Buying seeds from China?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by RJSchaefer, May 29, 2013.

  1. RJSchaefer

    RJSchaefer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2013
    Rockford, IL
    My boyfriend has turned me on to direct from China websites (where he orders his flashlight batteries). I was browsing through one, just to see what weird items I'd run across today, and found seeds. Lots and lots and lots of seeds, for pretty dern cheap.

    Right now I'm looking at apple tree seeds.

    I've seen these patio apple trees before (I think it was Miller Nurseries used to sell "Single Study Stem" trees), but don't like the price tag. It just seems odd to buy seeds from China - could the seeds harbor some kind of bacteria that isn't native here?
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I was reading that they put black ink on sesame seeds to call them black sesame seeds. To eat.

    So I would buy only USA items. But that's just me.
  3. droidlizard

    droidlizard Out Of The Brooder

    Maybe that's the mysterious gift. Look at the link! Haha. Buy it and let us know. If there is a bacteria ill pay for the seeds :lol:
  4. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    You might need a phytosanitary certificate to import seeds from some countries into the U.S. legally. I would check on the USDA site and find out what varieties are restricted from what countries first before importing. I think phytos for small lots of seeds are free still but of course it all depends on if the seed is on the no no list and what country it is coming from. I haven't checked in a while so don't take my word on it, just check the USDA site and/or call them first.
    1 person likes this.
  5. popsicle

    popsicle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I doubt you will have any luck with an apple tree grown from seed--regardless of the source--especially in IL. Generally ALL the varieties are grafted onto a hardy rootstock--it's the rootstock that also makes the apple varieties dwarfs.

    How big of a garden are you planting that it could possibly be beneficial to order seeds from China?

    ETA: more about growing fruit from seeds, and why it probably won't work:
    I would wager that anybody selling Apple Tree Seeds is a scam artist preying on folks that don't know any better.
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  6. RJSchaefer

    RJSchaefer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2013
    Rockford, IL
    See, that's what I thought. I've only ever gotten one apple to sprout and it didn't make it.

    That was really just an example. What really got me were varieties of "rose seeds" - another thing I have ALWAYS heard is just a lost cause. I was kind of tempted, just to see if I could swing it, since they're so cheap. They also had some crazy strawberry seeds up there which, again, were just tempting. None of it is a necessity. Sometimes I get into a "let's do this and see where it gets me" mindset.
  7. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2011
    North Central Oklahoma
    Yes, you have to apply for an import lisence through the usda to get seeds from other countries. The process is time consuming but do-able. Then it will take a month for your seeds to ship because they have to go through customs.
  8. ChristaGardens

    ChristaGardens New Egg

    Feb 24, 2016
    There are 2 issues here:

    1. US and Chinese laws about food seed importation are routinely evaded. This could result in importation of a disease or insect eggs which could devastate American agriculture.

    I just got the first item I ordered from SEEDVILLE via Amazon. It came from CHINA and the shipping doc identified it as "wall stickers." That mislabeling violates US law, and probably Chinese law as well.

    Seedville's name was nowhere on the package or the seed envelops. Whether that is because the Chinese company is selling the same package to other distributors, to hide the fact that these are seeds from the Chinese and American postal authorities or to protect SEEDVILLE from being implicated, I don't know.

    In any case, before buying ANY seeds from China, Google "importation of Chinese seeds.

    2. Apples have not been grown from seed for over a century, except for experimental purposes.

    This is because apples from seed will ALWAYS be different from the parent plants. To propagate apple trees, a twig is cut and rooted. Sometimes a flavorful apple's twig is grafted onto a hardier root stock.

    Neither of these procedures are difficult. But unless you want to invest 5 or more years of gardening before you taste the first apple which might even be tasteless, buy a young apple tree.

    And remember, if you're going to grow that apple tree in a pot like the pictures, the tree must be hardy in at least 1 zone colder than your own zone. This is because the temperature of soil in a pot is much more variable than soil in the ground. You will also need to add fertilizer more often. I recommend a slow release (not liquid) organic fertilizer. When it rains, add a few live earthworms and cover the soil with leaves or dry grass clippings, which will feed the worms, so you may need to replenish often.) The worms will make air passages which protect from root fungal diseases.

    Look at trees of the same size as what you want and buy a big enough pot for your young tree to grow into, to save a lot of labor. Larger pots require watering less often than small ones do.

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