FAQ - key facts at your fingertips


How do I contact you?

The best way is to write to us, either by e-mail or using our contact form, as we aren’t contactable by phone.


Can I send my order back?

Yes, you have the right to cancel your order for 14 days following receipt, which means that you can send back unopened seed packets without needing to give a reason.
You can find all the information on returning your order here.

Orders and delivery

Is there a minimum order value?

No, there is no minimum order value.

How will my order be sent?

Most seed orders are sent by standard post – or by registered mail for larger-value orders. International shipments are sent as tracked deliveries. Larger orders, such as those with multiple seed kits, are sent as a DPD parcel delivery.

Why is my international order taking so long to arrive?

Unfortunately international orders – especially those outside the EU – are sometimes subject to delays. This is often due to customs procedures, which can take 1-2 weeks.

Can I pick up my order? Do you also have a retail store?

We don’t have a retail outlet and unfortunately orders cannot be collected.

Questions about products

Some varieties in your shop are listed as ‘out of stock’. Will you be getting them in again?

Yes – if a variety in our shop is listed as ‘out of stock’ we are in the process of sourcing it again. Sometimes if harvests have been poor this can mean waiting until the following year.

How many seeds does a packet contain?

The seed quantity per packet is listed in the product details for each individual seed type.

Is there a ‘best before’ date?

The best before date is shown on our seed packets. However, we’re currently in the process of updating our packets and there are still some packets in our shop that don’t display this information. Generally we recommend sowing the seeds in the upcoming season.

What does the date on the packet mean?

We’re currently in the process of changing how we date our seeds. Previously the date we printed on our seed packets was when they were packed. However, we received so many queries about how long seeds would keep for that we decided to switch to printing a best before date instead. As a result, both kinds of date marking are currently in circulation. The text printed with the date will clarify whether this is a ‘best before’ date or a packing date (“abgefüllt am” in German).

Why are the seed packets also marked “Zierpflanzensamen” (=“ornamental plant seeds”)?

We print “Zierpflanzensamen” on the packet because many seed varieties can only be sold under the category of ornamental plant seeds for legal reasons. The seeds affected by this are mainly vegetable seeds. Many of the old heirloom varieties are not currently listed by the Plant Variety Office and cannot therefore be sold as vegetable seeds. In order to save these varieties from disappearing altogether we sell them as “ornamental plant seeds”.

What do the symbols on the seed packets mean?

From left to right, the symbols on the seed packets stand for: germination temperature, month for sowing indoors, month for sowing outside, planting distance and sowing depth.

Does your packaging contain plastic?

Our aim is to achieve plastic-free packaging for our products and shipping. The main material we use is responsibly sourced paper. Only the adhesives and bindings still contain other materials.


Are your seeds open-pollinated?

Yes, all our seed varieties are open-pollinated.

What does “open-pollinated” mean?

“Open-pollinated” is a term used to describe plant varieties that breed true-to-type – i.e. their seeds will produce offspring that closely resemble the parent plant, retaining the same characteristics. In practical terms this means that you can propagate these plants by saving your own seed. By contrast the offspring of varieties that are not open-pollinated – i.e. hybrid (F1) varieties – will exhibit different characteristics, so normally they are not suitable for propagation.

What are “old” or “heirloom” varieties?

These are plant varieties that have been cultivated over many generations and often have a long history behind them. These concepts cover a vast range of hugely diverse varieties. Often they are adapted to local environmental conditions. Many of them are very vigorous and disease-resistant, others need more care and attention. They are all “open-pollinated” – i.e. they are suitable for saving your own seed.

Can I keep the seeds until next year?

Most seeds will keep until next year, or even longer, without any problems. There are a few species, though – mainly tropical plants, such as coffee – whose seeds remain viable for just a few months. If you’re unsure don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Service team.

How long will seeds keep for?

Most cultivated plant seeds will remain viable for 2-5 years. Some tropical plant seeds remain viable for less than a year. Many European wild plant seeds can remain viable for decades.

Where should I keep my seeds?

Storing seeds properly can preserve their viability for significantly longer. A dark, cool place is perfect. The absolutely ideal option would be to store your seed packets in an airtight screw-top jar and keep it in the fridge.

Are your seeds GMO-free?

Yes, our seeds have not been genetically modified in any way.

Are all your seeds organic?

Unfortunately not all varieties are available as organic seeds. Our organic varieties are clearly labelled “Organic” after the plant name and the packets display the EU organic logo along with our reference number.

What is organic seed?

Organic seed comes from plants produced using ecologically sustainable, organic growing methods. Unlike conventional seeds, which are often grown using chemical fertilisers and pesticides, organic seeds are produced in accordance with rigorously monitored organic farming guidelines.

Are your seeds chemically treated?

Our seeds are not chemically treated.


How do I sow my seeds?

1. Sow your seeds at the right time, be patient and follow the instructions on the packet. By doing this you’ll avoid most potential problems.
2. Keep the sowing compost moist at all times, but not too wet, until the seeds germinate. It shouldn’t be wet enough to release water droplets if you squeeze it in your hand.
3. Seeds should be covered with a layer of earth roughly as deep as they are wide. 4. Warmth and light are really important factors when sowing seeds. Most seeds will germinate well at average temperatures of 20°C. But do check the instructions on the seed packets as many varieties need significantly warmer conditions – or might even need a period of cold temperatures.
Detailed sowing instructions are available here

How high are the germination rates?

For most cultivated plants nearly all the seeds will germinate – or at any rate more than 75% should do so. For some wild plants, though, it’s natural for only half the seeds to germinate – or for some to germinate straight away and others not until some months later.

Is there a germination guarantee?

We can’t issue a guarantee but we will happily provide support if you encounter problems – just write to us and let us know.

What temperatures do seeds need to germinate?

This can vary considerably. Some seeds need cold temperatures to germinate – while some tropical seeds need temperatures above 25°C. You’ll find information about individual varieties in the product details in our shop and on the seed packets.

Why do some seeds need cold temperatures to germinate?

These seeds need a cold period (winter) because the mechanism inhibiting germination breaks down at temperatures around 5°C. Sometimes these seeds germinate during the cold phase, sometimes only later, when conditions become warmer. If you’re sowing these seeds directly outdoors the best time is from October to February. But you can also give these seeds an artificial cold treatment (cold stratification) in your fridge.
Detailed instructions are available here.

Why do some seeds need light to germinate?

Seeds that need light to germinate contain photoreceptors that trigger germination – they should be sown by scattering them on the compost surface, or covering them only very lightly with sand, so that they remain exposed to the light. For these seeds we’ve indicated a sowing depth of “0 cm” in our shop and on our seed packets.

How long do seeds take to germinate?

This varies a great deal. Some kinds of seeds germinate after just two days – others will take two months. The product information in our shop includes an average germination time (in days), but actual germination times can vary if temperatures are unfavourable.

Sowing & growing problems

My seeds aren’t germinating – what should I do?

Please contact our Customer Service team, by e-mail or using the contact form.

The wrong plants are growing – what’s happened?

It might be that the seeds didn’t germinate, perhaps because the conditions weren’t right, and that wild plants are growing there instead. These wild plants may have suppressed the plants you intended to grow.

I’ve heard that pumpkins you grow from your own seed can be poisonous – is it true?

Not really – although it is important to know that pumpkins and squashes can very easily cross-fertilise. Sometimes this can happen with ornamental gourds grown in the vicinity of edible squashes and pumpkins. Some ornamental pumpkins can contain toxins which can then also be formed by the plants grown from self-harvested seeds. Fortunately these substances have a bitter taste which makes them easily identified – so don’t eat any pumpkins or squashes that taste bitter.

My broad bean seeds have worm holes in them – what’s happened?

The holes are made by seed weevils, but because the beans have been frozen for a period the seeds no longer contain any living weevils. The seeds’ ability to germinate is not compromised at all as the weevils don’t eat the embryo part of the seed.

Why do my cucumbers taste bitter?

Many cucumber varieties can become bitter-tasting if the plants are stressed. Conditions such as extreme heat and drought can trigger this reaction, and some old varieties are especially susceptible. The compounds that make cucumbers bitter are mildly toxic so bitter cucumbers shouldn’t be eaten.

Why are my tomatoes rotting?

This is generally due to the relatively common problem of blossom end rot, which happens due to calcium deficiency. Although garden earth generally contains sufficient calcium, shop-bought composts tend to contain relatively low calcium levels. Especially in dry conditions the plants can then struggle to absorb enough calcium. Some varieties are especially susceptible while others are almost never affected. The best solution is to remove all the affected fruits and add garden lime to the soil.

Retailers and partners

Do you sell to retailers?

Yes. You can register directly in our Retailer Shop or write to us at trader@magicgardenseeds.com

Do you have a partner programme for influencers?

Yes – if you’re interested in working with us we’d love to hear from you. Write to us at trader@magicgardenseeds.com.

Questions about Magic Garden Seeds

Why are you called Magic Garden Seeds?

That’s something we ask ourselves all the time! The name was an intuitive, spontaneous choice – it wasn’t something we analysed or thought about. The “Magic” element might make you think firstly of the magical plants in our range. But for us gardening, and seed sowing in particular, always has something magical about it. And our aim is to offer you inspirational seeds for your own magic garden.

What are magical plants?

For us, “magical plants” are those plants traditionally endowed with magical or mystical qualities. These plants have been used in rituals across various cultures and different spiritual practices worldwide. Shamanic incense herbs such as White Sage would be one example – or protective plants such as Houseleek.