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Comments regarding Swallowtail Garden Seeds

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179 positives
12 neutrals
20 negatives


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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
(5 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
(7 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.


Positive kudzu9
(7 reviews)
On Jul 24, 2010, kudzu9 Seattle area, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Great experience. They had the seeds I wanted at a good price. Before I ordered, I was a little concerned that there were several recent negative comments in Garden Watchdog, but I am always impressed when a company steps up and takes care of problems, and documents it here.

I wanted to order quite a few seed packs, and a couple were critical to receive promptly, so I called the company first. The person I got put me on hold for a few seconds while she checked inventory. She confirmed that the ones I needed pronto were available to ship. She also said that they had made a number of changes recently to help avoid back order issues.

I ordered on a Monday and they showed up in my mail box on Saturday. Everything I ordered was there, and the packaging and quantity of seeds was impressive. My order came to only $47 for 20 packs, and I got free shipping (orders over $30 ship for free).

They also have a very nicely designed and user-friendly web site.

I'll definitely order again.

Positive david_spackman
(1 review)
On Jul 19, 2010, david_spackman Vernonia, OR wrote:

I ordered several packets of seeds on July 5 and they were in my mailbox by July 9. I planted the baby's breath on July 10th and they were sprouting only 5 days later, even though the packet said that they should take 7-14 days.
The packaging for the seeds was impeccable, the pricing was very reasonable and the number of seeds per packet generous. The postage charge was honest. Many seed vendors base the postage charge on the dollar amount spent but let's face it, seeds are not heavy nor big. They charge a flat $3.95 per order. I looked in a catalog of a well known seed supplier and they would have charged me $6.95 in postage for the same order, and I wouldn't have gotten near as many seeds.
Keep up the good work! I'll be back again soon!

Positive tikipod
(11 reviews)
On Jun 19, 2010, tikipod (Ang) Bremerton, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I ordered the bulk packet of Alexandria Alpine Strawberries towards or at the end of May. They arrived in under a week and were packed very well. I planted seeds in 18 cells and so far every seed has germinated and are catching up with some Mignonette Alpine seeds I planted.

I will order from again as they have certain seeds and varieties I can't find locally.

Positive beccabeelime
(2 reviews)
On Jun 10, 2010, beccabeelime Port Angeles, WA wrote:

I ordered 22 different kinds of viola seeds from swallowtail. My germination rate is fantastic! I'm already planning my order for next year.

Positive mgurley
(2 reviews)
On May 26, 2010, mgurley Charlotte, NC wrote:

Very pleased with Swallowtail. Excellent selection of unusual perennials. Received my order with no problems very quickly, within several days. So far, very good germination rates.

Positive lala1
(1 review)
On Apr 27, 2010, lala1 warwick
United States wrote:

Placed a seed order on April 7 and received it on April 15...No complaints here! Will order again!

Positive easychord
(1 review)
On Apr 3, 2010, easychord Tampa, FL wrote:

I received the seeds within a few weeks, and the packaging was very nice, better than I have received from any other vendor. The website does seem to have problems, though, as I wanted to browse and cannot bring the site up.

Positive kjoseph
(1 review)
On Feb 26, 2010, kjoseph Oakland, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I was very happy to buy my seeds from a local company, & I liked their selection. I had a question while completing my online order so I called them. A nice woman answered right away & answered my questions. My order was made early (Jan 12, 2010) in the season since I expected my large order may take awhile. I got my seeds in the mail in about 3 weeks. I ordered 36 different kinds of seeds. 29 were shipped, 5 were back ordered (still haven't received them) & 2 were out of stock (Globe Thistle, Blue Glow & Begonia, Non-Stop -- Rose Pink). As far as germination, I've had absolutely no problem. I've had to do a lot of thinning actually. (I had read the poor germination reviews & planted more seeds than I would have otherwise). Other than wondering about the 5 packets that are back ordered (Gaura, Cup & Saucer Vine, Zebrina, Knee High Sweet Pea, Fuji Blue Balloon Flower) I'm feeling pretty good about my experience. I think they have a really nice selection & their seeds are of good quality (based on germination rates). The descriptions & planting instructions printed on the seed packets were detailed & spot on. I will order from this company again.

Positive withad
(7 reviews)
On Feb 11, 2010, withad Warren Center, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:

Posted on January 21, 2010, updated February 11, 2010
Posted on January 16, 2010, updated January 21, 2010
I recently placed an order for bulk seeds on 12-12-09, seeds were supposed to ship with 2-3 weeks. My credit card was charged on 1-07-10. Seeds had not arrived by 1-14-10. Sent several e-mails to confirm order and shipping times with no reply. I sent the last e-mail 1-14-10 informing them my account had been charged and I had not received the order and requested shipping info to trace shipment. Still no reply, I informed them I would issue a negative feedback if they could not extend the decency of a reply to my e-mails. This is not hardly the busy season so I do not know the reason for their lack of response. I called once only to get a recording and since they failed to respond to four e-mails I didn't see the point in leaving a message. Their web site has no way of checking on an orders status or even if you have an order on file. This was my first and last order with this company and while the dollar amount was not huge it is disappointing that a company can so totally ignore a first time customer. I will give it another week and then will dispute the transaction with my Credit Card company and file a complaint with the BBB. No where on the web site does it state they will charge my account PRIOR to shipping the order. Even with just first class postage it should not take 10 days to arrive, I would have thought they would have sent it Priority mail but I guess I should have checked to see how they ship prior to ordering.

On January 21st, 2010, withad changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

I am changing my rating from negative to neutral based on receiving an e-mail apologizing for their delay in both answering e-mails and shipping my order. They did credit my account back the fund charged against it. I will wait and see how long it takes to get my order, as they say they had trouble getting it from their supplier and will ship it as soon as it arrives.
On February 11th, 2010, withad changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

Changing to positive only because they did credit my account and as stated in their e-mail would still send the seeds when they arrived at no charge. They did send out the seeds no charge, though of three ordered one was still back ordered. I doubt I would purchase from them again mainly because of their customer service dept., which is totally non-responsive. I hesitate to think what would have happened had I not threatened to file complaints with both my credit card co. and the BBB.
Positive kjd
(5 reviews)
On Feb 8, 2010, kjd Parker, CO wrote:

I placed an order for several packets of seed in early January. The order was processed and shipped in about a week, and I received an email confirming shipment and a tracking number (something I am not aware of any other seed company doing). Perennial seed is germinating well. I have ordered from Swallowtail in the past and received the same good customer service. I will order from them again.

Positive ibewgirl
(19 reviews)
On Jan 16, 2010, ibewgirl Wilmington, DE wrote:

Very happy with this first seed order, recommended by DG's. Nice selection of zinnia seeds. Seeds arrived quickly.

Positive Karyl7b
(8 reviews)
On Dec 29, 2009, Karyl7b Dawsonville, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I placed an order with Swallowtail Garden Seeds and received it within a week. Order confirmation and shipping notices were sent. A single item was back ordered, but this was out of perhaps 20. A refund was instantly made for the single pack of seeds.

Packaging is great - an envelope within an envelope, making it very easy to re-seal the seeds you don't plant. Instructions were printed clearly on the label.

The seeds were just planted for winter sowing, I will report back on germination. So far I am quite happy with Swallowtail Garden Seeds.

Positive denver_dry
(4 reviews)
On May 25, 2009, denver_dry Denver, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

Quick and accurate service, generous amounts of seed, nice selection at a nice price, packets clearly labeled, ship date and confirmation email let you know when to expect your order. I would order from them again with complete confidence. Thanks!

Positive sunnyg
(7 reviews)
On Feb 22, 2009, sunnyg San Francisco Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have ordered from this company for several years, and have always been delighted. They have a great website, an excellent variety of seeds, they provide a generous quantity of seed in each packet, and I've had very good germination results.

Positive ncdirtdigger
(8 reviews)
On Jan 27, 2009, ncdirtdigger Waxhaw, NC wrote:

I got what I ordered in a timely manner, the seeds were clean and in good shape. I'll report back with germination rates. At this time I would recommend them.

Positive CarynDalton
(8 reviews)
On Jan 25, 2009, CarynDalton Marysville, OH wrote:

I will try my best to remember to update my review of this company after the seeds have grown so now I am only commenting on the pre-growing experience.

Website: Extremely easy to navigate and does have a search box. Has both side and top navigation bars.

Checkout was simple and quick. They do take personal checks, money orders, VISA and Mastercard but not paypal.

Merchant Rating with BBB: I always check this before ordering online but I could not find this company. BBB keeps negative ratings even when the company has not paid the fee to be a BBB member. I purchased based upon the other reviews here on Watchdog.

Seed Selection: Their website states they have 1,200 varieties of seeds including open-pollinated and untreated vegetable seeds, unusual heirloom and hybrid annual and perennial seeds. They also carry flowering vine, savory herb, rare poppy, super sweet pea and heirloom tomato seeds.

Shipping: Super Quick and came in a standard bubble manilla envelope. Best shipping price I have ever seen at $3.95 for the whole order with a $6.00 minimum. That alone was enough to make me try this company! They did as I requested and emailed me to let me know that they had shipped my order.

Seed count for price: Fair to Generous. They do have bulk seeds available.

Product information: Good pictures of varietes, but sparse information on some that I looked at. I did have to go to other sites for more information on the varieties. There are no customer product reviews on site which would be helpful. Still, I will shop there again even though I have to work a bit to get the information I need. I would like to see more disease resistance information listed for the varieties.

The seed packets are white manilla envelopes and are written in English and dated. There is adequate sowing/growing on information on seed packs. Packs of seeds were bundled into groups with thin rubber bands within the bubble envelope.

There is not a paper catalog available that I could find.


Positive jerrygarden14
(3 reviews)
On Jan 24, 2009, jerrygarden14 Chula Vista, CA wrote:

Pretty nice selection of flower seeds. Would certainly order again. Delivery took only a couple of weeks.

Positive nygardener2
(12 reviews)
On Jan 23, 2009, nygardener2 New Hyde Park, NY wrote:

Fast shipping, everything came as promised. Would order from again. Has many flower seeds not seen any place else!
The prices are great also :) Should be in the top 30 stores list!

Positive Kiyannaboom
(2 reviews)
On Jan 19, 2009, Kiyannaboom Denver, CO wrote:

I have ordered flower and vegetable seeds from Swallowtail for the past 3 years. Their website is simple to use and contains superb photographs. Each year, I find many unique varieties that I've never seen anywhere else. Seed germination has been excellent.

This year I placed my order in early January. A couple weeks later, I hadn't received the seeds & was champing at the bit to start my early sowing. Voila'! The very next day, an overnight express envelope arrived with my seeds! The company spent a good bit of money to get them to me this way, and I appreciate it! I've recommended Swallowtail Garden Seeds to all my fellow community gardeners.

Positive geminitrv
(6 reviews)
On Aug 30, 2008, geminitrv Marshall, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I ordered from Swallowtail Garden seeds for the first time recently. I received a nice package today, and everything looked great! There was lots of information and planting instructions on each packet. I would recommend this company and will definitely order from them again in the future. =)


Positive Containerted
(7 reviews)
On Jul 17, 2008, Containerted Buford, GA wrote:

Ordered several tomato seed packets this year. They were here in one week. The seed counts were good and the packaging was kinda neat. Yes, they will be hearing from me again.

Positive bsewall
(2 reviews)
On Jul 15, 2008, bsewall Richmond, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Great selection. Excellent website that is easy to use. My order arrived quickly. Germination rate was excellent.

Positive CosmoLover
(2 reviews)
On Jun 30, 2008, CosmoLover Ellsworth, ME wrote:

I ordered a number of seeds from this company this year and found them to be wonderful seeds. They all germinated wonderfully and are growing very well. When there was a question about my shipping address for my seeds, not only did I receive several e-mails but phone calls as well. I will definately order from them again next year.

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