International Seed Trading

In last month's figures, Dave reported visitors from all over the world, and I know there are already members from several countries.

I see contacting other gardeners throughout the world to exchange seeds from our areas as one of the major advantages of the internet. There are a lot of posts from international traders on the GW Seed Exchange, but Spike told me they didn't want to encourage international trading, although he didn't say why.

I'm addicted to exchanging seeds with people anywhere in the world who have something different. I'd like to know if there others out there who'd be interested in trading seeds internationally, using Latin names, and mainly for seeds of plants not easily obtainable in their own area.

Would anyone be interested in this sort of more specialised International Seed Trading Forum?

Hi Mary,

This was one of the things I was hoping would happen when we started the International Discussion forum. That forum hasn't been used much at all yet. :(

I'd love to see more int'l trades going on. I've traded with Chile and Sweden, and both times I've been very happy with the product (I love telling people I'm growing chili peppers from a friend in Chile!!).

Check out the International Discussion and see if you can get something started!

BTW - I know I left it out of the report this time, but I was fairly tired when I wrote the report, and I guess I got lazy, but we did get visitors from 73 different countries this year. I don't have the list in front of me right now.


Yes, I've noticed the International Discussion doesn't move much. I've traded seeds with people from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Romania, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, USA and Wales - told you I was addicted! And it's nice to chat a bit with people from elsewhere.

There are still thousands of new plants I'd like to try. I'm really anxious to get some local wildflowers from the Alps and other mountainous areas, and Cyprus and Mauritius. Surely some of the other 1200+ members of Dave's Garden are seedaholics like me?

Mary: What if I rename "International Discussion" to "International Trading"?

Do you think that would help get people moving?


I don't know, Dave. There's only you and me posting here, and 19 views!

You could try moving this thread over to International Discussion and see if it gets more responses.

Do many people look in to the International Forum even if they don't post?

I don't know! :) Let's find out - I'll move this over there.


Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom

Hay guys, don't leave me out of the fun. I'll join in on International Seed Trading.

Aliso Viejo, CA(Zone 9b)

Gosh I'd really like to trade abroad as I've already done with Mary and a few other people abroad. I can speak Spanish and German. I've used German to trade with one person in Austria, but my Spanish is falling by the wayside. Those of you looking to trade seeds, speak up! We want to trade with you! Come on New Zealanders, where are you?



Mishawaka, IN(Zone 5a)

Hey I am up for the International trading been
doing it for years. My latest was to Italy,
and England..

I love to seed trade!


If there's anyone reading this who has unusual or rare seeds but thinks there's nothing they'd want in exchange on my seedlist, please e-mail me. I'm particularly looking for alpines, cushion plants, perennials and flowering shrubs. I have seeds of these, plus tropicals - over 400 altogether, including some leftovers from international trades. I like big trades (I once sent someone 100 different types), and I use Latin names.

If you're that sort of seedaholic, please send me your tradelist. I have a pretty website, too!

(Zone 9a)

Count me in!

I'm interested in plants that can withstand heat, humidity and will grow in clay soil. My locale has mild, wet winters and dry, scorching summers.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Joshua Tree, CA(Zone 8b)

I have traded, from Ireland, Brazil , Italy, Netherlands.
I am most interested in South Africa and the South of France. My locale is the same as Bloomer, but Sandy soil, alkaline. And very low humidity. Mary, do think I would have anything you would like? You can check out my list. And I have much more , not on that list. I will have an expanded list after spring has passed. Desert Wildflowers and shrubs, and Trees. Including the Mohave Yucca.

Kittanning, PA

Hey this sounds like fun.....count me in too....I like the unusual ones... am starting a huge rock/woodland garden and I need LOTS.... I have some seeds that i plan on starting this winter and by spring (when the bed will actually be ready to plant...) they will all be ready to put out (i hope)! Anyone interested in rock/woodland gardening? Would like to hear from you....

Hamilton, Canada

I would love to trade seeds internationally...just spent a small fortune purchasing rare tropical seeds and other rare perennial flower seeds from eBay. I'm always looking for unusual flowers and tropicals...well what can I say..."addicted to trying something new"...then I give them as gifts to family and friends as house plants...LOL...I must be getting pretty good at it as now I'm getting requests from people outside of the family.:-)

Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom

joydie1, what kind of things are you looking for in trades? My list here needs updating, and i'll try to do it in the next few days, but if theres anything there that takes your fancy, I'll trade?!

Endicott, NY(Zone 5a)

i would love to trade more with overseas traders- is there a way to tell if their seeds will grow in our zones?

Weymouth, Dorset, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

That,s how I found this site, by trading seeds from another site.
I,ve traded with netherlands, brazil, canada, and loads from america. It,s good fun waiting for the post, and you get to try loads of things that you can,t get in tour country.I,m determined that at the end of this year I shall be collecting so many seeds that they,ll be spilling out the door :-}Like most of you I love trying anything unusual, I have a mania for just growing things from seeds. Only problem is I then end up with literally 100's of plants, last couple of years my youngest's school plant sale has done well out of me :-}

Macclesfield, CHESHIRE(Zone 8a)

I've traded seeds with people in Brazil, Canaries, Thailand and many more, all with great success. Dont leave me out of international trading - why let IBM have all the fun !!

El Tel

Mount Prospect, IL(Zone 5a)

I think international trading is great. I've traded with quite a few countries also. Wish more people would post. Doris

Chester, North Wales, United Kingdom

Would love to exchange seeds...should we all post our wants/have lists?

Houghton Lake, MI(Zone 4a)

I too have traded with gardeners from all over the world and I love it!!

I am currently sending seeds to a man in Jordan.

It is so cool when I get to grow something from an area that I may never get to see in person....almost like being there.

I also do some research on the location of the other person so I know where I am sending the seeds.

Ads to the cultural awareness.


Rethymno, Crete, Greece(Zone 10b)

Obviously, in my eyes, the reason this thread has not
yielded any trade, is that its subject is negative:
it starts wth "No trade with EEC" scares and continuse with "why this is wrong" comments.
Being in Greece, I have to say that I would look into plant category or trade list to find someone to trade with.


Miami, FL(Zone 10b)

Hello Mary:

I am also interested in international trading. I have already done it a number of times and it has always been a pleasant experience. Count me in!



Brugmansia here,
I love Brugmansia and I generally have over 10,000 seeds I try to plant each year. This winter, I was wiped out by an early freeze though so I won't have any seed available till fall at the earliest. I will trade hybrid Brugmansia seed from named and unnamed hybrids and accurately label the crosses, colors, species, etc if someone would like to trade with me. I am interested of course in any German Brugmansia crosses that have not made it to the states yet. I do require at least 100 seeds from any cross in a trade in most cases though as many crosses will not give anything worthwhile unless one has at least 100 seeds. Other crosses, like a Double pink Brugmansia crossed to another Double pink Brugmansia would be preferable and accepted in lower numbers in a trade. I have over 30+named cultivars of Brugmansia and 5 different species out of a total of 6 species. Brugmansia species are as follows, arborea, sanguinea, vulcanicola, aurea, versicolor, and suaveolens. I would of course be most interested in seeds from any double pink crossed to another double pink or a double pink crossed to a double orange first. Baring that, I would like double pink Brugmansia types crossed with a pink aurea, suaveolens, etc. Really doesn't matter as long as one parent was a double in color and the pollen used was not from a white Brugmansia. I would of course be interested in any Flava seed as well or in other words, sanguinea x arborea. Any Brugmansia seed that has at least one known parent will be considered in a trade though so please don't not trade with me simply because you think you don't have anything I would be interested in. I would also like to trade for just Brugmasnia pollen as well if any of you would like to trade for pollen.

I swap seeds with other gardeners everywhere, and it sometimes takes me ages to look up the names from some people's lists. I feel it's my responsibility to find out what people are offering me. I can only do that if I have the botanical name, as common names differ from region to region.

Perhaps that's one of the reasons for having an International Trading Forum - we have to use botanical names, and we're all ready to accept the risks and responsibility of packing and sending overseas.

PS - Always looking for trades!

This message was edited Saturday, Jun 16th 7:25 PM

Fair Oaks, CA(Zone 9a)

Great seeing that there are other crazed individuals out there who like unusual plants. I've been lucky enough to find some one willing to send me seed from the Australian wet tropics, but neither he nor I know how to do it properly. Would some one fill me in on the actual procedures for sending seed internationally? These seed, Aracauriacea, must be planted fresh and have a low viability rate so a rapid transit time ie FEDEX or other courier service is mandatory.

I wouldn't want some rare material perishing as it waits to clear Ag Customs so please let me know how it's done.


Wewahitchka, FL(Zone 8b)

Me too!
I've only traded with :
New Zealand
The Netherlands

I really love rose seeds as well as passiflora.

Pleasantville, NY(Zone 6a)

I am also into rock and woodland gardens. To be precise, rock wall. Just planted the rock wall 1/2 this spring and interested in more seeds to start in winter. I'll be starting a new woods bed; letting the dirt settle now.
Check out my trade list. I have some alpines and other perennials and will have more later.
Mary and all,
Haven't done any international trading yet, but would be really interested in future.

Warkworth, Northumbe, United Kingdom

I live in England and have just found this site as I have been using The Garden Web site, they are trying to put a block on Trading with Europe which I think is just not cricket. So Hello everyone, I am just trying to find my way around. I.ll try to put some of my swaps on later when my brain is working better............ It's raining here so not much fun gardening in the rain.

Campbellsville, KY(Zone 6a)

Well, for my first year of seed trading, I think I have done rather well. I have received seeds from Russia, Hungary, Holland, and Australia. I'm sure there are others, too, but am still drinking my first cup of coffee so am not completely functioning yet. I am interested in any and ALL international trades! Let me hear from you all!

Violet Town, Victori, Australia(Zone 8a)

Dave, could you or someone perhaps try and clarify for me, and others on reading this thread, whether sending seed back and forth o/s is quite legal??? Do we need permits? Where do we stand? I'll be checking with our authorities tomorrow but sometimes its hard to get the right info and I'm hoping your traders know the answers and can help me. THANKS!! Looking forward to getting started.

Macclesfield, CHESHIRE(Zone 8a)

Hi TerryF

I understand trading ANYTHING (seeds, plants etc.) into OZ is a problem due to the strict nature of the regulations - like the authorities dont want your indigenous plants and animals contaminated or compromised by "foreign" species. Understandable, given the uniqueness of the flora and fauna and the "remoteness" of your location. As to trading with other places in the world from OZ you will need to check them individually. Most countries seem to accept seed is no problem although since the Foot & Mouth outbreak in UK and other parts of Europe a certain paranoia has sprung up (not to mention a confusion with BSE). The advice most responsible traders will give on plant trading is to send them soilless - literally; though wet tissue paper or water retaining gel seems to be acceptabble) or to send unrooted cuttings. Apart from OZ the only country I have heard of giving import problems is Canada (though I dont know why). I guess you just have to do the research !

El Tel

Biel, Switzerland(Zone 7a)

Hi TerryF,
I found this site long ago,and should of e-mailed it to you..well,anyway,here it is the quarantine and inspection page of AQIS.
Hope this helps,Gwist

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

Eltel, I sent seeds to Canada. No problem. I stated exactly what I was sending. It took a long time to arrive, so not sure if I would want to try sending plants. It was a good trade so hope to trade with this person in Nova Scotia again.

Durham, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

yeah, i'm a bit confused about seed trading, i know plant trading internationally is not the best idea, but seeds??? the post office in the uk said that there would be 'restrictions', and the person i have sent to has waited a week and has still not received the seeds i sent. i stated on the pack what they were, but as i havn't had it returned, i guess it will be on its way. what are the rules with seeds?

It's OK to send most seeds to and from most countries. There are restrictions on individual species in some cases, but in practice, most Customs people have better things to do than bother with little packets of seeds sent between gardeners. Sending plants is usually OK between EU members, too. Most countries have information about their regulations on their Dept. of Ag websites. The UK one is here:

Durham, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

thanks for that, mary, clears it up a bit, i guess that applies in the post too?


Seems to. I haven't had any problems with anyone's Customs (apart from one packet of seeds being removed from one packet sent to Oz and one envelope from Holland opened but resealed and delivered intact).

Durham, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

how long do things usually take to get to the us from the uk? i sent some over a week ago and as far as i know they havn't received them yet, i feel awful..



I've had them delivered anywhere between 4-11 days, I'v been sent some seeds and letters from the US that took over a month because the senders didn't put the correct postage on, so they went over land rather than priority. It all depends.

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