I feel like I was just scammed

I would encourage people to leave reviews whether their experiences were good or bad. If you have a good experience don’t think your review isn’t important. I and others use good reviews to pick vendors we want to use. Many small vendors have few reviews and it is hard to decide if you want to buy from them or not since the sample size is small and one bad review can make a vendor look bad if they only have 3 reviews.

If you do have a problem try to work it out with the vendor first. Vendor make mistakes just like the rest of us so it’s best to give them a chance to make it right. This will often show the true character of their business. If they treat you well when the spotlight is not on them that is a sign you have a good vendor.

Also it’s hard to measure how good customer service is until you actual need to use customer service. If you experience good customer service we want to hear about it.

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I agree with the positive review. The issue I have always had with reviews is someone is much more likely to give a negative review than a positive review. So many people with a positive product just go on with their lives and you don’t really do that with the negative things. We as human being just make the negatives stick out and stay in our minds. A positive review is just as helpful if not more helpful because a positive review tells you that business is doing what is right but a negative review they generally stretch the truth. A good example on how the negative reviews tend to stretch the truth is the person who gave a one star when I was out of photo paper I just simply told him I emailed everyone and that he had to reschedule. The review the customer wrote however stated “I made an appointment for a photo and to drop of my DS-11 and was rudely told they wont do photos”. Two very different things. Positive reviews are not really stretching things like that unless they are doing something like offering a discount for a good review. I actually have seen online nurseries say they will give something like a 10+ percent discount for a good review. Very few do that but I know when I bought from Native Foods Nursery they said that I could get a discount for reviewing them with a positive review. OF course this nursery was stating they were using biodegradable pots and I did not get my plants in a biodegradable pot so who knows if they would actually give the discount. I did not review them at all but lets just say my plant I got from there was not in the best of conditions either.


Also the more someone pays for something, the less fair a negative review gets, because the more someone pays for something the more that person expects. Like if someone pays 30 dollars for a large pizza, that someone might claim ‘the pizza is the worst pizza he or she has ever had’. The same pizza and the same person for 7 dollars, that same person might claim ‘the pizza is pretty good yet not the best.’


Totally agree with the leaving positive reviews. About 90% of the reviews that I leave are positive, actually. Nine times out of ten I’m not going to leave a negative review unless a company has a poor product and poor customer service. I really like to give companies (and people) a chance because no one and nothing is going to be perfect every time. I just expect you to make it right if you accidentally did it wrong.

True the larger the amount they pay the more they expect. If I pay a 3-5 dollars for a raspberry plant I am fine with one not coming to life if I ordered a bunch. I am not going to be as happy but I am not going to fight it either. If I pay 50 or 60 dollars for a multi grafted tree and it does not come out of dormancy I am going to contact the seller. A major problem with my passports is they have often times waited a month so they don’t want to wait another month to get their passports. If some nursery does not ship a tree out in January or the tree does not come out of dormancy they may have to wait a entire other year to get the tree. I am sure those who had their trees killed by the late frost that gave bad reviews were also mad that they likely had to wait a year to get another tree at a reasonable price.


Not to pick on the OP but that bush should have never left with him. I inspect the root system of every potted plant I buy by pulling it out of the pot. Most of the time the problem is a tightly wound root ball where the plant is pretty much beyond hope, but this other extreme would have been obvious.

You are not buying the pot, you are buying the plant, and the pot size suggest a certain degree of plant development. Heck I have a few potted gooseberry pixwell plants for sale. The green side is about half size of yours (alaska, they just woke up) but it was overwintered outside and the roots fill the .625 gallon pot nicely, better root development than on this 1 gallon pot.

I think this was a web purchase…


Despite the fact that the seller apparently didn’t intend to sell this plant this Spring, the problem was not theirs, because they advertised a one gallon plant and sold you a one gallon plant. If they misrepresented something, let us know what it was. Many sellers will sell one gallon plants this size and there is nothing wrong with doing so unless they made some type of misrepresentation. When you buy a one gallon potted plant, you are buying a one gallon potted plant. There is no guarantee as to the size of the root system and there is no industry standard for how much root system the plant should have. This seller probably intended to sell this plant next Fall when the root system might be larger, but even so, the size differential might not even be that great.

This is about the 5th or 6th time in the last few weeks that I have seen a buyer in an online gardening group complain about the size of a plant they bought online, when the plant description given by the seller was 100% accurate. For some unknown reason, some buyers, especially rookies, have unstated and unwritten expectations about the size of the plant they want, that they failed to communicate to the seller. In that case, the problem lies with the buyer.

This winter season I have ordered at least 30 one gallon plants from various nurseries and they are all different sized plants. Not one of these sellers did anything wrong. If a seller is selling seedling plants, the rate of growth of the plant and its root system can vary widely. If a seller is growing rooted plants, the rate of growth of the root system can vary widely. If a seller is growing grafted plants, the rate of growth of the root system can vary widely. There is no industry standard. When you start a lot more of your own plants in pots, you will understand.

You can’t always know exactly what kind of a root system you’re getting from a seller, but you can control what you do. A seller can’t normally tell you how dense the root system is on many plants, so when you have no idea how dense the roots are, you never want to pull an actively growing plant out of a pot. Doing so can damage or destroy the plant. You lucked out here because this seller helped you out, but they did nothing wrong.


You inspect the root system of every potted plant you buy by pulling it out of the pot!!! Never seen anyone doing that around here. Don’t know it is allowed or should be done as you could damaged the roots.

Nurseries around me would not let you do that. In fact, even Lowe or Home Depot staff probably would not like seeing a customer doing that.


I disagree with you. I do not expect to get a liner thrown in a one gallon pot with a one gallon price when I order a one gallon pot. If I get that I’m going to be displeased and I will let people know that I got what looks like a liner in a one gallon pot for a one gallon price.

I have standards and expectations even if the nursery doesn’t. If I get what I feel is an unacceptable product, one of two things will happen, I will contact the seller to work something out or if the seller doesn’t want to work things out, I will write a review and take my business elsewhere. Edited to add: I would likely to write a review either way.


There seem to be opinions on both sides. I just wanted you to know that if I were in your shoes, I’d feel somewhat duped as well. I understand some people saying that they did in fact sell you a plant in a one gallon pot so it was ok. I respectfully disagree. If I buy a one gallon size bag of candy that doesn’t have a weight printed on the bag, I still assume I’m getting roughly a gallon of candy or at least more than 2 pieces. If I open in and it is completely filled with styrofoam peanuts and 2 pieces of candy, I’d feel ripped off. Yes, I still got a gallon bag of candy, so technically I suppose you could say they didn’t break the law since no promise was made about how many ounces of candy were supposed to be in the bag, but I’d still feel ripped off. I’d think it was intentionally misleading to use such a big bag for only 2 candies. In this case they sold you a plant that could have been sold as a 3 inch cup plant, but they added a lot of filler (dirt instead of styrofoam peanuts from my example) and said its a one gallon plant. Did they break they law? Maybe not, but I wouldn’t feel good just like you don’t. I think when most people buy a one gallon plant they assume its been in the one gallon pot at least more than the day or week it was planted. Otherwise, why not save money on shipping and plant size and buy a 3 inch cupped plant.

I also didn’t understand @don1357 's comments about how you should have pulled it out and inspected the roots. You said it was from a web site so I don’t know how you pre-inspect something mailed to you. And I’m not sure about uprooting plants at a store either.

Finally, just know that as a fairly new grower you will indeed have a lot to learn (I do and I’ve gardened most of my life and grown fruit about 10 years) but so did every single person here. Its a fun hobby and I hope you continue to enjoy it. I don’t think you were wrong here, but that’s just my 2 cents. Happy growing!


Potted plants are a little trickier, but bare root trees are simple. They knew it was trash when they stuffed it in the box. I was mad at every rootless bare root I received. It is their job to eat the loss for poor harvesting.

EVERY plant that is in a one gallon pot, EVERY SINGLE ONE, was initially not filling the root space of that one gallon pot. That’s how growing plants works. At some point, a liner, a seed, a rooted plant, or a grafted plant was placed into a one gallon pot with the expectation that it would grow. Some plants will fill that pot in 30 days. Some plants with take a few years to fill that pot. Oddly enough, nurseries are not experts on every plant they sell, and they don’t have an easy way to tell how filled out the root system is, or a way to know that their next buyer is a rookie who expects them to adhere to standards that do not exist.They are also probably buying many of their plants from other growers, so they don’t always know how well filled their pots are.

The buyer in the situation above was not scammed. That is an undeniable fact. The plant looked to be very healthy. He ordered a one gallon plant and received a one gallon plant. The buyer erred in trying to plant a potted plant without knowing whether that would disrupt the root ball. Also an undeniable fact.

When you’ve bought hundreds of potted plants of different species over the course of 20+ years, and had friends in the nursery business, you will understand all of this much better.


That’s interesting. Never really considered the one gallon point you made. It is only natural that some are going to root well while others may struggle. Even so it still seems simple to pull it out of the pot to verify it has roots. I agree his plant is not waste. Slim on root, but should make it.

I have been buying plants for over 20 years and have bought hundreds of plants… actually thousands. Additionally not only do I know people in the business, I am in the business of selling plants (among other things) myself. You have your opinion and I have mine and that’s fine. I don’t intend on changing how I do business with people or companies regardless and you can keep your standards too, that’s the beautiful thing about America (assuming that you are in America… even if you aren’t, on the internet we can have a difference of opinion). Cheers! :slight_smile:

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Just to run with that logic. That means that any nursery could take any plant, bareroot or not, state on their website that its any size plant they want (by pot size), pot it up the very day its sold and sell it for 5x the price and that seems just to you? I’m well aware that all plants, even from the same exact species, can have wildly different growth rates but at the end of the day the nurseries are selling a product and if the product description has a discrepancy like this than just like in any other business, the buyer should have a right to return the product.

In either case, the seller told me that it was a mistake and he would never have knowingly sold a plant that size with the 1 gallon label. He has made things right by offering replacements and I am happy with my transaction.


I just bought a raspberry cultivar I had been looking for in a #3 pot which appeared to have been established. Upon attempting to repot discovered it was no more than a Dave Wilson sleeve ($12) newly potted into a #3 pot and sold for $39. Been growing plants for a few decades. WILL NEVER BUY FROM THIS LOCAL NURSERY AGAIN.

You might think their customers aren’t “scammed” but as far as I’m concerned they are not to be dealt with. I all my years of selling quality plants I would NEVER do such a thing.

Sellers are expected to provide quality plants and ultimately it’s their responsibility to do so. If they can’t maintain reasonable quality control they fall into the category of very few people are good at their jobs, perhaps not deserving them!

In the end it’s the customers perception of quality that makes or breaks a company’s reputation.

Yup. Every single one. Not only that every single plant I sell (hobby, maybe 20~40 plants a year) I tell everybody that it is a crucial part of inspecting a plant and that they should do so.

Specially in big box stores; you have no idea the root bound messes I have spotted and eventually learned never to buy from them. On an established plant the pot slides of without issues and go back the same way. It doesn’t take much lifting of the plant off the pot to inspect what’s going on there.

Why stop there? Can I deliver sight unseen that same plant in a 3 gallon pot?

funny to read what people feel free to do.

I’d always ask a seller first if i could see the roots/unpot the plant in a store. Id never start randomly janking plants out of pots. Sometimes it might slide off. But often it takes quite some forces and damages the plant. Imagine a plant being unpotted and put back in once a day for 2 weeks. Not gonna be happy in most cases.

also strange comparison to packing pinda’s in a candy bag? quite unusual, who puts packing pinda’s in a candy bag??? it’s expected however to have potting soil in a pot. So i don’t think it’s an apt comparison.

Id compare it more to buying a unripe pear. I could complain the pear is hard/unripe. But if i’d wait a week it be perfect. This plant has just been potted. thats clear. however in a month it might have reasonaly have filled the pot. However if the pear had been sold as eating ripe, and id have to wait a week i might have reason to complain.

I think if you have high expectations as a buyer, it’s also on you to first ask for size/photo. Or go shopping in person.

I have to say though. Nursery’s are in a tough spot. And i think some people have unrealisitc expectations. Especially for more rare/specialised plants.
For a christmas tree your buying size. For most plants your buying species / variety. Plants in pots have a limited life-time. Before they get rootbound or need to be up potted. So nursery’s have to update their stock list whenever the up-pot/maintain unsold plants. Idealy they’d build a delay in the system, to first let the plant fill out the pot a bit. But in that case you might get problems with shipping weigth of plants that where uppoted but still listed with their previous pot size. The alternative is that online sellers photograph every plant? Or let them all get rootbound by keeping them in to small pots (i think the nursery’s that do this get less complaints. But the plants do worse in the long run)

I would not be trhilled if i recieved this plant for 15$. But i don’t think id be scammed. Especialy if i bought only on pot size, during the time of year lots of bare rooted plants just have been potted. It’s also a bit on me, ordering at the wrong time, and expecting the wrong thing than. (im also not gonna complain my bear rooted tree does not have leaves right?)

Just add stock photos of blooms of fruit and other plants, generally, no one will ask if they are of the actual plants for sale. Sell the “sizzle,” not the steak!