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Kim Eierman

Kim Eierman

Founder of EcoBeneficial!

Available for virtual and in-person landscape consulting, talks and classes.

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Avoiding Pesticides on Nursery Plants?

I have heard that pesticides are commonly sprayed on plants that I buy.  How can I avoid this?


You have heard correctly.  Both growers and plant retailers often spray pesticides on plants that are offered for sale to landscapers and homeowners.  Even if you buy a plant that bees and butterflies are nectaring on before you make your purchase, there is no assurance that the plant has not been sprayed.  The impact of the pesticide may not be instantaneous.

The only way to be sure that you are buying a pesticide-free plant is to buy from a local grower who can give the assurance that their plants are pesticide-free.  Those growers are few and far between.  When shopping, ask the hard questions of the nursery – how do you treat for pests and diseases?   This can be done organically, but it can be more difficult and more costly, so it’s uncommon.  Keep in mind that organic may not mean pesticide-free;  organic pesticides may come into the picture.

Remember when the only organic milk you could buy was found at a special organic food store?  That was the case until consumers made it clear that they wanted, and would pay for, an organic alternative.  Now, you can buy organic milk at big box stores.

If we want to see more availability of organically-grown plants we we have make our wishes heard, and we will have to accept plants that are more naturally-grown, not the perfect, treated, fertilizer-fueled specimens that we are used to.  We will also have to pay a bit more – a small price to pay to protect our challenged environment.

Best of luck,


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