Growing Native Plants: Insights and Stories from 3 Native Plant Nurseries

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Show notes:

Gardening with native plants has been growing in popularity. Some people want to grow native plants for plant conservation purposes or to showcase the diverse, local flora of their region. Others want to grow native plants for the benefits they provide to pollinators and wildlife. Still others are interested in native plants as sources of food or herbal medicine. And some people want to grow native plants in their gardens for a combination of reasons. Whatever the underlying purpose is, we all share a common interest and often face some of the same general questions and challenges.

This week’s episode of the Backyard Ecology podcast features a roundtable type discussion with the owners of three native plant nurseries located in Kentucky. Those nursery owners are Alicia Bosela from Ironweed Native Plant Nursery, Margaret Shea from Dropseed Native Plant Nursery, and myself from Busy Bee Nursery and Consulting. Even though we’re all located in Kentucky, our conversation is applicable to people in other states as well.

Our conversation is a very fun, fluid discussion where our passion and enthusiasm for our work really shows through. Some of the many topics we cover include collecting, recommendations for people just getting started with growing native plants, some of our favorite starter native plants, and dealing with insect pests. We also discuss some of the questions that we are commonly asked. And of course, we share lots of stories and observations from our nurseries and our own gardens / properties.

Throughout the conversation, you’ll also hear us asking each other questions and learning from each other. All of us recognize that there is always more to learn and we enjoy learning ourselves as well as helping others learn. I always find conversations like this educational and inspiring. I hope you find this episode educational and inspiring as well.


Episode image:

  • Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum)
  • Photo credit: Shannon Trimboli, all rights reserved

Backyard Ecology: Exploring Nature in Your Backyard
Nature isn’t just “out there.” It’s all around us, including right outside our doors. Hi, my name is Shannon Trimboli, and I am the host of Backyard Ecology. I live in southcentral Kentucky and am a wildlife biologist, educator, author, beekeeper, and owner of a nursery specializing in plants for pollinators and wildlife conservation. I invite you to join me as we ignite our curiosity and natural wonder, explore our yards and communities, and improve our local pollinator and wildlife habitat. Learn more or subscribe to my email list at

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