Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Myakka City nursery to host Earth Day native plant sale

Myakka City's Patricia McKeithen and her husband, Eddie McKeithen, and Christopher Moberly and his wife, Brittany Moberly, are opening McKeithen Growers for an Earth Day Native Plant Sale.
Myakka City's Patricia McKeithen and her husband, Eddie McKeithen, and Christopher Moberly and his wife, Brittany Moberly, are opening McKeithen Growers for an Earth Day Native Plant Sale.
Courtesy image
  • East County
  • Neighbors
  • Share

As a former middle school teacher, Myakka City’s Patricia McKeithen always has loved educating people.

So being able to combine that with her passion for horticulture at the Earth Day Native Plant Sale on April 20 is exciting to her.

McKeithen and her husband, Eddie McKeithen, will open their nursery to the public April 20 for a fundraiser to benefit the Florida Association of Native Nurseries, a nonprofit dedicated to professionals who grow, design and plant native trees and plants. 

“We are looking to build multiple sources of revenue to help us grow so we can do more outreach," said Cammie Donaldson, the executive director of the Florida Association of Native Nurseries.

The proceeds from the plant sale will go toward the nonprofit’s Plant Real Florida education campaign, which provides resources for those in the industry and people wanting to bring native plants to their landscaping. 

Education is at the forefront of the mission of the nonprofit and McKeithen Growers. 

Patricia McKeithen said the plant sale will be an opportunity for her and Eddie McKeithen to pull back the curtain and give people a behind-the-scenes look at growing native plants. 

“I love working with people one-on-one and helping them understand what’s best,” she said. 

People will be able to speak with horticulture professionals from local nurseries and purchase plants to support the Florida Association of Native Nurseries. 

Often McKeithen said people moving to Florida from northern states think their former plants can grow in Florida, but it’s often not the case with a different environment.

McKeithen said more people have become aware of the importance of native plants, so the demand for them has increased. 

“Now what we want to do is take it one step further and excite people about some biodiversity,” she said. 

While driving around McKeithen Growers’ 25 acres, she reminisced on how far the nursery has come since they started in 1995. 

McKeithen said she and her husband bought 10 acres and lived in a doublewide mobile home on the property. Patricia McKeithen was a middle school teacher at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School while Eddie McKeithen worked at his brother Ken’s SunBay Nursery in Bradenton. 

“I was barefoot and pregnant in a doublewide trailer, and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m like a country song,’” McKeithen said. “My husband said, ‘It’s time to build our house.’”

Since then, McKeithen Growers has survived the recession of 2008, multiple hurricanes, the pandemic, and more to continue to provide and educate the public on native plants. 

The nursery has grown to include more than 90 varieties of plants, with 85% to 90% being native to Florida, McKeithen said. If they aren’t native plants, she said they are Florida friendly, meaning they will thrive in Florida’s conditions. 

Throughout the years, McKeithen said the Florida Association of Native Nurseries always has been there to help them. Eddie McKeithen now serves as the president of the nonprofit. 

McKeithen said she’s grateful for the opportunity to give back to an organization that has helped her family’s nursery since 1995. 



Liz Ramos

Liz Ramos covers education and community for East County. Before moving to Florida, Liz was an education reporter for the Lynchburg News & Advance in Virginia for two years after graduating from the Missouri School of Journalism.

Latest News