Painters is a unique retail greenhouse; we have over 100,000 sq. ft. of growing and retail space and cultivate around 1,000 species on site. We grow and sell direct to our faithful retail customers, cutting out middleman costs and keeping prices competitive even with box stores. Our plants are inspected and watered by hand and don't suffer shipping damage or transport from another climate. While we are not ‘organic’, we use beneficial insects in our integrated pest management system, all of our plants are non-GMO, and we do not use chemicals on our edibles. Each season, we donate to a wide range of edible and ornamental plants to nonprofits and schools, and offer a non-profit donation day at the end of our clearance sale that helps us find homes for our leftovers. Painters has become known for its wide selection and competitive prices that make it worth the drive for customers hours away. We also hope to bring back our many events such as our popular Herb Festival once Covid is under control!
Green in more ways than one!
EFFICIENCY & REUSE
We do our best to conserve energy when possible. We have shade curtains in the main house, which allow for conservation of heat in the winter and help cool the greenhouse in the warmer months. We also reuse a lot of our plastics each season, though we only accept plastic trays and large nursery pots back from customers; we had to limit this after a decade of receiving a huge range of non-Painters pots and random plastics and not being able to locate a recycling center able to process them. (Lowes seems to have a unique connection and states that they can accept all forms of plastic pots and trays, so we encourage you to take any empty pots to Lowes to ensure proper recycling. Most pots aren't the right type of plastic for basic recycling centers).
While we cannot run an organic facility due to the vast array of crops we grow, we do our best to offer safe edibles. All edible varieties are non-GMO, and if any require pest control, we only use organic-safe applications. We grow about 95% of our edibles from start to finish here on site, and we almost never treat them - many staff and customers will sample our herbs and greens right off the tables!
PEST PREVENTION & TREATMENT
We strive to use an Integrated Pest Management practice in the houses; by using a preventative practice of thoroughly inspecting crops on a regular basis and maintaining specific water and fertilization needs for varied plant species, we ensure that our plants are at their healthiest and therefore less susceptible to pests and disease.
When pest problems do arise, we try to control them using nontoxic, organic-safe oil and soap treatments whenever possible. In 2015, we started incorporating beneficial insects into our treatment program - these species eat or parasitize problematic pests, and while they aren't able to manage all of our problems, we've found some species to be quite helpful. (Click here to read more about them.) Keep this in mind if you see small insects on or around our crops - they may actually be helpers rather than harmers!
In the last decade there has been a lot of talk about neonicotinoid pesticides and the danger they pose to bees and other pollinators. There continues to be debate as to whether neonics are a factor in decreasing bee populations (habitat loss and climate change are likely more critical), but it is definitely known that they can be damaging.
We only use neonics as a last resort treatment at Painters and are very careful in application of any chemicals that may affect pollinator health. Neonics are one of many that can be problematic, and methods and timing are crucial. (We avoid applying such chemicals to natives or blooming plants that bees might be visiting.) While pesticide use in greenhouses can certainly be an issue if done irresponsibly, the majority of the damage from chemicals such as neonics results from misapplication and/or overuse by field crop farmers and by, believe it or not, home gardeners!
Please take the time to look at the labels on anything you use to treat your gardens or lawns at home and be aware of the potential effects. Many common pest and weed treatments have some pretty scary ingredients that can harm pollinators, wildlife or even your pets, kids and you. Shockingly, home garden products containing such chemicals can be applied in much higher concentrations than commercially legal - up to 120 times more potent than what we can use in greenhouse production! (Some ingredients to watch for include Imidacloprid, Clothianidin, Thiamethoxam, Acetamiprid, Dinotefuran, Chlorpyrifos, Glyphosate, Metolachlor and Carbaryl.)
We offer an ever-increasing selection of natives each year, and we also offer a wide range of non-native pollinator friendly plants. We have become known for our support of local pollinator gardens, discounting and donating thousands of natives to varied efforts.
Each year we update our edible selection with delicious vegetable and herb varieties as well as a variety of fruiting shrubs and trees. We offer a wide variety of heirloom vegetables as well as those bred for disease resistance, container gardening and other characteristics. Our herb selection is widely appreciated, and we offer unbeatable prices and unusual varieties during our annual Herb Festival (during COVID times we plan to offer herb sales for multiple weekends as we can't safely hold our festival).
With the increasing concerns over GMO seed, we have made the commitment to locate and purchase only non-GMO vegetable and herb varieties. In the rare case of pest or disease outbreaks on edibles, we use organic-safe products.
POTTED ANNUALS, PERENNIALS
We offer annual and perennial plants in pots ranging from 3.5” to 12” in size. Choose from a variety of colorful annuals, and peruse an extensive selection of perennials. We offer an assortment to suit your garden requirements, whether it be sunny, shady, wet, dry or somewhere in between! With over 800 species to choose from, we have one of the largest inventories in WNC - you have to come see for yourself! If you live a distance away and want to avoid multiple trips, our widest selection is typically available around late April-early May. We may sell out of some varieties by then, but many of our plants are not fully matured or able to go outside until risk of frost is mostly past.
SHRUBS & TREES
We offer a variety of shrubs and trees including many evergreen and blooming options. Choose from a wide selection of fruiting shrubs and trees, an array of native options, and an assortment of ornamental or screening varieties. While we grow some shrubs at the greenhouse, we do buy the larger, slower growing shrubs and trees from a couple local wholesale nurseries. We do not purchase any mature plants from more than an hour away to ensure they have been raised in a similar climate and plant health isn't affected by being shipped long distances.
We recommend doing some research prior to planting shrubs or trees to ensure the long-term success of your plant - some require specific planting depths, maintenance or companion plantings for optimal performance. Check our Current Sales page for our shrub and tree availability and pricing and visit our Advice page for planting tips and guidelines. Please note that we are not able to offer delivery or landscaping services - we just supply the plants!
Native plants are those that occurred in North America before European settlement, and which have evolved to perform well in our specific climate, soils and temperatures. Natives are becoming an increasingly popular way to incorporate environmental consciousness into our lives.
Our native plant selection typically averages around 300 varieties - we care deeply about providing plants that support our environment and especially pollinators. The majority of the native plants we sell can be found naturally growing in the WNC area, but we have also included a few plants native to our general Eastern US region. Our natives are all seeded or propagated here at the greenhouse with the exception of some shrubs and trees from local nurseries. Click here for our 2021 Native Plant List.
To read more about the benefits of native gardening and about the importance of natives to local wildlife (specifically bees), visit our Advice page.
HOUSEPLANTS & SUCCULENTS
We offer a wide selection of houseplants and succulents, and they are all painstakingly grown right here. We've become known in the Asheville area for unique houseplant and succulent options at very affordable prices; this means that we may quickly run out of the more sought-after varieties! Some species take years to grow to maturity, so our inventory can vary greatly throughout each season. If you're a collector, we recommend joining our newsletter and following us on social media for the latest updates on what we have available and what's selling out fast!
If you have pets, make sure to download our Pet Toxicity list to learn which of our houseplants are pet safe. Also be sure to keep houseplants out of reach of curious toddlers - no beautiful plant is worth risking your child’s health!
We offer a wide selection of marginal and wetland aquatic plants plus a few floating options. While most are native to the southern US, some can be voracious spreaders - please keep this in mind when planting. We are gradually incorporating more natives that are appropriate for rain gardens or moist plantings and hope to have a demo area in place soon. If you simply want to add a little beauty or fun for your kids and aren't ready for a large water or rain garden endeavor, try making a container water garden for the season!
Painters has long been known for massive, colorful hanging baskets at unbeatable prices. We offer a wide range of beautiful annual blooming baskets and combos, as well as our famous massive ‘Weddin’ Ferns’ and many others. We provide a variety of options for conditions ranging from full sun to full shade, and even have some perennial combo baskets available.
Check out our stunning individually designed combo baskets for something extra special!
We have a lot of fun creating combinations and specialty container gardens. We provide all the means necessary for you to create your own container garden, or you can purchase one of our completed designs.
We have a range of beautiful pottery, porch pots and hanging baskets individually designed and planted by our growers. Many are created one at a time, so if we sell a combo that you've been eyeing, you may have to wait a bit for us to create another similar one! We strive to offer combo pots for a variety of needs, including sun, part sun, and shade, as well as low-maintenance. You will often see our creations featured on our Instagram page!
Unfortunately we are not able to accommodate individual requests; we simply don't have enough time or staff to design outside of our own planned plantings!