Tradition and Knowledge You Can Trust
Our traditions span more than 75 years serving Houstonians with the plants they need to create beautiful gardens. We pride ourselves on the quality of our selections. Cornelius Nurseries offers the latest in home décor, custom-designed arrangements and the finest gifts, topped with Mrs. Cornelius’ famous bow. At Cornelius you can count on professional service and accurate advice, for lush healthy plants in your home and garden.
We support the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, both monetarily and through volunteer services. This organization, with roots that transcend more than six decades, developed the industry’s two official certification programs. We encourage every employee to earn the Texas Certified Nursery Professional status, as well as to advance and merit Master Certification in a quest for excellence.
With adventurous hearts, the Cornelius family opened several “heel yards”, an early type of nursery, during the Great Depression. The Cornelius boys, Sterling and Frank Jr., worked the yards part-time and during summers, digging plants from the ground.
As World War II loomed, the nature of the nursery business began to change, but soon the boys found themselves serving Uncle Sam.
When Sterling returned after serving in the U.S. Navy he found his mother struggling to save the yards. Sterling joined “Mom.” Frank Jr. also returned. They faced major competition from one-stop shops where customers found more than nursery stock.
The boys dug in and helped elevate Cornelius Nursery’s offerings. They took to the work naturally and Sterling soon became a spokesman, not just for Cornelius, but also for the entire Texas nursery industry.
The company expanded under his leadership to include growing operations, distribution centers, and three modern retail nurseries… and was among the first to grow plants in containers for retail sale. This innovation allowed controlled growth and year-round transplanting, benefiting consumers and transforming the trade.
The fame of the Cornelius stores grew in large part because they included home-decorating centers directed by Sterling’s wife Margaret. Houstonians loved the Christmas displays, place settings and collectibles she selected from European markets.
In the sunset of his years, Sterling merged Cornelius Nursery with Calloway’s Nursery, Inc. He continued to work with the company in an advisory capacity and as a member of the Board of Directors until his death in December 2003.
Today, Cornelius Nursery carries on its great traditions. Wonderful selections of well-adapted plants, as well as garden tools, soil amendments and plant foods fill the stores. An expert design staff prepares interior decorations and custom arrangements. Highly trained horticulturists serve in a friendly manner, many earning Texas Certified Nursery Professional qualification … Cornelius Nursery, just the way Sterling and Margaret would like it.