morris plant sale

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April 26, 2015                                                                            Susan Crane (215) 247-5777 x121


Morris Arboretum Annual Plant Sale

PHILADELPHIA – On Friday and Saturday, May 8 and 9, Morris Arboretum will host their annual Plant Sale. The event will feature unusual and hard-to-find plants, many from local nurseries familiar with Philadelphia’s soil and climate that are well suited to thrive in this area. The 2015 Plant Sale will be held at the Horticulture Center at Bloomfield Farm, across the street from the Arboretum’s public garden. Friday is Members-Only day, so now is a perfect time to become a Morris Arboretum member for first picks on great plants. Saturday the sale is open to the public.

Whatever your taste in the garden, Morris Arboretum will have annuals to meet your needs.  From hanging baskets to tropicals and succulents, there is surely something to fill your containers or add a splash of color to your garden.  Adding annuals to your garden provides a diversity of flowering plants that bloom throughout the season and draw the greatest variety of bees and butterflies. And don’t forget the culinary herbs; basil, chives, mint, oregano, and thyme are all excellent pollinator plants. Also available this year will be a selection of heirloom and other tasty varieties of tomatoes, eggplants and peppers.

Several choice woody plants are being offered this year, with a range of different color and sun/shade particulars to satisfy every gardener’s requirements.  One of the featured plants is Hydrangea macrophylla Cityline™ Paris (Paris bigleaf hydrangea), which sports long-lasting summer blooms of intense pinkish-red that mature to green in full sun to part shade.  Another plant to look for is Spirea thunbergii ‘Ogon’ (Mellow Yellow Thunberg spirea).   Best in full sun, this golden-leaved spirea with slender, willow-like leaves emerge golden yellow in spring, mature to bright green in summer, and put on an autumnal show with shades of orange.

Looking for roses?  A selection of beautifully performing plants has been chosen that range from classic, antique roses to the most disease resistant, recently-introduced hybrids.  toughest, recently-introduced hybrids.  New roses feature top-performers from famous breeders such as William Radler and Meilland of France. In the antique selections, look for dependable roses like ‘Blanc Double DeCoubert,’ which have reliably delighted gardeners for centuries.

Stock up on clematis, which are wonderful vines perfect for growing in containers, through trees, on a rose, or up a trellis.  Two of the many gorgeous plants available this year include, ‘Nelly Moser’ with blush petals that have deep pink stripes down the centers, and ‘Polish Spirit’ that features star-shaped, purple blooms.

For Morris Arboretum members, the 2015 free Dividend Plant is very special.  The featured plant this year is: Ruby Spice summersweet clethra – Clethra alnifolia ‘Ruby Spice’, the darkest red of all the clethra varieties.  Once again, the Arboretum offers some very unusual “surprise!” dividends this year.  Plant connoisseurs eagerly anticipate the plant sale every year to pick among the rare and unusual plants that are offered from the greenhouse inventory surplus.  Come early to the members’ preview for the best selection.  When they’re gone, they’re gone.

The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society returns to the Morris Arboretum Plant Sale this year with their featured plant, the evergreen azalea ‘Maraschino’. This shrub, a member of the Kimono Series™ of azaleas, flowers in May with warm, carmine-red single and semi-double blossoms.  And of course, there will be a large selection of other outstanding rhododendrons offered, all hardy in the Delaware Valley, many of which are not available elsewhere.

“Plant Experts” from Natural Lands Trust, the region’s foremost conservation organization, will be on hand to offer advice and resources—including simple planting plans—on the benefits of choosing native plant species for your home landscape.  As one of the region’s largest owners of preserved lands, Natural Lands Trust has both a breadth and depth of experience in caring for a variety of landscapes and is continually exploring new and better approaches to problems like invasive plant control, reforestation, wildlife management, and habitat restoration. Learn more at

Whether it’s the old, the new, or the steadfast you’re looking for, Morris Arboretum’s Plant Sale is sure to have something to pique your interest.  So, mark your calendars to join your friends and other gardeners for a wonderful selection of plants, and the availability of expert advice from Morris Arboretum staff.

Friday May 8 from 10am – 7pm, is Members-only day.  All Morris Arboretum members are invited and will receive a 10% discount on their entire Plant Sale purchase, and receive a free dividend plant. Anyone who joins before, or at the Plant Sale is eligible to receive the member benefits.

Saturday, May 9 from 10am – 3pm is open to the public.

Morris Arboretum members receive a 10% discount on purchases.

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is located at 100 East Northwestern Avenue in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.  The 92-acre horticulture display garden features a spectacular collection of mature trees in a beautiful and colorful landscape. The Arboretum includes numerous picturesque spots such as a formal rose garden, historic water features, a swan pond, and the only remaining freestanding fernery in North America. The arboretum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also the official arboretum of Pennsylvania. A permanent nationally award winning exhibit, Out on a Limb – a Tree Adventure adds to Morris Arboretum’s allure by transporting visitors 50 feet up into the treetops on a canopy walk that requires no climbing.  Open weekdays 10am-4pm and weekends 10am-5pm (Apr-Oct).  Open late on Wednesdays in June, July, and August until 8:00pm.  For more information, visit