Desert Survivor's Plant Nursery

A bioregionally native plant nursery

Desert Survivors Native Plant Nursery is located on the banks of the Santa Cruz River in Tucson. Currently, we grow over 700 species of local and bioregional plants. Nearly all of these plants are found within a  500-mile range of the nursery. However, the exception to this rule is our offering of cactus and succulents native throughout Mexico

Our plants are native to the surrounding Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Mohave deserts, and the Arizona sky islands. We offer a fair number of species native to mid-elevation ranges and enjoy working with customers from places like  Sierra Vista, Oracle ,or Portal.

Our primary focus is growing plants that are native to southeastern Arizona.  Although Desert Survivors has sold some non-native xeric plants in the distant past, our mission is to only cultivate plants indigenous to our region. Native plants give us a sense of place, and are important to supporting native pollinator populations and fauna.

Desert Survivors Native Plant Nursery tries to be ecologically sensitive, and we utilize organic practices whenever possible. We use chemical pesticides very sparingly and only when necessary to control potential pest or pathogen outbreaks. Although we were a strictly organic nursery for more than a decade, this is no longer possible during the current 23-year drought under increasingly hotter minimum and maximum temperatures (climate change).

Unfortunately, surges in both native and non-native insect populations have occurred over the past decade. Due to the size of our production operations, we have to treat velvet mesquites, agaves, some cactus species, and occasionally some species of seedlings.

We utilize volcanic soil supplements in our soil mixtures and are impressed with volcanic cinder as a source of drainage and aeration. Investing in quality soil supplements is well worth the results.
Mineral-rich volcanic supplements provide excellent drainage and aeration, which has assisted our cultivation of an assortment of native species. Our soil mixes contain high-quality volcanic cinder or pumice.

Our inventory includes a wide selection of trees, shrubs, subshrubs, grasses, and vines.
Many of the things that we grow are seasonal, and can only be produced at certain times of the year. It is challenging to grow over 700 species on our 4.3 acre nursery lot,  but we produce approximately 75% of our plants here.

Occasionally, we are out of a certain species while we patiently wait for the next crop to become available, as it is difficult to determine how much of a certain species will be popular In a given year. 

Please check out our online plant database, which provides an overall look at the plants that we grow and offer at various times of the year. However, this is not an availability list. Please contact us with any questions!

Call us at (520) 791-9309, to check on the availability on any specific plants. 

The nursery is open:
Tuesday — Saturday
8am — 4pm