National Audubon currently has a nationwide initiative to encourage all of us to grow more native plants that are good for birds. The logic is that we have removed many of the native plants in our environment, which is stressing food supplies for insects and other organisms, including our native birds. By using native plants in our landscape design we can add back what was taken away and increase biodiversity, making our homes a healthier place for all of us. It's Audubon's goal to have it memberships plant a million native plants for birds!
If you visit www.audubon.org/plantsforbirds and enter your zip code, Audubon will provide a list of plants that are favorable to birds and that are native to your area. Unfortunately, these plants are not always easy to find in nurseries in our area. Below you will find a list of nurseries in south Louisiana, as well as some mail order resources, that will help you find options for purchasing native plants that you can add to your yard and homescapes. (Please note that I'm not including any "big box" stores or hardware stores that carry season plants. They may accidentally carry natives, but they are not a reliable source.)
Hilltop Arboretum has what it calls the "Hodge Podge" which is a volunteer nursery area on the premises. Usually unmanned, this nursery features plants that are tagged with names and prices, so it's up to you to know what you're looking for. These are plants that have been propagated or shared by volunteers. Not all of them are native, so you do have to know what you're looking for, but you can often find things here that you can't find anywhere else. Payment is by the honor system... leave your check in the mailbox slot by the parking lot.
Twice a year, Hilltop holds pretty awesome plant sales...one in the spring and one in the fall. People arrive a day ahead to see what's going to be offering and are jostling each other at the starting line the day of the sale. Bring your wagon and have a good idea of what you're going for if it's going to be something in high demand! It's worth it to become a member of Hilltop to get notice of the sales and the programs that Hilltop Arboretum has to offer.
In addition to the traditional landscaping options, Harb's Oasis actually features a Native Plants section, and is the only retail nursery in our area to do so. In addition, there are people here who actually know about plants and are able to answer questions. Definitely worth a visit to see what they have to offer.
274 North Donmoor
5696 Siegen Lane
10645 Greenwell Springs Road
31275 Hwy 16
Clegg's does a great amount of business in Baton Rouge and is a fine full service nursery. They don't, however, feature any native plants, per se. That is, you can occasionally find them there, but they will be accidental finds and likely not labeled as natives. That said, Rick Webb, a wholesale grower who specializes in native plants, does sell to Clegg's, so you may occasionally find Louisiana natives here... but you certainly have to know what you're looking for. In my personal experience, it's not likely that the salespeople will have any idea about what is native and what's not.
For the following nurseries, finding natives will be accidental. Finding someone at the nursery who knows native plants is possible but you may have to ask around.
13121 Coursey Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70816 US
8680 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70810 US
39245 Hwy 42
Prairieville, LA 70769 US
Pretty much a repeat of what I said about Clegg's. Nice nursery, but finding natives will be accidental.
2544 Government St
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
11810 Gibbens Rd
Baton Rouge, LA
5211 Legion St
St. Francisville, LA 70775
12188 Hwy 22
Ponchatoula, LA 70454
19355 Hwy 22 East
Ponchatoula, LA 70454
26300 Highway 190
Lacombe, LA 70445
1640 Collins Blvd
Covington, LA 70433
2100 N Causeway Blvd
Mandeville, LA 70471
You can't buy direct from these companies but you should watch for their wares at Plant and Garden Sales around the state.
Sells plants at Clinton Louisiana Community Market (first Saturday of each month, as well as LSU Spring Garden Sale and New Orleans Botanical Garden events.
G W Willis, md
Mail: P O Box 719, Doyline, LA, 71023-0719
Shipping: 3100 Herren Rd, Doyline, LA, 71023
Cell: 318-210-4507 (G W Willis)
Holds a retail market Saturday 9-3, January - April & October - November at wholesale prices
1003 US-45 ALT
West Point, MS 39773
Email form on website
Contact form on website
Pelican Greenhouse @ City Park New Orleans
Plant sale first Saturday of each month. Features many native plants. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of native plants available each month.
Madisonville Garden Show
Sponsored by the Madisonville Garden Club. Usually first weekend in March. Check with the club for dates: www.facebook.com/Madisonvillegardenclub
Northshore Garden & Plant Sale
Sponsored by St. Tammany Master Gardener Association & LSU Ag Center. Usually third weekend of March in Covington
Crosby Arboretum Spring Native Plant Sale
Usually last weekend in March. Check website calendar for dates: crosbyarboretum.msstate.edu
Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show
Sponsored by LSU Ag Center. Usually middle of March at Parker Coliseum on the LSU Baton Rouge campus.
Festival des Fleurs
Blackham Coliseum, Lafayette, LA. Usually first weekend of April.
New Orleans Spring Garden Show
New Orleans Botanical Gardens usually second weekend of April
Daylily Festival & Garden Show
Magdalen Square, Abbeville, LA. Usually first weekend of June
Hammond Research Station sponsored by Tangipahoa Master Gardeners. Second weekend of September
Folsom Fall Garden Festival
Midway Church Park, Folsom, LA. End of September.
New Orleans Fall Garden Show
This event is sponsored by the New Orleans Botanical Garden, New Orleans City Park, the New Orleans Botanical Garden Foundation, and Friends of City Park.
See more at: http://neworleanscitypark.com/events/fall-garden-festival. Usually first weekend of October.
Louisiana Native Plant Society
Capital Area Native Plant Society
Society for Louisiana Iris