Do you know how hard it is to find a Genista aetnensis (Mt Etna Broom)? I'm starting a movement to change the saying "scarcer than hen's teeth" to "scarcer than a Mt Etna Broom in stock at a reputable nursery". You heard it here first. I'm sure all the cool kids will be saying this. Anyway, this plant had me searching online for literal hours (I admit to being somewhat obsessive), and so I was delighted to come across Cistus Nursery. I called before I ordered to check if it was in stock, and found the staff friendly and extremely helpful: they actually just walked out and looked while I was waiting briefly and gleefully. They also had a rare Guadalupe honeysuckle that is native to my area, and decided I couldn't live without that either. The plants were shipped quickly and arrived promptly, so they weren't languishing in an overly-warm Albuquerque post office. They arrived well rooted and packaged extremely carefully, and are vigorously growing in their respective locations.
RedClay007 Richmond, VA (Zone 7a) (15 reviews) May 7, 2017
They offer some very rare woody plants that I haven't found anywhere else. Their plants are usually small but in great condition on arrival and thrive once planted. Will definitely order from them many more times in the future! !
ysfex3 Greeneville, TN (10 reviews) December 18, 2015
Ordered (through the phone!) two plants, the very rare in the wild, Acer pentaphyllum, and a Magnolia insignis. They had the pentaphyllum for a very reasonable price. The insignis was never really on my radar (it was), but it too was very reasonable. Both came in very healthy, but the pentaphyllum was already in dormancy, so I didn't get a look at the unusual leaves.
Both looked like they were grown in deep 4" pots (very nice roots). Each plant was approx. 2ft tall and slightly branched. I accidentally snapped the tip off of the insignis' central leader during unboxing. Very angry at myself for that.
The only downside would be shipping, like anything from the west coast (to east TN). The USPS was very speedy (two days), so if you can wait (during winter/fall), the slightly cheaper FedEx may not be so bad. That being said, I hate FedEx with a passion.
They had trouble with my card but were very understanding and patient with me while I resolved the situation. Each new person I spoke to knew my situation right away. The customer service was excellent.
Saw something I liked in their gallery, Epipactis gigantea Serpentine Night, emailed them monday, called them tuesday with payment and received them on thursday on the East Coast.
sehanley Rancho Cucamonga, CA (5 reviews) March 30, 2014
I've only placed one small order from Cistus, but it was a very easy experience (simple, lo-fi transaction through an e-mail, and then bang went the shipment exactly when I had requested), and I love (love, love, LOVE) their plant selection and one-of-a-kind cultivars and hybrids.
They'll probably do even better business, mail-order style, with a slightly easier-to-navigate website (hinting here), but I do appreciate the simplicity of it, and their pricing is quite reasonable given the quality, health, and size.
Cistus has a really nice selection of exotic plants and has introduced many garden-tolerant cultivars of species that can be marginal in our climate. I ordered an Arctostaphylos hookeri 'Green on Black' this summer and was very pleased with both the quality and size of the plant (it was significantly larger than I'd expect for a one-gallon size). Not surprisingly, the plant has adapted well to my garden.
The folks there also do a really nice job of answering e-mails in a timely manner, which I really appreciate.
magnaastra Charleston, IL (Zone 6a) (49 reviews) November 17, 2012
Wow, if I had serious money I could really have some fun at the Cistus Nursery. These plants (yuccas x 4, a pair of T. wagnerianus, and four assorted cacti) are totally awesome, dude: very healthy, well-rooted, large, and so lovingly packed that a journey across most of the United States didn't faze them. Want to make a special mention of Deborah, their wonderful, marvelous, and fantastic customer service representative. Deborah, if you ever move to Illinois, look me up, and I'll offer you a job!
The nursery exists in two worlds - there is a mail order of smaller plants, and then different and larger plants on site. A short drive from Portland, OR, the range of plants is amazing. You won't find anything usual here, it's rare plants, new hybrids, recent discoveries. The owner Sean Hogan lectures all over the world on plants and is not only knowledgeable but just the nicest guy. The staff is helpful but just be prepared to barely recognize anything. It's really a specialty supplier, not so much about big showy flowers as rare and interesting plants. Superb, the things I have planted here in Portland from them always elicit WHAT? is that from guests. The supply is CONSTANTLY changing so worth checking back regularly.
Clove Union City, NJ (17 reviews) February 23, 2012
I am an avid plant hobbyist who has been mail-ordering plants for thirty years. As a long-term customer, I am always exceptionally satisfied placing and receiving orders from Cistus Nursery and their website Cistus.com. Time and time again, I'm impressed by their listing of rare and hard-to-find plants, such as Viburnums, Pittosporums, Bay Laurels, Sarcococcas, and Magnolias. These are but a few of their extensive offerings which are well described, sometimes with collection data. I continually visit Cistus.com since many of their plants are hard to find in my area, eastern coast of the US. Whenever I unpack a Cistus shipment, I am left breathless with the size, health, beauty, and elegance of the rooted starter plants. At Cistus.com, I receive excellent personable and friendly customer service. All of the plants that I order have full healthy growth, strong roots, and are meticulously packaged to arrive in perfect condition. I highly recommend Cistus Nursery to beginning and highly experienced gardeners alike. And to those hard-to-impress seasoned gardeners, I must say that Cistus.com is truly a new adventure in gardening.
Willapa1 Youngsville, NC (2 reviews) July 30, 2011
When ever I travel to the Portland OR area I try to schedule a visit at Cistus. They have a great selection of plants and great staff that are very helpful. The plants are a good size for the price. Customer service is becoming a thing of the past but not here. The staff will spend the time helping you out with your selection. Can't wait to get back to the area and stop in at Cistus on the way to the coast.
Plantmum6 American Canyon, CA (Zone 9a) (4 reviews) March 24, 2011
I ordered several plants last week and they arrived yesterday in tip top shape. I do not order very many plants online, because I work at a nursery myself and I am able to get most everything "in person". I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the plants and the shipping condition. I will order again, they have some unusual things I never see in the retail trade.
I am so grateful such a nursery like this exists. They carry difficult-to-find michelia cultivars of good sizes (not itty-bitty twigs). The prices are very reasonable. I can't wait to order again when other michelia varities become available.
The packaging is perfect. No annoying peanuts, just newspaper for padding. Yay!
lscott4413 Port Angeles, WA (5 reviews) May 29, 2010
Recent order for yucca baccata:
Negatives: Plant was (inadvertently, I believe) indicated to be larger than it was.
Positives: email and telephone interactions were uniformly polite and civil
after discussion with nursery owner a full refund was obtained
very fast shipping
I live 3 hrs from this nursery and nearly every time I am coming thru Portland I visit the nursery. I have had excellent relations with the nursery staff for several years now. They are always courteous, helpful and prompt to respond to particular requests. In addition it is just fun to visit there.
Have ordered from this source 3 or 4 times and I really like their large selection of plants that includes a number of unusual and hard to find plants. They also have very good customer service, fill orders quickly, and have reasonable shipping charges (not true of all mail order nurseries). Their plant prices are also very fair for the size of plants received.
I've ordered from this nursery on three different occasions. Each time I've been very pleased with the promptness of their delivery and the high quality of the plant material delivered. A great nursery!
I have been making trips to Cistus for several years now, and have enjoyed the selection of rare plants and the impeccable knowledge of the staff. Their demonstration beds are inspirational. Several of the 650+ species/cultivars in my collection came from Cistus and they are doing well and often draw questions from the hundreds of visitors our garden has hosted..
Ordered a plant from Cistus last week and Josh told me that he would ship this Tuesday. He did and it arrived today via USPS. That is two days time from OR to TX. Very nice plant and hope I can grow it off so that I can plant directly in ground. Josh was extremely nice and polite when I spoke with him. I would suggest to anyone, do not try to have a conversation via email with plant nurseries. Phone them and save yourself the aggravation. Very nice person to deal with at Cistus and will keep them in favorites for other purchases not available locally.
I use Dave's Garden Database of nurseries to find rare plants. I wanted a Acnistus australis and they are the only people who grow and have it in stock on a regular basis.
I contacted this company by email and got a reply from the 'Production Manager'. After 3 requests by email I was told that they would only ship FedEx, that it would take 10 days to arrive and that I would have to assume all risks. I pointed out to them that US Postal Service could have it here by Priority Mail in two days, that it would cost less money to ship, they would pick the package up and they would provide the shipping box for free. I was told that I would have to accept their terms, that they didn't have time to go to the post office. I pointed out that they didn't have to go anywhere, the post office is a professional at shipping.
I have been searching for Acnistus australis for almost two years. I am disappointed in the person who handles shipping for this company. The time spent answering email was wasted, they could have been spent that time getting a plant to me and they would have had one more very happy customer. The person I dealt with was lazy and border line rude.
Company representative comment on May 24, 2007: On May 24, 2007 2:50 PM, Cistus Nursery added:
Mr. Griep has never placed an order with nor received plants from Cistus Nursery. We continue to offer thousands of plants, including three different forms of Acnistus, to our customers all over the world. We have had an amazing shipping season and are proud to have provided hard to find plant material to customers throughout the US and world. Our actual shipping costs to the east coast are often higher than the prices we charge, and that does not include pulling the plant, the packing materials and packing time and expertise. We are a small nursery and consistently try to go out of our way to accommodate our customers. Mr. Grieps expectation for our rural mail carrier to be able to pick up 20 boxes a day is unreasonable.
Below is the entire correspondence between myself and Mr. Griep, beginning with the last comments.
On Apr 25, 2007, at 3:32 PM, Dale Griep wrote:
You are either lazy or dim, I really can't tell which.
On April 25, 2007 3:12:08 PM PDT, Joshua Mccullough wrote:
Sorry for the amount of time it has taken me to get back to you. I appreciate all the good information. Would be glad to take your order as previously stated at actual cost ($10) with our carrier, DHL. It is just too much to get alternate boxes, call the carrier, etc. so that is all I can offer at this time. I will explore your suggested method more as I am able.
Hope you have a chance to visit some day and not have to worry about shipping!
503 621-9657 fax
22711 NW Gillihan Road
Sauvie Island, Oregon 97231 http://www.cistus.com
On Apr 18, 2007, at 2:34 PM, Dale Griep wrote:
Josh, the USPS will pick up packages, Your letter carrier would be happy to take it with them. If you ask they will give you a free box (to help keep you costs down). I am guessing that you have rural delivery.
Yes, I am willing to take responsiblity if you ship US Mail. You should be able to ship one bareroot plant via Priority Mail in a Flat Rate box for $8.10. and it will be here in 2 days. There are other options with the Post Office and they are faster than DHL or UPS. I have sent single plants for as low as 4.05. First class only takes three days.
I ship plants all over the country and it never takes over 3 days via Priority Mail.
Here is their website...
With a flat rate box (weight does not matter) you should be able to ship up to three 1gallon bareroot plants, if they are modest sized (foilage). Some places I order from have cut back the foliage a modest amount, others down to nubs and some not at all.
On Apr 17, 2007, at 2:22:59 PM, Joshua McCullough wrote:
Our ground shipping option (DHL) costs us $10 and will be 7 days in transit. The post office is 10 miles away. If you are willing to take full responsibility for how the plants look on arrival I would be glad to process an order as such.
I am wouldn't mind if you bare root it in a flat rate box/priority mail with the USPS. Acnictis can handle 3 days in a box.
On April 17, 2007 12:53:02 PM PDT Joshua McCullough wrote:
Thanks for your inquiry. That is the way our shipping is set up. It does penalize people wanting only one plant in some cases. If you are interested in ordering this and dissuaded by the shipping cost I could see about a direct shipping quote.
You have a plant I want, Acnistus australis 'Lago Azul'. My zipcode is 33605. Do I understand correctly that the shipping on this $12 plant is $21?
ecrane3 Dublin, CA (Zone 9a) (30 reviews) August 10, 2006
I just discovered Cistus, and they have the rarer and more unusual plants that I love! Not only that, but my plants arrived very promptly and in wonderful condition. My only suggestion would be I wish there was regular online ordering, instead of having to call or fax in the order form--a very minor gripe though and not something that would stop me from purchasing in the future. I'll definitely order again!
A Triple A+ rating on all accounts. The plants are of superb quality and very reasonably priced for the size and quality. Shipping is very fast and at cost, packaging is excellent. And their customer service is just unbeatable - there was a confusion with one of the plants that I ordered and they sent a replacement at no charge. They also stayed on top of the problem until it was resolved. Their inventory of rare plants is also quite impressive. This company deserves to be more widely known - I will do my part among my friends and will order from them regularly.
The best..best place I ever dealt with. Plants were humongous (?) fantastic looking and with BLOOMS. Packed professionally, rec'd in superb condition. Visits their website once a week at least. EXCELLENT JOB.
Doris in Fresno
RWhiz Spring Valley, CA (Zone 10a) (6 reviews) August 16, 2005
Last year I ordered two Bomareas along with some other things. One did well, the other passed on. When the plants arrived, they were in excellent condition and packaged outstandingly. I take responsibility for killing the one plant.
Anyway, I e-mailed them and let them know how the plants were doing and mentioned that one expired. They promptly replied they could send another one free of charge.
I didn't take up the offer because it was my fault. But is that service or what?
I just received my second order from Cistus. Both orders were processed and arrived in less than a week, in perfect condition. The plants are huge! This is by far the best place to buy rare plants. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Be sure to look at the 2004 catalog.
I visited this nursery a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved the place and the staff. They were immensely helpful and all the plants I purchased are doing great. I highly recommend this nursery and the prices are super.
Unbelievable! I just received an 8' Crinodendron hookeri from these guys. They strapped it in box on a pallet and took care of FedEx shipping. A rare plant, specimen sized arrived 3000 miles away still in full bloom. A pleasure to work with. Can't say enough good things about them.