Reliable seed germination, prompt customer service and efficient shipping all go into making my top 10 list of seed and bulb suppliers. There are some on the list that are only available for larger growers. Because so many of my friends and customers love to grow beautiful flowers, I'm including retail suppliers who I trust to provide healthy, disease free bulbs and seed.
These 10 seed and bulb suppliers listed below are my favorite businesses. They are by no means the only ones. Do your research and decide what you will be growing. What are your goals for each flower (more on flower goals in another blog article).
1. Johnny’s Seed
For home growers and flower farmers just starting out Johnny’s has curated collections that make it easy to grow cut flowers from seed. Be sure to access their growing guides for specific varieties to ensure success.
#2. Harris Seed is exactly what their name implies. Look for cover crop seed in large quantities - read more about cover crops for East Texas and southern growers HERE.
They also offer similar flowers and vegetables as Johnny’s. If you’re having trouble locating a particularly popular seed don’t forget to search Harris’ site.
#3. Swallowtail Gardens
One of my favorite seed sources for unusual and hard to find flowers. I found Mignonette and ‘Panache’ sunflower here when no other source on the internet offered these particular blooms.
#4. Redemption Seed
2023 will be my first year growing with seed from Redemption Seed. Their customer service, prompt shipping and beautiful packaging are noteworthy however the real test is the seed. I am growing 3 Benary varieties: mix, coral and salmon. Stay tuned for a final review after the growing season.
#5. Farmer Bailey
You will need to set up an account. Be sure to read their order minimum and shipping details before you place an order. This is for flower farmers and requires multiple trays of individual flower plugs. Usually more than most home gardeners want of a single plant. Typically their plugs are in 72-210 trays.
Harris offers plugs from a variety of suppliers. They, like Farmer Bailey, are the ‘coordinator’ between the plug supplier and the farmer or end buyer. It can be a little confusing the first time you access Harris Seed’s Plug website. Download the catalogs, make notes of what each plug supplier offers. Once you have all your selections be sure to double check their individual minimums and shipping details. Call and place your order directly with a Harris plug representative especially if it’s your first time to order. They are extremely helpful and make sure there are no errors in your order such as number of trays, shipping dates etc.
I have been growing bulbs purchased through Onings from the very beginning of my flower farm. They are extremely helpful and usually answer emails within 24 hours. Make a note you MUST email your order. Faxing will not go through - yes I know they have a fax number on their order forms but trust me. I have made that mistake! The number one thing to know about Onings: They will sell out of the most prized tulips by mid-March. If you’re set on growing ‘Avignon’ or ‘Belle Epoque’ get your order in by mid February or have a second choice on your list. They have order minimums and you must have a tax ID to set up an account with them. They also carry the Italian Ranunculus which is a must grow flower for spring wedding work: Cloni Elegance, Cloni Pon-Pon and Cloni Success. Again, get your order in EARLY. Shipping begins in the fall however, if you wait until summer to place an order you will be disappointed in what is available.
#8. Longfield Gardens
I have ordered bulbs from Longfield for years before I became a flower farmer. They offer top quality products in a more manageable amount for the home flower grower. I highly recommend Longfield for individuals looking to enjoy spring tulips and ranunculus in their home gardens. They have a large selection of dahlias as well.
#9. Color Blends
Color Blends offers smaller quantities for the home grower or flower farm that does not want to order 100’s or thousands of a single variety. I have not personally ordered from Color Blends however farmer friends of mine assure me their quality is excellent. Place your order early, the most popular varieties will always be in limited supply.
#10. Eden Brothers
A trusted source for the home grower or smaller farm. Eden Brother’s is a great source for unusual seed and bulbs, corms etc. They are a little pricey in my opinion. However if you find the exact tulip or daffodil you want then the price difference is made up for in the pleasure of enjoying your flowers.