I have been a long time customer of santa rosa but my last order didn't go quite as I had planned. It seems SR is taking shortcuts I have never seen them take before, making me wonder if they should still be my go to mail order nursery.
I have always loved that while the SA plants may be small, they have very well established roots that allow the plants to take off quickly. In very short time, you can't even tell that I didn't purchase the product locally.
I placed a large order for several plants. I purchased several hostas from their "bargain bin." Upon receiving them, I found out I was sent liners and the plants were HEAVILY root bound. Their website FAQ clearly states that they never send liners. Even the listing for this product status the product size as '3" grower pot.' When I contacted the company, they stated that the picture clearly represents receiving a liner. The picture does in fact have the roots showing (note, not root bound), even if no other text on the web page says a thing about this. Apparently the picture is supposed to over-write everything else.
I also ordered some hens and chicks off the site, to find they now use "2" catcus pots" ie liners. They just call them something different so that they can say they don't use liners. Well my particular product was listed as a "4" grower" pot. After pointing this out, they quickly changed all of the listings to display the cactus pot size. Beware, what they mean by cactus pot is a liner. The plant that I received had one tiny (maybe 1.5"?) head on it.
Then there was the ice plant that I ordered which had been so heavily overwatered for quite some time that it was completely melting when removing it from the box.
One of the non-bargain bin hostas that I was sent had a caterpillar on it, which had completely eaten one of the hostas down to almost nothing. I get that those guys are sneaky, and if that was the only issue probably would have just laughed it off.
I did receive several other plants which were up to the normal SA quality that I have come to love.
The customer service at SA is typically very top notch. They did reply to me quickly and did credit the above plants with apologies for listing the size wrong on the hens and chicks and the caterpillar. I can't ask for more than that as long as I order from them again and an use the credit. However, I didn't appreciate the snide remarks about knowing what I am receiving because of the picture, even if it doesn't align at all with anything on the website.
I don't know if I will order again, because I have been so fond of the fact that SA doesn't send liners, sends healthy plants ready to go crazy, and stands behind their product with no questions asked. Now I don't know of any particular way to determine exactly what I will be receiving, and I don't want to have to go through the hassle of receiving tiny plants that I will have to nurse before they can be planted.
On Jun 18, 2013, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:
"On Jun 18, 2013 10:50 PM, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:
We appreciate your feedback, and we certainly value you as a loyal customer. You can be assured that our goal is to always provide our customers with the best priced plants AND the best customer service in our industry. Our top goal, however, is to provide plants that will succeed for our customers. We grow many varieties of plants and our standard plant size is one that we are proud to offer and are confident will succeed for our customers. We worked hard to develop a pot size that is shippable but DOES set us apart from the bare-root and liner suppliers. For Santa Rosa Gardens, it's simple: If a plant does not succeed, we have failed and will do what it takes to remedy the situation.
Santa Rosa Gardens does offer 'bargain' plants at very low prices. These plants are noted on our website as being outside of our normal standards. This is how we describe our Bargain Bench on our website:
About our Bargain Bench: Here you will find an offering of plants which we may have only a few of in stock. Also, plants listed here may have blemished leaves or have suffered some cosmetic damage to the leaves or stems. These plants may be in smaller sized containers that we don't want to take the time to pot up or perhaps it's too late in the season. They will have significant 'clearance' pricing. Plants offered here are healthy, but will be sold cosmetically 'as is'. With proper care these plants will grow and produce the same quality flowers as the other plants but you can get them at bargain prices. Have a heart...give these plants a chance to flourish!
Bargain plants are exactly that...a bargain. Whether they are in a gallon pot or a 3" grower pot, we price the plants at a much lower price than that pot would normally sell. This season, some of our hosta did have overgrown roots, which is one of the reasons they were placed on the bargain bench and many were reduced from $12.99 to $2.99 per pot. Then some later reduced to $1.99 per pot. They were very viable plants that were a definite bargain to any gardener buying them. Yes, they were in a 3" deep pot, not a 4" deep pot.
As for our hens and chicks... We grow them in shallower pots because they simply do not root out as well or as quickly in a season. Their roots remain shallow and because they must also ship out slightly drier, in deeper pots they just end up being a dirt mess in the box. Our goal...provide our customers with a quality plant that will survive and flourish. We do price them accordingly.
We guarantee what we sell...period. Plants are not perfect creatures and we certainly are not either, but we stick to our goal. Provide our customers with plants that will flourish and that they will enjoy. If we fail...we WILL and DO make it right. We hope you will continue to give us an opportunity to prove that to you."
Issue: I received my order today of the 7 miscanthus sine sis Little Zebra. Of the 7 all but 1 are very nice. I would like to get this 1 replaced with 1 of equal size to the others.
Resolution: I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the way this issue has been corrected. You don't see great customer service like this anymore. I received the replacement plant today and it more than exceeds my expectations. Thank you so much for the expedient way and without question in which you handled this. You have a customer forever!
On Jun 16, 2013, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:
"On Jun 18, 2013 10:53 PM, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:
So glad the resolve worked out. We had a very busy season and more folks gathering plants in the greenhouse than ever before. If a poor plant is selected and shipped, we want to know...so that we can correct the problem. Thanks and happy gardening!"
Great company! Two orders this year. Both came EXTREMELY fast. PERFECT and best packaging I have gotten for plants and I get a lot of plants and bulbs via web companies. The plants that came were all very large (much larger than most companies) and appeared very healthy. Every plant is doing well. I am very satisfied and will be using them again! One of my orders was a clearance sale for end of the season. I ordered and RECEIVED the plants within one week!
On Jun 14, 2013, Patt52 Rydal, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
First time ordering from this company, and now I see why so many people love them!! I was very happy to see such large well rooted plants that was delivered to my door. I will certainly be a return customer as I see plants that I need or want to try. The two grasses I ordered were huge and the other plants were nice also. A little disappointed that one I have been wanting was out of stock, but I totally understand when it is an end of Spring Sale! Thanks so much SRG! I'm sure I will be ordering again in the Fall!
I ordered Bargain Bench and sale items at the end of spring sale, and I got a fabulous order, excellent in all respects. I expected little plugs for these prices, but I got larger, healthier plants than even expensive mail-order nurseries send, and what a DEAL!
Bargain Bench hoya had 2-3 growths per pot, totally healthy root systems, not a single browned leaf, and were a fraction of the price local nurseries have on their sale plants. Geranium Rozanne came planting size, full root system, some blooms even open, foliage fresh, ready to plant. Delosperma Fire Spinner was an absolute steal - way cheaper than anywhere else online or in nurseries, 4" plants with runners that spread 12", great roots. The bargain closeout stevia has a pencil-diameter main stem and is over a foot tall.
Packing was careful to keep plants from breaking/crushing, and shipping was Fed Ex 2 day, so plants were moist and happy, right out of the box. And the flat-rate shipping, wow! Just price the usual postage on such a large, heavy package, and you'll see what a great deal this is.
If you've bought from mail-order nurseries such as "pale-blossom farm" or "azure-rock perennials" (you experienced gardeners know who I mean), your Santa Rosa Gardens order will delightfully surprise you! Can't be beat!
On Jun 7, 2013, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:
"On Jun 18, 2013 10:55 PM, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:
Great feedback on the packaging. We're constantly working on it to improve! Thank you for your business."
On May 29, 2013, dlaurence Richmond, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:
I've ordered plants from Santa Rosa for many years now. This year, I just received 20 Karl Foerster (Calamagrostis). Here's what I like about this company:
1) order acknowledged in one business day.
2) order shipped FEDEX and received within 5 business days.
3) plants double-boxed in a plastic flat, and secured with netting.
4) plants always deep-rooted.
5) customer service responds quickly to concerns.
Santa Rosa is one of the absolute best online nurseries...My order was received well packaged with hearty plants. Great customer service and communication.
'My second order was for only one backordered plant so it was at the bottom of a packed with paper box and did not fair to well in travelling. Santa Rosa quickly said they would reship when I contacted them.Great company to do business with.
On May 9, 2013, cwsomm Dundalk, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:
I just recieved my shipment of hostas and an apple mint plant. As always, the packaging was the best of any company that I use. The plants arrived in wonderful condition.
I did have one hosta back ordered and they emailed me immediately to see if I would like a substitution or if I'd like to wait for the order to be shipped in June. I am waiting until June.
All of the plants that I have ordered from Santa Rosa Gardens have always been shipped in great packaging and the plants in great condition. I have been fortunate enough to see all of my plants coming back this year.
Order arrived at the time I requested. Plants were nicely packaged and each covered by a mesh sleeve which allowed the plants to breath but stay protected. Good and healthy, these plants were nicely sized for the price.
I received my recent order today. Everything was perfect, as usual. Much to my surprise I received 8 plants instead of the 6 that I ordered! Someone found two Carex Everdi that were unavailable and they were sent to me free of charge!
I want to thank you for the plants and for your excellent customer service. I live in an area that does not have access to super garden centers and the few garden centers here carry limited variety. I have tried other on-line plant companies on the few occasions that you were either sold out of something I was interested in or didn't carry it. I have always been disappointed in their plants. They are never as vigorous, as large or as well packed as your plants. Your shipping is faster, your shipping charges are less and your prices are very, very competitive. In most cases, less than other companies!
I can't say enough about your wonderful company. Your web site is a "class act" compared to others I have encountered and your customer service is exemplary.
There is a reason Santa Rosa Gardens is a Watchdog 30 company. When they say "100% satisfied, they mean it. I have ordered from this wonderful company in the past and have always been extremely pleased.
I had a concern with a recent order and emailed them. Within 24 hours I had a response and the matter solved. Thank you Santa Rosa.
On May 6, 2013, mombly Carrollton, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
Posted on June 15, 2011, updated May 6, 2013
Today I received my first order from Santa Rosa - all I can say is WOW. I've been mail ordering plants for almost 10 years, often from another seller listed as one of Dave's Garden's Top 5 for perennial, and I've never received plants through the mail that were anywhere near this nice before. Since the plants were purchased from Santa Rosa's end of season sale, this makes their condition even more impressive. In particular, I purchased the last five Echinacea Hot Summer plants in stock and expected that these would arrive in the same condition as the last plants at my local 'big box' store at the end of a summer. Instead, they were tall, green, full and healthy. Of the 32 plants I received, only one lavender plant looked a bit tired and dry.
I look forward to planting these guys in the next day or two. Hopefully our 100 degree days (and 90 degree nights) won't be too much for these lovely specimens.
On May 6th, 2013, mombly added the following:
WOW again. I usually make most of my purchases from Santa Rosa during their end of season sales, so I had forgotten how really great their plants are in the spring. I'm always happy with the sale plants, but the plants in this shipment couldn't be better! Over the past couple of years, you've become the only online plant company I purchase from. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
So absolutely suprised and delighted by my Santa Rosa purchase! I ordered Dianthus Brilliant Star and Coreopsis auriculata Nana. All of the plants were beautifully and meticulously packed. And the plants were large, gorgeous and healthy! I can't wait to order from them again.
On Apr 26, 2013, Skypilot3474 NELLYSFORD, VA wrote:
I'm writing here to give Santa Rosa Gardens a great thumbs up! I placed an order for four of their small fountain grasses called "Piglet". They were shipped and packed very well and the plants were healthy and of good size, but then I noticed that a part of one of the plants looked suspiciously like crab grass. I called Santa Rosa and the lady answering apologized for the shipment and said she'd send another as a free replacement.
The following day I decided to plant the remaining three, but when I looked more carefully at the third plant, it too looked like a young crabgrass. I wasn't positive, but felt uneasy about planting it. I called them again and recognized her voice. I told her another plant that seemed wrong. She said she had already intended on sending a second grass to make sure the entire order was right. She also told me she'd examine all the Piglet plantings there and caution her staff to be extra careful with these grasses. She also said she would ask the order department to show her the plants before they were packed.
Hats off to Santa Rosa Gardens! I'll attempt to send all my orders their way. They offer great customer service in this No Customer Service world!
On Apr 25, 2013, DonnaMack Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on March 29, 2013, updated April 25, 2013
Posted on March 29, 2013, updated March 29, 2013
I ordered from Santa Rosa based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback, but my personal experience was very disappointing. I ordered two alchemilla mollis from their half price sale last fall, and received very tiny, rather wornout plants. I had to put tags on them so I could find them, they were so tiny. I have been gardening since 1996, so I know how to install plants.I though that I would wait for spring, but they have shown no development at all, so I have ordered plants from another company.
I should add that evry single plant I ordered from other companies, however small, performed for me.
On March 29th, 2013, DonnaMack changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I received a very gracious email from Ms. Jude Groninger of Santa Rosa Gardens. She seemed genuinely concerned, and offered me a ship date of April 22 for the replacement plants.
I am changing my rating to neutral, and if this attention is any indication, I am in hopes of changing my rating to positive.On April 25th, 2013, DonnaMack changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I received replacement plants, plus a gift, and I must say that the alchemilla mollis are amongst the finest I have ever received - beautiful, large, and well packaged. Just excellent.
On Apr 24, 2013, timonsgirl Mount Prospect, IL wrote:
I can't believe I completely forgot to rate this company last year!
Santa Rosa has excellent plants at excellent prices and wonderful customer service.
Last year I ordered numerous coreopsis from them during a mid-summer sale.
The plants all arrived thriving. Within weeks every single variety of coreopsis I ordered was in bloom and kept blooming through fall.
This year I placed an order for 3 butterfly bushes, more coreopsis and an echinacea. I haven't received them yet but if they are even half as nice as the plants I received last year I will be very happy.
I'll update when I receive this year's order, which I am greatly looking forward to receiving.
On Apr 22, 2013, Bella30127 Powder Springs, GA wrote:
My experience with Santa Rosa Gardens has been excellent. I had been using Bluestone Perennials for years but their prices have become too high. So far, I've placed two orders with Santa Rosa and the plants have been very healthy looking, packaged well and their prices are far more reasonable. I'm so glad I discovered them as they have become my "go to" source for online ordering.
Posted on May 5, 2009, updated April 17, 2013
I ordered several items online from Santa Rosa Gardens for the first time this year. The prices were great (lower than most other places) and they had some unique items I was looking to buy.
My order arrived the week I had requested it and all the plants were in healthy condition and well-packaged. I was notified that one item I ordered, Panicum 'Northwind', was back-ordered and would arrive in a few weeks, but this was not a problem for me. All-in-all, I would definitely recommend Santa Rosa Gardens to anyone.
On April 17th, 2013, BlackDogKurt added the following:
I ordered several more plants in 2013 - Aquilegia canadensis, Buddleia davidii Black Knight, and Lobelia cardinalis. As with before, everything arrived on time and in perfect condition.On Apr 17, 2013, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:
"On May 5, 2009 12:26 PM, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:
Thanks so much for the comments and for your business. Thanks also for understanding about the short delay with the Panicum grasses. Panicums are one of the last grasses out of dormancy for us and we don't like to ship until they are showing good growth. "
I don't know if I have the words to describe everything that is good about Santa Rosa gardens.They give you the best in customer service.The plants are always delivered on time.The plants you receive are always packaged the correct way and always in great condition.Now for my own experience.I have only been gardening for a couple of years.But I have over 3000s.f.of new gardens.I have looked for something to take my mind off of things I have had to deal with for over thirty years.One day I took an interest in gardening and have spent almost all of my time researching gardening from A-Z.I used a couple of other nurseries with not so good results.Then I found Santa Rosa and I will never go any where else.I want to thank them for all you have done for me.Gardening has put the smile back on this old warriors face.
On Mar 18, 2013, JonSchneider Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
great customer service and great products deserves recognition. Once again, SRG comes through with both. Their packaging methods is superior and I never lose soil as a result. Jude and SRG are well deserving of a top 30 spot!
Fantastic customer service.
Ordered three times from them and I am going to order more.
The plants are in 4 inch pots and they were all very healthy and they have the best shipping policy in the market. I always get my plants in less than 3 days (I leave in Atlanta).
They have a great selection of natives and I could only wish they expand the selection more.
This is a 5 star company!
I ordered from their end of season sale. The prices were incredible!
I ordered plants just to see what they look like. I was impressed. They arrived as scheduled and were packed superbly.
There was an issue with a couple of the plants. I called and Jude gave me a credit as I requested. With my credit and a customer appeciation coupon, I ordered more plants. I was not disappointed. I would not hesitate to recommend them or to order from them again.
I recently placed two orders during their end of season sale. Most were 4" pots for less than others charge for 2" pots. I hade one variegated plant that had reverted and they sent an immediate replacement. Service is fast and plants were perfect. They have 7.99 flat rate shipping unlike others where the shipping costs as much as the plants! I got two big boxes sent packed full of plants for 7.99 shipping and handling and they send you an e-mail when they've shipped. Their packing is as as good as or better than most also. Jude Groninger is awesome and answers any e-mails immediately.
I found these guys on Dave's and figured I would give a try. I placed my order on Sunday night and the plants arrived onThursday with timely email notifications and at great prices. They have an excellent variety of ornamental grasses and perennials The packaging was perfect and the plants very healthy and a very generous size. I wouldl order from them again.
On Oct 5, 2012, shelbycountyal Lake Purdy, AL wrote:
I ordered several plants from Santa Rosa Gardens at incredibly low prices at the end-of-season sale-not really expecting much at those prices. I spoke to Jude who was very courteous. She emailed the tracking number as soon as my package was dispatched. Within days I received beautiful, large plants that were in excellent condition, as they were very well packed. In addition to my order I received a beautiful new Gaura cultivar as a free gift! I have been mailordering plants for over 17 years and this is the best company I have ever dealt with.
On Oct 4, 2012, juhur7 Anderson, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on September 13, 2012, updated October 4, 2012
Posted on June 28, 2012, updated September 13, 2012
Bought five plants,arrived in three days once shipped, plants all looked excellent.packing was excellent, good place to shop.
On September 13th, 2012, juhur7 added the following:
Bought some Delosperma cooperii ice plants for the rock garden,real nice plants, in great shape upon arrival ,and they came right on time to information. This company has nice plants and a great information process. This is my second order from them. I have no doubt I will again.On October 4th, 2012, juhur7 added the following:
I placed a third time order with them,It all arrived quickly in good shape.All as good or better than the first time,with that, I am extremely pleased!!!
I gave SRG a try because they had so many good reviews. However, when I saw their prices, I felt it had to be too good to be true and they must send little seedlings. I was so surprised when my first order arrived. Great packing, and nice sized healthy plants. SRG is a great find and I am redoing the garden beds with much of their product. The 80% sale forced me to do that because I ordered so many plants! :)
Only 2 things I would have loved to see: Jack In The Pulpit and Yucca, this way I could just do one stop shopping. Their customer service rep, Jude is great to deal with and she answers your questions promptly.
As with any mail order company some plants just don't make it to your home in good shape, and I notified Jude and the replacements were sent, no questions asked. Now I now why they are one of the top companies on this web site!
I have ordered several times from Santa Rosa gardens. they always excel in quality of plants, packing, shipping and COST. I just ordered about 15+ plants from their year end sale. All of the plants were good size, healthy, well packed and shipped quickly. I have nothing but great things to say about Santa Rosa.My only suggestion is to add more rare plants/tropicals to their list, then I won't have to shop from 10 different places. I could just get most of my plants from Santa Rosa Gardens :-)
On Sep 27, 2012, bluecolumbine Milwaukee, WI wrote:
Great prices, fantastic customer service, well-established and healthy plants. They're my favorite place to order from!
When a plant died, they were very willing to replace it or give me a refund. I think very highly of them and will continue to buy most of my plants here.
On Sep 27, 2012, SBounds2 Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
I just received my first order from Santa Rosa Gardens, and I was blown away! The plants are large and healthy. The packaging is superb. The end-of-season prices were fantastic. Regular prices are very good, too, especially considering the size and quality of plants compared to other mail order companies. I've sworn off mail ordering plants several times in the past, but I'm so happy with the 47 plants I just received that I ordered 37 more. Santa Rosa Gardens is now my go-to mail order company.
On Jul 19, 2012, etnredclay Spring City, TN wrote:
Posted on July 11, 2012, updated July 19, 2012
Santa Rosa was recommended to me on the Coneflower forum -- bonus, there was a clearance sale going on for coneflowers. I ordered 8 different ones. When they arrived, some had flowers on them, an unexpected surprise. Superlative packaging, not a single broken leaf or stem, soil in pots, everything neat and orderly and lush. Their flat-rate shipping is fabulous... and encouraged me to keep adding to my order. Sneaky.
The plants are nice, not fabulous, but I didn't expect fabulous for 4 bucks. However I tapped one out of its little pot and saw lovely root structures. They were a bit dry --- NOT their fault as we've had terribly hot weather lately -- and they weren't completely parched. So I'm giving them a nice bottom drink of Super Thrive and have the bed ready to plant tomorrow.
I am VERY happy with my first order from Santa Rosa. So much so that I went back and placed an order for 15 ornamental grasses.On July 19th, 2012, etnredclay added the following:
Second order from them was also wonderful. Packaging is the best I've ever seen, each potted plant was secured in a mesh sock and then wrapped in a huge amount of brown paper. Not a speck of soil out of place. Not a crushed leaf. Of the 15 ornamental grasses I ordered (3 of 5 kinds), 12 of them were spectacular, and 3 of them were OK to look at. Then I tapped the 3 out of their pots -- huge root systems. I'm very happy with my order. They get a bottom drink of SuperThrive tonight and planted in groups tomorrow on my empty terraces.
THANKS, SantaRosa. If I can figure out how to leave a second positive for my second order, I'll do it.
I ordered Coreopsis 'Cosmic Eye.' They have sent it twice and I still don't have the correct plant. I don't like leaving negative feedback, but they seem to have a problem getting the correct plants sent out. Also, the other plants I received from them this year were tiny. Example: Hydrangea 'Zebra' - It was 3 inches tall and cost $9.99. It died and there was nothing I could do to save it. It was just a tiny cutting!
As another reviewer said their prices seem too good to be true, especially the sales.....what great deals. The plants were bigger than I expected for the price. I placed 3 or 4 orders this year (probably around 100 plants total) and even with this extremely hot weather we are having here everything is doing well. Will definitely order again.
On Jun 25, 2012, spittingkitten Hillsborough, NC wrote:
I received another order from Santa Rosa Gardens. One of the plants wasn't doing well when it arrived and before the weekend was over, didn't look like it would live. On Monday, I called Customer Service, the plant was mailed out the next day and arrived before the week was out, happy and healthy. I have ordered several times from Santa Rosa. This is the first time I have ever had a problem with anything I received from Santa Rosa and I couldn't ask for a easier recovery from a problem. Other online plant vendors should take a lesson from them in customer service, packaging and quality of plants. Keep up the good work, Santa Rosa. A very happy customer!
On Jun 22, 2012, norcal_garden San Jose, CA wrote:
I am very pleased with my plants from Santa Rosa Gardens.
All plants I purchased were healthy and beautiful. They all were carefully packed too.
My favorite this time was Lavender Provence.
The quality of plants were excellent and prices were great! I will definitely be ordering from them again.
On Jun 22, 2012, linette2001 Gainesville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
Posted on June 18, 2011, updated June 22, 2012
I was really pleased with the quality of the plants I received. I ordered 4 echinacea and they were out of one so sent me two in it's place! They were very large and healthy and one was blooming. The packaging was excellent. Will definitely buy from again.
On June 22nd, 2012, linette2001 added the following:
Just received my second order today. Ordered hellebores, echinacea, and phlox. Plants are very healthy and nice-sized. Packaging was excellent.