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gemila

Has anyone ordered from Burgess Seed & Plant Co.?

22 years ago

I just got their catalog and for someone like me who doesn't have much money to spend, their prices sound great. In fact, they sound too good to be true. I would expect tiny plants but am wondering about their quality. Also, has anyone ordered their roses? Do they come w/ their proper name? Just wanting to know before I waste my time, hopes & money. Thanks all,

Gemila

gemilarabel@hotmail.com

Comments (124)

  • 8 years ago

    ************************THESE PEOPLE ARE STRAIGHT UP SCAM ARTISTS. DON"T ORDER!!!!! YOU WILL BE SORRY! ***************This company is a total and complete scam. Ordered over $200 worth of plants. $175 worth was dead on arrival. Planted watered and waited patiently-- nothing but crispy roots and sticks. Called and was told to send 1) a letter explaining what happened 2) roots and sticks that did not grow 3) shipping labels, and I would be issued a refund.


    I did EXACTLY as prescribed. FOUR weeks later I called to inquire status and was told I had been issued a VOUCHER 2 weeks prior that I could use to order more DOA plants!! Even so, the voucher NEVER ARRIVED! The "supervisor" was useless and kept reading policy to me over and over like a robot...."If you wanted a refund you had to return the plants within 14 days." FIRST there was no way to know within 14 days if the plants would grow or not. SECONDLY the 14 day mark had well passed when I spoke to their representative over the phone and was told I would get a refund. Told I could write a snail mail letter to "Grace Avery", but she would tell me the same thing....so basically "Don't bother! You're just screwed!" THESE PEOPLE ARE STRAIGHT UP SCAM ARTISTS. DON"T ORDER!!!!! YOU WILL BE SORRY!

  • 8 years ago

    I feel like Burgess is getting a bum deal after reading all the negative comments posted. So I'm going to share my experience relating to Burgess. This being after I just received my current order of the strawberry collection and blueberry plants. I have ordered from Burgess numerous times over the past 20 years. One reason they are reasonably priced and secondly , they are good at filling the orders correctly and promptly. EVERYTHING I've ever ordered , grew and produced sometimes better then expected. They cover the how to's and are great people to work with should there be a problem. You are sent guides to instruct you on what to do-what not to do to make your planting experience a success. You are given a phamplet inside your order that firstly says----- hold on to the shipping label attached to the package your order came in for the GUARANTEE should you have something in need of replacement. Most people get their pkg, rip it open, take out the product and dispose of the package. Tossing the Guarantee away . That will be your fault if later you discover----you should have opened package and read the phamplet. First thing it tells you is to hold onto the pkg.and labels attached. IT IS YOUR GUARANTEE! AFTER THAT, YOU READ THE HOW TO'S. If you are able to follow directions, it's a cinch, getting what you paid for . Having gardening abilities is a plus, but Burgess makes gardening so easy, a child who can read and follow directions CAN grow things out of the catalog as long as they can also work the gardening tools. Once in awile you might get a plant or bulb that dies,hence, reason for keeping the labels! I have called and spoke with persons who aim to please and will do all in their power to make you a repeat customer. In these days and times- that is a bonus! I have had NO ,NOTTA, ZIPPO real problems at all with Burgess in all the years I have ordered from their catalogs. I STAND BEHIND THEM , WITH A HUGE SMILE. Gardening gives me peace of mind, when the world seems at unrest. It provides my family with food that tastes 100% better then that bought in a grocery store. Mostly THEY ARE DEPENDABLE and work hard to make sure you get the quality and service expected. So for all the Negative persons who say,- DON'T BUY FROM BURGESS- Maybe you are just not cut out for gardening and need to find another hobby that suits you. As for me and mine, BURGESS is the place to meet all our gardening needs.

  • 8 years ago

    I to am glad someone has had positive actions with Burgess, but my order this year was late late late , I ordered the first week of Feb, and had to request my order be sent , even then I received no response, after another week I again requested at least information about my order many days later I was informed my order was in shipping. Two weeks later one month after all other orders were here and planted my order came, there was no provision for keeping the roots moist, the plants that were in pots with soil were alive and all have recovered somewhat from the terrible condition thy were in. But the bare root plants were dry so dry I'm sure I could have snapped them in pieces, I immediately contacted the co. and was answered by the standard form plant them, and wait if cared for they will grow. Sorry to say all the care in the world will not bring dead plants back to life, and of course by the time one can say for sure the plants will never grow , we are well beyond the time to request a refund. I will submit my claim and yes I have the order,I am sure they will honor their word and replace the items,but I have already wasted a year and am certain the replacements will be a joke.I ordered from stark bros, and St lawrence nursey in NY {no longer in business as of this year} and of all those plants have had two that either died or are not doing well, given the amount ordered I would say the success rate was so good that unless I order more from them next year I won't even ask for replacement. I also ordered from Burnt Ridge ,one of the trees was broken in shipment, I contacted them the same day the order came and they immediately ask if I would like a refund or a replacement next year.Most mail order nurseries are great to do business with but experiences like mine with Burgess really leave a bad taste.

  • 8 years ago

    So-now we have no less than two positive experiences in dealing with company that disappointed scores of gardeners. Are we malcontents to be dismissed with our complains or having a couple of positive dealings with Burgess is enough to write that they get bum deal?Along that thinking we could say that Madoff was O.K. because at least someone got some money.

  • 8 years ago

    I must correct my last comment, St Lawrence is now under new ownership, not closed. I received a new flyer in the mail today. They are only selling apple trees this year but are still in business.

  • 8 years ago

    YES I purchased $176.00 from Burgess last year. The shipment took a very long time to arrive, ornamental grasses, vines, bushes, trees. Many of the items were already drowned in the packages. ALL of the trees were nothing more than bare root sticks, and yes, I knew they would be shipped as bare roots, and had no problem with that. As I said, some of the other roots were wet, mushy, and like this "company, were totally worthless".

    None of the Irish moss grew. Nor any of the nine ornamental grasses, One of the eight cat mint plants grew. NONE of the trees. NONE. No pussy willows grew. I see six pink flags in my yard representing the six plants that were alive during the fall. SIX

    I have been gardening for app. 62 years. I know what I am doing.

    Yes, Burgess has a return policy. It is so detailed that I wouldn't bother with it. Just not worth the time to comply with it. All I am doing is spreading the truth about this "business", and hoping that you believe me before you too, find out the hard way.

    Feel free to contact me about this. Except for you Burgess. You are a totally unethical company.


    Steve Gallion




  • 8 years ago

    BILLJO Had great luck with this company Purchased Lilac, rose of sharon and the shade plant garden. The prices unreal. which is the reason I shop there/

  • 7 years ago

    I was trying to find shipping cost averages for apples from Burgess and stumbled here and happen to have an account here. Thought I would drop a bit of truth right about here.

    Only angry people leave reviews, every company this size has BBB complaints and most of these folks can't even spell much less read a return policy.

    I mean to me when you buy you agree to the policies they have, so thats your own stupidity if you hate the policy. One person even said its too complicated/hard to read. Easy enough to complain about it, huh? Illiteracy is no reason to blame the company.

    Fact is, your about to get the other side of the coin, but only by accident because happy customers generally don't bother. Honestly how ridiculoud and hilarious the stuff above is has lead me to provide anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

    My dad 59 years old has bought literally hundreds of plants from Burgess. To name a few: 2 black cherry (both started small, but grew beautiful), Grasses down the drive (now over 5' tall), two trees at our well pipe (huge despite a deer chewing them the first few months). My grandma has 2 spruce and 1 black cherry both full grown now from them. My mom has countless plants: an entire veggie garden: carrots, garlic, zucchini, cucumber, tomato, corn , peppers and another black cherry in the middle of the porch. It is riddled with beetles every year, but still fights through that and 7 dust to be now I would say 15-20' tall all from Burgess. I have hedges and veggies myself from them.

    If you know anything about plants you will be happy. They honestly do there best to work around the ignorant by shipping during peak starts, limiting zones, shipping dormant. That is them trying to help you not long ship times, missing parts or sending dead sticks.

    Tips for ANY plant to be succesful: start inside if fragile, all trees need to start in a greenhouse or generally very sunny room, fruits even sticks need animal protection when outside, overorder for kill out ratio (even your local greenhouse will tell you 10-20% die on transplant), when planting soak roots, when planting leave drainage space by digging big and using aerator to prevent root rot on ship wet plants, trim dead or diseased parts aka suckers immediately to prevent spread and spray with gentle bug spray (a truckload or warehouse of plants is like an elementary school gym class, so if one is sick they are all sick; assume they are sick).

    Do that stuff and enjoy the savings. Thanks for your time if you read through. Sorry if you wrote that stuff up there and feel I'm being unfair. Perhaps, sign up for a master gardener weekend course or something. I can't just let you guys groupthink and bandwagon your way to slandering a company that does a fairly good job. They have made pretty much every bloom I've seen and every can of marinara or salsa, loaf of zuchini bread and dinner side I've had between the time I was 8-28 years old.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The longterm statistics from GardenWatchdog for Burgess as of today's date are:

    144 positives; 54 neutrals, and 352 negatives

    In the last 12 months, it's 2 positives, 2 neutrals, and 15 negatives. With thousands of good nurseries out there, it might be prudent to look elsewhere first.


    If you would like to form your own opinion, here's the link: GardenWatchdog reviews for Burgess

  • 7 years ago

    I am having a very hard time getting somebody on the phone it's like calling a radio station always busy I'm trying to find out how long the sale lasts in the catalog does anyone know

  • 7 years ago

    This company is nothing but a joke. I ordered 2 roses and the order came in a plastic bag and both "bushes" were broken in several places. I was told by the company to plant them anyway. So I did, and I wound up with bushes that were much smaller than they would have been, but they grew. When they bloomed, they weren't at all what I ordered... not even close. I emailed and they said I had to have my original shipping label. Why would I still have that?
    Then after a little more back and forth with them, they agreed to make an exception on the shipping label if I provided them with my CC statement proving I paid for them.

    Are you KIDDING me? Is this a JOKE? You want me to disclose all my financial transactions to you so you can verify something you should already have in your records? I mean, you keep records of your business, right? I even sent them my receipt in the email and they said they could only do it via snailmail. OK, now I know there's something wrong with these guys. I mean, who does business on the internet and won't take one of their own order receipts as proof? Just check it against your system to make sure it's accurate. No dice. They won't budge. Either I disclose all my financial information in my CC statement or I can't get the plants I ordered.

    Nobody is this dumb. This business has to be a scam. I've now seen some of the other reviews on this site and one of them said that customer service said things had to be one via snailmail because the manager didn't use phone or email? Do they think we're morons? Who refuses to use a phone?

    I order things from dozens of other sites all the time, many of them nurseries and I've never been treated this way. And I see that their customer service has come on here many times to say they're sorry and that they take pride in their customer service, etc. That's garbage. Nobody who takes pride in their customer service tells you to physically write them a letter because their boss doesn't ever use a phone or email. Nobody who has good service makes you save a shipping label for months on end until you're sure the order is right. Nobody who has good service expects you to dig up plants and pay to ship them back. Nobody who has good service expects you to disclose all of your financial transactions to prove you bought something when they should have a record of the transaction themselves. Nobody who's proud of their service sends live plants in a plain plastic bag so it can be crushed. Nobody who has good service takes weeks to answer an email.

    This company is a fraud and I guarantee you that's why they have to do business under to many names. And I'm sure that someone from customer service will come on and give the same boiler plate crap about being sorry that things went poorly, blahblahblah. I don't care. If you were really sorry you would actually do something about it. I don't believe it for a second. I can see through that kind of cover-up. Get a negative review, and then go online and make a semi-contrite statement to make it look like you're actually handling the problem. It's the formula for controlling damage without having to do anything about it.

    So Burgess, if you're thinking of writing a reply to this review, put it in a letter with a written copy of the review you're replying to and send it to the owners of this site.

  • 7 years ago

    I placed an order on May 13 of this year and nearly 2months later and it has not arrived. I've talked to a person by phone and it seems they don't know for sure when it will be sent. I decided to cancel the order but he said I couldn't. Now I must contact the customer care personnel to try to cancel. This company is a joke. No customer should be left hangin for 2 months to get flowers. Especially when I live in Minnesota and we have a short growing season. Then your told your can't even cancel your order. I wouldn't have ordered anything from this company if I knew this ahead of time. Don't do it! There are better companies that take care of their customers and are concerned about they're happiness.

  • 6 years ago

    Two months now and still waiting for my shipment. After the first month I got a catalog from another garden supplier, unsolicited. A couple of weeks later I got another unsolicited catalog from a third company. These last two companies were offering very similar plants the Burgess catalog. Still no shipment. Out of curiosity I checked to see where these nurseries were located. All three have slightly different addresses with the exact 9 digit zip code. On checking closer the item numbers for each plant was the same in all three catalogs. Were they hoping to get me to order more by tricking me into thinking they were really different nurseries? Still waiting.

  • 5 years ago

    Yes and don’t order from them. Placed order in June half order missing. Sent letters and phone calls to no avail! Poor service. Dead trees and incomplete order

  • 5 years ago


    Absolute garbage. The entire order is rotten, mushy, deteriorated mess. The photo is showing what was supposed to be bare-root strawberry. This is not a business, this is a scam.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I can't believe they are still in business. My first encounter with them was over 20 years ago. It horrible, and it sounds like they haven't gotten any better. Buyer beware!

  • 4 years ago

    When is my order being sent. Darlene. Stellmar

  • 4 years ago

    These guys are a joke! I understand the current state of things but the reality is that placing customer service agents remotely to phones from their own homes is an extremely easy and cheap process these days. None the less they have NO WORKING PHONE NUMBER, and don’t mention that anywhere on their site. However if you try to call their phone it’s disconnected! That says a lot right there!!!

    It takes days to get a response to an email, yet when they do respond they don’t answer any questions. I wish I had read the extensive number of bad reviews online prior to ordering. Assuming they were a reputable company, then reasonable substitutions would have been okay. SCAM!!! First, the plants I ordered were almost all potted. However, I am now waiting for the “dormant” plants which are apparently kept dormant in a climate controlled place (seriously?!?!) to be what exactly?? They were “HARVESTED”, so even though they may arrived in a pot they were not grown in that pot, they will simply be packaged in a pot.

    Also, I ordered a liatris barefoot plant which was automatically flipped on my order confirmation to 25 bulbs. I still haven’t rec’d responses to that or several other questions. Total shady company, misleading website, non-existent service.

  • 4 years ago

    Last year I bought 14 plants including 3 trees for $224.45 from Burgess. Only five of them grew last year and this year only four regrew - two of them were grafted trees which are only growing from the base stocks. I contacted them many times over the phone (they only picked up once) and via email. I initially sent a picture of the shipping label and explained what is going on. They asked me to mail the original shipping label and explanation that I did on 4/1/2020. I have not heard or received anything in almost two months. When contacted via email, their reason for not sending replacements is, "Once we receive the proper information to process your replacement order we will do so. We see nothing on file as of yet.". Big fat money-grabbing scam.

  • 4 years ago

    Should have read the reviews before placing an order!

    Took over a month to get partial order of "live" plants. Jury is out on "live" as I've yet to see any growth. After waiting a month for seeds, I canceled remainder of order (took three phone calls and countless emails).... then they shipped. Needless to say they arrived well into the growing season so of no use. Returned them. Now after two weeks and three phone calls with unresponsive, non-proactive customer service I am still waiting for a refund. Mind you, they are very quick to take you money! Extremely slow to refund!

  • 4 years ago

    They told me that they never received my mail needed for replacement/refund, so I mailed everything again over 15 days ago and still waiting to hear back from them.

  • 3 years ago

    I will never order from them again. In May I ordered live plants, only part of my order arrived the latter part of July and what I got was bare root, they were supposed to have been actual live plants. Frankly I'm not expecting the rest of my order and probably will not get a refund either because their phone is constantly off the hook. Please do not ever order anything from Burgess this is not a reputable company.

  • 3 years ago

    Follow up to This SCAM business...

    Waited over a month for refund!! A refund for an order that shipped AFTER it was canceled! They only refunded the cost of items, not for postage. So I ended up paying postage for a canceled order ship to me and to return it.

    The "live" plants that came in a previous shipment never grew. And even though I saved the packaging, I have nothing to return as what was sent disintegrated or rotted into the soil.

  • 3 years ago

    DO NOT order from this company. You will never get your things and if you happed to they will be dead.

  • 3 years ago

    I am so glad I googled this company before ordering. I was intrigued by their prices.

    So Better Business Bureau lists 441 complaints over the past 3 years

    https://www.bbb.org/us/il/bloomington/profile/catalog-shopping/burgess-seed-plant-company-0724-90020754/complaints


    DavesGarden.com lists the following

    152 positives
    63 neutrals
    403 negatives


    These are the first 2 websites I found on google, houzz is the third.


    Just adding my research incase anyone else was seduced by the pricing.

  • 3 years ago

    Yes-I ordered from them before-I ordered like $50 worth of plants! That was maybe 5-6 YEARS ago. I still haven't received them!! As you can see from all the other comments I am not the only person getting ripped off by this company!!! WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE! I can't even believe they are still in business!! DON'T BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM- AS ME AND ALL THESE OTHER PEOPLE DID-NEVER AGAIN!!

  • 3 years ago

    I will never order from them again. Never received but a few items from 2 separate orders and when I emailed them it was end of summer before I received a few more items. Everything died.

  • 3 years ago

    Don’t order trees from Burgess or their other Name Direct Gardening. Neither company ever shipped my order. Their customer support line always has a busy signal and it is hard to get through. Once you get through there is no one there that can do anything for you, there is no manager, and no way for them to contact a manager. They claim they can not cancel your order. Had to fight through my credit card company to get money back. These companies, at least on the tree side appear to be total scams.

    I recommend everyone who has had an issue with Burgess or Direct Gardening contact The Attorney Genera’s office of Illinois. It is time this company improves their business or shuts the doors. They should not be allowed to scam customers the way they do.

  • 3 years ago

    Don't order from them. We ordered 74.00 and never received anything but a pkg of tomatoe SEEDS. We cannot trust them. We cannot get in touch with them.

  • 3 years ago

    They are a good company. They ship your plants out according to your Zone and when it's time to plant them. They have a one year warranty on all plants. Just make sure to keep your shipping label you have to send it in when you write them a letter and tell them which plants didn't live and they will replace them

  • 3 years ago

    Twila- It would be interesting hearing more specifics on your positive experiences given all the negative comments over the years. I just checked their latest ratings on Garden Watchdog (as well as their many, listed affiliates) and it's not a pretty picture:

    https://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/233/

  • 3 years ago

    My mom ordered 70 dollars worth of plants. Never received them. Won't answer the phone

  • 3 years ago

    My yard is full of Burgess plants and trees. You do get small plants but they have a year warranty. you must keep your shipping label, you have to have it to send back with any plant that does not make it a year

  • 3 years ago

    Burgess Plant & Seed are bandits without guns. I ordered about $40 worth of just seed packets, nothing live. That was 2 months ago. Still nothing has arrived. If they do answer an email it's just a generic lip service type thing. Saying they ship at the optimal time of season. Total crap, do they live in Florida? Earlier someone said they feel Burgess is getting a bum rap. I feel they are getting what they deserve. I've come to the conclusion that they have no intentions on ever fulfilling my order. I've been in contact with the BBB, no results. My next step will be the Pennsylvania attorney general. I'm not expecting miracles from them neither.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago


    I have to wonder about Twila's experience. With so many negative comments my first thought is that Twila works at Burgess or is being paid to write positive comments to try to offset all the bad. Guess we'll never know. But I will never buy from or recommend them!

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    HU...37-

    My thoughts exactly. When I look at product reviews on Amazon, and there are 99 one-star, scathing reviews, and a single five-star review, I'm able to draw an inference ;-)

  • 2 years ago

    Never Order from here!!!! I placed an order for couple hundred $$$ worth of plants. When they arrived they arrived in plastic bags all mangled. When I called they said that if they didn't survive they would honor the warranty replacement. I asked that the rest of the shipments be packaged better. They were not. I had verified the date that the paper work had to be postmarked by for warranty replacement information twice and I had emailed (with no acknowledgement). They are now not honoring the warranty replacement because they said that they did not receive it by the correct date. Everything had to be snail mailed. I would have been better off going to walmart for the trees!!!!!

  • 2 years ago

    Please don't waste your money on this company. You will regret it.

  • 2 years ago

    I know this is an old post, but PLEASE DONT BUY FROM HERE! i made the mistake of buying 3 oleanders a few years back and NEVER recieved my order. awful website with zero customer service.

  • 2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    They are a nightmare. I will never buy from them again. $300 order 3 months later still arguing with them when or if it will ever ship

  • 2 years ago

    Yes i ordered ! never again ! i ordered fruit tress and blackberrie nushes. they d lnknow how to ship. ever everything I got died ! they replaced the blackberry bushes and they died also! iwasted alot of money that i will never see again. they are the worst ! asked for a catolog several times, they say arriving soon. been over 2 months ! stay away from them ! warning !

  • 2 years ago

    One of the great mysteries of the 21st Century is how this company manages to stay in business....

  • 2 years ago

    i ordered my plants in feb they said it would be here the 15 of may but did not come so i called them they they said it be the 27 of may still not come so called them again they said was on back order i told them i order them in feb they said put on rush order some i would look every day they finely sented them throught fedex but fedex had them for 4 day without water i open the box and almost all was dead 48 plant i will never ever buy another thing from them will go back to buying other places

  • 2 years ago

    Do not buy ANYTHING from Burgess. It's all been said. Nothing grows. Late June delivery.....

  • 2 years ago

    WARNING!

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    Yeah. Watchout for this company. I’ve ordered frm them a number of times. Always late on shipments. If a product isn’t in stock, they’ll remove it without telling you.

    Most recently i ordered an item that was out of stock. Get this, they refunded the cost and tax but not the shipping. Their words were, ”We dont refund shipping cost.”

    Called my bank and disputed the charges. Wont order from them again.

  • last year

    Yes! my advice would be buy from your local nursery!! they dont send you the correct order and then wont refund your money! they say they give free gifts with every purchase but we had $100 order and didnt receive a thing! it will be interesting to see if anything they sent will grow and what it will be! Dont order from them!!!

  • 8 months ago

    What's good they guarantee your plants I just forget where I plan on and if it doesn't come up so I don't send it back that's my fault but they have great plans in that

  • 8 months ago

    An update on Burgess. The Better Business Bureau stepped in and had to contact them. My bank also refunded my money. Watch out for these guys. They also go under other names/businesses. Each one is in the same state Check catalogues you get for the address. I order from Fast Growing Trees and mostly Stark Nurseries now. Stark has a one year warranty.

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