Considering that they ship from Malaysia, I was pretty skeptical of the chances that the plants would make it to me OK. I do like that they have good customer service. They promptly responded to my PM on Aquaticplantcentral.com (they are Sponsors and have a Sponsor forum section). The order total came up to $16. The shipping took a while (which is to be expected). They send it via regular air mail and it usually takes between 2-3 weeks to arrive here.
The plants came in a regular brown paper envelope. Definitely not insulated enough for winter so you probably want to stick to ordering from them when the weather is relatively nice where you live.
The plants themselves were very impressively packed in little plastic bags. I expected them to be completely squished but they were doing well and looked completely healthy! The pic below shows 2 philippine java ferns and 1 anubias nana packed in the plastic ziploc bags.
The size of the Java fern was absolutely astounding! I couldn't believe how large and dense they were. The ball of roots was unreal!
All in all I was extremely happy with the order. This same amount of Java fern would have easily cost me over $60-70 to buy in the US. In addition it is pretty hard to find Philippine Java fern out here, especially in larger volumes. I would definitely do business with them again. However I think these are some things one should keep in mind when ordering from them:
1) Do not order from them as your primary plant source, or if you absolutely must have your plants by a certain date. Shipping is slow, and obviously since they are shipping from Malaysia there are many reasons for your plants to not make it to you in good shape. If that happens they are usually very good about re-shipping plants to you again for no extra charge.
2) Ordering when local weather is extremely hot or cold can be a bad idea.
3) You need to have a certain level of patience. There isn't any tracking number so you have no idea when the plants will arrive. It could be 2 weeks, 4 weeks, or never in which case you need to notify them (After 3 weeks is a good time) and then have them re-ship the plants.
4) One of the negatives is that because these aren't boxed, the plants get flattened and while they do a good job packing the plants, some of the leaves of the fern tend to get folded along sharp creases, essentially killing the upper portion of the leaf. These leaves need to be cut out before planting the java fern in the tank.
That's about it. I couldn't be happier with these plants. The Java fern is already growing and sending new leaves up from the rhizome. Here is a pic of the plants in my tank (along with other plants I ordered from aquabotanicstore):
Edited by Orion, 10 July 2008 - 10:35 PM.