Roses forum: Rose Nursery Report Card for 2018-2019 Season

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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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zuzu
Aug 27, 2019 12:16 AM CST

Moderator

During this latest season, I ordered roses from Palatine, Freedom Gardens, Burlington, Northland Rosarium, Antique Rose Emporium, Roses Unlimited, Edmunds' Roses, and Jackson & Perkins.

It probably will come as no surprise to anyone that Palatine was the winner for me. I ordered nine roses, all of which grew well and bloomed the first year, and there were no mislabeled roses. Rose prices are climbing, but Palatine's shipping rates are still among the lowest for me in California -- $32.95 for nine roses.

Freedom Gardens has a rather peculiar assortment of roses for sale, but it's one that appeals to me because of all the Jerabek roses. I ordered six roses from Freedom Gardens at $20.00 each and paid $40.00 for shipping (a flat rate of $20 for each three roses). Unfortunately, the roses were smaller than I had expected and a few still haven't grown an inch since they arrived in November. Only two of the roses bloomed this year. Because of some unexplained delays in shipping, I suspect some of the cuttings weren't struck until I placed my order. All six roses are still alive, however, and do not appear to be struggling.

Burlington Nursery has a wonderful assortment of roses. I ordered 12. The plants are quite small, but the prices and shipping rates are low. I did run into an unexpected problem: Only two of the roses bloomed this year and both were mislabeled. I hope the other 10 are the ones I ordered.

Northland Rosarium has always provided me with nice plants and great service. I ordered eight roses. They were band roses, so only four bloomed this year, but all eight are growing well.

Antique Rose Emporium was a new experience for me. I had never ordered from them before because I had never found anything in their rose lists that I liked and didn't already have. Also, their shipping rates were once the highest in the business. This year I took advantage of some free shipping coupon codes and ordered eight roses in two orders of four each. Two of the roses were slow to get going and have not bloomed yet, but the other six are growing well.

Roses Unlimited is another nursery I usually avoid because of its high shipping rates. The price per rose for shipping to California is $9.00. When the nursery has its annual sale, however, the drop in rose prices compensates for the hideous combination of shipping rates, handling fee ($5), and credit card processing fee ($5). The sale roses in one-gallon containers are larger than ARE's roses in two-gallon containers and are healthy and vigorous. I ordered six roses and all six are growing exceptionally well.

Edmunds' Roses has been going downhill for years and I had stopped ordering from them a few years ago, but some of the new roses were intriguing enough that I decided to take a chance. I shouldn't have. I initially ordered five roses and then ordered six more when the roses went on sale. The roses in the first order grew well at first, but quickly developed canker and started dwindling away. One is now dead and the other four are rapidly becoming one-cane wonders. The sale order was even worse. Two of the six roses were DOA. I mean so dead that there wasn't a sign of life in any cane. Another died a few days later. The other three look iffy at best. Adding to the list of problems, the nursery sent me two own-root roses in the sale order, although both were supposed to have been grafted. Luckily, I didn't have to pay for shipping on either order from Edmunds'.

I never thought I would buy roses from J&P again after having so many problems with the nursery in the past, but they put lots of roses on sale for $10 and free shipping, so I ordered five that weren't being offered by any other nursery. All five had cane canker issues at the start, but they seem to be growing well now.

Special coupon codes and offers gave me free shipping on the orders from ARE, Edmunds', and J&P. The rates charged by the other nurseries ranged widely. Burlington was the lowest at about $2.28 per rose, followed by Palatine at $3.66 per rose, Northland at $4.16 per rose, Freedom Gardens at $6.67 per rose, and Roses Unlimited at $10.67 per rose (for shipping, handling, and credit card processing).

Rose prices also ran the gamut. The highest prices were at Palatine, followed by Freedom Gardens, Edmunds', ARE, Northland, Burlington, Roses Unlimited, and J&P.
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
Aug 27, 2019 1:44 AM CST
Were the highest prices really at Palatine? Did you factor in the higher U.S. dollar?

This was a really good evaluation!
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
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seilMI
Aug 27, 2019 10:14 AM CST
Thank you so much, zuzu! What a great report. Useful information for future purchases.

I didn't buy much this year because I didn't know what I had left after being absent last year. I wanted to take this year to get the roses straightened out first. I did buy 4 from the big box stores and of course they were mislabeled for the most part. Two from Costco and two from Lowes and each had at least one mislabel. Oh Happy Day was from Lowes and although it's still alive it hasn't grown an inch or bloomed so I don't know if it's a mislabel or not yet.
Name: Ken Wilkinson
N.E. GA. (Cornelia) (Zone 7b)
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KenNEGA
Aug 27, 2019 10:26 AM CST
Did anyone order from Regan's this past year? I have never ordered from them but am considering an order because they are the only one who carries a few roses I want.
I ordered two roses from ARE this year. Both are doing great.
Six roses from Edmund's. Two are doing great. The other four are growing and blooming but really don't look all that great.
A bunch from K&M. Great roses growing like crazy.
Two from Forloveofroses. Settled in and are growing like crazy.
It's a rose!!! It has nothing to do with life and death.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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zuzu
Aug 27, 2019 10:51 AM CST

Moderator

Carol, yes, Palatine had the highest prices, but these figures are based only on my purchases, and I avoid the higher-priced nurseries. The relative strength of the U.S. dollar doesn't enter into my calculations because it's the only currency I use.

Seil, it was a smart move to take a break from buying. I think of doing that each year, but I usually relent as soon as I see photos of the year's new roses.

Ken, I didn't order anything from Regan this year, but I have bought many roses there in the past. The results were mixed. I used to go there for the annual sale and buy 5-gallon roses at half-price. I could count on those being healthy because they had stayed alive long enough to warrant transplanting into a 5-gallon container. When I ordered bare-root roses from Regan by mail, some were healthy and others were barely viable.
Name: Rosemary
Sacramento, CA (Zone 9b)
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reh0622
Aug 27, 2019 12:20 PM CST
Ken I ordered from Regan. My bareroot Frances Meilland arrived promptly in excellent conditon and disease-free and has grown well, three bloom flushes so far.
SoCal (Zone 10a)
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SoCalGardenNut
Aug 27, 2019 12:58 PM CST
I've always ordered from Regan nursery(barefoot only), they are all doing well, unless I moved them to a bad spot, like a shady spot and the rose died. Or I picked the wrong rose like a landscaping one, so I'm going to get rid of it.
I ordered a few roses that were on sale from J&P this year, even though I did hear bad thing from them, they all did well in my yard, that's why I ordered with them again. Will see. Same with Rose Unlimited. But their plants are 1 gallon, small but surviving well in my yard. But I'm a rose newbie. I'm not sure I will order anything from Palatine this year, but I will order from Regan nursery again.
[Last edited by SoCalGardenNut - Aug 27, 2019 1:21 PM (+)]
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Name: Lynnez
N. California (Zone 9b)
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Lynnez
Aug 27, 2019 2:40 PM CST
Thank you, Zuzu. I didn't buy any Rose this year, out of place Angry
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Roses
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Mustbnuts
Aug 27, 2019 7:47 PM CST
Great report Zuzu. I ordered three plants this year from Burling. I managed to get four as Stranger hopped a ride with Yolande. My Marchesa Boccella has not bloomed as of yet so I don't know if I have the right plant or not. All of them are doing well, so no complaints there.

I also received a rose from Hummingbird Nursery to test out mailing to California. Rose arrived in great shape. Packing was incredible. Quick delivery. Overall A+ experience. Rose is doing well and is now over three feet in height, multi branched, etc.

I think I got a rose from Heirloom as well. Rose did fine. Price is expensive. Got it on sale so that helped but overall, I still find them to be pricey for what you get.

I have ordered roses that will be coming in November from Reverence for Roses, Freedom Gardens and Antique Rose Emporium. I have never ordered anything from these nurseries before, so we shall see what I get (when I eventually get them).

Almost ordered from Palatine but having to purchase three roses at the same time stopped me. There were only two roses (in stock) that I wanted. Plus, I am pretty much on the one in and one has to go out territory. I have no space.
Name: Dennis Brown
The Big Island, Hawaii
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kohala
Aug 27, 2019 11:00 PM CST
I have been ordering from Heirloom. While their prices are on the high side they have lots of sales. Shipping is free if you purchase items for over $65. The most important thing is that they ship to Hawaii. Most of the sellers don't seem to ship here. All of the roses have come in fantastic shape. Has anyone have experience with this seller? Are there any others that ship to Hawaii.










Name: Merlena
Oklahoma (Zone 6b)
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MGKing
Aug 28, 2019 4:44 AM CST
Interesting evaluation. Palatine is definitely my #1 choice for grafted roses, wish I could order every Rose from them! I think they make sure every Rose they ship is healthy. I'm looking forward to when they will have Austins available.

Edmunds has definitely gone down hill, before I knew Palatine existed, they were my primary source and their roses were always healthy, but that was when it was still a family owned business. I still order from them, because of the free shipping. Most of what I ordered from them is doing good. The same with Witherspoon. One good thing about Witherspoon, if they don't think a Rose is healthy enough to ship, they won't ship it, that's been my experience with them.

I agree that Roses Unlimited can be expensive, they're still my preferred own root source. I like the size of their plants. I will admit that I ordered two Dark Desire plants from Chamblee's that are in their third season, that are doing fantastic.

I think all the own root companies are good, and I'm so thankful we have these valuable sources available. I've read some good things about High Country Roses and am considering them as a source, especially for some of the Old Garden Roses.


Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Seed Starter Container Gardener Bulbs
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Mike
Aug 28, 2019 7:41 AM CST
Zuzu, your report card is excellent - I give it an A+! The information is very helpful and well explained - thank you for doing that.


Thumb of 2019-08-28/Mike/6261f0


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AnnKNCalif
Aug 28, 2019 8:13 PM CST
Great report zuzu! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us. I was wondering what your thoughts are about Hortico and Rogue Valley Roses? I heard that RVR is going to have a re-boot with a new website. I hope they get more and/or new roses too!

Kohala - I've bought a lot roses from Heirloom and have had great success. I don't know which rose nurseries ship to Hawaii but I met some members of the Honolulu Rose Society who might be able to offer some advice on where to buy. Perhaps you could contact them using their website.

I live near Napa Valley now but I grew up on Oahu. I was wondering what the rose is you use for your avatar? It's very pretty!

Ann
[Last edited by AnnKNCalif - Aug 28, 2019 8:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Dennis Brown
The Big Island, Hawaii
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kohala
Aug 28, 2019 10:10 PM CST
Thanks for the lead, Ann. The rose in my avatar is Fragrant Hour. I started growing roses in May after my massage therapist gave me one for my birthday. I moved to the Kohala Coast from Marin County (Mill Valley) with my wife Donna 20 year ago. It took a lot of experimenting to find a location on my property to grow roses successfully. I live on the lee side of the Big Island at 2300 feet above sea level. The temperature to grow roses is perfect but we have wicked winds. Fortunately, I found a wind-protected location. Almost all my roses are from Heirloom and have bloomed during the first month. So far Fragrant Hour is my favorite.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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zuzu
Aug 28, 2019 10:16 PM CST

Moderator

Ann, Hortico and Rogue Valley are two nurseries I never use anymore, although I bought hundreds of roses from both in the past.

Hortico was a great nursery until about 15 years ago, when it started sending the wrong plants deliberately. Prior to that time, it would say a rose was out of stock and would put it on back order, but in 2005 or so it would slap the label of the desired rose on an overstocked rose and send it to me. I can't tell you how many Climbing Icebergs and Autumn Damasks Hortico sent me, pretending that they were the fabulous roses Hortico had listed on its website. They also left roses out of the shipping package regularly. I'd pay for 12 roses and receive 9 or 10. Customer Service was highly elusive and frankly abusive. They would promise to send the missing roses or to correct the mistake with the mislabeled roses, but no replacements were ever sent and no credits were ever applied. Things reached the point at which no one wanted to have anything to do with Hortico anymore.

A few years ago there was talk that Hortico had changed and could be trusted again. They stopped pretending to carry dozens of elusive roses. The list of offerings on their website is now only a fraction of what it was before. I gave the nursery one more chance and ordered a few Austins, but the roses they sent were too small for the price and not particularly healthy, so I wasn't impressed.

Rogue Valley Roses was another disappointing nursery. At first, the mislabeling was the only problem. At least 20-25 of the mislabeled roses in my garden came from Rogue Valley. Prices were low, however, especially for the 1-gallon roses, and the plants were quite large. This is Young Quinn when it arrived from Rogue Valley in a 1-gallon container. The garbage can is a 50-gallon can, 40 inches tall. The rose cost only $14.50, only a couple of dollars more than the band price at that time.

Thumb of 2019-08-29/zuzu/182e26

Then the nursery discontinued the gallons, the prices rose dramatically, and the band roses shrank dramatically. The mislabeling continued. It was bad enough to get a mislabeled rose when the rose was a decent size and didn't cost much, but I don't want to take the risk now that the roses are so small and cost so much.
SoCal (Zone 10a)
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SoCalGardenNut
Aug 29, 2019 7:50 AM CST
I wonder why we can't return plant if they send us something wrong. I did order from Rogue recently. It's not good to hear about this. I never had this problem with Regan nursery.
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
Aug 29, 2019 9:33 AM CST
RVR has a new guy taking over much of the operation and from what he says, many of these problems will resolve. Time will tell. She's needed competent help for some time.
SoCal (Zone 10a)
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SoCalGardenNut
Aug 29, 2019 1:00 PM CST
What a shame, I ordered roses from RVR because Regan nursery doesn't carry some of them. Now I wonder if I have to order from Palatine just for insurance. I would hate to plant something and then dig the wrong rose up.

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AnnKNCalif
Aug 30, 2019 1:13 PM CST
Thank you zuzu for your comments! I've bought some discontinued Austins from Hortico like Belle Story, Pretty Jessica, Fair Bianca and a few others. I've never had a problem.

I recently bought Suntan Beauty from RVR after buying Marriotta, L. D. Braithwaite, and one other rose. Didn't have any drama with them either. I think my small purchases may have helped with keeping the chaos down. Smiling

Ann
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Roses
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Mustbnuts
Aug 30, 2019 4:11 PM CST
I have ordered from RVR in the past. I have been very pleased with the results. I only had one mistake when I ordered Peppermint Parfait from them and ended up with Paul's Himalayan Musk instead. Contacted them, took a picture and sent it to them and they sent me the correct rose right away. Apparently, they are located next to each other in the nursery yard, hence the wrong rose. I gave that rose, PHM, away to someone at work who owned a farm, with a barn that the rose could cover. It probably would eat my house if I had kept it.

SoCal, they will send you a band that you will need to pot up before you place it in the ground. Let it flower to make sure it is the rose you ordered and you should be OK.

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