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December 19th 2020

Floret’s Favorite Specialty Seed Sources

Written by
Floret

Since we first started selling specialty cut flower seeds in 2016, we have had the privilege of helping flower lovers all over the world grow the gardens of their dreams. Over the years, we’ve sent thousands of envelopes full of seeds bearing our signature YAY! stickers to Slovenia, South Africa, and so many far-flung locations across the globe that lacked a local source for specialty seeds. 

But in the last few years, many great new specialty seed companies have been started, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share them with you.

Every January we have our annual seed sale, but we often sell out quickly. Also, because of new export restrictions beyond our control, we can only send seeds to the U.S., Canada, and Australia, so if you need more help finding the seeds you need, these sources are a great place to look for specialty varieties. 

Listed below you’ll find my favorite sources for seed here in the U.S., along with numerous suggestions for sources around the world.

DOMESTIC SOURCES

United States

Ardelia Farm & Co.
Based in Vermont, Ardelia offers more than 60 varieties of the highest quality sweet pea seed, much of which they grow themselves. You can discover some really rare, special treats, and be sure to check out owner Bailey Hale’s helpful step-by-step guide to growing sweet peas.

Baker Creek
This Missouri-based seed company offers one of the largest selections of heirloom seeds (over 1,200 varieties of vegetables, flowers, and herbs) in the country. Owners Jere and Emily Gettle are incredibly dedicated to seed preservation and education. Their catalog is the best on the market, and they mail them to over a million people annually—this year’s is their best one to date.

Botanical Interests
This long-standing Colorado seed company offers a great selection of both heirloom and newer varieties in the most beautifully designed packets. In addition to beautiful botanical illustrations by a wide range of artists, packets include garden history, landscape ideas, recipes, and fun facts. The company offers an inspiring range of wildflower mixes, as well.

Chiltern Seeds
This U.K.-based company has been offering rare specialty varieties since 1975. They have a great selection of flower, vegetable, and herb seeds, along with grasses and wildflowers. They are my go-to source for hard-to-find cut flower varieties that you can’t get anywhere else, and their customer service is great. Even though they are based in the U.K., Chiltern ships to gardeners in the U.S.

Grand Prismatic
Located in Utah, this company focuses on open-pollinated seeds that are grown using organic practices. They have a great range of plants for natural dyeing and a variety of unusual offerings, including native desert plants and medicinal herbs.

Jelitto
Based in Germany, Jelitto offers an incredible range of perennial and biennial seeds, including a huge number of long-stemmed columbines. If you are a beginning gardener, their website and catalog might be intimidating because all of the plants are listed with their Latin names. They have amazing seed-starting instructions, including all of the special tricks needed for starting perennials. 

Johnny’s Selected Seeds
I can’t say enough good things about this company! Johnny’s has been serving market gardeners since the early 1970s. They offer an insane range of vegetable, herb, and cut flower seed, along with tools and supplies—hoophouse benders, bouquet sleeves, seed-starting supplies, and high-quality hand tools. 

Chris and I had the pleasure of visiting their trial farm and shipping warehouse a few years back, and we were blown away by the level of quality and care that goes into everything that they do. Cut flower seed manager Hillary Alger (pictured above) has done a fantastic job expanding their range of flower seeds and supplies over the last few years, and I’m excited to see what she has in store for the future.

Renee’s Garden
For as long as I can remember, our local garden centers and nurseries have carried Renee’s beautiful seed packets. I love her custom flower and vegetable mixes because they allow you to try a wide range of varieties without having to order a bunch of individual packets—they are the perfect solution for backyard gardens. In addition, her wildflower scatter gardens make the perfect gift.

Swallowtail Garden Seeds
Swallowtail’s calling card is their wide range of varieties, especially when it comes to flower seeds. This is a great place to go for unusual novelties, and they have exciting new introductions every year.

Territorial Seed Co.
This Oregon-based company offers a good selection of garden flowers and herbs, and they trial all the seeds they offer at their farm. They have a new section on their website called Garden Planner that has loads of helpful information on insect pests, beneficial insects, and plant diseases, along with garden plans and videos.

Uprising Seeds
This family-run organic seed farm in Washington State has led the way with organic flower seed production and offers a beautiful range of both common and unique varieties for cutting. They also have a great selection of vegetables, grains, and herbs. I look forward to their annual catalog—each variety description tells a story!

Wild Garden Seed
Owners Frank and Karen Morton have been our seed-growing mentors, generously sharing their hard-won knowledge over the years. They custom grow many of the flower and foliage varieties that we offer in the Floret shop! Frank is probably the most famous lettuce seed breeder in the world, and his catalog boasts more than 140 varieties!

INTERNATIONAL SOURCES

For international readers looking for specialty seeds, we’ve compiled a list of sources that have been recommended to us over the years. But please note that, while I have ordered from the U.S. suppliers listed above, I do not have any firsthand experience ordering from these companies, so I cannot vouch for their quality or service.

U.K.

Chiltern Seeds
This U.K.-based company has been offering rare specialty varieties since 1975. They have a great selection of flower, vegetable, and herb seeds, along with grasses and wildflowers. They are my go-to source for hard-to-find cut flower varieties that you can’t get anywhere else, and their customer service is great.

Grace Alexander Flowers
Grace won a scholarship to attend one of our in-person workshops in 2017 and has since gone on to start her own seed company. If you want to be seriously inspired with a big ol’ dose of beauty, be sure to check out her website, where she offers a small range of sweet pea seed plus seeds for natural dye plants.

Green & Gorgeous
We had the incredible pleasure of getting to visit Green & Gorgeous on our epic trip through England in 2019. Rachel Siegfried is a gifted farmer-florist and recently released a line of specialty seed that she has grown and harvested on her flower farm. Each variety is chosen for its “growability,” floral design attributes, and specific color and form. Rachel’s photos are heartbreakingly beautiful, and her perennial selection is incredibly inspiring. I can’t wait to see where she takes her seed line in the future, and I only wish I could get my hands on these treasured varieties.

Milli Proust flowers
I have been following Milli for years on Instagram and was so excited when she decided to offer her own line of seeds. Her current collection includes nearly 50 varieties that are easy to grow and great for design work. Each seed packet has a colorful, painted illustration of the variety plus a simple sowing guide. Her shop opens again on February 5th, just in time for Valentine’s Day. 

Roger Parsons Sweet Peas
I have been pen pals with Roger Parsons—and a loyal customer—for many years, and he has taught me a great deal about growing sweet peas for seed. I had the chance to visit his farm in Sussex on our trip to England, and it was one of the highlights of the trip. In addition to being a world-renowned sweet pea expert and author (Sweet Peas: An Essential Guide), he has also won numerous awards. He is the custodian of the National Collection of sweet peas and offers a staggering number of varieties through his mail-order seed company. If you love sweet peas, you will lose your mind over his website and catalog.

Sarah Raven
Internationally renowned gardener, author, and BBC television host Sarah Raven has long led the way when it comes to cut flowers. Her books The Cutting Garden and Grow Your Own Cut Flowers gave me my start in flower growing and arranging with seasonal flowers. So many people have her to thank for sparking the seasonal flower movement. Sarah conducts extensive flower and vegetable trials at her famous Perch Hill farm and school, which we had the chance to visit in 2019, and it was even more magical than I expected. Her website and catalogs are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, and you can easily get lost for hours in the pages.

Snapdragon Life
Jane Lindsey was one of the very first people I discovered who shared about growing cut flowers on a small scale. I have been reading her blog for over a decade now and have been so inspired by the way her business has grown and evolved over the years. Her seasonally focused shop specializes in seeds that grow well in Scotland and the rest of the U.K., offering 40 varieties of cut flower seeds. 

Higgledy Garden
From his cutting garden in Cornwall, Benjamin Ranyard sells seeds from flowers chosen for their color, form, texture, vase life, height, and strong stems. He also writes a blog to help new growers.

Kings Seeds
Based in Essex, Kings offers a large range of seed selected with commercial growers in mind. Bedding plants and cut flower varieties are listed together, so be careful when making selections.

Moles Seeds
Moles, also in Essex, has a huge range of flower seed, categorized by annuals, perennials, and biennials. It’s helpful to have a look at their cultural guide, “Cut flowers from seed.”

Mr. Fothergill’s
This well-known, second-generation company based in Suffolk caters to home gardeners and sells seed to more than 30 countries. They have a great selection of flower seeds and detailed growing information on their website. Check the end of the list for RHS flower seeds, including pollinator and bird mixes.

Nicky’s Nursery
This family-owned business in Kent sells to both home gardeners and commercial growers, and offers vegetable, herb, grass, and flower seeds. The bedding plants and cut flowers are listed together, so check your varieties carefully. They also offer wildflower seed.

Plants of Distinction
This company in Suffolk, at one time the largest supplier of the Himalayan blue poppy, still works with specialist collectors. It’s a family-run business with a ton of great cut flower varieties growers are looking for.

Swan Cottage Flowers
Zoe Woodward in Stoke Hammond, Buckinghamshire, grows flowers for her wedding design business. Her social media and Pinterest accounts are super-helpful, especially if you want to grow for weddings. Sign up for her VIP email list for her seed sales.

Suttons
Founded in 1806 and based in Devon, this internationally known company offers a wide range of garden seed, along with tools and supplies.

Thompson & Morgan
Founded in 1855, this well-known company based in Suffolk offers a wide range of garden products, including a good selection of annual and perennial flowers, plus wildflower seed mixes. The website includes a lot of great growing tips.

Unwins
Founded in 1903 and based in Cambridgeshire, Unwins originally specialized in flower seed and later expanded to include vegetable seed and other products. They continue to develop sweet pea varieties, and their site lists more than 90 sweet peas along with other flowers, with helpful categorization and search filters.

Woolmans
This long-standing company, founded in 1881 and based in Suffolk, is the place for chrysanthemum cuttings. Mums are their specialty, and they offer young plants in more than 150 varieties; be sure to choose cut flower types.

Europe

B & T World Seeds
This family-run flower seed company in France has a huge, searchable variety index on their website. Go first to list 44, “Cut flowers Commercial and other Recommended Varieties” and take time to check out their Botanical Glossary.

Graines Voltz 
This French company supplies plugs (small rooted plants) to the trade. You can browse the website in French, German, Spanish, or Italian, and search for specific varieties or scroll through the varieties listed by genus.

Jelitto
Based in Germany, Jelitto offers an incredible range of perennial and biennial seeds, including a huge number of long-stemmed columbines. If you are a beginning gardener, their website and catalog might be intimidating because all of the plants are listed with their Latin names. They have amazing seed-starting instructions including all of the special tricks needed for starting perennials.

Muller Seeds
This Dutch company lists more than 600 varieties of cut flower seed on its website. Perennials, sunflowers, sweet peas, ornamental grasses, and flowers good for drying are all listed in separate categories.

Bingenheimer Saatgut
This German company offers only open-pollinated vegetable, flower, and herb varieties of organic seeds and plants, working with a network of organic and biodynamic seed producers. Charts on the website show sowing, planting, and blooming times for each variety.

Seedaholic
This seed company in Galway, Ireland, offers almost 2,500 varieties, and you can search flower varieties using many categories, including foliage and fillers, dried flowers, natural dyes, sowing month, and more. While you’re looking for flowers, check out the “Ancient Crops” list under the Edibles tab.

Silene
This small Belgian nursery outside Brussels specializes in annuals and biennials. The owners love old-fashioned flowers, appreciate pollinators, and grow more than 500 varieties.

Vreeken’s Seeds
Founded in 1926, this third-generation Dutch company works with both home gardeners and commercial growers. They offer more than 1,700 annual and perennial flower seeds, along with many different seed mixes, including one for dried flowers.

Canada

Johnny’s Selected Seed
Hands down the best garden company in the U.S., and they ship to Canada. They cater primarily to market gardeners, but their selection and online technical growing information can’t be beat. Johnny’s offers an insane range of vegetable, herb, and cut flower seed, along with tools and supplies—hoophouse benders, bouquet sleeves, seed-starting supplies, and high-quality hand tools. They have everything you need, and the quality is great.

Renee’s Garden Seed
Based in the U.S., Renee’s ships throughout Canada. The longtime standard at locally operated garden centers, Renee’s really caters to backyard gardeners. I love her custom flower and vegetable mixes because you can try a lot of varieties without having to order a bunch of different packets. Her wildflower scatter gardens are a great invention.

Stokes Seeds
A familiar name for generations of U.S. and Canadian gardeners, Stokes carries a long list of annual and perennial flower seeds. Seed for bedding plants and taller cut flowers are grouped together, so be sure to check and make sure you’re ordering varieties with the height you want.

West Coast Seeds
This fourth-generation family-owned company in British Columbia promotes organic growing and sustainable agriculture. They have a nice selection of untreated, non-GMO seeds for flowers, herbs, and grasses that can be used as cut materials.

William Dam Seeds
This Ontario-based, family-run company was founded by Dutch immigrants William and Rene Dam in 1959. They offer a long list of cut flower and herb seeds, including many fantastic, hard-to-find specialties.

Veseys Seeds
Family-owned for 80 years, this company on Prince Edward Island is geared toward home gardeners. They offer flower and herb seed, great wildflower seed mixes, seed-starting supplies, and backyard-scale season extension equipment.

Australia

Australian Seed
Based in Western Australia, this company specializes in Australian native seeds. They carry a wide selection of flowers, as well as vegetables and seeds for medicinal plants.

The Climbing Fig
The Climbing Fig, based in New South Wales, offers a great selection of cut flower seed, including many specialties, and you can browse seeds by color, season, and region. They also offer a wide range of propagation supplies, and the website is very easy to use.

Diggers
The Diggers Club, Australia’s largest gardening club, has a huge range of garden and cut flower seed varieties. There’s a ton of helpful growing information on the website, including some of the videos from their excellent YouTube channel.

Jardin le Fleur
A passionate seed collector, photographer Lisa Perhat launched her own line of specialty open-pollinated, non-GMO flower and herb seeds, now based in Victoria. Her gorgeous website has breathtaking photos and an inspiring blog.

Lambley Nursery
Owner David Glenn is known internationally for his emphasis on sustainable gardening, and the company’s garden complex in Central Victoria, which feeds four generations of the family, draws visitors from around the world. Lambley offers a great selection of cut flower seed.

Royston Petrie
This second-generation, family-owned wholesale supplier in New South Wales sells to both commercial growers and home gardeners. They offer more than 800 varieties of flowering plants, and their website shows the availability status on each one.

The Seed Collection
This Victoria-based company offers chemical-free heirloom, open-pollinated, non-hybrid and non-GMO seeds, including a good selection of cut flower seeds, as well as seed collections.

Southern Harvest
This company in Tasmania carries a nice selection of cottage garden flower seeds, plus a long list of herbs, and some natives that are really useful as cut flowers. A great site for cut flower growers.

New Zealand

Egmont Seeds
This family-owned company in New Plymouth caters to home gardeners and emphasizes customer service. They offer more than 500 types of flower seeds, as well as seeds for herbs and New Zealand native plants.

Emerden
After years of planning, Tikorangi farmer-florist Sarah Hawkless has just begun offering flower seed. Subscribe to her newsletter for information updates. (And check out her gorgeous dried flower bouquets.)

Garden Post
This family-owned company in Tauranga offers 33 types of sweet pea seeds, as well as more than 100 varieties of flower seed, with cutting and garden types listed together.

Dr Keith Hammett
Keith Hammett is a world-renowned breeder in Auckland best known for his contributions to sweet peas, dahlias, and clivia and sells seeds for these flowers and amaryllis on his website. His sweet pea varieties are amazing!

Kings Seeds
This company based in Katikati has a huge list and range of seeds—everything from flowers to animal grazing mixes. The website offers helpful search filters: hardiness, light needs, type of use, color, height, and sowing time.

Nourish Gardens
Christy Ralphs operates this diversified farm on Waiheke Island, with specialty cut flower production, a small-scale food forest, medicinal gardens, and more. She documents her work through writing and photos, and offers a beautiful curated collection of seeds.

Owairaka Seeds
This small company in Auckland specializes in rare and hard-to-find perennial seeds, and they also offer some annuals and biennials.

South Africa

Ball Straathof
This third-generation company in Gauteng partners with Ball Horticultural in the U.S. They offer a good selection of cut flower seeds and plugs (small rooted plants) to commercial growers.

Seeds for Africa
Located in Capetown, this company, founded in 2011, has a catalog of more than 2,600 seeds, including indigenous African varieties. They sell on eBay and offer many favorite cut flower varieties.

India

Seedlings India
This small seed production company in New Delhi collaborates with NGOs on planting projects. They have a small but solid number of cut flower seed varieties, which are grouped with bedding plant seeds.

If you have a favorite source for specialty seeds not listed here, please tell us about it in the comments below.

Please note: If your comment doesn’t show up right away, sit tight; we have a spam filter that requires we approve comments before they are published.

18 Comments

  1. Barbara Greene on

    Erin, you always surprise me with all your generosity. It is amazing. Thank you very much!
    Barbara Greene

    Reply
  2. Jeannie Phillips on

    Hi Erin and team!

    So disappointed with seed suppliers in South Africa (even those you described above; Seeds for Africa and Ball Straathof)
    They have a limited supply of flower seeds. Dahlia is ridiculously hard to get hold of (which I still haven’t been able to do).

    When I scroll through your beautiful seed/tuber lists, I cant’t help but feel jealous! Really hope this might change in the future.

    Kind regards

    Jeannie Phillips

    Reply
  3. Johanna on

    As a member of the EU (Germany), i feel like we´re in a tough spot right now!
    We can´t order from seed companies in the US or the UK (thanks to Brexit and the unclear situation right now); Muller Seeds only offers large quantaties for proffessional growers (not hobbygardeners); B&T World seeds is similar (for most plants the minimal order is set at 7-8€); Jelitto has few typical garden cut flowers and focuses on perennials. I love Bingenheimer Saatgut for my vegetables, but the selection of cut flowers is very limited and often there are mixtures (no seperate colours) for a lot of flowers. Seedaholic has problems with the huge demand right now (not surprising..).
    Nevertheless your overview was helpful, thank you a lot!

    Reply
  4. Karen Kaminsky on

    Don’t forget JL Hudson, Seedsman – Many years ago, I just started reading it as an end to itself!

    Reply
  5. Linda on

    Select Seeds in Connecticut has an amazing selection of open-pollinated and heirloom flowers. It’s one of my top favorites.

    Reply
  6. Olivia on

    Eden Brothers: USA
    They have great prices on bulk seeds.

    Reply
  7. Sue D. on

    It looks like Stokes is only doing large commercial size quantities and no flowers, a heads up!

    Reply
  8. Michelle on

    The best Canadian seed source I have come across is Edgebrook Farms. They have an amazing variety!

    Reply
  9. Christina Campbell on

    So yet another good reason for us Brits to be out of the EU! So sad as I have a list waiting here to order…..but I do understand that its not financially viable for you. We will officially leave EU on 31 January 2020…so will you accept orders for seed to UK later in the year?

    Reply
  10. Christine Demir on

    Hello Erin and team, what a fantastic resource.
    I live in Australia and have purchased your seeds previously as unable to find good sources in Australia. I have been and continue to be member of Diggers and Lambley for many years, though the newer seed providers I have not heard of. A very pleasant surprise.
    Thank you so much, for influencing so many to live their dream, embrace gardening and grow flowers. Your resources are amazing and you all touch so many lives to enrich them and bring a smile to many faces each day. So thank you!

    Reply
  11. Alejandra Acosta on

    Hola soy sudamericana, de Argentina. Pueden enviar semillas para esta región?

    Reply
    • Team Floret on

      Hola Alejandra,
      Podemos enviar libros y algunos otros productos del Floret Shop pero es dificil enviar semillas a otros regiones, incluso Argentina. Vamos a averiguar si es possible en el futuro, pero en este momento lamentablamente no podemos.

  12. Erin Hanson on

    In just checking their website, it seems Thompson & Morgan has delivered the same fate of unavailability to Canada as it has to the US.

    Reply
  13. Ana on

    Oh! Thank you for the great list. I kept looking for a place to buy zinnia seeds, from EU. Just placed an order from chiltern seeds!

    Reply

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