10 best plant nurseries

Whether designing a new garden, making changes to a mature landscape, or trying to shoehorn a new favorite plant into a shrubbery, I’ve always found two sets of resources absolutely vital. My first go-to’s are some brilliant garden design books for inspiration. And just as indispensable are several of the best plant nurseries. I also find inspiration in walking amongst rows of the latest seasonal releases at my local garden center and browsing through online nurseries that ship plants.

I’ve never been able to find one single plant retailer that could fulfill all my gardening needs, though a few have gotten close. Specialist and niche nurseries, along with large general gardening and landscape supply companies, have all played a part. So, here’s my take on some of the best plant nurseries in the USA.

Colorful plant nursery

1. Bates Nursery and Garden Center

Nashville, TN

Bates is a family business with a superb range of plants for sale directly to the public. As well as their retail center, they have an impressive online catalog. In addition to landscaping and orchard trees, there’s a great seasonal range of herbs and vegetables. Besides being one of the best online nurseries that ship plants, you can also get garden décor, landscape supplies, and pots.

2. Belmont Nursery

Fresno, CA

While they sell common shrubs and trees, this nursery is an excellent resource for dry area plants. Think cacti, ornamental grasses, bamboo, and hardy subtropicals. Fantastic if your garden is subject to dry spells.

3. Bloomscape

Detroit, MI

Bloomscape is an online retailer with a good catalog of mostly indoor plants. You’ll find low care, pet-friendly, and low-light plant ranges.

4. Gethsemane Garden Center

Chicago, IL

They boast thousands of outdoor and greenhouse-suitable plants and flowers. Gifts and outdoor furniture ranges are beautiful, and this is a place you’ll enjoy browsing for hours and leave no doubt with more than one plant. Comprehensive is the right word for this center.

5. Gingko Gardens

Washington, DC

A fabulous range of trees and shrubs can always be found here, as well as garden décor and gifts. They deliver if curbside pickup is too tricky for you. They also provide landscape design services, so it’s an excellent place for more than retail.

6. Farmington Gardens

Beaverton, OR

They’re a great family-owned business that grows a huge range of plants at their site instead of just shipping in from other retailers and growers. They also provide plant-growing classes and community events. Absolutely worth a visit.

7. Joshua’s Native Plants & Garden

Houston, TX

Joshua’s nursery focuses on native plants that thrive in the Gulf Coast region. They also have an intriguing range of garden antiques – pots, statues, and curios.

8. Nature Hills

Omaha, NB

When you’re looking for where to buy plants online, it’s always a good idea to check out Nature Hills. They boast of being America’s largest online plant nursery, and their catalog certainly seems to bear that out. Natives, exotics, fruit and nut trees, perennials, vines, and bulbs —they cover a huge category range. I can browse online for hours at this site.

9. Plantly

Online Only

Online nurseries that ship plants include Plantly. They have an excellent range of indoor and outdoor floras, including succulents, ferns, and lush tropical and sub-tropical varieties. You’ll also find bonsai, cacti, herbs, vegetable seedlings, and fruiting plants. It’s a great store if you’re looking for something a little different. I find their free shipping feature on some plants great for my budget.

10. Zone Ten Nursery

Miami, FL

Now Zone Ten is quite different from most retail nurseries. Plant biologists own it, and their expertise on the plants for sale is unparalleled. While you can only visit on Sunday afternoons, the range of tropical and subtropicals is extensive. You’ll come away with better knowledge of the local flora and what will grow successfully at home.

Tree nursery

The best plant nurseries in the USA

So, there you have it — my list of the best plant nurseries. Their collective variety of plants suited to different US climate zones should keep your green thumbs busy and your garden flourishing. And you’ll also find a fantastic range of outdoor décor items, landscape supplies, and tools to help complete your garden.

Shrub tree nursery
Shrub nursery
Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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