These are our favorite sources of plants – all local, of course. Scroll down for native-plant specialty sources, plant sales and plant swaps.
Independent Garden Centers
American Plant has two locations, both on River Road in Bethesda.
Behnke Nurseries is a family-owned business in Beltsville, Maryland, established in 1930. Behnkes sponsors many free or inexpensive learning and social events throughout the year. Great selection and knowledgeable staff. See also the gardening info on their website, and on their blog.
Burke Nursery in Burke, VA. Sells vegetables in 3 packs and 6 packs, which are more economical if you are planting a large garden. Pumpkin Playground.
Campbell & Ferrara Outdoor Living in Alexandria, VA. Nice variety, wonderful roses, good landscaping. Playground. Free seminars.
Cravens Nursery and Pottery in Fairfax, VA.
DeBaggio’s Herb Farm and Nursery in Chantilly, VA. Huge variety of herbs and vegetables. 24 varieties of basil, 10 of oregano, over 100 of tomatoes, etc. See their catalog online. Only open in the spring.
Garden World in Fairfax, VA. The wide selection of plants in such a manageable space makes shopping a pleasure. Houseplant/tropical plants are arranged like a botanical garden.
Ginkgo Gardens is located on Capitol Hill.
Heather Hill in Fairfax Station, VA. Hard-to-find and unusual perennials and annuals. Grow some of their own on site. Knowledgeable staff that have time to talk. Display gardens: ask them about their vole cages! Carries over 50 kinds of hostas and 50 kinds of herbs. The owner tries to avoid sources that use insecticides and can tell you which ones are definitely insecticide-free.
Holly, Woods and Vines in Alexandria, VA. Good selection.
Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville, MD.
Johnson’s Flower and Garden Center, in business since 1933, is located in Washington, D.C.; Kensington, MD and Olney, MD.
Lake Ridge Nursery & Garden Center in Woodbridge, VA.
Lilypons Water Gardens in Adamstown, MD. The nearest nursery dedicated to pond plants.
Meadow Farms has 23 retail locations, including these in the DC area: 7 Corners, Burtonsville, Chantilly, Germantown, Great Falls, Herndon, Leesburg, Manassas and Woodbridge.
Merrifield Garden Center has 3 locations: in Merrifield, Fair Oaks and Gainesville, VA.
Nalls Produce in Franconia, VA.
Patuxent Nursery in Bowie, Maryland.
Petals and Hedges in Paeonian Springs, VA. A recommended garden center; also does floral arrangements.
Sam’s Farm in Falls, Church VA. Knowledgeable staff, good selection, notable selection of herbs. Lots of garden statues.
Silverbrook Nursery and Landscaping in Lorton, VA. Park-like grounds with playground, demonstration gardens. Particularly charming accessories for sale, such as decorated trellises and other ornaments.
Southern States in Manassas, VA. Relatively small nursery, but very good prices. Feed store, farm equipment. Giant bags of grass seed. Pet supplies, wild bird supplies.
Wolf Trap Nursery in Vienna, VA. Big collection of bonsais and the tools needed for planting them; bonsai workshops.
Native Plant Specialty Sources
Adkins Arboretum in Ridgely, MD
American Native Plants in Perry Hall, MD
Chesapeake Natives in Upper Marlboro, MD
Ecoasis Garden Center in Bowie, MD
Environmental Concern in St. Michaels’s, MD
Herring Run Natives in Baltimore, MD
Nature by Design in Alexandria, VA.
Treefrog Nursery in Great Falls, VA. Specializes in container gardening and native plants.
The Beltsville Garden Club holds two plant sales every year, in April and May.
Friends of the National Arboretum holds a huge plant sale in April.
The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy holds two plant sales each year – in April and September.
Know of others? Leave the info in a “reply” below or write: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many garden clubs hold plant “swaps,” where gardeners give away their extra plants. Great way to try out new plants in your garden.
Greenbelt, Maryland holds plant swaps every spring and fall. Check the newspaper calendar of events next April and September.