I'm a big fan of Odyssey Bulbs. I've ordered from them twice now and been pleased both times. Their offerings are great for us collector's and their quality is fantastic. I received the email notification that the 2017 catalog was posted online couldn't place my order quickly enough. Some plants sell out very quickly. It does seem a bit early to be thinking about planting Fall bulbs, but the package showing up in September is like an unexpected present. Not to mention, that's the best time to plant many of the fall-blooming crocus and colchicum, a passion of mine. Then a few weeks later, they put on their display adding some much needed color to the fall garden. You will not be disappointed.
I have ordered from this company a number of times and have always been very happy with the experience. Here, I can get the 'hard to find' bulbs that I enjoy....you know, the ones that few other vendors carry due to the small profits. I have posted good reviews about this vendor in the past. Still, since the Garden Watchdog ratings tend to skew in favor of the larger companies, I just want to make certain I sound the praises once more for one of the smaller players. Odyssey Bulbs does an excellent job providing a service for those of us that enjoy the opportunity to grow plants we otherwise only read about. Furthermore, they obviously take pride in what they do, for the service is excellent from A to Z. For those that are initially intimidated by the pricing of individual bulbs, as was I the first time I purchased from them, there is a very liberal sliding volume discount as well as free shipping that kicks in very early. I only realized it after I reached the check out page. Anyway, it is a favorite place for me when I am planning my Spring garden. Enjoy!
wetdogfarm Eveleth, MN (Zone 3a) (8 reviews) February 17, 2014
Posted on February 17, 2014, updated February 17, 2014
I have ordered several times from Odyssey Bulbs. I have never been disappointed. I am always able to find something new and unusual for my zone 3 garden. Great email communication as well. I will keep coming back and I recommend this company.On February 17th, 2014, wetdogfarm added the following:
Just one more note...Although there are limited plants in the catalog for zone 3, I push it and order zone 4 plants and have been lucky with survival rates.
coriaceous ROSLINDALE, MA (18 reviews) February 1, 2014
A great company to deal with. Communication and customer service are excellent. They have a great list of rare bulbs, and they know how to store and ship the ones that can be tricky. Prices aren't cheap, but most of these plants are very rare and are offered at fair market value.
willisjw Frederick, MD (10 reviews) January 13, 2014
I've had great success with Odyssey Bulbs. The products are rare and unusual for the most part and the descriptions match the excellent products.
nevadagdn Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) (118 reviews) October 3, 2013
Posted on September 5, 2003, updated October 2, 2013
So far, so good. I love the selection and the climate information in the catalog. I succumbed to the many enticements in Odyssey Bulbs' catalog and placed a hefty order for this fall. The Colchicums (three) and a Fritillaria arrived last night, and all look like healthy, large bulbs. I received emails confirming my order and at the time of shipping in a timely fashion, and the bulbs arrived quickly after that notification.
I know the Colchicums will do just fine, but the Fritillaria is a new thing for me to try. If it fails, it is NOT the proprietor's fault. I'm having a Very Dull Gardening Year if I don't manage to kill off at least 25% of my "Hmmm...I wonder if I can get THIS to grow here" projects.On March 4th, 2004, nevadagdn added the following:
The Colchicums all grew and bloomed well, and at least one is peeking green sprouts this spring. If the Fritillaria didn't make it, then that's because I forgot where I planted it, then sliced a chunk of it off with my trowel intending to plant something and realized I'd done so only when there was this Very Bad Smell emanating from the ground.
Bad (?) news this year: Okay, bad news for my checkbook: Online ordering will be added as a feature this year. Uh-oh....On March 22nd, 2004, nevadagdn added the following:
Spring update: Everything I planted is thriving. Absolutely gorgeous varieties.On August 12th, 2004, nevadagdn added the following:
I ordered more this year. Customer service is, as always, excellent.On September 2nd, 2004, nevadagdn added the following:
The Colchicums and Crocus sativus arrived today. I've never seen a Colchicum bulb as large as one of the ones I received, nor have I ever seen saffron crocus bulbs as large as these. I received emails when I placed my order, and again when my order shipped. I like that.On October 13th, 2004, nevadagdn added the following:
The rest of the order arrived this past week. More good, healthy bulbs. The Colchicums all bloomed, and were splendid.On March 14th, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:
Frits which didn't bloom the first year after planting are full of buds as of this writing--and they have become small clumps rather than single stalks. Lesson learned: Maybe fritillarias take a couple years to establish. I wouldn't be surprised, considering how long I waited for other perennials to bloom.On October 7th, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:
Same as all previous orders: good personal service, good quality bulbs, wonderful selection. The Fritillarias with buds this spring DID go on to bloom splendidly.On October 18th, 2007, nevadagdn added the following:
More nice bulbs, tremendous selection, excellent communication and service, decent prices--if only EVERY mail-order plant vendor was so easy to deal with! I just finished planting my bulbs--can't wait for Spring.On October 3rd, 2013, nevadagdn added the following:
I'm back among the gardening, and I just got my fall order. Everything is just as good as it used to be.
I am extremely pleased with the Erythronium Dens-canis corms I received from Odyssey. They were large, fresh, and plump. Two other companies sent me dried up (dead) corms from Holland. For Erythronium, Odyssey is the only dependable source I have found. I have been pleased with previous orders from Odyssey, and wouldn't hesitate to order from them again.
Ispahan Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) (55 reviews) October 4, 2012
Wonderful company and bar none my favorite supplier of geophytes. Prices may seem a bit high at first glance, but considering the incredible rarity of most items, the volume discounts and the free shipping, prices work out to be amazingly reasonable.
The selection offered by this company cannot be beat. The online catalogue is a delightful and enticing read. The quality of the products is superb. The owner, Russell, is incredibly helpful, patient and knowledgeable, and provides exceptional customer service. Need I say more?
If you are looking to buy common Dutch-grown bulbs, then look elsewhere. But if you are looking for rare alliums, unusual fall-blooming crocuses, ornithogalums, corydalis, etc., then Odyssey Bulbs may be the bulb supplier of dreams.
dave12122 East Haddam, CT (79 reviews) October 23, 2010
I discovered this website in early October. Unfortunately, there was a note stating orders could not be accepted after September 15th. I took a long shot and wrote to Russell anyway. To my great surprise, he answered immediately, requesting a list of the bulbs I was interested in. From the approximately $270.00 worth of species, Russell was able to supply about $145.00, including a 10% discount. Not bad considering I was a month late! The bulbs appear healthy and I hope they grow lustily in the Spring. No gift or extra bulbs were sent, but free shipping is offered on orders over $30.00, and a 5-15 % discount is available for larger orders, which is similar to the quantity discounts offered by other bulb houses. It is hard to comment on the prices one way or another. Some species and forms offered here are available nowhere else, or are the real clones, not the riff-raff commonly available. One Allium or Corydalis for $15.00 may appear high priced, but when you consider the rarity and high quality, I do believe you get what you pay for. Now, next year, I want to order before September 15th so I can get Iris histroides and all those delicious Corydalis solida forms...!!
dmac085 Greensboro, NC (Zone 7a) (42 reviews) September 29, 2010
This is my first order with this company and although I don't grow many hard to find plants, I know where to look for them and get good service when I do.
Ordered 3 Iris Dardanus which had sort of been my Holy Grail iris for about 12 years now. My order was noted and I was given a nice email note when the package was to ship (time I actually specified). The rhizomes are in great shape and I'm looking forward to seeing them bloom in 2011. I'm not expecting any issues that aren't to do with Mother Nature.
Will definitely be browsing their site over the winter for any future must haves.
I have placed about 5 orders from Odyssey Bulbs and have always received top notch bulbs and excellent service. Russell offers what many other companies neglect (perhaps they believe we aren't interested??). These bulbs are not hard to grow, just hard to find.
Russell has responded promptly to my emails and is clearly knowledgeable and enamoured of what he sells. Do not hesitate to order from his site. Five star rating from me !!!!!
jmorth Divernon, IL (Zone 5b) (14 reviews) October 17, 2007
Nice selection of Lachenalia. The bulbs received appear robust. Odyssey does carry some real exotics.
dbarron Hindsville, AR (Zone 6b) (13 reviews) October 15, 2007
I've ordered from Russell for several years now and always been very happy with the service, communication, and quality of the plants. I was very impressed by the condition my most recent order, which contained sensitive plants like aconitum and hepatica, which if allowed to dry out would likely be non-viable, and the same if too wet also. All were clearly in very good shape and starting to send out the very first bit of fall new root growth (very vigorously).
ladyisle Bohemia, NY (Zone 7a) (34 reviews) October 1, 2007
I ordered the "Corydalis Corps-Eastern Edition" from Odyssey. Russell provided excellent communication and my order arrived when promised even though I ordered seven months in advance! The bulbs were plump and healthy looking with roots. I planted them right away and can't wait to see what comes up next Spring. Would definitely order again.
Hoojmeer Pittsburgh, PA (1 review) January 6, 2007
I saw an article in a horticulture magazine showing several corydalis that I had never seen before. The article referred prospective buyers to Odyssey Bulbs, among others in Europe. I accessed the website, fell in love and ordered a few. I expected my package to arrive in spring. Two days later I was the happy owner of my bulbs. Turnaround time was exceptional. With the exception of raccoons digging up the bulbs twice - just to sniff, I guess - my experience with Odyssey is unbelieveably good! Keep on keeping on.
I placed an order last summer for some winter blooming bulbs. They have the best selection on hard to find items and the best prices. Shipping was alittle late, but I recieved a call from them notifying me and explaining why, which I greatly appreciated. All of the bulbs did wonderfully and even bloomed for me this winter.
I placed 2 orders with Odyssey this year. I was impressed with his inventory, lots of unusual, hard to find bulbs, esp. S. African stuff. I was quite pleased when my order arrived in a timely fashion, and the quality was excellent. I will be ordering again next year.
I bought some crinum bulbs here last year and was very pleased. Big nice bulbs. Excellent packaging and free shipping, too! The pricing was very fair. I will be a repeat customer! I had a nice phone conversation with the owner & he put me in touch with a local crinum grower. Nice people to deal with. A+A+A+
Kmrsy Fort Wayne, IN (Zone 5a) (8 reviews) May 15, 2002
I've ordered frequently from Odyssey since its inception. Mr. Stafford makes every effort to accomodate your needs, including multiple shipments for different bulbs in a single order so that you will receive them at precisely the right time. He carries the largest collections of Colchicum and Crocosmia I have ever seen. He carries items rarely available, like the Chilean Blue Crocus, Tecophilaea cyanocrocus. Prices are very reasonable and quality is exceptional. He includes dual planting instructions for every bulb; both in ground and container. And he is happy to answer questions via phone or email. Get his catalogue!
pokerino Little Rock, AR (4 reviews) February 21, 2002
I've placed at least three orders with Odyssey and have been pleased with all the merchandise. They are friendly and have the largest selection of unusual hardy bulbs I've been able to find in the U.S. Their species Crocus and Colchicum selections from the fall catalog are especially wonderful.