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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - July 07, 2005

From: Poolesville, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Native plant nursery
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I want to grow wildflower starts for tough-to-grow plants for retail and commercial sale. And I prefer organic, but, jeez, one step at a time. Any guidance on the ins and outs of this business? Do you have growers as members? From whom do you buy seed for mid-atlantic and southwest member buyers? I have land in Maryland and New Mexico and this is my second career. Thanks for any leads on learning the business. I look forward to the Conservation Development Forum on 8/19.

ANSWER:

Here are a couple of suggestions:

1. Visit the National Suppliers Directory on the Wildflower Center web page. You can find lists of nurseries and seed companies by state or region there. Some of these might be able to put you in touch with other growers in their area. You would also be making contact with potential buyers of your plants to learn what they need and want.

2. Contact the Native Plant Society of New Mexico and the Maryland Native Plant Society. They should be able to guide you to growers and sellers of native plants in their states.
 

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