I bought a new home and have been doing a lot of research for flowers and some seed to plant in my gardens. After reading the reviews on DG I chose three companies to order from based on what they offer and the reviews I found here on DG. I love Daves garden communities and all of the information! :-*
I really wish I listened more to the comments on DG.
I requested a catalog and received it very quickly. The book was beautiful and had a lot of different plants that I was not able to find any where else. I called and placed a big order with them. I spent a lot of money and was very excited to get my order. There customer service person was very nice and told me about a discount that I did not know about so I saved money.
That is where the good news ended. It took over a week to get my order. I live in Maryland and WFF is in Conneticut. When the box finally got to my house 4 bags were ripped and there was dirt everywhere in the box and some of the items had a really bad smell to them. I called there customer service department last week and they were very nice and said they would send more. I got them today and guess what? The same smell and the bulbs were mashy!
I will not be buying from them again. I do not have the time or money to waste on there product any more.
I've ordered from WFF for years. My experience has been uniformly good.
Their stock usually comes well-packaged, a little "skinny" and/or bare-root. But it recovers and takes off with a vengeance. I have also had good experience with their tomatoes, and they have an excellent selection. I've bought cheap tree peonies from others and waited three years for a bloom--WFF's bloomed from the get-go. They sell a quality product but you do pay a premium.
But their real edge is in customer service. I have had one or two "busts" and they replaced the plants quickly and with no quibbling at all.
I don't order everything from WFF; I try to support good "bricks and mortar" local merchants as much as possible. But I do believe WFF is a good example of excellent service only an internet retailer can provide: unique specimens, broad selection and good information source. Not a competitor so much with the local nureseries; rather, I find WFF products and services to be an excellent supplement to the local nurserymen.
On Oct 14, 2010, enthusiast10 Great Neck, NY wrote:
I was very disappointed with the Heuchera Georgia Peach and Heuchera Rave On plants that I received on 10/14/10. The "Rave On" plants were only 1 to 2" high and the Georgia Peach not much more than that. I am not sure that they will survive the winter. To make matters worse, these plants were expensive (more than other unusual, new Heucheras that I bought from another site that were cheaper, healthier and more than ten times the size) and the shipping was double that of the other company, although I live in a bordering state.
I have bought bulbs from WFF before (and spent a minor fortune to do so) and most of them looked great and bloomed well. My main complaint was that I had ordered about 10 reblooming irises, none of which rebloomed and about 4 did not come up at all. (I planted them in the fall of 2009.) I know that they can take a while to establish themselves, so I am withholding judgement for another year to see what happens.
I was very pleased with the Bloomerang lilacs that I ordered and that were shipped in the spring of 2010. They were really small when they arrived and I was quite worried about them. But they grew well and bloomed all summer, even though this was their first year in the garden. I look forward to larger, more prolific bushes in the years to come (I hope).
I would hesitate to buy from WFF again because I agree with other reviewers that they are overpriced and the quality seems variable.
On Oct 14, 2010, White Flower Farm responded with:
"On Mar 17, 2011 10:38 AM, White Flower Farm responded with:
Dear Gardening Friend,
We are sorry you were disappointed with the Heuchera Georgia Peach & Heuchera Rave On plants upon arrival. If they do not meet your standards in the garden this spring, please contact us for a replacement, credit or refund.
We guarantee to provide healthy plants, true to variety and in prime condition for growing. We guarantee that our plants will perform and thrive for at least one year when properly cared for or your money will be refunded.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer service department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800-411-6159. Wishing you much success this gardening season!
I ordered 3 reblooming iris immortality (total minus shipping was 36.95. Also,3 bulb cages as I coud find none elsewhere.. Sunday, I found the same irises for $2.99/bulb at a quality garden center...huge price difference. On Sunday I rapidly emailed them asking them to please CANCEL the irises and just send the cages. I said I'd call them Sun (didn't get the chance, limited hours) but instead waited till Monday, 9/20 and called as soon as they opened at 9am. The lady I spoke with told me I couldn't cancel as order was already in shipment mode. I was shocked, expecting them to take more than a weekend to do all that?? I
I expressed dissatisfaction, curiousity, she double checked 2 times and kept saying no, it's too late to cancel... then maybe I can. But I don't think so.
I said if it comes and I unopen and refuse it, send it back, do I pay what? She said I pay for the $19.99 shipping, REGARDLESS of canceling BULBS ordered LESS THAN 48 hours ago.
I said, can you cancel just the bulbs and send the cages (figuring if they are that busy selling, they must have immediate need for more customers with these bulbs. She thought about that, first no. Then, yes. Then Maybe. I said I emailed your contacts and told you all of this (expecting they'd be on email as quickly as packing and shipping). She didn't know of this.
As per their shipping schedule, it states irises aren't even mailed 0ut yet... i believe its all about money and it infuriates me.
This was a copy of the “receipt”. I want to cancel the Reblooming Iris Immortality (f32267) for the total of 36.95. I found the same thing yesterday at Quality gardens for 2.99/bulb, bareroot. That brings total down appox to 61.95 and shipping costs down $2.
I will also contact you by phone today to make sure I get this clarified. Email me please if phone call isn’t needed. email@example.com
Last winter I ordered one fringe tree, and two astilboides. The items arrived this Spring, were planted and while the fringe tree is doing well, the astilboides have failed to do anything. After about 4 weeks of waiting, I contacted the company, was told they take a while to break dormancy and I should give them more time. I waited another month, contacted the company again, and this time they replaced the two corms. I planted one of the replacements in a location near the first two, and the other in a completely new location. NOTHING from ANY of them! It's the end of summer and I've seen nothing! This is very disappointing. I have not contacted the company again, it seems pointless. If these are difficult plants to grow it should be stated in their discription. I have been gardening nearly 20 years, so I like to think I know what I'm doing. These were expensive plants.
On Aug 6, 2010, writergirl Sturgeon Bay, WI wrote:
Like many who post here, I've had mixed dealings with WWF. New to Zone 5 ten years ago, I was attracted to their guarantee and their range of perennials. However, I have since received healthier, more developed plants from other sources, for less money. I fell for the ad and bought the $35 per tuber begonia this year, and it hasn't done any better than the cheaper begonias I bought locally. Overall, I'd say they're overpriced.
Six years ago I ordered a couple of lots of the daffodils for naturalizing and the daylily collation. I received premium bulbs and divisions that flowered the spring and summer after planting, and by the second year had started to fill in enough to choke out the weeds in the bed. That was a terrific experience.
We moved a couple of years ago, and I ordered the same items. The daffodils were very good and flowered nicely in the first spring after planting, but the daylily divisions were an entirely different matter. They were puny, undersized little things that I put into the ground with great misgiving. Justified misgiving, as it turns out. Less than half of them made it through the first winter (and this is only 10 miles from where the daylilies six years before had thrived, so it's not a matter of inappropriate climate or my ignorance). The ones that did come up were pathetic, tiny little fans that did not throw a single flower scape up last summer. Half of those didn't survive a second winter. The remaining quarter of the divisions planted 2 years ago this fall are still tiny and many of them have continued to fail to flower.
The customer service was slow to respond but eventually I did receive a store credit for the amount of the daylily order. I used it this year on 3 heirloom tomato plants and a clematis.
Two of the tomato plants were in very good shape and are presently fruiting. The third one, a Stupice, never grew a single inch. The clematis was barely more than a seedling and was unable to withstand transplanting into an area that has suitable conditions for a clematis. I had to dig it back up to prevent it from dying entirely and baby it along in a pot. It was absolutely not ready to be put into the ground. It's doing better now, but I'm not at all happy with the quality of plants I have been receiving. I'm in an adjacent state to the WFF nursery, so there can be no excuses about extended shipment time damaging the plants - they are just shipping out things that have no business being sold.
I don't know what happened over the last five or six years, but I am done doing business with this company. Two bad experiences in as many years with weak, underdeveloped plants is enough.
I was hesitant to make this positive, but in reflection, everything worked out fine in the end. I placed a rather large order with WFF (37 individual items) in January. I did it so early because in previous years items ordered in March and April ended up being sold out and that fact took a while for them to pass on. The communication from them leaves a bit to be desired so be prepared to stay on them, call frequently and get conflicting answers. In this case I ended up getting everything, it was spread out over almost 2 months with the last item arriving last Thursday, but everything did arrive and is doing great.
I am very disappointed by my recent experience ordering from White Flower Farm. I have always loved their catalogs and have ordered plants from them occasionally, always with good results. This May I ordered an expensive herb kit for my mom as a Mother's Day gift. My credit card was promptly charged, but the order was not shipped out as of yesterday. I called Customer Service in mid-May to follow up and was informed that some of the herbs were on backorder and that those should arrive in late May. I contacted Customer Service again via email yesterday and was informed that the items are still on backorder and were expected to arrive in mid-June. Under the circumstances I informed the Customer Service representative via email that I'd like to cancel my order, and I requested a confirmation of the order cancellation with an indication that I'd receive credit for my purchase. I have not yet received any sort of confirmation from them. I don't understand why a company would charge a customer's credit card for an order which had not yet been filled (and for which items were on backorder) and why they wouldn't inform a customer via email that the items were on backorder in the first place. I went to the WWF website yesterday and found that the item that I ordered is no longer being advertised on the site, but rather all herb collections are from Better Homes and Gardens? What is happening at White Flower Farm????? I do not plan to do business with them in the future.
On Jun 3, 2010, jshare Hsmilton, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:
Posted on May 25, 2010, updated June 3, 2010
I've been ordering from WWF for a number of years and was always very pleased by the quality of the merchandise, the way it was packed and the prompt and careful shipping.
However, this April I placed a $300 order for vegetables and annuals. My credit card was charged immediately and it is now the last week of May and I have yet to receive my plants.
I called customer service about two weeks ago, and was told there were still frost warnings (?) and today I was told that the plants may not be shipped out this week due to the warm temperatures (highs in the mid-80's)! Certainly, they don't expect things to cool down come June?
I can appreciate the care they take to ship their plants in the best possible conditions, but if they are being shipped 2 day (I'm only 2 states away, in NJ), the odds of the plants succumbing so quickly is fairly remote. Plus, I have never encountered this problem with them before, and have received my orders safely in the past, even at more extreme temps.
I wonder if there is some other reason for this delay--an overburdened shipping dept. or stock issues?
Also, the fact that the phone was answered with "White Flower Farms from Better Homes and Gardens, how may I help you?" makes me wonder if the company dynamics have changed completely.
On June 3rd, 2010, jshare changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
As it happened, the bulk of my order was shipped out during the week in question. The plants arrived safely, were packed well and were healthy and of a good size--some even had buds and had already begun to set fruit. However, two squash plants were not included and were noted "To Follow" on the packing slip.
Today I received an email indicating that one of them, a winter squash , "Honey Bear", was no longer available due to crop shortage and is being replaced by "Papaya Pear". This wouldn't be a big deal, except for the fact that Papaya Pear is a yellow SUMMER squash!
While it may have been an acceptable substitution for the Multipick yellow squash I had ordered and received, it is not a very close match to the "Honey Bear" acorn squash I was expecting. At $6.95 per plant, such automatic substitutions should probably not be made without the ok of the customer.
This year, for the first time, I purchased plants and seeds by mail rather than waiting for my local garden centers to get their stock. I ordered from 3 companies: White Flower Farm, BlueStone Perennials, and Burpee. I've reviewed all three.
White Flower Farm's catalog is gorgeous and they do have things not available elsewhere. But when I called to ask a question, the rep was indifferent and not knowlegable. I felt like I was calling one of those large call centers where the reps take calls for several unrelated companies. The prices are also extremely high compared to other mail order companies and local plant nurseries, especially given the small size of the plants.
But I fell in love with Veronica "Goodness Grows" and Delphinium "Centurian Gential Blue" and ordered three of each on-line. When I called the company about my order and the rep learned that I'd hoped to receive the plants in time to plant them before I left on vacation, she made a special effort to rush my order (during a very hectic shipping time) which I greatly appreciated. (Bluestone did the same thing - Burpee was another story. See that review.)
The plants arrived quickly and well-packaged. They were small (as expected) and in good shape. I planted them about three weeks ago. While they don't appear to be growing yet, they are holding their own.
My rating is neutral because of the prices, small plants, and mixed customer services experience. (the first time I called was on a Saturday. The second time was on a weekday. Perhaps that made a difference.) This is all offset by their special effort to get my plants to me quickly (I'll order sooner next time), the health of the plants, and my hope that the plants will turn out to be spectacular. If they are, and they seem worth the money after all, I may change my rating to positive. In the meantime, I would try White Flower Farm again for special plants.
On May 6, 2010, sthinton Astoria, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
Posted on April 25, 2010, updated May 6, 2010
Posted on June 2, 2009, updated April 25, 2010
I have been a satisfied customer of White Flower Farm for a number of years. Many of the most established plants in my garden were purchased from the company and these have thrived and been divided many times. I live in New York City (zone 6/7 and feel their focus is perfect for my area).
I am usually very pleased with the plants I have received, and when I have not been the nursery is very liberal in sending replacement plants or providing a refund, their customer service is the best I've experienced. You can even call with questions about your plants and will received excellent advice.
This spring I ordered a fragrant lily mixture and received large, moist and very healthy bulbs. Within three weeks of planting all had appeared and are now very robust plants with thick stems. This particular mixture is now on sale and I HIGHLY recommend ordering it.
I also recommend the Dicentra Spectabilis, which is also currently on sale. I received a very large bare-root that I planted, watered well and then left alone. In three weeks the plant burst above ground and flowered profusely. This was the best-spent $8.45 of the year. I have since ordered two more.
The Dahlia selection is not as large as from nurseries that specialize, but the offerings are very smart and the tubers are very large and healthy. Other species I've ordered that have thrived include Hellebores (Royal Heritage), which have never failed to bloom in their first spring; Campanula (Sarastro and Summertime Blues) grew very large their first summer and bloomed generously; as well as Tiarella, Astilbe, Echinacea and Peonies (all of which have been exceptional performers).
I have even ordered annuals and been equally impressed. I live in New York City where there are no nurseries (without traveling to the distant suburbs) and my success with annuals purchased at big box retailers has always been dismal.
Some commenters have posted that the plant size is average and not worth the prices charged. I agree that the sizes shipped are typical, but I have always been impressed by the performance of this nursery's plants and have no complaints.
The other common complaint is with shipping costs, but I argue that this is one area where White Flower Farm excels. The materials are all cardboard and completely recyclable. Shipping notices are sent by email, with direct links to tracking info at UPS. My orders have always been received in about one week from when my orders are placed. When I have requested a particular shipping date it has always been met.
The great benefit of White Flower Farm is the extensive materials available: their Web site is one of the best and their catalogue is unmatched. The nursery has a long history and continues to be an intelligent source for garden culture information. Their Web site has numerous articles and videos that can help you become a better and more knowledgeable gardener.
If you are looking for bargains, look elsewhere (most notably Bluestone), but if you want to be a part of a nearly unmatched shopping experience you won't be disappointed with this nursery.
On April 25th, 2010, sthinton added the following:
I recommend White Flower Farms if you are seeking quality plants and customer service. The neutral and negative comments posted make me wonder if we are all ordering from the same nursery. Over the years I have had positive experiences with WFF.
Once again my spring orders have included specimen from them: Rosea rugosa Hansa ($19.95), Acanthus spinosa ($12.95), Veronicastrum virginicum ($13.50). These items are bare-foot and my experience with WFF roots is very positive.
My order also includes some of the much-maligned annuals from WFF. I always order their annuals and am pleased with what I receive. Their Cleome hassleriana Rose Queen ($19.95 for 3) grows quickly to 4 feet and produces the largest flower heads of any I have seen. I also order Heliotrope Fragrant Delight ($19.95 for 3). It is an example selection, producing large and very fragrant flower clusters until frost.
Give them a try and see for yourself!On May 6th, 2010, sthinton added the following:
My spring order from White Flower Farm arrived promptly and was very well packed, without the use of Styrofoam. I am once again very pleased with the plants, shipping and packing. I have yet to experience any of the negatives mentioned here by other customers of WFF.
The annuals were all moist, healthy and well developed. The Cleome hassleriana Rose Queen is a favorite of mine and grows quickly to over 4' tall and flowers abundantly until frost, by which time it is nearly 5' tall. Place these plants appropriately because they will grow and arch toward the sun.
The particular Heliotrope offered by WFF is not the same I have bought from others sources. H. Fragrant Delight grows to nearly two feet tall and with a little pinching branches into a small shrub-like plant that is covered with deeply fragrant flowers until frost, which is to be expected because in zone 10 Heliotrope is a hardy shrub. I have one of these plants that is now three years old. I prune it back and winter it in my kitchen, holding back water until June when it returns to the backyard. During winter its growth nearly comes to a complete stop, but reliably tops out at nearly five feet by summer's end. If I had more space in my tiny NYC apartment I would keep more of these unusual plants.
The perennials that I ordered all shipped as bare-root plants. The Rosa rugosa 'Hansa' was a very large and impressively prepared specimen--the roots sturdy and well-spread, the canes all large. Looking at the plant I was inspired by the preparation work. Within one week of planting Hansa has broken dormancy!
I ordered three Veronicastrum virginicum and received three plastic bags that in all contained five roots, each of which was viable to plant on its own--a nice bonus. The stems arising from the root crown were moist and living and these plants have all shown growth quickly.
The remaining item from my order is Acanthus spinosa which was equally fresh and viable. I have placed it in a large pot. This is an experiment to see if A. spinosa will be happy in my small city garden.
As you can read in my various posts about this nursery, White Flower Farm is one of my top sources for plants and the company's catalogs and web features have allowed me to become a better gardener.
On Apr 30, 2010, kbp922 Stonington, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:
A mixed experience. I feel badly for what 'greystone' experienced with missing items on his or her order - as I was the recipient of some things I did not order! I ordered 2 echinacea plants & three perennial snapdragon plants. When my box arrived it contained three bare root blueberry plants and two or three raspberry plants. Having NO use for these items I called to let them know, and I was told I could just keep them, or send them back, it was all the same to them. Ended up giving the raspberries away, and planting the blueberries although we had to wait a while before we were ready to do so, so who knows whether they will even make it...
The items I actually ordered did arrive about a week later, and the items were very well packed, and appeared healthy, soil was still moist etc., although the echinaceas were on the smaller side - one of them was really not much more than a seedling. I will say that they were in pots appropriate to their size- not pot bound, which was good-- but for almost $20 a pop, it is interesting to note that these were $4 or $5 MORE than some echinaceas I got from another online company, yet about four times SMALLER....
White Flower Farm does have a great variety of items not available elsewhere, and the items I got were in good condition when they arrived.
I have ordered from WFF for select plants I couldn't find elsewhere (or for collections I particularly liked) over the last few years and have found the experience to be uneven. This year I ordered in January to make sure that everything I wanted was in stock. My order arrived this week, and 3 items (the most expensive items, 50% of the price of my order) were not in the box. These items were listed as included in that shipment but were not present.
Upon calling the company, they were very helpful in being willing to credit my account for two out of the three the missing items as they were now sold out (the third they were able to send out another to me). However, I was left feeling frustrated that I'd ordered so early, counting on those plants, now to be told they were sold out, and the company had no idea why they weren't packed.
This is not my first experience like this with this company. They try very hard to resolve problems, which I appreciate, but seem to have some underlying organizational issues. Do order from them, but understand that there are some risks involved.
I have ordered from WFF for years, and found their plant selection and quality outstanding. Very expensive but generally worth it for hard-to-find plants. I recently had a very bad experience with them. They issued me a refund after I complained. I ordered 5 plants for $120 back in Feb. First problem: they billed my credit card immediately, 2 months before shipping the plants. I don't remember them doing that before but perhaps they did. Second problem: their automated system emailed me on 4/13 stating "DUE TO A CROP SHORTAGE WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SHIP ECHINACEA
AFTER MIDNIGHT. WE WILL PROVIDE FATAL ATTRACTION IN ITS
PLACE WITH NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE TO YOUR ACCOUNT. "
They did not ask first. The substitute plant is quite different and nowhere near comparable (much shorter bloom period, much taller, different color). I responded immediately (same day) saying I did not want the substitution. No response until 4/16 *** the very day the unsolicited unapproved substitute plant arrived on my door step ***. Their email response was quite arrogant but at least they issued me a refund. But no apology. No explanation of why 2 months after billing me they discovered a crop shortage. No acknowledgement that the customer should be asked before making substitutions. WFF acts like it is doing you a big favor selling you their plants. They act like they don't want or need your business.
Rating neutral rather than negative because they did issue a refund.
I spent more than $200 on 19 dahlia tubers from White Flower Farm this year. One of these tubers was moldy and brittle and all stem. I wrote them a note asking them to replace the tuber, expecting an apology and a replacement. Instead, they wrote back to say that:
"Mold is not a bad thing for a dahlia. Upon planting any mold will naturally disappear."
Seriously, what kind of company charges premium prices and then sends out moldy product? Who wants to plant the moldy product in their garden. It might be mold, but it might be something else.
I had been very pleased with my dahlia tuber from last year, although the company messed up my order and canceled some tubers that I had expected. They did not pay attention to the order numbers.
The tuber from last year was a tuber, which I prefer. It produced a dozen more tubers, all of which I am planting this year. This year White Flower Farm sent out clumps, which are all right but which produce fewer usable tubers for the next year.
On Mar 19, 2010, Niere Chepachet, RI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I ordered daffodil bulbs from WFF a few years ago--I think fifty "Stainless" and fifty "Camelot." I planted them and the next spring NONE of the yellow Camelot daffodils came up, and only a handful of the Stainless ever came up. Adding insult to injury, out of those handful only THREE have ever bloomed. Unbelievable. Last year I ordered daffodils from Colorblends and they are all starting to pop up now, so I know it wasn't me or my soil.
Plus, WFF's prices are outrageous. Their catalogue is nice, but I simply use it to window shop and if I see something I like I go or order elsewhere for it.
I have been ordering from WFF for many years. As other readers have commented here, their prices are high but the expense can be worth it as WFF offers some plants not easily found elsewhere. That said, I ordered perennials for a new bed last spring and was dismayed to see how puny and distressed the plants were on arrival. They were promptly planted and kept well watered, have all the sun they need, etc.. They have survived, but - given their rough start, they have not exactly flourished. For the first time in nearly 20 years, I was rather disappointed with WFF. Has the business changed ownership? PS: Their catalogs remain as luscious as ever, and are a pleasure to peruse during the cold, snowy winter months.
Have purchased plants & bulbs from WFF for 5 years or more. I think they're rather high-priced BUT they have merchandise that I can't find elsewhere. As a rabid flower & foliage fanatic, when I see something I've got to have, I'm willing to spend the money.... The price is the only negative, however. The plants are very well packed and healthy. The catalog is great! I learned some of my first garden dos & don'ts from their catalog which is more informative than most.
White Flower Farm has an inadequate website and rather poor customer service. My husband ordered an plant stand for me. When he had not heard from WFF in ten days either by email or phone, he called them. They had difficulty locating the order, because they had somehow put it in my name, but when they did find it, they informed him that the item was unavailable/sold out. They claimed to have "repeatedly" tried to contact us, but neither my husband or I ever received any email at all about the order. I checked their website, and guess what? The plant stand is STILL listed! Take a page from LLBean, WFF!
On Sep 12, 2009, frogandtoad2 Greenfield, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Ah, White Flower Farm, publishers of catalogs so beautiful and seductive that I've dubbed it "plant porn."
I've ordered a number of things from them over the years, and have had similar experiences to other posters... in a word, mixed. WFF's bulb collections are wonderful, simply wonderful. I just received 200 more daffodils (2 collections of "The Works") to join my 500+ from them, and as usual, they are as fat and beautiful as healthy babies.
Their "Unique 50" daylily collection (of which I have 3 or 4) is nice, too, worth the price, but not quite as over-the-top as the daffs. Their Iris reticulata, allium, and crocus bulbs, also very nice, and while not cheap, definitely recommended.
On the other hand, I'm sorry to say, their perennials are lacking, especially when considering the steep price tag. I just got a re-blooming iris that is an okay size, but not 13.95 worthy. I was very disappointed in the Monarda I got a few years ago... tiny, tiny, tiny, ridiculous price for the size. It looked a cutting that had recently been dipped in rooting hormone and stuck in a 3" pot. One of the three didn't overwinter. All the (same variety) Monarda I got from a local nursery (overflowing pots, half the price) not only survived, but thrived. The hedge roses I ordered 3 or 4 years ago... eh. They just haven't performed. I've seen much stronger plants for less locally. I've been underwhelmed by the perennials I've ordered. I love my wisteria standard, but $149 plus shipping? Good thing I had that gift certificate.
Customer service used to be better. I get the impression that the company's gotten too big. The staff seemed overwhelmed and distracted the last couple of times we interacted. This was for ordering and simple questions; I haven't had to see how they were in resolving a problem.
In short, I'd highly recommend WFF's bulb collections (remember to order your daffs early, you get a discount) without reservation, but would advise someone to shop their local independent nursery for perennials.
On Jun 12, 2009, kkirschbaum Yonkers, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
I started ordering from White Flower Farm last autumn, so until now I had only bought bulbs from them. They seem pricey, but I was satisfied with the bulbs I received. This spring I succumbed to the temptation of their catalogue and ordered plants. When my order arrived, I was disappointed to see that the cleome 'White Queen' I had ordered were not in the box, and the invoice said "to follow" which I took to mean they were back ordered. I emailed to find out when the cleome might follow, and indicated that I might prefer to just cancel that part of my order. Customer service responded 3 days later and explained the plants were just being released from the greenhouse and would follow the next week. Well, this week I did get cleome from White Flower Farm -- but they sent a different (magenta/pink) cultivar than the 'White Queen' I had actually ordered. I have not yet had a response to my email about this, so i don't know if this was a substitution or if there was a mistake. I doubt it can be corrected since 'White Queen' is now listed on their website as sold out. Unfortunately, I have no use for cleomes in the color they sent me, and I'm now stuck trying to find white cleome elsewhere.
The point of all this is to say that I will definitely think twice about ordering from them again. The plants I have received from them do seem to be large, healthy, and well grown, but given that their retail prices are on the high side, I frankly expect perfection in every detail.
If this was a mistake, well then how confident could one feel about future orders. I've spent thousands of dollars mail ordering plants, and honestly I've never been sent an incorrect plant. If they ran out of the plant I ordered, I would sooner they contact to me to ask if I want to choose something else instead of sending me their choice of a substitution -- how can anyone know what made me choose a certain plant and what criteria to use in selecting an substitution. This would have been especially appropriate since we had traded email about when the cleome would ship anyway.
On Jun 9, 2009, echinaceamaniac (Clint) Medina, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:
This place charges the most outrageous prices. They send tiny plants. Example: Echinacea "Pink Poodle" - They charge $21.95 per plant in a 3 inch tiny pot! That is insane for one plant.
I use their pretty catalog now and just pick the plants out that I want and order them from some place that has more reasonable pricing. If you add in shipping, one Echinacea plant can cost about 30 dollars which is unthinkable in these difficult times.
After reading some of the reviews about this great company I feel compelled to write about 10+ years of very good gardening experiences with them.
I ordered from them again this year and (again) things were perfect with my order. Rasperberries, Blueberries and Strawberries - eleven bare-root plants in all were received when expected and in great condition - for a dormant plant. (I suspect many people look at dormant plants and compare them to ones they buy at a nursery....I do too. I, however, have removed nursery plants from their containers, washed off the roots and replanted them and have lately and found a tiny root system hidden in a gallon sized pot!?! Is that a bargain from anywhere? Much less Home Depot?) Sometimes quality, selection and plant advice is worth more than a trip to a garden center where nobody even knows anything about plants in the first place! Pay the higher price and get advice from their horticulturalists - you'll save much time and effort by doing so!
The items were planted and have already sprung into life - in an area where they don't naturally grow easily (our pH is not very good for the blueberries and had to be strongly corrected at planting time.) This is the same experience I have had for years with stock from this company and I expect will continue to receive from them.
They do an exceptional job of finding hardy and more rare selections of all types of plants and their horticultural advice is exceptional. (I have NEVER had to call and request a credit as I have never received poor quality merchandise from them - ever.) I wholeheartedly tell friends to use them but I also advise people to stay away from bare-root plants if they are not expert gardeners - they are more difficult and you will have more luck with potted plants.
Just ordered a few tomato plants.....all arrived as healthy as can be.....I placed them under my grow lights as I wasnt ready to plant them yet. Within a day or two, I noticed my Moskovich was declining....looked like an Verticulim Wilt...odd. I know I couldnt save it as it got worse each day. Wilt from the top down. I took pictures and sent an email in to customer service.
Today, I received my Moskovich replacement...Customer service was very painless to deal with.
Very satisfied about the no hassle. Thank you.
On May 15, 2009, docgipe NORTH CENTRAL, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:
My Coleus came in special wrap around pot cardboard protection with cardboard medium plugs to hold the medium in the pot. This gave the protection of box in box packing. The packing was so good I saved the packing boxes for a second use.
I was informed when the product would ship. The shipping was concluded right on schedule with another notice to alert me to my order when they shipped.
The condition of the plants was excellent. I have never had anything but excellent service from White Flower Farm.
TOMATO PLANTS FROM WHITE FLOWER FARM, SPRING 2009. I purchased a number of tomato seedlings from White Flower Farm this spring of 2009. I had not used them before, and my initial thought was that prices were a tad high. But, now the plants are here, and I must say, the tomato plants are the healthiest ones I have ever received; they arrived in excellent condition and at the right time of the spring season for my zone. Also, the packaging was exceptionally clever--it provided great protection for the plants, and it was just cardboard, all recycleable, so I don't have any guilt over the packaging. Finally, they have great selection in terms of many different tomato plants to choose from. So, all in all, I think their plants are worth every penny--you get great selection, plants shipped at the right time, plants that are healthy and arrive in excellent condition, all wrapped in environmentally-friendly packaging. I will be a repeat customer here, and I will be telling my tomato-growing friends to spend a little more money and get better plants here rather looking for "cheapies" elsewhere.
On May 10, 2009, leeceeka Thompsonville, MI wrote:
i planted their "the works" 100 daffodil bulbs. they were not cheap,and the shipping is outrageous but every bulb flowered and the variety was great. i was so happy with them that i just ordered another 100 for fall.
First experience with this company. I bought 6 perennial snapdragons from them this spring. All 6 arrived on time. 5 were very fresh, one was wilted, I put it in the ground anyway but called WFF the next am. They immediately replaced the plant with a new one, no questions asked. The lady on the phone was very pleasant and professional, she even reminded me not to overwater snapdragons so the others would be ok. The new plant came a week later and was in excellent shape. As I figured the wilted plant died a few days later. I was very happy with the other 6 plants and the service from WFF. All 6 plants are going strong so far despite a wet cool spring here in MD. Cant wait until July when they are in bloom I would definitely order from them again.
I have been ordering from WFF for over 25 years; I am sorry to say that the quality of the plants offered has deteriorated somewhat. This year I was given a $200 gift certificate. The D. Austin roses arrived in fine condition as did the hydrangea petiolaris. The clematis terniflora is miniscule and has had to be placed in a nursery bed. I have been told that all WFF's plants are all outsourced at present. I feel that their prices are too high for most of what is offered.
On Apr 26, 2009, kentstar Ravenna, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
I have been a White Flower Farm customer for a few years now. I have never had any problems with them. I purchased many, many plants from them in the past. Last autumn I bought lots of "Corps de Ballet" tulips, Apricot Impressions tulips, daffodils Double Campernelle and Lemon Glow. All are doing wonderful. They are huge and very healthy! Thankyou!
Yes, the prices are a little high, but the plants I have gotten are worth it! I also bought 3 Brunnera Macrophylla "Jack Frost" from them last year and all are growing fine, too.
I enjoy the products there and I've purchased many plants from them over the last few years. My only complaint would be very high shipping costs, considering I live in NH one would think it would be much more reasonable. I have several ' Gardening addicted ' friends and we would all love to order more frequently but find shipping costs prohibitive. I like the catalog, it's more of a fantasy for us though with many plants a little out of line ( cost wise) compared to our local nurseries. I find they are resposive to customers and do carry a wide variety for us ' collectors' and enthusiasts.
I have drooled over the WFF catalog for years, but have chosen less expensive plants from other mail order sources. I could not resist a climbing rose and clematis combo and finally ordered from them. It was a garden splurge for me. When the plants arrived, the rose was a very small set of about 4 canes. The clematis was a sprig! I was so disappointed. The rose has finally shot up to about 2 feet on one cane. The clematis died. At least I know the name of the clemais to repurchase from a more reputable dealer. I will not pay those prices again, but I will use their catalog to make combinations of plants that I buy elsewhere. Who would have thought! Actaylo
On Sep 17, 2008, White Flower Farm responded with:
On Sep 17, 2008 8:41 AM, White Flower Farm added:
We are sorry about your disappointment with the quality of our plants and service. We guarantee our products 100% and would be happy to issue you a replacement, credit your account or issue you a refund. We want you to be successful with our products and pleased with their performance. Please contact our customer service department at [e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at
800-411-6159 so that we can resolve this to your satisfaction.
Thank you, Customer Service "
I recently received a $50 gift certificate from WFF mailed from the company along with a catalog. When I went on line to order, the prices were changed from $12.95 each to $15.95 each. I called the company to see if they would honor the original price since I had just received the catalog, which was the spring 2008 catalog. They quoted their printed policy about the right to change prices without notice due to increased costs to them. A few days later I received a Fall 2008 catalog in the mail with the new higher pricing. I feel it is bad business to send out a catalog with outdated prices late in the season without a big post it on the front saying the prices are not valid. As others have mentioned shipping is almost $14 (up from $9.95) so instead of getting 3 plants for $36.50 and a forth at $12.95 with me picking up most of the shipping, I bought 2 plants and told them to refund the balance to the card giver. ($4.15) The certificate was sent to cheer me up and through no fault of the giver missed the mark. I own a business and understand the cost of running a business and the need to make a profit but I also believe in keeping the customers happy. I will not purchase from them again.
At WFF prices the plants should be exceptionally large and healthy. But they're usually not exceptionally anything, and I agree with other reviewers that the quality of plants seems to have gone downhill over the years. I also once had a problem getting them to reply by email after they sent me a rotten iris bulb. I emailed about 5 times over a couple weeks and they never did respond. It's apparently better to call (they have refunded things for me when I've called), but I just didn't feel like calling that time, and I thought that since they have a customer service email on their site they might respond to it. They do have a great website & catalog, and also a great selection, and the plants usually arrive in a reasonable amount of time. It's not high-risk to buy from them, just high cost for what you get.
On October 29th, 2008, spursley changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I have changed my rating from neutral to positive. I ordered 4 poppies on Saturday night, got a message on Monday that they had shipped, and received them on Tuesday in good condition. I still think they're overpriced for what they usually send, but as long as you know that going in they're perfectly reliable.
I have a very positive report on their tomatoes. They were great and flourished. Some annuals for pots were OK but some did not even bloom. The shade pot with Begonias, Fuschia were great but the plants over shadowed the Coleus and they never 'saw the light of day'. The perenials I ordered were a BIG disappoinment. As many have noted they are delivered very tiny and look like they will take many years to grow to full size. An expensive daylily never grew, was replaced by them and still never grew (in an area where other daylilies that are flourishing). I replaced teeny sedum with some from the local nursery which have done beautifully. The White Flower sedum are still the same size as when delivered. I just replanted them and the roots have not developed at all through a very good growing summer. I may order the tomatoes again but never any flowers. What an expensive disappointment.
I have ordered numerous time from WFF but have been disappointed with my last two orders. Most recently some plants were received in a completely dormant state with not even any foliage showing. After a good deal of coaxing and nurturing some of the plants survived but others didn't make it.
My experience in ordering bulbs from them has been OK. However, I don't view their products as a good value. Although WFF does a great job at marketing their products, they haven't come through with the quality of plants that is expected.
When I expressed my disappointment to WFF's customer service site, I never received a reply. Nothing.
On Aug 24, 2008, White Flower Farm responded with:
On Aug 25, 2008 9:15 AM, White Flower Farm added:
We are sorry about your disappointment with the quality of our plants and service. We guarantee our products 100% and would be happy to issue you a replacement, credit your account or issue you a refund. We want you to be successful with our products and pleased with their performance. We strive to answer each email within 24 business hours, we apologize that you did not receive that service. Please contact our customer service department at [e-mail:email@example.com] or call us at 800-411-6159 so that we can resolve this to your satisfaction.
Thank you, Customer Service
On Aug 21, 2008, Twonewfs Belgium, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:
Despite the bad reports on WFF, I decided to order because I had a $25 gift certificate (that I got with a magazine subscription). I figured I'd order some tulips bulbs because it's hard to get those too wrong. I ordered 20 bulbs and knew I would have to pay the shipping. Except the cheapest shipping was $13.95. For 20 tulip bulbs. I cancelled the order. I'm not sure if that's a standard shipping rate or the "special" rate for this particular deal or what but either way I'm not spending $14 to get 20 tulip bulbs.
I should probably complain to the magazine the deal came through as I don't feel this company puts them in the best light, but WFF is a big advertiser of theirs and I know how magazines work ... they aren't going to do anything to anger a good advertiser.