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On Jul 30, 2016, synandrospadix Granada, Spain wrote:
As a very experienced gardener, I have been growing plants from seed for decades, including many challenging and exotic species. I have purchased seeds from Chiltern Seeds on many occasions and while I have grown many beautiful plants from seed provided by this company, there have been a sufficient number of failures for somebody with my wide growing experience, to be a cause for concern. For example, cactus seed gathered from my own plants and stored for 9-12 months has germinated within a week with a 90% germination rate, while several packs of cactus seed from Chiltern have produced perhaps four or five seedlings and only after several months. Another example is a trial I conducted recently with mixed sundew seeds, one batch bought from Chiltern and another from a private vendor on eBay; while the eBay seeds have produced perhaps 30 or 40 seedlings, the Chiltern seeds have resulted in only 4 plants, and these are by no means the only failures with Chiltern seeds (others such as Jatropha podagrica have entirely failed to germinate, instead rotting in the compost). I can only speculate as to the reasons for these failures, but I wonder if Chiltern has an issue with offering seeds for sale that have been stored for too long, which may account for the unacceptably low viability of some otherwise relatively easily grown species?