The 13-centre East Anglia-based Notcutts business has been looking for acquisitions since it sold its nursery arm in July 2007.
The six NWF centres, in the Midlands and North West went on the market early this year after parent company NWF Group decided they were not profitable enough.
Notcutts deputy chairman William Notcutt would not comment on the rumour, describing industry talk as speculation but added: Our approach has been clear since we sold out nursery business to John Woods.
We have looked at some centres in the same way as Wyevale, Dobbies and Blue Diamond have looked at centres and not bought them.
A source told Horticulture Week: It’s thought in the industry that Notcutts or a management buy-out will take over at NWF. Dobbies and Wyevale are out of the picture.
Former Body Shop marketing director Andy King took over as CEO in February 2008.
Notcutts closed it landscaping arm this month, with two of its three sites being taken over by their management.
NWF would not comment on ongoing negotiations.