Roses forum: Hortico

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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Feb 3, 2010 5:15 PM CST

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Now it's time to name the worst nursery, and this one wins hands down.

I defended Hortico against its detractors for years, putting up with the occasional mislabeled rose because one e-mail would correct the problem and I'd quickly receive the correct rose or a refund. They carried the largest variety of roses and the bare-root plants always looked good. I still have hundreds of Hortico roses thriving in my garden.

A few years ago, however, they started sending out deplorable plants and listing roses that weren't available at all. If I ordered 20 different cultivars, I could be certain that 12 of them would go on "back order" (which meant I would never get them, even after waiting for years), 3 would be mislabeled (and in the most callous way: sending me Iceberg climbers and dull pink rugosas instead of the fairly rare hybrid teas I was ordering), 4 would be dead or dying, and only 1 rose would be viable and would prove to be the rose I had ordered.

After a couple of really lousy orders, I asked for replacements and refunds. They jerked me around for more than a year, during which I communicated with four different customer service representatives, all of whom promised to send replacements, but none of whom did. I finally wrote to the main offices, detailing my earlier correspondence, and requesting replacements for 6 dead plants, 2 which were listed on the invoice but were not in the shipping box, and 4 mislabeled roses. I did receive a box of 12 roses shortly afterward, but 10 were so dead that they must have been put in the box as a nasty joke. The other 2 were rugosas instead of hybrid teas.

I wrote them off, deciding not to waste any more time on letters of complaint. They do have an impressive assortment, but what's the point of ordering roses if they're not going to be the ones you want or if they're going to be dead on arrival?
[Last edited by zuzu - Nov 19, 2011 6:07 AM (+)]
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Name: Evey Blalock
South Louisiana - Zone 8b/9a (Zone 8b)
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BlissfulGarden
Feb 3, 2010 8:27 PM CST
I overwhelmingly agree that Hortico is the WORST. They sent me dead roses and I complained. They would not send a replacement until NINE MONTHS LATER and then they charged me shipping to send the replacements for the first order. I should have just protested the first charge via my VISA card when I received the dead plants. The second set arrived right when we started having the harsh freezes down here and they both are showing literally no green at this point. I wrote to Horitco again insisting on a refund, but I've received no response. It's about time to protest via my VISA card. I will never order from these people again, even if they advertise something I've been searching for over many years. It's just not worth the aggravation.
~Evey =)

"Grow where you are planted." - My gpa
Name: dana aka iris28
tristate area, ky z6b
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dana
Feb 3, 2010 9:10 PM CST
ditto .. same experience for me .. it was insulting.
Name: melva wheeler
texas
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melva
Feb 3, 2010 11:12 PM CST
My one and only experience with them, was not a positive one and not one that I want to repeat.
You are right, Zuzu...they do have an impressive list of roses, I could make one of them too!
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Feb 4, 2010 12:22 AM CST

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Exactly! We could all offer an equally impressive variety of roses to people and then put them on back order forever or send rugosas instead.
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses
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Steve812
Apr 16, 2010 10:23 PM CST
I stopped buying from them back before they got nearly as bad as you guys describe. Most of the roses I got from them were alive when I received them; but I don't think one in six made it to knee-high for one reason or another. At the end of three years I'd lost 95% or more.

One factor was that they would ship in early May and I'd get these underdeveloped bare root roses on multiflora rootstock right at the start of the summer drought. Regular feeding and daily watering was not enough to establish them. Bare root roses planted late just don't settle in well if planted late where summers are dryish.

I proved to myself last year that when you plant bareroot roses makes all the difference in the world by buying bareroot orders for delivery in March, April, and Late May. All the roses delivered in March survived. More than 75% of those delivered in April survived. All the rosed delivered in late May died.

It's so sad, because Hortico had one of the most extensive catalogues around.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Apr 16, 2010 11:09 PM CST

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May delivery certainly would compound the viability problem. I always had Hortico deliver my roses in January, which is the perfect time for planting here. Unfortunately, it didn't solve the problem of mislabeling, which probably is my biggest gripe with Hortico.
Name: Cyndy
Village of Chippewa Lake, Oh
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clpgirl
Apr 23, 2010 4:48 PM CST
What bothers me about reading your reviews is that when I emailed David Austin US, looking for a particular rose, they indicated they only sell wholesale direct to Hortico and Pickering. And recommended both. Kinda makes you wonder...................
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Apr 23, 2010 6:12 PM CST

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Pickering's fine. No problems with Pickering. Their roses are a little smaller than they used to be, but they're never mislabeled and I only had one rose arrive looking like it was going to drop dead any minute. They credited my account immediately for that rose, and although the rose later perked up and I authorized them to charge me for it again, they let me have it for free.

When it comes to Hortico, though, it's a crap shoot. Sometimes you get dead roses, sickly roses, and mislabeled roses -- too many times for me to take any more chances. Sometimes they even charge you for roses they neglected to put into the shipping box. Too many mistakes and too little quality control for my taste and budget.

On the other hand, some of the most spectacular roses in my garden came from Hortico. And I mean spectacular in every way -- huge, vigorous, healthy beyond belief. So they're like "the little girl who had the little curl....": When they're good, they're very, very good, and when they're bad, they're horrid.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
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zuzu
Jun 21, 2010 11:53 PM CST

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Horrible Hortico stiffed me again and this time I hadn't even ordered anything from them. I ordered a bare-root Cressida from Garden Valley Ranch. When I went to get it, it looked suspiciously like a rugosa, but I thought Cressida might have some rugosa in its background. It turns out that GVR ordered the plants from Hortico. Mine still hasn't bloomed, but the 20 that Garden Valley Ranch kept have bloomed and they're that stupid pink rugosa that Hortico sends out whenever anyone orders something that's hard to find.

At least I won't have to deal with Hortico's useless customer service reps this time. Garden Valley Ranch is going to give me a 5-gallon Molineux to make up for the "Cressida-not."
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
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Skiekitty
Jun 22, 2010 9:51 AM CST
Zuzu - I'm glad that GVR is taking care of you for the screwup.. but why on EARTH would they get their roses from Hortico? Seriously!

I'm so glad that I never even went to Hortico's website .. I might be tempted to order something and then end up with something that I didn't order! :)
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
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zuzu
Jun 22, 2010 12:01 PM CST

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They ordered Cressida from Hortico because no one else carries it. They've ordered it from Hortico three years in a row now, but Hortico put it on back order the first two years and then sent this stupid rugosa the third year, just the way they have done to me so many times. How long can Hortico last now that they're treating nurseries the same way they've been treating individual customers? I don't know how many Cressidas GVR actually ordered, but it was enough for them to keep 20 for their own display gardens after sending all the rest to customers.
Name: Alan
Chandler, AZ; 85225 (Zone 9b)
Sunset Zone 13
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GardenGuyAZ
Jun 22, 2010 1:59 PM CST
I only ordered from them once, and that was the last time. Neither rose made it.

alan

























Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses
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Steve812
Jun 30, 2010 12:53 PM CST
It's so sad because they have such an extensive catalogue.

When I grew Cressida in NJ. Its amazing vigor was exceeded only by its weakness for blackspot. It would put out leaves like gangbusters in late April/early May. It would reach eight, maybe ten inches in height by the second week in June, when it would make a flower or two. The flower would be among the most fragrant in the garden. By the fourth week in June it would be completely defoliated from black spot. And that was all she wrote for the year. Can't remember if I got tired of looking at its naked skeleton through the summer or if, after three or four years, it disappeared of its own accord. But I was relieved when it was gone.
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
Jun 30, 2010 1:03 PM CST
You can get Cressida from RU... maybe you should try it again?
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses
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Steve812
Jul 1, 2010 9:40 AM CST
Not sure where I bought Cressida. Maybe it was Hortico... You are right that it should not suffer from blackspot here. And RU might be a good choice of suppliers. Good suggestion.

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