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Plant Sale with the Pros

April 19

Plant Sale with the Pros

Walters Orders in the Hoop HouseThe online version – 2.0!

Spring marks the beginning of a new cycle of seasons and would not be the same without Olbrich Gardens’ annual plant sale!

In an effort to ensure everyone’s safety, this upcoming spring Olbrich Gardens will continue to host the Plant Sale with the Pros online. We hope to resume our traditional in-person plant sale fundraiser in 2022.

The 2021 online plant sale will again include a selection of tried and true perennial varieties from Walters Gardens and Midwest Groundcovers. Olbrich’s horticulturists carefully select unique plants that do best in this climate. Find the newest, hardiest, most disease-resistant cultivars on the market at the Plant Sale with the Pros!




Sale Dates

Hosta Plant

November 4, 2020

  • Curated plug trays
  • Bare root fruit trees
  • Veggie bundles

April 19, 2021

  • Individually potted perennials – 85 varieties
  • Groundcovers – 25 varieties

Hosting an online plant sale is still fairly new for Olbrich’s staff and volunteers so let’s kick it off with –

  • Excitement – new plants, more pollinators
  • Desire to support the Gardens during this difficult time
  • Patience as staff and volunteers work hard to overcome new challenges and get those plant beauties to your garden

We will continuously adapt the online ordering and curbside pick-ups as ways to streamline the process are identified. In the meantime we appreciate your understanding as we work out the kinks!

The online plant sale is hosted by Square and will calculate quantities in real time as orders are placed. Olbrich Garden gift cards cannot be used as payment through Square – only for Olbrich Growing Gifts shop merchandise.

DONATIONS – Consider making an additional donation as part of your plant sale order in support of the Gardens. This year’s scaled down version of the Plant Sale with the Pros will raise a fraction (less than half) of annual fund raising goal, so your donation will definitely make a difference!

Need additional assistance navigating the plant list? Feel free to reach out to Olbrich’s Horticulture Librarian, Amy O’Shea to get some plant advice!




When the online plant store goes live on April 19, customers will be able to sort plant material by type, color, and sun/shade.


Potted perennials & groundcovers will be available for curbside pick up starting May 7!


Starting Friday, May 7, 2021

12- 6 p.m.

Pick-up Appointments

  • Customers will receive an email confirming their assigned pick up day from an Olbrich staff member the week of May 2.
    • This is a software feature we unfortunately cannot disable.
  • To guarantee proper fulfillment while working with space constraints and to ensure quick, easy plant loading, the number of pick-ups scheduled each pick up day will be predetermined by the quantities of plants in each order.

Pick-up Procedures

car loader

  • Check out the sale area/pick-up route map before arriving at the Gardens to guarantee a smooth experience.
  • Prepare your vehicle – clear out your trunk or back seat and lay down tarps or plastic if necessary.
    • Heavy, consistent rain on pick-up days may prevent us from providing boxes – prepare your vehicle to receive wet unboxed plants.
  • Wear a mask while you pick up your plants.
  • Drive towards Olbrich’s back parking lot area, join the plant pick-up car line queue, and wait for the next available volunteer plant loader.
  • Give the volunteer your first and last name, they will locate your order, and load it into your vehicle.
    • For added safety, write your name on a piece of paper and hold it up to the window for the volunteer to reference..
  • Help us maintain the proper social distancing and DO NOT exit your vehicle at any time during the pick up process.


If you have questions regarding online ordering, assigned pick-ups times or problems with an order post pick up contact Program Specialist, Mike Gibson.



Olbrich Botanical Gardens continues to be a leader in sustainable gardening in the Midwest, by choosing plants that are not only beautiful and well-adapted to the conditions of their sites, but also good for our planet. Plant species incorporated at Olbrich are selected for their innate ability to enhance our environment and contribute to the food web that supports insects of all kinds, which then support small reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds.

How do these new plant offering support the Gardens’ mission?

  • Reduced plastic waste
    • Plant plugs share a single tray versus individual pots & bare root trees completely eliminate the need for a pot!
  • Reduced fossil fuels
    • Plug trays help fit many plants in a small space for shipping.
    • Bare root trees are bundled together without extra weight of pots and soil and shipped in one cardboard box.
  • Strong root systems
    • Plugs – small soil volume and vertical design of each plug promotes healthy rooting, with lots of roots supporting a relatively small mass of top growth.Â
    • Bare root trees – superior rooting: without excess potting soil, roots eagerly find contact with garden soil so trees establish more quickly.Â
  • Value – Good for the planet & good for YOU!
    • Reducing growing supplies and shipping costs = good prices!Â

    We have a saying when using plugs,

    “Buy the plant/tree, not the pot and the soil” 


April 19
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