Selective Gardener is great place to start when considering African Violets. They have a huge selection and many other items to assist with raising the plant. The site and payment options are easy to navigate.
I purchased and paid for a 2in violet. Later I was told that this item was for local pickup only. Monique asked if I would like to upgrade to the set of four but I only wanted one plant.
It was a mistake on my part, I didn't know. I wasn't able to do pickup so I asked if a cancelation and refund was possible. In response she told me that "It is already in the system and I would have to take it out in two places and go into paypal too to refund it…I’ll just send it out for this time." Her response came off as passive aggressive and not professional which is why I gave the a neutral feedback.
The order was shipped out and I received the plant in great condition. There were no other problems.
melody Benton, KY (Zone 7a) (41 reviews) October 1, 2014
My carefully packed plants arrived without a hitch. They were well-rooted (I ordered plugs...but these were nice little plants) and very healthy. I am very pleased with my experience.
I ordered leaves of 6 varieties of Optimara african violets from Selective Gardener right before the AVSA Convention which was in Nashville. My leaves arrived a few days later in a nice little foam box. They were fresh, healthy looking leaves and had labeled stakes. SG is expensive but you can get the varieties you want and I was very pleased.
Posted on March 5, 2012, updated March 9, 2012
Ordered African Violet Fertilizer on Feb. 8, 2012, however, when my order arrived (15 Feb), I received the wrong fertilizer. After calling Selective Gardner they indicated that I actually ordered the all-purpose fertilizer. I could not prove this supposed error as their immediate email order confirmation did not identify what the customer ordered, despite this, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and reordered the AF fertilizer via a telephone call on 16 Feb. As of this date (March 5, 2012) I have not received my order, my emails have not been answered, and a telephone call to them resulted in a loud whistle to one's ear after their answering machine prompt. I won't order from them again.On March 9th, 2012, Snug_As_Bug_Rug changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Selective Gardener has apologized profusely for their error and has thoughtfully assumed responsibility their long response time.
Posted on June 29, 2010, updated July 15, 2010
I joined the "Violet of the Month Club" in late 2008. Shipments arrived, weather permitting on a regular basis UNTIL the final shipment. Other than thrip infestations, a hazard with Optimara violets, I had no complaint, until now. In fact I would have said their customer service was exceptional, no longer. I should have received 3 plants, plus bonus 3 plants for fulfilling my 1 year commitment. My credit card was charged and the plants never arrived. I contacted them via e-mail several times. Initially Monique asked me which violets I had recieved. I did not know, since the shipment prior to this last one didn't have name tags, only reference numbers to look them up on line. I didn't do that because I gave them to my grandaughter. I have never heard another word from them, even when I contacted them requesting a refund. I am preparing to file a complaint and initiate a charge back with my debit card company. On July 15th, 2010, Hillbilly_Gran changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I received an email from Monique after I gave them a negative rating. She said that she did not receive any communication from me prior leaving for Europe(?). She also told me her files regarding the Violet of the Month Club are still here in the states. When she returns home, in several weeks, she did say she would check on this. I told her that I would change my rating once I received a refund. She is apparently still in Europe, but my credit card company has given me a charge back, so I am keeping my word by changing my rating.
I've ordered many violet plants and leaves and have received superior, hardy specimens every time. Be aware that the plants usually have full-grown suckers that need to be separated and repotted. This usually is a positive, since you end up with many more specimens immediately. That makes up for the higher pricing. The violets are very well wrapped and secure in the boxes. Of probably 20 specimens, only Annabelle did not fare well in the long run and was discarded.
divvajacko Hinckley, OH (Zone 6a) (40 reviews) April 8, 2010
I ordered several leaves from Selective Gardener. Now, I had no problem receiving an answer to my emails although I wouldn't say it was prompt.
The leaves were spectacular and are still going strong after 3 weeks. I'm always hesitant to buy leaves only as I've been jilted with old leaves that die quickly. The only ones that are dead were due to my stupid neglect over the Easter Holiday when I was distracted by other events.
I'm going to replace the leaves I messed up. I do recommend this company as it is the only place that carries the complete Optimara line that is being grown right now.
Be patient here and you will be rewarded. I do recommend that you order in warmer weather so you can guarantee prompt shipping.
rosa18 Bartlett, IL (Zone 5a) (11 reviews) July 25, 2008
Beautiful healthy plants delivered within 4 days of order, also sent 10 free packages of optimara plant food. I also ordered the 2 in violet pots and they are now my favorite little planters. Will shop for african violets from this company anytime-They are just super!
I purchased an Annabelle AV 2/7/08, it arrived 5/3/08 since I live in zone 5 & the company waits for reasonable weather before shipping. I specified to leave plant on porch. The plant spent needless time in the post office since the request to leave on porch was ignored. The AV had mush where violets would be, leaves were disintegrating into green mush, and many if not most of the large leaves were now mushy & incomplete d/t turning into mush. A brown liquid oozed from the packaging. The plant was in a terrible pathetic state! I had waited, specified delivery, and paid a small fortune! I also attempted via email a question that went unanswered to this date. Their communication is sorely affected and now this plant is as well. I will never purchase from them nor can I recommend them to anyone.
My son ordered 4 Everfloris African Violets for me as a Christmas present. They could not be mailed in the cold weather (I live in Conn.), but as soon as we had a few warmer days in mid-March the plants arrived by FedEx. They were packed very well and were in excellent condition and in full bloom. I had a couple of questions and sent an email to Monique at Selective Gardener and received a reply the very next day. Although no instructions came with the plants, the care instructions on their web site are very comprehensive (however, this wouldn't be helpful unless the recipient owned a computer).
Allison_FL Dunedin, FL (Zone 10b) (16 reviews) February 17, 2006
I placed an order for a new Series Annabelle with bell flowers from the new Southern Belle series. I am totaly pleased with my beautiful full of flowers and buds plant ! Extremly well packaged and came Fed-ex. I ordered some suplies too.
I am not happy they don't have a phone number and do not and never did answer emails. I sent many to customer service and to owner never an answer. I had to call Optimara to get their phone number.
I will order again but would feel more comfortab;e if they had a phine number listed for help.
hotmama Willow Springs, IL (20 reviews) September 9, 2005
I ordered once from Selective Gardener. The leaves I ordered were in fine condition and well packed in a styrofoam container. I felt the prices were too high however, and probably wouldn't order again for that reason.On August 5th, 2006, hotmama changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
This time I ordered plant food from Selective Gardener and was very pleased with the results. The order was sent in(via website) July 29 and today, Aug.5, 2006 I received the package.
I do have to say I emailed first with a question about postage (the info on website seemed to re: plant orders, and I wondered what supply shipping would cost.) NO response! Decided to go ahead and order anyway as I couldn't find another supplier of bulk Optimara plant food, and was glad I did.
But it is very irritating to email questions and get no reply. This seems to be par for the course with plant related businesses. I am waiting(and waiting) for replies from three plant and supply vendors and no dice!
I am very eager to place orders but tired of "begging" them to respond and take my money. If I can find someone else with the same products I will go there. Unfortunately for me
I don't seem to find the same products elsewhere so end up ordering and therefore "rewarding" their misbehavior.
Maybe I am just jaded because when I order clothing from Lands End or LLBean, the customer service is outstanding.
To bad they don't sell plants as a sideline.
patischell Fort Pierce, FL (Zone 10a) (4 reviews) March 18, 2004
I just received 4 mini African Violets from this company. I was surprised to get my order filled so fast. The plants are BEAUTIFUL! Many more blooms than I expected, and they are full of buds. They are in 2" pots with a wick attached and were packed so well there was not a leaf damaged. I am so pleased with the plants, and their price!