Rose Online Suppliers

By David Marks
This article compares online suppliers of roses. We compare packaging, overall costs, delivery times, quality of the roses on delivery and other factors.

With one exception (Ashridge Nurseries) delivery was within a week of the order being placed. Costs are a key factor in deciding which supplier to use.

This differed significantly one reason being that some roses were supplied in
bare root form, others were supplied as containerised plants.

First we present our conclusions, followed by a more in depth review of each supplier.

Let us be clear from the outset, roses are individual plants and like humans,they differ by nature. However some things are fixed – delivery time, cost, bareroot or containerised and cleardefects at delivery time.

We also want to be clear about our view on bare root versus containerised roses. Cost aside (containerised roses bought online are liable to be more expensive than bare root roses because of the extra postage and packing costs) we prefer containerised roses.

The reason for this preference is that if you take a containerised rose from its pot, give it a gentle shake, it then becomes a bare root rose. With a containerised rose you have the option of leaving it in the container for a month or so and planting it at a time convenient to you. Bare root roses should be planted as soon as possible after delivery.

We bought two roses from each supplier on 24 January 2020 and planted them out in the same manner (aside from two roses which were planted in containers.) in our rose bed. Scores given to each category judged are out of ten.

All the suppliers delivered the roses we requested. Cost comparison is for two roses including postage and packing.

The results are shown in alphabetic order with the total points for each supplier shown at the end of this section.

BEST ONLINE ROSE SUPPLIER

ASHRIDGE NURSERIES
Delivery time – 5 / 10
Packaging 8/ 10
Plant quality 8 / 10
Cost £27.60 – 10 / 10
Bare root or containerised?Supplied as bare root – no extra points

CROCUS
Delivery time – 9 / 10
Packaging 10/ 10
Plant quality 10 / 10
Cost £34.97 – 7 / 10
Bare root or containerised?Supplied as containerised – 3 extra points

DAVID AUSTIN
Delivery time – 10 / 10
Packaging 8/ 10
Plant quality 8 / 10
Cost £39.95 – 6 / 10
Bare root or containerised?Supplied as bare root – no extra points

JACKSONS NURSERIES
Delivery time – 9 / 10
Packaging 9 / 10
Plant quality 8 / 10
Cost £29.97 – 9 / 10
Bare root or containerised? Supplied as containerised – 3 extra points

PETER BEALES
Delivery time – 9 / 10
Packaging 8 / 10
Plant quality 8 / 10
Cost £30.85 – 8 / 10
Bare root or containerised? Supplied as bare root – no extra points

THE RESULTS!
First – Crocus with 39 points
Second – Jacksons Nurseries 38 points
Third – Peter Beales 33 points
Fourth – David Austin 32 points
Fifth – Ashridge Nurseries 31 points

ASHRIDGE NURSERIES

We bought the varieties Just Joey and Sexy Rexy from the online supplierAshridge Nurseries. The initial order was made on 24 January 2020. The pricepaid for the two roses, including postage and packing was £27.60 or £13.80 per rose.

Outer packaging Ashridge Nurseries roses
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Ashridge Nurseries outer packaging

Roses are supplied in bare rootform. By a large margin Ashridge Nurseries were the slowest to deliver theirroses. We were initially promised a delivery date of 7th February (over a weeklonger compared to all of the other four companies) but then they delayed thatdate. The roses were eventually delivered on 12th February.

Bare rooted rose from Ashridge Nurseries
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Bare rooted rose from Ashridge Nurseries

The roses arrived in good condition, moist and with a good root system.

If you want keep track of how these Ashridge Nurseries fared, they are
Just Joey and
Sexy Rexy – see the cultivation notes at the end of each of those two articles.

PETER BEALES

We bought the varieties Flower Power and Sunny Sky from the online supplierClassic Roses / Peter Beales. The initial order was made on 24 January 2020.
The price paid was £11.95 for each rose. Total cost for two roses including postage and packing was £30.85 (so £15.42 per rose).

The Peter Beales / Classic Rose website states that “Orders will be delivered within5 working days from date of order weather permitting”. This proved to be spot onwith the roses being delivered on 31st January 2020.

Peter Beales roses outer packaging
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Peter Beales outer packaging

Roses are supplied in bare rootform. The two bare root roses were invery good condition, each plant being moist and with a good root system.

Bare rooted roses from Peter Beales Roses
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Bare rooted roses from Peter Beales Roses

If you want keep track of how these Peter Beales Roses fared, they are
Sunny Sky and
Flower Power – see the cultivation notes at the end of each of those two articles.

JACKSONS NURSERIES

We bought the varieties Alec’s Red and Irish Eyes from the online supplier Jacksons Nurseries. The initial order was made on 24 January 2020. The price paid was £9.99 for each rose. Delivery for the two roses was £9.99.

No delivery date was specified. Total cost for two roses including postageand packing was £29.97 (£14.99 per rose). The roses were delivered in excellenttime on 30 January 2020.

Outer packaging for Jacksons roses
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Outer packaging Jackson Nurseries
The roses were supplied, as
containerised roses
, in 4 litre containers. The advantage of this form over purely bare rootroses is that the plants can remain in the pot for a month or so (with appropriatewatering) until a convenient planting time occurs. No need to heel in or pot up. The roses were in top quality condition, with an extensive root system and moist.

Containerised roses from Jacksons Nurseries
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Containerised roses from Jacksons Nurseries

If you want keep track of how these Jacksons Nurseries fared, they are
Alec’s Red and
Irish Eyes – see the cultivation notes at the end of each of those two articles.

DAVID AUSTIN ROSES

We bought the varieties Darcey Bussell and Olivia Rose Austin from the online supplier David Austin Rose. The initial order was made on 24 January 2020. The price paid was £18.00 for each rose. Delivery for the two roses was £3.95. Total cost for two roses including postage and packing was £39.95 (that makes £19.98 per rose).

The roses were delivered in extra quick time, arriving on 29 January 2020,very impressive.

David Austin Roses outer packaging
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Outer packaging of David Austin Roses

Roses are supplied in bare root form. The two roses were in very goodcondition, with a well developed root system.

Bare rooted roses supplied by David Austin
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Bare rooted roses supplied by David Austin

If you want keep track of how these David Austin Roses fared, they are
Darcey Bussell and
Olivia Rose Austin – see the cultivation notes at the end of each of those two articles.

CROCUS

We bought the varieties Iceberg and Remember Me from the online supplier Crocus. The initial order was made on 24 January 2020. The price paid for both roses was £34.97 including postage and packing (so £17.49 per rose). This price includes a seasonal sale discount of £10.

Roses are supplied in containerised form. Wereceived the two roses on 30 January 2020 which was excellent. Outer packagingwas the sturdiest of all the online suppliers.

Crous roses outer packagng
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Crocus roses outer packaging

 

The advantage of containerised roses over bare rootroses is that the plants can remain in the pot for a month or so (with appropriatewatering) until a convenient planting time occurs. No need to heel in or pot up.

Containerised roses from Crocus
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Containerised roses from Crocus

Even a quick glance at the picture above shows the quality of the rosessupplied – above all the opposition. Just scan the pictures of the rosessupplied by the opposition in this article, which are all of good quality, andit’s clear that the Crocus roses are well above them all.

If you want keep track of how these Crocus roses fared, they are
Iceberg and
Remember Me – see the cultivation notes at the end of each of those two articles.

 

BARE ROOTED OR CONTAINERISED ROSES

The best way to receive your new rose bush is clearly as a containerised plant. Withthis you have a rose bush which can be left in the container for asignificantly longer time (as long as it is watered) compared to a bare rooted rose bush. 

This is because a containerised rose bush (NOT a
container grown
rose bush) is exactly thesame as the bare rooted equivalent except that it has been placed in a pot andfilled around with compost or some other growing medium. Keep that potmoderately well watered and it will last for a month or so before beingplanted with no significant detriment to the end result.

That matters if the weather at the time of delivery, and for a few weeks after, is very cold or wet. With a bare root rose, you need to get it planted reasonably soon after delivery – a week or less. If you don’t, the roots will dry out and will affect the plant, maybe even kill it.

There is no point in planting out any rose bush if the ground is frozen or water logged, it simply is not good for the plant’s health.