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Comments regarding Royal Dutch

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15 positives
10 neutrals
84 negatives


Positive PrincessLoki
(1 review)
On Jun 2, 2014, PrincessLoki Ephrata, WA wrote:

Actually I was really scared as to what I would be receiving after reading the reviews for this company. When I had already made my purchase at the end of April. Well I received my order today! And I'm very happy with what I got. I do think not just anyone should order this way. Only a very experienced gardener who knows how to care for and start off with very young and dormant trees and plants. Though I must say this company really should take the suggestion to ship their plants in a more secure and safe fashion. It would bypass their merchandise being messed up or ruined during transit. And all the calls and complaints about destroyed bulbs/dormant trees wouldn't be such a problem for them. But mine showed up in excellent condition! Infact buding and full of life! I will most definitely buy though Royal Dutch Gardens again. I just hope they will consider changing the way they ship. If they did that it would be an even greater experience ordering through them!:)

Positive drscot
(1 review)
On Jul 15, 2013, drscot Alma, AR wrote:

These were the best trees I have ever purchased! Hybrid poplars from another company (shall remain unnamed) were only the length and diameter of pencils, although they have grown. Royal Dutch Hybrid Poplars are a full two to three feet tall with robust root systems AND some were already sprouting leaves! They arrived in good order and I have planted all 40 of them.
Royal Dutch has been extremely responsive to my questions both by email and telephone. If they have what I am looking for, I don't need to go anywhere else. End of story!

Positive Norton42
(1 review)
On May 3, 2010, Norton42 Wading River, NY wrote:

I ordered from Royal Dutch back in February. I received my first shipment on April 30th. Firstly, I am impressed that I got this shipment just at the right time to begin planting in my area - a week earlier would have been too soon, and any later and I would have exploded from anticipation. I admit I was pretty nervous after reading all these reviews.

The first plants to arrive were the Angel Trumpet collection, and 3 Bonfire Euphorbia. Everything was wrapped individually in plastic, and each plant had only a cell-sized plug. Most of the leaves had fallen off the Angel Trumpets in transit, but each plant is alive and should recover with some TLC. The Euphorbia are tiny (3-4" tall), but in fine condition. Everything was sort of root-bound, but I'm used to buying plants like that on the cheap.

Between their prices and their selection, Royal Dutch is ok in my book. I could find much better quality plants locally, but at 3 times the price and up. I'm alright with working a little harder to raise my plants if it saves me money.

I will update my review as the rest of my plants arrive.

Positive JWWC
(12 reviews)
On Apr 27, 2010, JWWC South Bend, IN wrote:

I ordered 2 sets of dahlia tubers from Royal Dutch. They were interesting varieties and the prices were very reasonable. I was honestly skeptical after reading the reviews but went ahead. The tubers I received were large, firm and healthy, and are beginning to sprout. All in all I am pleased with my order.

Some order status information or update along the lines would be appreciated though. There is a lag between ordering and shipping (which they do disclose from the outset) that causes some nervousness. It seems that this could relatively easily be alleviated.

Positive idahodirt
(1 review)
On Apr 27, 2010, idahodirt wrote:

I feel compelled to defend Royal Dutch since my order of canna bulbs, butterfly bush, azalia, and a dozen burning bush plants (which looked to me like dead sticks with a root attached) are all thriving and growing. Even after being sent through the mail in a bag to Idaho and feeling a little sick after reading all the negative stories prior to arrival, I must say I am very pleased with my purchase. I have ordered from three different catalog companies and have been pleased with all of my purchases. These purchases certainly are money saving compared to our local greenhouses. The plants are small, but I have nothing but time on my hands and love in my heart for flowers!!

Positive TomCamfield
(1 review)
On Apr 15, 2010, TomCamfield Port Townsend, WA wrote:

Looks like a lot of customers, judging from their comments, are just a bit overly picky. I was pleased with the prompt shipping, for one thing. The lilies were nicely just sprouted also. I would shop here again with no problem.--Tom Camfield, Port Townsend, Wash.

Positive JMKM1976
(17 reviews)
On Apr 6, 2009, JMKM1976 Hornell, NY wrote:

I placed my first order with this company this year, before reading these reviews. I'm now very nervous because even though there are some positive reviews, there are plenty negatives as well and, it seems as if the company hasn't been addressing the negative issues since May 1, 2007 (here on Dave's Garden) which gives the impression that they have given up on customer satisfaction.

I placed my order over 2 weeks ago and have not received it yet (but it is not planting time in my zone yet either, so allowing the benefit of the doubt to prevail).

What I ordered:

1- Caladium, Elephant Ear $1.47
10- Gladiola, Orchid Hardy $2.17
10- Hardy Glads $1.99
2- Lily Collection, Fan 5 Oriental $29.98
50- Liatris, Blazing Stars $3.49
100- Shamrock, Flowering $5.00
Shipping Chrage: $9.99
Total Charge $54.09

I'll be back to change my rating to (hopefully) positive or negative when my order is received or by May 1st, whichever comes first.

On April 16th, 2009, JMKM1976 added the following:

Sent an email on 4/13 asking when my order would be shipped. An email arrived on 4/15 saying my order had been shipped and should be delivered in 1-2 weeks. Seems like a long time to have live bulbs in route... getting more worried about what I will (or possibly won't) arrive.

On April 20th, 2009, JMKM1976 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:


I recieved my order from Royal Dutch today and will go over each individually:

1- Caladium, Elephant Ear $1.47, small bulb, half the size of those I have seen in WalMart for $3.00 (but half the price too) The bulb is firm and should grow well. I don't mind the small size since I will pot it anyway, since Elephant Ears are not hardy in my zone and will need to come inside for half the year.

10- Gladiola, Orchid Hardy $2.17 bulbs are firm and are sprouting. They are small bulbs, but these bulbs don't run very large anyway, about 3.4 the size that I would get buying bulk at the local greenhouse and well below half the price.

10- Hardy Glads $1.99 great bulbs, firm and well formed, same size as those I purchased from the local nursery

2- Lily Collection, Fan 5 Oriental $29.98 Siz bulbs from these two collections appear to have been damaged in shipping. 3 Lovely Girl and 3 Dizzy bulbs seem to have been crushed in route. These 6 bulbs don't appear as if they will survive, 2 are completely smashed up and 4 have lost more than half the "cloves" that form the bulb. The Stargazers are on the small size, about 3/4 the size of other stargazers purchased this year but firm and showing life signs. The rest are good sized bulbs, firm and alive. I have my original shipping label and will request replacement of the damaged Lovely Girl and Dizzy bulbs (will let you know how that goes too).

50- Liatris, Blazing Stars $3.49 Not bad sized bulbs, again about 3/4 the size from other companies but at half the cost. All are firm and beginning to sprout.

100- Shamrock, Flowering $5.00 Very small bulbs, about half the size of those purchased from the local nursery but I know from experience that these bulbs are very vigorous and fast growing and will even spread quickly, so I am not discouraged by the size. 100 bulbs at the local nursery would have cost me over $25, so a huge bargain there!

2 free hybrid daylilies- very small roots and a little sick looking, this discourages me from buying plants rather than bulbs from Royal Dutch. But, these were free and I will plant them and see what happens anyway.

So far, I am very pleased with my order to Royal Dutch. If replacements for 3 Lovely Girl and 3 Dizzy bulbs come through safely, I'll be 100% satisfied. Damaged bulbs aside, I feel confident in ordering bulbs from them again (probably not plants though).

On April 21st, 2009, JMKM1976 added the following:

I was so excited and relived to see a lot of healthy bulbs, I failed to inspect my order completely. I discovered while planting that I am missing oriental lily bulbs and that some of the Hardy orchid glads and flowering shamrock bulbs were DOA, after taking my elephant ear from the package, it felt slick and slimy and moosy on the tip (where the foliage should shrout from).

I won't change my rating yet, not unless Royal Dutch fails to supply replacements for missing and dead bulbs.
On June 2nd, 2009, JMKM1976 added the following:

I sent my original shipping label and list of missing/dead plants with a written request for replacement and a little over two weeks after received replacements. The bulbs were not as fresh and well conditioned as the first ones I received but were unbroken and appeared to be alive. I've planted everything and am keeping track of what comes up and what does not.

It dawned on me that there is an unfortunate aspect to sending that original shipping label when things are missing and damaged in transit... it is now gone, so if things happen to die and do not live past the first year, I will have lost my money because I won't have that label to send, only a label for replacement items (which I have saved, especially because some of the bulbs looked stressed).

Anyway, I am sticking with the positive review, they have, thus far, done everything that they promised and so far, I have an entirely live order (minus the two free daylilies, they weren't replaced but I am not exactly concerned because they weren't something I paid for).

I think the key to getting the best possible BULBS from this company is to order EARLY. I think perhaps, all their stock it pre-packed and slightly cooled to prevent growth before shipping and the later you order, the longer the bulbs are being kept in plastic bags without soil or much packing material and the less effect their cooling system has as the temperatures rise. So, I will be certain to always order my bulb choices in March. I still do not recommend ordering any of their bare root items or plants... only bulbs as the plants tend to be tiny and obviously will resent the packing and storing techniques much more than bulbs.
Positive muttmomma
(1 review)
On Sep 30, 2008, muttmomma Atlantic Highlands, NJ wrote:

I think this company may have improved recently. Have never had a problem with them, and they have allowed me to do mass plantings on a budget. I would especially recommend their shrubs and bushes: hydrangeas, lilacs, and hibiscus. Make sure to soak the woody plants for 2-24 hours, as they suggest. The plant may look dead at first, but I was patient and now have a beautiful hibiscus for under $5. I do agree that the company could do a better job of letting people know, via email, that they've received or shipped an order and that the rest of the order is pending. But all my bulbs and roots look good too, so that's two seasons worth of successful shipments. Had terrible problems with Spring Hill, who refused to answer my emails and letters about replacements. Keep the shipping label at Royal Dutch and you should be okay. Plus you can't beat the prices.

Positive kaariellen
(2 reviews)
On Mar 18, 2008, kaariellen Springfield, MO wrote:

I have ordered from this company several times in the last few years. I have about half of the plants I order die, but I still say my experiences with them are positive. They are true to their word, just sent the packing label with a letter and they replace your items. It is a pain to have to do so much work for plants that you'll have to re-start, but at least with me they honored their guarantee without any sort of grumbling. Of course I never spoke to anyone on the phone, I just corrosponded by mail. I still plan on ordering from them in the future because you just can't beat their prices!

Positive Mistchf
(1 review)
On Jun 30, 2006, Mistchf El Dorado, CA wrote:

Well I'm putting a neutral at this time because, after spending over 300 on plants and bulbs the majority of them came a mess and I still planted them, no survivors. And several of them that appeared they were going to survive (one peony tree had a teeny green leaf on the stem after a year), have since died since I returned the shipping labels. Since it was such a large order I started checking around and found this site and I've just contacted them via email from this site and sincerely hope that I don't experience what a lot of others have. Should I receive my replacement plants I will definitely be saving the dead/dying ones for refund. This was my first order with this company, hope it's not my last!!

On June 30th, 2006, Mistchf changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

Having just posted this today, I wanted to return ASAP in fairness to the company...I went to the PO Box just now and my first replacement order had arrived!!! Additionally, the plants are NOTHING like the last batch, in fact the Silver Lace Vine is full with green leaves...a tad wilted but very evident that they will come back up with some water and that the plant was shipped as a great plant.
Whether it was this site or what, it seems that this company may be responding to the posts and trying to up their service. My other thought is this; we live in a day and age where a lot of businesses will try to take advantage of the fact that people won't call them on their poor products. I saw that was the case here with quite a few people ie "Too much bother, I'll just never order from them again". Seeing as how my replacement plants are in 100% better shape than the original, this may be the case...sad but true..and hopefully anyone reading this that is thinking about replacing their plants will do so. As with the government, sometimes you have to make people do what they got paid to do in the first place...
And thanks to Dutch for the great plants..I hope my next 5 batches will be similiar.
Positive orville
(3 reviews)
On Apr 30, 2006, orville Madison, WI wrote:

i ordered 18 robinhood roses 50 lillies hybrid willows and the astilbe sampler not only were they a great deal money wise but they were huge the astilbes were large healthy root systems the roses all have survived and are doing well thw willows wow are the best everything they said they are and more I'll definitely buy again. this is my fourth order from these people then I found this site. cannot be the same people i have had great luck everytime my yard looks fab!!!

Positive carol_lyn
(1 review)
On Apr 26, 2006, carol_lyn Brentwood, TN wrote:

This is an email sent to Royal Dutch 4/26/06. I copied the Mailorder Gardening Association (they are members) and the BBB of Central Illinois ([email protected]).

In the spring of 2005, well within the 1 year warranty period, we returned the original label for replacement of the stock, all of which was of inferior quality. First we got a phone call from your customer service department. They asked my wife what had died, and she said "all of it." Apparently the woman didn't believe her, because next the label was returned to us with a note asking what had died, instructing us to specify and return the shipping label--again. By this time, the warranty period had expired, but I assumed you had kept records of when the label was originally submitted. So after the holidays, on January 8, 2006, I sent the label back with a note telling exactly what had died, and after 3 months passed with no word from you, I emailed customer service on April 20th and got the reply below. (saying the guarantee expired in 8/05)

You obviously have lost the shipping label and any record of when it was originally returned. All this seems like stalling tactics designed to make the warranty period expire, which it now has. You basically have taken our $59.09, sent us unhealthy plants, then refused to honor your warranty. What kind of business are you running? By the way, have you seen the customer comments at Your company has developed quite a bad reputation.

On May 12th, 2006, carol_lyn added the following:

I got a detailed reply from Royal Dutch (2-3 times the length of what they posted here) making it clear they had no intention of making this right. They were upset I decided to report them to the BBB--which is still pending. Never did hear anything from the Mailorder Gardening Assn.; that tells you something, doesn't it? I also find it interesting that with a rating of 17/100, they monitor the Garden Watchdog but do nothing to improve their service. They are right about one thing: I confused the phone call with Dutch Gardens.
On June 6th, 2006, carol_lyn changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

As stated above, a complaint was filed with the BBB, and Royal Dutch cooperated fully with a detailed reply. After some thought, I acknowledged my part in responding too long after the warranty period ended. Through the BBB, I asked Royal Dutch if they would agree to a compromise, and they wrote "...(since) there is now an understanding regarding the situation with your order, we are willing to process a replacement of the plants." So we are happy with this outcome and look forward to receiving our order.
On Apr 26, 2006, Royal Dutch responded with:


On May 4, 2006 10:32 AM, Royal Dutch added:

This customer's order was originally placed 7/8/04 and shipped in August of 2004. The warranty extended to August 2005. In July of 2005, the customer wrote to us requesting replacements, but did not specify what needed to be replaced. We wrote back to the customer in July 2005 for further clarification. We never phoned his household as he states. In January 2006, six months later, the customer responded. If the customer had responded within a reasonable length of time, even a couple of months, the fact that the warranty had expired in between would not have been an issue. However, the warranty cannot be extended indefinitely.

We do stand behind our printed guarantee. This guarantee is printed in all of our advertisements as well as posted on the home page of our website. One year is more than enough time to know if items will survive transplanting.

On May 12, 2006 4:30 PM, Royal Dutch added:

We monitor Garden Watchdog in an attempt to service customers who might have complaints we can help resolve. We are certainly are not concerned that the customer contacted the BBB and look forward to the chance to explain our position to them."

Positive amberyl26
(3 reviews)
On Jul 6, 2005, amberyl26 Morrisdale, PA wrote:

I've only ordered from them once, but the bulbs I received were immaculate and are blooming magnificently. I ordered tiger lilies, which came as beautiful, huge, firm bulbs and callas which again, were beautifully sized and firm. I appear to be the exception rather than the rule, but I do have to admit I'd be tempted to give them another try...Especially since what they sent me are doing so well.

Positive MiaVaga
(1 review)
On Apr 11, 2005, MiaVaga Huntersville, NC wrote:

For those who have found this website AFTER placing an order, I must make you feel better in noting that I have had 3 great experiences ordering first from four seasons, then direct gardening and finally royal dutch. Infact, I lost my magazine and could not remember the website so I typed in Royal Dutch and this complaint site popped up first. I feel aweful for everyone that had a bad experience and wish you the best of luck in fixing your order, but I must point out to those who are waiting on their order. The assortment and pricing is unbeatable. When people are content or happy with a product or service they don't normally seek out ways to give the company free marketing. It is only when one is very disappointed that you vent to everyone that will listen. Thus perhaps there are many people like myself that have only good things to say about their Royal Dutch experience. Best of luck...

Positive Lady_Lorax
(2 reviews)
On Apr 5, 2005, Lady_Lorax Aubrey, TX wrote:

I am feeling very fortunate as I purchased plants from this company prior to reading these reviews...I ordered a 24 pack of golden sedum, a silver leaf vine, a hardy fuschia bush, and a 3 pack of "walk on me" thyme.. The plants did in fact look very sad in their "dormant" state upon arrival however, after just three days in the ground at least 20 of the 24 sedum plugs have rosettes and the vine also had 5 new leaves (both arived with little to no green and the vine was yellowing) My vine is now twice the starting size and it's just been two weeks in the ground.. My fushcia has many new buds emerging (and it appeared to be a stick). Sadly the only plants that haven't shown any signs of life are my thyme ground cover... All in all I'm pleased. For the overall cost this has been a success for me although the investment was minimal. I will repeat that these plants all looked to be dead upon arrival and this in itself wasn't encouraging and they are small but once again -for the $...and the fact that they truely are alive...I am satisfied.

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