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The scoop on 'Swan Island Dahlias'

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  Company Profile  
Swan Island Dahlias

Mailing Address:
PO Box 700 Department I
Canby, Oregon 97013 (United States)

Phone: 1-800-410-6540
Fax: (503) 266-8768
Paper Catalog Cost: Free (mini catalog); $4 full c

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Recent reviews:
Past month Past 6 Months Past 12 Months
Positive 2 2 3
Neutral 0 0 0
Negative 0 0 1
This company specializes in:

  Feedback History and Summary  
45 positives
3 neutrals
4 negatives

Comments:

Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive virginiarose
Southeast, VA (Zone 8a)
(54 reviews)
April 22, 2014
I ordered 7 Dahliah a few months ago and was given a bonus dahlia for a total of 8. I did an internet chat and was trying to add a couple of white ones but the order had already been sent to the wharehouse. The rep. did offer me half price shipping if I wanted to do a second order so I did. I received the dahlias a few days ago and was glad they waited for good weather and did not ship at the normal time because even zone 8 still had freezing temps. I am very happy with the service and the packing. The tubers do look freshly dug, they were shipped in dry peat moss, they look great!
Positive Sherilou
Panhandle Gulf Coast, FL (Zone 8b)
(20 reviews)
April 11, 2014
I'm very happy with Swan Island Dahlias. I looked everywhere for "Pooh Dahlia" and they have it! Shipping and handling is really inexpensive compared to other online nurseries. Great customer service and fast shipping.
Negative comgmail
Pequannock Township, NJ
(1 review)
August 10, 2013
last year I ordered a dozen tubers from swan island island. I planted in may of this year and by june only four or five very weak shoots appeared. when I contacted them they made prompt replacements, most of which were duds. never have I had poorer dahlias and next year i will be back to my trusted source, HOME DEPOT AND AT CONSIDERABLY REDUCED COST. submitted august, 2013
Company representative comment on August 12, 2013:
On Aug 12, 2013 8:49 AM, Swan Island Dahlias responded with:

Hello comgmail,

I am sorry to see that you have posted a negative review for us. Even after you reported failures and new dahlias were sent to you free of charge. We absolutely take care of our customers and have for over 87 years. We always stand behind our product and help our customers. We want your dahlias to be as beautiful for you as they are for us. We would have helped you even more had you chose to contact us and not just left us a negative. We are sorry you have chosen that path. I wish you the best of luck with your future yard and garden.

Have a beautiful day!

Jennifer Gitts-Eubanks
The Gitts Family
Swan Island Dahlias

Positive absinthe27
Albertville, MN (Zone 4b)
(7 reviews)
July 29, 2013
Ordered several dahlia tubers this spring and all sprouted. Our spring came really late, so no flowers yet since they weren't planted until the middle of June, but they should be blooming in the next several weeks. Can't wait to see the flowers! Would definitely order from Swan Island again.
Positive Dahlia_Gardener
Myrtle Creek, OR
(4 reviews)
February 4, 2013
I was first exposed to Swan Island Dahlias by my grandmother, who lived in the Salem area but has since passed away. She had gone to the dahlia festival and purchased a beautiful pink variety (which she didn't label) that grew and bloomed profusely. So I went to the dahlia festival to see the gardens for myself - what a treat! It was the beginning of an addiction (grin).

I have been ordering from them for the last three years. During that time, all but five tubers (out of about a hundred) grew and were true to type and form. Some didn't like WHERE they grew, but they did grow, and I learned where in my garden dahlias like to be planted. During this learning period, I have only lost one tuber, Canby Centennial, to rot in a really wet spring past the guarantee period in it's second season, the year before last. Last season I had dahlias blooming vigorously through the second week of November when I finally had to cut them back (and it felt like I was murdering them, they were so healthy). That's a pretty good record, in my opinion, and speaks to the quality of the stock that Swan Island raises.

I have, on several occasions, added to or adjusted my original orders, and the customer service staff has been unfailingly kind and professional.

The three times a tuber failed within the guarantee period, and the two times a tuber was not true to the catalog picture (again, out of about 100 tubers ordered), I told customer service as soon as I realized the problem, and Swan Island replaced the tubers with no questions asked in my next season's order. To me, considering the size of their operation, that represents a committment to excellent customer service.

I have been very happy with every ordering experience I have had with Swan Island Dahlias, and I can't wait to get my tubers this year!
Negative 4raftin
Portland, OR
(1 review)
August 24, 2012
Last September I bought 33 tubers (to be shipped in March 2012) to a tune of $209.45. The tubers shipped as promised and all looked healthy.

However, it is now the end of August and only 5 of those 33 tubers have poped up above the soil.

When I contacted Swan Island Dahlias about the problem (via e-mail) they asked what the tubers looked like now. So after alot of effort (I am disabled) I dug up 10 of the 33 and discovered that most had rotted away, the two that I did find appear to have rotted from the inside out.

Needless to say I am rather unhappy. That was large sum of money to invest in something I got only limited return for.

Will I buy from them again? Probably not, I might expect some tubers not to sprout...but 28 tubers is very bizarre.
Company representative comment on August 25, 2012:
On Aug 25, 2012 10:13 AM, Swan Island Dahlias responded with:

Hello,

I am so sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your dahlias that you purchased from us for spring 2012. We are truly disappointed that you have a posted a negative feedback regarding this matter before contacting us and giving us the opportunity to help you with these dahlias. We absolutely guarantee them to grow and be beautiful for you. There are many growing conditions or reasons that could cause the results you are seeing. And would have loved to have helped you with your dahlias...

There is still plenty of growing time left for us to help you with them if you would like - please contact us at 1-800-410-6540.

The Gitts Family
Swan Island Dahlias

America's leading dahlia grower for more 85 years. dahlias.com

Positive b07ias
Eureka, CA
(13 reviews)
July 4, 2012
I ordered fourteen varieties from them this year. I had a good experience with their customer service when I wanted to change my order and all fourteen of their tubers have sprouted. I would highly recommend this company. Their stock is the best I have seen since I started this dahlia kick.
Positive pattygreengenes
Lansdale, PA
(10 reviews)
April 12, 2012
Posted on August 7, 2011, updated April 12, 2012
I placed a small order for $25 with Swan as well as one with Easy Gro..Two of the Swan tubers grew but one is not a color I ordered. The other two never sprouted and the one that did sprout is very small. (You get one tuber per variety so it is not surprising that they are not gigantic the first year) I only mention Easy Gro because the ones I ordered from that company are flourishing so I do not think it is my horticultural skills that are the problem (40 yrs gardening).

The web site is good, easy to manage and to order and shipping was prompt.
On April 12th, 2012, pattygreengenes changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

I received two tubers today to replace the ones that did not sprout last summer so I am changing my review to positive based on their customer service. Will update again at the end of the summer.
Company representative comment on August 8, 2011:
On Aug 8, 2011 8:17 AM, Swan Island Dahlias responded with:

Good Morning!
Did you take advantage of our guarantee and let us know of any trouble that you had with your order? We absolutely guarantee all of our dahlias but cannot help you unless we hear from you. We have been the leader in the dahlia world for more than 85 years and definitely take care of our customers. Thank you!

Happy Dahlias!

Sincerely,
Jennifer Gitts-Eubanks
The Gitts Family
Swan Island Dahlias

Positive idanou
Provincetown, MA (Zone 7a)
(9 reviews)
October 5, 2011
I ordered 7 tubers from Swan Island Dahlias last winter. I had to get a hold of customer service a couple of times to make changes to my order and they were very helpful. This spring the tubers came in good shape. All varieties safe for one sprouted, I got a replacement for the one that didn't sprout in the same season. When I dug out the "failed" tuber, I found it was in good shape so I planted it in a different location and it sprouted as well. That variety and the replacement didn't do terribly well (the replacement bloomed very late and very modestly) BUT I take responsibility for that. The rest of the plants are stellar. Massive amounts of blooms and in the exact colors ordered. This year I placed an order for 8 more varieties. I am sure the service will be just as good. And one last thing... out of all dahlia mail order companies I've explored, Swan Island has the most user friendly and well executed website. One minor thing I'd like to mention is that the selection could use more show winning varieties but I'm sure they choose the varieties they carry very carefully.
Positive russ9673
Denver, CO
(10 reviews)
June 11, 2011
I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!!! I ordered 3 dahlias in late March. I asked for them to be shipped ASAP as I needed to get them started in my greenhouse quickly. Many companies offer a "quick ship" option, very few actually deliver. Swan Island I am pleased to say absolutely does! My tubers arrived 4 days after I ordered them. The tubers were large and well formed. Two of them sprouted immediately and have grown to enormous size. Sadly the third did not sprout, it did not rot, it just did nothing. I went to their website and read their guarantee and ready for a fight (sadly I have been driven to this by the poor service at other companies), I picked up the phone. The lady I spoke to was courteous and appologized quickly. To my amazement she said that they would ship me a new tuber that day. Sure enough, 3 days later it was waiting on my front porch! Thanks Swan Island for restoring some of my faith in on-line plant retailers!
Neutral Chuck1933
Springfield, MO
(4 reviews)
October 31, 2010
Posted on August 28, 2010, updated October 31, 2010
I ordered two collections during the early winter of 2009, and then I received a note that they had suffered some freeze damage and would be making some substitutions when my order shipped in the spring of 2010. The bulbs looked good and all of them sprouted.

As these 25+ dalihas began to bloom, the bloom size was 2-3 inches in diameter, occasionally 4 inches, mainly orange and purple, which were supposed to be 4-7 inch blooms. We are now at the end of the summer and this has not changed, although some of the plants have reached 4-5 feet in height.

As best I can tell, these varieties would be rejects anywhere else. I am giving them a negative based on the quality of blooms and the lack of variety in collections that were supposed to all be different.
On October 31st, 2010, Chuck1933 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

The dalihas sprang to life with the cooler weather in late September and October up until a killing frost 10/29/2010.
I just dug the bulbs and found all had multiplied profusely. Although I am going to stick to ordering bulbs closer to home from now on so that they are more acclimated to Missouri weather - and the bloom size on most was smaller than I had anticipated - since they all lived and multiplied a negative rating is probaly too harsh.
Company representative comment on August 28, 2010:
On Aug 28, 2010 5:28 PM, Swan Island Dahlias responded with:

Dear Chuck1933,

I am so sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your dahlias that you purchased from us for spring 2010. We are truly disappointed that you have a posted a negative feedback regarding this matter before contacting us and giving us the opportunity to help you with these dahlias. We absolutely guarantee them to grow and be beautiful for you. There are many growing conditions or reasons that could cause the results you are seeing. And would have loved to have helped you with your dahlias...

There is still plenty of growing time left for us to help you with them if you would like - please contact us at 1-800-410-6540.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Gitts-Eubanks
The Gitts Family
Swan Island Dahlias

Positive leemiller38
Stockton, CA
(1 review)
August 30, 2010
I received some substitute Dahlias when I ordered this year because of the freeze damage they suffered. I started them in the green house to grow early and to check on viability. After planting them out in the garden I was rewarded with earlier blooms than I obtained on the Dahlias left in the ground from other years. Every tuber but one was viable. I have had great service from this company. They replace any tubers that did not grow with my next order. My only regret is that I am too far away to easily get to their Dahlia festival, which I am sure is a great event for Dahlia lovers like me.
Positive w1108j
Lawrence, KS
(2 reviews)
April 19, 2010
Just got my dahlia tubers last week - mailed exactly when they said they would be mailed. They were the largest, best packaged dahlias out of the 5 places I ordered from this year. Stamped with the name of the dahlia on each one. Only one was sprouting, but saw eyes on all of them. Came with a growing guide, coupon, and catalog. So far so good!
Positive meplant
kelso, WA (Zone 8a)
(8 reviews)
April 17, 2010
My first order with this company and it was awesome...The tubers were so clean and healthy...I planted them right up...I will order from them again.
Neutral veryzer
Sycamore, IL
(4 reviews)
March 6, 2010
Posted on March 5, 2010, updated March 6, 2010
I initially ordered three dahlias, all of which arrived in great shape. I tried, however, to add a fourth to my order, and was told it would be no problem so long as I confirmed the addition. I did so, but the shipment was sent without said addition. When I sent an email questioning the shipment, I never received a reply. So, in short, what I received was as promised but I hoped for better communication (and action) on the subsequent addition.
Positive sydb50
Lake Oswego, OR
(1 review)
November 4, 2009
In all my years of dealing with Swan Island Dahlias, I can conjure up only ONE negative......I didn't care for the t-shirts for sale at the annual Festival this year!

In all my years of planting Swan Island tubers, I've only had one bad bulb. That was 15 years ago, it rotted in the ground, (probably my fault as it was my first experience putting them in the ground). A phone call to the company, and a replacement was on the way! The replacement was perfect, blooming all summer long.

Every year I swear to myself and my husband I will NOT buy more tubers at the festival!.......I can't wait for my shipment to arrive this spring, in perfect condition, ready to gift my garden with multiple new shades of coral colors!

I dug up my tubers yesterday and am now preparing to divide and share them with others. I have run out of space in my sun garden area, and am going to have to dig up and move my roses to make room for the new tubers. I can't wait for spring!

I LOVE everything about Swan Island Dahlias.......the farm......the people....the color.....the festival. Everything but the t-shirts this year.

A faithful fan!

Sydney Anderson
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Positive tsakiri
Thessaloniki
Greece (Zone 9a)
(1 review)
July 24, 2009
This has been my second year with this company and i have been extremely satisfied. Both times the tubers arrived (from the US to Greece!) in perfect state. They were fresh, clean, with multiple eyes (some of them had already sprouted) and very carefuly packed. Their catalogue takes your breath away and is NOT misleading. So far every different dahlia has grown exactly as to the description (size of flowers and colour). All the plants have sprouted and grown pretty quickly and flowered even more quickly. Last June one of the plants was almost dead, i e-mailed them asking for advice and i got a response within hours. This year the same tuber was added to my order for free, without any further mention from my behalf! Highly recommended.
Positive LVC1028
Syracuse, NY
(2 reviews)
June 3, 2009
I am brand new to the dahlia world and this was my first time ordering from Swan's and it has been a great experience. I ordered 15 tubers and all but two sprouted when I started them indoors. I contacted Swan and they immediately sent me replacements, which sprouted very quickly. As I said, I am very new and I had a couple of questions that I couldn't find the answers to so I emailed Swan to ask for help. They quickly responded and were very helpful. I am a very pleased customer--very healthy tubers plus great customer service. I highly recommend this company. I hope to order more next year. I only wish my yard were bigger so I could fill it up with dahlias!
Positive greathorse
Gladwin, MI (Zone 5a)
(4 reviews)
April 18, 2009
Recieved my order a few days ago and the tubers were in excellent condition with eyes already visable.
This is my second year ordering from Swan Island and will definately order from them in the future. A++++++ rating in my book!
Positive Tabacum
Mantua, OH (Zone 5a)
(16 reviews)
March 30, 2009
3/29/09.....Received my shipment on time from this
company...tubers were well packaged and in healthy
condition....paid extra $3 to have them shipped early
so I can start them early and take cuttings off the plants
prior to planting them....this is my third year to order from
this company....have not been disappointed in the tubers
I ordered....Maryanne, zone 5
Positive Pinkdoor
Portland, OR
(2 reviews)
September 10, 2008
I have been buying my tubers from Swan Island for years and always have great success. I also am fortunate enough to live near enough to attend their festival so I can see what I want in the fields as well as done up in bouquets.

Every year I bring flowers to work and I convert at least one new person to dahlias just by the beauty of the display.

I find the customer service at Swan Island to be great--they are pro active and listen to what I have to say. On the rare occasion when I have asked for a replacement they take care of me with no fuss. Regarding the negative comments--I think it's unfair to rate a company negatively but not give them a chance to try to resolve the issue. I suppose the unreasonableness of that speaks for itself.
Positive BenDecker
Ulster Park, NY
(1 review)
August 28, 2008
I have only ever gotten quality tubers from Swan Island dahlias and I feel very lucky to have found you After years of frustration from other companies, so keep up the great work.You'll keep me for years.
Positive juanwillis
Winchester, MA (Zone 6a)
(28 reviews)
July 25, 2008
The dahlias that I ordered from Swan Island were true to name and grew vigorously. I contacted them about one tuber whose eye had been lost during shipping and received a replacement very promptly, which is excellent customer service in my book.
Positive Camillka
Canby, OR
(1 review)
July 12, 2008
I have ordered bulbs from Swan Island Dahlia for the past three years and in each instance the bulbs arrived in prized condition, with the variety stamped on each bulb. The packaging is primo and the booklet of instructions could not be easier to follow............that is, if you take the time to read them. I always do and follow the instructions to the letter. My plants are strong and healthy bloomers. This year spring was so late in Oregon and it was June before I planted my new bulbs. They are each 18" tall already and have bloomed.
Their website is extraordinary and each picture is exactly the way your dahlia will look and the descriptions are exceptionally accurate. This generation has thought of everything the customer needs.
I live close enough to be able to attend their dahlia festival every year. Wouldn't miss it. Their display of every variety is beautifully presented and the names they give each one is full of imagination.
Best dahlia bulbs and the best value. Shop their website and you will not be disappointed!!!!!

Positive TexLu
West Sacramento, CA
(3 reviews)
June 3, 2008
I ordered dahlias three times from this company. All bulbs came on time, spurted and grow beautifully.
Positive jmorth
Divernon, IL (Zone 5b)
(13 reviews)
May 26, 2008
Ordered late in the season but response was swift. Healthy tubers, individually stamped with variety's name. Catalog and internet site put together well.
Positive lqotw
Colfax, WI
(3 reviews)
April 16, 2008
Purchased a gift certificate for my sister-in-law and was impressed by their site and their helpfulness (the place I tried before Swan Island didn't even bother to answer my enquiries), so I ordered a few dahlias for myself. They arrived yesterday - beautifully and securely packaged. Can't wait to get them in the ground!
Positive mbabbitt
Bothell, WA
(8 reviews)
April 13, 2008
My order arrived today. Each of the 7 tubers came in one bag and were stamped with the name of the variety on the tuber -- and each appeared solid and in good condition. All but one had a visble growth point and 3 even had an active new root. The one without a visible growth point was a rectangular strange shaped tuber; I had trouble telling which side was up so I planted it on its side. Will see how they do in the next month or two. This company takes dahlia growing seriously and their web site is a feast for the eyes with plenty of information for the mind.
On May 9th, 2008, mbabbitt added the following:

I should have noted in my original comments that the rectangular shaped tuber I received was not really a tuber but a stem mass that might have been one with growth eyes. So, I kept watch and after 3 weeks the other dahlias are growing fine exept for that one, it just having a stray root. I wrote the company and, without any hassle whatsoever, they sent me a replacement -- and a nice one at that. Now that is customer service. This is a good situation to see what a company is about -- and they passed the test very well.
On May 9th, 2009, mbabbitt added the following:

Each dahla I ordered grew very well last year and I ordered again this year and again, the dahlia tubers were in great shape. There shipping is fast and they are dependable. That is what you want in a vendor.
Positive starlight1153
Seale, AL (Zone 8b)
(15 reviews)
January 23, 2008
Just ordered from this company, my foirst time and was pleased as punch with the service and the product. Will definately order more from them.
Positive machiasacres
Everett, WA
(6 reviews)
October 2, 2007
This is my 3ed year of buying bulbs fron Swan Island. I purchased 20, my neighbor 45 bulbs. As usual all arrived plump and solid. All grew into beauitful plants, our combined gardens are just wonderful. Each fall we divide and share the huge clumps with friends and family. Over the 3 years I have had only one bulb that did not sprout. It was replaced immediatly after calling . A GREAT COMPANY!!!!
On October 2nd, 2007, machiasacres added the following:

Tubers!..... I mean tubers!!!! Too busy thinking about fall planting.
Positive Plantmania_216
Marietta, OH
(2 reviews)
May 5, 2007
I placed a large order with Swan Island after reading the reports at Dave's Garden and I wasn't disappointed. The bulbs were the largest I've seen, well labeled and are vigorously growing. A couple varieties were a little slower to sprout, but I'm sure there are variations from type to type. The important thing is that they are are all growing and very healthy! Several friends were impressed with my plants and are placing orders now. I would highly recommend this company!
Negative shamrockbear
Chicago, IL
(1 review)
May 5, 2007
I ordered many dahlias and most of them didnt sprout. Didnt even bother to contact them again for new ones they grow there I think so I rather get them straight from the store or holland. The few that did sprout were poor performers... Sorry had a bad experience wont be repeat customer
Positive sudhira
Aptos, CA
(7 reviews)
April 21, 2007
My second year ordering from SWI, tubers, wonderful, clean, fat and happy..no shrivles...excellent.
Positive Jax4ever
Boxford, MA (Zone 6a)
(5 reviews)
April 13, 2007
Great company! All tubers are healthy and eyed up, if not sprouting. Always a great catalog! I like the packing method and name stamps. Also, no subs.
P. S. When people complain about a tuber not sprouting/growing, it is not usually the fault of the grower. The tuber could be a "dud" that looked healthy, or it was mishandled.
Positive tgjones
Farmington, UT
(4 reviews)
January 31, 2007
I have ordered tubers from this company since 2001. I again for 2007 ordered alot of tubers. Customer service was great, they are concise and have a great catalog with alot of variety. Only once did I have a tuber not sprout, and they quickly replaced it. Wonderful company.
Positive lovedirtynails
Portland, OR
(2 reviews)
June 23, 2006
I ordered 6 dahlias and received them all the very next day. They even threw in an extra one! I really like their on-line catalogue.
Positive flowerfrenzy
Vancouver, WA (Zone 7a)
(42 reviews)
April 21, 2006
I received my order a few days ago and was very pleased. The tubers were fresh and had multiple eyes. The names were stamped on each tuber, so there was no chance for a mixup. Their customer service, selection and prices are all excellent.

I get to visit Swan Island Dahlias every year because it's not very far from me. The sight of all of their dahlias blooming at once is incredible! If you ever get a chance, be sure to stop by in late summer.

I highly recommend purchasing from this fine company. You won't be sorry.
Positive lafko06
Brimfield, MA (Zone 5a)
(27 reviews)
April 16, 2006
A few days ago I got my order of over 200.00 of tubers. They look in great shape and each package is clearly marked with each variety. This company has a wonderful selection and their customer service is outstanding. I had to contact them twice to make changes on my order and they were amazingly patient, helpful and understanding. I will update this site in the summer with an update on how successful were these tubers.
Positive pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY (Zone 7a)
(33 reviews)
May 19, 2005
I placed my order online and contacted them via email to let them know I had a list of substitutes for each plant I wanted. They asked me to email it and I did. They had all the varieties I wanted. I also wanted delivery on a specific date so I could start them indoors. They complied. I wrote last week about one that has begun to "eye up" but lags far behind the others. They emailed me that very day and said some are slower than others.

All of their tubers are stamped with the name so there's no mixups. A real A1 company.
On June 15th, 2005, pirl added the following:

Finally, I took a digital photo showing how far behind it was compared to their others. Asked again if this was normal.
They shipped me a new one and emailed first to confirm my suspicions. Super excellent service and responses.
Positive slubberdegulion
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
(33 reviews)
April 26, 2005
This was my first order for myself. Dahlias ordered last year as a gift have been doing fine too, I hear. I'm most impressed by their selection and prices. The dahlias were well packed and marked. I'm looking forward to seeing how my dahlias perform this year.

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