Finding Native Plant Nurseries
Over the past decade, it has gotten easier to find native plants, but it can still feel like finding the Holy Grail. Native nurseries have grown in numbers, but are not as common as native enthusiasts would like. An increasing number of conventional nurseries are selling native plants, but traditional nurseries and garden centers tend to emphasize native cultivars. Nativars are not first choice when planting for biodiversity.
A great resource for finding native nurseries is the Plant Native.org website. For years, Plant Native has been one of the only resources to provide a nationwide database of native nurseries. They utilize helpful codes that identify each nursery as: Retail, Wholesale, Mail Order, Sells Seed, Contract Growing, Catalog and Online Catalog. They also indicate the percentage of native plants that each nursery sells, as many are not exclusively native.
Another useful website for finding native nurseries is the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website. You can search suppliers by zip code, city and state, or by name, if you happen to have found one already. In most cases, this database also provides the percentage of native plants that a given nursery sells. In addition to nurseries, you can also find local seed companies.
There are some lists online that are state-specific. These are often provided by environmental organizations, a state’s department of environmental conservation, local chapters of Wild Ones, or by native plant societies. If you are not yet a member of your state or regional native plant society or Wild Ones chapter, it’s time to join! These organizations provide much more than nursery lists and will help you become a better ecological gardener.
Happy Shopping from Kim Eierman at EcoBeneficial!
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