On this page we present the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to us. We ask you first to see if your question is already answered in the below list before sending us your question. Questions which are answered in below FAQs will not be answered by us due to time limitations.
How long does it take to receive my plants after I made my order?
We start to proceed with your order as soon as payment is received. Orders within the EU take 2-3 weeks processing time. Orders outside the EU may take some more time as we have to make appointments with the fytosanitary inspectors from the NAK-tuinbouw which will take extra time.
Also the delivery time is very strongly depending on the customs regulations in your country; after we shipped the plants they are in any country in 2-3 days but then delivery can be delayed by specific country regulations and strong inspections. Also ways of delivery vary from country to country; in some countries deliveries take just 1-2 days were in other countries it is done by private distributors and can take longer. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it.
Why are the fytosanitary document costs so high?
In The Netherlands each shipment outside the EU must be controlled by a individual inspection; for this they charge us euro 95,00 driving/visiting cost. On top of that comes a minute-based fee; every minute the inspection takes place we are charged about euro 2,00 per minute and the inspector can take as many minutes he/she wants/needs!
New in 2016 is that for each 'paper' (a fyto consists of 3 pages) we must pay 1,50 euro and additionally we must pay 6 euros as 'service costs for the wonderful 'CLIENT' only application system.
Beside that we spend a huge amount of time to wash each individual plant to make it soil-less and in some cases the inspector asks us to do it over or again... and the minutes clock counts on....
Even we know and realize how rediculous this is, but it is simply the Dutch Law which we have to respect. A single fyto therefore costs most of the time more then 75 euro as a single inspection takes at least 10 minutes or more. In case you want to read more about it you can contact the Dutch NAKTuinbouw organization.
If you cannot agree with these costs, which we also might to increase in the future, please do not order from us and buy somewhere else.
Why don't you provide CITES export documents anymore?
Getting CITES exports permission papers in Holland is a nightmare; it costs a huge amount of time, sometimes months, piles of paperwork and in many cases it is refused as the client that orders first needs to have a CITES import permit. All this hassle is organized by the CITES organization in The Hague in The Netherlands, an extreme bureaucratic institution.
We therefore had to decide no longer to ask for CITES export documents.
In case you are outside the EU and still want to buy CITES 1 plants, please contact us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
My received Haworthias (or other plants) have a little root system, why?
In case non-EU clients order plants we need to wash each soil particle from each individual plantroot; this is extremely time consuming and during the fyto inspection officers sometimes request us to even do it again over and over which results in more damage to the roots, even breaking roots. However, it is quite easy to re-root them in a dry substrate, slowly start watering from below and roots will re-appear. But, in case you are not satisfied, please return the plant(s) in question back to us within 8 days including the fyto papers FROM YOUR COUNTRY, SO NOT A COPY FROM OURS and we will fully refund the plant upon receipt of it.
Some of my bought red-coloured auction Haworthias arrive more green then red, why?
The red colour of our specific variegates only is expressed in bright light conditions but not direct sunlight. When we ship these plants they are packed in the dark during transport and loose most of the red colour temporarily. Once you cultivate them again in bright light but no direct sunlight they will re-clour in reddish or pinkish colour.
Can I order plants that are labbeled sold out in the shop or that are gone from the shop?
No, unfortunately when a plant is out of the shop it is not for sale anymore. We cannot sell plants that are sold out. We also cannot tell if and when they are availbale again and we can also not reserve future productions. You will have to follow the webshop when it is available again. We won't be able to answer questions if we have one extra for you or when it is offered again etc.
Can you ship my plants with EMS?
No, we cannot ! In The Netherlands there is no way to use that service although we know it is a worldwide shipping option. We believe that protectionism (Post NL) causes the fact that we have no way of using EMS. Sorry for that.
Can you ship express with FedEx?
Within the EU we ship with FedEx if it proves to have significant faster shipment time; sometimes FedEx delivers within 24 hours.
Outside the EU we can sometimes use FedEx and sometimes only the Post because couriers don't transport any life material like plants to all countries (for instance Japan) so we cannot use their service. For very large orders we are able to ship through our airport agent on the airport of Schiphol Amsterdam but costs are very high. In no way we will use UPS after a conflict of breaking a signed contract with us. Sometime in Europe we ship by DPD (by road) or the post (mainly some Islands to which FedEx is much slower. We CANNOT ship with EMS as this sytem doesn't exist in the Netherlands. Please ask us about what way of shipping to your non-EU country we can offer.
Can you send our plants outside the EU without fytosanitary certificate?
Normally we can't. If a parcel arrives in your country it can be confiscated and even seen as a crime. On the other hand they will trace back to where the parcel came from and we as shipper can get a penalty or even will no longer be able to get any fyto anymore. We are sure you will understand that therefore we cannot do this.
In case you believe/think you or your country doesn't request a fytosanitary certificate, please contact us by email prior to placing an order and we will get in contact with you.
Why is postage so high in price?
Starting 1-1-2014 we have strongly reduced shipping costs and gave the customer several options: see our terms & conditions. Each cheaper (Postal) option comes (of course) with a lower or no service level.
First of all we have a collaboration agreement with FedEx and The Post and we charge the basic costs of the shipment to the customer. Costs are based on weight and/or volume/weight-ratio. A very small parcel costs already euro 25 shipping in the EU and this price increases with fuel charges and weight charges. Mostly we pay much more per parcel than the costs we charge you !
Beside that we make costs in packing material and for plants outside the EU we spend a huge amount of time washing all the plants. For all this we calculated a general price which we want to keep the same for most customers depending on the value of the order. STC makes no profit at all on these costs.
We are constantly negotiating with couriers and/or Post including trying to reduce fyto costs, but a single visit for fyto inspection costs us euro 95,= starting costs + additional fee of euro 2,= per MINUTE !! (Dutch -stupid- law) + 7 ero for each A4 paper (we need 3 papers to be printed so 3 x 7 euro)
Please note that shipment with Post NL is basic and has no guarantee of arrival. The so called track&Trace does not work to many countries. No claims can be made, even when it doesn't arrive at all. The Post NL waives back any claims.
We know this is frustrating for you as it is for us but once we hand the box over to the Post we can no longer be responsible. In case all official documents are included AND the parcel is shipped insured we might make a claim when it does not arrive at all within 2 months !! (by that time the contents are already dead)
If we see a plant in your auction, can we buy it for a fixed price out of the auction?
No, we cannot do this as we want to give all customers a fair chance to bid on the plant and once it is in the auction we cannot take it out -only for reasons such as if the plant dies during the auction-. We use the hidden bid system.
Started in 2012 we will offer a new section of fixed-priced variegates in our webshop.
Can I see and buy (variegate) plants at your nursery?
No, we only operate as an online nursery since 2016 and cannot receive any visitors.
Can I use your pictures on the auction/webiste for my personal or commercial use?
No, all our pictures are copyrighted and protected. Once we see our pictures appear somewhere else without our written permission we will have to take appropiate legal steps.
In case you want to use a picture you can send us an email explaining why and what for you want to use it. If we agree we would always ask to print/write the origin of the picture.
Can STC make my personal plant into a variegate?
At this stage we don't offer that service. All our variegates are made by ourselves on plants of our own. We currently don't offer services to produce custom-made variegated plants.
Can I order plants out of the webshop by sending an email with the order?
This is not possible; we will strictly only handle webshop-orders and only if they are paid.. We won't be able to respond to writen request with lists or excel sheets of orders.
Can I send cash money for payment?
We have encountered some cases in which -even registered- envelopes were pre-opened during postal distribution. Once they offer us a registered letter we cannot control it first, but we must first sign and then get it. After opening of the taped envelope we found 2 empty envelopes in 2011 and therefore we discourage strongly to send cash over the post. In case you still want to do so we will only be able to send you the plants if the envelope still contains the payment; we will notify you if that happens and are NOT responsible for it. In case you still want to send cash in an envelope, please send it to our p o box address which is: STC, P O Box 28, 4695ZG Sint-Maartensdijk, Netherlnads and do it registered only.
Is there a minimum order amount?
No, each order, also a small order, is welcome. However you must realize the cost of transport is a minimum based amount for all orders (see terms and conditions)
Can you keep and reserve my order for later shipment?
No, we won't store paid webshop orders. After the order is received and paid we start with shipping preparations. Non-paid orders are never reserved and cancelled..
Only paid orders are taken into the handling procedure. Non-paid orders we don't do anything with.
It might also happen that after you made an order and paid plants are sold out. This happens often because our shop is open 24 hours a day world wide and by the time we 'wake up' some itmes might have been ordered and paid and we simply don't have the time to sit behind the computer 24 hours a day to inactivate sold out plants. We will refund all pre-paid plant at the time the plant is sold out.
Can I collect myself the ordered plants from your nursery?
No, sorry, we only operate by online webshop and shipping plants.
Can you tell me what plants are when to come on your sales list?
Unfortunately we cannot. As we produce all plants our selves in tissue culture we can never know when a certain new species or cultivar will be availabe for sale as tissue culture is not a simple procedure and always things can go wrong in all stages of the production..
As we are not a dealer in buying-selling plants we always renew and update our webshop when the plants are ready for sale and we never know this for the future.
In the unfortunate case you prepaid plants/orders and we are not able to deliver them due to unknown unforeseen reasons we will always credit you back the full paid amount.
But on the other hand those orders that are not paid will simply be deleted and specially for auction participants we will delete those customers from future participation
Can we pay with credit cards in your greenhouse?
Our greenhouse is closed to the public.
We are working on on-line credit card acceptance as we no longer accept Paypal payment due to fraudulent actions of a Japanese customer.
When I won one or two plants in the auction, can I wait with shipping untill the next auction to save postage and fyto costs?
No, unfortunately you cannot. We can't keep your auction plants and ask payment to start shipping after the auction is finished even if you won just 1 or 2 plants.
Can I receive a list of plants that are in production at STC?
This is not possible as it varies day to day; in our webshop the first page shows always the newest plants on offer for a couple of months.
In the webshop-site at the top of the page you can download an excel list of currently available plants. We can also not inform our customers when we update our webshop as it changes from day to day; we produce all our plants ourselves and are depending on the results in the lab.
Can we be sure you don't sell field collected plants?
Yes, you can be absolutely sure; as a registered NAK Tuinbouw member (nr. 64155) we are controlled regularly as well as by the Dutch Inspection Agency.
Is it possible you share with us in vitro production protocols?
Unfortunately not as we are a commercial company and not a subsidized University we don't share any of our protocols as they were made all by ourseleves with no funding at all.
Those companies who want to buy protocols can contact us by mail. Only serious requests will be answered and handled.
Do you sell and ship in vitro cultures?
No, we normally don't sell in vitro cultures directly, only ex vitro plants. There are a few exceptions for very large scale orders of the same plant, please write us an email if you are interested in a large scale production (mainly Echeveria, Aloe, Haworthia or some others.).
Are your variegates made by Genetic Modification (GMOs)?
No, our variegates are NO GMO's; in no way we use external DNA insertion for making variegates.
Also our variegates do not contain virus-related organisms (like in Tulips or Hosta's)
What is the size of the plant(s) I receive when I order?
The size is comparable with the first picture but in case the picture is old you will receive a bigger plant. The pictures in 2nd frames are ONLY AS REFERENCE and are not for sale. You will not receive a plant that size. Any information -if different from the above- will be written with the description.
In case you are not satisfied with the plant you receive you can send it back (with -if necessary- the fyto certificate, and we will fully refund you.
Can you ship plants with pot and soil?
No, we have stopped doing this because the postage rate is extremely expensive due to the high weight. We did this sometimes in the past but we are sorry but we are no longer offering shipment in pots.
For shipments outside the EU this was never possible due to fytosanitary restrictions.
Do you send multiple labels with a plant order?
No, if you order more than 1 item of the same code we only send and ship it with ONE label, even if it is for further distribution among friends. We ask you to write your own labels for your friends.
Do you send the empy pots if you don't send with soil anymore?
No, sorry, we don't send the empty pots with the plants. We ONLY send bare rooted plants with no soil.
Do I get any reduction?
See our section Wholesale on the left side of the website frame for our rules for reduction.
When and why do I need a plant import permit?
In some countries you will need an import permit to be able to legally import plants (USA, China, Israel, Ukrain and many others). Before we can send you your plants you must send us a copy of this import permit and we enclose the copy inside the shipment.
It is your duty to inform in your country if such is necessary or not, we at STC cannot have a world-wide knowledge which countries ask this import permit and we are NOT responsible for confiscation of plants due to the fact that you had no import permit and have not informed us.
In case you are a USA citizen you also need to inform us which is the nearest Point of Entry as we need to fill in this city name on the fyto. You will also need to send us the USDA/APHIS green/yellow label.
If a specific plant is no longer on the webshop how long will it take before you offer it again?
This is very hard to say and differs strongly between the plants; after we sold all the plants we sometimes (not always !!) start a reproduction that can take 1, 2 or more years. In some cases it is much shorter and in some cases we simply don't reproduce it anymore. You will have to see and follow the webshop for that.
In the past you issued reduction vouchers through the Haworthiad Society; did you stop doing that?
This is correct; on the 1st of january 2015 we have decided to stop issueing discount vouchers. We are no longer a member of the Haworthiad society for personal reasons.
Are my orders insured when you ship them?
The Insurance for loss and theft (not for delay or damage) counts only if you choose Post insured as a shipping option (including all necessary paperwork like fyto) or FedEx insured as a shipping option. All other (cheaper) postal shipping options have no Insurance. Exception can be with registered shipped parcels which might be insured to a max of euro 500,= In case an order never arrives at all within 2 months we will start an investigation at Post or FedEx. In case the package is lost (theft or anything) we are insured up to the order value but only if all proper papers were included (fyto and import permit & real value invoice)
In case a shipment never arrives and when shipped according to the right terms and conditions we will refund all plant value losses, but we cannot refund shipment and document costs like fytosanitary costs.
In case a shipment is shipped according to your specific wishes which are not our standard terms and conditions we never replace or refund any losses when plants do not arrive due to for instance customs confiscation.
I don't receive an answer to my email(s); why ?
Emails with questions already answered here in the FAQs won't be answered.
We will only be able to focus on emails with questions related to orders or plants active for sale or any related serious request/question.
Non-relevant emails will not be answered.
Does STC gives lectures or presentations?
Currently, due to Mr. Wellens health, no lectures can be given.
We also will not be able anymore to attend any shows in Holland or abroad.
Can we visit STC ?
Unfortunately we stopped receiving visitors since 2016 due to many reasons.
We only operate as an online nursery now.
Can I return plant when I am not satisfied?
Yes you can; within the EU simple send back the plant to us. If you live outside the EU the return shipment must be accompanied with a valid fytosanitary certificate of the origin of YOUR country, not a copy from ours. If you don't do that we refuse the parcel as we get a very high penalty. Plese be aware of this rule which you agree with once you place an order and want to sen back a plant.
Once we received your plant back we will fully refund you by banc payment (or any other future options which we are studying on, NEVER paypal).