants and very affordable. Not any more : add my name to the people upset with the huge (make that HUGE) price increase for individual plants. Last fall, I purchased the Shade Garden for $119 - this year it's $295!!
On Jul 26, 2011, shine389 Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have been a customer of Bluestone for many years...over 20 years. I couldn't say enough good things about them.
Something has changed though. Just today I e-mailed them about the following problems.
The Tiki Torch I purchase this year, in lieu of what I wanted because you were out of everything, well, the pathetic plant I received never got alit, in fact it was put out before it ever arrived at my house, in my honest opinion.
The coreopsis "pinwheel" plant (that was really only a plug half eaten by fungus gnats) that I babied all summer is NOT pinwheel, but Creme Brulee.
The Echinacea I got this year is NOT double decker. There isn't a double on any of the blooming stems. I realize they don't all double deck, but come on, at least one would. Definately not Double Decker. So, I purchased it locally.
And I love daylilys, but why in the heck would I have purchased this "Janice Brown" I've been thinking...it's so plain. Well, I come in and look it up on google, and a few years ago, when I purchased this, obviously, "Janice Brown" wasn't sent to me either, but some plain pink daylily...
They always take care of their problems, but lately, their problems seem to be out of control. That's 3 plants received, planted, nurtured, etc., that are NOT what I wanted. I'm 50 now. I don't want to plant and replant. And I don't want plants whose roots are eaten by fungus gnats, and I don't want to have to reorder and replant. And I don't want to have to pick between
I would have given them a negative, if it wasn't for the many years of fine service. I hope they take this as a message. If I'm complaining about them, things aren't good, because they have been my friends for years. Perhaps they got too big, I don't know, but I hope this gets them moving in the right direction. Change is needed Bluestone. It really is. I still love you, but take this as a wake-up call.
On Jul 26, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Gloria - thank you for your heartfelt comments and concerns. It sounds as if everything that could go wrong with your order, did. We will of course make the situation right with you (via separate correspondence). We appreciate the chance to salvage our reputation with you and we thank you for your years of support. Look for our more detailed email shortly."
On Jun 28, 2011, SheilaMcDevitt Pittsburgh, PA wrote:
Bluestone has, for many years, been my go to mail order plant source but I am so sad to see that they are changing their inventory to larger, more highly priced plants. They will be sent in coco fiber pots which is nice but I have always liked that most plants came as a quantity of 3 very small healthy plants very reasonably priced which, once planted, quickly adapted to their new environment. Their service has always been, and I assume will continue to be wonderful but there are a handful of great nurseries carrying a large variety of healthy plants in 4 in pots within 10 miles of my home. Their prices are 1/2 the new prices being charged at Bluestone. I will, however, continue to use Bluestone for shrubs, bulbs and harder to find perennials and hope they never go to 1 gallon pots for their shrubs.
On Jun 26, 2011, Hemhostaholic Scranton, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:
Posted on May 26, 2011, updated June 26, 2011
This was my first time ordering from Bluestone, and it will be my last. As any reading this can see, I have done, and will continue to order from various online nurseries. The kick in the pants for me, was that this order was going to be a surprise from my significant others Mom. The first order was: 3 Achillea, 3 Adenophora, 3 Agastache, 3 Aster, 3 Chrysanthemum, 3 Digitalis, 3 Echinacea, 3 Alcea, 3 Monarda, 3 Perovskia, 3 Stachys, and 2 Centaurea. The total bill, with s/h, was just shy of $200. I got that order, first, when I opened the box I was greeted by packing peanuts and fungus gnats...I can deal with fungus gnats...as I was unpacking I touched something slimey, I thought it was a dead leaf that happened in transit, NOPE, slug...I found 6 slugs all in all...they pretty much munched down the Monarda to nubs...at the soil line! For this particular order I was happy with about 1/2...the plants looked health, the roots were nice, foliage was green and fresh. The other half of the order, one was mowed down by slugs, the others to puny to even mention...one of the Russian Sage was a mere 2" tall...no side branching!!! I mean, seriously? The Achillea looked like they were thrown in the box last minute, all were crushed, the Adenophora just looked pathetic, I wasn't happy at all with the other Russian Sage, they were maybe in the 2-3" range, the Monarda was the slug buffet, and the Agastache were extremely spindly and sad looking. I called their Customer Service, I believe her name is Dawn...she was extremely apologetic, and put in a replacement order, for the plants I was unhappy with. Well, I got the replacement order today (the first order I received last week...so props to them for promptness!)...The reason for this negative review, is for what they had the nerve to send me as a REPLACEMENT. The Russian Sage and the Achillea...were excellent, no complaints at all...but, here goes again with the 1/2 thing...the other 3 plants in the replacement order...oye...Adenorpha...one was almost rotted, and looks dead, the Mondarda...2 are black, one looks like it should make it, the Agastache...tall, spindly, one has no leaves, one has 1 leaf, and the other has 2 leaves...no slugs in this order...fungus gnats, yes, AND now I see spider mites...I called Customer Service back again, and Dawn apologized, and offered to send a replacement...I politely told her that I really didn't want any more plants from Bluestone, and that this was supposed to have been the replacement. So that would have meant, I would need a replacement to the replacement...seriously? After reading all of the positive comments, and other people speaking highly of them, I for one, will gladly spend my money else where.
Plant material from them= 1/2 arsed
Packaging= The packing peanuts...come on...everything, literature, was all green this and green that...I don't know about anyone else, the closest Post Office is about 10 miles from me, and the closest UPS store is about a 20 minute drive, so to recycle them, I'd have to drive...Not happy with their choice of packaging materials...and with my two orders it didn't really protect anything.
Customer Service= for the one person I spoke with, this is, by far, the only thing excellent about this company.
If opening a box of perrenials you just spent hard earned money on, and expecting a box full of goodness, is your thing, SHOP ELSE WHERE.
On June 26th, 2011, Hemhostaholic changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I hate to leave a negative comment, so I'm updating this review from negative to neutral. My significant other called, spoke to someone in customer service, and they immediately put him on the phone with the manager of customer service, they refunded the whole lot/cost to his CC. A complete refund! I was not even bothering to call, as it was his CC that was charged. I thought that BP would have refunded just the plants I was not happy with, not the entire order. So, again, in my dealings with this company, their customer service is second to none!
I was informed by a few members on the NE Forum that have ordered from BP, that my plants should bounce back, they there's always had. I went down to my SO's Mothers house, and checked on the plants. About 1/2 of them look like they will make it, about a 1/4 of them are down to the ground, with no visible signs of growth, and the other 1/4 of them are not just going strong, but are flowering and look about what you would expect from a trade gallon nursery pot from a local nursery! I believe the reason for 1/4 of the plants being gone was poor plant material + a rabbit population that is crazy. I'm not down there every day to see what gets mowed down by the furry things, but I have seen the outcomes.On Jun 26, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On May 26, 2011 2:52 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
We're just as disappointed as you are. Please contact us directly for a full refund. We hope you'll give us a chance to salvage our reputation with you sometime in the future, and certainly understand your frustration. Gardening is supposed to be fun.
After this spring we will have all the plastic out of our boxes except for the plant tags. We've been looking for an good alternative to packing in peanuts for decades and are very pleased with our new system of growing in coconut fiber pots which ship in cardboard carriers. (no peanuts!)The pot plants directly in the ground with no transplant shock, and quickly breaks down.
Again, we apologize profusely for the condition of your two packages and hope you will be in touch."
Posted on June 10, 2011, updated June 10, 2011
I have purchased several times in the past usually during sales and have always received healthy plants in a timely fashion and they carry a lot of new varieties that my local nurseries don't or are more expensive.
My only complaint has been that they keep mailing me catalogs after I've requested no catalogs more than once. I buy online and don't want paper catalogs, they go straight to the recycle bin .
This time my box took over a week to arrive and the hydrangea I ordered 'Little Lamb' was totally defoliated and dead. I don't call a 3" grower pot a "large pot" either but I should have read the fine print on that one. The hardy geraniums were covered with dead blooms and foliage but I am sure they will be just fine. The hosta was fine. The packing peanuts were so full of dirt and dried leaves that I had to throw them away rather than re-use them.
I sent an email right away with photos but it wasn't answered so I sent another one without photos thinking the attachment might have been the problem. Then I called and was told they would get back to me that they were checking on stock of the hydrangeas to know if they could replace. I later got an email that day that I would get a credit. It wasn't clear if my card would be credited or I would receive store credit.
I am disappointed. Even at the tiny size the hydrangea is one I haven't found locally. I've never had a shipment of mail order plants take so long to arrive nor had them arrive looking so bad. I believe I've read that they changed shipping companies and maybe this is the problem.
On June 10th, 2011, LeeAnne151 added the following:
Oops, it was Little Honey not Little Lamb hydrangea.
On May 17, 2011, idanou Provincetown, MA (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on October 27, 2010, updated May 18, 2011
I was looking for a particular Simple Pleasures tulip mix and that's what led me to Bluestone. I ended up adding a couple of other things to the order (some Muscari and an Echinacea). Everything came very fast, and was in decent condition (couple of the bulbs were mildewy but no biggie). I'll have to wait and see how their product performs, but what made me choose "neutral" is that when I looked at the total of my fall order (used three companies this season) I did feel the product was overpriced for what I got. I'll have to see how the bulbs and the perennial perform. Will update if necessary.
On May 17th, 2011, idanou added the following:
I remain neutral to this company. The Echinacea didn't sprout and they sent me a replacement which is doing fine. And I think that's very nice of them. The tulip mix and the muscari have done very well as one would expect from a Simple Pleasures product.
I want to make it clear that I think mail order perennials is just not my thing. Again, when you factor in the cost plus shipping and the size of plant you are getting (small so they take awhile to settle and grow), it's just not worth it to me. Nursery stock from my local nursery comes in much larger sizes for not a whole lot more.
So if you want to do mail order perennials, then I can tell you Bluestone have great and speedy service. But I'd check your local nursery for more immediate gratification for a few dollars more. On May 17, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On Nov 2, 2010 11:16 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Please don't hesitate to let us know if you have any problems, and I will pass along your feedback."
On Sep 23, 2010, NLaw Fort Worth , TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I have been a customer of Bluestone for a few years now, and they had been a favorite, but now I am withholding my judgment because of the poor packaging. I'm having good success with other companies that pack the plants carefully with wet newspaper and plastic. Bluestone ships the plants in a box with styrofoam peanuts. Besides the fact that those peanuts are terribly annoying, this packaging doesn't preserve the plants during shipping well at all-- especially for the tiny 3-packs. If I can get the same plants from another company that packages them better, I will probably choose them over Bluestone in the future.
Have almost always received healthy, vigorous and well rooted plants. Will never complain about the size-that's why they're priced the way they are. My primary problem with this vendor is the packing. If they read through all of their negative feedback postings they may see a common theme. I don't think I've ever received a shipment that didn't have some broken branches or leaves from being jostled about and chafed by those pain in the box peanuts! Once I received a Leonard Messel magnolia that was completely defoliated by the time I got it. To Pat's credit it was promptly replaced (no pictures required, no questions asked) but it seems like a heck of a way to do business. If they they want some better ideas on how to pack mail order plants they only need to place an order with High Country Gardens (now that man knows how to pack a shipment), Brushwood Nurseries (for shipping vines) or Logee's who ships similar size perennials. Musser Forests even does a better job with just plain old newspaper!
On Jul 16, 2010, daisy96 Warwick, RI (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on July 16, 2010, updated July 16, 2010
Posted on June 17, 2008, updated July 16, 2010
I purchased plants from Bluestone for the 1st time during their 1/2 off sale. I bought daylilies, columbines, and a gaillardia fanfare. I have never purchased plants online before and decided to go with them because of all of the positive reviews I've read here. My plants arrived in great shape and were packaged very well. I waited 3 days to plant them to get them acclimated. So far my daylilies and gaillardia are holding their own. I'm not too sure about the columbines yet. If my plants survive and flourish I will definitely buy from them again. I have another "wish list" of plants in mind.
On July 16th, 2010, daisy96 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
This is a follow-up to how my plants are doing 2 years later. The daylilies are doing just fine and the gaillardia fanfare is still small but blooming nicely. I would buy these plants again. I bought 3 different columbines at that time and one of them is barely hanging on. I will not buy their columbines again.On July 16th, 2010, daisy96 added the following:
Last year I ordered their pre-planned Butterfly Garden and several other plants. This is a follow-up. Rabbits have totally destroyed my echinacea purpurea, coreopsis early sunrise, monarda raspberry wine, and stokesia color wheel. Several of the plants in the set came in packs of 3 but not all of them made it. I bought another columbine and again it didn't make it.
On Jun 10, 2010, immigrant_punk Pittsburgh, PA wrote:
I ordered from the end-of-season special offers, so I knew that the plants would probably have deadheaded stems, a few browning leaves and so on; I also expected them to be quite small. But I thought the prices were very good and there were some interesting plants I fancied so I ordered. I received an acknowledgment, an order number and the information that they would email me when the plants were shipped. Just over a week later I got an email stating they were being shipped, but with a different order number, which was confusing. They arrived when scheduled - several of the stems were broken, quite possibly by me when I was trying to find them and get them out of those damn packing peanuts (which my puppy loved cos they got everywhere). However the plants seemed OK for the money and as I'd expected.
Then I realised that the set of dianthus I ordered was missing. They didn't send a packing note, so I emailed to find out why and got an email back saying they were out of stock and I hadn't been billed. I checked, and that was correct, but I would have expected them to notify me that they were not able to fulfil my order. I'd even got the place for them all ready...
Not the world's worst experience, but far from the best. I'd expected better.
I ordered my plants from Bluestone for Spring 2009 delivery. I ordered 3 types of grasses, and one type of flower. Everything arrived looking healthy. One flowering plant died soon afterward. However, the company replaced it, and in a very prompt manner.
The grasses I ordered were Dwarf Blue Fescue, Dwarf Fountain Grass, and Morning Light . They did fantastic, and I am looking forward to seeing their beauty again this year. I was amazed at how much they grew and how good they looked for plants that were just a few weeks into the ground.
Now for the negative part of my experience. I am working on a spot where I want all blue flowers. Not purple, but blue. Even though the photo showed blue flowers, prior to making my order, I called Bluestone to be sure of the color. I was told that yes, the flowers would be blue.
They are not. The plant name is Campanula Blue Clips. This is not a case of a flower being so purple that perhaps some would call it blue. The purple shade is slightly darker than a lilac, and not even close to blue.
That was a pretty big disappointment. Even though the plants are healthy, I am going to have to dig them up, as they are not what I want for that area.
On May 14, 2010, enviroplanter Ambler, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:
A plant I ordered this year was shipped via UPS on a Friday, so it sat in a hot UPS truck over the weekend and took 4 days to arrive instead of the normal 2. Needless to say, it did not survive. To their credit, they sent a replacement plant and said they would issue a refund (which I haven't seen yet). Also, their idea of packing is to stick the pot (soil uncovered and unwrapped) in a box and then fill the box with plastic peanuts (not environmentally friendly)--not the best way to insure healthy arrival.
On Sep 21, 2009, MarshfieldMA Marshfield, MA wrote:
To be one of the top-rated companies on this site, I was rather shocked when I received my order. The plants were smaller than I expected, root-bound, and worst of all most of them were bone dry and severely wilted. You would think that this company would water the plants before shipping them and wrap them in a way to prevent them from drying out. I received these plants two days after they were shipped so they should not have looked as bad as they did. I immediately transferred the plants to larger pots after receiving them and watered them thoroughly. By the next day their appearance had improved and they looked even better the following day. I plan on planting them within the next week into the ground. All of the plants appear as though they will survive. However, I think I will try a few more companies for future purchases of perennials to get a fair comparison to the perennials that I received from this company.
This was my first experience in ordering plants from a catalog. Everything I ordered arrived healthy but the plants were pretty small. Maybe this is normal when ordering like this, and I somewhat expected it, but I was just a little surprised at how small they really were. But eveything lived and is growing and very healthy looking. I would recommend this company and will probably buy from them again. This website helped me choose Bluestone because of the good ratings.
On May 23, 2009, elliemaescottag Lakeville, MA wrote:
I ordered some foxglove and hollyhocks from Bluestone for the first time. The plants arrived not only smaller than expected, but the leaves were very yellow, the plants were extremely dry and wilted. I realized that these plants have been sitting a box for several days and would be wilted, but I've been soaking them for over 4 hours and they are barely coming back. It looks as though they weren't watered well before being shipped. I was so disappointed with the yellow leaves all over the hollyhocks. I spent almost $40 on this order and feel like I have nothing to show for it. I haven't contacted customer service yet but will do so tomorrow. I'm hoping they pick up after being the in the fresh air.
Just received my plants yesterday. Never ordered live plants through the mail, only seeds & bulbs. They looked a little wilted and dry but they were in a box for about 4 days. They were packaged very nice, but I didnt really care for all peanuts. I took them out of the box as soon as they arrived and watered them. So hopefully in the next few days they will perk right up. I was kind of shocked how small the plants were, but I couldn't really complain since they weren't that expensive. If these plants come back in the next few days, I plan on ordering some more plants from here. Also I will come back and update this review to positive. Thanks again!
On Apr 22, 2009, renwings Sultan, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:
I ordered 45 plants to fill in two beds. I loved that their site had lots of really helpful and complete info about their plants to help me make the best choice. After doing more research about the plants I wanted to purchase, I felt like I could trust the information I was being given and decided to make an order.
They arrived quickly and were well packed. Most of the plants looked really great.
I ordered packs of four different discounted plants varieties of these, two (Silene and Aquilegia) varieties were not in good condition. Yellowed leaves, leggy, broken stems.
The Calycanthus I paid $12.95 for looked like a 5 in. tall rooted cutting with 2 buds. That was disappointing.
I will plant them and fertilize them and water them well, if they do improve in a couple months I'll update to positive.
On Apr 22, 2009, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
"On May 1, 2009 9:26 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
How are your plants doing? I would like to reship them at no charge to you if they have not recovered. Thank you for giving the extra TLC, and please do let us know if you want us to reship. It sounds like they may have had a bumpy ride! 800-852-5243"
I ordered from Bluestone for the first time this year after reading the many positive ratings. I was very dismayed by the peanuts. I appreciate that Bluestone will recycle the peanuts, but I find their program to have me send back the box of peanuts on my dime in return for free shipping frankly a pain. The box is sitting by my door, now, for two weeks.The least Bluestone could do is send a free return shipping label, so it could be picked up by UPS at the customer's house. That would be better than free shipping on a possible next order, in my book. Peanuts aside, the plants are gorgeous in perfect shape and arrived just when I wanted them. I appreciated the 10% off coupon in the box, too. I strongly urge Bluestone to check out High Country Garden's shipping system--it is peanut free and the plants arrive in pristine condition.
On Apr 19, 2009, Bluestone Perennials responded with:
Thank you for the suggestion, and we will look into their packaging, and I will pass along your suggestion. We don't like the peanuts, either, but we have yet to find another packaging that works as well. All other methods have come up short. We are always on the lookout for an affordable alternative that will get our plants to you in good condition, and we have tried many many alternatives. If you would like, please be in touch and we can mark your account to ship your future plants in shredded paper, or you can request shredded paper when you order if you prefer. "