Are Dollarama Vegetable Seeds Worth Getting?

Are Dollarama Seeds Any Good?
The Garden Corner Seed Packets

Are Dollarama Vegetable Seeds Worth Getting?

Gardening is becoming more mainstream. With that comes new sources for seeds. Each source varies in price, appearance and selection. seem to be getting larger. The higher demand has also caused a large spike in seed prices. However, there are alternatives to these that only cost $0.99. One such brand is the Dollarama seed packets. In my mind I automatically assume that a cheaper seed ultimately means lower rates of the germination.

In this blog post we are going to be specifically looking at the Dollarama seeds. These seed packs are $.99 and are sold at Dollarama‘s across Canada. I have always assumed that these yellow Dollarama seed packs have poor quality seeds inside. However, there are a few things I noticed right off the bat that gave me hope.

What Type Of Seeds Does Dollarama Sell?

First off when looking at the seed packaging it looks cheap. They have a wide range of seeds including watermelon, pumpkins, tomatoes, broccoli, morning glory and the list goes on. I know that the laws around importing seeds into a country are relatively strict. Meaning that the seeds most likely were born and harvested within Canada. Check out the blog post on companion planting.

It’s unlikely that a seed would come in from a foreign country to be sold for only $.99. It wasn’t until I flipped the seed packet over that I noticed a familiar look. This back side of the packet is commonly seen in a major seed brand here in Canada. 

Dollarama Are Mackenzie Seeds With Fancy Packaging

The back of the Dollarama seed packet looks identical to Mackenzie seeds. And if you look on the left-hand side of the seed packet you will notice in fine print at the company is Mackenzie seeds. So what does this mean? Are these Mackenzie seeds that are potentially going to expire this year?

Or is the Dollarama seed packets that originate from Mackenzie seeds simply just a chance for higher profits. I was even more blown away when I noticed the actual variety of the seeds. 

I purchased a Mackenzie seed called “early Canadian watermelon” seed packets from Peavey Mart. The Dollarama seed packet was also called early Canadian watermelon. Not only is the variety the exact same, but the actual seeds themselves are identical. The quantity and quality are the exact same.

Are Dollarama Seeds Good?
Are Dollarama Seeds Good?

Why Is Mackenzie Repackaging Seeds In Dollarama Packets?

The biggest difference between the Dollarama seed packet and the Peavey Mart packet is the outer packaging and the price. Not only was the fancier packaging more expensive it actually contained the same number of scenes as the $.99 seed package. 

When looking at the Dollarama seed packet versus the normal seed packet we now understand that they are made by the same company, Mackenzie seeds. The varieties are the same meaning they are of similar quality. The biggest difference was in the pricing.

So the only way to determine if you should buy the $.99 Dollarama seed packet is to do a germination test. If the germination rates are much lower in the dollar store version, then we technically are not getting ripped off by the greenhouse fancy seed packet. 

Germination Testing Dollarama Seeds

However if germination rates are the same then we can officially conclude that we are getting ripped off paying $3.29 per seed packet. 

I started the experiment off by laying out my seeds on a damp paper towel. This will allow me to determine if the seeds are viable versus having just rotted in moist soil. I want to limit the chance of lower survival rates due to a soil fungus or bacteria.

From there I simply just left my dollarama seeds in the moist paper towel inside of a Ziploc container for one week. After every single week I check my seeds to determine how many have germinated and how many are still asleep. 

Results Of Germination Testing Dollarama Seeds

The results are upsetting. Turns out that the Dollarama $.99 seed packs have a germination rate of 80 to 90%. This is identical to that of the store brand packets. These germination rates could’ve been even higher if I applied a base level of heat.

I can say with 100% certainty that the $.99 Dollarama packets are worth the money. They actually will save you some cash if you choose to use them. They are Mackenzie seeds which is a name brand company here in Canada. And the packets contain the same amount of seeds that you would get in the store.

I believe they are discounted because they are most likely older seeds. This means that you would not be able to store them for years to come and you would have to use all the seeds in the packets in that year.

If you have a seed saving system where you don’t plan everything from one single packet every single year. Then the Dollarama seeds really are not  saving you any money. I find most cases that a large name brand seeds can last me anywhere from 2 to 3 years. At $3.29 a pack you are around the $.99 mark.

6 thoughts on “Are Dollarama Vegetable Seeds Worth Getting?”

  1. Great article. Though I want to note that the Dollarama seeds are actually 3 packs for $1 (in Toronto but I believe should be everywhere in Canada too). Massive deal so it’s definitely worth getting if you’re buying the same type of seeds. Only go specialty if there it’s some unique varieties to plant that you can’t find in the dollar store.

    I just sprouted some marigold and lettuce seeds from Dollarama and they all sprouted really well and they were purchased last year. I think your hypothesis of it not lasting long still hasn’t been confirmed yet so I would hold off that assumption. I bought some expensive seeds from Richters which was recommended by a seed retailer for kale seeds and they were not great at all, I paid $10 shipping and they shipped with missing some varieties… not all sprouted and of the ones sprouted, I think it’s just the regular kale and not the dinosaur kale I was aiming for. I didn’t get to harvest it mature because they were attacked by pest. So I can’t say necessarily buying direct gives you better quality seeds at all.

    PS- I think there’s a typo in your blog you seeds not scene.

  2. You mentioned 80-90% germination rate is upsetting. What should we expect the germination rate to be? I thought that was a fairly good germination rate.

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