Meet your Chicagoland Stormwater Storage Requirements with a rain garden!

Where to Buy Native Plants for Your Rain Garden

Butterfly Weed and Wild ColumbineAfter expounding on the many ecological benefits that native plants have not just in rain gardens, but anywhere in the landscape, I received some enthusiastic responses from individuals wondering where they could find natives.

Hmm…I hadn’t thought about that.

Native plants are readily available to contractors like myself, but this is not the case for the typical homeowner who wants to put in just a few natives.

It then occurred to me that it isn’t just awareness of natives that limits their use; it is their availability!

To help with this, I have compiled my lists of different native plant sources and broken them down into the following categories:

Chicagoland Delivery
City of Chicago
North Suburbs
Northwest Suburbs
Southwest Suburbs
South Suburbs
Everywhere Else
Native Plant Selection Tips



Chicagoland Delivery

Pizzo Native Plant Nursery
Location:10729 Pine Rd, Leland, IL 60531
Website: http://pizzonursery.com/
Contact: 815.826.0566
Notes: Minimum order of one flat of plugs or 1/4 acre of seed mix. Plugs can be a mix of 2-3 species per flat. Very helpful and knowledgeable staff!

Red Buffalo Nursery
Location: 10502 Seaman Rd, Hebron, IL 60034
Website: http://www.redbuffalonursery.com/
Contact: Jack – jack@redbuffalonursery.com, 815.648.4838
Notes: A friendly, family-run operation. A good source for some harder to find natives.

City of Chicago

Season Long Pick-up

Natural Garden Natives® Retailers
Locations: http://www.naturalgardennatives.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/wheretobuy.find
Notes: Use the website above to find a local vendor of Midwest Groundcover’s native plants near you. Contact local vendor for more details on availability and prices.

One-Time Plant Sales

Wild Ones Chapter: West Cook County
Website: http://www.wildones.org/connect/chapters/illinois-chapters/oak-park-chapter/
Contact: Pam Todd – pamtodd5@me.com
Notes: Looks like a newer chapter. They may not have plant sales themselves, but will probably be your best resource for information on local sales.

North Suburbs

Season Long Pick-up

Natural Garden Natives® Retailers
Locations: http://www.naturalgardennatives.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/wheretobuy.find
Notes: Use the website above to find a local vendor of Midwest Groundcover’s native plants near you. Contact local vendor for more details on availability and prices.

Red Buffalo Nursery
Location: 10502 Seaman Rd, Hebron, IL 60034
Website: http://www.redbuffalonursery.com/
Contact: Jack – jack@redbuffalonursery.com, 815.648.4838
Notes: Nursery offers native plant sales in the Spring and Fall in different locations across the Northern Suburbs, check website. Appointment strongly recommended before traveling up there.

One-Time Plant Sales

Conserve Lake County
Location: 32492 N. Almond Rd.
Grayslake, Illinois 60030
Website: http://www.conservelakecounty.org/index.php
Contact: 847.548.5989
Notes: Annual Spring and Fall native plant sales.

Northwest Suburbs

Season Long Pick-up

Natural Garden Natives® Retailers
Locations: http://www.naturalgardennatives.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/wheretobuy.find
Notes: Use the website above to find a local vendor of Midwest Groundcover’s native plants near you. Contact local vendor for more details on availability and prices.

Red Buffalo Nursery
Location: 10502 Seaman Rd, Hebron, IL 60034
Website: http://www.redbuffalonursery.com/
Contact: Jack – jack@redbuffalonursery.com, 815.648.4838
Notes: Nursery offers native plant sales in the Spring and Fall in different locations across the Northern Suburbs, check website. Appointment strongly recommended before traveling up there.

One-Time Plant Sales

Citizens For Conservation
Location: 459 West IL Rt 22
Barrington, IL 60010
Website: http://www.citizensforconservation.org/
Contact: Ginger – Ttonkajo@yahoo.com
Notes: I have volunteered at this event for the past few years and would recommend that you come out early. Great variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees. Look for it again this upcoming Spring.

Conserve Lake County
Location: 32492 N. Almond Rd.
Grayslake, Illinois 60030
Website: http://www.conservelakecounty.org/index.php
Contact: 847.548.5989
Notes: Annual Spring and Fall native plant sales.

Wild Ones Chapter: North Kane County
Website: http://nkwildones.org/
Contact: news@nkwildones.org
Notes: Look for native plant sale in Spring.

The Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee
Location: McHenry County
Website: http://www.thewppc.org/index.html
Contact: jkeenan211@gmail.com, 815.675.2562
Notes: Look for a Spring Plant Sale coming up.

Wheaton Park District
Website: http://www.wheatonparkdistrict.com/
Notes: Good source of Native Trees and Shrubs. Look for event this upcoming Spring.

Southwest Suburbs

Season Long Pick-up

Natural Garden Natives® Retailers
Locations: http://www.naturalgardennatives.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/wheretobuy.find
Notes: Use the website above to find a local vendor of Midwest Groundcover’s native plants near you. Contact local vendor for more details on availability and prices.

Pizzo Native Plant Nursery
Location:10729 Pine Rd, Leland, IL 60531
Website: http://pizzonursery.com/
Contact: 815.826.0566
Notes: Minimum order of one flat of plugs or 1/4 acre of seed mix. Plugs can be a mix of 2-3 species per flat. Nursery is not open to public; Appointment necessary. Very helpful and knowledgeable staff!

Possibility Place
Location: 7548 W Monee Manhattan Rd, Monee, IL 60449
Website: http://www.possibilityplace.com/
Contact: 708.534.3988
Notes: Great nursery. One of the few (and only in some cases) producers of larger native plants, shrubs, and trees.

One-Time Plant Sales

Midewin Tallgrass Prairie Alliance
Website: https://sites.google.com/site/midewinalliance/
Contact: midewinalliance@gmail.com
Notes: Look for Spring plant sale.

Wheaton Park District
Website: http://www.wheatonparkdistrict.com/
Notes: Good source of Native Trees and Shrubs. Look for event this upcoming Spring.
Dupage Forest Preserve

South Suburbs

Season Long Pick-up

Natural Garden Natives® Retailers
Locations: http://www.naturalgardennatives.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/wheretobuy.find
Notes: Use the website above to find a local vendor of Midwest Groundcover’s native plants near you. Contact local vendor for more details on availability and prices.

Pizzo Native Plant Nursery
Location:10729 Pine Rd, Leland, IL 60531
Website: http://pizzonursery.com/
Contact: 815.826.0566
Notes: Minimum order of one flat of plugs or 1/4 acre of seed mix. Plugs can be a mix of 2-3 species per flat. Nursery is not open to public; Appointment necessary. Very helpful and knowledgeable staff!

Possibility Place
Location: 7548 W Monee Manhattan Rd, Monee, IL 60449
Website: http://www.possibilityplace.com/
Contact: 708.534.3988
Notes: Great nursery. One of the few (and only in some cases) producers of larger native plants, shrubs, and trees.

One-Time Plant Sales

Midewin Tallgrass Prairie Alliance
Website: https://sites.google.com/site/midewinalliance/
Contact: midewinalliance@gmail.com
Notes: Look for Spring plant sale.

Everywhere Else

If you are not in the Chicagoland area and want to find your own native plant sources, I would recommend using a Google search of “conservation organization” with the “Nearby” filter selected as shown below.

Attend Conservation Meeting

Using the “Nearby” filter will give you local results to your searches. In the unlikely event that your local conservation groups are not aware of native plant sources then I would try the key words “native plant nursery” or other similar phrases.

If this doesn’t work, check with your local library or water reclamation district. The person answering the phone may not know of any sources, but ask them to take the message and pass it along to someone who might know.

Native Plant Selection Tips

This is the time of year to create your beautiful native garden!

Yes; I realize it is the second week of November and we just got a dusting of snow the other day. But this is exactly the time when your garden begins.

Go outside and take pictures of the locations you want to fill in with native plants. Take quick notes on the space available, sunlight and moisture conditions, and surrounding plants before you cut them back to the ground.

This information will be very helpful when selecting your native plants.

You can take this information to many of the native plant suppliers during the upcoming Winter months. They will have much more time to discuss with you some plant options during their off-season.

You can also get some great design ideas from library books or online blogs. One I would recommend is Pat Hill’s very informative blog. She has a great book available as well.

If you do a little homework now you can spend this cold and gray Winter looking through bright and cheery plant books and catalogs guilt-free!

Good Luck!

Do you know of any native plant sources that I missed? Do you have any good native plant resources for the beginner to get started with? Let me know below!

If you found this information useful, please pass it along to others!

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