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Comments regarding Swallowtail Garden Seeds

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202 positives
12 neutrals
21 negatives


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Positive carolmo
(12 reviews)
On Dec 26, 2012, carolmo Olathe, KS (Zone 5a) wrote:

I ordered annuals, perennials, vegetables. Selection was great and prices were reasonable. The order came very fast and even came with an email alert. They have the very best packaging of seeds I have ever seen. They were my primary seed company this year - and will be next year too.

Positive jvw
(6 reviews)
On Dec 12, 2012, jvw Clinton Township, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

Both my mother and I have been ordering from Swallowtail for the past three years. We have never had a problem. This past month both my mother and I have ordered from them twice! On my mother's second order she forgot 4 items. She left a voicemail and emailed them. They were quick to respond that indeed they could add the items on to the order. All of our orders arrived in a timely manner and perfectly. At this time we cannot respond on germination rates but we don't expect any problems as we have not had them before.

I wanted to order some morning glory seeds but saw that they are now prohibited in Michigan. I called the company to find out why and even though the staff member did not know on the spot she took the time to look it up while I was on the phone with her.

We love their selection and must say we find ourselves ordering too much! When I read the negative reviews I cannot believe it could possibly be the same company we deal with!

Positive wildflowerhoney
(6 reviews)
On Oct 26, 2012, wildflowerhoney Naples, FL wrote:

Ordered twice from Swallowtail Seeds. Perfect transaction both times. Super speedy and free shipping; excellent germination; vast and exciting selection of seeds; expertly packaged. The Benary Giant Wine Zinnias are especially stunning. Will buy from again.

Positive arrowleaf
(2 reviews)
On Oct 12, 2012, arrowleaf Clearbrook Park, NJ wrote:

This is the first year I discovered Swallowtail, LOVE the selection, and the prices are so reasonable! The packaging is nicer than most seed companies: plastic or glassine envelope inside paper package, sometimes all three, sometimes a glass tube with a stopper for certain seed-types. It seems like so much care is taken. I ordered most of my vegetable and flower seeds from them last winter:

FLOWERS: 4 varieties of Columbine, Apricot Sweet Pea (color is more like neon coral, but beautiful and they bloomed all summer and are still blooming-in Oct.!), Cosmos-Double-click Snow Puff white, Apricot Sprite Agastache, Polka-dot Pippa Foxglove, Morning Glory-Flying Saucers, Nicotiana Antique Lime, New Dimension Blue Salvia, Buttercream Sunflowers, Prado Red Sunflowers, Tuscany Peach Verbena, Profusion Apricot Zinnia, Profusion White Zinnia, Giant Benary Zinnia (Salmon Rose), Creamy Yellow Giant Flowered Zinnia, Gallery White Lupine, Princess Victoria Louise Poppy, Bronze Fennel
VEGETABLES: D'avignon Radish, Astro Arugula, Mild n' Spicy Greens mixture, Sugar Sprint Snap Peas, New Red Fire Lettuce, Simpson Elite Lettuce, Flashy Trout Back Romaine, Mottistone Summer Crisp Lettuce, Contender Hybrid Zuccinni, and Scarlet Emperor Runner Bean.

There was excellent germination, with everything except the Poppies, and I'm sure I just didn't get them into the ground early enough; the weather was too warm, too quickly, and then my husband accidentally dumped coffee grounds on top of them. So I will try them again next time.

I read the message from the professor with the poor Columbine germination experience and thought I should share my good Columbine germination experience as a contrast. I ordered four types of Columbine seeds from Swallowtail: Alpine Columbine, Black Barlow, Blue Barlow and White Origami. I had read (on the gardener web forum) that they germinate better if put in the freezer in damp soil for a week, covered, before exposing them to light. So I experimented, and sewed some seeds in soil-less cells, kept at about 65-70 degrees, put others in the freezer for a week, before planting them, and I also put some outside in plastic, domed containers, starting March 11th, (zone 6b, freezing weather) kept out till spring. Some germinated in 24 days, and some took over 30 days to germinate, but some from every group sprouted. The Alpine Columbine freezer group was the first to show, but it seemed like the others caught up, so none of the methods seemed superior. I transplanted to larger containers, and eventually had about twenty or so plants I set out into the garden. None of them bloomed the first year, which I think is normal (is it?), but all the plants grew a lot, and seem very healthy, so I think I will have a lot of columbine flowers next spring. Yes, they did take a lot longer than other seeds to germinate, but I think thats the type of seed they are. And I started out with 145 seeds and ended up with about 20-25 plants, but that's about how many I had room for, and I could have been more careful with them, when they were seedlings.

So I think the company is wonderful and I will definitely order from them again. They are now my favorite seed company.

Positive diknownana
(2 reviews)
On Aug 30, 2012, diknownana Glen Carbon, IL wrote:

I ordered a variety of seeds from this company and I am very pleased at the results. The germination rate was great (except for the seeds that something dug up and made a lunch out of). It's a shame the season was so hot and dry that the plants were suffering even with being watered, but they have survived and still producing. The prices and amount of seeds are really good. I am already looking and making my list for next years flowers & vegetables. Needless to say, I will be ordering again from Swallowtail.

Positive hairyjo
(19 reviews)
On Jul 25, 2012, hairyjo Danville, CA wrote:

Very happy with the seeds I have ordered from this company. I will certainly order again this fall. I like the many different viola seeds they carry and they work well in my garden and germinated reliably.

Positive lisaaj
(15 reviews)
On Jun 9, 2012, lisaaj Columbus, OH wrote:

This year I received seeds for 2 kinds of impatiens ("Xtreme Sappire Mix" and "Accent Lavender Blue"), 1 geranium "Maverick Light Salmon", and Candytuft. All germinated well and have survived nicely in the garden so far; the impatiens and geranium are blooming away right now. I will order again from Swallowtail.

Positive spswanson
(3 reviews)
On May 14, 2012, spswanson Mashpee, MA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Placed a medium size order of seeds which I received in a timely manner. Germination was excellent, even the grumpier seeds did well.

Positive psychloman
(50 reviews)
On May 13, 2012, psychloman Brooklyn, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I am very happy with the germination and subsequent growth rates for the seeds mentioned here:

Positive Ispahan
(55 reviews)
On Apr 16, 2012, Ispahan Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

While I think their shipping is a bit on the slow end, I love their seed selection and I have had wonderful germination results with almost everything purchased. I would definitely buy from them again, though well in advance of when I would actually need to plant the seeds.

Positive itaslima
(1 review)
On Apr 12, 2012, itaslima Bachok,
Malaysia wrote:

I am from Malaysia. I order my seed on 30th march despite not knowing wheather they ship worldwide or not, by 12th April I receive my seeds. I certainly will order from them again since the service is excellent and they have many variety of seeds . Congratulation and keep up the good works.

Positive Madisonwigarden
(8 reviews)
On Mar 21, 2012, Madisonwigarden Middleton, WI wrote:

I've ordered seeds from Swallowtail for several years, ,as I was drawn to their site for the great variety (especially coleus -- look at how many they have!!!) Great seeds, great variety, and I've had incredible success with germination too. This year I ordered seeds in February, most came quickly, but a few packets were backordered. After a month I emailed them to ask the status of the backordered seeds. I immediately received an email AND a phone call with an order update, an explanation, and seeds were here within 3 days. They obviously felt that their customers matter and are important to them. Do not hesitate to order from Swallowtail. They are a great company, they will back their product, and they communicate quickly. Their seeds are also wonderful (did I mention they have lisianthus too? I think I had a 95% germination on these!)

Positive excellentjohn
(4 reviews)
On Mar 1, 2012, excellentjohn Binghamton, NY wrote:

THE best selection (and quality!!!) geranium seeds in the world! I've had E X C E L L E N T luck with this company for 2 years now. Almost all seeds come up, quick shipping, easy to understand instructions. Wish I could say the same of Park seed with their crazy gold wrappers and generic instructions. ST is THE best and a great web site! Thank you for great products!!!

Positive Sadie984
(2 reviews)
On Feb 20, 2012, Sadie984 Maineville, OH wrote:

This is the second year I have ordered seeds from this company. They send the seeds promptly and they sprouted at least as well as the ones from the "big" companies, if not better. They have lemon cucumbers and annual milkweed that both grew great in Ohio.

Positive OldChurchEggery
(9 reviews)
On Feb 10, 2012, OldChurchEggery Mechanicsville, VA wrote:

I ordered seeds from Swallowtail during summer 2011. I haven't tried all of the varieties yet, but the ones I did plant have done very well thus far. I grew Valerian, Scabiosa House Hybrids, and Apache something Agastache, and Marvelous Marble Coral Bells. What matters more to me than how quickly I get an order confirmation is how well the seeds perform. I'm pleased to say that my seedlings have become nice, small plants in what I call my nursery bed. I lost a few to chicken trespassers, but the survivors are quite vigorous. I'm looking forward to seeing them bloom either this year or next. Since they're perennials, I'm in it for the long haul with these plants. I would definitely order from Swallowtail again.

Positive drendel
(4 reviews)
On Feb 5, 2012, drendel Yorkville, IL wrote:

I ordered from Swallowtail Seeds in 2011 and 2012. Germination has been excellent so far. The order arrived within 5 days of ordering. I am not happy with their email responses. I contacted them twice with questions, with no response.

Positive lissas
(3 reviews)
On Jan 11, 2012, lissas Deer Park, WA wrote:

I have placed two different orders already this year. Both arrived super fast and complete. The best part was the free shipping! I already have some "slow growers" going and germination is good. Thank you Swallowtail for a great web site, loads of choices and easy ordering!

Positive Bernadette_Gourder
(1 review)
On Jan 9, 2012, Bernadette_Gourder Newaygo, MI wrote:

I recently ordered $30 worth of annual seeds. The shipping was reasonable and quick. I received exactly what I ordered. Good experience and will buy from again.

Positive flowerscrazed
(4 reviews)
On Dec 31, 2011, flowerscrazed Davenport, IA wrote:

First time order with this company. Came across it online while searching for seeds. Website is easy to navigate and prices are reasonable. Fast shipping (process and delivery took less than a week). Will do business again certainly.

Positive BotanicalBoi
(9 reviews)
On Dec 7, 2011, BotanicalBoi Carrollton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I am giving this company a positive review for the moment. I was very hesitant after seeing the other reviews on this site. Their website was easy to navigate, prices are fair, selection is good. I places an order this year. I got most of my order on the first shipment. One item had been back ordered. It quickly arrived just after the initial shipment. I will update on germination rate in the spring. So far, so good!

Positive STxJimbo
(4 reviews)
On Nov 26, 2011, STxJimbo Seguin, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I can not speak to the quality of the seeds, yet. But the web site was easy to navigate, selection was excellent, prices competitive and shipping cost reasonable. My order was shipped extremely fast and complete with no out of stocks or substitutions. Over all this was a great experience and I would recommend this company. I am already working on my next order.

Positive Tyankees10
(2 reviews)
On Nov 22, 2011, Tyankees10 Albion, NY wrote:

This past summer (July 2011), I had bought 3 packets of their strawberry seeds. The shipping cost was reasonable, spent about 10 dollars in all. The strawberry seeds after a month of stratification in the freezer were planted. A very good germination rate. Have recently transplanted them into bigger pots. Swallowtail is a nursery who you can trust.

Positive hillfarm
(35 reviews)
On Nov 6, 2011, hillfarm Quesnel, BC (Zone 4a) wrote:

Posted on December 6, 2010, updated November 6, 2011
Posted on November 6, 2004, updated December 6, 2010
Great service & a very nice selection of seeds. I will definitely order from them again -- in fact , I'm about to go to the website right now to make a wishlist for spring 2005.

Hollyhocks are fabulous. Very nice selection of other perennials. I had good to excellent germination from everything I received from Swallowtail in 2004.

On October 24th, 2005, hillfarm added the following:

Looking back on our 2005 gardening year, I want to comment that some of the most popular plants we sold through our nursery this year were grown from Swallowtail's seeds.

The heirloom tomatoes & hollyhocks were outstanding; it is wonderful to be able to get such a nice selection of otherwise hard-to-find separate hollyhock varieties in particular.

I will definitely order again & highly recommend this company.
On December 6th, 2010, hillfarm added the following:

It has been several years since our last Swallowtail order, as we took a 2-year sabbatical from our nursery business. We are getting ready to go again in 2011, and the first place I went to make my seed orders was Swallowtail.
Good selection, reasonable prices. I have just received my large order of freshly packaged-for-2011 seed - only 12 days after I placed it. From the USA to Canada that is very fast - other years the wait has been much longer as seed orders often sit at the border waiting to be passed through.
My only "issue" is that the online shopping cart was extremely time consuming to use. Other times I've faxed my order and I will do that in future. My computer was tied up for several hours making my order (and I had my list written out & ready to go). If there was some way the site could be a little quicker to navigate through that would be perfect! Too much clicking!
My rating definitely stays positive. Looking forward to dealing with Swallowtail again in the future. In my experience a very good seed company.
On November 6th, 2011, hillfarm added the following:

Getting ready to make my 2012 seed orders, and Swallowtail is one of the first of my regular sources I've checked that is "ready" - thank you! Great germination on most varieties ordered last year - I'm a very happy continuing customer.
Positive iluvsweetpeas
(1 review)
On May 23, 2011, iluvsweetpeas Woodbridge, CA wrote:

What a wonderful company! The website is easy to maneuver and the seed selection is fabulous! Their shipping costs are the lowest I've seen in the industry.

I talked to a very nice girl on the phone when I placed my order. She was very helpful with suggestions for my climate zone. I received my order promptly-just in time to plant! The instructions and descriptions on each packet really helped a "beginner" like myself!

I will definitely be using them for all of my gardening needs. There is nothing better in a company than the combination of low prices, accessibility, and excellent customer service. Thank you, Swallowtail Garden Seeds!

~Lily from Lodi, CA

Positive Apachegirl
(2 reviews)
On May 20, 2011, Apachegirl Falling Waters, WV wrote:

I had a good experience with my order - it was processed in a week, took another week to get to WV from California (typical), and the growing information on the packets was very helpful. I will order from them again. (They gave me a tracking number from the Post Office, but the day the seeds were delivered the USPS still had no record of actually handling the package, so don't go by that.)

Positive cooleybufo
(9 reviews)
On Apr 10, 2011, cooleybufo Bakersfield, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Ordered several packets of seeds and they arrived in a timely manner. All the seeds I have tried so far have all had good germination. I have no complaints and I will order from them again.

Positive 6aseeder
(4 reviews)
On Apr 2, 2011, 6aseeder Arlington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

i have ordered 3-4 times in the last 3 years and received good quality seeds in a timely fashion. i am always happy to see some of the flowers that i cannot find elsewhere. i generally order early in the season (Dec or Jan), or in the fall.

Positive finnskeeper
(4 reviews)
On Apr 1, 2011, finnskeeper Pensacola, FL wrote:

I placed two fairly large orders with this company this year and ($150.00 and $75.00) and both came fairly quickly within two weeks of ordering. The seeds all germinated quickly and I now have a garden full of seedlings. The only seeds that didn't grow were the five types of coleus I ordered - but possibly I did something wrong with those? Everything else looks great.

Positive tobycat
(5 reviews)
On Mar 27, 2011, tobycat Gettysburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I was angry with this company a few years ago and vowed never to place another order because I recieved what I thought was a rude response to a problem with their seeds. They were getting a number of negative comments at the time and I figured maybe they were going through some internal company problems. Then this year I wanted more Great Red Poppy seeds and I was having trouble locating them elsewhere. So I placed an order. The seeds came within the promised shipping time and contained the correct amounts of seed. The germination rate was nearly 100 % for Great Red Poppy, Origami columbine, Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy and Prairie Sun, Delphinium Astolat, Dianthus Sooty Sweet William and Black King Carnation, Painted Daisy, and Echinacea Yellow coneflower. The germination rate was not so good for Echinacea Powwow Wild Berry and Delphinium Blue Jay. However, in my experience sometimes 'blue' delphinium seed are a little bit trickier than some of the other colors and may be slow to germinate, and maybe the wild berry echinacea is the same (they gave me a few extra seeds of those). I have a large property with many different types of gardens and I propagate and grow many from seed. I would use Swallowtail again for the selection and the quality of their seed. I'm glad I gave them another try.

Positive KnittyNatty38
(2 reviews)
On Mar 14, 2011, KnittyNatty38 Nashville, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

I was leary about ordering from Swallowtail Garden Seeds given the LARGE amount of negative feedback they received here on DG. However, recent feedback seems to reflect a turnaround in how this company handles their business transactions. Given this, I thought I'd take a chance, as they offer a nice wide variety and have great prices.

I ordered several varieties of seed the second week of Feb. last month. I received my order about 2 weeks later with a message that 2 of the varieties were backordered, but would be sent out in 3 weeks. Those 2 packets arrived today and all is well! Germination and quality remain to be seen (I'll update later next season), but I am satisfied with this company so far.

Positive artworksmetal
(4 reviews)
On Mar 8, 2011, artworksmetal Timberville, VA wrote:

I've ordered from Swallowtail now for several years. It has always been a positive experience. I usually buy herb seeds.
The bulk pricing is in a separate section, and offers great bargains.

I highly recommend them.

Positive NicholasC
(1 review)
On Mar 4, 2011, NicholasC Wyandotte, MI wrote:

I will order from here again I'm sure. The seeds came pretty quickly and the few I've started indoors have all germinated and much sooner than they say they should. So at the moment I'm quite happy with this company and would recommend it to others.

Positive dirttiger
(1 review)
On Mar 1, 2011, dirttiger Portland, OR wrote:

I was nervous about ordering from this company due to the rating. However they have seeds that I wanted that no one else had. I ordered anyway and held my breath....
The order arrived when they said it would and everything looks great! I will be planting my seeds soon and let everyone know how it goes. I will change my rating if I have poor seed success since I am usually pretty successful in all but the trickiest seeds:)

Positive lanah_1
(7 reviews)
On Feb 10, 2011, lanah_1 Warren, MI wrote:

I received my seed in a timely manor, and it was well packaged.They have some harder to find seeds at good prices, I would definitely order from them again.

Positive Thorfinn911
(1 review)
On Feb 9, 2011, Thorfinn911 Warrenville, IL wrote:

Last season I placed an order for a variety of heirloom tomatoes. After several weeks my order didn't arrive, apparently lost in the mail. After contacting Swallowtail, they reshipped everything PLUS refunded my money (which I really didn't want).

Due to my getting the seeds in late (short season in Chicago) I had very low yield. At the end of the season, I cut off one vine and transplanted it to a 5 gal bucket and it is thriving in my back room with LED grow lights! I plan to start new cuttings for early planting this spring, and resow all of the varieties I bought.

The Hillbilly variety was the best tomato I have ever tasted!

Positive MourningDavis
(2 reviews)
On Jan 30, 2011, MourningDavis Saint Louis, MO wrote:

I stumbled upon Swallowtail while doing a search on border dahlia seeds since none of my tubers survived winter storage. I grow for several gardens and garden group sales so it is imperative that I have border dahlias! I was delighted at the varieties Swallowtail offers and love the free shipping on orders over $30.00. I found the website easy to use and they gave me a shipping date. I am eagerly awaiting my order and will let you know how it turns out.

Positive LooneyLinda
(36 reviews)
On Jan 28, 2011, LooneyLinda Mantua, UT (Zone 4b) wrote:

Posted on February 18, 2005, updated January 28, 2011
I just read a comment about this company today so I looked over their website and placed an order. With the selection they have and the reasonable prices I am sure this will become one of my favorites. Some places charge quite a bit for shipping, but the shipping with Swallowtail is free!! I especially loved the selection of petunias. I don't like mixes that most companies have because I don't want to germinate 100 seeds and not know what the colors will be. Most of them wouldn't be blooming by the time they were planted so planning a garden would be more difficult. They have lots of one-color selections that are beautiful. I also found a zinnia that I have wanted for quite a while. I have only seen it offered by one other company and they wouldn't ship to the USA. Swallowtail's website is very easy to use. I can't wait to get my seeds.

On January 28th, 2011, LooneyLinda added the following:

My order was accurate and promptly received. No on has better packaging than Swallowtail! I have always had good germination rates. I will certainly order again.
Positive Meredith79
(8 reviews)
On Sep 5, 2010, Meredith79 Southeastern, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I usually order some seeds from them every year. I love how they offer some varieties of plants in single colors. I usually order a long time in advance of when I will start the seeds, so I haven't noticed slow shipping. I try to stop buying seeds for the current season at least 2-3 weeks before I need to start them, unless saving them for the next season. Which sometimes I do be sure to get what I want before they sell out. I do find a lot of the seed packets they send have less than or almost exactly, what the seed packets are listed as on the website, but usually they are harder to find seeds that I can't get anywhere else. So I will continue to order from them. I find with a lot of specialty seeds (not just from them)you get lower germination rates, so I just make sure I start all of them. Then I am more likely to have a decent amount of plants. Most of the seeds offered have at least 25 seeds which I find is enough. I mean how many people need more than a half dozen to a dozen of one plant? I order from lots of different online seed companies and there are some things about the catalog, I wish they would change. One is how you can not click on the items in your shopping cart to get you back to the item's product page. I also feel like the catalog takes too long to navigate due to all the plants in a genus having full listings on one long page. It seems to make it take much longer to figure out an order. Then if you don't have time to go through the whole catalog and place the order you lose your shopping cart.

Positive silverkelt
(4 reviews)
On Aug 4, 2010, silverkelt Waterboro, ME wrote:

Mostly positive, my one complaint was last couple of years the seed counts were off on some of the packages, a couple here and there is nothing, but if your order a package of 50 seeds and get 12.. thats kind of a bummer, however, they also ran out of one variety and gave me a huge package of another I wanted. So it kind of being a even trade off.

They also have uncommong varieties , not easy to find.


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