We regularly get requests from people who wonder why we don’t have neem seeds available on a year-round basis. The problem is that neem is a tropical tree and its seeds are only viable for about 30 days after they’re harvested in mid-summer. People who sell neem seeds year-round either don’t know what they’re doing — or they know and don’t care that they’re selling seeds that won’t sprout. We chose to sell seeds we believe are most likely to germinate — although it’s still an iffy proposition.
After the past few years of freezing temperatures in central Florida, we haven’t entirely given up on growing our own seeds but we are dependent upon growers in tropical countries to get them here quickly. That, of course, poses its own challenges with government paperwork and shipping issues when they need to move across multiple barriers quickly. When we get a new batch of seeds, we always take the time to sprout some of them, just to make sure that they are still viable.
Even if we get fresh, viable seeds, they’re still notoriously difficult to germinate. We recommend that people buy neem sprouts — shipped bareroot at about three to six inches tall — rather than the seeds.
We always start selling seeds and sprouts to customers and people on our email list before we open sales to the general public. Email us or sign up for the newsletter to be the first to know when they arrive!