Great selection of seeds, excellent service, acceptable germination rates, I will continue buying them!
Minime8484 Chandler, AZ (Zone 9b) (20 reviews) February 27, 2013
Posted on October 9, 2012, updated February 27, 2013
Posted on December 2, 2011, updated October 9, 2012
Posted on March 7, 2011, updated December 2, 2011
Posted on September 24, 2010, updated March 7, 2011
I've ordered some very rare seeds a couple of times from them and have only positive experiences - the response time to email orders is rapid (within 2 days) considering their amazing inventory, shipped quickly (within 4 days).
My only complaint - and it is a mild one - is that my last order also included a couple of plants. When the charge hit my account, it was not for the amount expected, so I had to contact to find out why.
Steve immediately responded that they had been out of the 2 plants I ordered, so only the seeds were shipped and charged.
It would have been nice to have been contacted before shipping about the out of stock plants because I probably would have ordered something else to make the shipping cost more worth it.
Nonetheless, no one rivals their seed selection! I highly recommend them!On March 7th, 2011, Minime8484 changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Placed a plant-only order last month, and this time - to be sure MG *had* the plants I wanted - I *called* ahead of time and spoke to them. I read off each one and I was told each was available and to send over my order.
I just received my order on 3/5/11 (date ordered was 2/14/11), and sure enough, I did not get all I ordered; one plant was not included (so I assume not available - as there is no note with the package). I realize they are busy - especially at this time of year - but, it really is bad business to continually send partial orders even after having called to check availability.
From now on, I will only order from Mesa Garden as a last resort.On December 2nd, 2011, Minime8484 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
MG was the only place I could get some rarely available species of Cleistocactus, so I broke down and ordered from them again.
I am forced to change my rating back to Positive. They seem to be learning and improving.
Steve was VERY responsive to all communications. When the plants arrives (in less than two weeks), there was a note that one species was not available - a big improvement from my past experiences where nothing was noted. OK - I'm OK with that. Steve also clearly communicated that several he only was able to send unrooted cuttings, but he also indicated to please contact him in the spring if I am unsuccessful in getting them rooted.
And, the clincher of all: EVERY plant was MUCH larger than I had expected! Even though the plant prices ranged from a measly $3 all the way to $3.50 (I'm the last of the big spenders!), I got one 7" tall, another 6" tall, two 5" tall, and three 3" tall!
You simply cannot get a better deal than that anywhere. And that's not to mention that these are hard-to-get species - AND most of them had collection data.
So, yeah - I've had a change of heart. Again. They will definitely get my business again.
I'm glad I gave them another chance.
You will too.On October 9th, 2012, Minime8484 added the following:
I just placed another order with MG last week, and the plants arrived today!
This place has really turned things around in my eyes...communication has been great from start to finish. Prices are incredibly low for the plant quality.
This batch of plants quite literally blew me away - some of the ones I ordered (none over $4!) were simply huge (over 8"!!) for a mail order place - esp for those prices. Add to that fantastic locality info on many of them, this place is simply hard to beat.
They've really made a solid believer and regular customer.
Can't wait until the list is updated next year!On February 27th, 2013, Minime8484 added the following:
Placed another order - plants and seeds - and they arrived after only a month from date of ordering. This is phenomenal since I ordered only a couple days after they released their new seed list!
A couple of plants were out of stock, but those were clearly indicated in the package. The plants they did include are HUGE! I did order a couple of plants from the "Specimen Plant" list, but for only $10, I didn't expect anything extraordinary. However, both 'specimen plants' were huge! One was over 18" tall!
All plants packed well and in really great condition. Seeds arrived in great condition as well and clearly labeled.
Top notch company. No qualms whatsoever any more about them - order and order a lot! = )
Within the list of "other" succulents Mesa Gardens has a nice selection of Stapeliads. Although half of the ones I ordered were out of stock, the ones that arrived were nice sized and carefully packed. Next time I'll order earlier in the season.
tikipod (Ang) Bremerton, WA (Zone 8b) (11 reviews) April 9, 2012
Posted on October 22, 2011, updated April 9, 2012
Posted on October 14, 2011, updated October 22, 2011
I sent in a seed order via email on September 29th, 2011. The seeds arrived quickly. The seeds germinated quickly as well and the germination rate has been quite pleasing. I'm very pleased with this company and have sent a second order in on October 13th, 2011.On October 22nd, 2011, tikipod added the following:
Second order arrived and I'm very pleased. Will have to order in 2012 :)On April 9th, 2012, tikipod added the following:
I placed an order on March 1st, 2012 for 11 seed packets. I had hoped that these would arrive before Easter but unfortunately with the whole Spring thing it didn't work out that way.
Still great communication, packing and seeds. I will order from again ^_^
MARGO3 Worthington Springs, FL (1 review) June 10, 2011
This spring I ordered 9 plants. After waiting FIVE weeks I recieved only 4 of the 9, all of which were listed as available on their website. The 2 agaves I got were shriveled, but will probably live. As someone else said, this place should be a very last resort.
DannyH Fort Pierce, FL (7 reviews) January 24, 2011
One of the best seed selections if not the best.
dave12122 East Haddam, CT (73 reviews) February 27, 2010
I've dealt with Mesa Gardens for many years, but only for plants. In general, plant sizes are satisfactory, especially for cactus. There were a few cases in the succulents where I felt the plants could have been grown on for a few more years before being offered. (The Conophytum clumps, for example, are a lot less generous than those offered by Steve Hammer at nearly the same price.) In a few instances, notably Lobivia/Echinopsis and Parodia many of the listed species are dubious names/forms or merely synonyms of other species. Like "Palmbob" I have discovered some misidentifications from time to time. On the other hand, Mesa is one of the few sources for the Pediocactus and Sclerocactus and the overall selection is pretty imposing. I think the positives outweigh the negatives enough to order with confidence.
When I read some people's comments about seeds and plants received by Steve Brack's nursery: Mesa Gardens it is interesting to consider that people making comments about plants seem to know very little about cacti and succulents.in the first place. Those people who make comments on the "dinky" size of the plants need to learn Steve's approach. Steve tries as much as possible to raise "tough" plants. He is a real succulent and cactus expert and has been to a great number of the natural sites where these plants come from. People who are used to seeing pumped up cacti and succulents in the chain stores, don't seem to realize that these are the "sick" plants. Most of the
miniscule plants being delivered by Steve are believe it or not; are several years old!, some of the ones bought in the chain stores are a few months old! In natural difficult environments the plants just don't swell up to pleasing sizes, and as much as possible Steve tries to mimic nature. The last comment I have is about comments about non-viable seeds. Steve has the largest succulent and cactus seed list in the world, He basically manages this with his wife , I can attest that he has not lost his passion nor dedication to providing the best. I also know that he is very honest, but buried with work and orders most of the time. I personally don't understand how he does what he does! My hat off to him!
I've used Mesa Garden 3 times and have been satisfied with my orders. I've ordered about 20 packs of seeds, all hardy echinocereus and escobaria, and have had real good germination overall. A few packs did only yield 3-5 sprouts but considering the price I'm not complaining. The orders I've made in the fall have arrived within 10 days or less. If you order in the Spring there will be a much longer wait as they receive a ton of orders then
I've been raising cactus from seed for over 20 years and I have always had good success with the seed from Mesa Garden,.........until this year. I ordered over $120 worth of seed and only about 20% germinated under controlled conditions. Most of these were agaves, pachypodiums and puyas, none of the hardy cactus ever germinated, except for one pack of cholla seeds. So buyer beware, either they are getting up in years and not able to obtain fresh seed for a lot of their listings or they simply don't care anymore. They didn't even bother to answer my email, but maybe I should have attached my Hort. degree and they might have given me more notice. I have nothing negative to say about their plants since I didn't order any this time, but I will say don't order any hardy cactus seed from them.
AnalogDog Mountlake Terrace, WA (Zone 8a) (2 reviews) April 12, 2008
I ordered some seeds for Lithops and Mammilarias and it was a pretty odd ordering experience, as I emailed my order in as they requested and then about a week later they get back to me. And then it seemed even more time to send it out, but it all got here, nice and secure. No real complants at all.
Mr_Cleaver Reeders, PA (Zone 4a) (3 reviews) January 27, 2008
I mostly buy Mesmebs and Mesa has an excellent selection of them. Only once has the item I ordered been out of stock. I supplied an alternate selection and that was filled. Each plant has been healthy and happy. Strangely, not every plant I have ordered has been a 'starter'. On 2 occasions I have recieved older, well established plants, one with several seed pods. One Monilaria was 18 years old and a beauty and it was 4 dollars. That's what I call a bargain! Most of the time and the wait time for an order to be filled and shipped can take a few weeks so be aware when placing your order. I think it is worth the wait.
CactusCountry Lake Mary, FL (Zone 9a) (2 reviews) January 22, 2008
Ordered for the first time from them 2 weeks ago. At first disappointed at small stature of my succulents, didn't realize they were "starters". Excellent condition. Just beautiful. Ordered seeds as well. Perfectly packaged and labeled. Started planting them next day. It has been 5 days and already I see growth in every one! Can't wait to receive next part of my new order. Waiting for warmer weather. Steve is most helpful and patient in answering all my questions. Highly recommend.
Mesa garden carries an extremely extensive list of cacti and succulent seed. Of the half dozen orders I've made, all came back within a couple weeks and once when there was a shipping problem Steven was responsive in correcting it.
There are a few things to take into account when ordering from them though. For one, they only update their price list once or twice a year, this means that items (particularly the more popular ones) may well be out of stock. Ordering immediately after the list was updated makes it more likely that you'll get what you order - still one should expect that several things you order won't be available. Just ask to have the balance refunded and order a few extra things.
Another thing is that some seed may not be viable and/or may be difficult to germinate. These aren't domesticated plants that have been selectively bred to be easy to raise from seed. Cacti seed are generally good about germinating, (though a few need scarafication, stratafication and/or GA3 to kickstart them), however many types of succulent seed have relatively short shelf lives and are less understood than the cacti - they span dozens of genus. They vary from 0 to 100% germination, fortunately they're quite cheap compared to most sites that sell seed - I just order a variety of stuff and trust the hits to make up for the misses.
Last, the plants tend to be small. They're also cheap, so you get what you pay for, but don't expect a large plant - rather it's a 'start'. This is quite okay for faster growing species like sedum, but an order for a very slow cactus might result in a specimen of disappointing stature.
As far as mis-labeled plants go, I haven't had a problem. Mesagarden gets many of it's seed from a variety of distributors and some of it may get mis-labeled at some point. If something turns out to not be what it was labeled as, I would suggest providing feedback to Steven so he can figure out what went wrong and improve the reliability of his offerings. Over time he can then weed out sloppy seed sources.
I have ordered cactus seeds and plants from Mesa Garden on many occassions. They process orders quickly, and they have one of the world's largest collections of cactus seeds. Everything is inexpensive. Steve Brack of mesa garden has always responded to simple questions. They are my favorite cactus and succulent greenhouse.
been getting plants and seeds from thrm for years had no problems with them yes there very busy filling seed/plant orders this time of year as for plants could be a bit bigger but im very happy with them .
The best! Their plants really come from some interesting places. Have had great success with them in Georgia growing them indoors and outdoors. Have ordered several times. All plants have remained healthy.
Very reasonably priced seeds....prompt service. I received my order a week after I sent it!
palmbob Acton, CA (Zone 8b) (17 reviews) October 5, 2005
Good selection, and really a nice, honest place to order from. I have ordered two times, a year apart... and they couldnt' fill all of either order... but I pretty much had forgotten i had a credit since it had been over a year since the last order. And they sent me a check for the difference.... I was amazed. Plants were ordered in dead of winter, so delay was expected... was a bit disappointed in dinky size of most plants, but almost all healthy. Guess I should order plants later in the year from now on. Despite infintesimal size of some (two agaves sent were so small I could barely find them in the newspaper... one was litterally one leaf and that one the size of my pinky nail)... but all surviving to this day except that dinky one (never really had a chance- only fragment of a rootlet, too). Have another order pending, this one made in early fall, so we'll see if delivery a bit more prompt.On February 28th, 2007, palmbob changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Now that I have had the plants I got from them a few years ago, I am slowly, plant by plant, discovering that somebody there has no idea what things are. I lost two of the dinkiest agaves (never took), and at least 3 of the aloe species are NOT even close to what they claimed they were, and one of the Agaves is also wrong. So, of all the plants I got from them, only half of the living ones are the correct species. I will never order from them again, as there are so many more reliable sources now for the rare and unusual Aloes I wanted. Sad.
nevadagdn Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) (117 reviews) March 12, 2005
My order was handled and shipped very quickly--I ordered exactly a week ago, and received the order this morning. I placed an order for the "Extra-Hardy Cactus Collection", 10 plants all likely to survive a zone 5 climate. The plants, while small (many of them never get very large anyways), all look extremely healthy, and a wide variety of species was included.
I just received my order of seeds for this spring. As always (I have ordered seeds from Mesa every year for the past 4 years) the seeds arrived promptly and very well packed. Prices are very reasonable. In the past I have had exceptional germination rates, almost always close to 100%. I expect this year will be the same. I also ordered plants once or twice and was happy with them. Highly reccommended.
MaryEv Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6a) (8 reviews) November 4, 2004
I have ordered from Mesa Garden and am very happy with what was shipped. Most of what I ordered was seeds and they were very generous with the quantity. The germination rate was very high, also.
They have a great selection of both seeds and plants (some pretty hard to find varieties) and very reasonable prices.
My only complaint would be that the one plant I ordered was shipped dormant, without directions. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite what I was expecting and I didn't know what to do with it.
I've bought from Mesa Garden for years, and they are the best that I've found. Their selection is seemingly endless, and the plants are well documented, povenance and cold hardiness, etc.
I visited once, on a trip to New Mexico, and these guys were the busiest people I've ever seen. It was Spring, and time to do the pollination--there were multiple greenhouses, and people with charts and records scurrying about, using tiny paint brushes to pollinate flowrs and then making sure the brushes were all kept separate, etc. The organization was tremendous, but what really struck me was how busy they were, I don't think there are enough hours in a day to do all the work that they needed to do.
Anway, the plants were healthy appearing and all well labeled. It was impressive.
The seeds I have bought have always been true-to-type and had good germination. And the advice is always reasonable, they don't stretch their hardiness ratings and they get back to me in time--no matter how busy. But, I must admit, they are busy beyond belief in Spring.
Anyone ordering from this company must be advised that if you are in a hurry to get your seeds-forget it. They do advise you that during their busy season it could take up to 3 weeks to get your order-I am at 5 weeks and still waiting. If you do order from their HUGE selection DO NOT mail it in! When I called, the gentleman on the phone was very cordial and notified me that they were behind opening their mail bags by 4 weeks. In business, too much business is a good problem to have-as long as it doesn't get over your head.
Shippment arrived on the day promised. Very nice, very hard to find rare plants. Thanks!
carly6543 Arden-Arcade, CA (2 reviews) April 24, 2002
I recently received an order of cactus/succulent seeds and plants. The plants are in beautiful condition, well-raised, and are a good value for the money. Their seed selection is great.
Patrick Muncie, IN (Zone 5B) (2 reviews) December 1, 2001
Mesa Garden has a very extensive list of cactus and succulent plants as well as a very large inventory of cactus and succulent seeds. Both plants and seeds are reasonably priced, but the size of plants received is somewhat small. While they have a large number of plants available, their primary interest is in seeds. Service is both helpful and personable.
Dealing with this vendor was a pleasant, kind of old-fashioned experience. No shopping cart utility, so I cut and pasted my order from thewebsite's catalog into an email, added my shipping info, and told them I'd call with my credit info. When I did so, I spoke with the owner, Steven Brack, who from his greenhouses took the info down on a scrap of paper, and told me about the monsoon season just started in New Mexico. That night he emailed me with confirmation of my order, and suggested a few changes to it based on my cold/wet climate conditions. The order arrived 3 weeks later, which was a bit longer than I expected, but this is a few-person operation, so I understand. The cacti and agave were wrapped bare-rooted in newspaper, which is a good way to ship such plants, and are absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Hopefully, I can keep them that way in Ohio. They are mostly small, but that's to be expected for young succulents. Prices are very good, and shipping is dirt cheap. I'm very pleased with these folks. The selection is incredible. If you look at the websites of serious cactophiles worldwide, you will see Mesa Garden's name listed over and over again as the source.
Mesa Garden is held in the highest regard by many people who grow cacti the world over. They carry both seeds and plants. Their selection is astonishing, many with collection numbers. Their prices are cheap and their service is pretty good. Their main catalog comes out in January and if you get your order in within a couple of weeks of posting of the catalog, you will get your order back fairly quickly. But for a month or two after that, they get so many orders they get swamped and it may take a month to get your order back. The rush usually dies down in March and thereon there is no problem. I have found the germination rates of their seed to be pretty good. The plants are small, 2 to 3 year olds and again like the seeds many come with locality and collection numbers. Seeds are shipped in a small box so they won't arrive crushed. I give this place my highest recommendation.