Try It Before You Buy It: Little Giant Blueberry plant

DUNWOODY, Ga. -- Like many of us, Rochelle Ziglin loves blueberries because they're naturally low in calories but rich in vitamins and antioxidants -- not to mention delicious.

"I always buy blueberries," she said. "I buy them almost once a week. They're good and healthy. So healthy is always good."

The Little Giant Blueberry claims you can save money with their easy-to-grow plants that yield up to four pints of berries a day.

Rochelle was impressed with the TV advertisement.

"Just huge plants with all these blueberries," she remembers.

So she went to the web site and ordered three plants for $10 plus 11 bucks shipping and handling.

The company double billed her and called a few days later trying to sell her something else but Rochelle finally got all that straightened out.

In a couple of weeks her order arrived. Unfortunately what she received was nothing like what she expected.

"Opened the box and lo and behold I have three little blueberry plants in a plastic bag," she said. "I thought I was getting a blueberry plant in something. I didn't know I was just getting three little sticks in dirt."

We took Rochelle's plant to theAtlanta Botanical Garden and asked Senior Horticulturist Colleen Dudley to take a look.

"This is a cutting that has been taken," she said.

She told us that the average gardener will have a tough time getting small cuttings like this to survive and recommends you buy a potted plant from a local garden center.

"The amount of time you're going to spend on nursing this one to that size," she said, "I think it's well worth spending the extra ten dollars to get the bigger plant right away."

Undeterred, Rochelle planted her cuttings and kept them watered.

A couple of months later we checked back. Sadly, two of her plants were already dead and the remaining one looked like it was years away from producing blueberries - if it lives.

"This one is green although it's brown right here on the top," she said.

Rochelle said the experience reminds her you can't always believe what you see in commercials.

"They advertise that all you had to do was put them in the ground and you would have quarts and quarts of blueberries," she said, "and I do because I went to the grocery store and bought quarts and quarts of blueberries."

The company that sells the plants, Gardener's Choice of Hartford MI, has hundreds of complaints with the Better Business Bureau. They do promise refunds if you're not satisfied - less those hefty shipping charges.

"For the Little Giant Blueberry bush," Rochelle said, "it's going to be two thumbs down."


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