About Us

Summersweet Native Plants was founded in 2018 to address the lack of quality native plants available to the retail consumer in south Jersey. Native plants are key to ecological diversity and conserving habitat. Planting native plants in our home landscapes helps to not only establish new habitat, but also creates a crucial link to existing habitats for a variety of wildlife and important pollinators.

Owner and lead grower Joseph Russell can help identify the right native plant selection for your specific planting site, project, or goals: conservation efforts, formal gardens, wildlife and pollinator gardens, meadows, or low-maintenance home gardens.

Joe holds degrees in marine biology and natural resources, and has had training in landscape design, plant propagation, plant identification, and control and eradication measures for invasive plants through the Ecological Gardening Certificate program from Mt. Cuba Center. He worked under the instruction of Jared Rosenbaum and Rachel Mackow as an intern at Wild Ridge Plants, and also holds certifications in stream stabilization and flood resiliency.

Joe  was featured by the Mt. Cuba Center on their website and has published papers on native species management and state wildlife management areas.

Our Nursery and Growing Practices

At Summersweet Native Plants, we use organic growing practices without chemical fertilizers, neonicotinoids, or other synthetic pesticides. We grow US native plants, with a focus on those native to the mid-Atlantic and northeastern regions.  All of our plants are straight species, the vast majority are grown from local eco-type seeds, when available. If plants are grown from seed with less-local provenance, we can provide the provenance information. Our plants are grown in an organic potting mix and we utilize irrigation practices that conserve water. Our plants are grown outdoors in unheated hoop houses so that they are adapted to the weather conditions of the region.