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Seattle, WA

Do not purchase any bulbs from Vanzyverden.

Others may have better luck, but I'm not taking another chance with them.

Have tried their Allium, Daffodils, Muscari - and the only ones that produced blossoms were Anemones, which are not available this year.

They are located at:

P O Box 550
Meridian, MS 39902-0550

On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being best, I rate them maybe a 1, only for the Anemones.


Shenandoah Valley, VA

Did you post a rating in the Garden Watchdog?

Seattle, WA

Not yet.

Adrian, MO(Zone 6a)

your zone 8 might have had something to do with that. bulbs need a cold period to bloom.

Shenandoah Valley, VA

My goodness yes! If you don't have 10 weeks of cold weather, you need to either chill them yourself in the refrigerator or buy pre-chilled bulbs. Brent and Becky's sells the pre-chilled ones.

Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

Most of the bulbs should have bloomed. Most daffodils and Muscari do fine in zones 7 and 8 and do not need the lengthy cold period that, say, tulips need.

I agree you should post of your experiences on Garden Watchdog.

Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

In addition, Seattle's climate more closely approximates that of northwestern Europe than anywhere else in the US, and Holland/the UK are the cradle of the world's spring bulb industry.

Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

Seattle's zone 8 is DEFINATELEY not the problem with your bulbs, Lee. Think of all the commercial growers in your area! Perhaps the bulbs were not blooming size. Or maybe too dried up?

Adrian, MO(Zone 6a)

here's link you might find interesting:

Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

Zones only refer to the lowest expected temperature an area will likely achieve - and say nothing about the vast diversity of climactic conditions within zones. Seattle and Houston for example are both in zone 8 but have vastly different weather patterns. Even here in northern TX we get slightly "colder" at night than Seattle might, but our days even in mid-winter are much warmer than Seattle's and this has a huge impact on bulb performance. Seattle is unlikely to achieve cold "extremes" well below freezing due to ocean currents and proximity to water - but the temperatures there in winter are CONSISTENTLY cool and for significant periods of time, so bulbs do well - very similar to climate in the Netherlands (where I lived) or the UK, both of which are considered to be zones "8 or 9" as well due to winter minimums (NOT averages!). Also impacting spring bulb success are rainfall and rain distribution throughout the year...with drier summers being better. Bulbs really need COOL conditions with consistent temps below, say, 45 opr 50 F, with tulips needing the coldest conditions, and hyacinths and daffs slightly less-cold for optimal rooting conditions. Zones are really a poor indicator of plant success other than establishing winter hardiness.

This message was edited Oct 27, 2007 2:08 PM

This message was edited Oct 27, 2007 2:09 PM

Adrian, MO(Zone 6a)

assuming they were in good condition when received (not dried out, moldy,mushy etc.),
and assuming seattle zone 8 has the optimum climate for bulbs, what do you suppose this company could have done to prevent these bulbs from flowering?

Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

Maybe they weren't in good condition - or maybe the person who bought the bulbs had drainage problems or some soil issue, maybe not enough sun....hard to say with the lack of details that were posted.

Adrian, MO(Zone 6a)

I think if the bulbs were received in bad shape this post would have been about receiving rotten bulbs from this company and not about they didn't flower. I really think it has something to do with being in seattle and not having the proper chilling requirements met.

West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

I thought that area was known for growing darn near anything. There's a big tulip festival not far from there:

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Although it may seem logical to post warnings about companies in forums, I think it's actually a better idea to put a comment in Garden Watchdog. That way, the complaint and the vendor's response (if any) happen in a controlled arena. I've seen one or two threads recently where the vendor (also a member) responded, and those threads had to be taken down by admin. Even if the responses didn't degenerate into a shouting match, the vendor really can't say much without violating the AUP with regard to self promotion.

Lee, if you've planted other bulbs that have done fine, then the problem was probably with the bulbs from this company. If they put up leaves but didn't bloom this spring, you might see blooms from them next year at least. If these were the only bulbs you've planted, then it might be a good idea to check to be sure of where the problem may have been before you shell out more $ for more bulbs this fall... tell us more about what the bulbs looked like when you got them and when/where/how deep you planted them...

Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

Yup! That's the big one, claypa. There are many others in the Northwest and on down into Oregon here. Examples are De Goede in Mossyrock WA, Puyallup Valley growers (known for their big daffodil festival every year, Green Gables and Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn OR. Most if not all also grow and sell the minor bulbs such as alliums, muscari, etc... So I don't think it is the zone.

However, from what I can tell, Van Zyderven is an importer of huge quantities of Dutch bulbs which are then usually sold through big box stores. So there is a third party involved in their care before the customer buys. That said, I just purchased some V. Z. tulips at a local discount store. I made sure they were 12+cm and looked fairly decent in the plastic bags (1 turned out to be somewhat rotten but I planted it anyway). I usually prefer buying from our local growers even though the bulbs cost a bit more. They are very fresh and not banged up and bruised.

Seattle, WA

Well, let's see. Last winter in Seattle, was bitterly chilly for us. Temps ranged from 17 F to 19F for at least two weeks.

The Bulbs were planted within days of being purchased and from what I remember, they were healthy, plump and firm. Planting depth was 3 times the size of the bulbs. There weren't even any leaves. Some were planted with 1/3 cup of plant food, others not, and that also made no difference, at least yet.

Bulbs from other companies, planted in the same area, same depth, were splendid performers, producing glorious blossoms.

This area is not known for growing just about anything. We (Seattle) are the original Shade Garden Lovers spot.

Thanks for all of the input. Much appreciated.

Jennifer G


Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

That definitely sounds like a problem with the source rather than any issues in your garden... unlikely that you'd have a squirrel selectively eating bulbs from just one company, LOL. I hope you put a comment in Watchdog... and I also hope you contacted the company. Many vendors will go out of their way to make things right after an experience like that... replacement bulbs or refunds don't make up for a spring season without the much-anticipated blooms, but it'd still be worth a try.

I'm glad you had other bulbs that did splendidly for you!

Mableton, GA(Zone 7a)

I'm from Meridian and new the Van Zyverden daughter, Jacqueline. It was a family business as of 2006. They had contracts with Wal-Mart, Sam's, Lowes and Fred's.
I don't know if they have been bought out or what the problem is. Jacqueline Van Zyverden Hogan is running the business now and she is the one I knew growing up. I'd only hung out with her a couple times, she went to a county school and I went to a city school so we rarely crossed paths. Anyway, I always remembered her because she was so unique looking. You could see her ansetry. Very neat looking blond girl. And so very nice to everyone it seemed. I'm sorry to hear that folks are having poor experiences with them. I didn't even know they sold retail.
If they do have a place to order, I'm going to give them a try, just because I liked her and it's from my home town.

I hope she keeps up with DG Watchdog. It is valuable info. that I would like if I were running a business.


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