Painters has been described as a paradise for plant lovers, and it will not disappoint! We have over 100,000 sq. ft. of growing and retail space and cultivate around 1,000 species on site. We grow our plants with love and intention and sell direct to our faithful retail customers. Our plants are inspected and watered by hand and don't suffer shipping damage or transport from another climate. We are widely known for our focus on natives and pollinator plants, our wide selection of perennials (over 900 varieties), our giant Boston Ferns (aka weddin' ferns), and our mature and unique houseplant offerings.
We are open seasonally from March-July and offer special sales throughout the rest of the year. People often drive over an hour to visit Painters, making it their 'go-to' plant nursery. Come see for yourself!
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 are careful to provide safe edibles - all 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 treatments whenever possible and are always careful when applying any chemicals to ensure we aren’t harming any beneficial insects or wildlife. 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.