Online Ordering Instructions - READ FIRST

The 2020-2021 NARGS Seed Exchange is NOW CLOSED

See the Seed Donation Instructions page or the insert in your summer issue of the Rock Garden Quarterly for information on how to donate seeed for the 2021-2022 Seed Exchange.


Check out the Seed Exchange Helpful Links page for website and article links on Seed Collecting & Cleaning, Seed Identification, as well as Seed Germination. 



Please read these instructions carefully, before placing your seed order. Refer back to this page if you have any questions/problems as most of them can be answered on this page.

Main round seeds are $17 (US dollars) for 25 packets (for non-seed donors) or 35 packets for seed donors/volunteers. 

We have prepared this 'Visual Guide for Ordering Seed' pdf for those who want to see all the steps involved in placing an online order.

The Main Order fulfillment will be handled in February this year by the members of the Siskiyou Chapter (Oregon). We ask for your patience this year while they fill your orders in a safe manner. The Surplus Order Fulfillment will still be done by the Great Lakes chapter (Michigan) probably in late March. We wish to thank them for their hard work as well as acknowledge the many donors and packaging volunteers who also made this year’s Seed Exchange possible!

Not sure what to do with your seeds once they arrive? Check out the Seed Exchange Helpful Links page for website and article links to Germination guides, as well as to Seed Collecting & Cleaning, and Seed Identification. 

IMPORTANT: Phytosanitary certificate must accompany all shipments of seed entering any country within the European Union, UK, and Japan. NARGS is willing to cover the cost of sending one shipment from the Main Distribution to each country, if a member in that country is willing to be the Consignee and receive the seeds and re-distribute the orders to the other members in that country.  If a single consignee cannot be found, then all members in that country may have to pay the fee of $61USD for their own phytosanitary certificates. If you are willing to be a consignee for your country please contact Joyce Fingerut for details.

Orders from these countries will be filled in their proper order (by date of arrival, Donors first, etc.) then held until the closing of Main Distribution on January 31st. The Plant Inspector will then come to inspect the seeds, and issue the phytosanitary certificates. After the seeds pass inspection they will be shipped to the consignee for each country along with the phytosanitary certificate, with each order in its own mailer, so all the consignee needs to do is apply postage and post them on to the member. Seed orders will not reach members until mid- to late-February. Moist packed seeds cannot be sent to these countries so please do NOT select any moist packed seed or other seeds that are prohibited entry by your country. 

Due to the cost of the phytos and extra work involved in obtaining them, we regret that members residing in EU, UK and Japan will NOT be able to place orders in the Surplus Distribution. 

Members in Australia: A new Department of Agriculture policy is to return the whole package if any of the seed is not allowed. Be sure to check BICON website for the list of species you are allowed to import before placing a seed order. Do not select species that are not allowed into your country and list many second choices to ensure you receive your requested number of packets. We will only send seed of the species you select (no substitutes) to avoid the whole shipment being rejected and returned to us or destroyed.

Please help - Postal regulations have recently changed. We are now being charged "Package/Parcel" rates for all shipments which means a big increase in costs. US orders will now cost up to $4.45, Canadian orders cost us $14.25 and overseas orders cost between $14.50 and $18.25 depending on the country. Please consider adding a donation on the first checkout page to help us cover this added cost. Thank you for your continued support!

**If you had a problem during the payment process, and the "Finalize Order" button is now greyed-out (inactive), look for the Cart link in the upper right corner of the web page near where you log in (the "Cart" link is only visible if you have an order waiting to Checkout). Click on the Cart link and it will take you back to your cart order; then click on the Checkout button to try your payment again. Do not try to re-enter your seed selections after you've clicked on the "Finalize Order" button - the program will not accept a second attempt to place your order if the button is inactive.  The "Finalize Order" button may also be greyed-out if your membership is expired, so check your membership status from the "Account" link in top menu.

If you opted to pay by credit card using PayPal, be sure to select the "Pay by Debit or Credit Card" button to go in as a guest (unless you regularly use your PayPal account). Enter the name/address that matches the billing information your credit card company or bank has for your account. If you get out before completing payment, look for the Cart link to try again.

If you are having trouble logging into the website; with the ordering program; or with the checkout process - please do not hesitate to ask for help immediately by using this Contact link to leave us a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

You must be a current NARGS member and be logged into the NARGS website to gain access to the members-only areas of the website. To log in, use the Login link found in the upper right-hand menu on the web page. It will show 'Logout' link in this upper menu area if you are already logged in. If you need help joining NARGS, logging in or renewing your membership see the FAQ page for articles about these items as well as other important information on your user account.

Once you are logged in, the website will grant you access to the members-only area of the SEEDS menu. Hover your cursor over SEEDS on the main menu; in the drop-down menu under the CURRENT SEED EXCHANGE section you will see 'Order Seed' (only visible when ordering is activated). Click on this to go to your personal 'Order Seed' page; your name and donor/volunteer status will show just below the page title as verification.

We do NOT recommend placing your order using an iPad or tablet - you will have difficulty accessing the ‘Order Seed’ page. Contact us if this is your only method of accessing the webpage and we can provide you with alternative access.

The default setting for 2020-2021 Main Round Seed List is alphabetically by Genus/Species name (not by seed number) with Garden-collected and Wild-collected listed together and marked as either G (Garden) or W (Wild). Above the seed list are letter buttons arranged alphabetically; click on any of the letter buttons to go to the list of seeds that begin with that letter. You may also search by genus; genus and species; or even partial name, using the search box for Genus/Species. Further refine the search by first using the Garden/Wild search box to select G, W or Any (to view only garden- or wild-collected, or both) and then by letter or genus/species.

To view the Seed List by seed number use the Garden/Wild search box and select G or W and it will arrange the list of either Garden or Wild seed numerically. Click on ALL in the letter buttons list to have any search or sort result revert back to the default complete seed list by seed name. Note - there are a few addendum seeds that will be out of numerical order so that they are listed by the genus name.

Click on the plant name in the seed list to open a Google search page for that entry in a new tab to find more information and images to help with your selection process. Details on how the seeds are listed can be found on the General Seed List Information page. Go to the Downloadable Seed List Files page to see the list of species name changes used in this year's seed list as well as files of the seed list and donors list that can be downloaded to your computer and printed out. 

**Be sure to close only the Google search page tab when finished looking at the entry; accidentally closing your browser window would take you out of the 'Order Seed' page as well.

There are two methods available for entering your seed choices on the 'Order Seed' page: you can browse through the seed list and click on a choice button within the seed list as you find items you are interested in or, if you have already made your selections from the seed list, you can type in each seed number individually and select the choice category.

For either method, there are 3 choice categories you may assign for the item: First choice (1st); Second choice (2nd); and if you have a few Second choices that are most wanted, use Second Choice (preferred) (2nd*). Your order will be filled first from your First choices so be sure to select as many First choices as you are allowed (25 or 35). If a First choice selection is gone we will pull from any Second choices (preferred) you may have selected, and then select from the regular Second choices listings. PLEASE only list a FEW as a Second choice (preferred); this will help the order fillers see which of your many Second choices to pull first if a First choice is gone. Many seeds are in short supply so it is very important that you list plenty of second choices.

To use the Seed List method for entering your choices, browse through the list or use the search features to go to listings for specific genera/species.  When you find an item you are interested in, simply click on the round choice button for whichever choice category (1st, 2nd or 2nd*) you want for that item. If you change your mind, you can change the choice categories by clicking on one of the other options or select “No” to un-select an individual item. All items are set on “No” when you begin your seed order. You will be able to tell if an item is selected because the round button will change color - a black dot in the center if the selection is for an individual seed number, and a blue dot if it is part of a range of numbers. Blue dots cannot be changed on the individual numbers in the range - see paragraph below about ranges for more information on making changes to ranges.

To use the Instant Add box method for entering your choices, type a seed number into the white box in the grey Instant Add section above the letter buttons. Then click on the choice button for that item to add it to your selections. Do not use the enter/return key on your keyboard after typing in the seed number or the seed number will automatically be put in as a First choice. Be sure to use the correct Second choice button if entering all your selections using the Instant Add box. Use Second choices (preferred) only for a few Second choice selections you want to be pulled first if a First choice selection is gone.

To select a RANGE choice you must use the Instant Add box. Type in the range of numbers to indicate you would accept any ONE number within that range; ranges count as one choice.  You must enter the complete numbers, such as 1355-1362 (NOT 1355-62).  If you change your mind about a range and want to adjust the numbers within the range, change the choice category, or delete the range choice, you can ONLY do so by deleting it from the ‘Your Selections’ page (see next section) and then you can re-enter the new range in the Instant Add box, if desired. You CANNOT make any changes to a range from within the seed list itself using the round choice buttons - ranges will show as blue dots in the center, to indicate that it is part of a range and that the buttons cannot be used to make the changes directly.  Please note that ranges are pulled strictly by seed number, so garden and wild seed selections are NOT included in the same range even though they may be listed together on the seed list.

Seed donors and volunteers are allowed 35 First choices; non-donors are allowed 25 First choices and all are allowed up to 50 Second choices. Many seed numbers will be gone before your order is processed, so it is very important that you select plenty of Second choices for the order fillers to pull from to complete your order.  You are not allowed more than one packet of any seed number.    

Please do not request any items that are considered noxious weeds in your state or country. US Members should check with their state list of Noxious Weeds:

Click on the >>> Review your order so far button to be taken to the 'Your Selections' page.  On this page, you will see two choice columns with the selections you have made so far, either First or Second choice.  Your Second choice (preferred) will be designated by an asterisk (*) before the seed number.  The items will be arranged numerically within each column with any ranges listed at the bottom of the appropriate choice column. You can delete an item from the 'Your Selections' page by clicking on the ( x ) red x button after the listing.  Ranges must first be deleted from the 'Your Selections' page if you want to change or remove them from your lists.  Use the Back to Seed List Ordering page button to ensure the changes are processed on the 'Order Seed' page; do NOT use your browser back button to return to the 'Order Seed' page.

Look at the green count boxes to monitor how many First and Second choices you have selected and how many more you are allowed. If you reach the limit on your First or Second choices and try to add another item to that choice category, a message will pop-up letting you know you reached the limit. You can adjust the choice of any of the individual seed number selections within the seed list by simply clicking on one of the other choice buttons for that item or the “No” button. Ranges can only be changed by deleting them from the 'Your selections' page and re-entering them.

Saving Your Order and Finding It Again:  You do not have to complete your order in one session; your selections are saved automatically to your user account. You can access your order again to continue adding or changing selections by going to the ‘Order Seed' link, but you cannot change an order after you click on Finalize Order - Checkout button. We recommend you save a copy of what you are ordering, either by using the Print selections button to print from the ‘Your Selections’ page or writing down the seed numbers/choice selection before leaving the website, just in case. 

Once you have made all your selections and any changes, you are ready to finalize your order. Click on the Finalize Order - Checkout button. 
Note - you cannot make any changes to or re-enter your order once you have finalized it.  

The first page you are sent to gives you several options regarding your order:

1st - You must mark if you will accept substitute seed packets if your choice selections are gone, so you receive the full allowed amount of packets. If you do not select the "yes" button ONLY packets still available from the choices you listed will be sent, even though it may be less than your allowed amount. No refunds can be made and no multiple packets of the same seed number are allowed.

2nd - Indicate if you would like to receive the printed Surplus Seed list by mail or an email reminder when it is ready on the website.  Please note that the printed Surplus Seed list shows only the seed numbers, so you will need to check the NARGS website or have a printed seed list to see the seed names.  Or you can simply return to the SEEDEX page on March 1st when the Surplus round begins to view the Surplus list and place your order online (see more about the Surplus round below).

3rd - If you would like to Add a donation to your order, you can do so by checking the box and either selecting one of the suggested amounts or choose Other and add whatever dollar amount you want in the Amount box. The donation amount will be added to your checkout payment. (Thank you!)

Once you have answered these three options, click on the green Continue button to proceed to the payment section.

Please BE PATIENT with the Continue button; allow it time to process and do NOT click on the button a second time as that may put a second order in your cart checkout. If anything other than the 'Seed Exchange Main Round' order or added donation appears in your cart contact us immediately; do not proceed until we have deleted the other item for you.

On the Checkout page that appears please verify the Cart content and Billing information (contact us immediately if the information is incorrect).  In the Main Round, all members must pay $17 (US dollars) for their Main Round seed order. Select the Payment method (either PayPal or mail check/money order) then go to the bottom of the page and select Review Order to complete the payment portion. Verify the details on the Review Order page (including the payment method) and select Submit Order button (or use the Back button if you need to make a change).

If you chose PayPal you will be sent to the PayPal site and then return to at the completion of your transaction.  You can use PayPal to pay by credit card without creating a PayPal account.  On the PayPal site, either select to log in to your PayPal account, if you have one - OR - choose 'Pay with Debit or Credit Card' and you can continue with the credit card information.  

If you chose to pay by check or money order you will be shown a postal address where you will mail your order payment and will also be sent an email invoice with the postal address. All checks/money orders should be made out to 'NARGS'.  Please note - your order will not be put into the queue to be filled until payment is received so send payment immediately - payment must arrive before January 31. If you send cash, it is at your own risk. All payments must be in US dollars.

An email invoice for your order will be sent to your email address to verify the submission was successful - if you do not receive it, check your spam folder before contacting us.

If the Finalize Order - Checkout button is greyed out or does not take you to the checkout page: you either need to renew your membership or have already finalized a seed order but may not have finished the checkout process (look for the CART link in the upper menu). If you need help completing your seed order contact us immediately.

After the payment is processed you will be taken to your Seed Exchange Order page, which has the list of your seed selections. Use the Print order button to print out a copy of your selections for future reference. You can also come back to that page at any time from your personal User page by clicking the 'Account' link in the upper right-hand menu, next to the Login/Logout link on any page of this website (you must be logged in). Then look for the ‘Seedex Order - Main Round’ box below the yellow section and click on the '2020 Seed Exchange Order' link. You can also access it from the "Order Id" number link, under SEEDEX MAIN, on the order invoice sent to you. The seed names on this page retain the Google search link to aid in researching the seed requirements after you've received your seed order. You may also copy/paste the First and Second choices lists into a spreadsheet program. 

Many seeds are still available at the close of the Main Seed distribution and the Surplus Seed distribution offers NARGS members an opportunity to purchase the remaining seed.  The Surplus Seed List will appear on the NARGS website in March and order-filling begins immediately. Surplus seeds are $10 per 20 packets with a maximum of 100 packets allowed.