Photo by Melody
Calling all writers, especially those who wax poetic! If you have a way with words, here's your chance to put pen to paper and try your hand at writing an award-winning piece for us. Find all the details on our contest page.

Comments regarding Plant Delights Nursery

Click here to return to Plant Delights Nursery's listing.

  Feedback History and Summary  
294 positives
26 neutrals
38 negatives


« Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | ... 9 Next »

Negative FlaFlower
(7 reviews)
On May 17, 2013, FlaFlower Titusville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Well... I ordered 3 plants that were "In stock".
Paid for them via there website and waited.
I got a package with "2" reasonably sized plants and a note that says!!!
"Sorry to report we do not have your "THIRD" plant available to ship with your order...You have a credit of $$ for future use"
So I guess I am not going to get it at all, I have to reorder again and pay another shipping fee?

I don't want a credit, I either want my plant or my $$ back.
How dare you sell me a plant you don't actually have THEN ALSO KEEP MY MONEY!!

On May 17, 2013, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:

"On May 20, 2013 9:26 AM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:

Greetings floridaheat,

A plant can become not availabe for shipment for many different reasons such as crop loss, lack of root developement, etc. Additionally our current website is not "live" when it comes to inventory management (although our new site later this year will be!), so at the time your order was taken, we may have had only 1-3 plants left while someone was purchasing on site.
We clearly state in our catalog and on our website that if substitutes are not listed, we will post a credit to your account, unless you specify otherwise. Not knowing the details of your order, I cannot address that until getting some additional information from you. If you would prefer a refund, we will be happy to refund your credit card. If you will please call the office or contact me at, we'd be happy to issue a refund to your credit card.

Kind regards,
Virginia Meehan
Manager of Customer Service and Shipping
Plant Delights Nursery, Inc.

Neutral hardyinokc
(26 reviews)
On May 13, 2013, hardyinokc Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

Posted on May 8, 2013, updated May 13, 2013
Posted on May 7, 2010, updated May 8, 2013
Posted on May 25, 2006, updated May 7, 2010
My very favorite mail order garden place. Cool plants, Good info, and great customer service!.

On May 7th, 2010, hardyinokc added the following:

Received two plant orders from PDN yesterday...all six plants were well-grown, with roots extending out of the bottom of the pots. I definitely recommend PDN to everyone.
On May 8th, 2013, hardyinokc changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

placed my order the beginning of February 2013...the money was charged to my account at that time...ship date set for May 6th...May 8th no notice of order shipping, so called...was informed that my order was NOT shipping this week as one of the items I ordered was no longer available...PDN ordering policy indicates that when the payment is charged that the plants are set aside at that time, so I do not understand how a plant I ordered 3 months ago & paid for 3 months ago is suddenly not available...if PDN cannot supply the plants ordered, they should not charge when the order is placed...the customer service person I spoke with was very nice & apologetic about the situation & did agree to send a different plant as replacement for one not available...also stated that the order would ship today...also bothers me that the email I received from PDN confirming my order states I would be contacted if there was going to be any delay in shipping...I was NOT contacted about this order not shipping...c'mon PDN, get your S**T together!!!
On May 13th, 2013, hardyinokc changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Received my order...changing my rating from negative to neutral as the plants arrived promptly in good condition & well-packaged...will possibly change my rating to positive if PDN actually follows their own policies on my next order
Positive 2hard4me
(4 reviews)
On Apr 18, 2013, 2hard4me Juneau, AK wrote:

My first order from this company...and it was very well done. The packing was evironmentally friendly (it is in the recycle container now). The plants (all primulas) came from the southern east coast to Alaska in fine shape. Wouldn't hesitate to order from these folks again.

Positive holly_grower
(7 reviews)
On Apr 5, 2013, holly_grower Bear, DE wrote:

Just received my first mail order package from Plant Delights. Nice plants, exactly as I expected from the online catalog, well hydrated, and carefully packed. They were shipped exactly when I requested, and PDN even e-mailed a FedEx tracking number so I could know when exactly to expect delivery. I would not hesitate to order from them again.

Positive hocklea
(7 reviews)
On Feb 7, 2013, hocklea Seattle, WA wrote:

Love my plants. Love the service. Think the catalog is a hoot. Yes I would love to order everything. My list of wants is long.

Positive cyrusdust
(2 reviews)
On Sep 24, 2012, cyrusdust Raleigh, NC wrote:

I just picked up my order today and the plants look fabulous! I made my order online on Sept 20th and it was ready to pick up today (Sept 24th). I really like that Plant Delights allows locals to pick up their orders even though they are a mail order company because I was able to save shipping cost. The staff that I dealt with today were all very friendly and helpful.

The following plants were nice big healthy plants: Acanthus mollis 'Tasmanian Angel' Bear's Breech, Rohdea japonica Sacred Lily, Vinca minor 'Illumination' Periwinkle and Aspidistra sichuanensis 'Ginga' Speckled Cast Iron Plant. Both of the Ophiopogon japonicus Mondo Grass cultivars 'Seoulitary Man' and 'Gyoku Ryu' were so big that I was able to divided them when I planted them! The Asarum takaoi 'Roundabout' Japanese Wild Ginger was a little small compared to the other plants, but this is a slow growing plant and it looks very healthy with lots of new shoots.

The Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' Siberian Bugloss was on backorder. I received both a call and an email with apologies from Plant Delights Nursery. The lady I talked to was very pleasant. She asked if I would rather receive a refund or wait and they could have a plant to me by Oct 17th when they were ready. I told them I would wait for the plant to be ready in a few weeks. I'll let you all know how this plant looks when it comes.

This is the second time I have bought plants from Plant Delights (the first time was last year during an open house). Both experiences have been a pleasure as the gardens are gorgeous, the plants although a little pricey (at least the ones I'm inclined to buy) are well worth the money, and they often have unusual plants that you can't find elsewhere. I will definitely be ordering again from Plant Delights Nursery!

Positive gregr18
(28 reviews)
On Aug 17, 2012, gregr18 Bridgewater, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I finally made an order after years of looking through their catalog. Most of the plants I received were big or average-sized. A couple were smaller, but were well within my expectations for mail-order plants. I thought the prices were competitive for plants that were available from other outlets, and reasonable for plants that were only available through PDN. Packing was good, and nothing in my order was damaged even slightly. I was very pleased with the overall experience.

Positive bryana
(70 reviews)
On Aug 15, 2012, bryana Albany, NY wrote:

I ordered 5 Echinacea (cone flower) plants - all arrived in good condition, good sized pots and healthy looking tops.

Positive mikeys_gardn
(3 reviews)
On Aug 4, 2012, mikeys_gardn Deltona, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have ordered from here in the past and have enjoyed the plants I've received. I enjoy their catalog with great pictures and descriptions. This Spring I decided to purchase some new Hibiscus. I ordered ' Moy Grande' and 'Plum Crazy'. Both came packaged very well and were healthy when they arrived. They have since grown into full plants with beautiful blooms. I'm just amazed with the size of the blooms of 'Moy Grande' - Huge ! 'Plum Crazy' has a beautiful purple/violet/plum color bloom. Even the foliage is purplish.Very nice plants.
Although it can get a little pricey - you do get what you pay for. I would definitely order from them again .

Positive ycn4chin
(36 reviews)
On Jul 16, 2012, ycn4chin Dickson, TN wrote:

Received my order from PDN Saturday, and WOW! the size of the hosta I received was such a pleasant surprise. It was a variety that I could not find any where else on the internet, and listed as a 24 oz. container. The container was bulging, and I could see that they had removed several leaves before shipping. The other plants I ordered were healthy and well rooted. The packaging was very eco friendly and held everything together. I have ordered from PDN for years, and the quality of this order was superb.

Negative raven998
(1 review)
On Jun 2, 2012, raven998 wrote:

I purchased a number of plants from Plant Delights Nursery recently. This will have been the 3rd time I have purchased from them. While many plants were of an expected size, several were poorly rooted in their containers. Considering these are very small containers to begin with, and the price point of Plant Delights plants are considerable especially when you add in the shipping cost, I was disappointed with several I received this time around. In the worst case i received a solomon seal that consisted of a 2 inch tall stem with 4 tiny bug eaten leaves, and almost no roots filling it's container. If a nursery like this expects people to pay a premium for its rare and hard to find perennials(which I am happy to do), consistency and quality control needs to be exceptional. In the case where they send less than an adequate product out to a repeat customer Plant Delights may want to consider other options other than telling the customer they can mail it back. I personally do not feel it is worth my time to mail these questionable plants back. I will just spend my plant dollars elsewhere in the future.

On Jun 2, 2012, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:

"On Jun 11, 2012 11:12 AM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:

Dear raven998:

I am very sorry to hear that you received any plant from us in the condition you have described. The plant you received should have never been assessable to our shipping staff to pull for your order. I agree that our plants should be exceptional but not just because of price, but rather a matter of pride and principal. With so many plants under our constant care it is inevitable that an occasional bad plant will slip past the watchful eyes of our horticultural staff. When that happens, we appreciate the opportunity to correct our mistake. I hope you will give us a chance to set the matter right by emailing me directly at

Kind Regards,

Dianne Austin
Manager, Customer Service and Shipping
Plant Delights Nursery, Inc."

Positive Viatrix_Eterna
(2 reviews)
On May 26, 2012, Viatrix_Eterna New York, NY wrote:

Super helpful staff. Enormous plants. Perfectly packaged. Thanks.

Positive redmite21
(4 reviews)
On May 23, 2012, redmite21 Webster, NY wrote:

One of my favorite nurseries to order from. The plants are always a nice size and in great shape. I have been ordering from Plant Delights for about 5 years. My hosta garden is made from all the hostas I've ordered over the years from them. I also have great plants for my deck (aren't rated for my zone-so winter inside) that have grown beautifully. I especially look forward to the catalog-and Tony's wicked sense of humor with the catalog cover and plant listings. I guess they're stuck with me as a customer.

Positive Patricia_CR
(7 reviews)
On May 8, 2012, Patricia_CR Grecia, Alajuela,
Costa Rica wrote:

It's a delight to deal with responsible high quality nurseries, such as PDN. I've done business with them before and they have always been excellent in every sense. Top quality healthy plants carefully packed, plus a warm, prompt and effective customer service.

Positive Pattyw5
(12 reviews)
On May 6, 2012, Pattyw5 La Salle, IL wrote:

My order came and the plants are gorgeous. I've been shopping with them for probably 15 years now without any problems. Thank you, Plant Delights for your good service.
Pat Wallace

Positive cajgarden
(2 reviews)
On Apr 30, 2012, cajgarden Fair Grove, MO wrote:

I was thrilled with the 6 baptisias I ordered from Plant Delights this year. They were so much larger than I was expecting and the packing was excellent. Also, I couldn’t find these particular plants anywhere else. When PD was having trouble with my e-mail, they telephoned me, then went out of their way to send my order confirmation through the mail even though I told them it wasn’t necessary. Fantastic company!

Neutral Gourd
(22 reviews)
On Apr 20, 2012, Gourd Mesilla Park, NM wrote:

I am giving Plant Delights a neutral rating for the following reasons:

4 of the Clematis plants that I ordered in 2011 (two did not have much of a root system and did not survive the first year) the other two are tiny. I really think that they should make sure that these plants have good root systems before they sell them, the prices on these are not cheap and this company usually has good healthy plants, I don't know what happened here. I did not contact this company regarding these two clems, but I still might since it is obvious they never did come back.

However, the Peppermint Arundo grass is wonderful and is doing great, it was a good size and was healthy. I also noticed that their packing has gone downhill a little, since my orders when I lived in California.

Antoinette Hague

Positive Chris_W
(4 reviews)
On Apr 11, 2012, Chris_W Cement City, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the plants I received today, the first time I've received anything from them, and would rate the order as positive overall. The only really odd thing about the shipment would be that the plants were not actually rooted out in the pots - 3 Arisaema were in my order, and two were completely dormant which meant they were just bulbs tucked in a pot with potting soil around them. Having these in pots really doesn't make sense since there was absolutely no root growth. The third was just starting to grow, but again, no real root growth into the pots yet. They were also really soaking wet, not something you would want with dormant bulbs, and one was slimy with a couple soft, rotten spots on the bulb, though I don't think this is anything that will harm it. I simply took it out of the pot so it can dry out before I plant it in the garden. The other two plants also weren't really rooted but were growing great and larger than expected. The packing was excellent, other than being overly wet as I mentioned. I would consider ordering again as they have a nice unusual selection.

Positive Ispahan
(55 reviews)
On Apr 4, 2012, Ispahan Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

Posted on October 6, 2011, updated April 4, 2012
This nursery is a treasure. Yes, the prices are higher than some other companies, but the quality and range of unusual selections is unsurpassed. Many times this is the *only* company from which to buy certain plants and they always send such large (for container size), healthy, well grown happy stock. While I don't always personally agree with their politics, I just try to laugh it off. As long as they continue to maintain the wonderful quality of their plants, I intend to always order from them as my need and budget allow.

On April 4th, 2012, Ispahan added the following:

Just received a very large spring order from PDN. This nursery really knows how to do it right. Every single plant is large, healthy and practically bursting out of its pot. Their wonderful office staff accommodated multiple order changes and even a last-minute request for earlier shipping, and never made me feel like a nuisance.

I love the way they pack their plants. They use this special perforated paper wrapping that expands to form ridges that then can interlock with other plants wrapped similarly. Not that I would recommend it, but you could probably roll one of their shipping boxes down a mountain and the plants inside would barely be jostled due to this interlocking paper wrap. Best part, it is also extremely easy to unpack. No annoying tape or staples to deal with. Just unwrap, recycle and done!

PDN, you rock!
Positive RandyRick
(4 reviews)
On Mar 23, 2012, RandyRick Dahlonega, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Have placed 4 orders with Plant Delights in the past year. All the plants were of the highest quality. The online database is a wealth of information.

Positive Fireflywoods
(2 reviews)
On Oct 27, 2011, Fireflywoods Huffman, TX wrote:

I so wish I lived near this nursery!!! I just received my first order of two goldenrods and three aspidistras. Four of the plants were on sale and ALL of the plants were bigger than expected for the pot size with well developed roots.
I'll reorder with no hesitation.

Positive TNTurtle
(4 reviews)
On Oct 1, 2011, TNTurtle Chattanooga, TN wrote:

My first order with Plant Delights was a smashing success. I ordered online and listed my preferred shipping date. I received an email confirmation and my order was shipped on the exact date. The plants came well-packaged and in good shape. The plants are large for the container size and look to be in excellent health. It's a pleasure doing business with a reputable company. Thank you Plant Delights.

Positive Eaglewalker
(2 reviews)
On Sep 23, 2011, Eaglewalker Memphis, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:

I ordered two plants from PDN back in the late spring -- Chrysactinia mexicana and miniature hosta "Pure Heart". Because of the heat, they held shipment until this week. The quality of the plants is superb, and because of the excellent packaging, they arrived in perfect condition. The chrysactinia is still blooming and very fragrant, and the little hosta has strong foliage and a well-developed root system. I promptly placed another order -- for another hosta, and a couple more plants that have been on my shopping list, but which I haven't been able to find. (*White* salvia greggii!)

I've gotten good plants from lots of local nurseries and online nurseries, but the ones I just received from PDN are absolutely the best, and worth every penny.

Negative Kimcoco33
(5 reviews)
On Jul 21, 2011, Kimcoco33 Milwaukee, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Posted on July 8, 2011, updated July 21, 2011
Posted on June 28, 2011, updated July 8, 2011
I placed a first time order online with this company on June 19th, 2011. I submitted specific instructions that the order cannot be DELIVERED between July 1st throught the 4th, as I will not be available for the delivery.

I received a notification yesterday from FedEx indicating that my order shipped 6/27/2011, and the ESTIMATED delivery date is 6/30/2011. Concerned that this is NOT a guaranteed delivery date and that the package MAY NOT arrive in time, I contacted customer service at Plant Delights Nursery and spoke with Virginia. This is a long distance phone call that I have to pay for because they don't provide a toll free number.

In speaking with Virginia, I got the "passing the buck" attitude throughout the entire conversation. I explained I submitted specific instructions that the order CANNOT be delivered after June 30th, and my growing concerns that the plants will die if they are delivered after this date. She tells me that I should talk to neighbors and see if they can pick up the package if it is delivered after June 30th, and that I am supposed to ask them to open the package as well. This is NOT my neighbors responsibility, and I explained to Virginia I am not involving my neighbors in this matter, especially over a holiday weekend, in which my neighbors will not be available in the first place.

Virginia then went on to pass the buck with excuses that they can't be responsible that "Fed Ex has no guarantee" and then began chastising me that I didn't respond to the nurseries email (that I don't recall receiving), and proceeded to tell me that I was supposed to call them after I got THEIR email. I told her I don't recall seeing their email, and why should I have to call them after I've already given EXPLICIT instructions with my initial order at the time of placement, and then take time out of my day to call them at a long distance phone number, at my expense, to repeat the information I'd already given them with my order? So, it's the customers responsibility to keep contacting them to ensure they "get it right" the first time? Not my responsibility to micromanage the company with which I am giving my business to.

I explained that I AM contacting them, as soon as I received the email confirmation from Fed Ex, which is why I'm calling today. She made some comment that they can't be responsible, and that they couldn't ship last week because they were doing inventory. If they couldn't ship last week, why risk delivery so close to the date with which I specifically explained I would not be available, instead of waiting to ship after those dates? It is evident to me that this is a very poorly run operation.

At this point I'm upset and told her if these plants die because of THEIR error in following my explicit instructions, that I will dispute it with my credit card company. If you tell a nursery that you will not be here for the delivery, and they ship so close to the date that it's questionable whether it will arrive in time and then pass the buck that "fed ex has no guarantees" and "we can't be responsible if there is a problem with their delivery", and "we couldn't ship last week because of inventory" and "you should ask your neighbors to pick up the package and open it for you" ---- it's a clear indication to me that their internal operations are incompetent.

In a condescending manner, she now tells me that I'm getting ahead of myself and that I should just 'wait and see' what happens. "Maybe you'll get the delivery at 8:00 am on June 30th". Yes, perhaps I will. But maybe it won't. Am I being chastised for being proactive? Perhaps they should have contacted me to ask whether I'd like my order shipped after July 4th, but they never did. They shipped anyway, obviously knowing that THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES WITH FED EX.

I explained if the order is not received by June 30th, I'll have to call them long distance again, at my expense, and obviously listen to them tell me how this is the customers fault that Plant Delights can't follow explicit instructions that were provided with my order placement. In a condescending manner, which is commonplace at this point in the conversation, Virginia proceeds to tell me in a very sarcastic tone that "since you have email" then you can email us. I'm supposed to email them regarding a matter that is timely, and expect to receive a prompt reply and have this matter resolved over email? I suppose it's the customers responsibility to sit by their computer all day awaiting a response to a "timely" concern that came to be through no fault of their own.

I will NEVER order from this company again. This is a really poor excuse for 'customer service'. The 'passing the buck' attitude for their own incompetence is unacceptable. Why would any company ship so close to a date that I explained I would be unavailable for delivery, knowing in advance that there are no shipping guarantees with Fed Ex????? Extremely poor business operations.

On July 8th, 2011, Kimcoco33 added the following:

I looked back on my records. I had placed a couple orders with two different online vendors at the same time. When speaking with Virginia, I was told that I should have called after receiving their email with the ship date. Unsure of which vendor I had spoken with previously, I did not retort her comment in our conversation. Subsequently, I looked back in my records, and found that I did contact PDN immediately upon receiving that email. I have the phone call logged on my cell phone records. At that time, I called customer service and asked why they are shipping the order risking the delivery so close to the date I will not be here for the arrival. The response I received was, "Well THAT'S why we send you an email". A very snotty response. I asked that they ship it July 5th instead, and was told they would do so. So, to put this in proper perspective, they overlooked my original shipping request that was placed with my order, and also the second verbal request via a phone call to their staff.

I'd also like to make a point that I understand mistakes do happen, but the fact is this goes beyond a shipping error. The simple fact that the demeaner of this "customer service" staff is brash, I'd opt to never give them my business again. Their rude behavior towards a paying customer is outright unacceptable. I should have heeded the warnings and other negative reviews on this website -- had I read them prior to submitting my order, I wouldn't be posting here today.

Not pointing the finger at anyone, but I will say I have doubts about the validity of many "positive" reviews on this website. They come across in my eyes as somewhat 'hokey pokey' and given my own experience and interaction with PDN staff, I'm less inclined to believe they are legitimate. 100% of my interaction with PDN customer service staff was outright unpleasant. Let that speak for itself.
On July 21st, 2011, Kimcoco33 added the following:

In response to PDN's unprofessional and flagrant response by Dianne, the "manager" no less, I will retort.

First, I will let the reader formulate their own conclusions based on Dianne's written response. Refer back to my original post and complaint about PDN and how pass the buck and blame the customer. What does Dianne respond with? Blaming the customer AGAIN. Is anyone surprised?

Dianne Austin responds in an attempt to "play the role of the victim" -- blaming the customer for trying to sabotage the reputation of an employee of PDN. She actually ends her post with, "shame on you". Really? Shame on the customer for communicating a valid complaint? And this is the end result? WOW. Is that what you call 'customer service' or 'customer satisfaction'? I think not. I think believe it reinforces what I've said about this company and their demeaner towards paying customers in my posts.

Dianne states, "Aside from these two posts, you have emailed me twice in an effort to damage Virginia’s employee status with PDN. My reply to your first email reads as follows..."

Dianne accuses the customer of trying to "damage Virginia's employee status." Communicating a legitmate complaint to management regarding a rude employee is the customer's fault, and then Dianne, the manager, proceeds to accuse the customer of having ulterior motives. Need I say any more?

Let's establish the facts:

A. I am not a ranting and raving customer, as PDN would like the reader to believe. PDN blames the customer.

B. Viriginia never, at any time, offered to "cover the loss" of any plants that were being shipped. This contradicts the entire premise of my initial post. Yet again, PDN blames the customer for not "listening" to something that was never said to begin with, and is not willing to take accountability for their unprofessional behavior. I am not an irrational, ranting and raving customer, and for any business to post such slanderous accusations is both unethical and unprofessional and a very poor business practice. But, be my guest PDN. You posts do nothing more than exemplify your true colors, your lack of emphasis on customer satisfaction, your lack of respect towards a paying customer, and further corroborates all the facts I've presented here about PDN's brash behavior and passing the buck attitude.

C. Dianne's claim that she was "listening" in on this conversation is what the rest of the world calls "hogwash".

D. I did not send "two" emails to Dianne in an attempt to "sabotage" Virginia's reputation or employee status. In fact, my first email never mentioned a thing about how Virginia treated me, it stated nothing more than blatant facts. My second email explained exactly why I choose not to give them my business again.

Below are email correspondence between myself and Dianne.

In response to the order confirmation and shipping notice received from the company, I replied with the following:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 11:21 AM
From: "Kim"
To: office@plantdelights.

I spoke with Virginia within the past hour about this order due to a shipment notification I received from Fed Ex indicating that my order shipped yesterday, with an ESTIMATED delivery date of 6/30/2011. Explicit instructions were placed with my online order on June 19, 2011 expressing that I will not be available for any delivery after June 30th. Obviously, the delivery date being so close to that date, coupled with the fact that Fed Ex offers no shipping guarantee, I became concerned and contacted Plant Delights. In the ensuing conversation with Virginia, I was told that I should have called when I received the email from Plant Delights Nursery with the estimated delivery date, even though I had already given explicit delivery instructions at the time I placed my order.

After speaking with Virginia today, I checked back on my records, as I've ordered from two online companies around the same time and wanted to verify which company I spoke with previously by phone.

I received the email confirmation of my order from Plant Delights Nursery on June 20th, 2011. I very prompty contacted customer service by phone on June 20th, 2011 at 3:24 pm. I spoke with customer service about the estimated shipping date of June 30th, as per the email, expressing my concerns with the ship date being too close to the date I made very clear I will be unavailable for delivery (no deliveries after June 30th). The person on the phone at that time told me, "well, that's why we send you an email", at which point I explained that I'd like the order delivered AFTER July 4th. I was told that would be taken care of. The phone call is documented in my phone records with my phone carrier.

I am unclear why the order shipped anyway, in spite of my explicit instructions with the intial order and the prompt phone call to your customer service department after receiving your email confirmation, and my second set of instructions, as per a verbal phone conversation, to ship the order after July 4th.

Exactly how is this email a communication an attempt to "sabotage" an employee's status by communicating the facts to PDN?

--- On Fri, 7/1/11, Dianne Austin wrote: (see Dianne's post above in which she responded to my email above)

My response to Dianne is as follows:

RE: Confirmation of Order & Shipping Date
Friday, July 8, 2011 11:21 AM
From: "Kim"
To: "Dianne Austin"

I have to say, regardless of the shipping situation, your staff is the most unprofessional I've had to deal with, with any online vendor. For that reason alone, I'd never give my business to your company again.

The entire conversation was aimed at blaming the customer when I called to inquire why the order shipped risking the arrival after my departure date. The response to this was that PDN cannot be responsible for FedEx shipping. Huh? It was your choice to ship, I expressed my concerns, and this is the response I received from your staff. No apology whatsoever, no resolutions were presented to me. I was told to search out neighbors who can be here for the potential delivery, over a holiday weekend. I was told that I should have called after I received the original email, and looking back on my records after the conversation took place, I found that I did call after the first email notification of the scheduled shipping date. I immediately called upon receipt of that email and requested at that time to not ship until July 5th. The phone call to your customer service staff is logged on my phone records. I was told they would withhold shipment until that time, but failed to do so. I gave written instructions with my order placement, and verbal instructions after the receipt of the shipping confirmation. Mistakes do happen, I realize that, but this goes beyond a shipping matter. Blaming the customer and treating the customer with such disregard and the outright nasty demeaner that Virginia has towards paying customers is just unacceptable. The first phone call was similar. I asked why the order was shipping out risking delivery close to the date I will not be available, and the response I received at that time, again in a very unpleasant tone, was "well THAT'S why we send you the email". If Virginia were an employee at my company, she'd never be allowed to interact with any customer.

Her demeaner throughout the entire conversation was brash and completely unacceptable for anyone in "customer service". Passing the buck, blaming the customer, and not accepting responsibility is not what I consider appropriate behavior towards any paying customer.

It is quite simply and unwise decision to employ such an unpleasant person who risks the loss of potential business each time she takes a call from a customer. 100% of my conversations with your customer service staff was unpleasant.


PDN makes no attempt to "resolve" any situation to customer satisfaction. They want to blame the customer and continually exert their energy on focusing the attention on the customer in an attempt to portray what the customer did wrong, how the customer reacted, etc. and it is obvious based on Dianne's responses that this "passing the buck" attitude trickles down from upper management.

This company places no emphasis whatsoever on customer satisfaction. Attempt to portray the customer as a crazy ranting and raving lunatic, so PDN doesn't have to take accountability for their actions, or lack thereof.

Refer to my original post. Blame the customer.

Buyer Beware.

On Jul 21, 2011, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:

"On Jul 8, 2011 3:06 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:

Here are the facts pertaining to this negative post:

On June 20th, we downloaded an order for two hosta from Kimcoco33 along with this customer note: “NO substitutes please. "NO DELIVERY between July 1st thru 5th. Shipping any other time at your discretion for my zone."

Due to multiple heat delays, many orders including Kimcoco33's could not be shipped during the week it was received. With a break in temperatures, we shipped Kim's order on 6/27 with a Fed Ex delivery scheduled on 6/30. This was cutting it close, based on our customer's request for no delivery July 1st - 5th. Unfortunately, Fed Ex uses the term "estimated delivery" which prompted an angry call from the customer to our office.

During the time Kimcoco33 was on the line, I was listening to Virginia's side of the conversation. I have listened to 1000's of conversations between Customer Service Representatives and customers' over the years and what draws my undivided attention faster than anything else is a CSR who is not being allowed to finish a complete sentence. I immediately tuned into this particular conversation. I can say without hesitation that the rude and angry person was not on this end of the telephone. Virginia has 100's of customers to who have been the recipients of her exemplary service during her 7 1/2 years tenure and not once have I ever heard her raise her voice. Additionally, Virginia receives more commendations for her excellent customer service than anyone else at Plant Delights and is the recipient of many gifts of gratitude for her above and beyond service.

I heard Virginia's attempt to assure you that should the plants arrive after the you left town we would take care of the loss. I also heard her tell you not to jump the gun and assume the worst. Because you were so busy ranting, I'm not sure you heard her because you have not mentioned any of these details in either post nor in the two emails I have received from you to date. The plants were in route; there was nothing Virginia could do to change that fact. She offered you all she could by offering you the assurance that should your plant arrive after you left town that we would take care of your loss. Frankly, I don't know what else anyone could ask for.

Aside from these two posts, you have emailed me twice in an effort to damage Virginia’s employee status with PDN. My reply to your first email reads as follows:

From: Dianne Austin
Subject: RE: Confirmation of Order & Shipping Date
To: "Kimcoco33(address omitted for customer privacy>
Date: Friday, July 1, 2011, 7:21 AM

Dear Kim:

I am very sorry that your ordering experience with Plant Delights Nursery did not set well with you.

I have reviewed your concerns and in hindsight, I agree we should have rescheduled your order to ship after you returned from your trip. This would have been a more conservative approach to managing your order and less stress on your end as well. I apologize for any misunderstanding on our part.

In our own defense, I will say that we have been pressured by many weeks of heat delays to ship orders just as soon as we see a window of opportunity to do so. When temperatures rise above 92F in our area, we are forced to delay shipments regardless of the order destination. Damage occurs when the boxed (damp) plants sit in 93F and above temperatures on a hot tarmac waiting to be loaded on trucks or planes at the Raleigh airport. Our Customer Service Representatives simply saw an opportunity to get your plants to you prior to your departure and took it.

Fed Ex tracking shows that your order did deliver on time for which I am grateful to see; and I hope that your two plants arrived in good condition. If they didn't, please let me know.

If there is any service or promise we have not lived up to please email me and I will help you in any way possible.

Kind regards,

Dianne Austin
Manager, Customer Service & Shipping
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, NC
Ph: 919-772-4794
Plant Delights Nursery, Inc.

In closing, I will say that this rebuttal will be the only response to your outrageous accusations and post. There is a saying "Let the punishment fit the crime". Our crime? Getting plants shipped between heat delays and accepting full responsibility for plant death should Fed Ex deliver late. My crime as a manager? Allowing an exemplary employee to endure your shouting and verbal abuse along with being called "incompetent" and not intervening on her behalf. Based on your phone etiquette, you were fortunate to have a calm and rational person such as Virginia handling your call. The owner’s of Plant Delights support Virginia and her continued efforts to provide excellent Customer Service to all of our gardening friends and customers. You have gone to extraordinary lengths to sabotage a very nice person’s reputation. Shame on you!

Positive Floralkingdom
(17 reviews)
On Jul 19, 2011, Floralkingdom Niceville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have bought plants from Plant Delights Nursery numerous times within the last two years. Their staff is very friendly, polite, and have great customer service skills, they email me with any changes to my order and keep me posted on delivery dates. The plants have always been packed carefully and have arrived safely and alive. I have been very impressed with the quality and selection of the plants. Their prices are fair considering all the work involved, and I feel peace of mind knowing that the plants I'm getting will survive the winters in my area and grow well in my environment. I just recently received an order from them, and have placed another order which is due to arrive shortly. The plants that have come from PDN are thriving in my yard. My yard is the envy of the neighborhood. All of my neighbors are asking me where I get my plants, they haven't seen these cold hardy exotics before, I always tell them to go and check out Plant Deligths Nursery. I give this nursery a high rating. I am very happy that they exist and are doing the work that they are doing, especially in todays economy when a lot of nurseries are going out of business and closing down. I appreciate very much that we have this great resource. Sincerely, from your loyal customer way down south where bananas grow!

Negative smurfwv
(5 reviews)
On Jul 17, 2011, smurfwv Cabin Creek, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:

I placed my first order around April 2011, for Amorphophallus Henryii, and Amorphophallus Kuisanus. I am an aroid collector and wanted to add these to my collection. Although the cost of tubers are extremely high, I went ahead and ordered them. Both cost $20 (later on seen them on ebay for $5, I about had a heart attack!). So I got them and the henryii was nice and big 4-5 inches across, but kuisianus was about 1 inch across (I almost cried) and complained. But they both grew wonderfully and are still nice looking. 17.00 to ship them, both less than a pound. Shipping is rediculous. I think its because their boxes have their name on them. Has anyone told them USPS has free boxes they can order online for FREE? Yes PD you can get free priority mail and flat rate boxes at no cost to you! Blah

A few weeks later we ordered a Helicodiceros muscivorus ($20 for one very tiny tuber less than 1 inch across) Which arrived rotted and soaking wet, but was replaced, the new one was also very tiny and soaking wet, but I didn't complain as there were lots of baby tubers. And we ordered an Amorphophallus ochroleucus (Which was soaking wet as well and the tuber was on top of the soil/wood chips and not down in the pot. The leaf was broken in half but a new one grew 6 weeks later. Again another high shipping cost, but still with the water logged pots should have been less than 17.00 if they used usps boxes which is cheaper in shipping and saves the customer money.

We again placed another order for an amorphophallus and an arum. Amorphophallus yunnanensis, and Arum cyrenaicum x concinnatum. We accidently ordered the wrong amorph, so I sent it back and got another ochroleucus plant. The arum tuber (main bulbs) were rotted completely, yes the pots were once again soaking wet, however even with the 2 huge rotted tubers I got about 30 babies from that one pot so I was happy. The 2nd Amorphophallus ochroleucus I recieved to replace the returned Amorphophallus yunnanensis also had a broken leaf, however it too grew another one after I threw out the nasty wood chips it was potted in and planted it deeper in real soil. It has a new leaf growing on it also.

While their plants are less than satisfactory, I can say I did get nice people on the phone and got prompt replacement.
I want to hit myself in the head as some of the items we bought from PD we seen on Ebay 50% cheaper.

I did ask about the wood chips used to grow their plants in and was told that its very good medium for growing plants, and while the bulbs were rotted they told me (Dianne) that the person who did the watering probably overwatered some things causing them to die, and my reply was to hire someone who knew what they were doing.

When I think of PD, it reminds me of the half dead plants you often see at walmart and kmart, Its just awful. I had no issue with PD customer service as they were very helpful and polite, but I will only buy from them again if they have something I absolutely cannot find anywhere else in the world.

Oh and if I do purchase something from them i'll send them a box myself to pack the plants in so I won't have to pay those rediculous shipping charges.

On Jul 17, 2011, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:

"On Jul 18, 2011 12:41 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:


You are 100% right! We agree with the following points you are making:
1- Our plants are more expensive than you find on Ebay. The plant exploration and the research that goes into acquiring our plant collection; along with years of trialing and then the propagation of our rare plant collection comes at a higher price than the average overhead of most EBay growers.
2 - We agree that shipping is expensive, but the carrier charged us $11.63 for your box of three plants and that was our contracted price. Anyone shipping to your address from Raleigh, NC or further away would be losing money if they charged you less. The plants have to be pulled and packed as well; therefore the difference for what you were charged ($17.50) pays for labor, supplies and overhead.
3 - As conscientious as our staff are, when watering many thousand of plants with many diverse requirements, we do over-water, under-water and as a result kill plants as we attempt to care for them appropriately. That is the reality of owning and managing a nursery - at least here at PDN.
4 - We agree that we do have very nice people here and appreciate and thank you for acknowledging that.

Based on an earlier email, you requested to be removed from our mailing list. We have respected your decision not to order from us again and have removed you from our mailing list. We realize that we have been unable to provide you with plants that meet your expectations and hope you will find another nursery that better meets your needs and your budget.


Neutral enviroplanter
(17 reviews)
On Jul 10, 2011, enviroplanter Spring House, PA wrote:

Quality of plants received was ok, but their packing is a combination of plastic peanuts and shredded paper--difficult to separate and not environmentally friendly.

Positive bellinghamroof
(1 review)
On Jul 9, 2011, bellinghamroof Bellingham, WA wrote:

The Plant Delights catalog is one of my favorite winter reads. Fabulous humor, and yummy descriptions of plants far beyond my income or climate zone. I end up buying more than I can afford every year, but . . . I guess that's what gardenings all about.

Positive mkjones
(8 reviews)
On Jul 9, 2011, mkjones Aurora, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I order A LOT of mail order plants online and via catalogs for our multiple gardens. In recently ordering from no fewer than half a dozen of nurseries from which I receive catalogs and/or emails this season, I can say that I am FULLY delighted (no pun intended) by the quality of Plants Delights Nurseries offerings. Not only do they ship the healthy, robust plants that I would purposely purchase sight-seen in a physical nursery, they pack them with the care of someone who is shipping from their own garden. None of the plants were limping in health, haphazardly dropping dirt or "iffy" looking when I removed them from their packing. I honestly felt that all $300+ that I'd spent for my garden @ Plant Delights website was money well spent, and when I tend to my newly planted fare now, I smile with gratitude. Thank you, Tony Avent, for running a shipshape operation with the quality and care of a true Gardener! I will always be back to shop again.....

Positive WeeklyWeeder
(16 reviews)
On Jul 2, 2011, WeeklyWeeder Polson, MT (Zone 5b) wrote:

I received a very well-packed order of Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus and citrina in excellent condition and in the time frame indicated.
I was glad that the company uses a 'rapid-transit' shipping method to my area, which enabled the plants to arrive without undue stress.
A nice experience with this company and one I hope to repeat.

Positive RebeccaLynn
(21 reviews)
On Jun 30, 2011, RebeccaLynn Winston Salem, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Tony Avent and his Garden Delight Nursery put the Fun back in Flora. I'm looking forward to attending the July 8th Open House.

Positive jamiew
(12 reviews)
On Jun 21, 2011, jamiew Montgomery, AL wrote:

I just received an order of several sinningias, punica, amorphophallus, and others. This nursery always sends the largest specimens, in excellent condition, and perfect shipping. I hope I can visit their nursery one day. They are on the top of my mail order list!

Positive Marilynbeth
(33 reviews)
On Jun 19, 2011, Marilynbeth wrote:

I've ordered for the first time last year and this year was my second time. Won't be the last, however! Happy with both orders of plants!

Negative Speckled_Hen
(3 reviews)
On Jun 9, 2011, Speckled_Hen San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Posted on May 29, 2011, updated June 9, 2011
I've been following this company for years and have always appreciated their diverse catalog. However, I've also noted their poor customer service, especially in the way they've responded to complaints on this site, and their strange infusion of politics with plants and questionable comments in the plant descriptions. What this all adds up to is unprofessionalism, which has been evident especially in the snarky email replies from the company, in which the representative in several cases actually made personal attacks toward the customer. The fact that they entitle a section on their website "Hate Mail" that includes critical correspondence demonstrates their childish sarcastic attitude. I've never seen another company do this - who stayed in business. I am glad that some people have had luck with this company but I will continue to be wary and avoid them until I know they have a more serious dedication to customer service and quality over sarcastic humor and rudness.

On June 9th, 2011, Speckled_Hen added the following:

Update after response from company. This is just the sort of response I've come to expect from this company, and the way I've seen them respond to every problem in this forum - with personal attacks, unprofessionalism and sarcasm. What a way to attract and retain customers. This interaction has been a customer service experience and with their response, they've guaranteed that I won't be a future customer. There are just too many other good nurseries out there folks who won't treat you like this. Incidentally, I do appreciate and share your sense of humour sir - I just think it could use some refinement. ;)
On Jun 9, 2011, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:

"On Jun 1, 2011 12:12 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:


You sound like someone with an axe to grind. Let's see, you've never ordered from us and have no first hand experience with our customer service. You don't like our truth in advertising when we post our hate mail on our website without any editorial comments. You didn't bother to mention our good mail, which extols our excellent customer service...hmmm...sure sounds like an axe grinding episode to me. It goes without saying that you obviously don't share our sense of humor. That's fine, and if you don't want to order from us, that's fine also, but why can't you just keep your negative thoughts to yourself? I'm reminded of the old saying, better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."

Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603 USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
phone 919 772-4794
fax 919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it least three times" - Avent"

Positive Hindernone
(4 reviews)
On Apr 22, 2011, Hindernone Broadway, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Received my first order from PDN yesterday and was extremely satisfied. Although the pricing may be higher than some mail order businesses, the plants are healthy, quite large, packaged exceptionally well and just downright delightful. (Kniphofia, Aristolochia fimbriata, Manettia cordifolia, Echinacea 'Gum Drop' ) Hoping to plant today and tomorrow...

Positive katiegirl021
(1 review)
On Apr 21, 2011, katiegirl021 Zebulon, NC wrote:

I've been a fan of Tony Avent & Plant Delights Nursery for over 20 years. Before opening his nursery he wrote a weekly column for the Raleigh News & Observer - and I was so upset when his column ended - not knowing what was yet to come (that's were the humor in his catalog probably comes from - but can't someone try to be a little bit different?) If you are ever in NC at a time they are having an Open House, this is a must! The gardens are interesting any time of the year. Busloads of people come from all over. He travels all over the world searching for new and exicting plants. I've never had to use the mail order catalog, but would highly recommend checking them out. Every plant I have bought there has thrived. I recently moved to a small town outside of Raleigh, so am having to start over with my garden. His next open house is coming up and I can't wait!

Positive rddjgarden
(13 reviews)
On Apr 20, 2011, rddjgarden Bristol, FL wrote:

I have been a customer of this nursery for several years, and have always been extremely happy with the plants I received and their service. I just received 3 more healthy and unique plants that I can't wait to plant in my garden. Even though I thoroughly enjoy their website, I always look forward to receiving their catalog in the mail twice a year. I hope they can continue to do what they've been doing for many years to come.

Positive boru
(14 reviews)
On Apr 15, 2011, boru Altoona, WI wrote:

Posted on June 25, 2007, updated April 15, 2011
Summer is here and the rush to get my garden planted has let up. I find myself planning for next Spring. I find now a good time to write comments on the vendors I used this time around. For the first time, I ordered from Plant Delights. I found the quality of their products to be superior and their selection to be one of the best. Above all, the information I have gleaned from the website has been very helpful. I have only found two other vendors (maybe three) to have reached such a high level of customer service. Plant Delights has been all that I had hoped it would be. As I came to write this, I was surprised to find all the negative comments that seem based on a perception of the politics at PDN. I guess I really never noticed anything all that offensive or even political for that matter. I like to think that most gardeners can look past political orientation when it comes to buying plants. As with any business, if you don't like the person that runs it, don't go there. To slam a business just because you do not like what it says really is not fair and is terribly misleading to other potential customers. If PDN's main fault is in the writing of its catalogue, go elsewhere, but let other gardeners not be misled by the political opinions of some. This is not a political forum. That said, I will again express my satisfaction with all the business and service aspects I have experienced with PDN. Thank you and enjoy the day.

On September 1st, 2007, boru added the following:

I might add at this time that since I last wrote I have experienced a slight problem with an item from PDN. Now I am able to evalaluate how they address a customer complaint. I will state at the outset that I always read a vendor's guarantee and understand what must be done if a problem arises before I place any order. PDN's instructions are very clear and include an admonition that customers need to adhere to their return policies in order that there be no misunderstandings. While some may feel that this straight forward approach is cold, I personally appreciate it. I know from the outset exactly what is expected of me. In my second shipment from PDN, one pot had spilled, despite what I consider a very good job of packing......these things occur in the best of situations. I contacted their customer service within the stated amount of time and asked what they would prefer I do with the plant in question. I must admit that I failed to use the listed customer service link the first time and received no response. When I went back to the instructions, I quickly noted my error and again sent the email. Once I used the proper link, my issues were immediately addressed and I had a new plant in a matter of but a few short days. The staff were very courteous and did not ever imply that what had happened was in any way my fault. I was very impressed with the reponse and I will say again that I have found PDN to be one of the best vendors with which I have dealt. Thank you and have a nice day. boru
On April 15th, 2011, boru added the following:

I cannot believe that it has been almost four years since I last posted anything about PD.....I suppose I have been spending too much time out in my garden, Just thought I would update my positive impression of this company. Today, I received my most recent order. EXCELLENT! The packaging and quality of plant material has improved every year, despite already being far better than most. I do wish their prices were lower, but I wish gasoline prices would go down also (I don't suppose I will ever again see it for $0.15/gal as I did in my youth....sigh)...LOL! Anyway, my order included a Cypripedium 'Gisela,' two Arisaema, two Amorphophallus, and several Hymenocallis (a plant that has become one of my favorite summer bulbs). While I can find less expensive plants elsewhere, I trust PD to provide me with what I order (which is often not the case when buying on eBay, etc). Just wanted to say again, years later, that my experiences with PD have all been positive and I am VERY happy to see them back in Dave's 'Top Thirty."

Thank you to all the staff at Plant Delights!

and to all my fellow gardener's, may your paths be without (too many) stones

Positive bambiatthelake
(7 reviews)
On Apr 10, 2011, bambiatthelake Streetman, TX wrote:

I order quite a bit from this company because of the variety of plants they offer. There is a lot of information about these plants on their website which makes selection easier. I know they are expensive, and shipping seems high, but the size of the plants is larger than offered by others. That is important where I live (Texas) because plants must get established before the summer inferno sets in. I have always found customer service to be responsive.

« Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | ... 9 Next »

Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Tour | Contact Us ]

Back to the top


Hope for America