Did I make a mistake ordering from hortico?

zone6-njJanuary 20, 2014

Hi everyone,

I decided to order some austin roses from Hortico a few days ago. I'm in northern jersey and ordered them to be shipped in mid April. I ordered:

A shropshire lad
Pretty Jessica x 2
James galway
Charles Darwin
Queen of Sweden
Ambridge rose
St swithun

I'm a bit worried. I know sometimes reading online reviews can hurt more than help at times, but of course there are reviews for a reason, I'm a bit worried now, I'm hearing a lot of mislabeled roses, dead roses, or roses that died before blooming.

Have any of you guys ordered from them recently? Have they gotten any better? I read a few online reviews beef derringer, but of course discovered a ton of negative ones after placing it! Please give me your experiences recently.

Also, is the Mid April time window good for planting them in northern jersey 6A?? Or should I push for early May?

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alameda/zone 8

I am going to place another order for "free" roses for the 8 I ordered last year that were not what they were supposed to be. Cressida and Magenta were definitely rootstock.....the others who knows. I had never had this problem before, but 8 mislabeled roses out of an order seems excessive to me. Just watch them closely and make sure they are what you ordered. I will have to pay shipping for these replacements which I do not think is fair. One I really wanted - Orange Ruffels - was certainly not what I ordered so I wont try that one again. Have not had this happen with Hortico before [though I have heard of it happening] and have ordered from them off and on for years. If I can get roses I want anyplace else in the future, I will do so. The roses were healthy enough and all lived.......but what a waste of time growing rootstock.........I was not at all happy. Maybe you will get what you ordered - good luck to you!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 2:22AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I have my fingers crossed. Ordered one from them because I couldn't find it anywhere else--the only reason I can come up with to justify ordering from them. Some people have no problem with them--I've ordered a couple roses from them in the past and everything was fine--but then you hear just enough stories about things going wrong that you have to wonder and worry the whole time while you wait to plant and to see what you actually got.

Wishing us all luck this time around.

In my zone 6 (Midwest), I plant bareroots in later March or early April--if that helps you plan.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 3:37AM
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jerseygirl07603 z6NJ

I've planted bareroots in March and they were fine. You should be ok with April planting.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 8:01AM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

In NJ, we want bareroots for planting in mid-late March - Mid-April, so the delivery time is fine. You want them to start breaking dormancy with the older plants (if you have older plants). Potted own roots you want delivered in May.

I also ordered from Hortico because my lawn service demolished several of my plants that I can't get anywhere else. We can all compare notes when they come in, mine are due in March, and they have already called me.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 9:01AM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

Hortico ships whenever they feel like it. Your "request" for a certain date is likely to go unnoticed by them.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 2:27PM
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seil zone 6b MI

With Hortico you never know what you're getting into. Some people have had good luck and gotten what they wanted when they wanted it. Others have been out of luck completely. I wish you the best!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 2:31PM
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I agree, You never know what to expect. Had good luck and bad luck. Months can go by and the order is still not filled, When they did have it they wanted to send it when winter was setting in. I always call them and ask them if they have this rose in stock! I will say you can find a few rare and nice roses. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 7:04PM
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I ordered two from them last year and have been happy with them. You never know, give it a shot!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 4:10PM
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Hortico can't be trusted. First what I got were very puny and later I discovered that quite a few were mislabeled. Out of 35 I ended up replacing 12. A couple I got were actually rootstocks. I think they might have been pink multiflora.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 4:44PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

I've ordered some very interesting roses from Hortico and have had no problem with any of them. I'd buy from them again, but they're not my "go to" place for roses that are widely available. But for something hard to get, they're fine with me. Diane

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 10:29PM
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I've ordered from them off and on over the last 15-18yrs or so. Been a mixed bag of orders. They've definitely gotten better at their inventory control, but even so, often the roses are not what they are marked. The plants are usually decent sized and healthy, although not always. I've got an order coming (hopefully) this month. They have many roses no one else has on our continent. So, I risk it. Usually, they are correct, but guess we'll see how this batch is! Their prices are great and shipping is very reasonable.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 9:11AM
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Desertgarden- Las Vegas, Z8b @ 2800 ft.

I hope to receive 3 Pretty Jessica plants from Hortico this month, although they cannot guarantee that anything can be shipped to me this month, February, without any explanation given, despite their system allowing me to select a shipment of yesterday 1/31 when I placed the order online, which is odd⦠oh well⦠this is my last stab at getting this variety, so if they arrive, hooray!!!! and if not⦠plan B during the Spring. Either way, I will have a point of reference for my first order and experience with Hortico. Their system for ordering has not been the most organized, the verdict is still out on the rest of the process...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 10:39AM
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I've ordered in the past and had good results. This past year, though, four of eight were mislabeled or the wrong rose. That's 50%. I will say, the roses that were correctly labeled have done beautifully in soil that is totally different than what they grown in. My "Old Fragrance" planted three years ago was the biggest (7 ft) rose last season and very healthy.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:04PM
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Thanks for the replies! I got two Pretty Jessicas from them, and six other austins. Hope they can at least manage to get this order right!

I have a question, those that have received orders from hortico, what should I do when I get them, because DA himself says a good day in a bucket of water, but apparently with them it has to be precisely 20 minutes? This is confusing, I don't want to kill anything, slow down growth, or do anything that is bad for their plants.

Also, I'm guessing they will be on multiflora. If I decided to remove half the soil from my planting hole for these bare roots and replace it with any sort of soil.. Which would you recommend? That would benefit the multiflora rootstock more. Should I just get some top soil from Home Depot and amend it with something to get multiflora to grow better in it? Apparently it likes alkaline soil or something like that. Please help!


    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 7:10PM
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Bare roots should be soaked for at least 24 hours before you plant them. I just put them totally immersed in a 32 gal plastic garbage can full of water. Back in CT I planted in my own homemade compost but here I have had to settle for what passes for compost at the local nursery I water with my home brew of steer manure and water and everything I've planted here in SoCal including those from Hortico has taken off.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 10:04PM
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Thanks Henry. So I can soak hortico bare roots for 24 hours with no issues? I read on the forum somewhere that someone had a bare root rose that died and when they called hortico they asked how long did they soak it for, and after they replied with a time longer than 20 minutes, apparently they told her it had to be soaked for just 20 minutes.

What compost can I buy from a local store that do well with bare roots, particularly multiflora?


    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:41PM
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