Frequently Asked Questions

When Will My Order Ship? - Potted Plants

We ship based on product type. Your order could be split into multiple shipments. Any time a portion of your order ships you will receive an email notification with tracking information.

Potted Plants: Email is our primary method of communication. Expect an email with an estimated arrival window shortly after placing your order. Shortly before we start the shipping season, expect an email with more arrival information.

Trays of 32, 38, or 50 Plants: Garden Kits/Mix & Match/ Single Species): These typically begin shipping early May and go into June. Shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species transit-ready at the same time, we typically can’t ship before early May.

3-Packs (Spring/Summer): Preorders ship late April through late May. Shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If all species you ordered are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve).

After we have processed all the preorders, new orders for 3-packs will usually ship out within 1 week of order placement. Select remaining species ship until mid-July.

3-Packs (Fall): We ship late August through early September going by order date (first come, first serve).

When Will My Order Ship? - Bare Roots

We ship based on product type. Your order could be split into multiple shipments. Any time a portion of your order ships you will receive an email notification with tracking information.

Bare Root Plants: Email is our primary method of communication. Expect an email with an estimated arrival window shortly after placing your order. Shortly before we start the shipping season, expect an email with more arrival information

We ship first come, first serve. Each order is placed in a different shipping wave based on order date. We ship 1 wave/week. Shipping start time is determined by weather and is unpredictable.

Spring – We begin in April and ship through mid-late May going by order date (first come, first serve). Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control (like Midwest snowstorms!). Start date has varied from April 1st to April 22nd. When we ship roots, It's not too early to plant! For more information click here.

Summer – We ship in late July/early August for a small group of dormant ephemerals.

Fall – We ship throughout October, sometimes early-November, going by order date (first come, first serve).

When Will My Order Ship? - Seed, Tools, Books
We ship based on product type. Your order could be split into multiple shipments. Any time a portion of your order ships you will receive an email notification with tracking information.

Seed/Tools/Books: Most orders are sent within a day or two of receipt. Your order will be split into multiple parts if you have ordered other product types such as plants.
Do You Ship Internationally?
We do not ship overseas, but we do send seed to Canada. View Canada seed shipping fees here. Keep in mind, we handle only native species from North America prior to European settlement. 
The dangers of planting species from other continents has been well documented by the loss of native plant communities around the globe. We believe our wild North American native plants should remain in North America.
Can I Request a Shipping Time?
Special ship date requests must be made at order time. We will do our best to accommodate. Please include dates in the Order Instructions text field at checkout. The last days we will accept special requests are 3/15 for spring roots, 4/15 for spring potted plants, and 9/15 for fall roots.
How Do I Track My Package?
Any time a portion of your order ships you will receive an email notification with tracking information.
Can I Pick Up My Order?
We are not a retail outlet, but orders may be picked up if prior arrangements are made. An exception is for our garden kits and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants, which are grown off-site. Pick-up orders are required to pay 7.375% MN sales tax.
I Only Received Part of My Order
If your order had a combination of product types (i.e. seed & plants, or plants & a tool) please note that we may ship seed and tools, seeds, and books first. Plants ship seasonally. *please see…
• When will my order ship? – Potted Plants
• When will my order ship? – Bare Root Plants
• When will my order ship? – Seed, Tools, Books
What is Your Cancellation & Return Policy?
Keep in mind, we have only authorized your credit card and will not charge it until your order(s) ship.
We are reserving plants for you in good faith.
• Please cancel BARE ROOT PLANT orders by MARCH 15TH and POTTED PLANT orders by APRIL 15TH. A 25% cancellation fee will be charged on canceled orders after these dates.
• Shipped Plants and custom-designed Seed Mixes are non-returnable and non-refundable.
• After 30 days we cannot accept returned seed.
•Tool Shed items are returnable and credit will be given when the item is received back and determined to still be in new condition.
• Return shipping fees are your responsibility.
Please send returns to:
Prairie Moon Nursery Attn: Returns 32115 Prairie Lane Winona, MN 55987
I Have a Duplicate Charge

You are likely seeing an authorization for your original order total and an actual charge for a portion of your order that has recently shipped. 

The original full authorization amount may show on your bank account for a few days or a few weeks, depending on your bank. It will drop off.

*See also: When is my credit card processed/authorized?

Why Did The Prairie Moon Charge On My Credit Card/Bank Statement Drop Off?

When you place an order, your card is pre-authorized for the order total. Pre-authorizations drop off your account record within a few days, depending on your bank.  When your order ships, your card will be officially charged.

When is My Credit Card Processed/Authorized?

When you place an order, your card is authorized for the order total.  It is not charged until your order ships.  If your order has been split into multiple parts with different shipping times (for example, roots and potted plants), your card will be charged for each portion as it ships.

The authorization may show on your bank account for a few days or a few weeks- how long depends on your bank.  It will eventually drop off.

*PLEASE NOTE: For large root and potted plant orders, we may ask for 50% payment to reserve these plants for you.

Do You Offer Wholesale Pricing?

We are a retail nursery and do not offer wholesale pricing.  Our website offers the most up-to-date pricing and availability. If you have a very large project, we can take inquiries by email or phone

[email protected] | 507-452-1362. 

Custom Seed Mixes 
give the best pricing with special bulk oz and lb rates.

If you are interested in re-selling a large number of our seed packets, our Seed Rack Program may be for you!  We provide a 40% wholesale discount on our seed packets. 

How Do I Sign Up My Organization for Tax Exemption

Email your Tax Exemption Form to [email protected].
When you place your order, also please use the ‘order instructions’ text field at checkout to mention your tax exemption.

How is My Order Shipped

• We ship orders by USPS (mail), UPS, and Speedee depending on destination and package weight.

• Expedited options are available upon request. Please call us during business hours…
Mon-Fri 8am – 5pm CST

• We re-purpose boxes and newspaper as shipping materials whenever possible and much of our new boxes and envelopes are made from recycled paper. We hope you can also re-purpose or recycle the packaging.

My bare root plants are shipping but the weather is below freezing.
It's not too early to plant! For more information click here.
My Plants Have Arrived, How Do I Care for Them?

Every plant shipment includes an Instructional/Plant Care pamphlet. It is best to plant your roots or pots as soon as you get them, and in their final garden space, and NOT in containers.  Some native plants may do fine in containers for a short time, but the deep root systems of most natives does call for outdoor, ground space.

How to Install Bare Roots: Bare roots should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or any time the soil is not frozen. For More information click here.

 Planting & Care of Potted Plants: A little extra care and attention should be given during their first year/establishment phase. Over-watering is possible though, so allow appropriate wet/dry cycles for the species you received.

Will My New Plants Bloom This Year?

• From plant: Maybe. We sell perennial native plants in root and pot form. Roots are typically 1-2 years old and pots are usually 4-6 months old. We can never guarantee a bloom the year of transplant but many species will bloom the 2nd year if their environment is right.

• From seed: Not likely. Most of the natives we sell are perennials. After receiving the proper seed pre-treatment, blooms can be expected from 2 to 5+ years after germination, largely depending on the individual species and surrounding environment. We do have a few annuals available; if they receive the proper seed pre-treatment, they should bloom the first year.

I Need Plant Identification.

The most accurate and detailed plant ID is accomplished with a flowering or fruiting structure present and a plant specimen in hand. Become familiar with key features that are used in plant identification and terminology to help you describe plant morphology. There are numerous online native plant resources. Some of our go-tos are:

Illinois wildflowers
Minnesota wildflowers (has an advanced plant search)

Once you are familiar with common plant terms, botanical manuals, and regional field guides are a perfect way to start identifying. We have many of our favorite ID guides listed HERE. There are also many Facebook groups dedicated to helping you ID your plant(s).

What Is Your Seed/Plant Guarantee?

Prairie Moon is committed to providing you the highest quality seed and plants. We want you to succeed in establishing natives! We guarantee species to be true to name and that plants and seeds arrive in good condition. If losses occur due to delay in delivery or unfavorable weather conditions in transit, contact us immediately.

We cannot guarantee successful growth after planting, but please let us know about any disappointments you experience; we may be able to help. In any case, liability is limited to the cost of seed or plants purchased. No other guarantee is expressed or implied. Prices are subject to change without notice.

• See our full Guarantee & Cancellation Policy HERE

When Do You Offer Plants For Sale?

Nature often dictates when we can provide accurate counts of our greenhouse and garden-grown plants.  In a typical year you can expect to pre-order plants during these dates:

SPRINGearly-Dec to mid-Mayearly-Dec to mid-Mayearly-Dec to mid-June
FALLmid-Aug to late-Octmid-Aug to early-Sept

*A useful tool on our website is the “NOTIFY ME WHEN BACK IN STOCK” feature. Enter your email address and be one of the first to be notified when seed, root or potted plants are back in stock.  Order quickly because some plants will have very limited availability!

When Do I Plant My Seed?

Late fall (after a hard frost) is the optimal time for outdoor seedings. Seed can be planted throughout the winter if conditions are right. Early spring is an acceptable time as well. You should not plant native seed in the summer.

Why Won't My Seed Germinate?

Starting native plants by seed takes attention to detail and patience. Make sure you have followed pre-treatment guidelines to bring your seeds out of dormancy (listed on your seed packet, in our catalog, and on each species page on Keep a keen eye on temperatures and moisture levels. Remember, these are guidelines and some species may behave in an unpredictable manner; a few may even take multiple years before germinating.

After sowing native seed, it is normal to wait a few weeks before signs of germination. Also, each seed may have its own timeline for germination due to the genetic diversity within the seeds.

Prairie Moon Nursery, Seed Starting Basics

Is It Ok To Plant Natives That Are Not Native To My State?

It’s a complicated question and you’ll get different answers depending on who you talk to.  Generally speaking, planting a North American native plant is better than planting an Asian or European plant even if that North American plant was only ever found two states away.  If you are adjacent to natural areas, particularly natural areas in good condition, sticking with natives of your area is more important than if you’re in a concrete jungle or deep in suburbia.  Plants native to your eco-region should perform the best and have the most benefits for local pollinators. How pure you decide to be with natives is up to you!

How Do I Store My Seeds?

Most seeds can be stored in a sealed container in your home at room temperature until planting time. Seeds can remain viable for many years if stored in consistent and cool temps. If items have a pink note on the front of the seed packet, the item should be stored at 33-38 degrees Fahrenheit until planting or pre-germination treatment.

Can I Buy Pre-stratified Seed?

No. We do not pre-treat any germination code C (cold-moist stratification needed) seed before sale and we don’t know of any nurseries that do. Seeds need to be planted immediately once their artificial cold/moist period has ended. Since we don’t know when seeds will sell, we can’t have them ready.

The easiest approach for the individual grower is to follow the natural cycle of the plant. For most native wildflowers, that means sowing seeds outdoors in the late fall/winter/early-spring (sometimes), and let nature take its course by doing the cold/moist stratification for you. Every packet/bulk order of seed comes with a “Germination Codes & Instructions” sheet that gives helpful information for germinating seeds.

Your seed packet may say the seed is “scarified” which can be confused for “stratified”.  Scarification is the scratching of the seed coat.

Is My Seed Scarified?

No, we do not scarify seeds prior to sending them to you.  Most seeds do not need scarification. The ones that do are mostly legumes with hard seed coats. If seeds require scarification, it will be noted on the seed packet as Germination Code H. Follow the instructions on the enclosed germination sheet with your order; rub lightly between 2 pieces of medium-grit sandpaper.

Will Birds Eat My Seeds?

Birds and other critters may consume a few seeds. Prairie Moon seed mixes have high seeding rates to compensate for some loss and will still grow well even if birds do eat a few seeds.

Sowing onto bare ground in late fall or winter: Ideally, your native seed is planted in the late fall and soon covered with snow.  Even if the snow doesn’t come, the repeated freeze-thaw cycles work the seeds into the ground, protecting them from birds.

Sowing onto snow: If you sow your seed onto fluffy snow, the dark seeds quickly melt their way into the snow soon followed by the lighter seeds.  Once under the snow, the seeds are safe from birds.

Sowing onto bare ground in late spring: Large seeds should be lightly raked into the soil. This protects them from predation. Small seeds are surface sown, but they are too small to be of interest to birds and other critters.

Where Do Your Plants Come From?

We sell source-identified ecotypes from our production fields and from a network of more than 70 seed producers located throughout the upper Midwest. Once collected, that foundation seed is grown out in production fields for seed harvest. Live plants are propagated from our seed sources by our local bare root producers, our greenhouse, and partner greenhouses.

Can I Grow Native Plants in Pots?

While the experienced gardener may have success growing some species of native perennials in containers, we don’t recommend this for long term plantings since proper conditions (like moisture and nutrients) are harder to maintain, root health may suffer from being contained in a small area, and winter kill is much more likely in containers. In addition, container transplanting will void our Plant Guarantee.

How Long Can My Seed Requiring Refrigeration Stay Out Of The Fridge?

Seeds that require refrigeration (we label them with a pink note) are species that we don’t dry down completely, so their seeds still contain some moisture.  Not drying them down completely helps maintain their viability, but it can also make them more prone to molding.  Storing them in the fridge helps prevent any mold.  Usually, their time out the fridge while in transit isn’t an issue, but you can check the seeds for any mold growth.  If you see mold, it can be rinsed off with a 5% bleach solution.

I'm Concerned About The Invasive Jumping Worm.

Fortunately jumping worms haven’t made it to our gardens yet. Luckily, we already follow best management practices for plant production that will prevent the spread of jumping worms and other soil-borne invasive species. These best management practices are outlined by the University of Minnesota Extension offices. At Prairie Moon, our dormant bare-root plants are grown in outdoor garden beds. When we dig these plants for sale, they are inspected and all the soil is washed off the bare roots. The clean roots are then packaged in a soil-less, peat-based medium for shipment.  Our greenhouse-grown potted plants are started from seed and grown in a soil-less growing mix that is sourced from a reputable distributor.

How Does prairie moon classify soil moisture?
Soil moisture is influenced by the interplay of two major factors:
1. soil texture and 2. the position on the landscape.
 1. Soil texture refers to the relative composition of the soil in terms of particle size: sand, silt, and clay.
Sand: largest particle size, allows water to drain rapidly, does not hold water well, is the driest soil texture.
Silt/loam: small particle size holds more water, still allows water to drain through, great water-holding capacity.
Clay: smallest particles hold the most water but can be impermeable and create run-off. Great water-holding capacity, but soil moisture is strongly influenced by the position on the landscape
Organic matter: this is the black, spongy, dead plant material in soil. It has good water holding capacity. Sandy soils with more organic matter will hold water better than sand without.

2. The most important factors of landscape position include the slope (%incline), the slope-aspect (direction the slope is facing), the amount of run-off the site receives, and the depth to the water table.
Slope (% incline): flat ground will hold more water than steep slopes, but the soil texture and slope-aspect are more important considerations: slope alone will not tell you very much. If the soils are clay, the difference between a flat and sloped site will be large (flat will be wetter) whereas it won’t make as big of a difference with sandy soils.
Slope-aspect: The direction the slope is facing is critically important for soil moisture because of the relative intensity of the sunlight acting as an evaporative force. South-facing slopes will be the driest, followed by West-facing slopes. North-facing slopes retain the most moisture, followed by East-facing slopes. Often times, slope-aspect completely defines the plant communities in hilly landscapes.
Run-off: depressions, lowlands, and the bottom of slopes will be wetter than higher areas and tops of slopes.
Depth to water table: Areas near streams, lakes, and wetlands, where groundwater can be found just a few feet below the soil can sustain more water-loving plants.  

Here is Prairie Moon’s soil moisture classification scheme:

Wet: the water table is at the surface, always wet. (Notice that this determined entirely by the position on the landscape.) 
Medium-Wet: regularly saturated for extended periods, especially in the spring or after heavy rains. Does dry out in the summer. Soil texture does play a role here, but this is largely determined by the position on the landscape (e.g., low-lying areas, depressions, areas very close to the water table, flat clay soils that receive run-off)
Medium: Soils that have good water-holding capacity (think soil texture), are well-drained (no long periods of saturation), but do not dry out excessively fast. Examples include loamy garden soil or most soils on North-facing slopes. 
Medium-Dry: Soils that do retain some water but dry out quickly. Examples include sandy soils with some organic matter or most soils on South-facing slopes.
Dry: Soils that dry excessively fast. Examples include pure sand and sandy soils on South-facing slopes.  

Other sources and nurseries use other ways of classifying soil moisture. There is no single standard or numbers-driven approach. Gardening and growing plants is an experiment. It’s always best to just use the information at your disposal and see what happens!
How much seed do I need for (X) sq. ft.?
We get this question a lot and there is no simple or single answer for each of the 700+ species we offer in seed. Variables include seed size, germination ease, the growth habits of the plant (aggressive/rhizomatous or conservative/slow), surrounding weed pressure, and the eventual site goal. The “how much seed do I need” question is assuming a solid stand of 1 species is the eventual goal. Often times this is desired for short and showy plants; a ground cover effect. Some native species simply will not live up to this expectation.

You’ll notice our Seed Mixes are made up a high diversity of flowers and grasses and have 100+ seeds/sq. ft. For a single species, a lower seeding rate of roughly half that (50 seeds/sq ft) is probably fine for most, but again it depends on so many things. Very large seeds like Compass Plant, you don’t need that much. Very small seeds like Path Rush, you may need more. You can calculate your own seeding rate by using the seeds per ounce listed on each species ordering page.
I Cannot Log In To My Prairie Moon Nursery Account.
There could be different reasons for this:

If you have ordered from us in the past or if you receive our emails, and/or catalogs, this does not necessarily mean you have a account. If you tried logging in and encountered the error message seen below, then you will need to create an account.
I was given a Prairie Moon Gift Certificate...
That's great! Prairie Moon Gift Certificates do not expire, can be redeemed online or over the phone, and are good for anything we sell. To redeem your certificate online, you must have the 8-digit code that was emailed to you. The code is case-sensitive.

The Gift Certificate redemption box is on the payment screen at check out - just below the credit card details. If you need to simply check your Gift Certificate balance, you can do so here.
How Do I Receive Discount Codes and Coupons?

Most of our promos/sales are advertised through our email newsletters. You can sign up for it here. Many times our sales do not require a coupon code. The annual catalog you received may also have a coupon code.

Is Your Website Secure?

Our website and internal ordering software are PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant. This compliance is audited regularly and only given to software that adheres to strict standards set by major card brands to protect credit, debit and cash card transactions and prevent the misuse of cardholders’ personal information. Your online security is very important to us and are proud to say you can order from us with confidence!