A few months ago I ordered from J.L. Hudson (around August 31st, I believe), and actually registered solely to cash in my two cents of praise. I can't remember exactly how many we ordered - three of us ordered at once to minimize shipping. It was, at any rate, about 16.
The order came in relatively fast - around three weeks, which isn't all that bad given my residence in Hawaii. Shipping, of course, was higher than I would have liked, but hardly surprising and the rare choice of seed was well worth it. The seeds themselves are of a very generous price, and many of the seeds in local stores give far less seed for far more. Admittedly they did not have some a lot of fruit trees I would have liked, but their other options made up for this.
I have had no problems with germination. I've gotten sprouts from every packet, save for one, a tree, which I have put off planting until a few days ago. They sprouted remarkably fast, much faster than the predicted germination time. The slowest ones so far germinated in about the minimum predicted time. The seeds germinated so well, in fact, that I now have a horde of seedlings with nowhere to plant them!
So, yes, I would highly recommend this company. I intend to order again soon, and would advise anyone with a taste for the exotic (or even the semi-regular) to have their fill.
saradus Maple Park, IL (7 reviews) November 26, 2013
Just placed my second order. I found this seed bank through the community here on Davesgarden, and I'm so glad! Ordering was easy (online or order form via mail), it took a few minutes, but the website thoroughly lists the process of ordering and how to calculate shipping. Once I read it, I got it. The catalog is vast and has so much information. I've found myself using the catalog for reading material even after my initial order, I kept discovering new plants that I want to try. Seeds were shipped promptly and labeled with instructions. Highly recommend.
J.L. Hudson has opened up a whole new plant world for me. I appreciate all the helpful info about each plant. I see a great need to restore the biodiversity of plant life in our environment, whether it be in a garden for food or medicine to heal our bodies or to heal the soil any where and every where. I have had good results from growing your seed. I also, appreciate the service and reasonable price.
Posted on December 4, 2012, updated June 12, 2013
Placed an order for six different types of seeds last month. I found the order process different, but easy. I received the seeds quickly & I can't wait to start growing them!!!On June 12th, 2013, MNWildflower added the following:
All the seeds I ordered from J.L. Hudson, Seedsman had excellent germination rates! I am extremely satisfied with the service I received & the quality of the seeds. I look forward to ordering more seeds in the future.
wmakie Chappaqua, NY (Zone 6a) (1 review) May 30, 2013
My purchase experience with the J.L. Hudson company was more than OUTSTANDING. I had to create this account in Dave's just to sing their praises. The prices and shipping rate are more than reasonable and the seed selection is SUPERIOR. The seeds package arrived in a very timely manner. However, along with my seeds, a whole load of tiny ants decided to tag along for the ride inside the package envelop. You would think this would be a big fat negative feedback, but because of how the company representative handled the situation they turned it into a big POSITIVE.
My wife had a BIG wake-up, or more like a 'jump-up' call opening the package at the breakfast table; hundreds of tiny black ants crawled out; 'creepy crawlies all up her finger tips and inside her sleeves' as she put it. Of course I contacted the company. They were very quick to respond and tried to track down how and where this could have occurred. They suspect that most likely the ants decided to move their nest and figured the package was a good place. This was a freak of nature event of course, no fault of the company at all. I did not ask them for anything, just contacted them to inform them of the situation, but they replaced my all seeds and refunded the ones that they sold out. What customer satisfaction service! They can add me to their list of loyal customers. I will definitely order all my seeds from them from now on. Now just hope all those new tiny critters won't become a big problem in here... Company representative comment on June 1, 2013: On Jun 1, 2013 11:05 AM, J.L. Hudson, Seedsman responded with:
This guy is so nice to post a positive review after that experience!
And this has to be the single weirdest thing that has ever happened to an order in our 40 years of distributing seeds - when things slow down a bit I'm going to have to put a "believe it or not" page on my website about this, and post the photos he sent. I mean, we've had packages arrive soaking wet (from flood damage to a post office on the way), had packages stolen out of people's mailboxes by neighbor's kids, had packages torn to shreds by people's cats (catnip seed inside!), had packages destined to Austria end up in Australia, and packages addressed to Grand Island, New York, end up in Grand Island, Nebraska - you name it! But ants? That was a first.
It took some sleuthing to figure out what happened. From the photos he sent, the ants were not any kind that lives around our seedhouse - all of our native ants are larger, plus we haven't seen hide nor hair of any ants here in the seedhouse. Checking the tracking info provided by the postal service, the package only stayed overnight in two postal sorting facilities on the way. Checking with folks over the hill in the SF Bay Area, it seems the Argentine ants were very active that week, moving nests and such, so our best guess is that while the package spent the night at the San Francisco facility, a nest of Argentines decided it would make a nice new home and moved in.
Like I said, this is one for the record books, and I'm glad wmakie had a sense of humor about the whole weird situation!
My 2nd order this year was done online and arrived in 3 days. Their selection is very broad and my success in germination is about the same as my own collected seed. Price and shipping costs are very reasonable. Catalog is filled with information.
bonzaisteve Port Mansfield, TX (2 reviews) May 10, 2013
I have been buying seeds from J.L.Hudson for a number of years now. They have a good variety of seeds that I have not seen for sale elsewhere and I have always had good results from their seeds. I have always gotten great service and communication and I highly recommend J.L.Hudson as a source of garden seeds.
This has become my favorite seed supplier. I am a veganic organic farmer and I like to try unusual plants and trees alongside the normal veggies and fruits I grow each season. JL Hudson's catalog is probably the biggest out there. He offers wonderful things like lotus seeds.
Yesterday I ordered grape seeds. On my farm I only grow from seed - I do not buy anything someone else has started and this includes trees.
I really like the fast service - everything has always gone out the next day - he lets you know and always attaches a nice note with it. I've never had a problem with any of his seeds - they always germinate just fine.
I've been buying Herb Robert Seeds from JL Hudson Seeds for a few years now and they always germinate well. Today, I inquired if they had the Herb Robert Seeds and in no time I got a reply from them that they indeed have them.
This is a reputable company I use when I need seeds.
I always enjoy the unusual varieties to try out. Lots of interesting information, too.
derekoppen Charlottesville, VA (Zone 7a) (6 reviews) May 7, 2013
We have been buying from JL Hudson for decades for all our seeds and will continue to do so. We always get high germination from all their seeds, and so far all seeds have been true to form. An indispensable resource.
needlefrau Battle Ground, WA (1 review) April 24, 2013
This is my go-to company for hard to find seeds. I also appreciate the efforts they go to for increasing the seed availability of diminishing crops.
I made an order for seeds from J. L. Hudson and so far have been very happy with their service. I sent my request in the afternoon and they responded the next morning to confirm that the seeds were in stock. At an average of $2.50 per packet, I find their prices very good considering the varieties available. $2.50 postage for up to 40 packets of seeds is very reasonable as well. I'm always put off by companies that overcharge on shipping.
I also found their website to be very helpful for research. I typed in "night" and found all the plant seeds available for night-blooming varieties. A lot of the nicer-looking retail websites seem to lake this kind of comprehensive search index.
On a side note, I also think it's good of them to address the negative reviews they have received on this site. No vendor should automatically "roll over" if a customer has a problem. If it's a legitimate complaint, resolve it; if it's the fault of the customer, refute it.
I'll post an update on my seeds when they arrive.
Have only ordered twice, but both experiences have been excellent. I feel very confident in doing internet business with them. The products and the information they supply are top-notch.
BrisbaneAnne Brisbane, CA (Zone 10b) (21 reviews) March 31, 2013
Very nice service. The seeds I have planted so far all germinated just fine. Especially appreciate the Darwin page on his website.
Express128 Mansfield, TX (15 reviews) March 29, 2013
Original order had some mold in the packet/ on the seeds, contacted them via email and they quickly responded and sent a replacement. Overall, good customer service. I'll be ordering again later in the year.
Posted on January 24, 2012, updated March 28, 2013
Posted on September 6, 2008, updated January 24, 2012
I've ordered from JL Hudson for years. Always excellent service and an amazing variety of seeds. On January 24th, 2012, Celene added the following:
I just ordered again for the something-teenth year in a row--always a fine selection of seeds, accurate germination instructions, and an exceptionally well-written catalog. On March 28th, 2013, Celene added the following:
Another year of excellent service, and so many OP varieties that no one else carries. A national treasure. The website is chock full of good solid information about the plants, too.
Posted on July 7, 2012, updated March 17, 2013
Posted on May 5, 2012, updated July 7, 2012
Posted on April 30, 2012, updated May 5, 2012
Posted on March 9, 2012, updated April 30, 2012
Posted on March 9, 2012, updated March 9, 2012
Posted on March 6, 2012, updated March 9, 2012
Posted on February 29, 2012, updated March 6, 2012
Posted on February 21, 2012, updated February 29, 2012
Posted on February 20, 2012, updated February 21, 2012
I recently had the pleasure of doing business with JL Hudson after seeing them listed as a Watchdog 30 company. After reading a particular review, I was a bit uneasy contacting the company with some questions pertaining to Cladrastis but I needed the information prior to placing an order. I emailed them on a Saturday night (2/11) and received a courteous and thorough reply the following morning (on a Sunday, no less, and despite the fact that it is the busy season!).
I placed an order for 39 packages of seed on Monday and found the ordering process straightforward (they provide clear instructions on their site). Although JL Hudson is currently showing a 3 day backlog, my order was shipped out on Friday (I had assumed my order would be processed the following week due to the 3 day normal processing time + 3 day backlog listed on their site). The quick shipment is most appreciated - especially this time of year. By the way, I wish more companies would take JL Hudson's lead and display their backlogs - it makes scheduling so much easier.
In closing, I have found this company to be extremely responsive, quick, and communicative coupled with an extensive catalog of hard-to-find seed, low prices and even lower shipping fees ($2.50 for my entire order). I will update this review after I receive my order but given the history to date, I have no reason to anticipate any difficulties. Thank you to the folks at JL Hudson - a stellar job! On February 21st, 2012, Old_Gardener added the following:
I have already received my order and everything is here - clearly labeled and well packaged (the catalog that I had requested was included, too). Thank you, JL Hudson, for the great (and invaluable) service that you provide! On February 29th, 2012, Old_Gardener added the following:
A quick update... I am really impressed with the quality of their seed. The robinia trees are already up and growing (and only 6 days after sowing)!! I will definitely be placing another order soon.On March 6th, 2012, Old_Gardener added the following:
I placed an additional order on Friday, 3/2. Today, Tuesday the 6th, JL Hudson notified me that they have already shipped. Thank you, JL Hudson, for another quick and easy transaction! On March 9th, 2012, Old_Gardener added the following:
I received my package on Thursday, 3/9. Everything was there and well packed. I highly recommend JL Hudson!On March 9th, 2012, Old_Gardener added the following:
'Sorry - the above comment should have read Thursday, 3/8.On April 30th, 2012, Old_Gardener added the following:
I placed another order on Saturday, the 28th, for 12 packs of seed. In regard to complaints about the ordering process - ordering really is straight forward and JL Hudson provides clear directions. If this old woman can do it, anyone can! And for those that prefer a website shopping cart, please remember that this is a seedbank - there are many megalithic corporations that will provide you with a cart, but you won't get the vast selection nor, most likely, the great service that the folks at JL Hudson provide. Thank you, JL Hudson, for the invaluable public service that you provide. Without you, I would not have been able to locate half the seed that I have purchased through you (and at a bargain of a price)! On May 5th, 2012, Old_Gardener added the following:
I received my seeds yesterday - everything was there and well packed. Germination rates for the previous orders are nearly 100% across the board and this includes many varieties of trees and shrubs. I could not be more pleased! On July 7th, 2012, Old_Gardener added the following:
I placed yet another order on 7/2 (various Hibiscus and an ounce of Poncerus) and I received it on 7/5. JL Hudson is always the first place I check when looking for seed because they have a great selection of fresh seed, excellent germination rates, friendly customer service, good packaging, quick shipping and pricing that cannot be beat. I am a customer for life!On March 17th, 2013, Old_Gardener added the following:
I placed my 2013 spring order on 3/12/13 (23 packets) and received it within 4 days (extremely fast - no interminable waits here - and everything looks great)! Due to JL Hudson's excellent germination rates and informative seed descriptions, I now have hundreds of tree and shrub seedlings from last year's efforts (some 2.5 feet tall or better). In addition, I have been introduced to plants that I had no idea existed, even though I have been gardening for 50 years or so. Thank you, JL Hudson, for the education!
JL Hudson continues to be my primary seed vendor due to their excellent (and fascinating) selection, exceptional germination rates, fast shipping, and friendly, professional customer service.
I have been buying seeds from J.L. Hudson for twenty years. In that time, they have offered many seeds which you could not find anywhere else. They offered some seeds of varieties that were never carried elsewhere because they might have specific, more difficult germination requirements. Kudos to JLH for being willing to put them out there.
I have always had good germination results with the more common seeds and to my great excitement have managed with some of the more challenging. There is great information in their catalog about how to germinate the more difficult kinds.
This is a quality company a gem apart amidst the cookie cutter world of corporatism.
I can hardly blather on enough about how much I appreciate their efforts and can only hope that they continue on providing their fine services for the rest of my gardening life. My new seed order just arrived and I am off on another gardening adventure. Everything for my garden came from them except for a few things they don't carry. Plus, their prices are extremely reasonable.
Great service! I order from them every year and they are very conscientious to deal with. Interesting catalogs and a curious array of seeds not found in every big-box store. One of my favorite gardening companies!
I was excited to find this company, and ordered 6 varieties of tomatoes in 2012. Of those 6 varieties, 3 had poor germination, not terrible, but 20%. Of the 7 companies I ordered from, and the 60 varieties I grew, only Cherrygal had an equally abysmal germination. I germinated Sow Organic tomato seeds from 2006 in the same tray.
After the biggest healthiest seedlings of each variety were planted, 2 varieties created fruit that was niether close to the description, nor similar to the same variety purchased from Baker, Territorial, Totally Tomato, or TomatoFest. I did not contact the company, as it isn't worth the time at that point in the season, and it could be that their varieties are more authentic then the same varieties I get from the other companies.
But, I don't care for surprises. I want the plants to produce canners when I plant canners and have red fruit when I plant a red fruited tomato, not yellow. And to have only 2 seedlings to choose from, out of 10 is dicey. So, I am dropping them this year. To be fair, I only tried them the one year, along with tomatofest, but Tomatofest was great, so I am dumping JL. I also wanted to post so others with similar outcomes would not think it was "just them". Still a neat sounding company, just not something I have time for now, nor would I recommend to gardeners that are tight for space and time, and are depending on every plant. Company representative comment on January 9, 2013: On Jan 9, 2013 10:25 AM, J.L. Hudson, Seedsman responded with:
We are trying to track down your order for tomato seeds that you referenced in your rating of us, but we can find no one in your town who ordered 6 packets of tomato seed in 2012. The only person we can find in your town only ordered 3 packets of tomato seed. Please let us know your name and address, so that we can track down your order. We need this so that we can check the specific varieties you ordered, so that if there is a problem with any of them, we can prevent others from being disappointed. By federal law, vegetable seed must be tested for germination on a regular basis, and all of the tomato seeds we distribute have been tested, and are above the federal standard of 75%. Thanks!
RichoCech Williams, OR (85 reviews) December 11, 2012
Posted on March 22, 2007, updated December 11, 2012
Probably the most experienced seedspeople currently working in the US. JLH tests every lot of seed that comes through their facility and makes sure viable material is being sent out. Their Phalaris seed came up in 4 days--the fastest germinator I tested this year. The several complaints I see against this company at this venue appear to be attributable to the normal realities of seed planting--sometimes you get it right, and sometimes you don't--some seeds are easy, some are highly recalcitrant. I feel sorry for gardeners that get stuck in acrimonous diatribe about their failures. Surely they have been mistreated somewhere along the line, but projecting these difficulties onto well-meaning and dedicated seedspeople is inappropriate. Upset about something? Look to the garden as a salve, not a battleground--give the gentle seedspeople a break, plant a different seed, listen to the birds, and concentrate your attentions on all the things that did grow, and make them beautiful--you will have plenty to do, I expect, and get healthier and happier as you garden away your cares.On December 11th, 2012, RichoCech added the following:
still getting seeds from JLH and the service and quality are even better than before, if that is possible
DrBud Klamath Falls, OR (1 review) November 30, 2012
Posted on November 28, 2012, updated November 30, 2012
Posted on November 28, 2012, updated November 28, 2012
Posted on November 28, 2012, updated November 28, 2012
Sold me 1/10 of a gram of GA-3 costed $4 + $4.50 for shipping???? Must be a big 1/10th of a gram Will go to seller basinseed on ebay next time.
They brag about the cheap GA-3 they got from China and at the same time they brag about how their stuff is the best and their the first to sell it, On November 28th, 2012, DrBud changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
On November 28th, 2012, DrBud added the following:
I have to say the service is good and at least you can be sure their GA3 is real and they have a good selection of seeds. I don't find it inconvenient to pay with paypal is easy and you don't have to worry about getting ripped off so thanks JL. Hudson Seedsman On November 30th, 2012, DrBud added the following:
I stated the shipping was too much this is incorrect that was my own fault they quickly refunded me. Hudson's Shipping is very reasonable and fast plus you get free instructions included, had to add this because davesgarden staff will not erase my original feedback above please pay no attention to my first feedback please if you are considering purchasing from them
gobbleman Sweetwater, TN (9 reviews) November 9, 2012
I always love doing business with this company.
mighty_ernie Inglewood-Finn Hill, WA (1 review) October 19, 2012
I ordered some Scotch Bonnet seeds (my first online seed buying experience, period). The seeds arrived within a week. It's been 9 days now, most of the seeds germinated and are one inch tall now.
Posted on April 30, 2012, updated September 19, 2012
I've ordered from J. L. Hudson several times over the last four years and have always been very satisfied with the seed and their service. If only all businesses were as well-run! The seeds do well, the catalog is very informative and the response time is quite reasonable. I hope to be buying seeds from them for many more years!On September 19th, 2012, crabmeat added the following:
After several years and more purchases made from J. L. Hudson, I still am very happy with their product and their customer service. I've never had a problem with them and have found seeds on their site that I haven't found anywhere else. May they continue their good work!
AndyBonsai other Germany (1 review) August 23, 2012
Posted on February 21, 2012, updated July 20, 2012
Very professional. Acknowledged the order next business day. Fast turn around from order to shipping. Notified me when seeds were shipped. Quick delivery. Only time will tell on germination & growth! On July 20th, 2012, MAINE_CAL added the following:
There were supposed to be 15 seeds. Instead of 15 seeds, there were well over 50 seeds! I started the seeds. 39 sprouted, 38 made it through the transplanting. They will overwinter submerged in their little pots in my veggie garden 'til next year. I was very pleased. Now, to find enough places to plant them next year!
It really has been a great experience to do business with J.L.Hudson. I wish every company would handle their businesses like they do. Decent shipping rates and outstanding communication. I will order again.
tzei_yang Denton, TX (Zone 8a) (1 review) June 26, 2012
I found this seller through the Garden Watchdog. J.L. Hudson carries a wide variety of seeds, gives generous amounts of seeds per packet, and asks for minimal shipping fees, so I gave them my business. I received prompt service: e-mailed and paid Wednesday morning, sent seeds Friday, and got them the mailbox by the following Monday.
You do have to keep track of the packets you want and also calculate the total price yourself. This can be an easier process if you use some sort of spreadsheet software to do the work.
Make sure to request a copy of their printed seed catalog for free with your order. It has their whole catalog in printed form and is worth the price of the postage and packing.
blumenlieber vancouver, WA (Zone 8a) (12 reviews) June 23, 2012
Posted on July 12, 2011, updated June 23, 2012
Long time catalogue peruser, first time customer. What was i waiting for? Wonderful selection of the ordinary and extraordinary, lots of helpful and interesting info. Great value, easy ordering process, quick delivery. Next to nothing for shipping. Thank you. I'll be back for more.On June 23rd, 2012, blumenlieber added the following:
Excellent germination on all seeds. I'll be back for more. Thank you so much JLH!
chumort Chicago, IL (Zone 5b) (5 reviews) June 16, 2012
I found this seller thanks to this website. It's quite amazing the variety of seeds they have at great prices. I couldn't wait and placed my first order after only making it through the "E" section of their catalog. The seeds arrived promptly. Can't wait to hit the rest of the alphabet.
I have always had great experiences when ordering from J.L.Hudson. The order process is easy, particularly since I can order and pay the same afternoon using my Paypal account. Hudson seems to get some of the best varieties, and even some of the really rare stuff. And unlike too many online seed providers, Hudson's seeds are always fresh and viable. I could not ask for a better experience than J. L. Hudson seed orders. It is the number one seed source online.
I have been a happy customer of JL Hudson for 20+ years. The one time I had a question about how a plant was performing, he sent me a handwritten letter with helpful suggestions, followed by a free packet of seeds. One time my check bounced on an order because I had had to close the account suddenly (due to theft). They were very polite and sympathetic in working with me to get it straightened out.
Like one of the other reviewers, I like to sit down with a cup of coffee and go through their unique catalog. I do look at the other catalogs, too, but before I order from another company I always check the JL Hudson catalog to see if can order the same or similar seed from them because of their lower prices and exceptional customer service. Besides, I like what they do and would rather support them than some big corporation.
sandgarden Millsboro, DE (11 reviews) May 23, 2012
I like the variety of unusual seeds and the quality is outstanding. Germination rate is very good. I especially like their selection of flower seeds.
I have been buying from this company for many years, and am always very happy with them. They have unusual seeds that you can't find anywhere else, they ship quickly, their shipping is very reasonable, and they are a small business that communicates with their customers. On the rare occasions that there is an error in an order they immediately make it good. I highly recommend them.
serge1966 Ellicott City, MD (1 review) May 9, 2012
I purchased Ramsons seeds from a GB seller this spring and was unable to have them germinated. Some reviews say that this plant is difficult to cultivate from seeds. Found the seeds in the J.L. Hudson list and decided to give it a try. The seeds have very high germination rate. Really happy. Also found some plants in their catalog I considered rare.