Frequently Asked Questions
We are not able to arrange for order pick-up at the Nursery. Unfortunately, we cannot make exceptions - all orders are shipped.
Our plants—greenhouse grown and/or over-wintered in central Wisconsin—are ready to ship in April. In order to guarantee plant survival during shipment, we ship plants during two “shipping-periods” a year, when the weather is “not to hot, not too cold.”
SPRING PLANT SHIPPING - In the spring, we ship plants from mid-April until early June.
FALL PLANT SHIPPING - In the fall, we ship plants from mid-September until early October.
SEED SHIPPING - We ship Seeds year-round. Seed orders are always shipped within a week of your order being placed. An exception to this is the last two weeks of December when we are closed for the holidays.
You may order plants or seeds on our website at any time of the year, as long as the product is available. However, plants are only shipped during our spring and fall shipping periods.
PLANTS - If you want to receive your plants for spring planting, it is most advantageous to order in late winter or early spring. That’s when our plant inventory is highest. You will have the best chance of getting the plants you want, and you will also have the best choice of shipping dates. If you want to receive plants for fall planting, ordering in August gives you the best choice of plants and shipping dates for our fall shipping schedule.
SEEDS - Order seeds at any time. We ship seeds year-round, within a week of your order being placed. If you plan to sow in the spring, you may order in the spring. If you plan to sow in the fall, you may order in the fall.
Plants and seeds are shipped separately.
During the checkout process, you will choose a shipping week for your order that contains plants. When you've finished placing your order you will receive an Order Confirmation email. Your Order Confirmation includes the shipping week that you selected during checkout. We are not able to schedule or guarantee a specific day for your delivery. When your plant order ships from our greenhouse you will receive an email that includes a link to track your package.
Our plant-shipping schedule is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The earlier in the season you order, the more shipping weeks you will have to choose from.
If your order contains seeds, the seeds in your order will be shipped within a week of your order being placed. We are not able to schedule or guarantee a specific day for your delivery. When your seed order is shipped you will receive an email that includes a link to track your package.
When your order ships out from Prairie Nursery you will receive an email, from Prairie Nursery, that includes a link to track your package through the carriers' online tracking portal.
Seed is shipped via USPS, FedEx and SpeeDee. Plants are shipped via FedEx (and SpeeDee in WI & MN). The carrier that we use is determined by the cost to ship on our end. If you are requesting a specific carrier, it will need to be one of these.
We are serious about making sure that your plants arrive alive, healthy and in good condition. Boxed plants are carefully packed with "excelsior," a compostable material made of sustainably sourced poplar. The material is filled around the sides and on top, to minimize movement of the plants during shipping. Example images are available, here …
If your order contained both plants and seeds, they will be delivered in separate shipments. Plants and seeds are always shipped separately. If you ordered only plants, or only seeds, first check the enclosed shipment paper and determine whether or not it agrees with the emailed order confirmation that you received when you placed the order. If there are discrepancies, contact Customer Service by phone: 1-800-476-9453, or email Customer Service through our contact form.
Click here to read our Cancellation & Return Policy …
Your credit card will be charged the full amount when your order is processed, which happens within a day of an order being placed. When you place an order on our webiste, your credit card will be pre-authorized and a small authorization charge may show up on the card account for several days, but it will eventually drop off.
No, we do not offer wholesale pricing. Individual plant prices typically follow a tiered pricing structure, wherein the per-plant-price goes down as your quantity increases. This is true for our seed mixes as well.
Having ordered from us in the past, or receiving our emails or catalog, does not necessarily mean that you have a prairienursery.com account on our website. If you tried to login, and encountered an error message such as the one seen below, then you might need to create a new account.
If you know that you already have an account, but your password didn't work, click on the "Forgot your password?" text link, and you will receive an email with instructions for resetting your password. (The email will be sent to the email address that you used when you originally created your account.)
Still having troubles? Call us at 1-800-476-9456 for assistance.
If you have received a Prairie Nursery Gift Card, you can redeem it on our website at anytime. Simply enter the “Gift Card Code” in the appropriate box during checkout:
After hitting the submit button, you should immediately see a receipt page with your order number. A few minutes later, you should receive an email Order Confirmation. The emailed Order Confirmation, from Prairie Nursery, will be sent to the email that you specified when you placed your order.
- If the items are still in your cart, you probably didn't place the order successfully.
- If you were logged-in to your Prairie Nursery account when you placed your order, you can view your order history in the ‘My Orders’ area of ‘My Account.’ (Does not apply when you use ‘guest checkout’.)
- If you didn’t recieve the confirmation email, and don’t have an account record you may also check your credit card for the the charge, which will show up within a couple of days.
Still not sure? Contact Customer Service at 1-800-476-9456 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Yes, you can. All of our promotion emails contain an 'unsubscribe' link at the bottom where you can easily unsubscribe from our emails. Or you may contact email@example.com to be removed from our catalog and/or email list.
Below are the States for which we collect sales tax. If your "ship to" address is in one of these States, follow these instructions to set up your tax exempt account on our website prior to placing your order. If questoins arise, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- NEW JERSEY
- NORTH CAROLINA
- NORTH DAKOTA
- RHODE ISLAND
- SOUTH DAKOTA
- WEST VIRGINIA
Most of our plants are sold in 3" or 4” potted formats. Most spring ephemerals are sold and shipped in bare root form. Shrubs are typically in 1-gallon pots. Format information for each plant can be found on the product page, just above the price information.
We guarantee our plants to arrive alive and healthy, and to thrive when planted in the appropriate growing conditions and given proper care. Due to the vagaries of winter weather, we cannot guarantee survival of fall planted transplants. All of our plants are North American native plants, true to botanical name, and are nursery propagated. None of our plants are wild-dug.
PLANT REPLACEMENT - If a plant fails within 30 days of receiving it, we may issue either a refund, a store credit, or a one-time replacement plant if available.
- Check your order carefully upon receipt. If your order has been damaged in transit, call us immediately at 1-800-476-9453.
- Read the Transplanting Instructions that accompany your order.
- For best results, water your plants immediately, store in shaded location, and plant your transplants within seven (7) days, weather permitting.
- Allow 30 days for your transplants to grow before declaring them dead.
- Claims for credit or refund must be received within 60 days of your order shipment date.
- We do not replace plant loss due to neglect, animals, winter losses, severe weather, or plants installed in soil or sun conditions other than those recommended.
- Shipped plants are non-returnable.
Yes, you can. Some folks prefer to choose only plants that are native to their eco-region, while other gardeners may choose to add a few “outsiders” to the mix. It is a matter of personal choice and your objective. While native plants are adapted to particular ecoregions, they can survive and even thrive outside of those regions, as long as the site meets the temperate, sunlight and soil conditions that they require. Carefully review the Cultural Details (at the bottom of the species/product page) before choosing a plant that will be planted outside of it’s native area. Plants that are native to your area often perform the best, and may be more beneficial for local pollinators & wildlife, as well.
Each plant shipment contains an instructional Transplanting Guide to help you care for and transplant your new arrivals.
- Immediately open the box and carefully remove the excelsior packing material from around the plants. Then remove the plants from the box, along with the tray in which they sit.
- Place your tray of potted plants in a cool place or shaded area indoors and away from direct sunlight or wind.
- Check your plants to determine if they need water. If plants are dry, water them thoroughly, giving them enough so the entire root mass is wet and water is draining out of the pots. Plants can dry out very quickly in small pots, especially if they are exposed to heat.
- Do not plant your plants immediately upon receiving them. Instead, allow them to re-hydrate for 24 hours before transplanting into your garden. If you are unable to plant them following this 24 hour period, keep the plants in a protected area, out of direct sunlight and wind and check them daily to determine if they need water. For best results, transplant your order within 7 days of receipt, weather permitting.
We ask that you give your transplants at least 30 days before declaring them dead. The plants should be properly cared for and planted within seven days of receiving them (weather permitting). If a plant fails within that timeframe we will issue your choice of a refund, a store credit, or a one-time replacement plant if available. Contact us within 60 days of your order shipment date.
Plants that have damage to the leaves and stems will usually grow if they are treated with care after a rough ride. However, if your plants have been through a very unfortunate shipping experience and look badly damaged, call us immediately. Take a quick photo with your phone for the record. Then, carefully inspect the plants, and place them in their pots with enough soil that the roots are all sufficiently covered. Water the plants and place them in a protected location, out of the sun and wind. You may decide to go ahead a plant them as they begin to look better and recover from the shipping experience. That said, if damaged plants don’t survive, simply contact Customer Service by phone at 1-800-476-9453, or email your details to email@example.com.
It varies widely from species to species, but many natives will grow and produce flowers during their first summer as a transplant. This is likely to be the case with spring transplants when the plant’s bloom-time is late summer or fall. In this case, the timing allows enough time for the plant to become established and produce flowers during that first season. If you receive plants in June and the bloom time was in April-May, then you won’t see flowers again until the following spring. If you receive plants in the spring that have an early summer bloom time, it will depend on many circumstances. The plants may not have enough time to get established and produce blooms, and some may wait until the following year to produce flowers.
We guarantee that you will receive high quality, viable seed every time you order from Prairie Nursery. Our seed is tested by an independent seed lab for purity and germination, using standard procedures of the Association of Official Seed Analysts. All of our seed is sold on a Pure Live Seed (PLS) basis. We observe State and Federal laws governing noxious weeds, as determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prairie Nursery is a member of the Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association, which governs seed quality standards for native seeds produced within the state of Wisconsin. Due to the wide variety of planting conditions outside of our control, we cannot guarantee the establishment of plants using our seed.
SEED RETURN POLICY
- Custom Designed Seed Mixes and Pre-Mixed Seed Mixes are non-returnable and non-refundable.
- Any individually packaged species of seed, or any standard Prairie Nursery Seed Mix that has not been mixed together by the customer or at the customer's request, may be returned within 30 days after the date received. The seed must be in good condition, in its original packaging, and not altered or damaged in any way.
- After 30 days we cannot accept returned seed.
- Returned seeds will be charged a 20% re-stocking fee.
All of our seed is sold on a Pure Live Seed (PLS) basis. A 'PLS pound' is the weight of the seed required to equal one pound of 100% pure, germinable seed. This is calculated based upon each seed lot’s purity and germination tests. You’ll receive high quality, viable seed every time you order from Prairie Nursery. Our seed is tested by an independent seed lab for purity and germination, using standard procedures of the Association of Official Seed Analysts.
The enemies of seed viability are heat and moisture. The best method for storing smaller amounts of seed is to place the seed inside two sealed Ziploc freezer bags and keep it in a refrigerator. Most prairie grass seeds will retain high germination for 2-3 years, while most wildflowers will keep between 3-5 years without measurable decline in germination, with some exceptions depending upon the species. Some grasses such as Prairie Dropseed, and flowers such as the Blazingstars, Asters, and Goldenrods will not keep well for more than 1-2 years.
If the volume of seed is too large to place in a refrigerator, it can be placed inside doubled plastic garbage bags in a rodent-proof trash can in a cool, dry location, such as an unheated building over the winter, or air-conditioned basement year-round. Seed stored in an outbuilding over winter should be moved to a cool dry location when the weather begins to warm up in early spring.
No Mow Lawn seed will typically retain excellent viability for 18-24 months when stored either refrigerated or in a cool, dry basement.
NATIVE SEED MIXES - Fall is the best time to sow outdoors, and this can be done anytime from late September until the ground freezes. Early spring is also possible. Prairie seed should not be sown in the summer. For further reading, our article "When to Seed" lists the pros and cons of different seeding times.
INDIVIDUAL SPECIES - Optimal planting times for individual seed species that we sell is noted in the "Cultural Details" section of the product page. The information is also available in the Seed Stratification & Propagation Guide PDF.
NO MOW - Fall is the optimal window for seeding No Mow. We recommend seeding sometime between the end of August (after Aug 20) and mid October (before Oct 20). No Mow can also be seeded between early March and mid May, but spring seedings will experience greater competition from weeds. Read more about seeding a No Mow Lawn …
Stratification is a process of treating seeds to simulate natural conditions that seeds would experience in the soil over-winter to break seed dormancies and initiate the germination process. Stratification treatments are applied when the seed is being propagated in a greenhouse setting or in a way/schedule that is not aligned with the natural germination cycle. Seeds and seed mixes which are sown outdoors in the fall do not require stratification pre-treatments, as the seed dormancies will be broken naturally.
Our Seed Stratification Guide article delves into the details of seed stratification…
Scarification is the process of scratching the seed coat to make sure that moisture is able to enter the seed. Only hard-coated seeds such, as legumes, require “scarification.” Scarification need only be applied when the seeds are sown in either a greenhouse setting (in containers), or if they are being sown outdoors in the spring. Seeds that are sown outdoors in the fall will undergo a natural scarification process over the winter, and do not need additional scarification treatment. If the seeds that you purchase require scarification, it will be noted on the seed packet or label.
More information about seed pre-treatment can be found here …
Prairie Nursery is Neonicotinoid-Free. We do not use these chemicals in any part of our plant growing or seed production process. Learn more about Neonicotinoid insecticides ...
It is possible! Invitations to speak at events are considered on a case-by-case basis. Contact Neil Diboll at firstname.lastname@example.org with your event details and see if his calendar is open.