My experience w/ Upland Nursery

No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)June 22, 2012

has not been a good one. :( Perhaps after working w/ JJ's Jon, FC's Carol and Fuzzy in Hawaii, I have certain expectations that are not being met.

Every time I spoke to Marlee or Ed at Upland... I was made to feel like I'm bothering them. They were short, rude, and accusatory. I have a few named varieties that I'm looking for but they refused to tell me if they have them... they said I must go in to see for myself. Why would I drive over an hour each way if I don't know whether or not they have what I want? They act like they are doing me a favor or something.

Contrasting that to my experience at FC's where after answering all my questions Carol even invited me to stop by for a visit if I'm ever around South of Miami. Fuzzy has been sweet as well... calling me every other week to update me with some of the plants I am looking for. But no one compares to JJ's Jon. That guy spent numerous hours talking/showing me his plants. He never rushes me, never made me feel like I'm bothering him, never rude, and always so helpful! Not to mention having awesome plants. I will always be his loyal customer.

With that said, I'm taking my business else where. Upland can keep all their plumerias with their uppity attitude!

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I bought 2 cuttings from them an I didn't have a bit of trouble. I even called them about my order and spoke to a nice asian man -- although I had a bit of trouble understanding him at times due to his accent, my experience with them was very pleseant an I would buy from them again.

Sorry you had a bad experience.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 6:19PM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

I also bought 4 cuttings and the Charlotte Ebert from them at the SC Flower show which are all fine. But the few times I called them to check on the plants I am looking for they were very very rude to me. I too had a hard time understanding him as well... but regardless... if you can't take a minute to answer a few questions then you you shouldn't be in business. At their price point they should provide a little service!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 6:37PM
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Darn those bad experiences! But don't lose heart. You may be willing to give them another chance later in the future.

I'm also having my own issue with another well respected company, one I'm not going to name because I don't want to put a black mark on someones reputation. The newbies to follow may have good experiences.

It's like this... I'm the 1 in 100 that had an issue. There must be a reason for it. I'll just chill and get over it, and if they don't come through I am free to go elsewheres. :)

So glad you had such a great time at JJ's!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 6:38PM
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Sorry you had a bad experience -- I've never dealt with them on the phone, only in person. Their nursery is in a tiny space, and many of the plumeria are big (3-5 feet tall on average) and are stacked 5 pots deep in some places, so finding things can be difficult. I'm not making excuses for them, since they should know what they do or do not have (and they shouldn't be rude!), but it seems like the kind of place where you'd have an easier time if you were there in person. When I've come in with a list, they usually help with the first 3 or so, and then start helping other customers, so I do a lot of exploring -- pulling plants out, climbing around others, etc. (I posted some pictures on this forum last summer from my first visit there- you can kind of see what I mean)

What plumes are you looking for? I'll keep an eye out and let you know if I see them anywhere locally.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 6:48PM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)


I too didn't want to post about it either... but I feel like I have been patient enough and given them plenty of opportunities to be nice, but the last phone call today left a bad taste in my mouth.

I can understand catching them at a bad time, but rude every single time I called? No excuse in my book. It's ok... someone just posted rooted cuttings from BBB which has a lot of what I'm looking for. So I lost one source and gained another. No big deal.


I'm looking for the all elusive ET Lemon Drop. Let me know if you ran across one. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 7:10PM
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freak4plumeria(So CA zone 10)

Hey NC,

Sorry you had issue with Upland Nursery and Malee. Speaking for myself and buying plumies since the late 70's I've meet all kinds of sellers, some have great customer service personalities aka slopping sugar/sharing the aloha, while others are controlling and crusty (Waving at Marilynn of Marilynn's Garden). I know with Malee she can be very sweet or a bit more work to deal with. Malee actually gave Sonia aka Lola's mom and I a tour of her private HUGE plumie forest that is not open to the public. Her private collection is behind a gated section on her lot and is so large you can not go by foot, golf cart only. Basically what I am saying is that every seller has their good and bad days, or could just be chemistry.

Basically I rate the plumie sellers I buy from based on who has the healthiest, and the best most beautiful specimens, how ethical they are (dealing with issues like disease or returns), lastly their personalities as my plants hopefully will be forever but my relationship with the seller might be only as good as their inventory of hard to get plumies or exclusives they may carry at the time. So sometimes if you want something badly enough you just have to decide to either wait till you can find what you want or you have to deal with the seller. I know people who personally love and have a great relationship with JL, Marilynn, Andy from Aloha Tropicals and his Thai plumie nursery Rowland, Allen Bunch, etc., but I do not necessarily want to interact with them that much.

As for John from JJ's (I do know that personally I really like and get along with Johns wife Christina but have heard some say they will not work with her) and Fuzzy yes they are very nice and personable along with Luc and Carol (waving at Carol), Doug Jones, Irene Jones, Jennifer from MPG, etc..
So I would not take anything personally with any of the sellers as long as they have something to offer you. I know what I am saying dosnt make it any better or right but maybe it will make it easier to forget about it.

Cheers and hope you find the plants your looking for...
Happy Plumie season all :)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 7:13PM
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No-Clue - I saw that! 9 inch rootball! I have yet to receive a rootball anywhere near that size with any online order.

The last few days I have been eyeing BBB's Mermaid's Gem. It's lovely!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 7:24PM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

Freak, thanks for that. What you said actually makes perfect sense!! I get it. I agree whole heartedly... that if they offer what I can't find else where then I will eat that humble pie. And I was ready to pull the trigger when Ed implied I was lying. He basically said they pulled the ET Lemond Drop for me last week and I didn't show. So that justifies them being rude to me.

I didn't make a commitment to come by. A. Because I didn't know when they would bring the plant from their growing site to the store (remember they wouldn't give me a straight answer!). B. I would not have made a commitment without finding a ride first for I am crippled and cannot drive that far C. Last but not least I was not even in town last when he said I called them and they pulled the plant for me. I was in SF b/c my aunt had a stroke and passed away.

I don't like people calling me a liar, and cutting me off when I'm trying to speak. The biggest slap in the face was when I asked him where is that plant now he said they sold it. So if you sold it why guilt trip me?? I don't need that plant enough to get mistreated that way. No plumie is worth someone attacking my integrity.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 7:32PM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

Mona, can you believe 9 inches? That's amazing!! I'm happily ordering some now. I will need to get a few more out of the norm just to cheer myself up! Heck it's going to take that JL Metallica to do the job. LOL

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 7:35PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

As James said, those of us who have been buying since the last century, have seen the good the bad and the ugly of many of the sellers. Addicts can be quite annoying so I can understand how they get exasperated by us. Many buyers go to the seller and unleash as many questions as this forum. Also many of the sellers have been ripped off or had valuable plants stolen which can bring out the jade. I think over time it gets worse for many of them. No clue are you in southern California?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 7:53PM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

Yes I am in So Ca. Tdog. So I should blame you all for wearing all the sellers down? LOL.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 7:56PM
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freak4plumeria(So CA zone 10)

Hey Bill,
GLAD to see you on the GW today!!! Hope your feeling well?

No C,
I dont mean to be too curious but where abouts in So Cal do you live? I.E, Valley W. LA, SO Bay, OC?? Maybe I can give you a ride to JJs or Malees if you want to go by?
As for Ed I think the ESL thing gets in the way of him communicating where he misunderstands, not that I want to make excuses for him. I requested a seedling/exclusive Malee had, either a rooted plant or cutting and Malee and Ed stated they would put my name and number in their book of customer requests after showing me the flower, well that was in 2007 and I am still waiting for the call "ring ring, ring ring" LOL. Ed and Malee usually have stock in their growing area which is the fenced off Plumie forest in the back of Upland Nursery so its actually right there, again the issue is that its all the way in the back and it is a huge area so it is a bit of a chore for Malee to go in with her Golf Cart and haul out plants. I think Ed misunderstood what you were saying when you were asking him about the plumie. Like Bill was stating I think in Uplands case they get worn down by Plumie people sometimes, to tell you the truth I've spent more money at Malees on Exotic fruits and plants then on Plumies so i think she categorizes me as a general buyer and responds differently because of it.

Well if you can find what you want outside of Upland I would. Like you stated earlier most of Uplands Plumies are grafted which I do not really care for. The things you listed on your 2012 list are accessible by other people and sellers.

Cheer NC :)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 10:00PM
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I emailed them and they told me they don't ship but they weren't rude. BTW, please see my clarification of those 9" root balls. It was 9" from end to end with the roots spread in a 3 gal pot. Each root was about 4" long. But there were dozens of roots. So far I've only gotten a stub of a root or 2 on rooted cuttings. I don't want grafted plants but I understand why people do it.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 11:56PM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

Rcantor that sounds really good. I'm going to see if I can get a few things to go w/ my JL Metallica first. Then I will order the rest from BBB. So thanks for sharing that.

Freak, I'm in OC... so thanks for the offer! I'm very moved! How sweet of you, sheesh! Can you imagine two Plumies addicts going together? How scary!!

But I will have to pass on Upland since I too do not care for the grafted plants myself. As for JJ's, I have family nearby so we go there at least once a month which is enough for me to do serious damage! LOL

Again thank you for the offer. :)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:10AM
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Freak - I wouldn't mind a ride to JJ's or Malee's. Pleeease? :)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:23AM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

Mona where are you? And you Freak? Are we all very close?? That would be so fun to go together! We would probably turn JJ's upside down! LOL...

Are you guys going to JJ's Open House this year? I think it's the first Sat in July. Maybe I will get to meet you guys!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:25AM
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I'm in North Carolina. Do you think that's too far to get a lift?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:27AM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

LOL... no just hop on a plane and Freak and I will pick you up! :)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 12:29AM
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Set a date and let's all go. Hope we don't fight over the plants. Party @ JJ's!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 5:15PM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

No need to fight JJ's got plenty for all of us! But if you're talking about Vera Cruz Rose then I might have to hit you with a stick!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 7:02PM
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