Frequently Asked Questions

Every plant you purchase at the Native Here Nursery directly supports conservation of California native plants. We are a non-profit organization whose dedicated volunteers work hard to provide native plants for local park restoration projects and home gardens. After nursery expenses are covered, all proceeds from plant sales support the programs of the East Bay California Native Plant Society (EBCNPS), e.g., research grants, conservation and restoration projects of local lands. To learn about current projects, go to

NOTE: Due to the Covid pandemic, all plants must be ordered online for curbside pickup until further notice.

We do not have a specific plant “sale,” but we do sell our plants all year round during opening hours. We always have a table of rotating 1/2 price plants as well. 

In addition, we offer 5-6 special education events focused on a plant or plant group at the peak of its availability, featuring a free presentation by one of our native plant experts. Past events featured manzanitas, ferns, ground covers, and annuals. Check our website for announcements of upcoming events, or join our mailing list at

Please check our online plant inventory to see what we currently have available.

Just like the locavore food movement that emphasizes eating what is in season, we collect seeds and cuttings we find growing that year. Some years certain plants don’t produce much seed. Annuals, especially, vary from year to year in their numbers, with some not emerging at all in certain years. Also, we have variations in propagation success. Some years seeds produce many plants. Other years certain seeds don’t emerge well or get eaten by critters or killed by disease.

We usually have other similar plants that would be happy in your garden, so you may find something else that will complement your selection.

Our mission is to propagate and sell plants that are native to Alameda and Contra Costa County, which is the boundary for the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (EBCNPS) We have organized our stock into geographic localities based on where we collected seeds and cuttings in the East Bay. Plants do best when they are planted in areas close to where their parent seed or cuttings came from. This strategy preserves the local genetic makeup of the plants, keeping diversity within species to a maximum so that they are able to adapt to diseases, pests, and other natural and human influences. Local natives also provide food, habitat, and shelter for the local animals who evolved with them.

California is a large state and has a huge diversity of native plant habitats. Your plant list of California native plants may include plants from coastal southern California, the Sierra Nevada mountains, or northern California forests, which are not native to the East Bay.

Try this exercise next time you visit Native Here Nursery: Go to the section of the nursery where you live. If you live, for example, in El Cerrito, go to our El Cerrito section. See what plants we have there, reading the plant cards as you browse. Then go to neighboring sections to see how the selection changes or stays the same. As you go from bayside sections to inland areas, you’ll see some different plants. Also, many species grow in all areas, but often look slightly different from region to region. You’ll gain an appreciation for what grows in your area, and you might be inspired to pick different plants when you see how they grow together naturally.

Long-time nursery volunteer, Margot Cunningham explains:

“I do this exercise (wandering around the different plant sections) every time I’m at the nursery, and after 13 years I have learned a lot. To me, planting local natives is like historic preservation of buildings or fine works of art. I like to think about what used to grow in my area and try to bring back those plants. You can research what used to grow in your area by visiting parks and vacant lots nearby and looking for vestige populations of natives (although beware, many parks have natives that have been planted recently). Books with historical photos can be useful. The diaries and accounts from early European explorers are another source of information on what used to grow in areas of the East Bay. Fremontia, the biannual publication of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), has had articles over the years on what plants grew in California landscapes in the past. And just talking to knowledgeable people in native plant circles yields interesting tidbits of information as well.”

Native Here Nursery Tilden Park

Though many local native plants are drought resistant, we offer plants from all types of local native habitats, including those near creeks, lakes and marshes. Some examples include seep monkeyflower (Erythranthe guttata), nutsedge (Cyprus eragrostis), and western rush (Juncus occidentalis). These plants will require the same moisture that they are used to having in their native habitats.

Check the information section for each plant (in the nursery or on our website) to find out how much irrigation each plant requires.

Note: Even the most drought-resistant plants require regular watering during the first year or until they are established in your garden.

Unfortunately, deer will browse a variety of plants, even nibbling ones that are on some deer-resistant plant lists. They change their diets from year to year. The best strategy is to protect the plants with cages or netting until the plants get large enough to withstand grazing.

We are very serious about preventing Sudden Oak Death (Phytophthora ramorum) here at the nursery. To learn more about prevention, visit our webpage Best Practices for Phytophthora Management.

More Questions?

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