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I bought a packet of Botanical Interests' Coleus seeds from Tagawa's Garden Center in Colorado. Took them home to my greenhouse and started them in the same germinating mix formula from Gardener's Supply which I've used for 30 years. I've never had a failure of germination, ever. So when after 3 weeks, ONE seed had germinated, I emailed BI. The email reply was so uncaring, unfriendly, demanding to know how deep the seeds were planted, how warm, how much light, etc. NOT ONE WORD OF "WE'RE SORRY YOU WASTED YOUR MONEY". I wrote back saying I did everything according to their packet's planting instructions, as I have for many years. If I was BI, I surely would want to know about a 99% failure rate, I would have apologized, and I would have looked up my HUGE order history. Who needs to deal with a company who makes the customer, a gardener for over 50 years, feel that I did everything wrong. Their arrogance is ugly and I will think twice before I ever order or buy their products again. When a gardener has 50 years experience, is on a fixed income, and has a huge failure like this, and is treated like this...that's just terrible. Senior Citizens, ANY citizen, customer, should be treated with kindness not an accusatory email reply. They should take a few lessons in Customer Service from TomatoFest.com. Company representative comment on January 20, 2017: On Jan 20, 2017 9:49 AM, Botanical Interests, Inc. responded with:
We are sorry that your experience with our product and customer service was unfavorable. Quality is very important to us and our seeds are regularly tested by an independent laboratory to ensure germination rates exceed industry standards. We also guarantee our seeds and are happy to replace seeds that for one reason or another did not give the customer a similar germination rate to what the independent laboratory reported. Part of our process for seed replacement is helping gardeners find ways to optimize germination which does involve asking some questions about sowing methods. In your initial email it appeared you were also asking for advice so we proceeded through our regular troubleshooting process. Again, we apologize that our process was offensive to you. We did not hear back from you but are still happy to replace the seed packet.
I bought a packet of Coleus seeds from Tagawa's garden center as I do every year, started them as per package instructions as I do every year, and ONE!! seed germinated! I'm a Senior Citizen, been gardening for 50+ years and never have had this problem from your seeds ever, except Sugar Baby watermelon, which I think was my fault. Please when you have time, let me know what or why this happened, what I did wrong??Thank you very much!
Botanical Interest Horticulturist 3/8/2016
Thanks for contacting us about the coleus.
How long has it been since the seeds were sown? How deeply were seeds sown? What temperature is the area the seeds were sown in?
Thanks in advance for your help.
Good Lord, I followed the directions on the package, greenhouse is 65-70 during the day, I sowed the seeds 3 weeks ago and they were lightly pressed into the surface of the germination mix, as per your instructions. If I was BI, I'd want to know of a 99% failure rate. Forget it April, I'll take this experience as another in the "no one does service any longer, no one cares, and the customer is always wrong."
Botanical Interests Horticulturist 3/8/2016
I am sorry you took offense. We do guarantee our seeds. I took your email as an ask for troubleshooting help, and for quality control purposes it is good form to ask some questions about sowing. Please imagine the spectrum of customers who contact me, for instance those that direct sow peppers outdoors in spring. At any rate, coleus need light to germinate and warm temperatures, which is the only tricky thing about them.
We are happy to send a replacement packet. I will need to know the coleus variety, we carry 3, and if possible, the lot number and sell by date located on the bottom back packet flap (for testing purposes).
So sorry to have upset you. My aim was to provide assistance and gather information.
rosepetal2 Danvers, MA (8 reviews) January 16, 2014
Posted on December 2, 2013, updated January 16, 2014
Ordered Thanksgiving weekend to take advantage of 20% coupon. Be careful, their website dumps your shopping cart after 20-30 minutes. I was researching and adding to the shopping cart and when I checked out i paid $27 + shipping $8.95. I received the order confirmation and noticed 30% of my order did not show up in the cart and was not included. I wrote TWO emails and tried calling - I EVEN LEFT VOICEMAIL. Botanical Interests did not answer either email nor did they return my call. apparently my request to add 6 herb seed packets to the same order fell on deaf ears! Nothing from botanical Interests...just a FedEx notice of shipment. They sure are quick to take your credit card and totally disregard the customer. So here I'm left with an incomplete order, no access tot he 20% discount and looking at another $8.95 postage.
Sorry there are way too many companies out there, particularly in this economy who would not disregard customers like this company has. i INTEND TO REFUSE THE FEDEX PACKAGE AND FILE A CLAIM WITH MY CREDIT CARD TO REVERSE TRANSACTION.
DO NOT SPEND YOUR MONEY AT THIS STORE!On January 16th, 2014, rosepetal2 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Botanical Interests did reach out to me and worked with me to straighten out my order. they were courteous and attentive to detail recognizing they have some problems with their website. I will likely purchase from them again.
joimack6953 Wheat Ridge, CO (5 reviews) December 4, 2013
Posted on September 28, 2013, updated December 4, 2013
This past spring I ordered about $50 of seed from BI. It was my first time ordering seeds and I was looking forward to sowing at least a part of my garden. I mistakenly ordered Stevia when I wanted Thyme. One was right under the other on the herb list and I added the wrong product. When I received my seeds I e-mailed BI just to make sure I had ordered the Stevia. I had so the mistake was mine. However I truly expected BI to make me a happy customer and send me a pack of Thyme seeds. Instead I received an e-mail stating I had ordered the Stevia and to enjoy it! To this day this is still bugging me. I won't order from them again. On December 4th, 2013, joimack6953 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
On the coldest day we've had in Colorado in over 3 years I received my Thyme seeds along with a bunch of other goodies from Botanical Interests. Most important of all was the phone call I received yesterday from Trish with BI along with a sincerely spoken and written apology. What a wonderful way to brighten up a day as well as restore my faith in BI and excellent customer service. Thank you!
hairyjo Danville, CA (19 reviews) September 1, 2013
How can you not like this company. I've never had a bad seed. I order every year. Inexpensive seeds and they come up as expected.
linzelu100 HUDDLESTON, VA (5 reviews) April 18, 2013
I ordered seeds online and also bought Botanical Interest seeds from my grocery store stand. My online seeds came quickly and grew fine, although I didn't end up liking the varieties. The seeds from my grocery store, however, had poor germination rates. I mention this only because I would say buyer beware at your grocery store seed rack. I don't know that conditions are met for keeping seed viable. Mine didn't grow. I would recommend buying seeds from this company online. I really enjoyed the seed packets for all the useful information it contained. I would shop here again if there was something that interested me, but anymore, there are other companies with vegetables that suit my needs better.
Excellent service and a good selection of seeds. Lots of good information as well. I was more than pleased with my order and have already placed another order with this company.
src84 Santa Maria, CA (Zone 9a) (5 reviews) October 20, 2012
this was my first time ordering from this company..i received my order thurs...i was very happy with my order it came really fast and was packaged awesome!..the seed packets themselfs are really neat and have a lot of information printed on the outside of the package as well as the inside...along with all the seed packets i ordered i also ordered the newspaper pot maker..ive been wanting one for a while so i finally ordered it..i started making lil seed pots right away and it worked really good...i like the idea of makin my own seed starting pots instead of having to buy them over and over...i cant wait to start all my seeds..i will totally do business with this lovely compant again!
I have been sowing Botanical Interests' seeds several times annually for about four years, concentrating on vegetable and fruit crops. Their germination rate is excellent, and it doesn't hurt that the seeds arrive beautifully packaged.
The company also donated hundreds of seed packets for classes I gave on edible gardening at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
Their email response time is also very prompt.
xiajade Clearwater, KS (Zone 6b) (4 reviews) July 6, 2012
Posted on July 6, 2012, updated July 6, 2012
Posted on June 15, 2012, updated July 6, 2012
Placed my order on the evening of the 12th, received this morning. Pacaged in a box. Order was correct. Fast,accurate,well-packaged. Unlike other companies, no bonus seeds.On July 6th, 2012, xiajade added the following:
Placed a 2nd order around 11am on 6/29. Received an e-mail that it had shipped on 7/2. Got my nicely packaged box on 7/5. I live in Kansas, seems strange it took a week to get here from Colorado. Then, again there's been fires. Who knows. A little timely, but great seeds. Again, they do not send bonus seeds like other companies. On July 6th, 2012, xiajade added the following:
Placed a 2nd order around 11am on 6/29. Received an e-mail that it had shipped on 7/2. Got my nicely packaged box on 7/5. I live in Kansas, seems strange it took a week to get here from Colorado. Then, again there's been fires. Who knows. A little timely, but great seeds. Again, they do not send bonus seeds like other companies.
AZPlanter Chandler, AZ (1 review) February 13, 2012
I first found out about Botanical Interests through my FFA Chapter . BI had donated some seeds and I went through them and picked the ones I liked . I grew some gorgeous squash and beans. This year I ordered from their website and was surprised at how fast their shipping is . They have made a loyal customer out of me !
ginger1952 Lake Charles, LA (Zone 9a) (4 reviews) February 13, 2012
Excellent service and professionalism from this company. I have planted the seeds and believe they will germinate without any problems. If they do not germinate, I am sure this company will replace the seeds. Am glad I found this site on Dave's garden. I would highly recommend this company, especially if you are seeking organic seeds.
1997 Ossian, IN (Zone 5a) (4 reviews) September 9, 2011
I am very pleased with this company thus far. I ordered 22 varieties of flower seeds from them on 9/6/11, they shipped on 9/7/11, and I got them today, 9/9/11. They came all the way from Colorado to Indiana in 2 days! They came stacked alphabetically in a nice little green box with a handy seedstarting tips booklet in the bottom. I was thrilled! The seed pack art makes me very excited for next year. Also, their website is beautifully done, easy to navigate, and offers lots of helpful information. The packs are a wealth of information too, front, back, and even inside! This is nice for beginners like me. The variety of flower seeds they offer is very good, many of them are heirlooms, and some are organic. I love heirlooms, so this was great! Their prices were awesome for the amount of seeds I got, and the shipping wasn't too high either. I am so happy that I found this company and I hope you try them too!
I have placed two orders with BI this season -- some cool weather veggies that need to wait until this heat is over, as well as beans and corn. Both packets of sweet corn (SugarPearl and Luscious) emerged after 4 days and look fantastic so far -- green and lush -- even with the horrible heat we've been having. The bush bean (Contender) came up quickly as well, and is also doing well in the heat.
I experienced excellent communication from the company via email when my order was placed and received my orders within a few days. Overall, I'm thrilled with my experience so far!
Beets, carrots and lettuce will be next. I will update with performance of those seeds when appropriate.
Pepper88 Granite Falls, MN (7 reviews) July 24, 2011
This is my second year ordering seeds from Botanical Interests, and I am very pleased with the germination rates and the health of the plants. I intend to order from this company again next spring. I plant both vegetables and flowers from Botanical Interest seeds and I've had excellent experience with both! I highly recommend this company. Plus the seed packets are packed with useful information, and the shipping is very fast.
Planted four packages of Botanical Interests Organic Sweet Corn and only six plants came up. Planted three other rows of corn seed I had from 2009 (two planting years old) and they all came up. I am thinking these are old seeds. Company representative comment on June 20, 2011: On Jun 20, 2011 1:55 PM, Botanical Interests, Inc. responded with:
We are very sorry for the poor germination results. All Botanical Interests seed lots are tested regularly for viability, and we only sell seeds of the highest quality. We have a very high turnover and never sell old seed. We get new crops every year and test any leftover stock every six months to ensure that it exceeds required germination rates. Seed germination is dependent on many variables. You did not mention if you planted the 2011 seed the same time as you planted the 2009 seed. If you planted the 2009 seed a couple weeks later, temperatures may have been warmer, enhancing germination. Most farmers and some gardeners prefer to use treated seed to enhance germination because of the ubiquitous presence of damaging soil fungi. If the 2009 seed was treated seed, it may have had better performance. Because of our support of organic gardening techniques, Botanical Interests does not offer treated seed, so all of our varieties are pure raw seed. In the home garden setting, you may not get germination as ideal as happens in a lab under perfect conditions, but you should get satisfactory germination in warm, disease-free soil that is adequately drained and not saturated. We will contact you directly, so we can get your mailing address and send replacement seed. We know it's late to plant corn, so we will substitute another variety if you'd prefer.
Botanical Interests, inc.
Pitcom Avondale, PA (Zone 6b) (24 reviews) June 10, 2011
Posted on June 3, 2011, updated June 10, 2011
Posted on May 13, 2011, updated June 3, 2011
This is another top notch company. The shipping was very fast and the seeds came well protected in a small box. Amongst my order was some of the organic sugar pearl corn, which i am really looking forward to. I would order from this company again.On June 3rd, 2011, Pitcom changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I had very poor germination with the Sugar pearl Corn. Only 11 of the 47 seeds i received sprouted. I called the company and they said they would send out another pack, but its been 2 weeks and I have yet to get the replacement. I ended up ordering some Serendipity corn from a place in Arizona two days ago, and i already got the packs of seeds. I guess if i end up ever getting the Sugar Pearl replacement, it will now have to wait until next year.On June 10th, 2011, Pitcom changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I would like to thank Botanical Interests for their excellent customer service. I have never, not received an order in the mail, and just assumed the company decided to not send the replacements.
Botanical Interests even offered to send a different pack of seeds if i thought it was too late in the season to plant new corn. I selected some of the ruby red swiss chard in lieu of the corn, and they had no problem what so ever. I ended up placing a second order of seed for some of my fall crops, and was happy to business with them a second time. Company representative comment on June 9, 2011: On Jun 9, 2011 8:26 AM, Botanical Interests, Inc. responded with:
All Botanical Interests' seed lots are tested for viability at an independent laboratory before we accept them for packing, and we only accept seeds of the highest quality. There are many variables that can affect germination, and we are always happy to send replacement seed if seeds do not germinate.We mailed replacement corn seed the day after speaking with this gardener and do not know why he did not receive it. We will contact him to verify his mailing address.
I recently purchased two packets of basil seeds (Italian Large Leaf and Purple Petra) from this company. I promptly planted them expecting low germination rates as is typical for most herbs. Boy was I wrong. Not only did nearly all of them sprout, but they sprouted in as little as 2 days!
Seed packets are also beautifully illustrated and full of useful and whimsical information about the plant being seeded. I will most definitely be purchasing seeds from this company again.
Kestrel_3 Finlayson, MN (4 reviews) March 17, 2011
I am very pleased with Botanical Interests. I ordered from them for the first time last year and then again this year. They are extremely fast with shipping and their packaging is great. My seeds last year grew very well. This year my seeds are starting out great and I expect them to do well again this summer. I will continue to order from this company!
doghill6 Central Point, OR (Zone 8a) (34 reviews) February 26, 2011
The fastest delivery ever. It seemed like I had them the day after I completed my online order, very nicely packed in a box. The shipping was less than most of the others too. Great service. I have never used their seeds, but I assume everything will be fine.
Posted on March 4, 2010, updated February 26, 2011
I have bought these seeds for a couple of years and I have had very good germination. I decided to order on line because of the better variety. I ordered about 40 dollars of seeds. When I received my order (in under 5 days) I had two seed packets missing. I emailed the company, heard back promptly, and had the missing seeds within a few days. They also sent a little calendar with some beautiful pictures. I am glad that the customer service is as high a quality as their seeds. I will definitely be back!
And I have already gotten really good germination with the one pack of seeds I started :)On February 26th, 2011, l_m_stephenson added the following:
another great order- thanks! I just got my 2011 and order and am definitely still a happy camper.
Seeds shipped fast and look great. Last year's order grew beautifully and I am looking forward to another great harvest.
This place seems like the best all-around seed company out there. Affordable, extremely high quality, and dedicated customer service.
jeainky Georgetown, KY (3 reviews) February 14, 2011
I can't believe this company doesn't have more ratings than this! This is by far the best seed company that I do business with. The personal touches are great!
The seed packets are literally works of art. I want to frame every one. The seeds come in good quantities, no cheating with weights and terms. They germinate and are actually the correct variety when they sprout.
Plus, with the prices I'm not sure how they stay in business. Maybe by providing a much needed service and taking care of their customers!
I just received my second order for seeds. Very quick service and received exactly what I ordered. I have sowed about 3 packs of seeds so far, but I can't seem to stop ordering. I love the descriptons as well as the detailed instructions. I love the idea of growing something that my grandparents might have grown in their own gardens.
I've bought Botanical Interests seed packs at the nursery in the past, but this was my first year ordering from them. I like that they have a wide selection of organic heirlooms. The service and communication were great and the packaging was very nice.
obscurity2 Glenmont, NY (12 reviews) February 21, 2010
Seeds ordered January 29th, all received February 3rd.
Will report back in late spring on germination.
This has been a good year for me, seeds ordered from 10 companies and everything now received.
I was astonished when my order arrived within 2 days of my placing it. Accurate, reasonably priced, well-packed, great website. Wow. Nothing sprouted yet, but, hey, I just planted seeds (indoors of course) a couple days ago.
locakelly Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9a) (2 reviews) January 15, 2010
I have ordered from BI several times now and love love love this company!! They have a nice selection of seeds and their shipping is very prompt (for me usually 3 days from order to delivery!). The seed packets are beautiful as well as a wealth of information!! Germination of all varieties I have tried is very close to 100% and all have been true to what they said they were.
I really love this company and can't recommend them enough. I also like the fact that I am supporting a family owned company. I am able to buy their seeds locally at one nursery, but love the expanded online selection!
Ordered +$100 in organic vegetable, herb, and fruit seeds online. These arrived w/in three days! Germination has been excellent. Prices are much better than Seeds of Change, who has completely fallen out of favor due to horrible service and slow shipments.
BI will be my organic edibles supplier from now own!
Kalynn Nashville, TN (3 reviews) February 20, 2009
I absolutely adore this company. I love the beautiful sketches on the front as well as the wealth of information on the packets. I ordered seeds from them online on Sunday and got them in the mail today (Friday). I highly recommend looking online, as they have a larger selection than what you may be able to find in stores. Highly recommended!
OzarkCook Middle of nowhere, AR (Zone 7a) (3 reviews) February 2, 2009
I've ordered from 3 companies so far this year, Botanical Interests being the last. Despite that fact, I got my order from them first, everything I requested with no problems at all, even with winter storms. I also love how Botanical Interests packages different varieties together so a small garden can have more variety. I've used Botanical Interests for several years and always love the results.
They shipped the seeds right over, great germination rate.. extensive instructions on the inside of every packet. Great variety of organics, as well.
Will order from them again soon!
girlbug2 Westminster, CA (10 reviews) March 25, 2008
I admit, when I first saw the seed racks at Armstrong Garden center with 3 or 4 brands to choose from, I was most attracted to Botanical Interests because of the pretty pictures on the packets. But after some experimenting, I found that their slightly higher prices were justified by the overall good quality and germination rates of the seeds inside. A bonus -- BI also boasts the best, most extensive growing instructions of any seed packets I've ever seen next to Renee's.
I grow mostly open pollinated and heirloom varieties of veggies and flowers. Botanical Interests is one of the few retail store brands that has a reasonable selection along with some hybrids. Some of the best successes I've had with BI seeds over the past four years have been: Mission Bells california poppies, Cutom Blend basil mix, various sweet peas, Cascadia peas and Jack Be Little pumpkins, all bought off the rack.
Hint: for a great kids' gift, get the book Roots Boots Buckets and Shoots by Lovejoy and package it in a gift basket along with pretty seed packets and colorful child's gardening tools. Botanical Interests has pretty seed packets for gift giving and many child-friendly varieties of flowers and veggies for this purpose.
Idahoan Boise, ID (Zone 6a) (17 reviews) February 28, 2008
What a pleasure to do business with this company. The time from ordering to receiving the seeds is 3 to 5 days. I live in Idaho and they are in Colorado so there isn't a major distance between us. But they do ship a day or two after the order is received.
I placed 3 orders from them this year. I love the pictures on the seed envelopes and the information inside the packets. Germination in the past has been close to 100%. I am just getting started with this year's seed starting and expect germination will be the same.
I have grown seeds from Botanical Interests for a few years now, yet have never used their mail order website. A local hardware store in my town stocks their products. I have always had excellent luck with germination of their seeds. They have a great heirloom selection, detailed growing info for those that need it, and it's all organic!
The germination rate of every variety is tested. Moreover, every packet comes with an unconditional guarantee. I have experienced excellent results with their peppy seed. Their packaging merges art, gardening and science. As a professional artist, I appreciate their packet illustrations.
I bought Quinoa seeds--new to me, and a new product to them as well. They were very helpful and supportive in trying to grow this plant in winter in Northern California at about 200 feet elevation (it is usually a high-altitude spring crop). Very available via their 800 number for any questions not addressed in their very informative packages.On March 20th, 2006, northcalgarden added the following:
I bought seeds from Botanical Interests in an organic grocery store, and the germination has been excellent! The detailed information inside the packages is much more than what most companies put in, and it also includes info for growing in warm climates. The growing plants have been of excellent quality. I was quite impressed, especially after hearing so many sources say "don't buy seeds from a store rack". You can buy their seeds in retail outlets and online as well, however. I also sent them an email complimenting the seed/package quality, and received a VERY prompt and personalized thank you reply! I appreciate the wide variety of heirloom and open-pollinated seeds they offer.
hopseapoo Ben Lomond, United States (3 reviews) November 13, 2004
I have purchased many packets of flower and vegetable seeds from this company. They always germinate well. They have extensive notes on culture and origin.