Ultimate Guide to Finding Native Plants

Aster Goldenrod

What should I plant?

This is the most frequently asked question I get asked as I travel around the country speaking at conferences and giving workshops about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife.

But the answer to this question is not as simple as you may think. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. But instead this answer depends on many factors, chief of which is where do you live? The best plants for your wildlife garden will be native to your local area.

What works in my Pennsylvania wildlife garden will most certainly not be a good fit in your Arizona wildlife garden.

Other factors to consider when choosing the best native plants for your wildlife garden:

Plants are expensive, so you don’t want to throw away your money without knowing the answers to all of these questions so that you can put the right plant in the right place with the knowledge that it will thrive there. You’ve got to do a bit of homework and make a plan for the native plants that will work best given the conditions in your garden and that are locally native to your region.

The absolute best way to begin to discover which native plants will work best in your wildlife garden is to connect with your local native plant society as well as nearby native plant nurseries.

These folks are passionate about native plants and love to share their knowledge with anyone who asks. Since their gardens are probably close by, they can give you the best answers about what will work best in your garden.

To help you locate nearby resources, here’s a list of native plant societies and native plant nurseries in the US and Canada.

If you know of a nursery or organization dedicated to native plants that I haven’t included, please leave a comment below and share your resources with us so that I can keep this list up to date.

Update!!! We have outgrown this page. There’s way to much good information about native plants, so I have started a new website. All further updates to this page will be made at Finding Native Plants

Find the correct page for your location:

New England Native Plants:

Mid-Atlantic Native Plants:

Native Plants of the South:

Midwest Native Plants:

Native Plants of the Plains:

Southwest Native Plants:

Pacific Coast Native Plants:

Find Native Plants in Canada

 

Check out my new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week, teaching you to garden sustainably, conserve natural resources, and create welcoming habitat for wildlife in your garden.

© 2013, Carole Sevilla Brown. All rights reserved. This article is the property of EcosystemGardening.com If you are reading this at another site, please report that to us

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Comments

  1. says

    Great List! I would like to add our wholesale and retail native plant nursery to the Minnesota list. Our company is called Natural Shore Technologies, Inc. and we design, install, and maintain native plant communities like shorelines, prairies, wetlands, and raingardens all around the Metro area. We grow all of our native plants ourselves in our local greenhouses in Maple Plain, Minnesota and sell them wholesale or at our retail nursery. We have over 80 different species of Native Plants!

    Here is our website: http://www.naturalshore.com

  2. says

    To add for Kansas: Dyck Arboretum in Hesston, KS. They have many natives planted out (some labeled) and a wonderful plant sale specializing in native plants twice a year.

    To add for Alabama: Mobile Botanical Garden, Mobile, AL. They have a fantastic plant sale twice a year with many Alabama and Gulf coast natives.
    Cynthia, aka Gaia gardener recently posted..A Local Biodiversity Study

  3. Denise Gualtiere says

    There is a great native plant nursery in central Ohio. Scioto Gardens Nursery and Gallery, 3351 State Route 37 West, Delaware, Ohio 43015, http://www.sciotogardens.com, Phone: 740-363-8264, email: sales@sciotogardens.com They specialize in native plants and also have art from local artists on display. It is a great destination garden also, set in the woods off a country road.

  4. says

    New Moon Nursery in Bridgeton, NJ is a wholesale propagator focused on offering Eastern native perennials and grasses. Our website is NewMoonNursery.com and on it is a “find a retailer” link for even more sources.

  5. kelvin boyle says

    I would give a 5 star rating to: Possibility Place Nursery
    7548 w. Monee-Manhattan Road
    Monee, Illinois 60449
    http://www.possibilityplace.com
    An up and coming nursery which is bringing in the natives is: The Growing Place
    25w471 Plank Road
    Naperville, Ilinois 60561
    An excellent native plant sale held each spring is: Wheaton Park District
    821 west liberty
    wheaton, illinois 60189

  6. says

    Please add Tennessee Naturescapes to the Tennessee list. We are a wholesale/retail nursery that is located in Clinton, TN. We specialize in native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.

  7. Mary Lenahan says

    http://www.pwsteinbeiser.com/

    Really beautiful place in Frenchtown, NJ> They have several weekends a year for retail sales.

    Address: 719 County Road 519, Frenchtown, NJ 08825
    Phone:(908) 996-6609

    http://www.clemensonfarmsnativenursery.com/

    Another nursery that is primarily wholesale, but has several weekends a year for retail sales.

    Clemenson Farms Native Nursery
    108 Linwood Ave. P O Box 215 Estell Manor NJ 08319
    Ph: (609)476-3903 Fax: (609)476-3903

  8. Caroline Lawson says

    For gardeners who live in the arid, high desert regions of the Southwest there’s also High Country Gardens. They can be found on the web and on Facebook. Former owner and Chief Horticulturist Dave
    Salman has a blog, The Xeric Gardener.

  9. says

    Please add Sassafras Farm to your Virginia list. We offer about 120 species of perennials native to the mid Atlantic and Va Society of Landscape Designers certified consultation and design using natives to create wildlife friendly gardens.

  10. teachkd says

    Northeast Natives & Perennials is a small, family-owned retail nursery, opened in 2007 on our Upper Bucks County, PA property. Our plant offerings are 100% native to the U.S. and mostly native to the Northeastern U.S. Most of our inventory is grown by us on our property and greenhouse, and the rest by several local PA growers.

    Our business is located at: 1716 E Sawmill Road, Quakertown, PA 18951

    Hours of Operation for 2013: April 11th- August 31st (hours by appointment available after August 31st through mid-Oct. for fall planting needs). Please call 215-901-5552)

    REGULAR HOURS: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

  11. Cathi Lamoreux says

    In the state of Washington, you need to add Desert Jewels Nursery in Spokane WA. Their website is desertjewelsnursery.com.

  12. says

    Hi Carole
    The North American Native Plant Society maintains a similar list of plant societies at:
    http://www.nanps.org/index.php/resources/native-plant-societies
    and a list of approved growers at:
    http://www.nanps.org/index.php/plant-sources/other-sources

    Special mention to:
    Native Plants in Claremont, 4965 Westney Road, Claremont, ON
    Phone: 905-649-8176
    Email: info@nativeplants.ca Website: http://www.nativeplants.ca

    Hours of operation: April – October, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Other times by appointment.

  13. says

  14. Cindy says

    LINPI Long Island Native Plant Initiative.. Propagates Long Island ecotypic plants from seed. Plant sales at Eastern Campus of Suffolk Community College in June..other times by appointment. Supplies plants for restorations and home gardeners. http://www.linpi.org Ernst Seeds in PA processes and sells LINPI grass seeds in bulk.

  15. Deb Woodell says

    The Pinelands Preservation Alliance in Southampton, New Jersey, has a native plant sale each April, stocked by local nurseries (the names of which I don’t recall). I’m sure they could provide a list of their providers, but, better yet, support the Alliance and buy from them.

  16. Pat Hilty says

    In the San Diego County area CA native plants can be seen on any hillside, canyon, and wetlands areas but the the best resources are as follows:
    Greg Rubin native plant landscape designer http://www.calown.com
    San Diego Botanic Garden http://www.sdbgarden.org
    Las Pilitas Nursery http://www.laspilitas.com
    Moosa Creek Nursery http://www.moosacreeknursery.com
    Agua Hedionda Lagoon lagoon.aguahedionda.org
    San Elijo Lagoon http://www.sanelijo.org
    Buena Vista Lagoon www. buenavistalagoon.org
    Jack’s Pond Park & Nature Center http://www.ci.san-marcos.ca.us ( Parks & rec)
    Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve http://www.olivenhain.com/elfin-forest-recreational-
    reserve
    In Santa Barbara – Santa Barbara Botanical Garden http://www.sbbg.org

  17. Sharon Cowart says

    We operate a small family nursery in Western Georgia specializing in Native Shrubs including but not limited to Native Azaleas, Sweetshrub, Itea, Fringe Tree, and Fothergilla, as well as some native fruiting plants like Blueberries. We are predominately mailorder, selling from our website, but visits can be arranged for anyone local just by contacting us.

  18. says

    For Illinois, please add:
    for information on NW Illinois Native Plants, contact ‘Driftless Area Native Plant Society’ on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/652092901486561/?ref=br_tf
    or ‘Woodland Ways’ at 815-776-0557
    also ‘Prairie Works, Inc. at http://www.prairieworksinc.com/
    for driftless area genotype seeds, contact Northwest Illinois Prairie Enthusiasts at http://www.theprairieenthusiasts.org/chapter/ill/nwill.htm
    best places to view natives:
    Hanley Savanna, Hannover IL
    Apple Canyon State Park,
    Palisades State Park

  19. Cindy says

    Delaware -The delaware nature society has a very comprehensive native plant sale the first weekend in May. Gateway garden center in Hockessin also has a good native plant section.

    Pennsylvania-Groffs farm in southern Chester County has a good selection of well-priced native plants. The Brandywine Museum has a native plant sale in May and sells native seeds year ’round.

    The Penn State Master Gardeners of Chester County have speakers available on native plants and wildlife gardening.

  20. Suzanne Hamer says

    In Washington state my favorite nurseries are Fourth Corner Nursery in Bellingham, Go Natives in Richmond Beach and Pipers Creek Nursery in Bothell. Fourth Corner does mail order and the plants are almost entirely locally sourced. Also, almost every county has a conservation sale and they are awesome places to get bulk bareroot plants very cheaply.

  21. Lynn says

    I live on Long Island and Fort Pond Nursery in Montauk, New York specializes in plants native to Long Island. I have also purchased wonderful milkweed and goldenrod, as well as other native plants which I doing well in my garden from Prairie Nursery in Wisconsin. They are very knowledgeable and helpful in guiding my choices. I have also found some American Beauty plants at Hicks Nursery in Westbury, New York. I am slowly getting rid of non-native and invasive plants in my garden and love the wonderful native plants!

  22. says

    In Princeton NJ, I love D&R Greenway’s Native Plant Nursery, http://www.drgreenway.org/NativeNursery.html. They collect their seed locally and responsibly, and grow them themselves. They also participate in a lot of restoration activities.

    I also frequent the annual plant sales by the New Jersey Audubon Society (http://www.njaudubon.org/) which is almost 100% native plants.

    Chester township Environmental Commission (http://www.chestertownship.org/environmental-commission.html) is promoting use of Native plants with an annual sale.

    Bowmans Hill wildflower preserve (http://www.bhwp.org/resources/Plant-Sales.htm).
    Nisha Khanna recently posted..Remembering The Call of the Owl

  23. says

    Native plant sources for northwest Ohio:
    • Toledo Botanical Garden – Spring and Fall Plant Sale;
    • Wood County Park District – Spring Plant Sale
    • Naturally Native Nursery – 13737 Middleton Pike (aka Route 582), Bowling Green, Ohio; NW Ohio’s only commercial native nursery; open April 15 through October 15; Hours: 10 am – 5 pm; For native plant seed:
    • Toledo Botanical Garden – seed available in Seasons, the Garden’s gift shop
    • Seed Swap – Wild Ones booth
    • Naturally Native Nursery – 13737 Middleton Pike (aka Route 582), Bowling Green, Ohio; NW Ohio’s only commercial native nursery; open April 15 through October 15; Hours: 10 am – 5 pm; closed Tuesday and Wednesday (http://www.naturallynative.net/)
    Hal Mann recently posted..The Great Compromise

  24. Grant Folin says

    Thank you for sharing all of this great information. I have not yet looked at the new page, so if this is duplicate information, I apologize. In southeastern Pennsylvania, a wide variety of native plants are available at the Bartram Nursery at Bartram’s Garden, the oldest botanical garden in the US. Native plants are growing in the landscape there, as well. For seeing wild native plants, The Laurels preserve of the Brandywine Conservancy is a wonderful place for both wild and intentionally planted native plant species. Also, the various preserves of Natural Lands Trust are worthwhile for native plant viewing. I hope this is helpful. Keep up the great work! Take care, Grant

  25. Denise in PA says

    Please add Harvey’s Gardens Perennials in Wrightsville (York County), PA, owner Wendy Brister. Ms. Brister is an adjunct professor of Ornamental Horticulture at Harrisburg Area Community College, spreading the good news about natives to students year after year as a huge part of their education. She is an excellent resource whenever questions arise regarding any/many aspects of native plant use in Central PA! This nursery is open for retail by appointment only, wholesale to the trade, but occasionally has open-to-the-public days as well. Website: http://www.harveysgardens.com, Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Harveys.Gardens — Thanks for this great list!

  26. Jane Kruse says

    Two places to observe native plants in eastern Pennsylvania are:
    Frog Hollow Environmental Educational Center is a 28 acre wetland near Friedensburg, PA
    Hawk Mountain Sanctuary nears Drehersville, PA, known for hiking and watching raptures in the fall, hosts a native plant sale spring and fall.

  27. Cindy Caldwell says

    In St. Louis, MO, check out Bowood Farms (314-454-6868) and also the Kirkwood Farmers Market. Both are terrific sources for native plants!

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