Photo by Melody

The scoop on 'Mellinger's'

  Company Profile  

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 157
North Lima, Ohio 44452-0157 (United States)

Phone: 1-800-321-7444
Fax: (330) 549-3716

Catalog Order Page: Hyperlink
Paper Catalog Cost: Free in US

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Recent reviews:
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Positive 0 0 0
Neutral 0 0 0
Negative 0 0 0
This company offers a variety of gardening supplies and plants.

  Editor's Comment:  
Closed September 2006.

Per a note from a Watchdog reader, it appears Mellinger's has closed.

  Feedback History and Summary  
42 positives
10 neutrals
28 negatives


Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

Positive bridgetohealth
Wellborn, FL
(1 review)
April 13, 2008
I still have an old catalog. I tried to order more Diatomaceous Earth. Always had good results from Mellingers.
Sorry to hear they went out of business
Positive endf1
Egg Harbor Township, NJ
(1 review)
May 21, 2007
I have used Mellinger's for many years now. I bought large pots ( I give a lot of plants away and could always get quanity at a very good price), self watering pots, jiffy 9's, organic fertilizers (ie. kelp powder), and some seeds (mostly corn, bean and pea) at very good prices. I bought very little plant material from them becuase I am too busy to nurse small plants for a year, but what I did buy mostly did well. I looked for their site this year to buy more pots and found they are out of business. I really miss them already beacuse I can't find quanity self watering pot anywhere else so far.
Neutral archvixer
Pittsburgh, PA
(1 review)
May 13, 2006
I just got back from Mellinger's. Yep, they're closed alright.

I took my wife and mom out there to browse around. About an hour drive from Pittsburgh. Kind of a bummer. It's locked down tight as a drum and it's dead as a doornail. It looked kind of pathetic being all closed up and weeds growing all over the place.

We have had positive experiences with them in the past.

Oh well.
Positive Campfiredan
Alachua, FL (Zone 8b)
(8 reviews)
April 2, 2006
I used to deal with Mellinger's years ago (in the 90's). Had great buys on nursery equipment and pots. This past fall I looked them up and I believe they had a going out of business notice on their website. Now the website seems to be gone so I guess they are as well. Unless someone knows of another website for them other than (?).
Positive Buddy44
Eagle Rock, VA
(24 reviews)
April 26, 2005
Plants arrived in great shape. Was glad to have the opportunity to order from you for one more year.
Neutral nevadagdn
Sparks, NV (Zone 7a)
(117 reviews)
March 9, 2005
I haven't ordered from Mellinger's since 1995, but I was distinctly underwhelmed at the time. Small plants, low-ish prices, but not low enough to justify the size of the plants.
Neutral hardyinokc
Oklahoma City, OK
(26 reviews)
March 9, 2005
Spring 2003, I ordered a ginger lily. Upon arrival, it appeared to have rot. Went ahead and planted it, but it did not survive. I called customer service and was informed that they were sold out of those for the year. Was told I would receive a replacement the next spring; and ,SURPRISE!, I DID actually receive a replacement the next spring. By then, I had forgotten about it. Recieving the replacement was a nice surprise one afternoon when I got home from work and there was a box on my front porch. THANX.
Positive davidm44
Claremore, OK
(1 review)
February 25, 2005
In spite of the negative comments about this company I just had a VERY nice experience with them today. On 18 Feb. I ordered two fancy willow trees for a low wet spot I have near my driveway plus a scarlet flowering quince plant. The order was shipped 21 Feb. by PRIORITY mail, and I got it today. All the plants were quite healthy, starting to leaf out, and had good root systems.On top of that they were ALL much bigger than I was expecting, based on comments about other mail order nurseries. Now I just hope my Burgess and Michigan Bulb orders are 1/2 as nice!!
Negative Zuzu
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
(38 reviews)
February 15, 2005
Please don't be conned by the 40%-off sale on this Website. 40% off something that's almost worthless is not a bargain, and there is no warranty because they're going out of business. The iris I ordered have good-looking fans, but that's all. The rhizomes and roots are a squishy mess. There is no mystery involved: They were planted too far below the surface, which was sporting a deep layer of moss, and all of the pots were full of sowbugs and some other pests (nothing I've seen before in Northern California) resembling small centipedes. The vines, shrubs, and bulbs are pitifully tiny and look unhealthy. The perennials are tiny, but they seem to be alive, so they probably just needed to be sterilized and repotted. Their pots were also full of pests. These people apparently don't believe in pesticides. I agree that no one should go overboard in the use of chemicals, but there are alternatives, and I'll take pesticides over pests any day. Predictably, the hepatica--the main reason I placed the order--were out of stock and were not enclosed in the order.
On February 15th, 2005, Zuzu added the following:

I almost forgot to mention that half of the pots in the shipping box were upside-down. The dirt, and the plants in two cases, had fallen out of them. There is no solution to this kind of problem: If you turn the box the other way, the other pots are upside-down.
Positive tall_pines
Westfield, NY
(3 reviews)
February 5, 2005
I order from this company for 15 years. All the seeds and plants grew well for me. I am a satisfied customer and going to order from them again.
Positive sonofabishop
Atlanta, GA
(1 review)
November 25, 2004
I have placed several orders over the years. I have found their prices and selection to be good. I did have a problem with a bare root order that did not survive. (spring ) They reshipped and the same results. They reshipped for a fall planting. I feel they went out of their way to please me. I am disappointed to hear they will not be in the M O business.
Negative rutholive
Tonasket, WA (Zone 5a)
(10 reviews)
November 8, 2004
Eight years ago I ordered a Red Haven peach on dwarf rootstock. It arrived in a reasonable time and I planted it immediately. Well it takes about four years for a fruit tree to produce fruit, and four years later I did have fruit on the tree, but was not what i order, was neither a Red Haven nor dwarf. I wrote to them, they replaced the tree the next spring, so again I wait four years for fruit. Again neither Red Haven or dwarf. Actually it is a terrible peach, it is a tight cling, no flavor and won't hang on the tree until ripe. I again wrote to them about four weeks ago, The tree cost $12.95 plus shipping. I asked them to refund me $20.00 since i to wait 8 years and still didn't have what I had order. I received a check in the mail last week for $12.95, which did not even include the shipping and not one word of apology.

On another note, about 6 years ago I ordered 35 poplars, which they described as a hybrid, . Well they did grow fast but that was the only good thing about them. I planted them for a windbreak. I could not grow anything within 100 feet because of their very spreading, surface, thick root systems. 2 1/2 years ago I hired a couple of fellows to come and cut down and chip all 25 trees, and since that time I have been fighting all the root volunteers. Am just now getting pretty much rid of the roots and other shrubs and plants are beginning to grow in the area.

You can bet I will never order from that company again if they stay in business. Donna
Positive IowaAmy
Des Moines, IA
(1 review)
October 28, 2004
I began buying from Mellinger's about 14 years ago, and I am devoted to them. I was heartbroken to learn that they are closing down their mail order business. I remember distinctly my first purchase with them. I wanted privacy in the back yard, and I bought dozens of small shrubs very inexpensively. What a delight to see them thrive all along the fence line. I have continued to order from Mellinger's through the years, and the one time a plant was crushed in shipping, they replaced it immediately.
Neutral inge_formenti
Louisville, KY
(3 reviews)
October 3, 2004
According to the website, this company is going out of business as of Fall of 2004. I will miss them. Their plant packing wasn't great, but they had many organic soil amendments and planting accessories ahead of their time.
Negative kennyr
Saugus, MA (Zone 6a)
(8 reviews)
October 1, 2004
Have been waiting two months for the balance of my order. I can't even email them anymore!! Any, and all email I now send does not go through as they have a full mail box, and don't seem bother to read their emails. Might have to stop doing business with them due to this most recent problem. Email from their long time customers is very important, but apparently they don't seem to be aware of their problems! All current email to them has gone undeliverable to several email addresses they have posted on their web site.
Neutral lego_brickster
Lawrenceville, PA (Zone 5b)
(14 reviews)
September 3, 2004
My feelings are neutral about Mellingers. They have a huge variety of both common and rare plants and trees, however their quality control and customer service leave a little to be desired.
I prefer on-line ordering. However I found that the price listed in their print catalog did not match on several items found on-line. I was forced to call in my order to get the correct price. The customer representative did not seem to comprehend why I was calling when I was able to order online.

The order arrived as expected, and as advertised - everything was tiny.
Some items did not survive, not too surprising for the size of the plants. I dreaded calling them again after my first experience. The representative was again rather belligerent, although they did finally issue a check or replace the lost plants (based on availability).
My second attempt at ordering was very much like the first, though this time I managed to conclude business via email. In each communication, I had to initiate the contact, and there was never a followup. I tried to pin them down to a shipment date for replacement plants, and got responses like 'soon' and 'In two weeks'. I got my replacements FIVE MONTHS after having originally requested them.

I'm not sure how I feel about ordering from them again. I probably will if I can't get what I need from anywhere else, but not otherwise.
Positive KillerChihuahua
Merritt Island, FL (Zone 9b)
(4 reviews)
July 12, 2004
The plants I ordered were small, which is what I expected from the catalog description and the price, but were healthy and are doing well. Overall a positive experience.
Negative gajanet
Snellville, GA
(1 review)
June 22, 2004
About two years ago I purchased approximately $200 worth of plants from Mellingers that I could not locate in my immediate area. They arrived in such poor quality-dried out, nonexistant root systems, packed in torn newspaper. I coddled and tried to revive them for a month when I called for help. A very rude women informed me there was nothing that could be done since I had waited over their 10 day limit. I only wish I had known about programs such as yours before my wasted purchase. With this company it is definately BUYER BEWARE.
Company representative comment on June 24, 2004:
We are a bit confused over your recent comments to Garden Watchdog. Our plant warranties are 13 months on non sale plants and 30 days on sale plants. If someone told you that some sort of 10 day limit was a policy, they were wrong and we apologize. We have always taken pride in "going that extra mile" for customers and this is disturbing. We've been here since 1927 and 100% of our employees have been here more then 5 years and know all of our policies.

We tried to bring you up in our system by your email address to find out more information but you were not in there. Again, we apologize for you being mis-informed.

Joyce from Mellingers
Positive Missyinbama
Wetumpka, AL (Zone 8a)
(37 reviews)
May 21, 2004
I ordered some bareroot native shade trees last fall. I planted right away as instructed and they all leafed out wonderfully, even without sweating them as was recommended. Maybe they didn't have to be sweated in the the deep south, zone 8b. The trees are growing wonderfully. I am very satisfied, and would order from them again.
Positive sylvi74
East Bethel, MN (Zone 4a)
(23 reviews)
May 11, 2004
I just received my order form Mellingers, and I am very pleased. The plants are quite small but they were very cheap and they look healthy. Everything was rolled up in newspaper in the box and didn't seem to have shifted at all in shipping. I will probably order again next year, although the catalog is a little difficult to decipher.
On July 21st, 2004, sylvi74 added the following:

All plants are doing well except for the one that died in the 10 inches of rain we had. That is NOT their fault, and I am very pleased with the plants I got from them.
Positive belle_michele
Shakopee, MN
(25 reviews)
April 16, 2004

While I've been buying plant 'care' items (fertilizers, etc.) through Mellingers for the past couple of years, it had been at least five years since I purchased any live plants from them. I ALWAYS had very good experiences/luck with plant purchases in the past (I have several large, very nice trees in my yard due to Mellingers), I was concerned when I read some of the feedback on this website.

I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm GLAD I did!

Earlier this week, I received three EXCEPTIONALLY NICE sassafrass bare-root trees...they are in great shape with very nice roots.

I will be buying from Mellingers again...
Positive sciadopitys
Newtown, PA
(3 reviews)
January 27, 2004
I placed two orders with Mellingers last year, the first in the spring for roses/perennials, shrubs, etc. A few things were backordered but this is common in my experience. Everything thrived. I placed another order in late October for some native trees (persimmon, paw paw and elderberry). Parts of the trees were damaged but the shipping company was responsible since everything was packed appropriately. I'll need to see how the trees survive the winter before I know for sure but the trees looked fine when I planted them. This company seems fine to me.
Negative DonnaMack
Elgin, IL (Zone 5a)
(60 reviews)
December 4, 2003
Seeing the Mellinger name brings back unpleasant memories. My garden is based on ornamental grasses (I have seventy plus) and over the years I have successfully ordered from Milaegers (when they were a mail order company), Paradise Gardens and Wayside, in addition to the 30 the landscapers installed. The Mellingers grasses were disasters. I ordered seven Miscanthus Sinensis Gracilliumus and Sarabanda, installed them, as I had installed many others, and 13 months later, in July of 1999, dug them up and discarded them in disgust at their poor quality and weak growth. Normally, ornamental grasses are difficult to dislodge, but these pathetic specimens (right next to thriving ones from Wayside installed the same day at the same time) gave minimal resistence as I pulled them from the ground. I replaced them with identical grasses from the other companies mentioned above, and the replacements thrived. I should have complained to the company and requested a credit, but somehow I doubted that they would have any plant material that would have been of interest to me.

I did learn a valuable lesson. I look to this forum before purchasing plant material.
Positive loveflowers
(1 review)
October 22, 2003
After reading some of the negative comments here, I felt compelled to write about this company.
I have shopped both mailorder and at their local garden center over the years. I have had nothing but good experiences with friendly sales staff, customer service and replacements of plants. Also, I find their variety of plants great. If you're looking for the unusual, you will find it there. I will definitely continue buying from them.
Positive akflowers
Palmer, AK
(4 reviews)
October 21, 2003
I ordered 2 dwarf fruit plants, and a jasmine plant last week. I was worried about the cold weather damaging the plants in transit. They e-mailed me back promptly that they would get to my location just fine. I received them today...I can't tell you how impressed I am by them. Healthier and bigger than I expected at a small price. Would HIGHLY recommend Mellinger's. Will place another order very soon.
Negative ljneely
(1 review)
September 17, 2003
I am an experienced gardner who has been ordering plants by mail for years. I recently order over $200.00 worth of plants from this company. For the prices listed, I had expected to received healthy, established plants. Instead, I received dying, sunscorched and mildewed plants without established root systems. I tried to revive the plants but some died within a few days. I called the company about the situation and received no support or an offer to replace the plants.

I boxed the plants and sent them back at my own expense with a letter explaining the problem and requesting a refund. I never received a credit letter or apology from the company and I had to call them to find out about getting a credit. I was told that I would receive only a partial refund and that I had been slapped with a 10% penalty charge. I was also told that not all the plants were alive when I returned them - no kidding!

I wasted about $100 on shipping costs (both ways) penalty charges and charges for dead plants. I will never order here again.

I recently purchased the same plants from a local garden center. The plants were 3 times as big and cost less.
Positive clarkj99
(4 reviews)
August 10, 2003
I bought several plants from them this spring, they sent they wrong pomegrante, but a quick email and another one was on the way. The current bush is taking over the area I planted it in. The blackberry bushes died, but that is because I started having trouble with my irrigation system at precisly the wrong time. Have several items bookmarked and ready to order next spring.
On August 10th, 2003, clarkj99 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

Negative appleman
(1 review)
July 25, 2003
I live an hour away from Mellinger's. I had planned on buying an apple tree. I visited their website, and picked one out. Instead of ordering it, which I could have done, I visited them in person. When I got there I found that they claim to stop having apple trees as of June 15th. How you can still order them from their web site, I don't know. And there is nothing on the web site about not having the trees. But, the people there were oddly rude about it. In my whole visit, I found one employee who was actually helpful and nice. This is not a place I would visit again.
Positive deusse
Oakland, CA
(5 reviews)
June 25, 2003
I specifically registered at this wonderful watchdog website to tout mellinger's (and a couple of other companies that i ordered from this year). The plants were a little on the small side, but i expected that. Also, i received one plant (beautyberry) totally dead, and all i had to do was email them to let them know, and i got a prompt response saying "We are resending your beautyberry ASAP. Please let us know if there are any problems with it."

i received it the next week! Thank you Mellinger's! If my garden were bigger, you'd be getting rich off of me! (which is a good trick considering your low prices. :)
Positive bellemam
(1 review)
May 21, 2003
I received the first part of my order last week (some items are back-ordered and will be shipped at a later date). I am really impressed with the quality of the plants I received, all of them were really healthy and in great shape. Some of the plants were even taller than what I was expecting to receive. I will certainly order from Mellinger's again.
Negative harpo
Moultonborough, NH
(9 reviews)
May 19, 2003
I have ordered from Mellingers for years. Yes, the stuff is small but the price always seems appropriate to what you get. Some plant material grows quickly so the size was not an issue. In the past I have had plants arrive die or arrive DOA. On each occasion I use their guarantee and they replaced the plants. In the past they have been extremely rude when asking for replacement. Again this year some plants arrived DOA and again I get an aggravated surly attitude because they shipped plants that did not have a chance to survive. They are replacing the plants but maybe they figure if they are rude enough you will not want to call them about replacements. They win because I will not order from them again. I have given them the benefit of the doubt for too long. So I will say so long to Mellingers.
Positive mollis
Cleveland, OH
(22 reviews)
May 16, 2003
Well.....I have to say I am surprised by all these negatives however, all the little trees with the little prices that I have bought were for bonsai so they were perfect, also supplies I have bought were fine. I am only 100 miles from M"s and my stuff is usually here within 48hrs. I will think twice before I buy anything that goes in the ground. Perhaps I will first call and discuss the condition I expect my plants/trees to be in.
Positive dastowers
Akron, OH (Zone 10b)
(6 reviews)
May 15, 2003
I live about 40 minutes from the Nursery so I did not have them ship to me- I pick up my plants. My last purchase was 2 weeks ago- I purchased 12 different fruit trees (24 total), 25 wall of green populars, 3 sassafras, 3 sycamore, 3 types of berry bushes and some maiden grass. Total of 55 trees and 24 bushes. that's alot. the fruit trees were bareroot and in the cooler when purchased. I was leary with bareroot but I have to tell you all except the sassafras have little leaves already and the sas. has buds now. i spent over $700.00 there and I am VERY happy. I called them several times asking about spacing for berrys and certain trees- wonderful staff. The greenhouses are huge. I wanted to buy a weeping alaskian cedar $190 it was 7 feet tall- great price- but it was sold when I got there.
shucks.. Would definitely buy from again.

Davena Stowers
Negative Rugosarugrat
(5 reviews)
May 14, 2003
I just received a large order, and I was stunned. To be fair, I've recently received other plants from down south (we live in AK) and have gotten much better stuff. I'm pretty disappointed. Mellinger's stock is miniscule, with leafing on some trees that looks dead. Everything is tiny, but hey, their prices are low so you get what you pay for. The Potentillas are sooo will probably take 2-3 lightyears before they're the size they should be when they grow up. The package was damaged and open, but everything appeared okay in the box. The packaging was interesting in how they use newspaper...:) I guess I'm spoiled by getting great plants at reasonable prices in superb packing. I also didn't receive dry goods I had ordered and understood would be received first. I'm calling them to cancel anything additional being sent. Admittedly, I am a tough customer to please, but I'm not giving them repeat business.
Positive ChuckP
Adrian, MI
(11 reviews)
April 20, 2003
I have ordered mostly native trees from them. They arrive bareroot but do well if you plant promptly, keep watering, and have faith. One Tulip Tree, now over 10 feet tall, did not leaf out until June the year I planted it. Also, some plants, including sassafras and hackberry, need "sweating" to get started the first year. If you don't do this, they may die. Plant size is good for the price and clearly stated in the catalog. Don't buy wildflowers from them. Their wildflowers are very small and not healthy.
Negative karenhane
Manchester, CT (Zone 5a)
(15 reviews)
April 5, 2003
ordered small magnolia grandiflora, arrived bare root dried up and with insect nests,ordered small tamarix got crunchy little bag of powdered plant. ordered sassafrass, not much root not much growth but still alive. replacement policy ok however. send them letter stating problem they send new plants. not real impressed with their plant quality so far, but perhaps my choices dont ship well.
Positive Imhotep
Meridian, MS
(26 reviews)
March 26, 2003
Not ordered from them in many years. I did have a nice
experience with two rarer japanese maple trees, which I
later accidently killed. I now live in an apartment, so oh

Their catalog contains items I have never really found

Their supplies are excellent & usually has good info about
what the item is.

You will find (at least in past years) seeds of varities
such as trees and other ornimentals not usually found in
other catalogs.

Prices are most reasonable for most items. The catalog has
to be seen to be beleived, it's unique to say the least.

On a 1-10 scale I rate them a 9-, but a 10 for their nice,
unique, catalog.
Positive Wildkitty
(1 review)
February 23, 2003
I ordered from Mellinger's on Sunday, February 16, 2003. My order arrived on Thursday, February 20, 2003. My order consisted of seeds and a catalog, it came packed in a bubble envelope, and arrived in perfect condition. I had some questions about my order and when it would ship, so I emailed Mellinger's, and got a response within 24 hours. After my seeds arrived, I had some question about the dates on them, called, and was given excellent service by phone. I will order from Mellinger's again.
Positive enilniah
Rockford, OH
(7 reviews)
February 18, 2003
we ordered strawberry plants late in the season when another company failed to send they came promptly and were extremely nice plants, have grown well. Also order an apple tree, was nice size and seems to be doing very well. we are going to visit them in March, at their open house, will have another comment after this visit. overall very satisfactory service and stock
On April 8th, 2003, enilniah added the following:

we visited mellingers at their open house this spring and i was very impressed at the variety of seeds available as well as the size of the packets available. We have done business with this company the last 2 years and have not been disappointed yet. received our nectarine tree just yesterday and was pleased with size and quality. will continue to do business with this company
Neutral asturnut
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
(8 reviews)
February 2, 2003
(Overall, I really wanted to give a negative rating to this company, but since their gardening supplies were okay I wanted to be fair...)

For gardening supplies, you can't beat Mellingers. Their prices and selection are about as good as it gets. But their plants are another story. The unsual items in the catalog look to good to be true, and they are. Many of the prices are extremely low, but you really get what you pay for. I ordered a bunch of stuff from them and it was all miniscule, some of it died right way. The stuff that didn't die right way is so small that 2 years later it's still just establishing. The roots on the plants were minimal. They did do a fine job of packaging the plants however.

I also had a big problem with a plant I ordered in February for my mom for Mother's Day. By SEPTEMBER it still hadn't arrived. They kept telling me it was "in the mail" I finally got tired of getting the run-around and told them to cancel it. Guess what, it finally arrived! Ha! It was so small and had no roots, it died immediatley. Some gift! It looked like they had just taken cutting and put rooting hormone on it recently (MONTHS after I had ordered it and been promised it was in the mail.) I called the company and told them it had finally arrived but I didn't want it. They were nice enough to say I could keep it. I guess they were tired of dealing with me...

I stress I would not, would NOT recommend this company for ordering plants. Supplies come quickly and are reasonably priced, but resist the temptation to buy their cheap plants because you DO get what you pay for.

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