These Chesapeake Bay watershed nurseries have native plants that are easy to find. Either the nursery carries only natives (see Herring Run Nursery in Maryland and Nature By Design in Virgnia); the native plants are marked in a way that makes it easy to spot them (see Behnke’s in Maryland); the nursery has a native plant section; or the nursery has a large selection of natives and helpful staff. Please note, nutsfornatives.com has no connection to these nurseries. We visit the nurseries every 6 months and update this page as needed. If you have updates or additions we should be aware of, please contact us!
American Plant (Bethesda MD)
American Plant always has a selection of native perennials, the more popular shrubs and often small trees. There are two River Road locations: Bethesda and the Beltway. (visited 10/18)
Behnkes Nursery (Beltsville MD)
Behnkes has announced they are closing in June of 2019. They do have a small selection of native perennials and a good selection of native shrubs as of 4/12/19. Native plants are in a special native section and marked “Bay Safe” which is very helpful when you are selecting plants. (visited 4/19)
Herring Run Nursery (Baltimore MD)
This nursery sells only native plants: a comprehensive selection of perennials, shrubs, and trees. It is the best local source we know of. If you are not from Baltimore, it may seem a bit off the beaten track but it is totally worth it. The nursery is located on the edge of a golf course. Sales of plants benefit the non-profit organization, Blue Water Baltimore. Please check their hours before you go – as a non-profit this nursery is not open every day, all day. In addition to the hours, the website shows you where to park – at the head of a gravel road. You walk about a 1/4 mile to the nursery and shed. The very friendly staff will give you and your purchases a ride back to your car in their motorized cart.
Homestead Gardens (Davidsonville MD)
This large nursery and garden center always has a selection of native perennials and shrubs and often trees. Very helpfully, Homestead now maintains an on-line list of native perennials on hand so you may check inventory ahead of time. (visited 9/18)
Merrifield Garden Center (Falls Church VA)
This is a very large nursery which carries a wide selection of non-native plans as well as some native plants. Native perennials, shrubs and trees are mixed in with non-natives. In a few cases, perennials native to Virginia are labeled. To me, one of the strongest attributes of this nursery is in the incredible selection of trees, including very large trees (20′). If you are looking for a native tree, particularly a more mature tree, this is the place to check out. (visited 4/19)
Nature By Design (Alexandria VA)
This is, literally, a hidden gem. This small nursery, one block off of US1 in Alexandria, just below Potomac Yards, is tucked away off of a street populated by light commercial uses. Nature by Design stocks only native plants and has an incredible range of hard to find native plants. Most trees and shrubs are quite young which can be a real bonus for the patient gardener. The prices are reasonable and the staff are extremely knowledgeable and informative. Please check their website for hours before you go. (visited 4/19)
Niche Gardens (by mail)
This North Carolina nursery specializes in native plants and will mail quarts. Niche Gardens plants are very high quality and beautifully packed for shipment.
Prairie Nursery (by mail)
This Wisconsin nursery sells only native plants, has a number of natives that aren’t easy to find and has one of the most helpful websites around – loads of information about each plant, conditions, and more. A map of the native range for each plant is also helpfully included. Prairie also sells small plants – 3″ pots are common and they also allow you to customize mix and match trays – very helpful if you don’t need 32 of the same plant. Check out their pre-planned gardens for different situations ranging from 32 to 192 plants. A great source for plants and seeds!
Prairie Moon Nursery (by mail)
This Minnesota nursery has an extensive on-line store of native perennials, ferns, grasses, ground covers and some shrubs available by mail. Other than the shrubs, most are available in the coveted 2″ size trays of 38 plants. You can search by conditions, type of plant or soil type, particularly helpful for us in the Mid-Atlantic, searching for plants adapted to clay soils. Also, please note, this Nursery has greatest availability well in advance of the Spring and Fall planting seasons. Plan your orders the season ahead.
Sun Nurseries (Woodbine in Howard County, just off 1-70)
This is a large, working nursery. Sun has 20 acres of plants from grasses and perennials to very large trees. Many trees are in ground and many shrubs are in pot in ground. Their selection is phenomenal and the prices are very competitive. Most perennials are in gallon size. Their selection of evergreens and shrubs is top notch. In some cases, native plants are grouped together – for example, there is a row of American Hollies including ilex opaca and winterberries. In many cases, though, the native plants are mixed in with the huge array of plants. This is a location where it would make sense to bring a shopping list. Browsing might be overwhelming! (visited 8/18)
Do you know of others we should all be aware of? Please contact us!