Up to date as of April 2021
So you've decided to add native plants to your garden, you have a general idea of what you want to plant and which wildlife you'd like to attract, and now you're ready to move to the next step: acquiring them.
To help you navigate your way to increasing our pollinator populations, we've included many local nurseries below and how they responded to our queries about pesticide use. You can download a printable PDF of this list here. Don't forget to check for current hours—some nurseries are not open every day, and hours change seasonally.
In a perfect world, native plants would be grown in a chemical and pesticide-free environment—after all, we don’t want to poison the creatures we're trying to protect. Yet, because of some regulations and to enhance market appeal (who wants to purchase plants with aphids?), not all nurseries or the wholesalers that supply them practice sustainable methods.
In general, independent nurseries who grow native plants tend to be more conscientious about the use of pesticides, especially complex synthetic ones like neonicotinoids, which have been found to live in plants for up to two years and can kill unsuspecting pollinators who feed on these plants. Some nurseries require their wholesale growers to avoid using these products and can review pesticide logs to insure they are in compliance. Other nurseries, usually larger ones with multiple locations, have responded “we do not know if they [their wholesale suppliers] use pesticides."
In a recent native plant webinar hosted by Envision Frederick and Multi-faith Alliance of Climate Stewards (MACS), they suggested that we as gardeners “always ask” about pesticide use directly when purchasing plants at each nursery, as some types of plants are grown and treated differently than others. In our experience, most owners and managers were happy to have this discussion. For more information on how to ask your nursery about pesticide use, see this resource from the Xerces Society.
We know this is yet another puzzle (or maybe hurdle) in the pursuit of native plants, but if consumers continue to inquire at nurseries about how the plants are grown, hopefully, with awareness and consumer demand, most growers will phase out the use of harmful chemicals. In fact, just this week, Walmart made an announcement that they're pursuing this path.
Table of contents
Less than 30 mins from Urbana
Tree Talk Natives
11900 Hawkes Road
Clarksburg, MD 20871
Open weekends and by appointment
*Plants are pesticide-free
*Inventory expected early May, includes pictures of plants/trees and status; new nursery; some native plants are grown from seed onsite.
5432 Old National Pike Frederick MD 21702
Monday through Saturday 8AM – 7PM
Sunday 9AM – 6PM
*They don’t keep a list of native plants, but so far this spring 2021 they have a good selection and continue to get more plants in. They carry the American Beauties Native Plants line, as well as others.
*Their wholesalers do not use neonicotinoids, but may use other pesticides
5504 Mt. Zion Rd. Frederick, MD 21703 301.473.9042 Open Every Day from 9AM-5PM *Has a good selection of natives – which are categorized on their website and indicated with an asterisk
*Holds tree planting sale twice a year – with purchase of tree, they will plant it for you; Free Delivery on orders over $100
*Does not know if plants from wholesalers are pesticide-free
1619 Buckeystown Rd Adamstown, MD 21710
Open 7 days a week, 9AM – 5PM
*They don’t maintain a list of their inventory, but plants are grouped together on site. The plants are larger sized and generally range from $19.99 – 26.99
*They grown their own natives, and are chemical/pesticide free
Potomac Gardens (closed for 2021)
8710 Fingerboard Rd
Urbana, MD 21704
*Natives are not listed on website, but manager has provided us a list
*They do not know if their plants from wholesalers are pesticide-free
1 hour or less from Urbana
Herring Run Nursery
https://bluewaterbaltimore.org/herring-run-nursery/ 6131 Hillen Rd
Via online and by appointment only
*Specializes in plants native to Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay watershed
*Statement on use of neonicotinoids on website. “We do not, and will not, use chemical controls of any kind at the Nursery. We limit our business to growers who are likewise committed to the use of sustainable green practices and have eliminated the use of neonicotinoids”.
Lauren’s Garden Service
Lauren’s Garden Service & Native Plant Nursery
3575 Sharp Rd
Glenwood, Maryland 21738
Limited Spring Saturdays 10AM-3PM
*Lots of different native categories to choose from on website including straight species, inventory status is provided, as well as pictures. Link to a Native Plant Toolkit.
*MAC resource says chemical-free, but verify
Nature By Design
300 Calvert Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301
*List of 2021 native plants available on website, but please call in advance to insure inventory
*All of their homegrown plants are pesticide free; their wholesale plants are neonicotinoid free
Sunny Meadows Garden Center
7437 Sharpsburg Pike
*Do not have a website, but they publish a newsletter as plants come in
*Plants grown on site are chemical-free, but unsure about wholesale plants
www.sunnurseries.com 14790 Bushy Park Road Woodbine, MD 21797 410.442.2090 or 301.854.6107 or 301.829.3300
MON-FRI: 9AM– 6PM SAT: 8AM– 5PM SUN: 10AM – 5PM
*Includes searchable database with information about plants, not sorted by natives
*Not all plants are pesticide-free, but they do not use neonicotinoids. They can answer specific questions about specific plants.
8610 Baltimore National Pike
*Inventory is always changing, so there is no list, etc. but does carry some native shrubs and plants
*Mostly chemical-free plants, depending upon plants
Wakefield Valley Nursery
1690 Wakefield Valley Road
New Windsor, MD 21776
Hours change throughout year
*List of native plants generally available on website
*Does not use pesticides in nursery; grows most plants/shurbs from plugs that are not treated with pesticides.
16764 Hamilton Station Rd
Hamilton, VA 20158
Open Tuesdays through Fridays, 9AM-2PM from March 31 – October 15
Open Saturdays 9AM-4PM
*Includes large inventory via spreadsheet and status of plants
*Does not use pesticides on plants grown on site and routinely checks with growers on their pesticide use
Greater than 1 hour from Urbana
9640 Rosaryville Rd
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
By Appointment Only
*Promotes local ecotype native plants, includes 2021 inventory
*Never uses pesticides
Native plant sales
Usually held annually or twice a year, many native plant sales have limited inventory and can sell out quickly. Take advantage of those offering pre-sales and online ordering; arrive early at pre-sales.
Saturday April 24, 2021
Beloved Gardens: Vegetable, Herb and Perennial Plant Sale
9 am – 2 pm
4880 Elmer Derr Rd
April 21 - May 8, online pre-order; Pickup/in person: May 22
The Monarch Alliance Sale (proceeds benefit Potomac Audubon and The Monarch Alliance)
https://www.potomacaudubon.org/event/spring-native-plant-sale/ @ Sunny Meadows in Boonsboro
*These plants are chemical-free
*Lists inventory preview
April 29 – May 2, online, Pickup May 5-8
Friends of Black Hills Nature Programs
Must be a member to order on first day ($15)
Plants as low as $5.00; shrubs: $25.00
*Organized by type of plant/conditions with pictures
*Plants are chemical-free
May 2, 12 PM-4PM
Robinson Nature Center
2021 Native Plant Palooza
6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia, MD 21044
A portion of the proceeds of online sales from Lauren’s Garden Service will be donated to the Audubon Society, but you must use the code AUDUBON.
*Plants are chemical-free
Master Gardeners – Frederick
Sale not happening in spring 2021
Online, by mail
Prairie Moon Nursery
*Sells large variety of native seeds, kits, pre-planned gardens, beautiful/informative catalog, etc
*Neonicotinoid free; statement on their website
1.800.476.9453 *Sells large variety of native seeds, kits, pre-planned gardens, etc.