Niche Gardens - North Carolina (NC) Native Pants

mail order


When Kim started Niche Gardens in 1986, all our sales were by mail order. One of her goals in creating the business was to have native plants available and to be able to ship them anywhere in the country in great condition. Over the years, she developed a system for growing, packing and shipping plants so they consistently arrived in perfect condition. We have kept the system she developed and continue to ship our plants according to this tried and true method.

Sometimes customers are shocked when they discover how much it costs to ship their plants. Believe me, so are we. We've met and thought and talked a lot about shipping, and checked and double-checked our actual UPS charges, and we feel that our policies are fair and necessary. We charge only what we have to in order to cover our costs.

You must bear in mind that shipping is more than just the actual charge to ship the plant. The plants for each order must be individually selected, collected, pruned if necessary, inspected for pests, and carefully packed. Only then do we add the cost of shipment. And because we ship larger plants than many mail order nurseries, we often send heavier boxes.

Orange County, where Niche is located, is now included in the ever-expanding USDA Fire Ant quarantine zone. We have yet to see any fire ants in the nursery and it is unlikely that fire ants would take up residence in our pots (itís just not the sort of environment they prefer), but Federal law requires that all plants shipped out of the quarantine zone must be treated in order to prevent the spread of this insect. Therefore, before shipping, our plants are treated with Talstar, per USDA specifications. We have investigated our treatment options and believe that this is the safest and best treatment available for this required procedure.


Orders are filled or reserved on an as-received basis. You may order over the phone during business hours, by fax anytime, (919-967-4026) or through this website. You will be charged when your order is processed, not when your plants are shipped. Your plants will be marked as sold and reserved until your shipping date.

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When you order, please specify the week you would like to receive your plants. We will ship your plants to arrive during that week. A text box is provided on the shipping form to add any special shipping instructions you may have.

Shipping Policy

The shipping policies and rates described herein replace any previous policies or rates.

We will ship anywhere in the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

We do not ship anywhere outside the United States.

We ship February through November.

We ship on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, via UPS Regular Ground.

We ship early in the week to minimize stress on your plants. It can be damaging to the plants to sit in a baking hot or freezing cold UPS truck over the weekend, in addition to the regular shipping time. This also means your plants arrive just before the weekend, when people generally have more time to garden.

During the heat of summer, from June through August, all plants may be shipped via UPS 3rd Day Select, except shipments to our immediate 3 state area, ( North Carolina, South Carolina, & Virginia).

Orders will be shipped with soil and container, except where state law requires bareroot shipping, (Arizona, California).

Shipping Charges

Our shipping charges have changed. There is no longer a minimum order.

For states with a percentage, if your order is $60.00 or less, there is a base $18.00 shipping and handling charge. This is your total shipping charge.

For states with a percentage, if your order is more than $60.00, you will be charged a percentage of your order, based on your state, for shipping and handling.

If you are shipping to a "Contact Us for Charges" state, you must contact us. You are too far away for UPS Ground delivery so your plants will be shipped by 2nd or 3rd Day Air. Your shipping charges will be based on the cost of shipping, including weight, labor and the number of boxes. We will charge your card at the time of shipping, when the package is actually weighed and we can determine the actual cost of the shipment. This system allows us to charge you the minimum amount possible while making sure we cover the higher freight costs associated with shipments to the western part of the country.

Find your state on the chart to determine your shipping charges.

ALAlabama 30% 30% 30%
AKAlaskaUPS Second Day Air, Contact us for charges
AZArizonaUPS Second Day Air, Bareroot, Contact us for charges
CACaliforniaUPS Second Day Air, Bareroot, Contact us for charges
COColoradoUPS Third Day Select, Contact us for charges
CTConnecticut 30% 30% 30%
DEDelaware25% 25% 25%
DCWashington DC25% 25% 25%
FLFlorida 30% 30% 30%
GAGeorgia 30% 30% 30%
HIHawaiiUPS Second Day Air, Contact us for charges
IDIdahoUPS Third Day Select, Contact us for charges
ILIllinois 30% 30% 30%
INIndiana 30% 30% 30%
KYKentucky 30% 30% 30%
LALouisiana 30% 30% 30%
MDMaryland25% 25% 25%
MIMichigan 30% 30% 30%
MSMississippi 30% 30% 30%
MTMontanaUPS Third Day Select, Contact us for charges
NENebraska 35% 35% 35%
NVNevadaUPS Third Day Select, Contact us for charges
NHNew Hampshire30%30%30%
NJNew Jersey 30% 30% 30%
NMNew Mexico 35% 35% 35%
NYNew York30%30%30%
NCNorth Carolina25%25%25%
NDNorth Dakota 35% 35% 35%
OHOhio 30% 30% 30%
OROregonUPS, Third Day Select, Contact us for charges
PAPennsylvania 30% 30% 30%
RIRhode Island30%30%30%
SCSouth Carolina25%25%25%
SDSouth Dakota 35% 35% 35%
TNTennessee 30% 30% 30%
UTUtahUPS Third Day Select, Contact us for charges
WAWashingtonUPS, Third Day Select, Contact us for charges
WVWest Virginia 30% 30% 30%
WYWyomingNo shipping to Wyoming

The Fine Print

Our Guarantee

As a small independent nursery, we depend on our reputation and your trust to keep us in business. We want to keep every customer happy and we work with each customer individually to insure that goal. Should you have an issue with one of our plants, let us know, and together we will work to determine where the problem occurred, and what might have caused it. We will examine our crop for problems, and discuss what could have happened while the plant was in your care. We take great pride in our plants, and when they are correctly sited and cared for, we are confident that they will thrive.

We guarantee that our plants are healthy and properly labeled when they are shipped to you. If you receive a plant which you believe to be damaged, unhealthy or mislabeled, you must inform us within 5 days of receiving the shipment. We will replace plants which are damaged, unhealthy or mislabeled.

If you have a problem relating to damage caused by shipping, please let us know immediately so that we can file a claim with the carrier if necessary.

Despite our best efforts to securely package every plant, minor damage sometimes occurs during shipment. Such damage is nonrefundable when it does not impact the health of the plant. Also, many plants must be cut back before shipping: this also does not impact the health of the plant.

Occasionally, plants shipped dormant will fail to emerge. We guarantee dormant plants beyond the 5-day period, but not beyond the next growing season.

We cannot guarantee against damage caused by cultural conditions in your garden, weather, animals, or any other reasons not directly related to the health of the plant when you received it.

Under no circumstances do we refund shipping charges. Under no circumstances will we accept any liability beyond the original purchase price of the plants.


All claims must be made within five days of receiving your order. Please open your shipment and inspect your plants. Many plants are wrapped in different layers and types of paper, so please unwrap them carefully. As soon as possible, water and plant your order or heel-in in a shady area if weather does not permit planting. Every effort has been made to offer species true to name. We are more than willing to correct any mistakes made by us. We are not liable for plant losses beyond our control. In no case will our liability exceed the purchase price of the plant.

Custom Propagation

If you foresee needing large quantities of a plant, please contact us well in advance so the plants can be custom grown if necessary.


Our descriptive catalog provides in-depth descriptions to aid in the most suitable placement of our plants in your gardens. Cultural requirements, plant combinations or interesting bits of information are included for every plant we offer. Active customers will continue to receive updated catalogs.

We do not sell or trade our subscriber list to other companies and we never give out phone numbers, e-mail addresses or any personal information of any kind about our customers.