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Comments regarding Bluestone Perennials

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1128 positives
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Negative crocus1
(7 reviews)
On Jan 16, 2012, crocus1 Lawrence, KS wrote:

Posted on October 18, 2008, updated January 16, 2012
Bluestone P. is amazing. The plants are always in perfect condition and well-packed and shipped on time. It is also one of the few companies that has managed to keep their prices reasonable and even low! While other nurseries have suddenly started charging (understandably) $8.00 and more for 4 in pots, you can still order 3-packs of perennials from Bluestone at reasonable prices. This year I ordered from one of the top 30 and from Bluestone for same plant, different varieties. Bluestone had 3-packs 3 for $15 and the other (shall remain nameless as I can't really blame them for charging more in this economy and with rising shipping costs) charged $7-8 per 4-inch pot. Bluestone's 3-packs were beautiful, healthy plants with seriously healthy roots. The other 4-in pots were disappointing for $8 plus postage: they had stick-ons that said "careful, shallow roots." Although it's possible that was because of the plant, I have to say I was disappointed to get $8 plants with barely established roots. We'll see how they do next spring.

Hugely recommend this company. Always have a good selection, prices can't be beat, and customer service is excellent.

On October 18th, 2008, crocus1 added the following:

Almost forgot, the ONLY company I order from so far who offers to recycle their peanuts for shipping credit. Good for you.
On January 16th, 2012, crocus1 changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

Sad to see Bluestone price themselves out of business. Yes, the plants are excellent, but the real draw was the 3-pack good pricing for GOOD healthy SMALL plants. Telling customers how thrilled we'll be with the bigger healthier plants is missing the point. You were the only nursery that I could afford to buy plants from in bulk. Now I can't. I am happy to see biodegradable pots, but you should keep the 3-packs OR get the pot company to produce 3-pack biodegradable that can be cut/pulled apart. Can't be that difficult. Again, an increase in price is understandable, but 60%!!! Very unreasonable. I prefer to give my money to nurseries, but now will be forced to buy from a local grocery store that supplies 4 in pots for under $4. At least in 2011, they did. If Bluestone is going to price up to match regular mailorder nursery prices, there is no point in going mailorder. The local grocery orders from local wholesale nurseries, so I don't feel bad about supporting them per se. But I do feel sorry that Bluestone Perennials that had a GREAT huge inventory of plants not available locally is now too expensive for me. I may still order 1 or 2 of these unavailable plants, but will no longer buy in bulk. Too bad as Bluestone is a great company and their SMALL plants were as healthy as 4 in elsewhere. I was willing to wait for them to grow in. Most gardeners would be, and I see from other comments that you are hugely disappointing a major portion of your customers. Maybe you will survive but you will lose those of us who valued you as a company that provided options for those of us who don't have tons of extra money to buy plants. Last year I couldn't afford any and this year--finally--I had planned to buy hardy geraniums and other perennials from you. Will have to find another source. Sad. I will keep an eye on your 50% sales, but it's ridiculous to have to check every week for what MIGHT be on sale. And impossible to plan a garden that way. For you all to tell us to check the sales if we can't afford big plants is a big ... well, the polite thing is to say, I guess you don't care about your lower income customers and maybe you are looking to enter a higher income market anyway. Sad and somewhat disappointing in an old established nursery. Heirloom Bulbs has been struggling and god knows their prices are high, but whenever possible, they give discounts on bulbs that are particularly abundant. They are ALWAYS thinking of their customers first and understand that gardening is a luxury for most people who are currently struggling in this economy.
Negative seedreemer
(1 review)
On Jan 16, 2012, seedreemer Springfield, MO wrote:

I've ordered from Bluestone several years in a row now, but this year I'll be looking elsewhere. Bluestone filled a much needed niche with their small plant sizes for such affordable prices. I've never minded waiting for my plants to grow, and it was a delight to be able to obtain so many varieties to experiment with.

In addition, I'm not interested in shelling out my hard earned dollars to help Bluestone line "Big Eco's" deep pockets.

I hope all that eco-green propaganda keeps you warm at night, Bluestone.

Negative Kate1970
(1 review)
On Jan 11, 2012, Kate1970 Manassas, VA wrote:

How can Bluestone justify selling the butterfly garden that was $59.95 in December 2011 at $165.00 in January 2012? At first I thought it was a mistake, or a larger/different butterfly garden with more plants. Imagine my surprise & dissapointment to realize its the same package. That's an additional $106.00! How can you justify this?

I understand gas prices are up and that price increases are due to happen. But a 60% price increase? Thanks but no thanks, I'll be taking my business elsewhere.

On Jan 11, 2012, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Jan 13, 2012 9:45 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Before you leave us, please consider watching our video showing the new larger size in direct comparison to our previous size. Our new pot holds a plant that is 2-3 times the size of the our previous 3-pak size. The environmental friendliness of the coir pot is a nice bonus, but the new larger size / larger plants are the real plus. We know things are tight, and we are continuing our deeply discounted specials, reward coupons, and early order promotions to help. The video link is above and it is also viewable on our home page We hope you will reconsider and stay."

Negative awholenewworld
(1 review)
On Jan 10, 2012, awholenewworld Ambler, PA wrote:

It was so upsetting to see the new pricing. I have been an enthusiastic customer for many years. Goodbye Bluestone. You are no longer the value you have always been. Sniff

Negative yukons_mom
(14 reviews)
On Dec 12, 2011, yukons_mom Boise, ID wrote:

Sorry Bluestone, maybe your prices are OK with some customers - but not with me. At a time when people are having a hard time buying food for their tables you have eliminated the 3 packs at reasonable prices and replaced them with single plants in single pots whose prices plus shipping are exceeding my comfort level.

Please do not tell me I should have checked neutral! I was anything but feeling neutral after I anticipated and viewed your new catalog!.

You have lost another customer. I will start my own plants from seed and get many more choices than you offer! And I won't go broke in the process!

On Dec 12, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Jan 3, 2012 3:36 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Thank you for the honest feedback, yukons_mom. We would never want you to check neutral if you were not feeling neutral. We are truly sorry if you have left us as a customer, but please allow me to mention a few cost saving options. Keep an eye on our specials - often at 50% off - that change every week to 10 days. In addition, we allow you to "build" an order thru the season by adding on to the same order and saving on shipping costs. Our shipping rates are lower than our competitors; an additional help. We then send coupons with orders that can help lower the cost of future purchases. I hope these ideas will help to keep costs down for you and that you will still consider our plants for your garden."

Negative Gsdperson
(1 review)
On Dec 10, 2011, Gsdperson Miller Place, NY wrote:

It was with much anticipation that I received Bluestone Perennials latest catalog, and with great disbelief that I saw the outrageous price hikes. While I am supportive of biodegradable pots (local garden stores have had them for years), I don't believe this justifies tripling the price of common varieties of plants that, quite honestly can be easily (and now MUCH more cheaply) be obtained elsewhere. How can your company substantiate charging $165.00 for the SAME butterfly garden that was $59.95 two months ago? As a loyal customer who has purchased from Bluestone for quite a few years, and has frequently recommended the company to family and friends, I am disappointed that in light of today's economy, a decision like this would be made. I unfortunately will not be purchasing from Bluestone anymore.

Negative jeh1856
(5 reviews)
On Dec 9, 2011, jeh1856 Fombell, PA wrote:

I have been a repeat customer for years and have always been excited when the new catalog arrives. This year, the prices of the first two items I wanted had gone up an average of 64%. How dumb do they think I am? I threw the catalog away and will support my local nurseries in the future. Good bye Bluestone.

Negative mspencer1818
(2 reviews)
On Nov 7, 2011, mspencer1818 Salt Lake City, UT wrote:

Posted on November 7, 2011, updated November 7, 2011
Like many commentators here, I am very disappointed by the changes at Bluestone Perennials. I was shocked to see the hike in prices represented by the new catalog. In the past, I have made a real point to always search out Bluestone Perennials whenever I have been in the market for new plants. My husband and I are young homeowners, and Bluestone was a place where I could purchase items on a budget. Although I knew it meant waiting for smaller plants to grow, it was a real way to fill in a large yard for a family without a great deal of disposable income. This was the niche, the very needed niche, Bluestone filled. I have spent hundreds of dollars over the past few years with a company I felt was performing a real service, and making gardening more affordable for the average person.

I think Bluestone has done a bad thing for their loyal customers. I love the idea of biodegradable pots (although in the past, I have enjoyed using Bluestone's three packs to begin my own vegetable plants for the garden - my own personal recycling program), and I can understand the need to raise prices from time-to-time. But to raise prices so much, all at once - I simply don't get it. I am not generally one to complain about this sort of thing, but this was so egregious and unexpected that it really got my goat.

Now, it will take longer for me to fill my garden. That's OK. I will be doing something that I would encourage others to do as well - start shopping at your local nursery. Why pay the same price (and more with shipping) to a mail-order nursery when you can support a local business? Plus, you can see the plants and make real choices about plant health, etc.

I am sorry to see the changes at Bluestone. I will miss the company I really used to adore and recommend to others.

On November 7th, 2011, mspencer1818 added the following:

I wanted to add something more after thinking a bit. I read in several reviews where those of us who are giving the increased prices and change of focus a negative review were being taken to task for this. Instead, we are asked only to rate plant size, health, and customer service.

As I stated in my earlier review, I very seldom post negative reviews of companies. I do appreciate that prices need to rise from time to time, and I appreciate that companies need to make changes to adapt to maketplaces, etc. When I have received damaged or mislabled plants from Bluestone, I have always been happy to contact their customer service department, and have never made an online complaint my first choice for dealing with issues.

But this was no small or even moderate price hike, And, frankly, in my opinion, Bluestone abandoned many long time customers. This IS a customer service issue, although it is related to company philosophy rather than to replacements or plant guarantees. I do take posting a negative review seriously, and I DO stand behind this one.
On Nov 7, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Nov 10, 2011 9:17 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Sorry to hear of your disappointment with our discontinuing our 3 pak line, and our pricing. It is a decision we did not reach lightly. Moving to an earth friendly product does cost more to produce. (There is a reason why everyone uses plastic!) We realize we are ahead of most nursery companies, but we feel strongly that removing all the plastic from our packages it is the right thing to do.

On our pricing, we left our larger pot and shrub size pricing unchanged and now offer a new price break for 3 or more of a variety. Our varieties that used to be in 3-paks did come up in price as the coco-pot is almost 3 times the root zone size and requires double the greenhouse space to produce. Now that we have all our plants in just one size it has allowed us to rid our packaging of those dreaded shipping peanuts, and with the use of pots instead of 3 packs, customers can now purchase in any plant quantity they wish.

Please shop our competitors and compare prices and delivery fees. We think you will quickly see that they are experiencing the same pressures that we are experiencing. If you find a new supplier and we’ve lost you – then we’d like to thank you for your past support. If you do favor us with an order in the future, you’ll see why we’ve made the change to our new 100% biodegradable coco pot. The plant growth is amazing. You’ll also find that we are still the same people, growing a great product, with the same exceptional level of customer support.


Negative bottlegreen
(7 reviews)
On Oct 14, 2011, bottlegreen Saint Paul, MN wrote:

Two years ago I ordered 12 Lobelia 'Ruby Slippers' from Bluestone. The very small plants arrived in the fall, and only 6 survived. But those 6 were so lovely that I didn't complain and promptly ordered 3 more. These were specimens I wouldn't even have given away to anyone (limp, yellowish, fragile); they didn't come through the winter, and this time I did complain, choosing their offer of replacement instead of refund. They're obviously having trouble with this plant. I got a check for $12.50 (less than the cost of the plants) and a coupon. I remember when Bluestone sent you tiny but healthy and very cheap plants. Now they cost what you'd pay anywhere and are measly specimens, at least in my experience (the wedding phlox didn't survive either).

Negative Mogirl
(1 review)
On Sep 3, 2011, Mogirl Atchison, KS wrote:

Just received th Heuchera I ordered and was thoroughly disappointed. Their new packing was used and my plant roots were all dried up in fact it fell out of that "pot" and I had dusty dry dirt all over my floor. Unhappy,may not order again.

On Sep 3, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Sep 8, 2011 3:37 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Please be in touch with our office as your plants are guaranteed and we can reship or refund as you see fit. We have made some 'tweaks' to our packaging and what you experienced should not happen again."

Negative dixiedumplin
(29 reviews)
On Aug 15, 2011, dixiedumplin Riceville, TN wrote:

I have always been so pleased that I could buy healthy (but small) plants that fit into my budget. I was very content to wait for the small plants to take off and make beautiful large plants. No more! If I had the money to shop at Bluestone I might as well go to my local nursery and not have to wait for plants to be shipped. I'm sorry that Bluestone ignored those of us on small budgets and fixed income.

Negative kofi19
(2 reviews)
On Aug 12, 2011, kofi19 Boise, ID wrote:

Posted on October 17, 2006, updated August 12, 2011
I would like to give kudos to Bluestone Perennials. I recently ordered one of their pre-planned gardens. Not only was I really impressed with the shipping speed, but I also appreciate that the plants are a perfect size for transplanting. I'm really quite pleased and will continue to purchase from Bluestone. I have no doubt that I will have lots of blooms next spring!

On August 12th, 2011, kofi19 changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

Yikes! The price increase is huge- and I will not be able to order from Bluestone this fall - and very sorry to say that since they have been so great in the past. The new rating is based entirely on price- not service or quality.
Negative mariah222w
(1 review)
On Aug 12, 2011, mariah222w Newcastle, CA wrote:

This company needs to go from the Top 5 to the -5 category for the biggest unrealistic price increases ever!!!! Check out the differences between the Spring and Fall catalogues! Price for the Drought Tolerant Garden in Spring was $159.95...and now folks, don't drop off your chairs, but it is a whopping $445.00. I thought it was printed incorrectly...but no...that's what it really is! ....they say it's because they are providing new pots....I say...leave things well enough alone and provide decent prices that the majority of people can afford!! I am very sorry to say...that's the end of it for me with this company...I will look elsewhere and will urge other customers to do the same.

Negative okmbecker
(1 review)
On Aug 9, 2011, okmbecker Warsaw, VA wrote:

I have previously and recently ordered from Bluestone and have had a very positive experience. However, I recieved by Fall Catalog yesterday and they have DRAMATICALLY increased thier prices, and eliminated the popular "3 for x$" feature. Part of the Bluestone appeal was the wonderful value, now they want you to pay half (or more) of the "3 for" price for one plant.

Negative fiwit
(3 reviews)
On Jun 2, 2011, fiwit Lebanon, GA wrote:

I've shopped with BP for several years, and never had a problem until now. I'm posting a negative revew here because my emails to BP are not being answered in a timely fashion, and they owe me money.

On Saturday May 14, I ordered several plants from them, and used the free shipping coupon that I had from sending back previous packing material. My credit card was not charged until May 18, and the plants were shipped the same day, arriving on Sat May 21.

My purpose in placing the order on a Saturday was so the order would process on Monday and hopefully ship the same day, arriving by Wed, before our streak of cool weather turned hot again. Their delay in shipping meant my plants traveled via USPS trucks in 90F weather to my house. Of the 7 plants I ordered, 4 arrived half-dead and another has died since arrival, despite my precautions.

I had to email them twice to get a response on my refund request. I was told by Pat at BP that she would refund the agastache and the liatris. That was May 24. It's now June 2 and no refund has appeared, and my reminder email of May 27 is still unanswered. If Pat said on May 24 she would refund the $$, why was the refund not processed the same day? That makes no sense to me.

This is not normal behavior for Bluestone Perennials, and I am deeply disappointed that they are not living up to their usual high standards. Maybe seeing this review will wake them up.

On Jun 2, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Jun 2, 2011 9:34 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Our apologies for the delay in the processing of your credit. We submitted the credit on the day you requested it, but thanks to your input, we have discovered a handful of credits that were "stuck" with our new credit card processing company. These are now "un-stuck" and you should see the money for your credit in the next 2-3 days (normal processing time on their end - and it is worth noting that that is a standard time frame with any processor). You may be able to see it being processed if you view your credit card account online as early as today. Again, our apologies.

Regarding your first shipment - our shipping time online acknowledges that your plants will reach you within 2 weeks of receipt of your order. However, if you (or anyone) would like to request a specific shipping day, there is a place to enter that in our checkout sequence, and we will honor it. "

Negative kate8771
(1 review)
On Apr 25, 2011, kate8771 Pittsburgh, PA,
United States wrote:

I just recieved Munstead Lavender and they were all dead:( I thouht this place would be a perfect place to order plants from because they are close....not to mention all the great reviews. I was wrong!!!

On Apr 25, 2011, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Apr 26, 2011 9:01 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Please be in contact with us so that we can make this right. Your plants are guaranteed and we will reship immediately. I apologize for the condition of the plants."

Negative bjaquez
(3 reviews)
On Sep 27, 2010, bjaquez Loyalton, CA wrote:

Ordered some plants, based on the positive ratings here. When the plants arrived, they looked pretty bad. Drieds, yellowed leaves. I soaked them. Several came back to look okay.

I sent an email to the company. No response.

On Sep 27, 2010, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Sep 27, 2010 11:24 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

I see you got your order on this past Friday and emailed us that evening. We are working on the emails that came in over the weekend and will be sending you replacements at no charge. I am sorry the plants arrived in less that satisfactory condition. In the fall, we do not staff the office on the weekends - my apologies for the delay in responding."

Negative gennyga
(6 reviews)
On Jun 25, 2010, gennyga Decatur, GA wrote:

I was not impressed with my plants I received from Bluestone. I ordered 11 Lavender plants and only 3 have survived. A few were okay looking when received but for the most part they were scrawny, dried up and dead or dying. The Campanula were also anemic and are trying to hold on but we'll see.
I contacted Bluestone and they have promised to replace them but I have as yet to get anything from them. I hope the replacements are in better standing than the original.
To member Shriver in Boston - check out Santa Rosa Gardens. Outstanding plants, shipping practices, and service.

On Jun 25, 2010, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Jun 25, 2010 1:14 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

I am sorry that your Lavender plants arrived in such poor condition. I understand our office manager has been in email contact with you over the past weeks and we are holding your replacement plants for Fall shipping (due to the heat) as we mutually agreed. You should expect them in September. I have every faith that you will find them to be the vigorous healthy plants you expected originally. Again, our apologies for the condition of your plants upon arrival. We will make every effort to regain your trust."

Negative susie3304
(3 reviews)
On May 21, 2010, susie3304 Mattoon, IL wrote:

My daughter has ordered from this company several times with good results. So, I expected the same when I placed my first order with them this spring.

I was surprised when my Looking Glass Brunera arrived after being taped into a dark box for five days looking yellowed, wilted, brown and spindly. They looked like they belonged on the bargain shelf at Walmart. My Hydrangeas looked healthier than the latter, but were amazingly small (only 3-4 inches across).

I sent them an email a couple of days ago and still have not heard from them. Disappointing considering what I paid. . .

On May 21, 2010, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On May 22, 2010 10:55 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

We are so sorry your plants arrived in poor condition and we are reshipping your entire order at no charge immediately. Upon tracking your package, I see your shipment was rerouted, probably causing an additional day (or two) in the box. We generally get 2 day service to your area. I also apologize that the volume of email at this time of year delayed you getting a same-day reply - please be assured that the reshipment was already in process based on your original email. I trust the shipment will go smoothly this time, but please don't hesitate to be in touch again - we will always make every effort to make it right."

Negative aebloom
(1 review)
On Oct 26, 2009, aebloom Potomac, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

It is with regret that I post this negative, because for the past few years, I've had good results with this company.

This year, I ordered several phlox paniculata and a boltonia. The order was placed in July. I received notice that the plants would ship in early October.

In mid September, I received notice that my order would ship about three weeks later.

When my order arrived, only the boltonia were in the box. The receipt said my plants were backordered and would be sent in spring.

I called Bluestone to say that I did NOT want them to keep my money til spring. They said they would issue a refund. But I told them that this was very disturbing to me, because I ordered early, and was never told there would be a problem. At this late date, all other good sources of the plants are sold out. They apologized.

I feel like they were trying to force me to get the plants from them in spring, since they didn't let me know the plants were unavailable until the last minute. This is not the way to do business.

On Oct 26, 2009, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Nov 13, 2009 3:21 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Please accept our apologies for this very unusual situation. We had an unexpected and immediate problem with our entire Phlox crop and had to stop shipping them. Unfortunately, this resulted in some disappointment for our customers. There was not enough time left in our season to reship, so we were forced to backorder to spring. The last thing we wanted to do was send a substandard plant. Add to the situation that we had posted many of our phlox as specials, and it made for a really tough situation. We do everything we can to avoid a situation like this, but occasionally we are thrown a curve-ball that can come from any direction, including Mother Nature. Again, our apologies, Bluestone"

Negative kaherr
(1 review)
On Sep 12, 2009, kaherr Cazenovia, NY wrote:

I was initially disappointed when I placed my order in late July and received an email that my plants would not ship until "early September" but since there were bulbs included in my order, I assumed this was normal. I called on Sept. 8th and was told that my order would be shipped "probably tomorrow" and I would receive an email with tracking info. I called again on Friday since I did not receive an email and was told that the plants had indeed shipped and would be delivered that day. My excitement quickly faded when I opened the box...most of my order had not shipped (bulbs had not come in from Europe and would not ship until late Sept.), one plant was backordered and would not to be shipped until "Spring 2010", plants were SMALL, and most were root/pot bound. I called immediately and a very nice person offered to return my money and cancel the remaining order. I chose to wait to receive the bulbs after she assured me these items would ship no later than Sept. 22nd, but I did cancel the one backordered Spring 10 item. As far as the plants that were pot bound, I decided to wait and see how they did as I had already planted them.
This is my first experience with ordering from this company and though customer service is very helpful, I would not order again as it takes forever to receive very small plants. Not a good value.

On Sep 12, 2009, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Sep 18, 2009 10:05 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

We have been in touch with the customer directly and are working to resolve her concerns."

Negative palisak
(3 reviews)
On Jun 29, 2009, palisak Pittsburgh, PA wrote:

I considered a neutral rating, but when I add everything's lookin' like a negative. I have ordered perennials and shrubs from them for the last few years, but stopped. I agree with many that plants are usually quite small, some are close to dead, badly packaged( BIG box (filled with those eco- problematic peanuts) . Many times I've had to nurse plants in pots before I plant them in the ground I justified all the trouble with the fact that the prices were quite good, and selection was wide, The biggest problem is that half of the stuff doesn't come up the next year!!! If I added up all the lost plants, I've lost a lot of time and money!

On Jun 29, 2009, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Jun 29, 2009 4:15 PM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

We are sorry to hear that your plants have not been arriving in good condition and struggling with wintering over. Our plants are guaranteed, and if you would like, we would be happy to reship or refund at your request.

We have tried many other methods of shipping, but those darned peanuts work the best. We offer free shipping on your next order if you will send the peanuts back to us so that we can reuse them (to be environmentally responsible). They are themselves made from recycled material.

Wintering over can be difficult some years - we have a discussion of drainage and mulch in our FAQ section on our website. I hope you will be in touch."

Negative Jaylee
(4 reviews)
On Jun 22, 2009, Jaylee North Bend, OR wrote:

I ordered from Bluestone because of a friend's recommendation. Their plants are terribly overpriced--$7.50 for three blue dianthus!!! They had a half off sale--I ordered $l46 (plants and shipping). They had a lot of plants I couldn't find in my area. When the box arrived and I opened it I was shocked at the condition of the plants--they were shipped in styrafoam peanuts!! Either the plants were very, very small and half dead or ripped apart by the crummy packaging. I called and complained--Bluestone said they would credit my credit card and to keep the plants. To-date they have not credited my card. They did not ship large, healthy, robust plants--they're half-off sale is a rip off. They already charge WAY too much and half-off is still TOO much for the quality I was shipped.

I will never, never order from this company again.

Negative RBlades
(2 reviews)
On Jun 19, 2009, RBlades Wayland, MA wrote:

I am a long time (30+ years) organic gardener with extensive experience growing perennials and shrubs. I decided to give this company a try for some of my current garden plant needs, considering all of the glowing reviews it has received. Unfortunately, my experience has not been in line with that portrayed by others. I recently placed three different orders with this company for a total of 84 plants - predominantly hostas, ornamental grasses, siberian iris, flowering quince, viburnum and coral berry. The plants which I received were mixed in terms of quality, size and vigor. About 50% (mostly the hostas, viburnums and about half of the flowering quince and coral berry were decent (though very small) plants. The remainder, especially the grasses, iris, and the other half of the flowering quinces and coral berries were very pathetic anemic looking plants that looked like they were end of the year left-overs at best. The grasses were mostly pots of brown stems and a number of the flowering quinces were small branch scuptures with very few if any leaves. I did contact the company on the first order that contained the siberian iris and hostas and they sent replacements for the poor plants contained in that shipment. I have not followed up on the subsequent orders simpy because I do not want to complain any more or have to request replacements for every order I place. Very disappointing after having researched alternatives and choosing this company based on all of the positive reviews contained here. Definitely time to try a different source for my future plantings.

Negative dadsirishgarden
(1 review)
On May 27, 2009, dadsirishgarden Holbrook, MA wrote:

I am a person who research products carefully, so I can't believe I bought from this company.I saw the reviews here and other help online and taught this is were to buy, when the box arrive and I open up the plants were very small,but the worse was that about 40 % of then were half dead.I am still in shock with the reviews about this site and what I got.My wife ask why I bought plants online and after this I asking myself why I did ,also some plants were missing and being ship later still waiting a month later!!!

On May 27, 2009, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On May 28, 2009 10:46 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

Please be in touch as soon as possible so that we can resolve your concerns. When we are in touch, we can research the backorder as well (if it is a Buddleia, they are all going out next week). I am sorry that you received an unsatisfactory shipment, and I can reship or refund at your request. You are welcome to ask for me - Jan 1-800-852-5243

On Jun 3, 2009 9:08 AM, Bluestone Perennials added:

Thanks for being in touch, 'dadsirishgarden'. I am glad the plants perked up for you, and your damaged daylily has been reshipped (along with your backordered Buddleia). Thanks for letting us make amends."

Negative illicklm
(2 reviews)
On May 11, 2009, illicklm Kempton, PA wrote:

After reading all the positive reports I decided to place an order with Bluestone. I placed an order and received an immediate confirming email that they would contact me in 24 hours with the shipping date. I thought this is great. A week later and still no response from them so I called and cancelled the order. They apologized but I will not be ordering from them again.

On May 11, 2009, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On May 11, 2009 11:23 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

I am sorry your email did not reach you. We are doing all we can to get commercial email through the ever-increasing spam filters and personal security settings but it is a difficult process. Our email to you might be in your deleted file, your spam file, or it may have been blocked by your provider. Always know that we will honor a requested ship date, and that we can be reached by phone at 1-800-852-5243. I hope you will give us the opportunity to repair our relationship with you."

Negative surory
(3 reviews)
On Apr 11, 2009, surory Bethany Beach, DE wrote:

Plants were not healthy looking. Paid more per plant for 3" pots here than I did for 4" pots at Bloomin Designs Nursery. The difference in the quality of the plants is amazing.

On Apr 11, 2009, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

"On Apr 13, 2009 9:39 AM, Bluestone Perennials responded with:

I hope you be in touch so that we can address your dissatisfaction with the plants you received. It is hard to know what exactly went awry with your original shipment, but your satisfaction is guaranteed and we will make every effort to correct the situation. We can reship immediately or refund as best suits you. I hope you will give us a chance to make things right."

Negative pentasbutterfly
(1 review)
On Aug 31, 2008, pentasbutterfly Columbus, OH wrote:

The rating of my experience is negative because the issues I experienced are enough to make me pause considerably before ordering anything else from Bluestone Perennial. Not every aspect of my experience was negative.

This catalog is the nicest of all the mail order catalogs I have received (8-10 total). The pages are sturdy, photos are colorful and the unique selections are intriguing. The layout is well done. By looking at the catalog and the prices, I got the impression that this company is the "Top Dog" of the general perennial mail orders. The prices were higher and the discount offered lower than most other catalog companies but I figured it was because they are good!

Because of cost, I paired my choices down considerably to four different plants. When they arrived on May 15, 2008 I was disappointed with the packaging. The plants were in a regular container as if they were sitting on the table in a regular garden center with only the base (dirt and roots) contained. The foliage was unprotected. There were peanuts in the box to fill in the space but these also seemed to cause damage to the foliage during shipping. One daylily looked terrible. The leaves were bent and torn. The plants were very tiny as I guess is normal for mail order. But still to pay that much money to get what were practically seedlings surprised me.

I bought two of the same daylilies; one for me and one for my sister to give her as a gift. I knew she would love the colors of the “Always Afternoon” daylily. Hers bloomed. Mine has not and tomorrow is September 1 so I don’t expect it to bloom for me this summer. The color on her bloom was not at all what the catalog looked like. In the catalogue, it appeared magenta / bright pink (raspberry pink is the description) with a yellow throat. This was more like a muted, dirty pink. I got it for her because she loves bright colors so this was very disappointing. I loved the colors shown too but expect mine will also be a dull, ugly pink.

I bought two types of Anemones. One set of three was supposed to be pink. It started blooming recently and they were white! I checked my order slip and it was correct. The order was for the pink one. The containers must have been mislabeled or someone grabbed the white accidentally when selecting my order items. I called the company and they were nice. They are sending me pink ones at the next ship date in the Fall. I am waiting on the other set of Anemones to bloom. They seem to be growing new and bigger foliage. We’ll see how the blooms go.

The last of the four selections was a Clematis, ‘Arctic Queen’. I don’t know what to expect here. I have never had a Clematis. But it really hasn’t done much all summer. There are very few, small leaves and the vine has reached about 10 inches on the trellis. There are definitely no flowers but I will wait to see next summer. The catalog says bloom time is May to August on old and new growth so I would have expected something. It would be helpful if the descriptions told you whether to expect a bloom the first year or not.

Sorry this is so lengthy. I love the selection at Bluestone Perennial. They sell flowers that I don’t see elsewhere and because of that and other positive reviews I see here at David’s Garden I may try ordering from them again. However, I had shortly before this received an order from another major catalog and was thoroughly impressed with their packaging and plants. If I buy again from Bluestone Perennial it will be for something I can’t find elsewhere but still want to have. I will keep that to a minimum until I feel reassured that I am getting quality shipping and plants.

On Aug 31, 2008, Bluestone Perennials responded with:


On Sep 3, 2008 11:46 AM, Bluestone Perennials added:

I am glad that most aspects of your experience were positive, and I am confident all will be well with your replacements. Don't ever hesitate to call right away if your shipment arrives in poor condition - we will reship immediately. We appreciate the feedback on the Hemerocallis description and we will look into matching up the catalog to the bloom. Also, regarding the Clematis - some can be slow to establish, but if yours still does not meet your expectations (even next spring), please contact us for a replacement. It sounds like it is coming along now, and it should be great next spring."

Negative rosesareblue
(1 review)
On May 11, 2008, rosesareblue Asheville, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've only began mail ordering plants in the last year and of course took advantage of all the various coupons offered before reading here about each company. That is why I was and still am very surprised and disappointed at my order from last fall. I feel almost guilty because of their excellent reputation, but the perennials I ordered were in awful shape. I did re-order two Polyanthus, but the next bunch were in worse shape. I was most disappointed in the Nepeta, which was next to dead and I had ordered many plants and did not have the time to baby it and the daylillies I also ordered. The woman I talked to when I re-ordered was quite rude and I didn't want to go through that again. I purchased most of them with a coupon or on sale and thought perhaps that was why the plants were in the shape they were. Well, three catalogs have come and gone with the nice discount that I can barely refuse, but I don't want to wait in fear. On the positive, I also ordered fall bulbs and they came up very nicely. On the negative, the whole fall experience with mail-order gardening was terrible and it might be back to Lowes for me.

On May 11, 2008, Bluestone Perennials responded with:


On May 12, 2008 10:42 AM, Bluestone Perennials added:

We are very sorry to hear about the trouble rosesareblue has had. We would be very happy to reship or refund her order. I would be curious to know if we used the same carrier both times, as it sounds like the plants might have been too long in transit. We could certainly try again if rosesareblue would be in touch. Fall plants are often beginning their winter decline, depending on how late we ship from NE Ohio, and perhaps spring plants would look more fresh. Just to clarify, our sale material is the same quality as our regular priced material - we simply have an overstock of it for one reason or another. I apologize for any lack of courtesy from our staff. Please ask for me if you would like, Jan"

Negative dirthound
(19 reviews)
On May 8, 2008, dirthound Cohocton, NY wrote:

Had ordered from before good results.This time half the order was in good shape ,healthy, pricey for size I thought. Other side,shrubs in poor shape,euphorbia each had 1 stem and leaf for approx 12.00.Honestly do not know why they sent them.Received B. O. ,hydrangea and red twig dogwood,both demolished by peanut packing and USPS. Cannot beat price for shipping and their commitment to recycling. Did not ask for refund /replacement, just will not order again.

On May 29th, 2008, dirthound added the following:

Bluestone did contact me, issued credit for half of order. Also stated they did have problems with spring shrubs this year.Negative rating will remain because fact is , they still sent plants that they themselves would not have wanted to receive.
On May 8, 2008, Bluestone Perennials responded with:


On May 12, 2008 10:55 AM, Bluestone Perennials added:

You are still welcome to a reship or a refund if you would like. We can be sure to use UPS or FedEx for your next shipment. I hope you will give us the chance to reconcile this to your satisfaction. "

Negative SantaFeTrail
(2 reviews)
On Jan 19, 2008, SantaFeTrail Santa Fe, NM wrote:

While I agree that their catalog is educational, I cannot agree that getting very small perennials in return for performance is a good trade off. The perennials I purchased in the spring of 07 arrived in fine condition and were thus planted very soon after a few days to get them accustomed to the climate here. However, these plants just sat in my Zone 5 garden all summer with very little evidence of growth, much less evidence of thriving. I am now worried if they were strong enough to withstand our 0 degree nights this January. This company would benefit from being more straight-forward to customers about the size of the plants purchased or offering larger and stronger plants to begin with. I do not like waiting for two-three years for a plant to make its presence known in the garden.

On Jan 19, 2008, Bluestone Perennials responded with:


On Jan 21, 2008 9:54 AM, Bluestone Perennials added:

Dear SantaFeTrail,
Are other plants doing o.k. around the ones you received from us? It is unusual for our plants to just sit after planting. If they did not normally perform superbly we would not still be in business. We are concerned that you might have a soil problem. Rest assured that all our plants are 100% guaranteed. We will contact you directly.
P.S. To others wondering what size plants we offer, we do picture them on the inside front cover of our catalogs, and list them online in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.
Thanks for allowing us to address your concerns,
Bluestone Perennials

Negative Kimberly1
(3 reviews)
On Apr 26, 2007, Kimberly1 Indianola, IA wrote:

Going by the reviews, I thought I would give this company a try, so I sent a small order. Most of the plants showed up yellow and limp. E-mailed the company about the poor condition, but they made no offer to replace or give me even a partial credit. About half of them died outright, and only a couple of the other plants has shown any sign of coming back this spring. I have had much better luck with plants from Walmart, than these. And judging by the size of the plant compared to the price, Walmart is unfortunately the better value.
Nice catalog, but I doubt I will order from it again.

Negative pinnae
(5 reviews)
On Apr 23, 2007, pinnae Silver Spring, MD wrote:

Receipt of their catalog this week brought back memories of my order from Bluestone last year. Based on the high praise given this company in the Watchdog, I gave them a try, fully expecting the so-described smaller specimens.

The packaging? By far the poorest example I've seen from any of the many sources I order from. Imagine delicate little things in their cell-pacs placed as is on the bottom of a box. Throw on a handful of shredded paper, then peanuts. Give to UPS. Picture the results.
The plants? Mushy, muddy, miniscule! Small, bruised topgrowth; even smaller root mass. (No, I didn't bother to contact Bluestone for replacements; the only thing worse than this shipment would be more of the same.)

Bottom line: aside from the packaging deficiencies, these are tidbits, mere tots, that really need months more on the growing bench before they should be considered viable in the garden and appropriate for retail sale. A wayward piece of mulch...buried; one bite from a slug...gone. And so they are.

On Apr 23, 2007, Bluestone Perennials responded with:


On Apr 24, 2007 9:27 AM, Bluestone Perennials added:

How sad this situation is for both of us. We would have loved to reship better plants to pinnae. It is obvious that something went amiss and we would still ship replacements or offer a refund even after a year if she/he would be in touch. Bluestone stands behind our product, and we will be the first to acknowledge that mistakes can happen. We will go the extra mile to make our customers happy, and we would like to be given the chance. We hope pinnae will be in touch."

Negative beachrose
(2 reviews)
On Mar 22, 2007, beachrose Winsted, CT wrote:

I am sorry to say my experience with Bluestone was not a success. It started badly with the shipping. I rec'd my order with tons of those annoying peanuts and hardly any packing. It really looked like someone had taken very little care in the packing process. Some of the plants were too tall for the box so the packer just "shut the box" and the tops of those that were tall were all broken. The tall plants were things like astilbe that don't have a lot of leaves to spare to start.
Additionally, the plants arrived very dry, some of them appeared quite stressed by the journey. I watered immediately and they did recover but with yellowing to some of the leaves. When you add the damage in packaging to the lack of water issue, it wasn't a really good start to the whole thing. I planted immediately due to the fact that most everything was pretty potbound and wouldn't hold water for more than a day.
A few things died right off and the rest lingered for a couple of years before finally becoming the normal sized plants I would see at the local garden center. The ones that have survived I guess I would consider successful but it just took so long for them to mature that it kind of took the fun out of it.
Although their pricing is very good, I do think you get what you pay for and the condition of the order on arrival was a real setback for me. In fairness, I did not contact Bluestone to complain as I really didn't want more broken plants and I was not confident that I would get anything else. The value of the order was not significant and as with most gardeners, I was really just disappointed that I couldn't really enjoy these plants in my garden as I had hoped.
I have not ordered again for this very reason. I can deal with the plants being slow to mature or small if it's at a reasonable price but damaged, broken etc. just isn't right.

On Mar 22, 2007, Bluestone Perennials responded with:


On Mar 22, 2007 2:16 PM, Bluestone Perennials added:

We are saddened and frustrated that beachrose did not give us the opportunity to make this situation right for him/her. A couple of things come to mind - the shipment may have been too long in transit with the shipper, causing the drying and yellowing. Even though we have very little control over the shipment once it leaves here, we still honor our guarantee. On our end, we make every effort to ship our packages to arrive on a timely basis. This sounds like a problem that occured last season (or even earlier) but we hope beachrose will be in touch and give us the chance to repair our reputation in their eyes, Bluestone."

Negative beigestonehill
(1 review)
On Oct 10, 2006, beigestonehill Warrenton, VA wrote:

I have been buying plants from Bluestone for years and I at last give up! I hate the peanuts they pack in. They are wonderful at repacing plants but the new plants are just as tiny and abused as the ones they are replacing. I loose more than 50% of what they send me. I put all of their plants in a nursery row in my veggie garden for a season and still many do not make it.

Negative dboisineau
(2 reviews)
On Oct 2, 2006, dboisineau Cliffside Park, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:

Bluestone was the first online nursery I purchased from. I recieve my package weeks after ordering. I ordered bulbs and perennials. I asked to have the perennials and fall blooming crocus shipped separately (I offered to pay more for this service). Everything was sent together. The heavy bulbs destroyed the plants in transit. The poor plants looked horrible upon arrival. I have since found other online nursuries (Evergreen) that have better prices and larger, healthier plants and less expensive, but still great bulbs (Brent and Becky's Bulbs). Do your research and shop around before buying.

Negative mary0114
(8 reviews)
On Jun 13, 2006, mary0114 Lodi, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Plants took longer to be shipped out than I anticipated. They arrived on a Monday, so they spent the weekend at UPS in our hot zone 9. Some plants were wilted, but root system seems okay. Others were about two inches tall. For the price, I could have bought somewhere else and gotten bigger plants. As long as they survive and thrive, I won't be disappointed. Not thrilled either.

On June 23rd, 2006, mary0114 changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:

I am changing my rating from neutral to negative. It has been one week and my replacement order still hasn't arrived. Three of the other plants died, as they were very small, but I just chalked it up. I won't order from them again. Live and learn.
On June 29th, 2006, mary0114 added the following:

My replacement plants took one week to get here and arrived in worse condition than the original plants. My rating is still negative for the quality of plants received, but I do want to say that there was no problem in refunding my money. They did so promptly.
Negative shihtzumom
(11 reviews)
On May 23, 2006, shihtzumom Pearisburg, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

My order arrived in a poorly packaged box. The plants were so tiny that the peanut foam nuggets had broken most of the plants. I had coneflowers that were not even in their containers - just terrible packing.

I contacted the company and they sent 3 replacement coneflowers - however they were about 1/2 inch tall and certainly not worth the price I paid. Again - poor packing. The tiny plants had no protection from the peanuts. They are still in their containers because they are far to weak to plant. 1 is almost ready for the trash can. I'm going to write them again but I don't think any of my order was worth the savings....

Won't buy from them again - however, their customer service was good.


Negative elaird
(8 reviews)
On May 13, 2006, elaird Boone, NC wrote:

I ordered daffodils, crocus & 2 different kinds of tulips. One of the tulips didn't come up at all. The other tulip and the daffodils were very small blooms -- smaller than Brecks (an inexpensive competitor). The crocus was fine - no complaints there. However, since I was disappointed in the majority of my order, I wouldn't order from them again.

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