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Comments regarding Santa Rosa Gardens

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  Feedback History and Summary  
384 positives
9 neutrals
7 negatives


Neutral critterologist
(14 reviews)
On Dec 31, 2020, critterologist Frederick, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

LOVE Santa Rosa! I pulled up their website tonight, since they often have a discount offer at this time.. there are only 2 plants listed. Either their web site is having issues, or something is going on with them. I hope they are all OK.

On Dec 31, 2020, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:

"On Jan 1, 2021 10:40 PM, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:

Hi critterologist,
We're sorry to see you posted a neutral review of our nursery. Our mail-order plants are still TBD as far as sizing and earliest availability. This year, we are not listing any plants for pre-booking on our website, but will likely only be listing plants online as they are ready and able to ship. I hope this helps answer your question. Thanks and as always happy gardening!"

Neutral AP227
(1 review)
On May 4, 2020, AP227 Brooklyn, NY wrote:

Posted on May 1, 2020, updated May 4, 2020
I placed a $200 order with Santa Rosa gardens a month ago. I received an auto-response that my order was received, and confirmed that same day that my card was charged.
While SRG typically ships to my area in late March, their website notes that their shipping dates would be pushed to late April this year (understandably). In mid-April I posted a question on my SRG account's message board, asking for confirmation that my order would ship during the planting season. I followed up with a call, leaving a message. I began following up more regularly a week later -- online, via email, and via phone. I tried calling again before posting this comment. Still nothing.
I appreciate the extenuating circumstances, but as it stands, I have no way of knowing whether my order will be fulfilled. By now, many of the species that I ordered are out of stock at other online nurseries.
I hope to update this comment in the near future, changing it to Neutral if I hear something, or Positive if beautiful plants arrive before the planting season passes.

On May 4th, 2020, AP227 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Updating to Neutral now that I've received a response (on this board and via email). For anyone else waiting on an order, I was told that mine would ship this week (to NYC / Zone 7). Looking forward to hopefully changing my review to Positive after the plants arrive.
On May 4, 2020, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:

"On May 3, 2020 9:49 AM, Santa Rosa Gardens responded with:

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your experience. Santa Rosa Gardens has had to deal with some delays in April due to COVID-19 (mainly shortage of supplies for packing), but we have been playing catch-up on orders and are now back to shipping heavily in May. Our sales crew has been working hard to plow through requests and emails and were also playing catch-up, trying to get to as many emails a day as they could. I do apologize for any delay in response time. We're committed to our employees safety - working from home as necessary and trying to staff enough plant care folks to handle the greenhouse demand - but we're equally committed to offering our customers the service and the unique plant selections they have always been accustomed to at Santa Rosa Gardens. Thanks so much for your patience and understanding and as always, happy gardening!"

Neutral SanJoseFool
(20 reviews)
On Apr 23, 2020, SanJoseFool Canton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Posted on October 20, 2018, updated April 23, 2020
Just ordered 40 plus starter plants to get in a fall planting here in N. GA. Mostly phlox for a slope I want to cover. Plants arrived quickly, well packed, clearly labeled. Tops were tiny but most pots had roots filling out the whole pot. Happy with the order will do another one in the spring.

On April 23rd, 2020, SanJoseFool changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

Just received my second order which warrants updating the review. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed. My first order, around 18 months ago the plants were of a larger size in small pots. I noticed this time plants were sold in "3 packs" which I didn't really like but that's not an issue as I realized that when I ordered. I didn't realize how tiny they would be. They are plugs from a 72 ct tray. If I would have known/seen this I wouldn't have put in an order as I wanted to direct plant in ground not have to pot up. The root systems are so tiny. I felt like a sucker when I opened the box and realized I paid 100$ total for it (with a discount code too). I promptly went to the website and if you click on "Our Plants" you get more detail about the size. I never did that and assumed they would be like my prior order. I would rather have had 1 of the old size than 3 of the new. That was the main issue. Another smaller issue was only 2 of the 10 (3 packs) had labels. 8 of 10 had nothing. Some were easy to figure out by the leaves but I ordered two different phlox and coneflower so I didn't know which was which with them because the leaves don't give it away.

To say something positive; good email communication, quick shipping, and good that they are using less plastic/labels, etc.

Sadly I won't be ordering again with this new system.

Neutral cwalke
(15 reviews)
On Apr 29, 2018, cwalke Longview, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Posted on April 29, 2018, updated April 29, 2018
Posted on April 17, 2017, updated April 29, 2018
Posted on April 17, 2017, updated April 17, 2017
Posted on October 17, 2011, updated April 17, 2017
Posted on October 17, 2011, updated October 17, 2011
Posted on October 3, 2011, updated October 17, 2011
I ordered several echinaceas and some grasses from Santa Rosa last month and they arrived healthy and larger than expected for mail order. Packed well. I was very pleased with this company and feel more hopeful that these late season plants will get through their first winter.

On October 17th, 2011, cwalke added the following:

17 October Well, I can't seem to stay off Santa Rosa's website...I've made 2 more orders since the first one. This nursery has an excellent selection of native plants and especially grasses, of which I'm quite fond. Sale prices are excellent and plants are good sized and healthy. This is my new favorite online nursery:)
On October 17th, 2011, cwalke added the following:

17 October Well, I can't seem to stay off Santa Rosa's website...I've made 2 more orders since the first one. This nursery has an excellent selection of native plants and especially grasses, of which I'm quite fond. Sale prices are excellent and plants are good sized and healthy. This is my new favorite online nursery:)
On April 17th, 2017, cwalke changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

I have ordered from SRG for several years now. This last order (this spring) however, was somewhat disappointing. As some others have mentioned recently, the plants that arrived were mostly out of their pots with dirt falling all around the box. They have also started using some new fabric type wrap rather than the net bags to protect the plants but I found this new product a hassle to remove from the pots. Finally the plants themselves were markedly smaller than those I have become accustomed to receiving from Santa Rosa and were sort of smashed down by shipping or packing or something. I have planted all of them after giving them a day or two to recover.
My last order, made last fall was also a bit on the small and weakly side but I decided that, given the great experiences I've had with Santa Rosa, one adverse experience wasn't that bad. I still feel that way but I do hope that they will maintain the standards that have made them such a popular company.
On April 17th, 2017, cwalke changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

On April 29th, 2018, cwalke changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

this spring I decided to order from SRG again. On my order I included a note that some of the plants I'd ordered recently had been pretty puny and that I hoped this order would be good. I received two healthy penstemon and four scraggly creeping phlox that were barely mere sprigs, with iffy roots. I have planted these and know that they will eventually come around but not for a couple growing seasons, which is disappointing. I grow a lot of this type of phlox so I know how to plant them and keep them alive but if I didn't, they would probably be doomed.
Even though I like this nursery and most of the plants have been fine, I don't feel as confident in their plants as I used to
On April 29th, 2018, cwalke added the following:

sorry...I said I received penstemon but they were agastache
Neutral Tangerin
(6 reviews)
On Oct 26, 2017, Tangerin Fremont, CA wrote:

I learnt about this company from Dave's garden and ordered from them after seeing some many good reviews. My own experience, however, was mixed.

Pros: they ships very promptly. All plants are correctly shipped. Their prices are very attractive especially when on sale.

Cons: Among the 3 hellebores, only one had decent root system. The other two are on the smaller side but seemed to be ok. The Lewisia is really not good. When I repotted it I noticed that its roots still keep the size and shape of the 1 inch plug. Seems like it had not rooted in the 3 inch pot at all. And the leaves are super small. Not sure whether it will survive.

And the thing I really want to complain about was that they seemed to cut back the hellebores before shipping. I can see each one of them used to have at least 3 leaves. But when I received them, each one only had one leaf which didn't look healthy. For some slow growing plants like the hellebores, this is not a good way to treat them. And since they use huge boxes for shipping, they really don't need to do this.

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 Bigfeet
(4 reviews)
On May 1, 2017, Bigfeet Tullahoma, TN (Zone 7a) 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
(5 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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