Frequently Asked Questions

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

It’s been encouraging to hear so much positive feedback from customers who have visited this summer! Thank you for your continued support! There have been a lot of inquiries about my operations in general. Questions range from “Will you sell trees and shrubs?” to “Do you use pesticides?”. Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions! The page will be updated from time to time in order to keep you informed of any changes in my operations.

Still have something on your mind that remains unanswered? Feel free to reach out at arcadianatives@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Do you collect plants from the wild?
Where do your plants and seeds come from?
What kinds of plants are you selling?
Will we find herbs or vegetables at your nursery?
Are you going to have trees and shrubs for sale?
What kind of potting soil do you use?
Can we buy plants online? Do you ship plants?
What is your warranty or return policy for plants?
How often will you be open?
Do you raise your plants in a greenhouse?
Do you use pesticides?
I heard you have an online store. Why don’t I see it here on your website?
Where did the name Arcadia Natives come from?

I prefer to leave the wildflowers in the wild! So much damage can be done to sensitive species (like this Trillium) just by carelessly picking blossoms! Please, never dig plants from wild spaces and avoid taking the flowers. Many do not do well in vases and some species may not bloom again for years after being picked!

Do you collect plants from the wild?

I do not dig plants from public land or wild areas. Nor do I condone unethical seed-collecting practices. In an effort to harvest responsibly from our own land, only a small amount of seed is gathered from each plant community here. This enables the “mother patch” of natives to continue to reproduce and provide essential food for birds and mammals in the fall and winter months.

Where do your plants and seeds come from?

Blue Cohosh seeds washed in multiple water baths and planted fresh.

Many of my plants are container grown from seeds collected on our 22 acre property. Some seeds are collected with permission from local landowners. Any seeds I purchase are from reputable sources that deal exclusively with natives. All plants grown from local seeds will be clearly marked. As it’s not been possible to find seeds for all the species customers have been requesting, I decided to invest in some plugs. This fall I’m expecting an order of plugs to arrive for the following species: Button Bush, Coral Honeysuckle, Lady Ferns, Goats Beard, Swamp Rose. These will be potted up, nurtured, and available next season!

What kind of plants are you selling?

Packera aurea (Golden Groundsel) grown. from seed collected on our property

My focus is straight native plant species (no hybrids or cultivars): spring ephemerals, herbaceous perennials, annuals, vines, aquatic, grasses and groundcovers. Though we utilize colorful annuals like zinnias and cosmos in our own landscaping, I do not sell them at this time. You can see the complete list of plants I’ll be growing in 2021 here. Species that have sold out have been removed from the list. Watch for species availability and updates to the plant list on my Facebook page.

Will we find herbs or vegetables at your nursery?

Blephilia ciliata (Downy Wood Mint)

Though herbs can be wonderful food sources for butterflies and their larvae (not to mention tasty for us too!), I do not plan on selling them. Potted herbs and veggies are readily accessible at most nurseries and garden centers. Please be sure your herbs are coming from a neonic-free facility! Straight natives are my passion and container grown specimens are very difficult to find in our area. I will have 6 varieties of native mint and several perennials that are sometimes used for herbal teas or remedies such as Bee Balm and Anise Hyssop. It is highly recommended to always do your research before consuming any plant. See my complete list of natives here.

Are you going to have trees and shrubs for sale?

Yes! But, perhaps not right away. One of my long-term goals is to be able to offer sexed Northern Spicebush (lindera benzoin) shrubs. It may take up to three years before they flower and can be identified as male/female. A handful of first year unsexed seedlings may be available upon request.

What kind of potting soil do you use?

Many of my seeds were started in Pro-Mix BX potting medium. It contains mycorrhizal fungi and natural biofungicides. Below is information from the Pro-Mix website along with an in-depth video explanation. All seedlings are transplanted into Pro-Mix MP Organik soil, which is OMRI listed.

The main benefits of mycorrhizae include:

  • Better nutrient uptake (including phosphorus, copper, zinc and manganese)
  • Greater resistance to stresses related to transplanting, nutrient deficiencies, root rot and drought
  • Optimal recovery and growth after transplanting
  • Increase in plant vigor, flowering and fruit/vegetable production

The use of mycorrhizal inoculants is an interesting solution to help plants withstand difficult environmental conditions. They are particularly useful to help plants survive and grow, despite the excessive heat and lack of water they may experience more often due to climate change, especially in urban environments.

PRO-MIX Growing Media Active Ingredient: MYCORRHIZAE

The main benefits of biofungicides include:

  • Protects against damping-off, crown and root rots caused by Fusarium, Pythium and Rhizoctonia
  • Enhances germination
  • Increases plant growth
  • Reduces risk of pathogens delevoping resistance to chemical fungicides
  • Ensures a broad spectrum of action against diseases

Want to know more about the Bacillus Pumilis natural bacterium used in Pro-Mix? Follow the links below for brief informative videos and in-depth explanations.

This natural biofungicide will not cause harm to caterpillars, bees, butterflies, or other insects that consume the leaves of plants.

According to a statement from a PRO-Mix Horticulture Specialist:
“The bacterium nor the antibiotic are absorbed by any part of the plant nor is it taken up into the fruit or vegetables. There is no evidence that using the Biofungicide will in any way compromise human health. Keep in mind that the bacterium – plant relationship has existed naturally in the soil since plants first appeared on the Earth and the plant utilizes many species of bacteria and fungi as part of the plants ability to adapt to changing biological and environmental conditions within the soil.”

What is the BIOFUNGICIDE in the PRO-MIX growing media?
Explanation and Benefits of BIOFUNGICIDE in PRO-MIX
PRO-MIX MP Organik Components

Can we buy plants online? Do you ship plants?

I will not have plants for sale online at this time. However, feel free to drop by and visit in person! Coming from a long distance? Please call (724-986-0907) first to make sure we are open and to check plant availability!

What is your warranty or return policy for plants?

I go to great lengths to keep my nursery stock healthy. Plants are examined daily to ensure my customers will be taking home vigorous, well-rooted specimens. Please feel free to inspect your selections carefully before checking out. I also recommend reading our informative plant fact signs detailing the growing conditions for the plants you have chosen. Planting the right plant in the right place is critical to ensure your native not only survives, but thrives! I’m happy to help and answer any questions you may have about caring for the species you are interested in purchasing. If your plant does not seem to be thriving after you have planted it in your landscape and given it time to establish itself, feel free to call and we can troubleshoot the issues and try to come up with a solution. Perhaps it is being shaded by nearby perennials, receiving too much water, or requires more airflow. Together, I’ll do my best to help you figure it out! I really do love these plants and want them to bring you happiness for many years!

As I have no control over what happens to our plants once they leave our property, I cannot offer any returns, exchanges, or refunds. Thank you for understanding!

How often will you be open?

I try to be open weekly throughout the summer with pop-up sale events here at the nursery most weekends. Depending on my family’s schedule, I also have spontaneous sale days throughout the week. Check my website homepage or Facebook for these announcements! My Google business listing says “temporarily closed”. You are always welcome to call/text me in advance before coming to make sure I’m here. Or, I’d be happy to help schedule a visit that works for you! You can reach me at 724-986-0907. As I am just one person (dragging a husband and four kids along for the ride) I sometimes have to make adjustments along the way. I do my best to keep customers in the loop when this happens!

Do you raise your plants in a greenhouse?

None of my plants are grown in a greenhouse. A lot of my seeds are sown outdoors in the fall or winter in trays and containers. They are protected from harsh wind and sun, but they still experience similar conditions as they would in the wild. Snow, rain, and the fluctuating temperatures of the seasons will dictate when the plants break dormancy in the spring. This creates strong seedlings that are well adapted to our local climate. I also use artificial stratification to start seeds indoors in the refrigerator as many native plant seeds need a period of cold in order to germinate successfully.

You may also be interested to know that a percentage of my container grown seedlings will be “reinvested” throughout the property and planted along our trails, in display gardens, or recreation areas. Many are the “misfits” that may not be as aesthetically pleasing and don’t meet the high standard I have for my nursery stock. I still don’t have the heart to toss them out so they get tucked into my own landscape. I do love the idea of giving back to our land rather than just taking from it.

Do you use pesticides?

This tiny lacewing larva was found on the underside of an aster leaf. It will be placed where it is sure to have an abundant food source.

One of the reasons I am passionate about growing native plants is because they are food for insects and wildlife. In no way do we want to use any chemicals on our plants that may cause harm to the beneficial creatures that rely on them. For this reason, you might see some imperfect leaves where something has been snacking, a caterpillar sleeping in a folded leaf, or butterfly eggs waiting to hatch.

I frequently utilize natural pest control. As I don’t spray pesticides on my nursery stock I must rely 100% on nature to help me when there’s a problem. At the first sign of a “pest” I remove the plant (or tray of plants) from the nursery. I then find beneficial garden helpers like this lacewing larva and put it on the ones affected. Hoverfly and ladybug larva are also creatures I scout for in our “weedy border” behind the nursery. These amazing insects clean up infestations in short order! No soaps, no sprays, no oils. For me personally, those products are not worth the risk. Many people have recommended I use Dawn dish soap as a solution. In spite of what you read in Facebook gardening groups, Dawn is not safe to use as it can also kill the beneficial insects that are there to help. Not to mention the ingredients really are not meant to be used on plants!

Once my beneficial insects are in place, I scrutinize the leaves of the plant every few days. When the previously affected plant(s) have no signs of recent pest activity they will be returned to the nursery. This can take several weeks and sometimes they need an additional few weeks in their isolated spot to recover. I am patient and don’t mind the wait. It is worth it to provide clean/healthy stock to my customers and to keep both our pollinators and beneficials safe!



I heard you have an online store. Why don’t I see it here on your website?

We do have an online store! It is hosted by a company called Zazzle. I have been a designer for Zazzle for over fifteen years. Zazzle is a print-on-demand service. Shirts, mugs, stickers, coasters, keychains and more. I receive a small royalty for each item sold. Though I manage several Zazzle stores, the ArcadiaNatives storefront is brand new and open for sales! It is still a work in progress as I create designs and curate collections.

In this store, all items feature native plants and wildlife! Most are designed with my own nature photography or artwork (occasionally, royalty-free clip art is used). What’s even better is that most of the merchandise can be personalized. For example, several of our t-shirts feature American Elderberry on the front and a description of the plant on the back. If you’d rather type in your own plant information, favorite nature quote, or simply remove it altogether you have that option!


Please note, beyond designing and keeping the store organized, I have no direct involvement with orders. Customers purchase the merchandise, I receive a very small royalty for each item sold and Zazzle handles printing, packaging, and shipping items. If there is a problem with any order, they are the point of contact to resolve those issues. However, feel free to let me know if something is amiss with the design on your item so I can see if it’s something that can be corrected on my end. We’d also love to see a photo of your purchase if you want to share it on our facebook page!

Want a custom design? Perhaps you’d like Tiger Swallowtail butterflies on the tote bag shown below instead of the Spicebush Swallowtail ones. There is a “Message” button on each product page that allows you to contact me directly. Let me know what you have in mind and I will do my best to accommodate you. There is no charge for this service, it’s part of my job as a designer. I cannot guarantee that I can fulfull your request, but I can promise to give it my best try!

Where did the name Arcadia Natives come from?

After living on the property for one full year, we decided it was time to name the place. My husband came up with Arcadia Springs. Arcadia by definition is “a region or scene of simple pleasure and quiet”. The “springs” part is pretty self explanatory as we have numerous natural springs throughout the woods. It seemed a logical transition to tie the business name in with our home and property. Thus, Arcadia Natives plant nursery will be located at the edge of our beloved Arcadia Springs.

Private Residence Family Picnic Area

Check out our blog to see updates about the nursery business and learn more about the flora and fauna of Arcadia Springs!