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Comments regarding Santa Rosa Gardens

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374 positives
5 neutrals
6 negatives


Neutral linuxbob
(5 reviews)
On May 27, 2017, linuxbob Wichita, KS wrote:

In March of this year I ordered a dozen Echinacea plants for April shipping. My order shipped as expected and arrived on time. I have ordered from SRG every year for several years and to give credit where it's due, they've always treated me well. However, their packaging leaves a LOT to be desired. As another reviewer stated, SRG uses a mesh netting around each plant which does nothing to prevent the potting mix from coming out during shipping even though each plant is wrapped in paper too. All of my plants had lost a good amount of soil and many had broken leaves. A few had lost so much soil that the plant was almost completely out of the pot. 4 plants were in such poor condition that I requested and received replacement plants. Even then one of the replacement plants quality was in very poor shape that I asked for and received a refund. If that wasn't enough, half of the original plants root system was way under developed and probably shouldn't have been sold for at least several more weeks. Previous year's orders have also been missing soil and had broken stems but at least the plants had better root systems and could survive the rough handling compared to this year's plants. I suggested that they look into different packaging methods. It's not likely that they will change because I made that suggestion in previous years and they still use the same material and method. I'm giving this review a neutral rating since SRG customer service is among the best. I will continue to order from them knowing that if I have a problem I can count on them to make it right.

Neutral KrautThistle
(3 reviews)
On May 26, 2017, KrautThistle (Zone 7a) wrote:

After happening upon the Santa Rosa Gardens website and reading the positive reviews on DG here, decided to put an order in for some plants. Received my order on the 19th and waited a week before commenting here in order to give the plants extra time to recover lest I react prematurely. Well the week has passed and where do I begin? For starers, I'm usually not one to complain about finding soil in a shipping box, plants being a bit out of sorts, yellowing leaves, or minor broken stems as these things do happen at times. It shouldn't, but it does. Such is the nature of shipping live plants - but there is a big difference between damages related to shipping and damages that occur due to poor growing conditions or improper handling. Some plants can take the abuse and bounce back, others not so much. It is up to the recipient to be an educated consumer/gardener and to act accordingly.

The most pressing and obvious issues with my order were brought immediately to SRG attention in an email (I prefer email over phone when dealing with situations as such for legal purposes) and after 3 days of filing my complaint, they graciously gave me a refund for the 2 plants I complained about, no questions asked. Also, although the above ground portions of many of the plants I ordered were in very rough shape, most of their root systems were healthy and extensive, with the exception of the ones I will elaborate upon below...

To start, the box my plants arrived in showed no outward damage. Kudos for that. Upon opening said box was a different story. The first thing I noticed was the soil all over the inside. Not an issue for me, but I will mention it since other posters here have also said it happened to them. In my case, almost every plant was missing soil, some more than others, even though each plant was carefully wrapped in special netting. Kind of a shock since SRG prides itself on its special packaging for each plant which is supposed to minimize such. Unwrapped each plant to discover a few of them had been jostled out of their pots leaving some of their roots exposed as well as broken stems and torn leaves. Not good, but the stems and leaves on said plants will grow back in time and I was able to get to the exposed roots before they desiccated. The sedum I received as a free gift from SRG after 2 of the plants in my order were out of stock was completely mangled, with almost all of its soil thrown out of its pot and most of its stems and leaves broken off. And yes, this plant was also wrapped in this special netting which obviously did nothing to protect it. Very disappointing but I have not bothered to file a complaint with SRG about the sedum being it was free and therefore not sure I should but again, it bears mentioning just the same. Like most people, I appreciate the kind gesture of a free gift, but if that gift arrives mangled and unusable, how is that a gift to the recipient?

All of the plants in my order had been grossly overwatered, to the point where one of them, the Japanese Forest Grass, were showing visible signs of root rot right out of the box. The entire bottom portion of the grass is brown and mushy. Not sure it even has a chance of surviving. This I did file a complaint with SRG about as SRG requests on all orders. The Musa Basjoo plant they sent me is completely crooked to one side! Wish I could post pictures. There is no way this crook was something that happened due to its being packaged and shipped during its 3 day transit from SRG to my home. This was an issue going on with this plant since it was a pup being the crook started low on the corm where the new pseudostem emerges, not higher up on the plant as would be evident in a plant that was packaged incorrectly. In this same order was an impressively sized baby Ensete Maurelli which is also crooked, but not as severely as the Basjoo. Not a big deal on the Ensete, but the Basjoo's crook is so bad the plant is now forever compromised and will not be able to properly support itself without splitting at some point should it reach maturity. Obviously the individual(s) responsible for growing these musa did not take care of them properly to ensure they weren't overcrowded & received proper light. Had they done so, these musa would not have grown crooked from the start. The fact that SRG thought it was appropriate to send me these crooked plants to begin with, not to mention sending a plant like the Japanese Forest Grass that had obvious signs of root rot prior to shipping, is disconcerting. This is something that was going on with these plants while under SRG's care as it is physically impossible for such to happen within a shipping span of 3 days unless the plants were in poor condition to begin with. What I found especially disheartening is the fact I did not even receive an apology from anyone from SRG for this incident. Being a first time customer, I am not happy at all and am loathe to recommend SRG to anyone looking for plants. In over 40 years of gardening, I have never received plants in such sloppy condition. I've ordered from numerous places over the years, with bigger orders and larger plants traveling longer distances, and have never experienced anything quite like this. What a huge disappointment. I was so hoping to be a repeat customer of SRG since they do have a nice variety of plants and excellent prices but after this ordeal do not feel comfortable nor confident enough to bother again.

Neutral Bigfeet
(4 reviews)
On May 1, 2017, Bigfeet Los Alamos, NM wrote:

Ordering online was easy, shipping was reasonably quick. I emailed them prior to ordering, apparently they have a distribution center in Denver (not open to public), but my plants were shipped from Florida.
Plants arrived healthy looking, in tiny pots and pruned to a few stems about 2" wide and 12-14" tall. I would have preferred to get short, bushy plants with large root mass..
About 75% of the plants, all hardy to my climate, are alive almost a year later. There are still 2-3 I am uncertain make it. I called SRG about the dead plants, and they happily gave me a store credit that is about 50 cents more than the shipping cost, so pretty pointless.
I would not recommend SRG unless you are local to them in Florida.

Neutral Windflowers7
(2 reviews)
On Jun 3, 2016, Windflowers7 Brooklyn, NY wrote:

I am a long time customer of SRG, so I was a bit upset this year with a couple of things. First it seems they got rid of the usual big Memorial
Day weekend sale. They gave a 20% discount instead and didn't let you use any of there other discounts that us regulars know about and always use. So now that you order figuring they aren't going to have sale, but gave the discount instead, now it is a week later and everything is on sale. I can't believe they did that.
Second, they have a new policy where you order a plant they say they have in stock, but then they say they have run out and will send it you at a later date if you are ok with that. If you are, they bill you a second shipping fee! They never did that before! What happened to them this year? New owners, too big for their britches? I am so dissapointed. They are what makes on line plant buying fun. Now I am a bit weary and I never thought I would say that.Boo!

On Jun 3, 2016, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:

"On Jun 3, 2016 9:30 PM, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:

Hello Windflowers7,

I am one of the family owners and was the original founder of Santa Rosa Gardens, in 1998. Our ownership has not changed and our goals remain, as always, to provide our customers with the best customer service, success in their gardens, and to share our love for plants.

We're very sorry that you did not have as pleasant an experience with Santa Rosa Gardens as you have in the past. I assure you, we have not changed our family ownership or our commitment to serving our customers the best that we are able.

I'd like to make sure I address your concerns, so I'll give you the best answers I can to your comments.

Our Memorial Day Sale:
The Memorial weekend sale was quite similar to the Memorial Day Sale we have offered nearly every year. Last year, we offered a sale with several options:
30% off $149 or more
25% off $99 or more
20% off $79 or more
and 15% off $59 or more

This year, we opted to make it simpler and ran a 25% off coupon for all sized orders. Note: We never allow multiple coupon codes with discounts of this size.

Summer Clearance:
Every year since waaay back, we have offered a summer clearance sale. It occurs once our plant inventory drops below a certain level. It occurs typically in very early June. In 2014, it was June 11. In 2015, it was June 6. This year, in 2016, it was June 3. The sale usually includes all items still in stock that have new scheduled production that requires us to free up greenhouse space.

Side note: I have to say, in walking through the greenhouses on Saturday, the quality of material we are putting on clearance is very good!

Split Shipping:
When it comes to shipping, we have always tried to be the better supplier with the better rates and the better packaging. We work hard to keep your shipping costs as low as possible, but still aim to provide excellent packaging and delivery in 2 to 3 days - tops! We will not ship 4 (or more) day deliveries like some companies and we do not ship plant via slower USPS like some companies. Many online suppliers will also select the shipping date for the customer. This will usually be the date when ALL of the material is ready to go. Then and only then will they ship the order. At Santa Rosa Gardens, we've always felt that the customer should select their own ship week and be in control of their planting schedule. With plant orders that are typically small - often just a few plants, we simply can't ship multiple orders for one shipping fee or we'd soon be out of business. Rather than make customers wait until all plants are ready, we offer as many options as possible. In the event that the customer still wants to break the order up into different ship dates, we request a $7.99 split shipment fee. This fee does not cover our entire additional shipping expense, but it does make it easier for us to provide this service to our customers.

I can't emphasize enough how much Santa Rosa Gardens values loyal customers such as yourself. We have worked hard over the years to provide the best selections, great packaging, and still keep our prices lower than our online competition. Feedback from our customers is vital and we do appreciate it! And we appreciate you!

As always, happy gardening!"

Neutral erika2me
(1 review)
On Jun 18, 2013, erika2me Fruit Hill, OH wrote:

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."

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