• ljmarkson

Atlanta Area Spring 2022 Native Plant Sales and Nurseries

Updated: Mar 21

Spring native plant buying season is here! It’s exciting to see most of the native plant sales and nurseries are once again in person where you can see the plants you're buying and ask questions before purchasing them. It's also great to connect with other like-minded plant friends who understand the value native plants add to a habitat friendly yard. The following list of Atlanta native plant sales is arranged in rough chronological order. Click highlighted links to go directly to the sources for more information.

If you typically buy plants at traditional nurseries and are new to buying native plants, the main difference is that native plants have not been manipulated to artificially bloom on command to sell like show nursery plants have. Their homeliness hides their potential. When buying native plants, it’s helpful to remember the often repeated saying in the native plant world "first year, plants sleep, second year, they creep and third year, they leap"!

These pots of unassuming native plants have great potential to offer critical wildlife connections and essential pollinator pathways once they are established in the landscape. This photo was taken at the charming North Georgia Native Plant Nursery.

Without a long digression into the complicated controversy about native cultivars, often called nativars, my biggest plant buying tip would be to look for the straight native species if it’s available. The easiest way to tell if a native plant is a cultivar is if there is a second name in the description with a single quotation around it, sometimes with an x before the quotation, (for example the popular Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' is a cultivar of solidago rugosa). For more information about cultivars, The Georgia Native Plant Society has a statement about cultivars on their website. If a cultivar has been bred to make the leaf color darker or double the blooms definitely do not buy it because both of these traits will make it less attractive to the insects that depend on the straight species for survival. Names like red moon, black beauty, or purple haze are a tip-off that the leaf color may have been changed. My one exception for buying cultivars is if space is a major concern. I have intentionally bought smaller cultivars of native bushes such as fothergilla and clethra when I couldn't find room in my small intown Atlanta yard for the larger straight species.

Before I learned about native plants and my aesthetic was more of cottage garden look, I had many cultivars including this unnaturally pink Echinacea purpurea 'PowWow Wild Berry' and yellow Achillea x 'Moonshine'. I can share from experience that they were not covered with pollinators the way the straight species Echinacea purpurea and Achillea millefolium that replaced them are.

Atlanta Area Spring 2022 Native Plant Sales


The Chattahoochee Nature Center Spring Plant Sale is open to the public on Friday and Saturday, March 25-March 26 from 10:00am-5:00pm. (Chattahoochee Nature Center Member Only can shop on Thursday, March 24 from 4:00-7:00pm). They are located at 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Follow the signs to the greenhouse where horticulturists and local experts will be onsite to help with native plant selection. There will also be vegetables and herbs for sale.

Trees Atlanta Plant Sales will be from 8:00-1:00 Sat, April 2 at the Carter Center located at 453 John Lewis Freedom Pkwy NE Atlanta, and on Saturday, April 9 at the Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center located at 225 Chester Avenue Atlanta. The Trees Atlanta plant sale is next door to the weekly Freedom Farmers Market at the Carters Center that opens at 8:30. The GNPS Intown Habitat Tour is also on April 2 but it doesn't start until 10:00am and ends at 4:00pm, so you can buy native plants in the morning and get native plant landscape inspiration in the afternoon! If you have situations that require special attention, please contact sales@treesatlanta.org to discuss. You need to do your research before buying plants at the Trees Atlanta sale because there are many cultivars and a few non-natives mixed in with a large selection of native plants. There are also usually plenty of volunteers and staff on hand to answer questions about plants during the sale.

The Trees Atlanta also has a sale plant list. Some of the more interesting and not so common native plants listed include Buttonbush/Cephalanthus occidentalis, Fringetree/Chionanthus virginicus Fringetree, Swamp Titi/Cyrilla racemiflora, Partridge Berry/ Mitchella repens, Silverleaf Mountain Mint/Pycnanthemum incanum, Royal Catchfly/Silene regia, Georgia Aster/Symphyotrichum georgiana, and Yellowroot/Xanthorhiza simplicissima

Yellowroot (Xanthorhiza simplicissima) is a relatively unknown native plant often sold at the Trees Atlanta plant sale. It is an easy, fast spreading, shade loving groundcover with pretty foliage and tiny little spring flowers.

Monarchs Across Georgia will host a booth selling native plants at the 22nd Annual Cobb Master Gardener Plant Sale & Expo on April 15 and April 16 from 10:00am-4:00pm at Jim Miller Park's covered arena 2245 Calloway Road SW, Marietta. Last year I found some native grasses, milkweeds, and pollinator-friendly plants at their pop-up sale at a local farmers market. Check out the Monarchs Across Georgia Facebook page for updates and more information.

Georgia Audubon and Oconee Rivers Audubon Society are partnering with Beech Hollow Wildlife Farms to offer a large selection of bird-friendly, native plants at their Spring Online Native Plant Sale from Tuesday, April 19 through Sunday, May 15. All plants need to be ordered online. Pick-up is in Atlanta on Sunday, May 22 from 9:00-3:00 at Beech Hollow, 389 N. Clarendon Ave, Scottdale (near Your Dekalb Farmers Market) and in Athens at Beech Hollow Wildflower Farm 1575 Elberton Road, Lexington on Saturday on, May 21, from 10:00am-2:00pm. Plants cannot be held later than pickup dates. If you need help with your order or have additional questions call 678.973.2437

I bought my first of multiple bird friendly beautyberry (callicarpa americana) bushes at an Audubon native plant sale.

If I'm looking for a specific native plant, I can usually find it at the GSU Perimeter College native plant sale. I bought most of the native grasses and sedges in my yard from there. The GSU Perimeter College Spring native plant sale is from 10:00am-2:00pm on Friday April 22, Saturday April 23, Friday April 29, Saturday April 30, Friday May 6, and Saturday May 7. The location is 3251 Panthersville Rd.

There are long rows of native grasses and sedges to choose from at the GSU Perimeter College native plant sale.

The GSU sale is all native plants (with just a few cultivars) and they're well priced for the size. Many of the plants are grown on-site, including the largest variety of native grasses, sedges and ferns I've found locally. A tiny percentage of the fruiting bushes and trees may have been treated with neonicotinoids, so ask Christine about the plants you choose. Check out the Botanical Garden at GSU while you're at the sale. Check before going about whether the sale is accepting credit cards. In the past they have been cash only. Contact Christine cpatrum@gsu.edu for more information about the sale. She is also super helpful with plant selection information.

The prices of the bushes and trees at the GSU native plant sales are some of the most well priced in town.

Wylde Center’s Plant Sale Festival is on April 16 from 9:00am-3:00 pm and their online and self-serve plant sales are going on now. They are not focused on non-native plants, so you will need to do your research to find the natives. There are surprises I find there that keep me going back. Last year I found native narrow leaf mountain mint (pycnanthemum tenuifolium) and common boneset (eupatorium perfoliatum) They also have a nice variety of healthy vegetable seedlings, herbs, worm casting bags, seeds, mushroom growing logs, and honey for sale. Online orders are available for pick-up at Wylde Center’s Oakhurst Garden or delivered for an additional fee. The self-serve sale is ongoing during daylight hours in front of the Oakhurst Garden at 435 Oakview Rd. Decatur. Payments can be made via PayPal (payments@wyldecenter.org), or by dropping cash or a check in the front door. Instructions for payment are posted on the front porch. When the sale is open, the selection changes so check back in.

The Georgia Native Plant Society North Metro Atlanta Chapter and the Alpharetta Community Agriculture Program are hosting a Native and Edible Plant Sale on April 30 from 10:00am-2:00pm at 900 Old Rucker Farm, Old Rucker Road, Alpharetta.


Atlanta Area Native Plant Nurseries


Native plant nurseries are a way to get your native plant fix without the hustle and bustle of trying to get what you want at a one-time native plant sale. We also need to make sure to support the small independent nurseries selling native plants.

Small independent native plant nurseries will continue to flourish if we shop at them instead of big box stores. This photo was taken at the beautiful North Georgia Native Plant Nursery.

Beech Hollow Wildflower Farm has an expanded retail outdoor area where they’ve added a Reading Room and Reference Room in Scottdale (near Your Dekalb Farmers Market). The hours are Thursday-Sunday from 10:00am through 4:00pm. The address is 393 North Clarendon Ave, Scottsdale. I’m thrilled that we now have a closer and more consistent native plant resource intown. Their original location is also worth a drive. It’s at 575 Elberton Road, Lexington (706.623.2020)

It's dangerous to have Beech Hollow Wildflower Farm in Scottdale a relatively short drive from my intown house! They consistently update their stock so I tend to go back to see what's new!

Garden*Hood Is a small, independent intown nursery in Grant Park offering both native and non-native plants. They are located at 353 Boulevard Street, SE, Atlanta and open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00am through 5:00pm. The staff is knowledgeable and will help you pick out the native plants they do offer.

Garden*Hood is a traditional nursery with a nice selection of native plants. Ask the staff to help find the straight species for you.

Nearly Native Nursery is a fun, independent nursery to visit south of Atlanta. They are open Wednesday-Saturday from 9:00am through 6:00pm. They are closed Sunday-Tuesday. The address is 776 McBride Road, Fayetteville. Call 770-460-6284 for questions. As the name states, they Nearly Native Nursery has both native and non-native plants. They also do mail order.

North Georgia Native Plant Nursery (previously known as Nightsong Native Plant Nursery) is a small independent nursery north of Atlanta offering only native plants. They are open on Friday from 10:00am through 5:00pm and Saturdays from 10:00am through 3:00pm. Contact by text 770.401.8896 or e-mail northganatives@gmail.com for an appointment Monday through Thursday. The address is 1095 Epperson Road, Canton. The owner is super helpful and knowledgeable - I always seem to leave with a carload of plants!

The owner of North Georgia Native Plant Nursery is super helpful and the nursery is such a lovely place to visit.

Little Creek Farm Nursery is a specialty nursery carrying a large selection of plants native to the Southeast. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am through 5:00am. Contact by calling 770-456-0123 or e-mail info@littlecreekfarmnursery.com for more information. The address 774 Seals Road in Dallas, GA.


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