Photo by Melody

The scoop on 'Clivia USA'

  Company Profile  
Clivia USA

Mailing Address:
8 Ocean View Road
Swampscott, Massachusetts 01907 (United States)

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Recent reviews:
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This company offers a variety of plants and seeds.

This company specializes in:

  Feedback History and Summary  
9 positives
No neutrals
2 negatives


Negative robeezee3
Millstone Township, NJ (Zone 6a)
(20 reviews)
November 26, 2017
Posted on November 26, 2017, updated November 26, 2017

I received a Clivia plant from these folks that did not resemble the picture (the leaf edges of a variegated specimen plant had been cut off with a scissor). I then received an email from a Jon Gilman explaining that the specimen that was sent to me had been burned due to over fertilization and if I was dissatisfied, I could have my money back if I requested it within 60 days. I was surprised that they would send out a plant in this condition. Nevertheless, I potted it and hoped for the best.

Forty five days later, the plant still looked pretty sad. I wrote and requested the refund he had offered. I received a terse note talking about the proprietor's health problems, with a closing comment "we'll get to it when we get to it." The author's name was not on the note.

Weird? Yeah, pretty much.
Professional? Not in the least.
Would I do Business with CliviaUSA again: Nope.
On November 26th, 2017, robeezee3 added the following:

Shortly after I posted the comment above, I received two childish and abusive emails from this firm, both unsigned.

Still Weird? Absolutely
Professional: You be the judge

I've purchased a total of 40 clivia plants from vendors on eBay (including some located in China). All transactions have gone without incident. There is a lesson in there somewhere.

Company representative comment on November 26, 2017:
On Nov 26, 2017 6:58 PM, Clivia USA responded with:

First off. Our site has a no returns policy. However this plant had I think 2 leaves trimmed so I decided to give this person 60 days to get a refund if the plant had health issues. Often we refund instead of shipping at all, however I do this when a plant looks otherwise healthy, and this one did. Strong roots, other leaves strong etc.

I received an email from him on the 19th with a forwarded email from the 17th he said he sent stating he wanted a refund. I informed him that there was a medical issue in our family (actually turned into a death) and that I would refund him ASAP. I refunded him on the 22nd, 3 days later.

Those are the actual facts of this matter.

On Nov 27, 2017 2:08 AM, Clivia USA added:

Here are the entire contents of the 2 "Childish and Abusive Emails" That this person is referring to.

"You know, you probably should have checked your account because I refunded you the purchase price of this plant on 11/22"


"Wow, your fun. I had a family member die. Sorry we didnt give you your refund quickly enough."

Everyone is entitled to their opinions. That is both the positive and the negative thing about the internet. However I do disagree with exaggeration on the internet. We did not say "We will get to it when we will get to it.". That infers that we did not care, or that we were intending not to honor our word. That is exaggeration for effect. Same with pretty much all the hyperbole here. No matter who you are, Pauper, Prince, or President, I believe you should always simply tell the truth. Its far easier. It requires no obfuscation, exaggeration or folksy hyperbole. It just is.

The fact? This entire complaint has to do with a refund that was made 3 days before this complaint was ever made, about an email that was sent on a Sunday, responded to on the same day telling the customer there would be a delay, and refunded the next Wed.

The customer, in one of his many many "Fun" responses. angrily wrote that I did not send him an email about the refund. For purpose of full transparency, I personally did not. However our system did. It sends emails on every refund automatically. I did not need to send one personally.

I am sure this person will think of more ways to write nasty things on the internet. We will no longer be responding to them. We are out of facts.

Positive mgdsvegies
Asheville, NC (Zone 7a)
(4 reviews)
September 7, 2017
I ordered a Clivia seed from this company, and I am very happy with my experience. I've never tried growing Clivia from seed, but I followed their directions to the letter, and my seed is already germinating after only a week! This was a pre-order, so they helpfully gave the expected release date, followed by a heads-up when it shipped. The packing was good, with the seed sealed in a tiny bag and well-padded with bubble wrap.
Positive chancremechanic
Wartrace, TN (Zone 7a)
(13 reviews)
February 3, 2016
This company offers decent prices for clivias of all types and colors. The plants are usually seedlings, at least mine were, but they have at least two leaves growing. They also have a Facebook site that allows one to seek answers from experienced growers to questions such as clivia cultivation, breeding, pest control, et al. I would definitely purchase clivias from CliviiaUSA in the future. I would rather purchase from these folks than from Ebay.
Positive monkle
Bethel, ME
(1 review)
July 2, 2014
Just bought 2 slips from them. Arrived very well packed. Good root systems. Healthy leaves. They even sent me an extra yellow clivia! Very good service and will definitely buy from them again. Also helpful and informative web site.
Positive Eric_OH
Columbus, OH (Zone 6a)
(55 reviews)
February 8, 2013
I ordered clivia seed from this company.

Good selection, fast shipping, helpful instructions, fat healthy seed and very good germination rate add up to an "A" rating.
Positive bluecolumbine
Milwaukee, WI
(5 reviews)
November 6, 2012
Bought a few seedlings from this place. The seedlings were shipped quickly and appeared to be very healthy upon arrival. The owners of the store were good about accommodating a special request I had about shipping. I'd buy from this place again.
Positive avarose1
(1 review)
September 29, 2012
Cliviausa is a great company to shop at for clivias .I have done business with them since early 2011. They are always very helpfull with all my plant questions. I was amazed they responed so quickly to my E MAILS . The selection is huge and a price for every budget. Their plants and service are so good I dont need to look elsewhere.
Positive C_robusta
(1 review)
September 29, 2012
Fun to buy here! Exciting choice of Clivia treasures I would never have found elsewhere. Healthy, well-germinating seeds. Very nice communication, quick, kind and useful free advice whenever needed. I have bought here repeatedly, never disappointed, and I will certainly continue to look in regularly. Highly recommended thanks a lot!
Positive logan33
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
(1 review)
September 22, 2012
I have ordered from CliviaUSA multiple times and have always been happy with the offsets, seedlings, and seeds I've received. Jon is always prompt and helpful with any questions I have for him about their plants. I'm sure I'll buy from them again and happily recommend them to others.
Negative fpgill
Sudbury, MA (Zone 6a)
(28 reviews)
September 22, 2012
Posted on September 21, 2012, updated September 22, 2012
I purchased a "rooted offset" of 'Sunrise, Sunset' clivia from this company via ebay. Received a very small division with a single root. When I questioned the company, they said they had sent the wrong item, told me to return it, and they would send me the correct offset of Sunrise, Sunset plus refund my return shipping.

So, I mailed it back. They contacted me and said they couldn't refund return shipping because "paypal was down" and offered me a 1 leaf clivia seedling in the color of my choice as an alternative to getting refund of return shipping, along with the original offset I'd bought.

(OK, so red flags are going up here, as any reputable breeder knows, there is no guarantee of color in hybrid clivia seedlings that haven't flowered. Many are simply orange as with the standard C. miniata).

I declined the offer of a one leaf seedling and opted for a refund of return shipping. Next thing I know, the company has refunded not only return shipping, but my original purchase price, and refused to send what I bought. No explanation was given for their refusal to ship despite my inquiry. I don't know what's going on with this company, but I would never consider dealing with them in the future.
On September 22nd, 2012, fpgill added the following:

Please at least be truthful in your comments. I received a 7" offset, 3 leaves, one root. I complained about the condition - you claimed you'd sent the wrong seedling (which was confirmed by the tag you'd sent) and offered to send the correct one after I returned it. "Rip the roots off"? That's ridiculous - I returned it in the condition I received it, mailed back the same day.

I returned it in THE SAME BOX you sent it in, wrapped in the same paper toweling - so obviously the packaging was just fine with you.

I'm not going to get into some ridiculous back and forth situation here. For anyone who wants to check out this person's business practices they should try reading the yahoo group clivia-enthusiast (which I should have done before purchasing). Buy at your own risk.
Company representative comment on September 22, 2012:
On Sep 21, 2012 7:46 PM, Clivia USA responded with:

This person is telling baically the truth excrpt for a few small issues. First...we take great care in growing our plants and in shipping them. When this person emailed me expressing dissatisfaction we did indeed offer to replace the plant.

Then the offset returned. An 18" offset was folded into a 6" box and all its roots were removed. FOLDED. This person purposefully killed a wonderful offset for spite. Our response. Our total oh so terrible response...was to give him back every penny he spent and refuse to send another plant we had spent more than 2 years growing to someone who would kill it for absoluty no good reason whatsoever.

As you can see...not a nice guy.

On Sep 22, 2012 10:14 AM, Clivia USA added:

Yes our business practice of giving you a full refund was so totally terrible. I hope people realize the ridiculousness of all this. This man is out NOTHING. We paid for the plant. We paid for him to ship back our killed plant. His total complaint is we offered to replace a plant he said had "too few roots" with one that had more roots (when he said it had too few roots Barry told me I must have shipped the wrong one which I passed on) and that I had the gall to offet his shipping cost with the unholy spawn of satan himself...oops I mean a 20.00 seedling to replace the 6 BUCKS he spent on shipping. I WAS TRYING TO BE NICE. The responses you are seeing are the responses we got for offering that. Between the very bad shape our poor plant came back in and the over-reaction(s) I personally decided to simply GIVE THE MAN ALL HIS MONEY BACK. If the reader, as another normal human being thinks they could have responded to this sort of thing in a more businesslike manner...and note that before this persons public comments we said NOTHING to him about ANY of this and just gave him ALL HIS MONEY BACK TAKING A NET 12.00 LOSS JUST IN SHIPPING ON A 12.00 PLANT

On Sep 22, 2012 10:34 AM, Clivia USA added:

Sorry im writing from a phone amd hit submit. It was actually a 11.20 loss on 12. If you can sit back amd deal with this sort of thing better than we tried to...oh and has anyone mentioned yet that the original request from this....person...was for a full refund? It was. He got WHAT HE ASKED US FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE. Not less shipping costs
. Not with a restocking fee. Not with any form of sass. Nothing but what he actually asked for. The offer to spend 17 dollars in total shipping to get him a 12 dollar plant came from ME. The offer to spend 41 dollars total came from ME. And frankly when he fold spindled and mutilated a perfectly nice offset and followed that up with the insults about our seed and seedling stock I could not in good conscience do so. So we, again...did him the terrible terrible disservice of GIVING HIM A FULL REFUND INCLUDING ALL SHIPPING. Yes. We sometimes get comments just like this one. Why? We ask yourself if you were in our shoes if you would find yourself with this comment. We are humans. Worse you deal with the owners not some peon in India whos job it is to take crap all day and who is totally divested from the actual company he works for. Heck I am still giving myself a pat on the back for giving Mr lives 10 minutes away from me his money back instead of a nice bop on the nose. So...if you feel you could deal with someone coming to your front door and telling you everything YOU do is crap...give that person a cookie...have them start running up and down the street screaming to your neighbors that you tried to poison him with a cookie and handle that better than Jon Gilman, son and co-owner of the 2 man little pop shop known as CliviaUSA then

On Sep 22, 2012 10:44 AM, Clivia USA added:

you are a better man woman or ewok than me. I did my best for this...person. However unlike "Kevin" with that Indian accent I spent the time and sweat growing both our plants and our relationships. I made a decision with Mr. 10 minutes to give him his money back instead of anything else and I totally stand behind that decision. I will never really understand the level of total hostility this person is spewing all over the internet over being offered a seedling FOR HIS RETURN SHIPPING COST ONLY and after totally blowing his stack and killing our plant getting a full refund. If you understand that then probably we arent tje right guys for you.

Positive musaboru
(Zone 9b)
(25 reviews)
November 16, 2011
Awesome! For many catalog items, the plant you see is the plant you will recieve (of course this excludes seeds and some hybrid seedlings but at least their size are described).

My order was filled promptly and I received my plants exactly 1 week after I placed the order. Their condition was great when they arrived.

Highly reccomended. Not to mention, the prices are very reasonable for such a niche vendor. I'm so thrilled with my order.

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