top of page

Native Plants: Planning for Planting

Check out this catalog!

This blog is all about sharing tips, info and other good things to encourage us all to do more gardening with native plants. "Where to Buy" lists nurseries and online sources where you can consistently find native plants. Nuts for Natives has no financial or other connection to these sources.

To encourage planting native plants in the Chesapeake region, it really helps to patronize our local independent nurseries, particularly those specializing in native plants like Nature by Design in Alexandria, Herring Run in Baltimore and Kollar Nursery in Pylesville and online sources like Direct Native Plants. If you are looking for local ecotype plants, Earth Sangha in Springfield and Chesapeake Natives in Upper Marlboro are the places for you.

If you have a large planting project (and some patience!), seeds, plugs or bare root plants can be far more economical. It is rare to find plugs or bare root native plants in retail nurseries. Prairie Moon Nursery in Minnesota sells all three by mail and is one of the few places I know of, along with Izel Plants and Prairie Nursery, where you can buy plugs retail. To learn more about plugs, click here.

native grass plugs
Plugs of Pennsyvlania Sedge

The most important thing about Prairie Moon Nursery, though, is their catalog which you can access online here or request in paper here. Whether you want to grow from seeds, plugs or bare root plants, Prairie Moon Nursery is a literal treasure trove of information about native perennials and shrubs and super easy to use. Each entry has all the information you need. Online there is also a range map to show you the geographic area each plant is a native of. I highly recommend it! Please make sure to check the native range tab for each listing online if you want Chesapeake natives. Prairie Moon Nursery is in Minnesota and sells plants native to the prairies of the midwest as well. Many of those, though lovely, are not native here in the Chesapeake watershed.

You may be thinking "you are nuts; it's the middle of January!" Well, true. I'm mindful, though, of the significant shortage of seeds last spring and the tremendous increase in demand for all things gardening through the year. Industry forecasters are predicting this trend will continue, and likely strengthen. So, this seems a good time to place orders for native plant plugs you may be thinking of planting come spring.

If you are starting your planning, you may want to check out these shrubs, eco-powerhouse natives, and perennials for late summer. Are you thinking of going big?! Check out this project from the Virginia Native Plant Society showing an entirely transformed back yard with step by step details. Just want to add some natives to your existing landscape? Dr. Doug Tallamy, author of Nature's Best Hope, recommends layering.

If you have a favorite source for native plants not listed here, please share it in the comments and I will check it out. Happy garden planning and thanks for reading!


We want you to be as excited about planting Chesapeake natives as we are. “Plant This or That” gives you a native alternative to popular plants. Other posts highlight really fabulous fauna native to the Chesapeake.

Nuts for Natives, avid gardener, Baltimore City admirer, Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration enthusiast, and public service fan.

bottom of page