Are you looking to buy native Mojave Desert plants to attract birds or to be water-smart? Then the Special Projects Nursery is the place for you. With the widest selection of native southwest plants to buy in the Las Vegas Valley, the Special Projects Nursery is a volunteer-led nonprofit organization, founded by Master Gardener Marilyn Yamamoto.
Location, Hours, and Contact
The nursery is located out of Marilyn’s home in northwest Las Vegas at 5020 El Capitan, 89149, with the entrance on W. La Madre Way. The nursery is open Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 - 11:00 a.m, or Saturday by appointment only. If you want to reach out directly, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or text Marilyn at (702) 604-3165.
Current Plant Selection
As of November 2023, the nursery is growing 53 species, with most plants selling at $12.00 a pot. There is a wide variety to choose from, ranging from flowers like milkweeds and penstemon, to bushes like saltbush and creosote, as well as trees and yuccas. Here is a PDF with the current selection.
The success of Special Projects is in large part because of the dedicated volunteers that come out to take care of the plants. The nursery was established three years ago and has been a huge success ever since because of the limited supply of native plants for sale in Las Vegas. Several RRAS members volunteer for the nursery, such as board member Jim Switalla and Jeanne Tinsman who works at Corn Creek at Desert National Wildlife Refuge.
Special Projects grows all of their plants from seed, and are currently growing 5,000 seeds at a time. The seeds are mostly sourced from their own plants, or sometimes from seed collecting done by the Bureau of Land Management.
Special Projects’ roots stretch far beyond the nursery. They are in high demand by other organizations looking for native plants. Red Rock Audubon, for example, sourced native firecracker penstemon, desert marigold, desert sunflower, and amaranth grain from Special Projects in 2022 for a native plants demonstration garden at the Winchester-Dondero Cultural Center. Other organizations, like the Springs Preserve, invite Special Projects to sell their plants at their plant sale events, such as on Earth Day.
You can follow the Special Projects Nursery as on Instagram and Facebook to stay updated about their events and current plant selection. To help support the nursery, consider becoming a volunteer and reach out to Marilyn on ways to get involved.