by Berit Erickson

Are you ready to create a pollinator garden or add native plants to an existing garden? Here’s where you can find native plants in the Ottawa area.

Local native plant nurseries

A Cultivated Art, Vanier
A Cultivated Art has gradually been expanding its local native plant nursery offering more plants and new species. You can order online for pickup in Vanier. Inexpensive seedlings are available in different sizes and prices. The Plant Library offers detailed profiles of many native species.

Ottawa Valley Native Plants (formerly Beaux Arbres), Eganville
Contact to arrange a nursery visit. Check the Events page for info on when the nursery will be attending local markets, and the Blog for when pre-ordered plants will be brought to Ottawa. You’ll find lots of 2nd year and mature plants for sale here.

Solidago Farm, Wakefield, QC
See their website for dates when Solidago Farm will be at Ottawa markets, including Parkdale Market, Parkdale Night Market, and Beechwood Market.

Naturaide, Winchester
Contact the owner for a list of available plants, and to arrange Ottawa delivery. Also designs and installs native plant gardens.

Annual Ottawa events

Ottawa Wildflower Seed Library seedling giveaways
June 15, July 6, August 10, 2024, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Springhurst Park, (corner of Brunswick street and Springhurst Avenue)
See the OWSL Events page for details.

Friends of the Farm Sale
Annual sale held in early May
Neatby Building parking lot, Experimental Farm
This annual sale is run by the Friends of the Experimental Farm. It features a variety of vendors of non-native and native plants.

Fletcher Wildlife Garden Plant Sale
mid-May to early June, closed for 2024
Fletcher Wildlife Garden
Native plant seedlings grown by the Friends of Fletcher Wildlife Garden. Order by email to pick up plants at Fletcher Wildlife Garden, which is located near the Experimental Farm.

Worth a road trip

Connaught Nursery (on Facebook), Cobden
A great source for local native woodland plants and other native species. Beginning in late winter/early spring, you’ll find their plant availability list on Facebook. Order by email for pickup at the nursery on designated days starting in May.

Natural Themes Native Plant Nursery, Frankford
Open Thursday to Saturday afternoons or by request. Offers a wide selections of native herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees at reasonable prices. Well worth the drive.

Dropseed Nursery, Picton
Open Fridays and weekends. This new nursery opened in May, 2024. Sign up for their newsletter or follow them on social media for details.

Notable nurseries that carry native plants

We’ve been asking conventional nurseries to carry native plants. For the most part, it’s hit-or-miss what you’ll find. However, a few nurseries have enthusiastically jumped onboard and are carrying lots of native plants.

Ritchies Feed and Seed, Windmill Lane location
This location now carries local native species, as well as cultivars and near natives. Mature plants in large pots.

Trinkets and Thyme, Embrun
This nursery specializes in native plants and food plants. While they grow some plants themselves, they also bring in a wide variety of perennials, native trees and shrubs of different sizes. You can order on their website for pick-up at the nursery, or visit to browse in person.

Big box stores

WWF In the Zone plants
Loblaws/Superstores have partnered with the World Wildlife Fund Canada to offer ‘In the Zone’ native plants at many Ontario and Quebec stores. Plants are grown by reputable native plant nurseries in Ontario.

CWF Plant Packs
Some Home Depot stores carry the Canadian Wildlife Federation Plant Packs – 4-pack mixes of native plants for Monarchs, bees, and hummingbirds.

Native plant nurseries that ship

Ontario Native Plants, online only
In southwestern Ontario, but ships right to your door. Their healthy plants are shipped in secure packaging.

Native Plants in Claremont, near Pickering
You can shop in person at this nursery near Toronto, or order online and get plants shipped. Plants are well packed and arrive in good condition.

Is it native enough?

“Native plant” means different things to different people.

  • To some, only native species that grow within 50 miles or 100 miles of a location are considered to be true natives. See the WPP blog post Wildflowers: what’s native?
  • Others believe any native plant species that grows in Ontario qualifies a native. You can consult the online VASCAN database to see if a species is native to Ontario.
  • To some, a species that only grows south of Ontario, or east, or in the prairies is also considered native. While others might call those plants ‘near natives’ or not native here at all. 

Ultimately, you can decide how strict you want to be.


There are also cultivars of native plants out there, sometimes called “nativars.” They may be naturally occurring or hybridized versions with a particular appearance, such as a unique flower colour. Cultivars are indicated by an additional name in quotation marks following the latin name, such as a white version of Purple Coneflower called Echinacea purpurea ‘Pow Wow White.’

Bring your phone with you so you can Google a plant’s common or latin name to determine if it falls within your personal criteria for considering a plant native.


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