The United States is facing a quiet ecological crisis.
It may not grab the headlines in the same way as global warming but the onslaught of non-native plants and animals is an eco-disaster. In particular, the coasts and Great lakes have seen huge economic disruption due to invasive species.
Much of the problem stems from what we grow in our gardens.
There’s good news though. The best online nurseries are helping the ecosystem fight back.
They’re dedicated to helping gardeners plant species that will build our native ecosystem back stronger than ever!
Check them out!
Our Best 6 Online Nurseries
Best Nationwide: High Country Gardens
With collections for every region of the country, it’s hard to go wrong with High Country Gardens and their extensive product range has something for everyone.
What we love about them though, is the “garden in a box” sets which provide everything you need to create a specific collection in your garden. So easy!
1. The eco-conscious gardener is supremely well-catered to
2. Their “Garden in a Box” packages are the ideal starting packs for beginners
3. The website is very easy to use and easy to narrow down your options on
1. They’re a big company and the service they provide feels like a big company
2. Not much in the way of additional online resources for gardeners
3. No post-sale support for gardeners, beyond basic customer service
Best For New England: Nasami Farm
We got wind of Nasami Farm from one of our favorite vegan blogs and we’re really glad that we did, this little New England-based farm is amazing!
They sell the kind of plants that adorn the covers of the best vegan cookbooks and always aim to ensure a real range of genetic diversity to explicitly counter the big business-run traditional nurseries.
1. All native plants individually raised from seeds
2. They supply eco-friendly kits for specific environments
3. Non-profit focused on making a better world
1. Only for New England
2. No delivery service for most items, you have to go fetch the orders
3. Very few resources except those supporting plant gardening
Best For The Midwest: Prairie Moon
Prairie Moon is all about helping others to help regrow the American Midwest’s prairies and they take that mission very seriously, so don’t be surprised but they don’t cater to other regions.
They offer native grown plants that are meant to last. They pack everything in peat moss when it’s shipped to ensure that it is healthy when it arrives.
1. They have a huge variety of plants for prairie state gardens
2. They offer a ton of support to get you started
3. There’s a lot of eco-consciousness gone into their catalogue
1. They only cater to the Midwest
2. The website could be a bit easier to navigate
3. Their blog is brilliant but really hard to find
Best For The West: Central Coast Wilds
For gardeners out West there’s really only one choice if you want to find the nursery that understands the needs of your garden, Central Coast Wild.
When they’re not growing plants, they’re creating and bolstering the local ecology and helping to restore native habitats and spreading local plants in an effort to revitalize the area.
1. Without a doubt, the best choice for Western native plants there is
2. A huge range of of plants that encompass everything a Westerner needs
3. Lots of support to help you garden and create nice plant displays
1. It’s a little on the pricey side when compared to other nurseries
2. They only cater to Western native plants
3. They may prioritize the farmers they do business with over their gardeners
Best For The South: Wilcox
If you live in a desert-like area then you need the kind of drought tolerant plants that Wilcox sell.
They’re based in Florida and they host their own nursery as well as sourcing trees, plants, etc. from other parts of the South.
We love the way that their plants are selected to promote positive interactions with local birds, insects, and fauna. This is the way gardens are meant to be.
1. Great selection of plants
2. Very eco-friendly and they provide support when making purchasing decisions
3. If you want support in the South with your gardening, they’re the best
1. If it rains a lot where you are, this isn’t the selection for you
2. This is a very specialized set of plants and won’t fit every garden
3. Very few growing supplies available from them
A Great All-Rounder: Lively Root
If you’re looking for something with a bit more of a focus on indoor plants then Lively Root is an excellent all-rounder which ticks that box.
However, it comes at a fairly hefty cost – Lively Root is an expensive option. We’d recommend it for a little luxury but not for everyday use.
1. They offer a good range of eco-conscious plants
2. They offer some lovely locally grown options
3. They’ve got a superb set of indoor plants (and a decent set of outdoor options too)
1. The prices are very steep
2. Their plant pots are fairly basic given the prices
3. They also sell exotic plant species which are not at all eco-friendly
Final Thoughts On Best Online Nurseries
Buying plants online is super convenient and our best online nurseries are more than just plant delivery services.
Each of them is trying to make the world a better place by restoring native flora in America so that our native insect, bird and animal species can be restored too.
There’s nothing wrong with non-native plants in their natural environments but without conscious effort, there’s a real potential for our own native species to be lost to the passing of time.
So, don’t forget to choose a caring nursery next time you buy plants online.