Plants Express?

janea(z9-Sunset 14)March 25, 2013

Has anyone heard of Plants Express? They claim to serve California and they have websites for the Southern and Northern parts of the state. They have some good prices, if you order $499 worth of plants or more. Since I'm landscaping around a new house this could be a good deal for me, but unless I hear some feedback regarding their company I'd be reluctant to use them. Googling around the net doesn't reveal anything about them and they don't mention a guarantee on their website. Hmm, I may have talked myself out of using them...

Here is a link that might be useful: Plants Express

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Interesting. If you order less than $499, there is a $75 delivery charge. Did you notice you can order through Home Depot? They say they have top quality plants, but I didn't see any mention of a guarantee either. You could ask about that if you feel the prices warrant trying this company.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 10:18AM
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I'd be leery of any internet nursery that doesn't have an online track record that you can easily check on. The high threshold for free delivery should also be of concern.

Most local nurseries will deliver for free for far less than that $499 minimum--$200 is often the cutoff. Even if you pay more per shrub, the giant advantage here is that you can see and pick out your own plants, take advantage of the expertise of the folks in the nursery, and know that they are healthy and right for both your climate and your sun/shade/water situation.

Getting cheap plants is no bargain if they're half dead, lopsided, or otherwise unsuitable. Even for what landscapers often call "foundation plantings"--the bones of the garden--not all five gallon plants are created equal. Some less than ethical vendors will take plants that belong in a one gallon pot, plunk them into a five gallon can, and sell them for a five gallon price. When you see that in person, you know enough to avoid it--but if it arrives by truck, are you stuck with it/ them? I'd be wary of Plants Express until they're able to demonstrate both quality and reliability--and a real guarantee, and even then. . . .


    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 11:27AM
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Your local nursery may be a better source. If it's a good one, they'll know what grows well in your climate zone and they'll be able to order for you if they don't have what you want in stock.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 1:46PM
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janea(z9-Sunset 14)

Kay and lgteacher, I've done quite a bit of research so I feel comfortable about the plant selections I've been making. This mailorder company happens to have many of the plants that I've already decided I want to use, and they average, for example, about $2 off the gallon prices that I see at local nurseries. I do patronise the local nurseries, but since I have 5 undeveloped acres with a new house I've got a lot of planting to do!

The point about being able to select my own plants is valid, hence my question about this company. I've done a lot of mail order gardening over the years and have had good luck for the most part, but that's because the sites I use have a good track record. There used to be a website that rated mail order companies, but I don't seem to have the link anymore.

socks, I saw you could order through Home Depot, and hoped that one could place an order of a small amount to be delivered to the store for free. That way their plants could be evaluated without taking a big hit. But it doesn't seem to work that way. I looked on their website and they don't even have a phone number! Just an online form you fill out for questions. I've decided they are not worth the risk.

Thank you all for helping me think through this!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Here's another online nursery that I found - I haven't ordered anything from them yet so I have no direct experience (I'm still such a newbie and figuring out everything for myself), but they seem to have a better guarantee in place and a cheaper minimum purchase. Not sure about how large their selection is, though.

Anyone else ordered from them in the past?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 1:03PM
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janea(z9-Sunset 14)

I haven't heard of them, and they don't deliver to my County. I think their guarantee is rather misleading. They say they have a 3 month plant warranty, yet any plant material that stays at the delivery location (upon delivery) is considered acceptable and no credit will be issued. There's also a 30% restocking fee, regardless of condition. At least they have a phone number, unlike Plants Express.

"We offer a 3 Month Plant Warranty for all plants, If you wish to return any dead plant under the 3 Month Plant Warranty period, you may do so to receive a store credit for the returned item. We warranty plants will arrive in a healthy, up-to-landscape standard condition. If a plant does not meet your expectations, simply do not accept the plant and return it with the driver. Please make sure the plant stays on the delivery truck and goes back with the driver to receive store credit for future purchases. Any plant material that stays at the delivery location is considered acceptable and no credit will be issued. All plant returns are subject to a 30% processing and restocking fee."

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Hello, this is Mike Cornell. I am President of Plants Express. If it is OK, I would be like to chime in on this topic and help answer some of the questions expressed here. First, our phone number is 888-444-1126 and we have a team of certified nursery professionals who would be happy to take calls anytime, no problem. Second, to be clear, we are not a 'mail order' plant provider. We serve the entire state of California with a fleet of trucks that deliver very high quality horticulture products direct to your home or job-site. Our business also supplies independent garden centers and 'big box' retailers throughout the state, as well. The plants we ship are superior in quality or comparable to those you would find at your local garden center. We love local garden centers, so please patronage these hard working folks. However, if you are looking to buy a large quantity of plants and are looking for the broadest selection possible to choose from (we sell more than 2,000 varieties) at the lowest possible price, than please consider Plants Express. We have been serving California consumers since 2009, and we have been serving the professional trade since 2000 (under a different brand). Last year, we shipped more than 1.4 million containerized plants within California alone. The $499 minimum order size for free delivery is the amount we feel must be met in order to deliver your order profitably (fuel, truck leases, drivers and such really add up, trust me). Again, for small orders, we think your local provider is great or if you would still like to order from Plants Express, we are compelled to charge the $75 fee for orders under $499; for whatever it is worth, that amount does not cover the total cost of delivery in most instances. Finally, I personally guarantee that you will be thrilled with your experience at Plants Express. If you are not happy with any your plants upon delivery, simply tell our driver that you don't want it and we will immediately provide you with a credit. If you have issues down the line with any plants, we will give you your money back, replace the plant or give you some guidance on how to bring your plant back to a healthy state; we have shipped thousands of orders and have had near 100% customer satisfaction. Plants Express is a California company, serving California garden enthusiasts. We are plants lovers too! Do not hesitate to use the phone number above to reach out to me or my team directly. Best, Mike.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 1:34PM
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Let me tell about my experience with Plants Express. Special order plants from Home Depot are from PE. I ordered 100 Acacia redolens 'Low Boy' first from a local powerline nursery, and had to refuse them because they were not nearly established in 1ga. containers, even though they were cheap. I then ordered from HD and all the plants were healthy and established, and all similar in size. They have been in ground for 2 years, and have taken well, the only loss is due to irrigation (my fault). I think that if you place your order online with HD, you get a percentage off of your order. Of course, these are not delivered, but shipped to store free, and I don't think there is a minimum order requirement.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 2:35PM
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I'm interested in replacing my lawn with dry-season plants and can't find youngish (4-inch, or 6-packs) perennials anywhere. Plants express has some of the plants I'm looking for on their website, but most are 1-gallon size. Does anyone know if HD can request younger plants? I think smaller plants adjust to new places better, not to mention the cost savings! I'm even considering buying seeds- but that might be plain crazy...Annie's annuals (in richmond ca) also has some (despite their name), smaller plants but with 1-gallon prices though...any advice/ideas where I might find small perennials?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 6:19PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

If you are in the North Bay SF area ( Santa Rosa ) I would recommend Emerisa Garden Nursery.
They have a retail section that is open to the public and specialize in 4 inch size perennials, grasses, vegs, herbs and a smaller assortment of succulents.
They do not do mail order.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 1:57AM
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gregbradley(Upland, CA USDA 9b Sunset 19)

A friend that is a good sized commercial landscaper recommended PlantsExpress to me so I wasn't just trusting to a "new" company that I found on the Internet. He buys from their other company that lists more varieties but is trade only.

I placed a $1144 order on 4/15 and received a prompt confirmation email. It included a "free" 15gal Valencia Orange. A few hours later, I changed my mind about 3 of the plants and called the number provided and changed that plant to be a different item. Chris cheerfully made the change. The next day they called me with an expected delivery date and then called the night before that to confirm a time window. They showed up within that time window. The 24" Tristania Conferta exceeded my expectations. The #15 Juniperus Chinensis were almost as large as I expected for 24" box trees and the 24" box Chinensis exceeded my expectations by a LOT. They were only required to drop the plants in my driveway but when the driver saw what I had to move them around the house, he went out of his way to help me get them where they needed to go. I wasn't quite prepared for trees that large. I actually called Chris at Plants Express the next day and told them how thrilled I was with every part of the process including the delivery driver.

I placed another order with them for $1155 on 4/22. The plants looked every bit as good as the first order but they didn't call me the night before to give me a time window. Not as perfect as the first order but still very good service. The 7 citrus were all from Durling except for the Meyer Lemon that didn't identify the grower. The Junipers were from Monrovia. I think the Tristania was also. The Swan Hill Olive looked exactly like it should and was $100 less than the local nursery.

I think they did an excellent job and would buy from them again.

This post was edited by GregBradley on Sat, Jul 6, 13 at 19:36

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 7:32PM
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