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Comments regarding Inter-State Nurseries

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6 positives
3 neutrals
63 negatives


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Negative tombaak
(25 reviews)
On May 19, 2017, tombaak High Desert, NV (Zone 5a) wrote:

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been returned, but told me that the company would only refund to the debit card that paid and since the debit card was no longer valid (checking account had been closed due to death) they had no way to refund the orders.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 Darrell72223
(1 review)
On Apr 16, 2014, Darrell72223 Little Rock, AR wrote:

I was excited when I received this catalog in the mail. The catalog looked very good and the prices are great. But I have had an experience similar to others who have posted here. I placed orders from many companies at the same time. The plants from those other companies not only have been received; they are thriving and growing. I've not received my order from Interstate Nurseries, so I cannot comment on the quality of the product. I'm a little concerned having read the other reviews.

I have made one phone call, and multiple emails to them. One email dated March 24 (which was weeks after the order) stated that they were "currently shipping to your area." We have had many email exchanges since then inquiring about the shipping of my order. The replies are always very vague. I kept replying to the same email thread with them. A particularly frustrating response from them was "can you provide us your name and mailing address so we can look into this." Several days later I get the same reply -- it's in shipping, yada, yada, yada.

I just want my plants. Yesterday.

Negative justbeenhad13
(1 review)
On Jul 23, 2013, justbeenhad13 Provo, UT wrote:

The order I just received today 7/23/13, was a replacement for the first order. Nothing in the first order lived. I opened the order I got today and the roots on the trees were dry as a bone. When you try and scratch the bark, it is hard and brown. Interstate claims to have been in business over a hundred years. Anyone who has ever done any gardening knows, On most things when the roots are dried out ,the plant is dead. Save you money and don't order from Interstate.

On Jul 23, 2013, Inter-State Nurseries responded with:

"On Jul 30, 2013 2:54 PM, Inter-State 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.

We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee and stand behind them.

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

Negative smurfwv
(5 reviews)
On Jun 2, 2011, smurfwv Cabin Creek, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:

Posted on June 1, 2011, updated June 2, 2011
I placed an order with interstate nursery the 2nd week of May 2011. I got a billbergia zebrina, and a pussy willow tree. Have not recieved them.

I called today (June 1 2011) I also called 2 weeks ago and was told it would be 4-6 weeks to recieve, it took a week for them to charge us for the online order..

Finally after 30 minutes of busy signals and someone answered. I was told my order was shipped may 25 2011, if so it would take 2-3 days to get here by usps.

I order from nurseries and on ebay from several states to my home in charleston wv and it never takes more than 2-4 days to get these plants (excluding thailand, germany and the uk, even then it takes about 1-2 weeks to get overseas orders and thats good considering interstate nursery still hasn't sent my order).

The lady on the phone said 7-14 days, so i asked for a tracking number, she said they don't have one and packages are only tracked after 30 days on non-reciept. I then asked if there's no tracking number, how do you track it, she said they had their own tracking system.

This is nonsense, these people are as bad as tyty nursery in Georgia. I also will not order from Burgess now, or any company within 100 miles of Bloomington Illinois. The only reason I placed an order was because the billbergia was not available anywhere else. Avoid all nurseries in or near Bloomington ILL.

On June 2nd, 2011, smurfwv added the following:

I recieved my order today, June 2, it was in a green plastic bag. My 2 pussy willow bushes are twigs, no leaves, no soil and no pot, dry roots. My Billbergia Zebrina was in a small box that was stapled shut, it was crushed. I actually got someone on the phone, of course they wanted me to return the dead items before getting a refund. I explained to her about all the complaints from this site, she said they have been doing this for years and customers are very happy with it. I recieved my plants in a big bag, and like i said the willows have no soil, no wet towel, nothing wrapped around them. So my only option is have a charge back done by the bank for $18 wasted dollars. I also posted a video of what I recieved on youtube. //
Negative Lilyofthenight
(4 reviews)
On May 25, 2011, Lilyofthenight Victoria, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Posted on May 12, 2011, updated May 25, 2011
Well... I gotten taken for a ride TWICE by Burgess seed company this year. BEFORE I found this site. I won't go into details about my awful experience with a sister company to this one.
This company however has the same poor-quality merchandise and service.
My order from this company arrived a few days ago. The trees were just thrown into a bag, all dried out and pitiful looking. I also ordered a queens tears plant that seems to be barely clinging to life.
I am not going to ask for a refund, because I KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN. I will get the SAME RUNAROUND and EXCUSES that I got from the sister company.
I DO KNOW However that anytime I see a company associated with Burgess Seed I am AVOIDING THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE !!
I just consider the money I lost from these companies a hard lesson learned. But I will be telling everyone I know here that gardens all about these horrible companies and direct them here to the watchdog if they have any doubts.

On May 25th, 2011, Lilyofthenight added the following:

Well... I was correct (go figure with this company's reputation).
All 5 trees I ordered were dried out twigs that probably lost ANY sign of life before they were even shipped. I have done everything in my power to revive them...including hardening them off from transplant shock.. etc. NOTHING!! Still dried up pitiful TWIGS!!!
The Queens Tears.. which I would like to mention will thrive on neglect is even looking like a sad sack of SH^#.
It's about 2 inches tall and has avout 3 leaves (or shoots) that MIGHT make it should I cintinue to babysit it 24/7.
Oh Yea.... They threw in a free "RUBY STELLA D'ORO from a previous order a few months ago..Guess what??
It's Yellow, not red and not even a Stella.

No more to say, I am out of here.
Buyer beware.....SERIOUSLY
Negative plantsrus
(4 reviews)
On May 4, 2011, plantsrus Meridian, MS wrote:

I ordered several plants from this company. The plants were disgustingly small. The two azaleas died first year and Interstate replaced with two more as well as the two rose bushes (which were also very small). I gave them TLC and put them in large pots with good soil. They were way too small to plant outside in the yard. They told me to send the shipping label and information which I did and received no response. I finally emailed them after waiting over a month to hear from them and they told me they could not replace a second time, but would consider it if I would send them a copy of the shipping/packing slip. I emailed them a copy of that with my original email and also told them I had mailed the original to them March 18, 2011. Why ask a second time and a second refusal to replaced. Michigan Bulb may send small plants, but do carry a lifetime guarantee. Interstate's plants are so tiny for the price and the liklihood of survival is slim to none. They have no growth on them to begin with. I won't buy from Inter-state again ever.

Negative flowermaiden2
(17 reviews)
On May 10, 2010, flowermaiden2 Saint Maries, ID wrote:

First, it's interesting that this company is associated with Burgess Seeds. If you want to know my experience with that outfit, go over to Burgess Seeds and read my posts there.

Meanwhile, I learned the hard way about three years ago to steer clear of Inter-State Nurseries. I ordered from them, then, and they lost my order. I had to reorder, and they sent these pitiful little plugs that had mesh around them and dead-looking plants that didn't do anything at all in the ground. I had placed my initial order just before leaving home to take care of my ailing dad in Nevada. My husband stayed in touch with me concerning my plant orders, and I told him to watch for one from Inter-State Nurseries. It never came, and I finally had to contact them from my dad's house. That's when they agreed to send the replacements, which I planted immediately after returning home. They were just awful, as I've already stated.

They still send me their catalog, but I have ordered absolutely nothing from them, since. Once burned, twice shy! Judging from all the negative comments I'm still seeing here about them, it's clear they haven't improved any, and I don't feel they merit a second chance.

On May 10, 2010, Inter-State Nurseries responded with:

"On Sep 3, 2010 1:07 PM, Inter-State Nurseries responded with:

We are sorry to hear that this customer had a problem with an order from us a few years ago. It sounds as though there may have been a delivery problem with the post office or the address involved since the customer apparently didnt receive the first shipment that was sent. Perhaps this caused a delay with the second package as well if all of the product arrived dead. Much of our product is shipped in a dormant condition which can appear dead, but the plants should come out of dormancy within 6 weeks of planting in warm weather. We do have a one year guarantee and are sorry that it appears the customer did not take advantage of this.

(1 review)
On Mar 12, 2010, PAULAEVA Litchfield, NE wrote:

If you are tempted to order from a Plantron company be sure to SAVE THE PACKING SLIPS because you may have problems for more than a year. If you are about shipping ACCURACY or are looking to work out a specific COLOR combo go elsewhere.

I ordered a blue rose-it was pink but it didn't bloom the first year so I couldn't get it replaced.

I ordered a purple DOro-it was red but it bloomed then first year so I requested a replacement it was a dull yellow and not even a DOro.

The magnolia died after about 18 mo.

I will never order from a Plantron company again.

On Mar 12, 2010, Inter-State Nurseries responded with:

"On Sep 3, 2010 1:08 PM, Inter-State Nurseries responded with:

We have found that this customer placed an order from 2007 for 4 items which includes the 3 mentioned above. Since the magnolia died 1 years after planting, this would seem to indicate a problem with its environment or care rather than a reflection on how it was shipped. The Blue Moon Rose can turn more pink in alkaline soils rather than be lavender-blue, and we would therefore suggest that she try some acidic fertilizer to bring out the blue color. We do agree that some of the Purple dOro Daylilies shipped in 2007 were incorrect and bloomed red. We sent her replacements as she mentions, and are surprised to learn that these replacement were also not Purple dOro, but bloomed yellow. We wish she would have taken advantage of her one year guarantee when these bloomed in 2008."

Negative hollyengel
(2 reviews)
On Apr 1, 2009, hollyengel wrote:

This company is also associates with:
Burgess Seed
Farmers Seed & Nursery

I WILL NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH THESE JERKS AGAIN!!!! I don't care how cheap their prices are....I to inquire about a order I had placed 2 months earlier and spoke with the most ill-mannered, abrupt person EVER....the conversation just went down hill from there....she told me my order had shipped out 12 days prior....I asked if that would be "ok" for the plants to be in transit so long, and she VERY kurtly informed me they had been in business for 120 years....I then said..."that's great, however I have not been doing business with you for 120 years and it worries me on what condition the plants will be in sitting in differnent post offices for almost 2 weeks"....she then very abruptly asked "what else do you need" that point I simply hung up....I called back hoping to get someone else....and boy did I....the 2nd girl was worse than the first....she YELLED at me..."I don't know what your problem is if the other lady provided the information you needed!!!" I then asked who her supervisor was and she told me it was the first lady I spoke with...when I asked her the other ladies supervisor was, this call YELLED "I DON'T KNOW"....I responded with "yes you just don't want to give it to me"....then the girl says....."I DONT KNOW WHAT YOUR PROBLEM IS" this point I was VERY offended and angry and YELLED some obsenitites and hung up on her.....I WILL NEVER-EVER DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY AGAIN....

Negative krispykricket
(1 review)
On Mar 12, 2009, krispykricket Huntington, WV wrote:

I ordered 3 plants on January 24, 2009. As of March 12, 2009 I have not received my plants or any word from them regarding my order. I have attempted to call them three times at different times on 3 different days. Every time I call I get a busy signal. This company had some sort of a major problem but I don't know what it is. I will not attempt to buy from this company again. I would not recommend their service to anyone!

Negative rickstaats
(1 review)
On Jan 29, 2009, rickstaats wrote:

I received a catalog from interstate nurseries full of all sorts of incredible bargains on roses. One such bargain was a climbing peace rose which they claimed was a zone 4. I then called and asked them if it was on its own root. The lady I talked to said yes it was. I then went to Google and found your site under interstate nurseries. I called them back and asked the question " what kind of root are these roses on?" rather than " are these own root roses?". THey directed me to a supervisor who did not know and had never heard of own root roses and she told me that she contacted the vendor and the vendor did not supply that kind of information.
Peace Roses are normally listed as zone 5 or 6 on a bush. There is no way a climber on its own root, if such could be had, could be zone 4. I told the lady that and she said " Oh no, if we label it as zone 4 it must be zone 4." I said they were misrepresenting their product. I then asked her when they would be delivered, and she said sometime in March, April, or May. I asked if they could be more specific. She said no.
I said "well lady, the plants have a calendar."
After seeing on your site that interstate nurseries is affiliated with Burgess seeds, and several other nurseries in bloomington, illinois, I feel it is imperative that the plant buying public be aware that this company is misrepresenting its products in such a way as to be described as a scam. I would also reccommend that the plant buying public stay away from Burgess seeds and anything coming from bloomington, Illinois.
Richard Staats, Bonners Ferry (way up north), Idaho
74 Uplander Road
Bonners Ferry, ID

Negative carolealana
(1 review)
On Jan 1, 2009, carolealana Greenville, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Ordered trees and a rose bush from Interstate Nursery. The items came in a large manilla like long envelope, which had torn and you could see dried up roots sticking out of the bag. There was NO packing material of ANY kind, they just plunked these poor plants in the bag and off we go! Called the "customer service" number and was instructed I would have to pay to return the plants. I felt sorry for these poor plants so went ahead and planted them, they died of course. But I was not going to add insult to my injury already by having to dig them up, and pay to mail them back so you eat your loss. Had asked for a supervisor to call me, and was instructed that "They never call customers". No wonder, they have such awful service they would be on the phone all day with problems. My advice -- don't EVER buy from this bad bad company. You get very substandard plants, packed incredibly bad and absolutely NO customer service.
Is there a grade worse than F? They should get it if so.

Negative staniforth
(6 reviews)
On Apr 9, 2008, staniforth Bellevue, WA wrote:

Placed my Internet order on Jan 16/2008 understanding that shipping starts in early

March. I'm in "Z8" so hoped to receive plants reasonably early after their early March shipping start or close to April 1 if the stock was out of their nursery. Sent them an e-mail in March asking for shipment soonest. NO Response. Sent them a FAX on Mar 30 to which, on Mar 31 received e-mail from Gerry Roe advised he'd ship Mar 31 or April 1. Had to prod them twice to get that response. Nothing had arrived by April 7 so sent 2nd FAX, 3rd request for a shipping date. And this said, advise a shipping date or cancel order. Nothing arrived by April 8!

Time frames may not be major however my planting plans are based on available crew time and this was a small trial order. Plants Delight, Bluestone, Worldplants, ForestFarm, Annie's and others filled my large orders,

So no big deal, this Company could use a lot of Customer Service training but I won't be again affected. First & last order!

All because some guy couldn't care about responses!!! I don't do business this way!

On April 12th, 2008, staniforth added the following:

Today, April 11, received a copy of my FAX, "2nd Request", with copy of my order stapled to it with a penciled note-: "Your order has been processed & will ship shortly". Nice. thank-you! It's wait and see.
On April 16th, 2008, staniforth added the following:

April 15, 2008, Plants arrived by US Postal Svce. I was surprised to discover that I'd received "bare root" stock. No doubt this was covered in the catalogue, but I must have missed it. Soaked and planted everything immediately. Let's hope! Stan
Negative dryad57
(1 review)
On Jan 24, 2008, dryad57 Scottsburg, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I was prepared to order some roses from this company, but in the process of reviewing their entire catalog was stunned to see that they are offering plants that are invasive in the US: chameleon plant (Houttuynia) and Royal Empress Tree (Paulownia tomentosa). Based on such marketing decisions I have opted to use other vendors.

Negative marmbrust
(1 review)
On Dec 7, 2006, marmbrust Paso Robles, CA wrote:

I placed 2 orders with this company. Credit card was charged immediately. Both orders were shipped split shipment about 2 months after the card was charged. The tree rose and the Tea Rose looked DOA but I planted them anyway. Neither of them sproted. The other plants were covered with black slim. On contacting the company, I asked for a refund. Their policy says no refund unless you send back the plants with the necessary paper work in 30 days. all the plants were long gone. They did send me a replacement certificate. I would rather not have to try this company again. Wish me luck. (I've had trouble with another affiliated comany. None of their plants lived. They did replace them, but the replacement plants were just as bad and they did'nt live either.)

On Dec 7, 2006, Inter-State Nurseries responded with:


On Dec 20, 2006 2:32 PM, Inter-State Nurseries added:

This customer placed 2 orders with our company. The first order was placed 1/26/06. We do not begin shipping nursery stock for the spring season until March 1 as indicated on the website from which she placed the order. This order shipped on March 1. The second order was placed on 3/2 and shipped in 2 packages. The majority of the order shipped 3/10, with a few of the daylily shipping later on 4/1/06.

We were sorry to hear that some of her items died. She did write to us that about 1/2 of the orders did not survive and a merchandise credit certificate was issued as she states above."

Negative mstrainer2000
(1 review)
On Aug 18, 2006, mstrainer2000 Oneida, NY wrote:

I ordered 4 Raspberry Splash Pulmonaria from this company--in a buy one, get one for 1cent sale.

I was very surprised at how small the plants were. They came in very tiny pots (probably 1.5 inch pots?) and were poorly packaged. Each pot had a small green stake in it to keep if from sliding around the box. This was the only protection provided for the plants.

But even so--2 looked ok, considering most of the leaves/stems were broken. The other two plants were almost dead and partially rotten.

I am happy to report that a 2 months later--2 of these plants are growing wonderfully--at least 5 times bigger then when I planted them. The 2 that looked rotted are still alive and hanging in there--but the leaves are yellowed, and they are only about twice the size they originally were. I have spent a lot of time nursing these plants along--much more time then other plants in my garden require.

I probably will never buy from this company again as they use bait and switch tactics. They show pictures of beautiful, healthy adult plants, but that is not what you get. You get tiny little plants that really look like crap compared to the pictures they use in thier catalogs and advertisements.

I guess you get what you pay for. I keep thinking it is the one cent plants that are doing so poorly, lol.

And I am keeping my shipping label so I can get new plants if the two sickly ones die. I am concerned the two sickly plants may not survive the winter.

On Aug 18, 2006, Inter-State Nurseries responded with:


On Sep 7, 2006 9:19 AM, Inter-State Nurseries added:

Our Raspberry Splash Pulmonaria was shipped this year in 2 1/2" pots. Although some companies may ship plants in bigger containers, the price the customer
pays is almost always considerably higher.

It is standard practice in the nursery mail order industry to picture plants at maturity. In fact, we aren't aware of any company that does otherwise. This lets the customer know what the plant will look like when it is grown. Neither are we aware of any consumer mail-order nursery company that would attempt to ship full grown grown plants, trees, etc.

In addition, all of our orders are covered by our one year replacement guarantee--even the items purchased as part of the one cent sale. We hope that if any of this customer's pulmonaria die, she will take advantage of this guarantee.


Negative lproberts
(1 review)
On Jul 1, 2006, lproberts Galivants Ferry, SC wrote:

In January I purchased a yellow rose tree. Well in March I received my tree. I then planted it and it was doing great. Well I noticed that the buds on the roses were very small. A couple of weeks later it bloomed and it was red and not even the kind of roses I wanted. I called the nursery and they told me to send the shipping lable back to them I explained that I had lost, and the lady I spoke with said that was no problem just send a copy of my charge card statement showing that I had purchased it. Well two weeks later I get the whole letter back saying that we need the shipping lable. So I called them back this time I sopke with a man. He was no nice at all, I told him what the lady had told me and he told me well they must have not looked on the back page to see the credit card statement..Now he wants me to send it back to them. I explained to him the ummer would be over by the time I got another one. He acted like he did not care about that.

Well here it is July and I have still not heard a word from them. There is no excuse for that kind of business. My next step is to contact the Better Business B, because they should be put out of business with all the wrong those guys do. Just look at all the negative comments the get. Sounds like they are just there to rip people off.
Order at your own risk.

Louis Roberts

On Jul 1, 2006, Inter-State Nurseries responded with:


On Sep 2, 2006 8:46 AM, Inter-State Nurseries added:

A dmail was sent to this customer on 7/7/06. The replacement request he sent in June was received and processed. The rose shipped 7/17/06."

Negative thripmaster
(2 reviews)
On Jun 14, 2006, thripmaster Monroe, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Terrible experience with this company! I buy lots of plants through mail order companies so I am used to having to baby them along. The plants I got from Inter-State arrived well past the optimum planting time and had no hope of living. The mums were soft, rotten and stinking! The hosta was black, soft and rotten, the arborvitaes were brown and dried up! Customer service would not replace the plants or refund money because I threw out the original packing slip when I unpacked them. I will never buy from them again.

On Jun 14, 2006, Inter-State Nurseries responded with:


On Jul 25, 2006 1:47 PM, Inter-State Nurseries added:

A dmail was sent to this customer offering replacements. We have not yet had a reply."

Negative kmjul
(1 review)
On Oct 16, 2005, kmjul Bloomfield, IN wrote:

My mother ordered some bulbs from this company in early May. She never received her order, and so she called Interstate nurseries and told them. They told her to wait a few more days and see if the order came. She waited, and no order was ever received. By June she asked for a refund and was told it would be sent. She never received her refund and called them and did not get anywhere. She had been telling me of her trouble with the order since it began. So I called and told them my mother wanted a her refund check she was promised. They told me, no one had promised her a refund. In fact, they had sent another order at my mother's request. I told them this was mistake, but they insisted my mother had asked for the shipment to be resent. I explained that this was impossible, because it would be too late to plant the bulbs. Besides, my mother had the name of the person to whom she had spoke and who told her the company would process her refund. The woman I spoke with was firm in her position, and told me that whoever spoke to my mother and told her she was getting a refund made a mistake. I pointed out that my mother never asked for the order to be resent, and resending the order (which was also never received) was the mistake, and my mother wanted her refund. The woman at Interstate told me they had tracked the package to the post office and knew it had not been delivered, and had offered my mother a reshipment. She said my mother requested the reshipment, and I told the woman that was not correct. In fact, after June my mother had asked for a refund, and was told it would be issued. My conversation with this woman continued in this vein for several minutes, until in frustration I hung up. My mother next contacted the Illinois Attorney General, who made inquiries. After which, my mother received her refund. During this whole debacle my mother never received any shipments from that company. Amazingly, they are still defending their position to the Attorney General and insisting my mother asked for a reshipment and saying they issued the refund before being contacted by the Attorney General.
Regardless, had it not been for this web site, my mother probably would never have gotten her refund. It was after I read the messages on this web site and learned how many other people had been dealing with the same indifference that we took action. In fact, I got the idea to contact the Attorney General from this web site.

Negative ineedacupoftea
(15 reviews)
On Sep 6, 2005, ineedacupoftea Denver, CO wrote:

Same story here.
My order from them:
Green Bag with loose contents,
Dead contents,
and no help from "customer service."

It is suprising that they can survive, even with all of those names for the easily tricked.

A former employee told me that they do, in fact, mis-treat workers, instructing them to lie; and do, in fact, use dead and/or refuse from reputable greenhouses.

Negative Lynn1102
(1 review)
On May 16, 2005, Lynn1102 Bernville, PA wrote:

I have been doing business with Interstate for quite a few years with no problems. In the beginning of March, I ordered two trees, one year old Royal Empress. I ordered them specifically because they are fast growers (8 to 10 feet per year) and because of the colors. I got the trees in April and they looked terrible. Two 6 inch twigs which were completely dried up. I did plant them and they did nothig. Mid April I sent them the shipping label and asked for replacemets. They came today, May 16th, and were worse than the originals. They actually fell apart when I removed them from the tiny plastic bag of dry potting soil. I immediately called the to complain and the gal said to send in the label and try again. One more time and if I get the same thing, they are off my list.


Negative iansudano
(2 reviews)
On Apr 29, 2005, iansudano Palm Springs, CA (Zone 11) wrote:

I ordered plants in mid-january 2005, on-line and yes my card was charged immediately, after a week I called and asked for a tracking #, they told me to expect the order at the end of March.
I told them that was not satifactory and to cancel the order, they said they would only do it in writing, I emailed, faxed and mailed a cancellation order on January 24. In February I sent a letter with delivery confirmation, I called again and even though I could tell them that the letter was signed for they denied reveiving it. When I said I would contact the BBB, I was told they had a department dealing with BBB issues. I again sent a letter registered and which was receibed by them on 3/23.
I received a partial credit on 3/25 and on 4/1 I received a package which was mailed on 3/29.
I asked to speak to the manager Grace Avery and also to Richard Owen, one representative told me they dont take complaint calls only complimentary calls.
I told them on the phone that I did not want the plants, they told me to mail them back - at my cost. I laughed.
After I received the shipment I sent an additional letter to Mr Owen and Ms. Avery still no response. As for the BBB - they did nothing other than write them and respond with a copy of the form letter from them, which contained blatant lies, I rewrote to the BBB and included copies of all the written cancellation requests. Today BBB sent a letter saying there was nothing that could be done further and thank you.
They are dishonest, hate customers who wont take their lies.
BE CAREFUL VERY CAREFUL. I wish I had known of this site before the order.
In each cancellation order I asked for the catalogues to stop, Funny one now instead of one a day I get 2 6 days a week.
Yesterday I threw their unwanted plants out because I wanted the karma attached to them away from my home.
I am so pleased I saw this page about them and I am not the only one.

Negative bj2860
(2 reviews)
On Apr 11, 2005, bj2860 Montgomery, AL wrote:

I too ordered from Interstate this year. In fact I sent my order in January 05. To date I have not received all of it. I have sent numerous e-mails, and finally called. They give you the standard response. I do not have a problem with the plants. I started all of them in the house and have just planted them outside and what I received is doing fine. I just can't seem to get them to ship the items I've ordered long ago and they have cashed the checks.

Negative NetKnockout
(2 reviews)
On Apr 10, 2005, NetKnockout Gordonsville, VA wrote:

Unbelievably Bad. I cannot imagine that this company remains in business. My order still has not been completely filled. I try to call but I just a get a busy signal, I have emailed them in excess of 20 emails, only to get one reply that didn't even address my concerns. The partial order that did arrive consisted of twigs, sticks and/or mangled roots, many of which were dead, and others that were just coated in mold??? My advice: Your garden is something you love, that brings you happiness, if you have to pinch pennies, here's not the place!!!! OH, and remember this company is a division of PLANTRON - thus it has many sister companies, two of which I have dealt with, and the above applies to them as well.... : ( So sad........

On April 10th, 2005, NetKnockout added the following:

I really wish I would have read all of this before I became tangled up with this company, but anyhow I wanted to thank everyone who comes here and takes the time to place a rating and a comment.... : )
Negative digdirt
(3 reviews)
On Feb 12, 2005, digdirt Blauvelt, NY wrote:

I just wish I read all this before I ordered from these guys last spring....everyone else's postings cover it. I guess you get what you pay for, except in this case you get less than what you paid for. This catalog (and its cohorts) goes in the trash before it comes inside.

Negative Patrick331
(1 review)
On Sep 3, 2004, Patrick331 Lubbock, TX (Zone 7a) wrote:

I can only second the negative comments already posted about Inter-State. I ordered several hosta plants just to test the company. Most were DOA, the others were so small that they couldn't possibly survive. My experience may be too limited to be fair, but I wouldn't order anything else from Inter-State.

Negative invermont
(2 reviews)
On May 11, 2004, invermont shelburne,
United States wrote:

You get what you pay for. The plants arrived too early (mid-April)for Vermont's climate and were so miniscule that no amount of nursing was adequate for them to survive. The second part of my order has not arrived and I cannot get an answer about when and if it will come. My greatest beef is with sister company Kelly Nurseries where ALL the plants arrived as slimy mush. These people want customers to give up and go away. First you have to cut out the original labels through cardboard, then you have to haggle to get equally slimy replacements! Nothing beats the reputable companies like Jackson and Perkins, Wayside and White Flower FArm. They are expensive buit if local nurseries or Home Depot don't have what you want , they will have it and replacing an item just takes a phone call. That's customer service as it should be.

Negative poppy_seed
(1 review)
On May 8, 2004, poppy_seed wrote:

I ordered plants online from Interstate Nursery and several days later asked for a refund. I used the only website address available on the site, and they told me i sent my request to the wrong department but they would take care of it. Weeks went by, and I emailed them back and they responded that it sometimes takes a while for a refund to show up on your credit statement and it had been taken care of.....3 months later, still no refund, and then I get a package at my door and its the plants!!! I again searched the website and could not find a number to call, I didnt want the plants!
I planted them anyway because I didnt know what else to do, 8 of the plants were dead upon arrival. Some others have actually sprouted leaves. My creeping phlox just began blooming. Also, 6 plants I ordered were out of stock and they replaced them with other plants that are not even comparable.... I wish I had seen this website beforehand because I would have never ordered from this company. Where is the customer service department???????????

Negative JanBrWO
(1 review)
On Mar 10, 2004, JanBrWO Chestnut Hill, MA wrote:

My order was billed on my credit card 1/30/04.My understanding is that credit cards should not be billed until merchandise is shipped. Plants arrived 3/10/04, a date they should have known my garden would still be under snow in my part of the country. All the plants seem in good shape but I won't be able to plant them for another month. Fortunately I was able to heel them in in an insulated coldframe.

Negative bblauvelt
(1 review)
On Aug 21, 2003, bblauvelt wrote:

Add me to the list with 90% complaints! This company charged my card for merchandise and never shipped it! This happened 2 months ago and Ive been trying to get an order status and customer service ever since. No return email and now (8/21) I get an answer machine claiming they went home due to a power failure. The black out was last week and I never heard of a battery operated answer machine!

I managed to get the charge reversed and am filing formal complaints against this company.

Negative algoan
(2 reviews)
On Jun 4, 2003, algoan League City, TX wrote:

I live in a zone 9 planting area and need my plants early in the year before it gets too hot and dry, so I ordered in February and my check was immediately deposited. In late March, I called to check status and part of my order was back ordered and they would not ship a partial order. In April the back order was cleared and my order was packaged and not shipped. A week later it was in the same status and it was hot as the dickens in Zone 9. So I requested cancellation and they said that could only be done by mail and I agreed and requested the order not shipped. I mailed the letter the next day and the next week the plants arrived. I was given a name and a different address to write to; so I did and a month later I got a letter requesting the original shipping label, well that had been returned at the same time as the letter. Called again and told I messed up by not returning them together. Then it got ugly. I wish I had read this site before ordering and am glad that I now know all ten entities these guys hide under. I will pursue action with any one that I can. I figure I'm out of my money, postage, and long distance phone calls: wish I had known then what I know now.

Negative r_knauber
(1 review)
On Apr 24, 2003, r_knauber wrote:

This company is a joke. I ordered approxamatly $100 worth of various plants from them last fall and never recieved anything. Repeated attemptd to get them on the phone has been futile. Either it rings busy, rings forever or I get a machine telling me to call during business hours. Emails get no response. Snail mail gets no response. I had ordered from a sister company this year ( another wonderful division of Plantron), and recieved rotted dead plants. I will never order from any company affiliated with Plantron again.


Negative hbbrandon
(6 reviews)
On Apr 10, 2003, hbbrandon Clarksdale, MS wrote:

After being advised by this company that they wouldn't give a refund for their worthless plants (which were smashed to bits as a result of simply being dumped in a plastic bag for shipping) because I hadn't requested it within their 14-day deadline, I asked for an equivalent value of substitute plants, in accordance with their "guarantee." Instead, I received another form letter, advising that in keeping with their concern for satisfying customers (?), they were issuing a refund -- which was about half the amount of the order, including postage. Since I'd received nothing of value from them, I don't feel I should pay postage for their shipment . I returned the check. Stay tuned.

Negative wisconsinrose
(1 review)
On Apr 8, 2003, wisconsinrose Milwaukee, WI wrote:

Many different types of plants were ordered. When they arrived most were dead. The plants were wrapped in plastic and many were dried-out. Many plants hardly had any roots and the "pot" was barely big enough for a twig. There are two survivors from this order-- a Maria Stern rose, and a pussywillow. This is one biologist with a green thumb and a very red face. Wisconsinrose

Negative Melodie
(1 review)
On Mar 16, 2003, Melodie LaGrange, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I ordered several plants from this company. The Russian Olives were fine. However, the Magnolia's were little more than barely rooted twigs, and the Royal Empress trees arrived dead with a serious case of root rot. At least that's what I think it is, as there are not any roots to be seen. Just mush. I ordered two clematis, the roots seem to be healthy, I'll just have to wait and see how they do. I'm very disappointed. I would like to find a mail-order nursery that I can depend on.

Negative burgnblue
(1 review)
On Mar 16, 2003, burgnblue wrote:

This is the worst company I have ever dealt with! Quality is very poor. It took me 2 months to get my plants. Customer service is non-existent.

Negative testygardener
(3 reviews)
On Jan 15, 2003, testygardener Caledonia, WI wrote:

You can find at least one link via

Their phone number is (309) 663-9551.

After reviewing the postings on this site, especially from a former employee, and after going thru what I have, I think there's enough evidence to have the new State Attorney General for Illinois look into Platron trade practices.

I'll also be contacting the Federal Trade Commission but which is worse -- Plantron or the FTC?

On January 18th, 2003, testygardener added the following:

Plantron is a member of the The Better Business Bureau in Peoria where they know about the problem with refund and credits but evidently they are loath to do anything about it.

On February 20th, 2003, testygardener added the following:

Well, Kelly bought me off. But I am still angry. THEY MADE ME SO ANGRY I THOUGHT I WOULD EXPLODE!

Lest if forget: be sure t look at the back of those catalogs: you'll know in an instant whther you'd be ordering fron plantron on not.

Instead of providing me a merchandise credit, they actually credited my credit card. Hopefully I was enough of a burr in their ass and have enough law enforcement agencies looking at them to make them change their ways.

That doesn't help the next guy yet. Perhaps the most damning is their response dated Feb 3 (scanned and copied below) and then my subsequent letter to the BBB dated 2/13.


· I complained about Kelly and Plantron to the Attorneys General of WI (where I live), MN (their catalog address), and IL (their offices?).
· I wrote the Peoria County Better Business Bureau.
· I wrote the Peoria County States Attorney to offer to show up to testify if there was a suit filed against Plantron/Kelly/All the others.

If you would be willing to submit a statement or appear as a claimant, drop a postcard with your signature to
Kevin W. Lyons
Peoria County States Attorney
Peoria County Courthouse
324 Main Street, Room 111
Peoria, IL 61602
Phone: 309-672-6900
Fax: 309-672-6029
Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

My saga started when I began receiving my order. 4 heremetically sealed bags were sent Standard Mail. There is no delivery guarantee with Standard Mail -- it used to be called Bulk Rate. Four different bags arrived. I kept all the labels -- or so I thought. I actually kept only three of four -- which they tried to use as a technicality.

I tried upteen ways to get reimbursed for what they shipped in hermetically sealed bags. If the ASPCA could file suit on behalf of plants, they'd all be in jail.

Rather than bore your with ALL the correspondence that went back and forth, here's the most recent -- in order from least recent to most recent, scanned in by wonderful technology that may leave some typos. Sorry, graphics can't be included. (Items in parentheses may be my added notes)

(Recd approx 1/12)
Dear Customer,
We have received your recent letter in which you state you cannot comply with the terms of our guarantee, which clearly states that for a replacement of the unsatisfactory merchandise the SHIPPING LABEL MUST BE RETURNED.

Since you cannot comply with the terms of our guarantee we do not feel we have any further obligation in this matter. However, we will be happy to replace this unsatisfactory merchandise if you will send us a copy of your cancelled check or charge card statement, a list of the quantity and name of the items purchased, the quantity and name of the items dead, and all of this correspondence.

Sincerely yours,
(Kelly 1-8-03 ml)

My reply:


Kelly Nurseries
1708 Morrissey Drive
Bloomington, IL 61704-7101

Dear sirs:
I read you note as follows and would like to address each issue.
(I pasted a copy of their note above in here)

1. Comply is not a nice word to use when writing to your customers. It makes it sound like they have done something illegal or have not paid taxes. I would suggest that you take a different tone with your customers and be more recalcitrant. You are on shaky ground with regard to trade laws and should revise your practices to avoid an unfavorable investigation by governmental authorities. (See attached review posted on the web.)

(I also pasted in Kelly's Guarantee)

2. The guarantee states "the shipping label must be returned." There is no stated requirement that all labels must be returned.
3. You feel you have not further obligation in this matter? That could be why, on a site I found last night, that your don't have a single positive review and there's even a review by a former employee detailing your deceptive practices, right down to telling people there is no supervisor available when there is.
4. I have provided more than enough evidence that I purchased what I said I did. You even sent a printout of it which I sent to you with my December 14 correspondence. It's enclosed again for your review.

Lest I not comply even one iota with your latest missive, I have enclosed:
(a) a copy of my VISA statement where I think you can find your name right in the middle of the page.
The $322.75 charge on 3/6 matches the amount on your printout dated 3/1.
(b) YOUR OWN PRINTOUT, enclosed AGAIN, of course, lists the items purchased. Since I must anticipate that you consider own records to not be adequate, I have taken the liberty of including once again a copy of my original order.
(I can't find the second page)

The next correspondence I received from Kelly because they answered the Better Business Bureau:

February 3, 2003
Mr. Scott Ohiman
2311 Waukesha Road
Raymond,WI 53108-9405

Dear Mr. Ohiman:
Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding your order.
Kindly be advised, however, that your adjustment cannot be made until we receive the original Shipping Label.
The written warranty requires that the shipping label be returned before an adjustment is made. In addition "IMPORTANT! SAVE THIS LABEL. You must return this shipping label for the Replacement Warranty to be valid" is clearly written on the label Itself.

It is necessary to have the original label in order to have the correct information for the adjustment and to ensure against multiple refunds upon a single order. The shipping label is the closest equivalent we have to a sales ticket or sales slip.

Please send the original shipping label at your earliest convenience and include a list of the plants that have died. We are sorry your adjustment has been delayed.

Very truly yours,

Pamela Cotton
Customer Service

Here's what they sent to the Better Business Bureau along with a copy of what they sent to me:

February 3, 2003
Ms, Jenny Whittaker
Better Business Bureau
413 SW Washington
Peoria, IL 61602
RE: Scott Ohiman

Dear Ms Whittaker:

Thank you for your inquiry concerning a complaint from one of our customers, Scott Ohiman of Raymond, WI. We are enclosing a copy of our letter to Mr. Ohiman, which we feel is self-explanatory.

Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope our method of handling it is satisfactory.

Very truly yours,

Pamela Cotton (Ms)
Customer Service


Enc: 1

Here's what I think got me the REFUND (my response to the Better Business Bureau):

Scott Ohiman
2311 Waukesha Rd
Raymond, Wl 53108-9405

Ms. Jenny Whittaker
Better Business Bureau
413 SW Washington
Peoria, IL 61602


Dear Sirs:

I am in receipt of (1) a response from Kelly Nurseries and (2) your form attached.

1. The latest response from Kelly Nurseries dated February 3, 2003, contains at least one outright lie: "The
shipping label is the closest equivalent we have to a sales ticket or sales slip." They supplied me a list, perhaps by accident, FROM THEIR OWN SYSTEM (see attached sheet with the words "YOUR OWN PRINTOUT!" attached).

2. Kelly also stated that "It is necessary to have the original label in order to have the correct information for the adjustment and to ensure against multiple refunds on a single order." That's B.S. as well. Plantron has in their computer a credit from another related company, Inter-State Nurseries, from which I requested a refund for dead plants I received from Inter-State. The folks at Kelly mistook that credit as their own because of shoddy record keeping. They can thus check to see that they are not making multiple refunds on an order.

3. PLEASE LOOK CLOSELY AT THE COPIES OF THE LABELS attached. They have other labels on top obscuring some of the shipping and contents label itself. Who is to say they did not cover the label on the fourth and missing label? For a guarantee on a shipping label to be read, clearly it can't be covered and they can't guarantee that it was not by the looks of the others.

4. I'd like to bring you attention to the enclosed correspondence, all copies of the originals sent as required to Kelly. In particular, please review my reply dated 1/16/2003. I scanned and copied their note dated 1/8/03(which they require to be returned) and included it in my THIRD BATCH of correspondence. I "complied" with
everything they asked for in their "However..." clause, paragraph 2, of that yellow note. I "complied" right down to proof that they charged my credit card for the amount they indicate on their pull-sheet (the piece of paper with the words "YOUR OWN PRINTOUT!"). STILL NOTHING!

5. I have provided 3 out of 4 labels, sent them with original correspondence 3 TIMES NOW and have received
nothing but stonewalling. I even said basically in my 12/14/2002 correspondence, ok, credit me for the items on
the 3 labels I did return - and STILL NOTHING!


I don't thing you can say yes to any of the last three questions. I look forward to your assistance in this matter.


Scott Ohiman


If you are interested in being compensated for items that were not satisfactory, invest 23¢ in a postcard and send a note to the Peoria States Attorney. If you're really pissed, invest 37¢ and write a letter to him.

And I'm all ears: [email protected].

Mr. Richard Owens, owner of Plantron and screwer of customers, change your practices or risk the wrath of the consumer.

On February 20th, 2003, testygardener added the following:

On July 11th, 2003, testygardener added the following:

Just dealt with Inter-State again today. Dead plants last year, I followed the rules, got a credit, sent an oder in for replacements that might be able to handle hermitcally sealed poly bags sent bulk rate. I sent them my replacement order in the fall with their credit. I wrote them last week via email to see where my order was. IT'S JULY! Their email address is [email protected] and their phone number is 309-663-6797. I have evidently been enough of a burr in the ass of Plantron (see my comments under Kelly Nurseries as well) that they supposedly issued me a refund. I received a reply on Inter-State stationery that doesn't even list a phone number.

July 8, 2003

(My name and address)

Dear (My Name)

"Thank you for your inquiry. A credit has been issued to your credit card in the amount of $58.45."

"We hope this method of handling it is satisfactory."

"Very truly yours,"


"Sylvia Short"
"Customer Service"


Only a couple problems:
1. If they we going to give me a refund instead of replacement order, why didn't they do it last fall or is that just another way to build up their cash flow at customer expense?
2. Why didn't they just send me my order in the Spring? Was is because I demanded live products?
3. I cancelled the credit card on 1/26/2003 that they supposedly credited. I call the credit card company -- they have not received a credit.
4. Does "has been issued" mean "in the future" to Inter-State?
On July 11th, 2003, testygardener added the following:

Just dealt with Inter-State again today. Dead plants last year, I followed the rules, got a credit, sent an oder in for replacements that might be able to handle hermitcally sealed poly bags sent bulk rate. I sent them my replacement order in the fall with their credit. I wrote them last week via email to see where my order was. IT'S JULY FOR CHRIST'S SAKE! Their email address is [email protected] and their phone number is 309-663-6797. I have evidently been enough of a burr in the ass of Plantron (see my comments under Kelly Nurseries as well) that they supposedly issued me a refund. I received a reply on Inter-State stationery that doesn't even list a phone number.

July 8, 2003

(My name and address)

Dear (My Name)

"Thank you for your inquiry. A credit has been issued to your credit card in the amount of $58.45."

"We hope this method of handling it is satisfactory."

"Very truly yours,"


"Sylvia Short"
"Customer Service"


Only a couple problems:
1. If they we going to give me a refund instead of replacement order, why didn't they do it last fall or is that just another way to build up their cash flow at customer expense?
2. Why didn't they just send me my friggin order in the Spring? Was is because I demanded live products?
3. I cancelled the credit card on 1/26/2003 that they supposedly credited. I call the credit card company -- they have not received a credit.
4. Does "has been issued" mean "in the future" to Inter-State?
Negative kimberlymozey
(1 review)
On Aug 19, 2002, kimberlymozey wrote:

On 4/17/02 I ordered 40 poplar hybrid trees costing me $97.20. I received the trees 2 months later; half of them were dead. I wrote them a letter explaining this with a copy of the cancelled check with there interstate nurseries stamp on the back from the commerce bank. I asked them to replace the dead trees or reimburse me the difference. They have not done either as of this date 8/19 02.

Negative barbaraahopper
(1 review)
On Aug 16, 2002, barbaraahopper wrote:

I had a horrible experience with Interstate Nurseries. I ordered a large volume in faith and confidence that they were reputable and that it would be good stock. I was sadly misled. They sent it to me way before it was time to plant it, the snow was still on the ground and winter was still with us. I ask them not to ship prior to May 5. Obviously they did not read my request. My order was over $300. I did just as they told me to do and nursed those poor pathetic rotten and barely alive plants along. They didn't live and when I tried to have my credit card company help me out, they were stuck somewhere in limbo. Finally, I received a credit voucher from Interstate, but not for the full amount. What a joke, but now I know only to order from top quality mail order companies. I'm hoping there are some out there.

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