If you are looking for a company who sells a lot of specialty seeds, this might be the place for you! Their website is very modest but has thorough descriptions of the products. Shipping was timely, customer service great, and prices very acceptable. The seeds came in a little zipped plastic bag inside a brown envelope.(Oh, and the instructions are in French! But I'm guessing if you're ordering from them, you're already a seasoned gardener and don't need to know how many mm deep to plant the seeds!)
I found their catalog to be very interesting and has a lot of hard to find selections (Jaltomato, Huauzontle, various Physalis varieties and more). I have started sowing indoors some of the seeds I received earlier this year and have had excellent germination rates. Highly recommended seed source for those gardeners looking to grow the unique and hard to find.
lkpinette Deerfield, MA (Zone 6a) (5 reviews) March 6, 2014
This company has an awesome selection of seeds, including some that I've *never* seen anywhere else and plenty that are relatively rare. Their selection of Physalis (ground cherry/tomatillo) varieties in particular is unmatched by any place I've seen.
The per-packet prices are reasonable, even more so when you take into account that the prices are in Canadian dollars. It's like getting an unexpected little discount.
One thing to be aware of: you get what the website says you'll get. I've always thought of bonus packets as, well, a bonus (and honestly, I almost never plant bonus packets), but I've seen some reviews here where people complain when they don't get them, so be warned you won't. Same thing for the seed count: at least for larger seeds, the number is exact rather than a minimum (though I think I did get a few extra tomatillo seeds).
Getting exactly 15 pepper seeds in multiple packets advertised as having 15 pepper seeds actually was a minor disappointment (at least when it works out to 20 cents Canadian per seed), but it was the only one in dealing with this company. And on the plus side, carefully counting the seeds indicates an attention to detail. For example: they put a ziploc back between the seeds and the packets for moisture control, which is something I've never seen an heirloom seed supplier do before.
They shipped quickly. They don't notify you when they ship, so I assumed they hadn't shipped my seeds yet, and was pleasantly surprised to come home and find to find their seeds in my mailbox, four business days after ordering. I don't know if they go out of their way to pick pretty stamps, but the stamps are beautiful, especially the one of a colorful moth. And while they apologize on their website for the labels being solely in French (this is the fault of Quebec's petty labeling laws), I found it kind of fun to try to figure out what the words on the labels mean.
I'll probably order my pepper seeds from a different supplier next year, but I may make up for it with some of the other vegetable varieties I considered trying and didn't.
beartown Stanbridge East, Canada (4 reviews) January 29, 2014
My first order from this company and I am impressed with their website and also the fast delivery of the seeds. Will order again.
bbetv North Glengarry , ON (Zone 5a) (13 reviews) May 23, 2011
Very happy with what I ordered. Germination has been great! When germination of 2 packages was not as expected I did write and let them know. They offered advice.No replacement or refund. However, I would and have still bought from them. The paper enveloppes have printed instructions on them and inside them the seeds are mostly also packaged in a small plastic bag.
Very happy all and all! Great choice and good packaging/fast shipping.
drthor Irving, TX (Zone 8a) (8 reviews) March 2, 2011
At the beginning of January I ordered some tomato seeds from Solana. I was very excited because they did have some varieties that I was really looking for.
After one day from placing the order I received the confirmation email telling me that it will take 2-3 weeks to receive the seeds.
I had to cancel the order because it was too long of a wait (I was thinking max 4 days) because I had to start my tomatoes seeds at the latest in a week.
Solana cancelled the order and they apologized to me.
They refunded the order ... but they told me that the order was already been shipped !! and that it was their gift to me.
The seeds arrived after a week ...
I was very impressed by this company's customer service and I will order again.
Next time I will take my "time".
Concombre_vert Burlington,VT, United States (3 reviews) January 8, 2010
I've been ordering rare tomato seeds from them for years.
They have over 200 varieties — some really uncommon, weird or very interesting, ex. open-pollinated varieties of SunGold.
They ship fast, seed count is good and germination rates are top-notch (pretty much 100%).
They are my 2nd best place to order from — after PineTree (which is usually the cheapest, but less varieties).
CarynDalton Marysville, OH (10 reviews) January 25, 2009
I will try my best to remember to update my review of this company after the seeds have grown so now I am only commenting on the pre-growing experience.
Website: Easy to navigate but does not have a search box. Also, when you do click to a page, the only option away from that page is the back button. So, by all means if you are saving the site as a favorite, do so from the home page!
Checkout was simple and quick and they do take paypal which means you do not have to set up an account with them. Prices shown on site are in Canadian Dollars.
Merchant Rating with BBB: I always check this before ordering online but I don't think the BBB rates companies outside of the US and this company is located in Canada. There is no rating for this company. I purchased based upon the other reviews here on Watchdog.
Seed Selection: They have a decent selection of vegetable, flower and exotic plant seeds. They have many heirlooms, unusual and rare items available including more than 200 tomato varieties!
Shipping: Super Quick and came in a standard bubble manilla envelope. They air-mailed. Envelope did not arrive damaged. Shipping is reasonable with this company, especially knowing they have to air-mail. They did as I requested and emailed me to let me know that they had shipped my order.
Seed count for price: Generous. Prices shown on site are in Canadian Dollars which paypal converted no problem.
Product information: Abundant information on each variety I looked at. In fact, they have so much information that the only thing I found elsewhere that wasn't on this site were the variety reviews which is VERY IMPORTANT to me. I wish they would allow their customers to review their purchases online.
The seed packets are plain manilla seed envelopes and are written in french. However this company has really thought about their customer's needs and have provided a whole section on their website called 'sowing instructions'. When you click there, you are taken to a page that gives a link to the Tom Clothier germination databases and it also gives links to translation databases so you can either type in the info on the seedpack and get information or you can cut and paste from the website into the translation site. A bit of work and I found information readily elsewhere without having to go the translation route.
There is not a paper catalog available.
Bordo McLean, VA (Zone 6b) (3 reviews) July 12, 2008
It was a real pleasure to work with this company. They have a great variety of seeds, and the seeds that I grew this year all had an excellent germination rate. When I was ordering seeds, I noticed a problem on the website, and I sent an email the the company. An hour or two later, they sent my a very nice email apologizing for the inconvenience and it was fixed. Some of the best costumer service I have ever had. Definitely will buy from Solana again.
lobsterandi Minneapolis, MN (Zone 4a) (1 review) March 28, 2008
The seeds I ordered were weirdos that were kind of hard to find, but I found them on Solana and they were reasonably priced and shipped out to me very quickly. I made a mistake in entering the address, and was able to email them and correct that problem right away. Great service, kind people, excellent seeds.
andycdn Ottawa, ON (Zone 5a) (1 review) March 22, 2007
This is my second year ordering from this Canadian company. Last year's seeds were extremely successful: heirloom tomatoes germinated 100% and rave reviews from everyone who grew them (myself included). This year I'm ordering those and a few more to try. Prices very reasonable and shipping is fast and inexpensive. The online catalogue is simple to use and comprehensive. Pay attention when they say 'recommended'!
cammu Granby, QC (Zone 4b) (3 reviews) January 5, 2007
A very nice small company, fast shipping, numerous rare tomatoes.
The germination of the seeds are evrry good, a really good place to buy.
I ordered from Solana Seeds in 2005 and was impressed with their seed and results in 2005 and 2006. The tomatoes I ordered were true to their description and I had nearly 100% germination.
They are a smaller operation and their processing time may be a few days longer than some of the bigger companies, but they have a great variety and selection of seed and are very reasonable. I will definitely order from them again.
zarcanat Montreal, QC (Zone 4b) (7 reviews) January 20, 2006
Very nice small company, fast shipping, numerous rare tomatoes difficult to find otherwise here in Canada. Nice herbs and flowers selection.
I ordered some seeds and made out a check before I realized that the prices were in Canadian so I over paid, my bad. Then I emailed to make arrangements so that wouldn't be an issue (maybe order a couple more packs and the change extra they could keep) and they never got back to me. No, they havn't cashed the check but they could at least have gotten back to me on the order and whether or not they were going to fill it. They still have the check. I entered these in my personal seed catalog and seeing they apparently are not interested in my order I had to go through and pull them off. Kind of a hassle.On June 30th, 2005, Windchyme changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I got the seeds today and it was postmarked 6-22-05. I ordered these on 6-1-05. In any case they sent extra seeds to make up the exchange rate difference. Some I really didn't want but some I am very appreciative of. I wish they would have gotten back to me and given me the chance to pick what other seeds I wanted. In any case the seeds are here and all is good. Gotta go RE-ENTER them in my personal seed catalog.
A very nice selection of out-of-the-ordinary tomatoes and varied exotic other things. Not a huge seed list, but full of temptations nonetheless. Attentive customer service (they responded to my e-mailed questions) and prompt delivery. No problems with germination. And it was fun trying to read the French version before the English translation appeared.On March 3rd, 2009, dirtdiver added the following:
I've been ordering from Solana most of the last few years, and I'm always pleased with the selection and service. Glad that they now take PayPal. This year, as in the others, they've shipped promptly, and I appreciate the very reasonable shipping fee. I'm smacking my forehead wondering how it is that I forgot to order the Supershmelz kohlrabi I wanted, but I'm excited about everything else in the envelope.
I ordered from Solana in the fall for this years planting. They have a nice, unusual selection and quite a variety! A good place to find something different! I'll be ordering from here for next year WITHOUT A DOUBT!
PS The Jaltomata are looking GOOD THIS YEAR!
PPS Nice staff, very helpful - even gave me a refund when I paid in the wrong currency (my fault!)