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Comments regarding Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner)

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  Feedback History and Summary  
400 positives
5 neutrals
12 negatives


Negative bulbmeister
(3 reviews)
On Apr 15, 2021, bulbmeister Gravette, AR (Zone 6b) wrote:

I don't care what their so-called 30-day warranty states, but for a premium price, I expect them to honor a request to replace a tree that was sent in the autumn and did not survive the winter. I won't be wasting my money on this nursery anymore. So much for supporting a nursery in my region.

On Apr 15, 2021, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

"On Apr 16, 2021 5:36 AM, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

We are very sorry this customer has lost his tree over the winter. Our nation experienced record cold temperatures which caused damage and killed not only newly planted plants, but many plants that have been established for years. Please know zone ratings are based on averages and not extremes. If you are in zone 7 and your plant is rated for zone 7, but your location experiences zone 6 or lower temperatures your zone 7 plants are going to be damaged or killed.
Again we are truly sorry when anyone losses a plant but unfortunately climate conditions are out of our control and the reason we cannot guarantee the overwintering of plants.


Negative AmberWave
(2 reviews)
On Feb 27, 2020, AmberWave Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

Posted on April 19, 2019, updated February 27, 2020
I've been doing business with Sooner Plant Farm for over 2 decades. Their unwavering dedication to healthy plants and happy customers hasn't changed a bit.
Last weekend I ordered a Dura Heat River Birch and selected the "send now" option at checkout. Soon after they sent an email with a shipping date. (How awesome is that?!) What's even more awesome, it really shipped that day and I received it the very next day. (I live in OKC) THESE FOLKS DON'T MESS AROUND!! Now you know.
I will continue to be a loyal customer to such a wonderful company with outstanding values.

On February 27th, 2020, AmberWave changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

I've changed my rating to negative due to their lack of communication when I tried to cancel an order. No one seems to be there during normal business hours to answer the phone and no one is responding to emails. I have a feeling this will get their attention.
On Feb 27, 2020, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

"On Feb 27, 2020 7:52 PM, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

We are truly sorry for not following up as promptly as we should have with this customer. Our entire staff has been involved in several chores this week in preparation for this spring shipping, and unfortunately it caught us under staffed in the office. We normally respond within the same day and almost always within 24 hours. We value every customer and will use experience as a lesson to improve our communication.
The Sooner Staff. "

Negative cpl100
(1 review)
On Apr 29, 2019, cpl100 Reading, MA wrote:

Ordered a plant last summer. It didn't look good on arrival but I planted it as they said. It died in a little over a week....past their unreasonable return policy. And, of course, there are no signs of it coming up this year.

This was the worst purchase of all the companies I patronized last summer.

Definitely do NOT recommend this company.

On Apr 29, 2019, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

"On Apr 29, 2019 11:45 AM, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

As the owner of Sooner Plant Farm I can assure you we take the feedback from each and every customer very serious as positive feedback is our number one avenue for attracting new customers. I have reviewed this customers one and only purchase for 2 plants last fall and did not have any correspondence from her following the purchase. We do offer a 30 day guarantee on our plants and if we are notified about an issue regarding the plants condition upon arrival we extent that guarantee to 60 days, All we ask is for a picture of the plant in question and one if it does indeed die. We are super easy to work with, but we do need to know there is a problem.This should have been a simple process with both parties satisfied, unfortunately because we were never notified about the issue we received an undeserved negative rating.
If you have any issues with the plants you receive from us please contact us upon arrival so we can note your order and take care of the problem in a courteous and respectful manner.

Brian "

Negative djrc
(1 review)
On Jul 5, 2018, djrc Tulsa, OK wrote:

Don't bother buying from these guys. You get way overpriced dinks you can hardly call a plant. They're also covered in critters (bugs). Big box stores have WAY better size vs price and a heck of lot healthier looking stuff too.

On Jul 5, 2018, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

"On Jul 5, 2018 10:39 AM, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

We are sad to see this type of report from a local repeat customer that has picked up multiple plant orders in person from our farm without any complaint's. We give all pickup customers the option to cancel, or request switching any plants that do not meet their approval before purchasing. Two of the 9 plants were smaller than the others however the customer did accepted them at the time of pickup. Customer later filled out our "after purchase survey" and stated that the plant quality was Fair, and the value was, Fair. They also stated in the survey later found the same plants at a large box store at a lower price, but requested us to not contact them. They unfortunately posted this rating, never giving us the opportunity discuss the issues. We are easy to work and respect all customer's when given the opportunity to rectify any issues.

Negative Fritz2
(1 review)
On Jun 23, 2018, Fritz2 Ida, MI wrote:

I ordered a Blue Holly and three Maiden Grasses coming to a total $162.00. The plants looked very good out of the box. However, one Huron Sunrise did not make through the winter and the holly looked very pitiful. The Holly was $70.00 and the grass was $35.00 way over priced. Every other place on line, you can get then for $15.00 or less. I made contact with the company, they accused me of doctoring the photos. I did not. They told me they will get back with me, its been a week. Nothing! This company will not back up there warranty, do not trust them!

On Jun 23, 2018, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

"On Jun 24, 2018 5:20 AM, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

We have had positive email correspondence on going since customer first contacted us on June 13th. We responded on June 14th as normal with requesting some pictures. On June 15 we responded by asking the following questions. It appears the Huron Sunrise is alive in the picture next to the orange flag? And the Holly is also alive as it is green with some leaves on it. Unfortunately the customer took offense to the questions and responded with this email:
In the grass picture. I bought two, the one in back is the other one. I took the picture like that, so you can see the difference between the two plants. One is growing and one is not.
>>as it looks entirely different from everything else in the surrounding area.
I don’t know what you are talking about? Do you want a different angle? Do you think I photo shopped it? I am not good with photos. It looks different because its not growing.
I buy a lot of plants mail order. Never, have I had such inconsistency in the same variety, $35 for a grass is a lot of money. I was willing to pay for quality. Evidently, cost does not buy quality. Sincerely,Fred Lietzke

We responded with this: Good evening, Fred!
Thank you for your response. We did not mean any offense by the questions that we asked or the statements that we made. We are merely trying to help you by obtaining additional information. Please forgive us if our email came across the wrong way.

We asked our question about the grass as it looks like there is a Huron Sunrise growing next to the orange flag in the foreground. If it is not Huron, there looks like a long-bladed grass of some sort growing next to the flag. We are just trying to establish what is in the picture, so if it is a situation that we can help remedy, then we can provide the correct and necessary information to you.

We will talk with Brian and get his opinion on your pictures, and we will be back in touch with you soon. Please have a great weekend, and we look forward to talking with you soon.
And on June 20 this email was sent to Fred
Good evening, Frank!
Brian and I were finally able to talk regarding your order and your pictures. We have attached a picture to this email explaining the Huron Sunrise, and if you have any questions regarding this picture, please let us know.

As far as the Castle Spire is concerned, we have created a store credit for you in the amount of 67.50 that can be used a single time on one order, and it will expire in 90 days from today's date. Your code is #####. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns!
Although we do not guarantee plants for winter damage and despite the 2 plants were not dead we did issue a store credit for the cost of the Holly as we felt this would be a nice gesture to help out Fred.
In this case we felt we went over and above, but sometimes customers don't feel fully compensated. As a small business reshipping or replacing plants is a profit killer so it is necessary for us to be sure we are doing what we can to help the plant survive before issuing credits. Sure you can by from a big box store and return it for whatever reason they did not lose a dime because they charge back the grower, and they get you back in the store to most likely spend more money than the return. It's a win win for them, and a lose lose for the grower who had no control over how the plant was cared for. Also the cost to ship is built into the price of the plant, the box store do not deliver it to your house, and does not provide you with experienced knowledge, they would prefer the plant dies and you to come back and spend more money. So if decide to purchase from us, please know it is always in our best interest to ship quality plants, we cannot afford to issue credits. However we know plants do fail and when that happens and it is within our guarantee window as stated in our guarantee which is posted on our site and in our terms and conditions at checkout, we will always honor our guarantee and many times go above when we feel the need to do so. So for clarity a credit was emailed and issued 3 days before this customer posted this negative review, maybe Fred did not receive the email?
If you have any questions regarding your plants please contact us we will be happy to help resolve those concerns the best we can.

On Jun 24, 2018 6:20 AM, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) added:

Sorry I referred to Frank as Fred , my error!"

Negative ncollin
(2 reviews)
On Jul 18, 2017, ncollin Royal Oak, MI wrote:

O ordered a small tree and two months later it died. They did not stand behind their product although their web site says they will one time. Save your money and buy elsewhere

On Jul 18, 2017, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

"On Jul 18, 2017 12:57 PM, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

Customer voluntarily chose ship now which was outside out recommended shipping schedule, which our checkout page clearly states if selected, would void all guarantees. We are located in Oklahoma and in April our plants are much greener and softer than in April in Michigan. For that reason we must recommend shipping times that would limit losses for both us and the customer. Unfortunately we are sorry this did not work out well for the customer or us.
Respectfully submitted
Brian Chojnacki "

Negative AtlDave
(3 reviews)
On May 21, 2012, AtlDave Atlanta,
United States wrote:

I have spent $323.54 on this order.
The plant that has subsequently died is one of two Hot Lava coneflowers. The other plant is beginning to flower.
They were planted the same with different results.
Now I have to pay for additional shipping for one defective plant: I'm not paying for any additional shipping.

On May 21, 2012, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

"On May 21, 2012 7:29 AM, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

Dave, I'm sorry you are so discouraged with our company and had to post this negative. We have ship several thousand orders this season, and we really hoping to not have any red. This is very discouraging for us also!
We post our 30 day guarantee and our 1 year guarantee throughout our site, so customers are completely aware of our policies. Even though you requested us to ship your order in February which is out of our posted recommended planting time, which voids all guarantees, and you notified us 2.5 months after receiving them we still replaced a Hibiscus totally at our expense. When you requested a second replacement on a coneflower that that is not dead but is not growing like the other. I explained our policy which is the email I sent you below.

Hello Dave
I received your dvd requesting replacement a coneflower. I completely understand the expectation of having every plant flourish, and I stand behind our plants . However I also expect our customers to do their part. Our pricing structure is as follows.
We price our plants to be competitive with garden centers across the country.
We price our shipping to cover boxes, UPS costs and a small labor fee .

We give our customers a standard 30 day guarantee when purchasing plants. We know plants fail for various reasons. We also offer a 1 year guarantee for 10% of the plant price. This small insurance policy allows our company to collect some monies to provide replacement plants when needed. It is a win win for both the customer and us. However it is completely at the customers option to participate. It is not fair to not purchase the guarantee, but then also expect to get free replacements after 30 days. Even with the purchased guarantee the customer pays shipping costs. These shipping cost go entirely to shipping. The Box cost and UPS costs total up to a minimum of $14.00. We cannot ship anything less than $14.00. I ‘m sure you can see how sending replacement plants without collecting any monies from the customer is not profitable business.
We replaced the Hibiscus completely at our cost, even though you requested “Ship Now” when you placed your original order, and it was not within our recommended shipping time for your zone 8, which is March 15th – November 15th. I will be happy to replace a coneflower at our cost, to go over and above our policy, however I would request you pay shipping. This policy has worked well by all our customers and we have not had any dissatisfied customers because they knew our policies when they purchased from us.

Regarding the Hot Lava we do not have any more of those available at this time I can suggest Tomato Soup as an alternative.

I hope you understand we do all we can for our customers, and we also state policies on our site so our customers know them upfront.

Please let me know how to proceed.

***Once again, we strive very hard to give a customer a fair deal and we go above our stated policies to satisfy, but we still get a negative because of a customer says give me, or I will bash your company. Dave Garden has been tremendous blessing to us and we are very thankful for all the wonderful customers we have had the opportunity to serve. Unfortunately, this site can also put good companies in a defensive mode to protect what is right and fair.
When purchasing online or from a store please be aware of the company policies and if in doubt contact them for clarification if needed. We do not hide our policies and we will stand behind our plants and policies 100%


Negative enviroplanter
(17 reviews)
On Jul 10, 2011, enviroplanter Spring House, PA wrote:

I ordered a crabapple from Sooner last year. This year it didn't bloom (not necessarily a problem) but thus far has shown no new top growth. I finally decided to replace it and on digging it out discovered that there was also no evident root growth. It was planted and cared for the same way as all my others, from other vendors, which are doing great. Also had a problem last year with security on their website (which of course they denied) and they refused to delete my information from their records. Definitely will not order from them again.

On Jul 10, 2011, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

"On Jul 11, 2011 8:53 AM, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

Dear Enviroplanter,

I'm sorry your plant did not perform as expected. I wish you would have contact us regarding the problem before giving us a negative post. It is our #1 goal to fairly satisfy all our customers even if we are not to blame and it costs us. Plants fail for many reasons and many times for no identifiable reason or at the fault or blame of anyone. I have planted thousands of plants in landscapes and sometimes they just don't make it. If your plant does not perform I would first recommend contacting the supplier to see if they could help you. If they are unwilling to help, then a publicly viewed feedback may be in order, but please be fair in your reporting as I can bet most companies care very much about their reputation, just as do we. I would appreciate if this post could be changed to as it does bother me to see our reputation get smudged after all we sacrifice to keep our customers satisfied.
As for the security of our site we have a secure website and have never had a single issue since 2004 when our site was started, other than the one reported here. I do remember a customer calling us about a year ago, I suspect this is the same customer, but no further correspondence has been established. I tried to find who this is by searching our database, but with such limited data I was unable to locate this customer. If she/he is indeed still receiving any email correspondence form us I apologize and if contacted I will double check to see why the email address was not correctly opted out .
Sorry for any hassles we have caused you, it is not our intention.

Brian Chojnacki


Negative djcounsil
(1 review)
On Jul 5, 2010, djcounsil Bridgewater, NJ wrote:

I followed the planting instructions to the letter , but within weeks the bushes were showing signs of failing. I contacted Sooner Farms to find that after 48 hours, you're on your own--Too bad!! NO refund--NO replacements! You're stuck with dead bushes. I have been gardening for 30 years I am no neophite to planting so I would sooner( get it ) blame the growers than myself. Don't go near these people!!! Joyce Counsil

On Jul 5, 2010, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

"On Jul 5, 2010 3:04 PM, Sooner Plant Farm (home of Imagine Backyard Trees®) responded with:

I'm very sorry the plants did not survive. We clearly state in our guarantee: We guarantee the plants received to be true to type, healthy, free of insects and diseases and in good condition. If anything is wrong with the plants when they are received, we will without question refund or replace the plants. As stated in our guarantee and on the planting instructions included with every order is the Warning notice to contact us within 48 hours if anything is wrong with the plants and we will note the problem in our file. We without doubt stand by our written guarantee 100%. Also any orders placed on our website require the customer to check I agree to the written guarantee, before the order can complete. We are very upfront and clear about this.

Once a noted problem is on file we take care of the customer if the plant does not survive.
Again I'm sorry for this customers experience, it seems this forum is almost a blackmail tool for the customer.
Please be aware of the guarantee from any vendor, before you agree to the purchase. Going back later only leads to a bad experience for both parties.
If you have purchased from us in the past and had a positive experience, please take time to post it, we appreciate your comments and support.

Negative Zercon
(1 review)
On Jun 22, 2010, Zercon Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Posted on May 20, 2010, updated June 22, 2010
Posted on May 18, 2010, updated May 20, 2010
The shipping was expedient , packaging was ok, and price excellent.
Unfortunately the Maple tree was infected with Leaf symptoms of anthracnose. Most or all the leaves have brown spots and upon further research found it was diseased.
Now in an effort to save the tree additional money will need to be spent for chemicals.

Now they seem to be good with plants, shrubs, and flowers. But just an FYI, it does seem they may have an infection problem with their maple trees.

Link to pictures:

On May 20th, 2010, Zercon changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Due to the excellent customer support and willingness to come to arrangement that works best for both the customer and the company I'm changing to Neutral.

1st: Contact was made prior to posting the comment. Possibly blocked thinking it was spam? We were able to resolve that issue.

2nd: Like the shipping instructions, keeping the customer informed and aware would limit confusion on plants that could develop symptoms of infections. Informing them in the order of issues as stated in the reply would have lowered my surprise and lead to a positive feedback because I would have been better prepared. Also providing cures or steps to correct issues with plants or trees which may occur after received would limit the customer having to research the issue and provide a better experience for the customer.

I hope this helps, and thank you for the support.

On June 22nd, 2010, Zercon changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:

As per our agreement on the phone they stated they would update their website to inform customers of the issue with the maples they were sending out being infected. They failed to add any notification to keep the customer updated to this issue.
Changing back to my previous rating as the tree has died and no update was found on their site as per phone discussion.
On Jun 22, 2010, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

"On May 19, 2010 7:41 AM, Sooner Plant Farm (home of Imagine Backyard Trees®) responded with:

Although this tree was inspected by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture before being shipped , we cannot dispute the tree now has leaf spot. Leaf spot is a bacterial disease and the spores of this disease are present everywhere, on every nursery and in every garden. When conditions are favorable like cool /moist and rainy the spots will develop on plant leaves. Although this seldom results into a serious health problem the spots are unsightly and should be treated. We spray the nursery with fungicides to help control the disease, although in spring with continual cool wet rainy conditions, it is almost impossible for a nursery, landscape or garden to avoid any leaf spot. Unfortunately when we ship the plants in dark boxes this can cause the leaf spot to develop rapidly. The cure is a fungicide spray, avoid wet conditions especially at night and improving air circulation. We send a care sheet in each order and ask our customers to contact us immediately of any problems with the plants they receive. Unfortunately for us this forum, is the only correspondence we have had with this customer at this time. I will attempt to contact them by phone, in hopes to resolve this problem. We appreciate our customer comments both positive and negative as they both help us provide better products and services.

We have put the tree variety that is in question on shipping hold until a release from our Department of Agriculture has been obtained.

If you have any questions regarding this or any other matter, please feel free to contact us.

Brian Chojnacki
Owner / manager

Negative flowerpower66
(1 review)
On Jun 4, 2010, flowerpower66 Taunton, MA wrote:

Posted on June 4, 2010, updated June 4, 2010
Placed an order for a rose bush on March 12, 2010. Received an email saying the item was scheduled ship on May 10th, 2010. It was a gift, so the shipping address and phone number were provided. Item never shipped, I was never contacted or informed the order had been canceled. I contacted the company after business hours, who, to their credit, responded immediately. They were not able to find my order in their database at that time, but apparently found it today, June 4, 2010. They said they called the number provided, which was the recipient's number, who has no idea who they are because it is a gift. Sooner's response to me was "we do end up with quite a few orders cancelled due to not being able to contact the customer". They have my email address, I ordered online, they emailed the confirmation, they responded to my emailed inquiry, why wouldn't they email a cancellation???? I emailed them asking this question and have not received a response.

On June 4th, 2010, flowerpower66 added the following:

Just received a response admitting there are some problems with record keeping of canceled orders.
On Jun 4, 2010, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

"On Jun 4, 2010 8:31 AM, Sooner Plant Farm (home of Imagine Backyard Trees®) responded with:

We are truly sorry this has happened, we are reviewing our canceled order procedures and making corrections to ensure this does not happen again.

Negative tindallk
(1 review)
On May 28, 2009, tindallk Grinnell, IA wrote:

In Fall 2008 I placed and received an order for several grasses and Sedum. The Sedum are doing well but the majority of the grasses did not survive. When I contacted Sooner Plant Farms to discuss replacement, adjustment, I was told that they were not willing to do anything since they felt there was something with the conditions of my site. Since they were not even willing to provide some kind of an alternate solution, I will not be ordering from them in the future.

On May 28, 2009, Sooner Plant Farm (Shop Smarter Shop Sooner) responded with:

"On May 28, 2009 5:26 PM, Sooner Plant Farm (home of Imagine Backyard Trees®) responded with:

I reviewed this order carefully and came to the conclusion that nothing on our side could have caused all of 3 different varieties of grasses to die, other than being planted in late September in Iowa, at the shipping request of the customer as stated on their order. We do replace plants if there is any possibility that we could be responsible, and we are always fair and give the customer the benefit of doubt. In this case the customer never reported any problems with the plants until now 8 months later, in my opinion I believe the plants never had time to become establish before winter set in. Even though these plants are hardy in the customer’s zone, planting too late in the season can be a winter survival problem for any plants in any location.
We completely stand behind our products but cannot be responsible for every type of plant loss no matter what the cause.

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