Occasionally I get emails from people who are frustrated because they can’t find the spectacular plants that are used in container gardening magazines and books. If you are nodding your head right now, or if you’d just like to try something new, this post is for you. Everyone can get interesting plants, no matter where you live, even if you don’t have access to a good independent nursery.
Universities and Community Colleges
I went there one and found some great deals. Many plants in 4 inch pots were only a dollar. I bought the above pepper and three others for $1.50 a piece. They had everything from Strawberry Guavas to succulents to tree roses. All for dirt cheap prices.
Many universities and community colleges have horticulture departments. Those students need greenhouses and plants to learn with. Their learning can be your bounty. Check out the local instutions of higher learning and see if they ever have plant sales.
Arboretums and Botanical Gardens
Another great place to find interesting plants at affordable prices is your local public garden. For example, in my area the Fullerton Arboretum has plant sales all the time! African violets in February, tomato and peppers in March, perrenials in June, cacti and succulents in July and December, Salvia in September, California natives in October, and Butterfly and Hummingbird plants in April.
Most big cities have an arboretum, botanical garden or some other public garden. Even some smaller cities have them. It’s definitely worth looking in to, especially if you’d like to grow plants native to your area.
The Internet and Catalogues
There are several really good websites and catalogues out there that will ship plants directly to you. Doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?
Here are a few to get you started:
- Territorial Seed – Even though their name says “seed” they sell live plants too)
- Annies Annuals – A really awesome collection of unusual annuals
- Seeds of Change – Another seed company that also sells plants)
- White Flower Farms – A little spendy, but a great place to find really unique plants
- Wayside Gardens – Again, not cheap, but they’re not selling marigolds, they specialize in stuff that is more unusual
I’ll turn things over to you guys now, where do you like to look for plants when the local garden center just doesn’t cut it?