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The scoop on 'Kelly Nurseries'

  Company Profile  
Kelly Nurseries

Mailing Address:
410 8th Avenue
Faribault, Minnesota 55021 (United States)

Phone: (507) 334-1623

Catalog Order Page: Hyperlink
Paper Catalog Cost: Free

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This company is affiliated with Burgess Seed

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Other helpful information:

  Feedback History and Summary  
13 positives
5 neutrals
87 negatives


Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

Negative jkelleyjk
Drummond Island, MI
(1 review)
June 4, 2017
So, great prices lured me in. Long delay in shipping product, okay. I emailed them asking about the long delay, in a couple days I received the product and another day or two received an email reply answering my question. No notice of actual shipment. The product arrived but shipped very slow usps. (no company should use the postal system for live trees/plant)... product arrived in a plastic bag, with no protection from other USPS boxes, they were partially loose and bouncing around. the vines and one lilac had loose dirt, the rest were bare root and obviously dead, not dormant... two of about 14 plants showed some possibility of life. I did not try their returns option, as i am sure the next ones will be the same condition.

Company representative comment on June 15, 2017:
On Jun 15, 2017 2:05 PM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

A customer care representative has contact this customer for further information. We do have a 1 year replacement guarantee on all of our plants and do hope that the customer takes advantage of this guarantee

Negative gordon55
Novi, MI
(1 review)
June 2, 2017
DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY! First time around the plants and trees arrived in poor condition and were dried out and shriveled. Trees could be used for kindling and never did sprout a leaf. I applied for new plants and they honored their warranty, but those arrived yesterday 1 June, after 6 days in transit and were in the same poor condition. Trees had no moisture on the roots and branches are dry and brittle. I donít expect them to live like the first trees. I WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANYTHING FROM A MAIL ORDER NURSERY AGAIN. Go to a local store and purchase live leafed out plants, itís worth the few extra dollars.
Company representative comment on June 15, 2017:
On Jun 15, 2017 2:14 PM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. It does not mean they are dead, but since they are dormant, and not leafed out, people unfamiliar with bareroot nursery stock may they mistake them for dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. Then keep well watered after planting and within 6 weeks of warm weather, the plants should break dormancy and show signs of leaf.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see if we may be of assistance

Negative tombaak
High Desert, NV (Zone 5a)
(25 reviews)
May 19, 2017
WARNING: If you close the account you paid with,
you will not get a refund.

THIS COMPANY IS HEARTLESS! Flowers are a symbol of love and life, and this company has taken the death of my mother in law as an opportunity to benefit their bottom line.

My mother in law placed a $600+ dollar order the week before her death. When the first box arrived a few days after she passed away I returned the box and contacted the company to let them know it was being returned and why. I asked them to please cancel any remaining shipments and was informed that 5 other boxes had just shipped. I told the representative that those boxes would be returned as well once they arrived.

This company uses MANY names. Dutch Gardens (the name I ordered from) refunded the contents of the first box, but when I called to find out why the other 5 boxes hadn't been refunded, the representative confirmed that all the merchandise had been returned, but told me that the company would only refund to the debit card that paid and since the debit card was no longer valid (checking account had been closed due to death) they had no way to refund the orders. I requested they issue a check to the estate, or simply give store credit for the remaining amount. I was told that the request would be forwarded on the the appropriate person.

It has now been 9 months, I have called several times, and each time I am told the request for refund has been made, but the company stands by their policy of not refunding returned orders if they are unable to refund to the card that placed the order.

Basically, this company does not dispute the fact that they received this entire order back. They simply refuse to issue a refund in any form other than to credit a debit card that is not valid, and won't accept a charge or credit.

I wish I had kept the plants and spread them around to her many gardener friends and planted some of them with my girls in our own garden to remember their grandma by. I was just so overwhelmed by the unexpected death that anything other than returning the boxes seemed more than I could manage.

The death of a loved one is a very emotional and exhausting time, and this company has made what should have been very easy, a difficult and enduring challenge.
Negative Vinton16
Gettysburg, PA
(1 review)
May 1, 2017
Their customer service is among the poorest of any I've experienced! The reason for me sharing this comment is not the question or issue I have with the plants they sent, rather, the only reason I taking this time to write this is due to their POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE!
I called with a simple question to confirm if they sent the right variety of plant... the existing leaves as well as new growth on the plant they sent look nothing like the variety I ordered. I asked a simple question... do you varieties of this daphne have solid green leaves as a young plant then become variegated as it matures? Her reply was... I don't know. She suggested I wait another six weeks and if it sill looks different I should return it. She clearly doesn't understand even some basic horticultural knowledge to know that it is much better to plant a plant in April vs July.
A supervisor eventually came on and said I could send in a leaf to the company or email the company from their website. I am going to email them, but let me tell you, I was shocked to overhear the comments she and others were sharing as the let me linger on the phone line before cutting me off. Don't know if I can share everything, but I will share that their comments included, "Don't people like that really piss you off." "They piss me off."
Well, Kelley Nurseries, if I piss you off so much, maybe I shouldn't buy anything from you!
Negative plederle
Valley Stream, NY
(1 review)
April 21, 2017
Should have checked out their reviews before I placed my order. Catalog planting description did match the planting instructions that came with the plant. A plant for full sun/partial shade will not flourish in full shade. Terrible customer service and worse return policy. Does business as more than 10 d/b/a's.
Company representative comment on April 24, 2017:
On Apr 24, 2017 12:52 PM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customerís experience, as it sounds like there was a misprint somewhere. We are affiliated with other companies but these are separate companies.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem

Negative zliti
Marblehead, MA
(1 review)
April 19, 2017
Terrible company unspeakable customer service. Both the recipient at the call center and the manager, Cindy are unskilled, incompetent individuals. They yell over you and don't listen to anything a customer have to say. Twice I received the same bare root plant dead and both times they are telling me I have to right to the company to ask for the replacement. I wrote niece and paid for th postage and I received another dead root. I asked for my money back and they still asked to write to the company to ask for my money back. So I have to pay for the stamp again. There is an inconsistency on the information shared with the customers: the firts representative said I can get the money back as one of my options, the manger, Cindy said (actually yelled) that I have to write back to the company if I want my money back. I kept calling to get an answer as why and she kept hanging up on me. The fact that there are 85 negative feedback online tells you something about this flaky company. I am done ordering from them. Disappoint me one time, I give you a second chance, disappoint me again, I am done. People, don't waist your money and time with this company.
Company representative comment on April 24, 2017:
On Apr 24, 2017 12:50 PM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customerís experience as we do take pride in our customer care. We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee which is clearly posted on our website and we stand behind them.

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem

Negative lucy44
Stuarts Draft, VA
(1 review)
September 29, 2015
In January, I ordered perennials and trees from Kelly for spring delivery. Given the prices, I did not expect much, but was hopeful. The plants arrived on May 8th and were extremely small and in poor condition. I re-potted plants and healed in trees and gave good care - unfortunately many of the plants and most of the trees never showed any sign of life.

On June 15th I sent a letter to Kelly, along with the original shipping label, which was required, asking for replacement plants. On September 24th, when I had received no reply from Kelly, I sent an e-mail asking to hear from them. They have not responded.
Company representative comment on September 28, 2016:
On Sep 28, 2016 2:54 PM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. We do have a refund and replacement guarantee available. We have contacted this customer via D-mail to see how we may be of assistance.

Negative trango
Seattle, WA
(1 review)
August 26, 2015
Received a Franklinia in early July from Kelly Nurseries with dried up withered leaves which was potted in well draining soil in a 2 inch pot. I have kept the plant indoors and watered it once a week to no avail. On August 10 I sent a letter along with the shipping label requesting a replacement plant pursuant to Kelly Nurseries stated warranty which was on the front page of their enclosed planting instruction booklet. Today (the 26th) I received a letter from them returning my letter and the shipping label along with a form letter directing me to wait 6 weeks before making a request for a replacement plant. I do not suggest that anyone do business with them.
Negative bherder
Forest Grove, OR
(3 reviews)
August 13, 2015
Posted on May 8, 2015, updated August 13, 2015
I ordered:

Lilac, Angel White
Hosta, White Feather
Eucalyptus, Cider Gum
Lilac Tree, Japanese
Goji Berry
Columbine, Barlow Black
Hosta, Richland Gold

The plants arrived in a plastic bag and there was no packing material of any kind to protect the plants from shipment.

The Eucalyptus tree was 2 inches tall and was damaged during shipment (no surprise there due to the way it was packed). The tree was ripped out at the base of the root ball and dead. Same for the Goji berry. Ripped out and dead. All of the others plants are in acceptable condition, but very small. I don\'t consider that a negative since the cost of each plant is low. I\'m giving a negative rating due to the way the plants were shipped.

I contacted customer service and I mailed my original packing receipt along with a letter requesting replacements for the 2015 growing season. I\'m waiting to hear back and will update my review once I do.
On August 13th, 2015, bherder added the following:

It is now August 13, 2015 and have not heard back from this company. I do not recommend this company.
Negative docknee
Murphy, NC (Zone 7a)
(10 reviews)
April 11, 2015
Order number: 34498434
Plants are very small and weak but you get what you pay for I suspect. Out of a $128 order I had two that were pure rot and many that were moldy. I revived the weak and moldy and wrote to the company about the 2 dead ones - a retail value of $4.50 at most. They want ORIGINAL shipping label, a letter and your first born - why - if they make it complicated enough most will simply not secure a replacement plant. They have all the information so it is simply a procedural ruse to discourage. NEVER use this outfit again.
Negative lynch_jan
Cornish, ME
(1 review)
April 10, 2015
I spent several hours sorting through all the catalogs for my big spring planting order. I placed a 25+ item order with Kelly Nurseries that totalled over $270. I received an email confirmation. A few days later, my credit card company informed me that the card had declined payment (my fault due to max'ed card), so I called the number on the Kelly website so I could provide another form of payment. Kelly Nurseries had NOT sent me any indication the order was not paid for and the people on the phone could NOT even see my order because they have no access to the online order system!!!! The only option they gave me was to reorder everything online. They did not even offer to do it for me over the phone if I read out the list to them!!!! I am NEVER ordering from Kelly Nurseries again. They are disorganized and can offer NO customer service if you order online. If you really want to buy from them, then place your order over the phone like we did in 1990. If their customer service is this bad, I can only imagine what their plants look like if and when they show up in your mailbox!
Negative cupwithwater
Byron, MI
(1 review)
August 6, 2014
Posted on August 6, 2014, updated August 6, 2014
I cannot stress enough about how much a rip off that this company is. This has been my second attempt to receive two different types of Canna, Bengal tiger and pink sunburst. so far I have had to replacements sent for each and they arrive completely black rotten and mushy. I wrote a letter to the company as well as emails. The company just dresses that they inspect every plant before it is shipped although I stressed that bare root plants like this do not turn black and mushy overnight. Their responses back to me I like it is my fault. I have even sent them pictures of their product and still the same attitude is conveyed. As with their policy the only way to get my money back would be to ask for a refund within 14 days of shipping. And it has to make it back to them in that time which is impossible. I will NEVER order from them again and due to how they are treating me I am going to be sure to let it be known about this company and its practices. I\'m sorry for the next person that orders anything from this company. I am disgusted beyond explanation and I really wish they were bbb listed so theu cpuld b looked into but this is probably the reason why.
On August 6th, 2014, cupwithwater added the following:

I have also had the same experience with their sister companies, Burgess seed and plant co. And royal dutch gardens. They should be ashamed of themselves, what an embarrassment of a company (s)
Negative loryb1958
Plymouth, OH
(1 review)
May 23, 2014
Placed an order with Kelly Nurseries for the first time, will never do so again! We received only part of our order although the shipping label indicated that all of it was shipped. We did receive the free peony root and three dead sticks, which I have no idea what they were supposed to be. I called the company and was informed that I must send back the label with a note as to the problem, which I did May 10,2014. Since we received no communication from them as of May 23 I called them. Took a number of tries, first the number would ring a few times and then signal busy. Finally connected to Chrissy. I was informed that they do not communicate with customers unless there is a problem. (I consider not receiving 48 rose of rogusa a problem!) She informed me that my replacement order was in the computer but could not tell me when I could expect shipment. ( I don't quite understand how it could be considered a "replacement" order when I never received them in the first place).

I guess I will have to wait and see how this pans out but I do know that next season I will definitely NOT order from Kelly Nurseries!!
Positive LightSunflower
Cortland, NY
(1 review)
September 3, 2013
I ordered a few plants this Spring(2013) from Kelly Nurseries. All but one tree did well. So, in mid July, I emailed the company and told them that the tree had not come to life. The customer care department offered to replace the tree or give me a credit. I responded that I would like the tree replaced and a new one arrived. I planted it and it is now doing well.
Negative jackson01
Tipp City, OH
(1 review)
August 3, 2013
I have never shopped with this company before but I thought I would give them a try.
I made an early purchase on Jan.24, 2013, thinking I would get the cream of the crop items. Not so!
Out of 44.03 order the only thing that lived was 1 Potentilla plant. The 2 maples didn't even sprout in the spring.
I knew the plants were dormant when they arrived so I planted and marked where I planted them. Blue Fescue died. Butterfly Plants didn't have any grow in the spring . Bleeding Heart plant didn't even shoot up in the spring! 3 Blue Spruce lost their needles.
Very disappointed in the products I purchased.

Company representative comment on August 16, 2013:
On Aug 16, 2013 1:37 PM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

A customer care representative has contact this customer for further information. We do have a 1 year replacement guarantee on all of our plants and do hope that the customer takes advantage of this guarantee.

Negative Taunus
Rome, GA
(1 review)
June 14, 2013
Posted on June 4, 2013, updated June 14, 2013
I ordered some strawberries on 4-24-13, never got an order confirmation but they debited my account right away. Today, 6-4-13, I called to check on my order and got stonewalled. I was told to "write a letter" to cancel my order. After several calls I finally talked to a 'supervisor' named Cindy who announced a refund would take 30 days. I am holding my breath

The Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois has 151 complaints about them but gives them an A+ rating, which says a lot about the BBB.

On June 14th, 2013, Taunus added the following:

June 14th, 2013
Got home from a 2 day trip this morning and there they were in my mail box, had been for more than a day, in 95 degree weather. The little strawberry plants had pot bound root balls the size of thimbles, a snippet of a leaf on top and were near death.

I had asked for shipping information and a tracking number. I got nothing. The people that work there must suffer from horrible illnesses that leave them unable to accomplish ordinary tasks in a timely manner.

However, they do grab your money real fast and refuse to let go..

Go to your local nursery, don't deal with this crowd

Company representative comment on August 3, 2013:
On Aug 3, 2013 11:43 AM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would be happy to send a replacement order.

Negative rockminer
Scott Bar, CA (Zone 6a)
(2 reviews)
May 2, 2013
I'm sorry I did not find this resource before ordering from Kelly. The black Rasberries were dead sticks with no roots, Poker primrose were totally limp and, despite very gentle nursing did not even try to produce a leaf. Two of three Geraniums did survive but are miniscule plants. Clematis has finally given me one leaf and may survive. The tiny Pulmonaria plants are aparently alive but producing no evidence of new growth.

We have had a month of excellent growing weather since I received this order and I let my confidence run me past the guarantee date so I cannot even ask for a refund.

I have had over 50 years of gardening experience and am considered to have a green thumb. This entire experience was a travesty.

I hope you are reading this before ordering.

Best Regards, Bill
Negative swedey
Winnie, TX
(2 reviews)
July 14, 2012
i ordered a pear tree with 5 kinds of pears and a pair of elderberry plants. they came absolutly dry in a plastc envelope. the peare tree of coursae ws broken off at the first graft. it had four tiny hair sized roots and when scratched was dead as a door nail. the two elderberry plants had enough roots if they had not been dead for so long. they were black throughout. there is no way they were alive when shipped. a pure rip off. the story about the scratch test of course is crazy. why not scratch it before you send it instead of sending dead sticks in a plastic envelope. a $39 plusa lesson. ty ty did the same thing to me. sent me a stick with no root at all. just a piece of dead stick.
Company representative comment on July 16, 2012:
On Jul 16, 2012 11:44 AM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

We are sorry to hear of the problem with this customers order. A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information.

Positive rcepe324
Denver, CO
(3 reviews)
July 13, 2012
I didn't realize this company was also part of the horrid Richard Owen Nursery conglomerate....however, I had a positive experience with Kelly Nurseries.

I ordered a lilac tree in the spring and it was sent in a timely manner with good instructions on planting. The tree has taken root and has grown new foliage and branches. So far so good! Knowing what I know about the other companies, I would never order from Kelly again.

Keeping my fingers crossed that the tree makes it through the upcoming winter!!

Negative terriergal
Hutchinson, MN (Zone 4b)
(1 review)
July 3, 2012
Well, I wish I had known this was a ripoff company. Thankfully I only ordered two mock oranges to try out. Placed order on June 2, 2012 and I finally had to write on the 20th to see what was up, as I had not received any notice of shipment.

They basically said "we're working on it" (nicely) and I said ok I was just checking, and they said "check back anytime for the status of your order" as if they had actually given me a status in the first place.

They arrived on the 29th, four weeks after ordering, when it was now very HOT and they were stuffed into my mailbox in a green plastic bag envelope with no moisture retentive material around the roots or anything. They had been broken because of the rough handling (which the packing did nothing to prevent).

I emailed immediately and they basically gave me the "it might be dormant" routine like they give everyone else. Yes I have ordered bareroot plants before and so I know what a dormant plant looks like. These were pretty much worthless for anything but firestarter, however I soaked them and then planted them in a pot inside the house, since we have about a week of 105 degree heat indices to get through. There might be a slightly yellowish tint (not green) under the bark. No sign of life at all.

They offered me a replacement or credit. I don't want credit and I never want to deal with them again, so I told them to send me live plants with protection around the roots and put them in a box with plenty of cushioning material. I doubt they'll do that. If they send me more kindling, I'll be sending everything to the attorney general. Horrible.
Company representative comment on July 16, 2012:
On Jul 16, 2012 11:47 AM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem.

Negative lindaMI
Concord, MI
(1 review)
June 20, 2012
I ordered 12 Snow in Summer, 10 Periwinkle, 12 Creeping Phlox, 4 Hardy Gloxinias on May 13, 2012, they charged my Credit Card for the full amount, I also ordered a Red Rose of Sharon. When my order was received I didn't get the Snow in Summer or the Periwinkle, the Phlox were almost dead and out of 10 I have 3 that are green. The Gloxinias I have 2 that may make it, I still haven't received my Snow in Summer and I sent a letter along with my mailing label on June 7, 2012 and was told that it would take another 2-4weeks before I would receive my balance of my order. Since I sent my mailing label I have know recorse to have the plants if thats what you want to call them replaced if they don't make it. The female rep. that I talked to when I called said that I was lucky that I got my order in the time frame that I did because it usually takes 4 weeks, per their shipping policy it states that you can expect them to ship your order within 1-2weeks of receipt and when I read that to her she argued with me. Today is June 20th, 2012 and I have still not received anything from them in regards to the balance of my order. DO NOT ORDER FROM KELLY NURSERIES!!!! I will be reporting them to the Better Business Bureau!
Positive ssmato
Rockford, WA
(1 review)
June 5, 2012
this is the 2nd time I have ordered from Kelly, first time there was a mistake with postage, which after a phone call, the manager took care of it to my satisfaction right away. I had ordered dailies, and 4 of the 6 bloomed the first year. I am still waiting 3 years later for ones I ordered from another company and paid 3times as much for to bloom. 2nd order was this year I ordered over 240 trees and bushes, all the trees are leafing out and most of the bushes. a few are being slow to take off but that is to be expected. I have had a very positive experience with this company, they sent my plants in a timely manner for my growing area not like some of the other companies. maybe some of you shouldn't be in such a hurry to judge, also some perennials don't even hardly come up the first year, but show up the 2nd. they offer the same warranty as your local home depot and lowes, don't require a dead plant to get it and cost much less!! and local nurseries usually offer maybe a 30 day. I know cause I spent over a $100 one 1 tree and it's now dead! also sometimes phone calls are way more effective for problems than emails. so I will definitely be ordering from them again!,
Negative sprklecity
(1 review)
May 22, 2012
Every thing I ordered died or arrived dead. I did not receive one plant, sent a letter (with the original mailing label as required) and never received a response.
I will never order from this company again. My order, was over $100 and all of it was wasted!
Negative ladybugshome
Rochester, NY
(1 review)
May 21, 2012
Have been gardening for years and can usually bring back even the most dead looking plant. I ordered from Kelly Nurseries and they took my money back in January. The charge went through and was process. When you charge something you do not have over 60 days to dispute the charge. I found that out when I tried to have the bank cancel the charge. Called Kelly Nurseries and they will not refund my money or credit my account. I have to mail back the shipping label with what was dead or broken when it arrived. I live in Rochester NY, my order was shipped when we still had winter!
Frost still happens here well into May of each year.
Guess when this was shipped? April 10!!!!

It was all piled up in a green bag with everything piled on top of the each other. Trees were broken below graft line and out right dead. Perennials were all dead but a few. I am talking an order over 230.00.

Use to do business with this company in the 1980's and it is way worse then it ever thought of being now.

We are mailing back the shipping label which means that my order will not be easily revised for my own records other then a copy which they will not honor at all.

So..... here I sit saying I hope that no one else will get burned. Buyer beware of this company. I have ordered from other mail order companies and never had stuff shipped this way or this time of year.

Guess I am stuck with the Local Wal-mart and two local Nurseries that are here in the area with limited stock. We moved from our home which we raised our children in and needed a smaller yard and house. I wanted to landscape some for my old house had more land and this yard is easier to keep up.

When I logged in to see all of the different plants which were not offered when I started gardening I wanted to have them in my yard! Wrong!
Nothing grew and I have to start again in the fall when they are shipped (if they are shipped). Am tired of companies doing this to those who trust the company they order from.

Negative bbreech
Bryant, AR
(1 review)
May 10, 2012
Order placed 3/3/12. Requested expedited shipping on 3/28/12. Cancelled my order 4/21/12. On 4/23/12 Kelly advised that they 'may be unable to cancel' my order as it had been 'forwarded to the shipping department'.... I guess sometime in the previous 50 days.
5/9/12 received pile of substandard plants and dormant roots.
Negative jayt36
Ashland, PA (Zone 6a)
(10 reviews)
May 5, 2012
I have finally learned my lesson. I placed an order with Kelly on March 10, 2012. When the plants came, one of the yellow butterfly bushes was dead on arrival. Giving it the benefit of doubt, I re-planted it in good potting soil, kept it well watered in a sunny window. When it showed no evidence of rejuvenation, I finally wrote to the company on April 11th, requesting a replacement. I fully complied with their requirements, dutifully enclosing the shipping label. I received a reply from them telling me I must wait six weeks to see if the dead plant would miraculously resurrect itself. Well, although I am a religious person, I have no expectation for any such miracle to occur. And I have no intention of wasting another 40 some cents postage of this poor excuse for a company.
I will cut my losses and in the future deal only with reputable companies.
Negative vorlonken
Andover, CT
(8 reviews)
April 26, 2012
I really should give them halfway between neutral and negative since I got what I expected; but what I expected wasn't much.

I wouldn't have ordered from them except they had a daylily that I wanted that I was unable to find anywhere else - and I searched hard. Their shipping prices are high so I ordered 3 of the daylily. I got three small, single-fan plants. They're unlikely to flower this year because of their small size. The most disturbing thing was the packaging. Rather than shipping in a box they arrived in a heavy-duty plastic bag. Surprisingly they seem to have made the trip unharmed.

Kelly Nurseries seems to be a low-end nursery. It appears that they sell liners that they haven't bothered to grow on. Unless they have a plant that you can't find anywhere else I'd avoid them. Almost all of what they sell is widely available elsewhere. For GREAT quality daylilies use Oak's or their sister company Paradise Perennials.
Negative MargeTO
Arlington, VA
(1 review)
March 21, 2012
Do not order from Kelly! After bad first experience, thought I'd give them a second chance. Ordered early in March, when nothing arrived by May 1, called, told it would be sent. When I called again, said I was going on a trip and everything would be dead, I was told "That's okay, we'll just replace everything. I had gotten one plant, separately in March, a healthy, big euphorbia. When I re-ordered, the 3 euphorbia didn't even resemble plants, everything was tiny, slimy and disgusting. When I called, it was pointed out they only replace once. Clearly this company's technique is to guarantee replacement, send the dredges of their stock: you have no recourse and they keep your money. Btw-they cashed my check in March but hadn't sent 2 mo's later, finally after 2nd call, arrived sometime in June. Have talked to others, everyone says "stay away." Do not patronize, and watch out for their many affiliates, seem to be different names for same place.
Negative rocdoc77
Great Falls, SC (Zone 8a)
(2 reviews)
September 28, 2011
Letter about Kelly's and Burgess nursery.
> I guess I'm a glutton for punishment, because I bought plants from both
> nurseries
> The plants from Kelly's were dry beyond recovery upon were arrival, I
> complained by e-mail replacement plants were of no use to me they were also
> dry. I had ordered some plants from Burgess, when I found out that two are
> related I e-mailed to stop this order. E-mail after e-mail they said the
> the plants would be sent, I asked for a refund excuse was it would behard
> to stop. My last email I quote
> Sirs
> You took money in July 2011 and have had it over 2 months.
> I plan To Send a copy of correspondence tn to The Attorney General in
> Bloomington, IL Consumer Protection Division and Dave's Garden web site.
> Return my money.
> Donald Privett
> Thank you for your email. Once an order has been processed, it does become
> very difficult to cancel an order. Please allow more time for your request
> to be processed.
> Thank You 
Customer Care Departmeny
Negative jhkern
Sunnyvale, CA
(1 review)
May 9, 2011
Posted on March 20, 2010, updated May 9, 2011
Hesitant to order as there are so many neg comments but decided to test the Co and was quite pleased with what arrived. Took about a month for plants to arrive, but postage date indicated 4 days of transit. That is about what condition the stock looked like. A little bit etolated but very usable. I would order from them again. This is a discount nursery so don't expect premium sized plant material.
On May 9th, 2011, jhkern changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

Posted positive last year after ordering plant material but this current order is becoming the same fiasco that so many others have experienced. Dead material arrived so I called next day for protocol on refunds. Told no need to send dead plant material back to Illinois but to send shipping label with summary of dead stock. 3 weeks later received the following letter;

We are sorry to hear of the problem you are having with your plants. Our guarantee policy states that if you are unhappy with the merchandise for any reason, you may return it with in 14 days of receipt for a full refund. Since you did not comply with the terms of our warranty, we are unable to issue a refund for the items in question.

I'll keep working on it, but this is just another FYI for Kelly Nurseries
Negative jrenea
Austin, TX
(1 review)
March 18, 2011
I won't be doing business with this company ever again. I placed my order on 1/30/11 and have yet to receive it. They won't give me a ship date or any actual information, just that someone else is working on it.

I asked for a refund on 3/8/11 and have yet to receive a credit.

My first mail order experience and I got burned. Lesson learned.

Zone 8
Negative oona0
Wilkes-barre PA,
United States
(4 reviews)
September 12, 2010
Posted on May 4, 2010, updated September 12, 2010
Posted on May 4, 2010, updated May 4, 2010
Posted on April 28, 2010, updated May 4, 2010

I'm not ordering from this company again. They send your plants by normal snail mail only not UPS and they say they don't use tracking numbers. How do you do a mail order business with no tracking numbers? They told me my plant was in the mail 3 weeks ago. I have no proof that they are telling me the truth. And if I never get it, what proof will they have that I never received it? Even on ebay the sellers use tracking numbers.
I also want to say the few customer service people I did speak to where a bit rude and not educated on there products. I have not received my order yet but I am expecting something less then perfect seeing what I'm deal with. After reading some of these reviews about this company I'm worried that I may not get what I paid for and they may not return money if need be.

This company feels like a "fly by night" so far. I'm not comfortable one bit.
On May 4th, 2010, oona0 added the following:

I waited another week and still nothing. I been using redial trying to reach them all morning. Nothing but busy signals. :(
On May 4th, 2010, oona0 added the following:

Just got of the phone with customer service. He said that,"If I did not get my order by now then it is lost in the mail. Your order was shipped on the 16th of April and because we ship threw USPS we need to wait 30 days to put in a claim. That means the customer needs to wait the 30 days to ask for a reship or a refund."

I'm very angry. All of this could have been avoided if they had tracking numbers. I'm not going to go threw this again. I want my money back. I can find the same items somewhere else with less hassle.
On September 12th, 2010, oona0 added the following:

After just receiving an email on this website from Kelly's Nurseries I will let everyone know what my final out come was.
My tree arrived on the 28th day before the claim could be issued. The tree arrived in a RED PLASTIC BAG! There was no holes in the bag for the tree to breath. There was nothing stopping this tree from getting damaged. I was however amazed it made it in one piece. The roots where covered in mold and rotted from being in the bag that long. The plant showed no signs of life.
I now understand why they don't use UPS. If I was UPS I would not want my company to go bankrupt with the flood of claims that would come in because sending packages out in red plastic bags.
I called back Kellys to let them know the condition of the package. The woman said rudely... Sorry! any complaints you have you must summit a letter in writing.
I hung up and just decided to call it a loss and not to do business with them anymore. A month later I received another red bag in the mail. This one looked a lot better in condition. I put it in the ground and it's doing fine.

This story had a happy ending. I'm thankful for that. After this whole mess. Brecks, spring hill, and Michigan bulb has my business.
Company representative comment on September 29, 2010:
On Sep 29, 2010 11:11 AM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

We are glad that the customer received the 2nd shipment of the tree wisteria and that it is doing well.

This year we shipped by both Fed Ex and USPS. Most of the methods we use have a tracking service, but not all of them. For an extra fee, customers can request that the order be shipped either through Priority mail or Fed Ex Ground.

This customer's first order was sent on 4/16. We do not know why it took so long to be delivered and did not arrive for 28 days. In the meantime however, we had processed a replacement shipment on 5/14 that shipped 5/26.

We are glad that the second package arrived in a normal delivery time frame and that the wisteria is doing well.

Negative rusty1013
Huntingtown, MD
(1 review)
May 13, 2010
This company fails to communicate when there are delays. When they finally shipped the partial order at my request, it took over a week to arrive by Stardard Mail. To say the least, the shrubs were bone dry and dead, the live roots shipped were wet and rotting in the package.

Calling them, you better be ready when they first open or it is busy all day.

Now, to get a refund on everything, i have to ship all the dead plants back to them on my dime.

Overall customer experience was poor at best. To say the least i will also be contacting the charge card company to ensure the money is recovered. Thier prices are too good to be true because they are. Said to say, a company treats people like this and is still in business.
Company representative comment on September 22, 2010:
On Sep 22, 2010 3:48 PM, Kelly Nurseries responded with:

Since most of this customer's order was shipped dormant, the plants should have been able to survive just fine for a week during shipping. However, we do have a refund guarantee which states that product simply needs to be returned to us within 14 days of receipt if a refund is desired. This customer returned the product, and a refund was issued.

Positive Kentuckyjanet
Louisville, KY
(1 review)
April 20, 2010
I have ordered from Kelly Nurseries for years. I have NEVER had a bad experience with them. I think they are great. This year I've ordered Creeping Phlox, Red Painted Daisy and Giant Primroses. I've ordered the Primroses a few years ago, and was so happy with them that I am ordering more. Their prices are real good too.
Negative tsarina1
Hazel Green, WI
(2 reviews)
March 24, 2010
Only order if you are absolutely positive you want their product and are willing to put up with frustration if something goes wrong. It is impossible to change or cancel an order. No help from anyone . Everything goes through a catalog answering service and no one knows where the billing or credit department is located or any phone numbers . This is part of several catalog companies combined owned by Richard Owen in Bloomington , Illinois under the division of Plantron, inc.. Search the web and no info about this company and the other many catalog companies he owns or who they are, where they are or any phone numbers .Everything kicks back to the catalog answering service . They allow you no contact with anyone other than the answering service. This is not the way things were years ago but this corporation has gotten too big that their customer service is zero . If you pay by credit card or check good luck on getting your money back. I have email them 2 times a day , call them 2 times a day for the past week to get my $200 back and get nothing but nasty people. Not a good way to start off the season for people who love to garden and made these catalog people rich over the past 35 years. I will never again order from any company that hides the owner or grower from the consumer. Too bad because years ago you actually talked to a grower and now you are talking to an answering service who do not even know who signs their pay checks.
Neutral RoscoeSammy
Arlington, VA
(1 review)
July 7, 2009
I purchased 10 bare-root willow trees. 3 survived. Two are now 12 feet tall; these trees were planted in zone 7b 15 months ago from a 12" whip. The third I am surprised it came back and it's still 12". I think it will survive though.

So, a lot of the plants died (and I'm a professional horticulturist) however, I do have two thriving trees for $14.50 and that is a good deal. I expect these trees to be 35' in two more years and they'll screen the view I am trying to get rid of.

I'd say the price is good but these plants are iffy and a lot of work.
Negative lovesflowers70
Lakeland, FL
(1 review)
June 19, 2009
I ordered flowers for my mom --- oh yea she received a package from them of what was suppose to be healthy flowers BUT the ones she got were rotten covered in mold and the stench of the flowers when she opened the box was terrible -- threw them away-- THEY knowingly MAILED MAILED MAILED to her from the get go bad rotten flowers .. .. oh but to get your money refunded you have to return them to Kelly nurseries,, 1708 Morrissey Dr., Bloomington IL 507-334-1623... with how bad they smelled I don't think the post office would allow them to go back thru the mail...DO NOT ORDER ANYTHING FROM THIS COMPANY....
Positive bigmike825
Gloversville, NY
(3 reviews)
May 29, 2009
THIS TIME ( 2009 /MAY ) I have to say I am satisfied AND SURPRISED with what Kelly's sent to me... Several years back I also ordered and after waiting 4 months my order did at last arrive . I also planted the very day I got the order and EVERYTHING but 2 out of 18 items survived although the plants were not in the best of shape size wise, Also it took forever to get my order with no one to call , email or write to ? ? ? ... It seems there is no customer service to call or contyact at all ? After 5 months my stuff did arrive and as I said it did grow ok . This year I ordered again after swearing never again . I just could not afford 29.00 dollars for a one minature lemon tree when for the same price I could get 2 collections of all 4 citrus plants from Kelly's . ( lemon tangerine, orange, and grapefruit! ! ! So I took the plunge and ordered , it took about 5 weeks to get my order of citrus, the rest of the order I am still waiting on, It was dark when they arrived at my house so I unpacked them expecting dryed out plants but was pleasantly surprised to find healthy plants each in their own plastic bag and peat pot! All healthy and still moist! ! ! I opened each bag and set them all in a huge boal and watered each one until morning when I will put them in their new home ( HUGE POTS) ... so this experience I am happy with so far. Let you know when the rest shows up how it works out ...
I think it helps to open the packages at once and soak everything at least over night if not for 18 hours **NO MORE THAN !* THOUGH** Mike...
Oklahoma City, OK
(1 review)
April 15, 2009
Negative mersiepoo
New Freeport, PA
(7 reviews)
February 11, 2009
The only plants I had ordered from Kelly nursery was an 'arctic' raspberry plant and a van cherry. Both died immediately. They looked in bad shape when I got them and no amount of babying would convince them to live for me. I never ordered from them again.

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