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Where to buy native plants in Los Angeles

Planting season is here in Los Angeles! If you are stoked about creating your own Ocean Friendly Garden, you might be wondering where to buy California native plants. 

Native plants are key to creating healthy soil that is ready to soak up and filter rain during our wet winters. Many California native plants are well adapted to our hot, dry summers, and have long root systems that are ready to soak up and store rain when it comes. Underground roots create their own habitat for microorganisms, making a living spongey environment that prevents flooding and stores carbon long-term. 

We are expecting lots of rain this year with El Nino, so it’s the perfect time to create rain gardens, swales, and berms that can keep rainwater in our gardens and out of our storm drains!

There are around 2,600 species of plants native to just LA county, a staggering amount of biodiversity and variety. Each of these plants have unique connections with wild bees, butterflies, birds, lizards, and other wildlife, creating the foundation for healthy habitats and resilience to the stresses of climate change. There are plenty of sizes, colors, and smells to choose from, and the nurseries below can provide plenty of guidance and inspiration.


Artemisia Nursery

Artemisia has lots of native plants to choose from as well as “Seedy Sundays” workshops where you can learn to propagate your own native plants. 


Plant Material

This hip, funky nursery specializes in native, climate-appropriate, and edible plants. They have 3 locations in Silver Lake, Glassell Park, and Altadena, and occasionally host pop-up events with food, live music, or unique DIY workshops.


Hardy Californians

You can spot this seasonal pop-up shop in Sierra Madre until mid-December and around town at different events. They carry a wide selection of native plants and seed shakers, and have plenty of vibrant photos on their Instagram page to get inspired! 


Theodore Payne Foundation 

Probably one of the largest retail nurseries in the LA area, Theodore Payne is well known for an impressive selection of native plants and seeds, beautiful demonstration gardens, and expert-led workshops and classes. 


California Botanic Garden Grow Native Nursery

The California Botanic Garden is a great resource for educational classes, events, and inspiration. Their seasonal retail nursery offers native plants popular for gardens and some harder-to-find gems. 


Hahamongna Native Plant Nursery

This volunteer-driven nursery at the base of the San Gabriel mountains specializes in hyperlocal native plants for restoration & creating habitat at home. Their nursery also features a demonstration bioswale to capture runoff, so you can get some OFG inspiration while you pick up your plants!


LA Native Plant Source

This Highland Park nursery has an eclectic selection of plants, and you can virtually tour the half-acre native plant garden with well-established coast live oak trees on their website. 


Where to buy native seeds online: 

Theodore Payne Foundation

Tree of Life Nursery 

Walqaqsh California native seeds

Be wary of “Wildflower” seed mixes! 

Seed packets at many stores will often label themselves as “wildflower,” “butterfly garden,” or “pollinator friendly” regardless of what seeds are inside. Always check that the seeds are native to your region, don’t plant a pest! 

Ways to check your seed packet:

  • Is it specific to California? Does it say “native to” your region?
    • Seed packets will often list regions that the plants can survive in, not where they are native to or what ecosystems they support
  • Are the latin names of the plants listed on the back?
    • You don’t need to be able to read latin, but a packet with the latin names listed can be a sign of a reputable seed seller
  • No invasive plants in the mix? 
    • Don’t plant a pest! Avoid plants like cornflowers/Centaurea, African daisies/Gazania, and chysanthemum/crown daisy/Glebionis coronaria

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