Calling all writers, especially those who wax poetic! If you have a way with words, here's your chance to put pen to paper and try your hand at writing an award-winning piece for us. Find all the details on our contest page.
cactusman8 San Marcos, TX (Zone 8b) (10 reviews) October 19, 2013
Received an order from them a few days ago after only 3 days from placing the order. So far the germination has been excellent. Will definitely reorder from them.
picealuver East Wenatchee, WA (7 reviews) June 26, 2012
My experience is that I cannot record great success with raising plants from seed from any specific source. However, I have been quite content with the plants from seeds I have purchased from Plants of the Southwest.
I only wish I were close enough to buy plants directly from their nursery. A few years back I was in NM and had a chance to stop by; I could have bought a truck load. The cane cholla I purchased actually survived the trip home in checked airline baggage.
Like the comment from 4cornersgarden, I have been happy with the live plants I purchased from their store, since I live in New Mexico. However, after purchasing many packets of seeds, I have yet to have any of the seeds germinate. Since gardeners are optimists by nature, I bought some more this year. So far, nothing has happened. That is consistent with my experience in the past. Oh, well. Live and learn.Company representative comment on June 8, 2011: On Jun 8, 2011 11:12 AM, Plants of the Southwest responded with:
Good morning herbella,
It's gratifying to hear that you've continued to retain an optimism about the seed world. It is a system of regeneration that is way older than the mammalian system, as you know, and continues to amaze me.
I would urge you to contact us at the Albuquerque store (505-344-8830) or here in Santa Fe (505-438-8888) to get some personal information on the particular types of seed that you're engaged with. It is not infrequent to find certain species fickle, but many (most) seeds should germinate with a little care and timing. Please call with your ideas, and let us chat to share some of the observations we might have. Let us help you have more fun through better results!
jpgreen Roswell, NM (Zone 7a) (5 reviews) February 4, 2011
I've found PSW an excellent source for desert natives, great customer service, and they are very affordable. I would recommend them to anyone.
Lynn1223 Rio Linda, CA (4 reviews) November 21, 2010
Just received first order from this company. Staff was very helpful, since I forgot to request all the seeds I wanted in my mail order. Was no problem having them add it whenever my order reached them! Appreciate that in my old forgetful age! Seeds were shipped quickly; appreciate that they provide seed for many hard to find species. Also appreciate germination instructions. Most likely will order from this company again.
shindagger Oklahoma City, OK (4 reviews) October 27, 2010
I have ordered from Plants of the Southwest numerous times. As a result, I have many mature desert natives thriving in my Oklahoma garden including Rabbitbush, Apache Plume, various kinds of Sage, Desert Marigold that has naturalized, many Native Grasses, Globemallow, Penstemens, and many many other perennials and annuals. They have been a great help in filling a no-lawn, large city yard for very little money and I now have the most colorful yard within miles with almost no watering.
They have excellent service, no shipping cost on seeds and over all, I have had success. With seeds, some just don't work but for $2.50/pack its great economy for acquiring hard to find, hardy species of native plants. I have had about 95% success rates so I believe they sell fresh, viable seed.
Yes, I would definitely recommend them. Also, I admire their concern about ecology and the comments they make in their catalogs. I read that book they mentioned, "The Worst Hard Time" by T. Egan. Well worth reading, I couldn't put it down!
I have purchased seeds from this company on two occasions. Once, I bought a shady mountain meadow mix for my front yard where there was a very large tree and two different weeds growing. My husband and I painstakingly hand-weeded over the course of two days, followed the planting directions to the letter, including adding a binder and frequent watering. The only thing that grew was the same old weeds we always had. I could have had those without the sore back and all the watering.
This season I wanted to try a fall garden. I carefully prepared the soil and got time-to-plant advice for my city. Although the seed packets did not offer any information about spacing, I did look spacing up online, and followed the planting depth advice that was often included on the packet. I have been keeping the soil a little moist--although not sure if I should as there is no advice one way or another on the packet. In two weeks, absolutely NOTHING has germinated. I can accept that I might have a brown thumb, but NOTHING???
As Plants of the Southwest seedmanager, I appreciate hearing about any kind of experience that our clientele has had with our seeds, plants, and staff. We have been in business for thirty some-odd years with a resolve to provide education, resources, and pleasant experiences for those who interact with us. Having worked here for a few years, I am certain that this company is unusual for its transparency, honesty, and generosity. We are committed to provide the best products available: no GMO, untreated, and local when possible. We're glad to see another Spring on the horizon( despite the snowstorm yesterday) and hope to see old and new faces and questions again this season. Thanks to you we will.
I've been pleased with the live plants that I have purchased from their retail nursery in Santa Fe (a privilege that not all can enjoy, and which for me entails a three-hour drive each way) but have been disappointed with their seeds. I realize that many desert-adapted seeds are difficult to germinate, and have followed both the germination instructions on their packets, and also the information provided in several good books on the subject--addressing those particular species. In several cases I have achieved exactly 0% germination for the entire packet, even for a few species that were supposedly "easy to germinate." The seeds come packed in small gummed envelopes, which is fine, but in some cases the mucilage on the envelopes appeared to be extremely old, and I suspect that their seeds were either old or incorrectly stored.
I should note that I have purchased seeds of some of the same species of plants from other sources, and have had much better luck with germination, suggesting that it wasn't the "nature of the beast" of the species, or my treatments of them, but poor quality seed that was at the root of the problem. It is a pity, because they do offer some species that I have not seen anywhere else.
The retail store is my favorite nursery in the Albuquerque metro area. Good selection of xeric plants, and there is usually at least one knowledgeable staff person on duty at all times. I've been purchasing plants and seeds from them for 3 years and have had no problems. I've never dealt with the mail order division or the nursery in Santa Fe.
cerridwenn Farmington, NM (Zone 5a) (4 reviews) March 20, 2009
i don't really have any complaints about plants of the southwest. they are easy to order from and i have had good results from the seeds. they don't have live plants and some of the plants they offer seeds are extremely difficult to germinate - this is not the company's fault but it is a shame to only be able to get seeds for those particular ones...
at any rate, they have a good variety of things that will grow in the desert, including very reasonable prices on cover crops that can either be used as green compost to improve your soil, or used to get rid of weeds in places you aren't using. delivery has always been prompt for my orders.
the website also posts as soon as they are out of something, so while it can be really disappointing to find that they are out, at least you don't have to order it and find out later as you do with some companies. prices for both seeds and shipping at this company are more reasonable that most of the other southwestern-adapted companies and i hope they stay that way.
botanikk sassari, Italy (Zone 9b) (14 reviews) February 15, 2009
I ordered from this company when I was still living in America, and didn't have problems. Now I am an American living in Italy, and wanted to order some seeds, and saw that their website isn't set up to accept international orders. Ok, I thought, I can just send the seeds to my friend in NY, and she can send them to me. However, even the billing address is only set up for American addresses, so I emailed them asking them what I could do. My email was never answered. So I emailed them again, nothing. I even emailed them from another address, no response. Finally I called them, and told them to check their anti-spam folder, in case my email showed up there. Nothing. So I sent 3 emails, and called them and left a message(no one answered), still nothing. I have since ordered the seeds from another company, but a company that doesn't respond to emails or phone calls, isn't one that I want to do business with. The texts of my emails are below,
but doesn't include the phone message I left. If they don't have international shipping, ok...I can send it to my friend, but no response whatsoever??? What's up with that?
"Hello. I sent this email several days ago and never got a reply. Please let me know.
Is it possible to order from abroad? I tried using the online shopping cart, but couldn't because you have to provide a US address ( for both shipping and billing). I seem to remember that in the past I placed an order from Italy and got it, but perhaps I am mistaken. If I need to, I can send an order to a friend in the US and have her ship it off to me personally, although that seems like an unnecessary extra step. I order seeds from the US often with no problems. Let me know what I can do.
Aaron Sipf ( an American living abroad)" (Sent Jan 21, 2009 for the second time)
I called just a bit ago, but thought it would be wise to follow up with an email. I notice that this address is different, so perhaps it will get through. I'd like to order some seeds, but I live in Italy, and can't do so on the website. Can we make arrangements? I have ordered seeds from the US many times, without any problems. If for some reason you can't, please let me know and I'll have my friend order them in New York and send them to me (although that seems like an unnecessary step honestly). if you can, tell me the best way to get my order to you. I can email it or call. Thanks.
Aaron Sipf" (After I had called, Sent Jan 26, 2009)
Excellent company. Always prompt in shipping seeds, good germination rates. Their retail locations (ABQ and Santa Fe) have an excellent selection of healthy native plants. An excellent source for chile pepper seeds.
LindaTX8 NE Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a) (4 reviews) December 15, 2008
I have ordered seeds from this company for several years and am very happy with the service I received. They always mailed the correct seeds and mailed them within a reasonable amount of time. Very good reliable company!
azreno Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b) (10 reviews) September 19, 2008
Love this company's seed selection for the southwest! I ordered a bunch of seeds this spring, shipping was quick, loved the seed packets.
I have had the luck to go to their retail location in Santa Fe, NM and to buy seeds through their website. Their mail order seeds always arrive promptly, they give you large amounts for the price, and their germination is excellent. Their on site nursery selection is unbelieveable! Imagine the selection of High Country Gardens, but at a fraction of the price. I only wish that they would branch out and do mail order plants, but for now I'm content with the seeds.
This is my first year ordering from this company, and I'm quite pleased. Very fast shipping--about a week for three different orders. Plenty of seed and the prices are very reasonable. So far germination has been great.Some of the seeds are for plants that are difficult to germinate so I'm hoping all will produce in the end.
Ordered several packets of seeds which were somewhat slow to arrive--and one of them turned out to be empty. I contacted the company by phone, and they quickly sent me a full packet of seeds. I was satisfied overall--this is a small company dealing in rare and obscure plants.
I get there one free magazine and it was shiped fast and its information is good and detailed and they sell flowers and vegetable.
KaperC No. San Diego Co., CA (Zone 10b) (11 reviews) December 7, 2004
I received an immediate e-mail response to my order and the order itself arrived in just over a week. I purchased seeds only; they arrived well packaged and labeled, with instructions for planting. These are wildflower seeds, one of which I had a hard time finding. The prices seemed very reasonable to me and I would order from this company again.
nevadagdn Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) (117 reviews) December 4, 2004
I'd ordered plants from this company about 3 years ago, and my order was forgotten, delayed, and finally sent so late that most of the small plants didn't make it. I noticed that as of my most recent order (11/29/04) that Plants of the Southwest no longer sells plants, only seeds. Based on my previous experience, that's a good thing.
Fast forward to today--I received my seed order. All packets contain 100-200 seeds, and I don't think the prices were outrageous. 6 days from order to receipt compares with other seed companies I've done business with recently (Chiltern Seeds, Theodore Payne Foundation), and the company does provide email confirmation upon receipt of your order. The selection of seeds is good and interesting, and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can manage to germinate in the new year.On March 14th, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:
good germination rates so far.
ewinter El Prado, NM (10 reviews) September 6, 2004
I live nearby (<2 hrs. drive) so don't order but purchase retail instead. This is a good place for SW climate and xeriscaping. Also useful for restoration projects. I like browsing their book section. Staff assistance can be a little spotty, with a fair amount of turnover. Selection is good, though prices are on the premium side. Worth stopping in if you find yourself in the area.
I placed an order online on April 21, 2004. When I did not receive the order within a few weeks, I emailed several times and tried calling - got no response to email and none to the voice mail messages.
Finally after over a month, I got someone on the phone who said they were going through personnel changes but things were better, and it just so happened that they had sent my seed order out that day, and my live plant order would go out the next day. The seeds did finally arrive (I forgot to check to the box to see if they really had sent the seeds that day) but now it is nearly three months later and no plant, no reply to my email requesting a refund, and no one is answering the phone again.
I will never order from these people again. They are obviously having serious problems. They are unable to fill orders but they sure are quick to get customers' money in the bank.
silkieweaver Salem, OR (Zone 8a) (10 reviews) April 27, 2004
I've bought seeds and plants from this company for the past several years. Up until a year ago, I had the luxury of living within easy driving distance of their Albuquerque store and bought many plants for my garden. Now that I'm living in the Pacific Northwest, not everything in their catalog will thrive here, but I still found several suitable flower, herb and veg seeds that I ordered this spring. My order arrived within a reasonable time, complete and without mistakes. I will continue to do business with these folks, no matter where I live.
twitser Dawsonville, GA (14 reviews) April 26, 2004
Ordered 4 packs of seeds online from this company. They immediately sent a confirmation email. I received the seeds within 2 weeks. I can't, as of yet, attest to seed quality but they are an efficient company with good prices and didn't charge shipping for the amount I bought. I'm very happy with them so far and hope to do business with them again.
TexasTatum Celina, TX (Zone 7b) (6 reviews) April 24, 2004
I placed a order, and my plants were shipped on the expected date.
I called one day to add to, or place another order.
The shipping manager he said it was his last day (the same day my plants were to ship)
I was told that the new plants and some of the first order as well would be shipped separately as they were not big enough to send out with this order. I did pay additional shipping for the new order I had placed.
A few days later my plants arrived, along with the plants that he had said he could not ship because of them being small,
And indeed they were too small, I ordered plants, these were so small they could not even be called seedlings.
It will be a very long time before they could be transplanted into my garden.
I have never had to call to complain about a plant order before but I did nicely call about this one.
I did speak to a really sweet lady named Raven, she said they were going through many employee changes and she said they would repace the plants and ship them on monday.
We will see, and I will post.
I will also say that they did ship one plant incorrectly as I did not order that one but a entirely different plant all together I guess it was some sort of substitution, but it is a acceptable plant and I will keep it I guess.
I will post after I recieve my next order.
loneranger Temple City, CA (3 reviews) March 18, 2004
I ordered wildflowers and was very pleased with their excellent and prompt service. They provided planting guides describing how to deal with native plants.
nowheat Midland, TX (Zone 7a) (1 review) November 5, 2003
I've dealt with this company for two decades now, first by mail order, then over the internet, and recently, in person. Their seeds are reliable, live plants are varied, their people know their stuff, and their prices are excellent. Plus, their mail order catalog is a small wonder, full of photos and well-written descriptions.
I ordered seeds from these guys in early October and received them in about 5 days. I'm starting plants beneath lights so I started some of each using the coffee filter baggie method and have had stellar results. In only the 5th day almost all my seeds have germinated including some that I was supposed to stratify and wanted to expose to warm moisture before putting in the refrigerator. So much for cold-stratifying this bunch.
They have a fabulous selection of really great plants and grasses and I'm already planning on ordering more in the next few weeks.
Excellent service, excellent selection--I can't say enough.
I ordered from this great company in Aug 2003 and seeds were delivered via international delivery in a week. Good, safe packaging and considering the price and seed quantity, I'd say they offer a real bargain!
Seeds are fresh and germinated very fast.
I will definitely order from them again!
dianthusman Pecos, NM (Zone 5b) (29 reviews) December 3, 2002
A great selection of impossible-to-find seeds and native plants for the dry garden. I live just a few minutes' drive from this nursery, and always have to restrain myself from buying everything I see. My only cavil is the lack of precise germination info on the seed packets; some of the stuff, being wildflowers, clearly requires special treatment to initiate germination. Staff knowledge varies, but everybody at POSW is committed to customer satisfaction.
Kuhma Boulder, United States (2 reviews) April 8, 2002
I have ordered seeds from Plants of the Southwest, and have been quite please with both the product and the service. I am actually planting 3-year old seeds from POS with fairly good results. No southwest or intermountain west gardener should be without this catalog. I use the catalog as a reference (for the pictures and the growing instructions). Seeds for ornamental plants and vegetables are available. Seeds for plants suitable for Colorado's short growing season are available, along with unusual and interesing plants.
Tim10 Desert Hot Springs, CA (Zone 10b) (2 reviews) January 18, 2002
This company offers many seeds and some plants that aren't available in the usual lush garden catalogs. Great for Desert gardeners who are looking for natives and low water users. The service was fast and courteous and you can order on line.
Excellent website, service, plants. They definitely handle orders with a personal touch, and I have found them very dependable for service and quality. Order their catalog, too, if you are interested in xeriscaping. Huge amounts of information.
I love these guys. While the plants I ordered were a bit small they were healthy they are thriving. I usually phone in my order and have received excellent service each time. I wish that I would have known about them before visiting Santa Fe. Thanks to their healthy plants, I am successfully growing 3 California Big Sage plants in my Midwest garden. I have to run my fingers through them every time I walk by.