Photo by Melody
Time to vote! Choose your favorite images in our annual Photo Contest HERE

The scoop on 'Swallowtail Garden Seeds'

  Company Profile  
Swallowtail Garden Seeds

Mailing Address:
122 Calistoga Road #178
Santa Rosa, California 95409 (United States)

Phone: 707-538-3585
Fax: 800-723-1771

» E-Mail them

Add to Bookmarks
» Visit their website
Recent reviews:
Past month Past 6 Months Past 12 Months
Positive 0 1 1
Neutral 0 0 0
Negative 0 0 0
This company offers a variety of seeds.

  Company Comment, posted on January 31, 2013:  
Our 2019 online catalog features over 1,400 items, with over 75 new varieties, including annual and perennial flowers, vines, herbs, and vegetables.

We offer both retail and wholesale product lines. The quality of the seed in both product lines is high and the prices competitive, so you are sure to find some extraordinary values.

We thank all of you that have supported us for years, and also those that will choose to give us a try for the first time in 2019. We are especially grateful to the people who have given their time to offer honest and heart-felt appraisals of our company\'s performance.

Swallowtail Garden Seeds hopes you have a terrific growing season in 2019. All the best from Don, Lynn, Mary, Ben, Claudia, Nicholas, Hana and the entire Swallowtail Garden Seeds team.

  Feedback History and Summary  
212 positives
13 neutrals
21 negatives


Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

Positive laurieeirual
Boston, MA (Zone 5b)
(12 reviews)
June 29, 2019
I am very impressed with this company! They have an interesting selection of seeds, and virtually all the seeds I ordered had extremely high germination rates! WTG!
Positive lilaclily
Lombard, IL (Zone 5a)
(34 reviews)
July 11, 2018
Posted on May 22, 2014, updated July 11, 2018
I\'ve ordered twice from Swallowtail, both large enough orders to get the free shipping special.

Shipping was fast and the seeds were packaged beautifully.

I had some poor germination on a few seed varieties from the first order, that they replaced as soon I emailed them to let them know. The germination on the replacements were much, much better and those seedlings are definitely thriving.

On the second order I placed, I had no trouble whatsoever with any of the seeds. They grew like gangbusters.

I would not hesitate to order from them again.
On July 11th, 2018, lilaclily added the following:

It's time I update my review of Swallowtail Garden Seeds!

I order from them every year- their selection can't be beat! I even follow them on Facebook and enjoy posting pictures of the beautiful plants that I've grown from their seeds.

I've only dealt with Mary and Ben, but their communications with me have always been courteous and helpful.

They stand behind their seeds, and will replace any with poor germination.

There are very few companies in the online/mail order world that I have 110% confidence in, and Swallowtail Garden Seeds is one of them!
Positive gigi1000
Saint Paul, MN
(1 review)
April 24, 2018
This is my second year ordering from Swallowtail Gardens. They carry a wide selection of seeds and provide clear instructions for starting seeds. They will also respond promptly and courteously to any additional questions. I order my seeds around mid-January and they arrive within a week. They do run out of popular annual seeds, I would recommend ordering late December or early January to make sure what you want is available. My first year growing seeds was something of a disaster due to my inexperience. The annuals/perennials seeds that did survive my negligence performed extremely well once planted. They even outperformed the annuals/perennials I purchased from a popular local nursery. This year I made several changes to my seed starting methods. Out of the this years 200+ seeds (several varieties of annuals) only 2 failed to sprout. Looking forward to another beautiful garden thanks to Swallowtail Gardens quality seeds.
Positive pfrutescens
Havertown, PA
(6 reviews)
April 14, 2018
Have been ordering for a couple of years from Swallowtail, both for ornamentals and edibles. Fast shipping, no complaints about germination, responsive customer service.
Positive wcsoccerfan
Winterville, GA
(1 review)
December 16, 2017
Very satisfied thus far. Ordered 3x varieties of snapdragons, 4x echinacea, russian sage, joe pye weed, and butterfly weed. Order was processed and shipped quickly. Sad that I only get 10-25 of many seeds...but... Started snapdragons, echinacea, and sage in promix with 12/12 light dark cycle around 65-70 degrees. Snapdragons near 100% germination. Echinacea around 60%, and sage around 75%. No stratefication required. Plus, its still early. Hopefully will get a few more in next week or so. Joe pye and butterfly weed might be harder, but we will see. Very happy thus far. Will order again without hesitation.
Positive planterino
(3 reviews)
December 7, 2017
As pensive as I can be, this company provides the best service yet. Easy to navigate website, quick shipping, generous quantities, simple but thorough instructions, relatively low prices and most importantly high germination rates for almost all seeds ordered so far. Hollyhocks, foxgloves, lupines, carnations, gaillardias, anemones, astilbes, delphiniums, hibiscus, lavender, asparagus fern, flax all showed great results.

Overall a company to stick by.
Positive mare55
Abbeville, LA
(3 reviews)
August 7, 2017
Swallowtail seed company is the best! I order lots of annual seeds from them and the germination rate is excellent! Also fast service! My favorite seed company out of five that I order from!
Positive MDepicci
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
(5 reviews)
August 5, 2017
This is my single favorite place to get seeds. I order dozens of varieties from them every year. Importantly, they have one of the best selections of perennial seeds I've seen anywhere. They also note the perennials that bloom the first year, which is nice. I always get them in a reasonable amount of time, seeds are always fresh. I do wish they had more detailed gemination instructions and more detailed information on days to maturity, etc.
Positive NativeGarden86
Saint Petersburg, FL
(1 review)
March 15, 2017
I ordered seeds in January 2017 and received them within 2 weeks. I was emailed a confirmation of my order within 24 hours and also a confirmation with shipping information when that became available. My order was filled correctly as well. I love Swallowtail Garden Seeds selection for specialty cut flowers and unique offerings all around. I have sown about half of my order now and everything has germinated. I will definitely be ordering again!
Positive bjf826
Huntsville, AL (Zone 7a)
(3 reviews)
November 8, 2016
I checked Garden Watchdog for ratings on this company prior to ordering and felt like it would be a positive experience. My order was for 12 packs of seeds placed on Nov. 1. I received a confirmation email that same day. My order shipped and I was emailed. The order arrived on Nov. 6, well packaged and filled correctly. Shipping charges were very low. This was an excellent experience and I will definitely be a return customer.
Neutral FoolishFiq
(1 review)
September 19, 2016
Posted on September 7, 2016, updated September 19, 2016
Posted on September 1, 2016, updated September 7, 2016
Posted on August 22, 2016, updated September 1, 2016
I have ordered some seeds and so far I have not received it. It has been 3 weeks after purchase and I understand that the region is from Canada. I also appreciate the good pricing on these seeds. However, I was planning on growing this for my cousin but I didn\\\\\\\'t expect the long delivery to distrupt my plan. I just check with other reviews and the customers received a few days later.

As far as I know, the seeds I ordered is not illegal in Singapore. Is it possible to track the items ordered?
On September 1st, 2016, FoolishFiq added the following:

The shipping this company use is extremely slow. One month after purchase and the package still hasn\\\'t arrive. This is outrageous and the timing is truly unreasonable. I think I rather stick with the usual company.
On September 7th, 2016, FoolishFiq added the following:

I feel incredibly stupid. Anyway, I hope the for the best when my package arrive.
On September 19th, 2016, FoolishFiq added the following:

I have already sent in an e-mail regarding the agreement, though I am not sure how to agree as this is my first time doing so. Thanks
Company representative comment on September 7, 2016:
On Aug 22, 2016 11:06 AM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

Thank you for letting us know that you have not yet received your seeds. We want to make sure you receive them as soon as possible.

Shipping time via USPS First Class International is usually 1 to 2 weeks for most international locations but can take as long as 3 weeks.

Tracking information is available for shipments but is limited for some international destinations.

We would like to check on your order and give you a complete update on its status.

Please contact us at:
[email protected] or 1-707-538-3585

We\\\'re available by phone Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, Pacific Time.

On Sep 4, 2016 8:06 AM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds added:

We\'re still hoping for an opportunity to speak with you by email or phone about this. We want to make sure you receive your seeds.

Please contact us at:
[email protected] or 1-707-538-3585

I believe I have found record of your order based on the zip code listed for you on Dave\'s Garden and the time when your order was placed. The order I located was not charged or shipped. We sent an email to the customer for this order and are waiting for a response prior to shipping the order.

We hope to hear from you soon.

On Sep 7, 2016 2:53 PM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds added:

We sent another email on September 1st are still waiting for a reply. Please call us 1-707-538-3585. We're available by phone Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, Pacific Time. It is possible that our emails have gone into your spam folder. We are sending emails from '[email protected]'.

We still need to speak with you prior to charging and shipping this order.

Positive rddjgarden
Bristol, FL
(14 reviews)
June 8, 2016
I ordered 3 packs of seeds, was notified when they were shipped, and received them a few days later. They were well-packed, and I await their germination. Great service!
Positive kawand33
Lansing, MI (Zone 5a)
(7 reviews)
May 5, 2016
I have ordered seeds from Swallowtail Garden Seeds both last year and this year and have been very satisfied with everything I received. They have quite an extensive selection of varieties to choose from. I would definitely recommend this company.
Negative Apple88
(2 reviews)
April 28, 2016
Posted on March 30, 2016, updated April 28, 2016
Seed quality is great but postage for international orders has been increasing rapidly over the years. What used to be $6.95 increased to $9.95 and the current ongoing rate on their website is $13.95 usd. $13.95 for postage alone is really crazy. Not sure if that\'s what is charged by the postal service in United States or that Swallowtail Seeds is becoming a company that charges exorbitant prices for postage. What I\'m sure is that they do not guarantee delivery of the seeds hence its unlikely that there\'s an insurance charge covered within the postage. After an order is placed, I will always receive an email requesting for acknowledgement that I will not hold them liable as the seeds are \"shipped at your own risk. Thus, we cannot be held responsible for any lost or confiscated merchandise. Prior to shipping your package, it is required that we receive confirmation from you agreeing to these terms.\"
On April 28th, 2016, Apple88 added the following:

Great! Now international shipping is back to $6.95 USD!
Company representative comment on March 31, 2016:
On Mar 31, 2016 8:52 AM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

We can understand the frustration Apple88 feels about the raising prices of international shipping costs. We ship via the US Postal Service International First Class. The current cost of postage to Singapore is $13.25 for a 3 ounce package. No insurance is available for this shipping class. To include shipping insurance, the package would need to be shipped via Priority Mail, which starts at $31.95.

Positive Schwager
Pueblo, CO
(8 reviews)
April 12, 2016
Impressive, quick shipping and well packaged. Most of my seeds germinated and are doing beautifully. I was disappointed in the vinca as only three of these germinated.
Positive dlaurence
Richmond, MO (Zone 5a)
(11 reviews)
January 28, 2016
Good company with pretty extensive selection of annual seeds.

Paid January 19; package delivered January 25.
Positive grannieannie2
United States
(3 reviews)
August 14, 2015
Have ordered two years from Swallowtail Seeds, and all orders have been fine, received swiftly, well packaged.
I had a question about correct growing conditions for Anchusa and rec'd a quick and complete email response from their office which was appreciated.
Positive saradus
Maple Park, IL
(20 reviews)
May 11, 2015
I placed a small order with Swallowtail for a couple types of ornamental grasses and coneflowers that I planted outside over the winter in winter sowing greenhouses. I've had excellent germination with the seeds that I purchased.
Positive Moonmist1
Danville, CA
(4 reviews)
May 9, 2015
Placed an order for 36 packets of seeds on May 6 @ 6pm. I had all that I ordered by 2pm May 8. True both company and customer are in CA, but still fast IMO. I have not used any seeds yet, so I can not speak as to germination rates. But I am happy with their shipping times and loved their selection of seeds.
Positive MommaCat88
Minneapolis, MN
(2 reviews)
April 24, 2015
I am always hoping they have what I'm looking for. I have ordered from them for several years. Always fast shipping and great prices. Excellent germination. Excellent packaging. I buy many pelleted seeds. They are always in plastic vials so they don't get crushed. I order early every year. The website is easy to navigate, and ordering is easy.
Positive esanita
Tyaskin, MD (Zone 7a)
(16 reviews)
April 20, 2015
I ordered 4 types of flower seeds. Have had almost 100% germination. Great seeds.
Positive Jgordo02
Blairstown, MO (Zone 6a)
(4 reviews)
March 26, 2015
I love Benary's Giant Zinnias but they are expensive. Swallowtail Garden Seed has them for a better price. I've had excellent germination for them and the others I ordered.
Positive Blackbelt_Lizzy
La Grange Park, IL
(29 reviews)
March 5, 2015
Ordered from Swallowtail in 2014 and again last month. Very large selection of seeds I had excellent germination rates last year with large healthy plants in my garden all summer. Wonderful customer service! Seeds arrived quickly after ordering. Looking forward to starting this years seeds. I will update as these seeds grow.
Positive BarbArnoldini
Tunkhannock, PA
(4 reviews)
March 3, 2015
Placed a fairly large order late in 2014 for 2015 seeds and have been happy with all but two items that germinated poorly. When I notified Swallowtail they quickly replied and new seeds are on the way. Who could ask for anything more? I especially appreciate the replacement of the expensive pelleted petunia seeds that germinated at 40%. I did not ask for replacement of these seeds but Swallowtail is sending replacements on their own because of the low germ. It was only Black Cherry tomatoes that I asked to be replaced. They went beyond what I asked for and have earned my continued loyalty. So happy for this outcome because they have a few items that I cannot find elsewhere, and they are as customer-friendly as any company I have ever dealt with, both on the phone and via email.
Positive LanfrancoLeo
Harrisburg, PA
(8 reviews)
February 9, 2015
Posted on November 13, 2013, updated February 9, 2015
I ordered 3 times last year from this company, in all the three cases I was very very happy. I had a bit of delay in one of my order...problem promptly solved once I called the company (it was during the busiest period...totally understandable).
I ordered Lisianthus, Morning glory (carnival), peony poppy, Stock , Pansy, Purple bell vine, and many many other items...all the germination rate was excellent (80-95 percent range in my case). The time of germination the same of the one indicated in the instruction. I just ordered some more items for 2014, I am a happy returning customer, and by the three separate experience of last year I have great expectation from this new batch of seeds!!
On February 9th, 2015, LanfrancoLeo added the following:

It is my thord gardening season with swallowtail Garden seeds, the germinability from this company is the BEST in my experience. I tried a lots of different plants, from herbs to difficult ornamental flower...NO ONE ever disappointed me 9of course by using the right germination setting).
Every year I try new variety since the very nice selection, and every year the company keep its promise of very high quality of seeds..
Definitively come back next growing season!!
Positive DonnaMack
Elgin, IL (Zone 5a)
(62 reviews)
January 11, 2015
Posted on February 17, 2014, updated January 11, 2015
I am shocked to find that I have never submitted any reviews, which would have noted my great satisfaction with this company over the years. I have placed half a dozen orders with this company, and the seed selection, germination rates and packaging are outstanding. I do refrigerate my seeds, but I think that it is superb when 8 year old seed has a 90% germination rate. I highly recommend them.
On January 11th, 2015, DonnaMack added the following:

My excellent germination rates continue both with old and new seed. Swallowtail has great selections - I recognized seed for a nepeta I have been ordering as a plant, expensively year after year. One of the great things about this company is that there are unusual and highly desirable seeds in the mix. And the prices for them are standard.
Positive cherrycea
(1 review)
October 21, 2014
I have a very good experience with Swallowtail in terms of their service.

I live in the Philippines and had my order sent at Virginia. It so happened someone was coming home from VA and gave the seeds to me.

The delivery was fast. I was expecting it to be around 3 to 5 working days. It arrived only 2 days after the order.

The seeds were neatly packed. I ordered 17 seeds comprising of Zinnias, Portulacas, Vinca and Marigold. So far, everything has been germinating well. The Marigold Alumia Vanilla Cream I ordered is now flowering. It did much better than the Crackerjack Marigold Seeds I bought locally. The Zinnias are also germinating well. But since it is the wet season, the Uproar Rose Zinnia's flower were not that spectacular. I will observe some more since the wet season will be over soon. But nevertheless, it always has a bud of flowers. As for the Portulacas, I will do more experimentation and see if the young plants will live more. I am germinating my vinca right now and I will wait for the results.

I like their customer service people especially Mary. She is very accommodating. I always ask for tips for germination and what plants are suitable in our climate (tropical, very humid). And she answers on-time. Lately, I have been communicating with Ben and he is very accommodating just like Mary.

Their website id very friendly. The products are presented well, the pictures are big enough and there are tips on how to germinate the seeds.

I will order again from them in the future.
Positive prairieAB
(1 review)
October 7, 2014
Fantastic selection, great price and fast service. Highly recommended!
Positive valal
Natick, MA
(7 reviews)
September 12, 2014
I ordered from Swallowtail Seeds for winter sowing this winter. I love their website which is easy to navigate, has great pix. Each page at the end of seed selectionfor that species has how to plant/grow which I think is a great reference for those who need this. They had a great selectionand it was hard for me to limit myself ;0)

The home page indicates "Order today, seeds will ship (date)" which ithought was great! True totheir word, seeds shipped next day and I had them in 2 days. Can't ask for faster/ more efficient than that!

Was very happy with my experience and will definitely order again!
Positive Gallivanting1
Edmonton, AB (Zone 3a)
(8 reviews)
August 5, 2014
I ordered a number of garden seeds and the germination rate was great! Looks like a bumper crop this year! The seeds arrived very quickly and they were easy to deal with.
Positive Gyraphe
Bang Kruai,
(1 review)
July 16, 2014
I purchased a number of flower seeds a few months ago from Swallowtail – pelargoniums (aka geraniums) and dianthus/carnations, among others – but because of a protracted outrageous heat wave (hot even for here near Bangkok, Thailand) I stored the seeds in the crisper section of the fridge until the onset of monsoon… but even that was a month late in arriving. Planted the seeds in starter pots 3 days ago (July 5, 2014) & was checking on the web earlier today about germination times, only to discover that you’re supposed to abrade the geranium seed hulls before planting them. I was about to write Swallowtail to see if the seeds were pre-scuffed; but when I went out to mist the starter pots, I discovered nearly all the geranium seeds had already germinated and were poking their starter leaves above the soil; plus, the carnation seeds are also already germinating! As you probably know, pelargoniums usually take 2-3 weeks to sprout, never in a mere 3 days – and the carnations weren’t due to begin showing for at least another 4 days. Needless to say, I’m overjoyed and very excited. There’s only one, tiny negative – but it isn’t Swallowtail’s fault; Thailand will not allow packages from them into the country, even though they allow seeds from other firms (I think it’s because of the swallowtail butterfly on their logo which is a dead ringer for a native butterfly which feeds on citrus tree leaves). I had the seeds mailed to a friend of mine, which arrived at his home very quickly, and he forwarded them to me; I was worried that the time lag & possible adverse weather might negatively affect the seeds, but I guess not. I’ll keep you posted as to how the plants turn out. I also purchased begonia seeds from Swallowtail & planted the hanging-planter varieties yesterday, but (needless to say) they haven’t sprouted as yet. I’ll fill you in on their progress as well.
Positive Cellsum
New York City, NY
(2 reviews)
June 30, 2014
I ordered an array of sunflower seeds. The service was superb- they seemed to arrive practically overnight, and my order was correct and perfectly packaged. They didn't all germinate as I expected, but given that this was the first time I planted such an array and in these particular areas, I suspect the issue was with my soil preparation and planting some in a less than ideal spot. It's early in the season, but we're beginning to see some very promising results. I just wanted to note how happy I was with the incredibly prompt delivery and service.
Positive dicentra63
West Valley City, UT (Zone 6b)
(2 reviews)
June 7, 2014
This year I ordered no fewer than 12 varieties of Impatiens seeds (including I. x hawkeri) and I've had the most wonderful success!

The germination rate was around 97% and the plants are healthy and productive.

The selection of Impatiens seeds was also superb. It was hard to choose!
Positive barelilly
(2 reviews)
June 4, 2014
I'm rating this positive because I just put in my order today but I found the website itself to be easy to use and understand with the information needed included in the description along with helpful hints and suggestions. Although I'm an experianced gardener including as much information as possible is extremely helpful to those who aren't. Plus everywhere else I looked was out of monarda seeds, i was thrilled to find this place. Wish me luck with the seeds!
Positive bryana
Albany, NY
(70 reviews)
May 17, 2014
I ordered several varieties of seed - the ones I started inside had good germination, some I planted directly outside - don't know about them yet.
Positive rnbee
Warwick, RI
(2 reviews)
April 25, 2014
I ordered about $45 worth of seeds from Swallowtail this week. My shipment was in the mail the next business day and I received a shipping confirmation via email. The padded envelope arrived two days later via USPS.

I am very satisfied. I will be ordering from Swallowtail again.

My only suggestion is to lower the free shipping minimum (it was only for orders over $40 when I ordered) and/or release promo codes for free shipping. While I am happy with my shopping experience, it's rare that I need that many seeds and I really don't want to pay $4.95 for shipping if I am only purchasing a packet or two. In that case I would shop around for the retailer with the best shipping deal, and will go out of my way to order from somebody with free shipping.
Positive agastachegrl
Eden Prairie, MN
(5 reviews)
April 24, 2014
I love Swallowtail Gardens!! Been ordering from them for about 3 years..petunia seeds, vine seeds & others. They always arrive quickly, packaged well & germinate when they are supposed to! Props to you, Swallowtail!! Sending a big thanks from MN!!
Positive exfed
Germantown, TN
(5 reviews)
April 7, 2014
Having ordered from this company for 4 years, their website is very helpful and user-friendly. Fast service, good range of seed products and fair prices. Excellent germinations. Always courteous and prompt customer service. A real winner all around.
Positive Shorty_CA
Manhattan Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
(3 reviews)
March 5, 2014
Last spring I placed an order for several packets of seeds, both annuals and perennials. In spite of a tracking number that stated the order was delivered it never arrived. I contacted Swallowtail and they reshipped the order. Again I did not receive it. I had been having problems with mail delivery such that I had filed a formal complaint with my local postmaster. Swallowtail shipped the order a third time and I received it finally. The re-shipments were at no additional charge.

As a newbie I planted these seeds and none of the, germinated. The customer service rep was extremely helpful in pointing me to resources to determine what my problems might have been.

Three weeks ago, I planted the remainder of the seeds I received during 2013 and I'm extremely pleased that they have all germinated and are well on the way to becoming thriving plants as long as I don't screw something up.

Swallowtail went the extra mile to help me out and I will continue to order from them.
Positive cofieck6
Wichita, KS
(2 reviews)
February 24, 2014
I like growing double Impatients and the 10" Lizianthus as well as other seeds. I get almost 100% germination when I ordered from this company, not so with other online catalogs. I placed my 2014 order and forgot to order one packet of seeds. I called and talked with Mary, (exceptional customer service), and asked if I could add to my order and received a prompt answer 'Yes". Well, I got my order quickly but the other packet of seeds were not included. I let Mary know and she apologized and stated that they would mail the other item with no additional shipping. I got the other item just a few days later. This is the type of company that I will continue to order from and will tell my friends about them. Thank you so much Swallotail seeds for the great seeds and and thank you Mary for such great customer service.

Read the rest of the comments

Add your own comment and rating to this company

Return to the Garden Watchdog homepage

Learn how to link to this page

Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Tour | Contact Us ]

Back to the top


Hope for America