Plant Sale

Plant Sale Guide

Order Instructions

Ken Willis, the Garden’s head horticulturist, has produced an eclectic mix of annuals and perennials.  In addition, Dr. Ieuan Evans has donated plants from his personal collection.   Friends of the Garden (FOG) is providing volunteers to assist with the plant sale.  Ken will be producing plants for periodic releases over the summer and into the fall.   All proceeds from the plant sale will be used for Garden maintenance. 

Covid 19 protections have necessitated on-line ordering and scheduled pick-up dates.  The Friends are hoping to have in-person plant sales in the Leaf Plaza later in the summer.   The first plant release can be ordered on-line starting the week of April 19th.   Plants from Release #1 can be picked up May 1st and 2nd.  The next release will be available May 8/9.  Supplies are limited.  FOG members are encouraged to order soon.  

 FOG produced the following Plant Selection Guide intended to assist FOG volunteers with in-person sales.   Prices are provided in the Table of Contents with plant listings.  Plants can be ordered through the Garden’s online ordering system.  Clicking on any plant/topic in the Table of Contents will provide a direct link to a brief plant description.

The Garden will accept credit card payments and will allow purchasers to select their pickup date.  The Garden’s system will prevent payment for sold-out plants.  Plants can be picked-up from Parking Lot C near the Garden’s greenhouses.  In the rare case where a plant is not available at pickup due to a crop problem, a comparable plant will be substituted.  Unfortunately, we are unable to offer refunds.    A direct link to the Garden’s plant ordering system is provided below.

Anyone wishing to visit the Garden after they pick up plants will have to reserve a garden entry time on the Garden’s website.  Plant pickups and garden visits are not linked via the Garden’s computer system.  The Garden’s spring opening to visitors until May 6, 2021 – plant pickups only until May 6.

We want to advise everyone who is picking up plants to bring a flat or a box to place your plants inside of to keep your vehicle clean and the plants from falling over!

Thank you for supporting the University of Alberta Botanic Garden Plant Sale.

Table of Contents

Container Planting

Choose a Sunny Location – Some plants will tolerate shade, but most garden vegetables require at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.

Potting Soil – Use potting soil rather than garden soil. Proven Winners has a good discussion of potting soil on their website:

Pots do not need to be completely emptied each year providing produce was healthy. Potting soil that is being used again should be amended with new material. Break-up the old potting soil to eliminate root clumps then discard 1/3 of the old soil and replace with new potting soil. Drainage holes are essential. You do not need a layer of rock at the bottom of containers for
drainage. This can actually impede drainage. A paper towel can be used to cover drainage holes while soil is being added to empty containers.

Manage Water – Ensure that plants do not sit in wet soil. Many plants can recover if they are left to dry out for a short period. Plants are not as forgiving of wet soil. Containers will require daily watering depending on container size, location, plant water demands, and air temperature. Water quality is important. City water sources will be fine for plants. Water from wells may contain too much sodium to use for container plantings. Check your well water quality report. Consider a rain barrel as a water source where well water is an issue. Rain barrels are also encouraged for city locations as they assist with water conservation and storm water
management. Some gardeners may want to consider a small irrigation system designed for containers and hanging baskets. Water will still have to be managed as scheduled watering for dry periods could be too much where rain has been abundant.

Manage Fertility – Container planting should be fertilized regularly, but sparingly through the growing season.

Use Vertical Space – Some vegetables or plants like strawberries will grow well in hanging baskets. Containers can also be grown on vertical stands that are anchored well to a wall or deck provided that light is not restricted. Shepherd hooks for hanging baskets can be anchored to decks (get permission if you are renting). Trellises can allow for a vertical backdrop of a vining ornamental or vegetable such as scarlet runner beans. Unless the trellis is very tall, some effort will be required to redirect the vine so that it stays within the trellis.

Enjoy Four Seasons – Solar lights on trellises and various embellishments can be incorporated into pot designs to provide an attractive view through the winter. Glass friendship balls, for example, can be left outside year-round. They are actually more interesting in winter when they are not eclipsed by vegetation.

Be Creative – Pots can be painted, stenciled, and decoupaged for a unique custom look. Wrapping paper can be decoupaged on outdoor pots and then coated with weather protectant. The following video provides excellent instructions for decoupaging plain containers.

Gardening Information

There are many excellent gardening websites on the Internet. The public websites listed below were specifically helpful in providing information regarding a variety of gardening topics. There are many other websites providing excellent information. If you have suggestions for additional
websites that we should link, please contact us at our email address:

Greenland Garden Centre
Salisbury Greenhouse
Proven Winners
Wallish Greenhouses
West Coast Seeds

Annual Plants for Sale

Amaranthus Caudatus (see Love Lies Bleeding)

Amaranthus Tricolor

not available until May 23

Annual growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.5m (1ft 8in). Full sun. Prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Artichoke: Green Globe

Full sun. Green Globe artichokes make excellent container plants. Read more at Gardening Know How: Green Globe Improved Artichoke: Learn About Green Globe Artichoke Care: Tips & Information about Artichokes – Gardening Know How


not available until May 23

Full to partial sun. Plants should be pruned each time a plant has produced six to eight leaves to keep plants leafy. Leaves can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for later use. The center shoot should be clipped to prevent flowering unless the plant is being grown as an ornamental. Basil is sensitive to frost so it needs to be harvested before the first frost. Basil can be used in soups, salads, pesto and other dishes.

Calendula (Pot Marigold)

not available until May 8

Semi-double flowers glow in warm apricot, cream, gold, and shades of yellow offering a brilliant range of coloured blooms. Pacific Beauty Mix have long stems, excellent for cutting. Sun or partial shade works well for these bright annual flowers. Tear the edible petals off and sprinkle them over summer meals. (From West Coast Seeds)


not available until May 8

Similar to celery. Grown for the root but stocks and leaves are also edible. Numbers are very low.

Chervil (Vertissimo Chervil)

not available until May 8

Related to parsley, but more delicate. Grows to about 0.5 m ht. It is used, particularly in France, to season poultry, seafood, young spring vegetables such as carrots, soups and sauces. Chervil’s flowers are also edible, also used as microgreens and to garnish salads. Flavor has a faint taste of licorice or anise.

Cineraria (see Dusty Miller)


not available until May 23

Cosmos are colorful daisy-like flowers that sit atop long slender stems. Blooming throughout the summer months, they attract birds, bees, and butterflies. Height up to 1 m. Easy to grow.

Dusty Miller

not available until May 23

Full sun or afternoon shade. Grown for its silvery-gray foliage and lacy leaves. Does well as a companion to more colourful flowering plants. Flower stocks can be removed to keep growth compact. Height 20 – 30 cm


not available until May 23

Shade or at least afternoon shade. Numerous colourful blooms over deep green foliage. Very popular. Height 20 – 30 cm. Spread 20 – 30 cm.

Leeks (see onion and leeks)

Love Lies Bleeding (Amaranthus)

not available until May 23

Full sun. Love lies bleeding plant can reach 5 feet (1.5 m.) in height and 2 feet (0.5 m.) across.


not available until May 8

Marjoram is closely related to oregano and has a similar appearance. It has a slightly sweeter flavour than oregano which is more savory.

Onions and Leeks


Leeks look like overgrown green onions, but have a milder, more delicate flavor than onions. Both onions and leeks require full sun although leeks will tolerate partial shade. Leeks can be transplanted into trenches 5 to 6 inches (12-15cm) deep. Trench planting allows for back-filling soil around the stems as they grow; this is one method of blanching the stems. (Blanched stems will be white and tende. Continuously backfill the soil to cover all but the top 1 or 2 inches (2.5-5cm) of leaves over the growing season.

Alto Varna Organic Bulgarian type leek. Full size at 45cm tall. Highly uniform, flavourful and quite thick. The dark green leaves are upright and rigid.

Autumn Giant Autumn Giant types are grown traditionally throughout Western Europe.

Giant Musselburgh Mild, sweet, onion-like flavor. Very hardy variety. Blue-green leaves.

Malabar A quick-maturing variety producing thick, good quality stems.


Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. Stop watering in the beginning of August to mature bulbs in dry soil. After half the tops have fallen, push over the remainder, wait a week, and lift the bulbs Curing is essential for long storage: Spread bulbs out in the sun (or a warm, dry place) for about a week, covering them at night to protect them from dew. When the
outer layer of the onion changes from moist to dry and crisp, it is cured.

Storage: Keep onions in mesh sacks so they get good ventilation, and hang sacks where air is dry and very cool, but above freezing. Check them regularly and remove any sprouting or rotting onions.

Alisa Craig Sow Ailsa Craig sweet onion seeds for huge, straw-yellow globes up to 20cm (8″) in diameter! Firm, with mild, sweet flesh, Ailsa has fairly good short-term storage potential, certainly better than Walla Walla. Ailsa Craig Spanish onions are fine textured, and excellent for salads and sandwiches. It is tolerant of cold weather, so it can be ready for harvest before some other Spanish storage onions.

Borettane The borettana onion is an Italian pearl onion ranging in size from .5 – 2 cm in

Early Yellow Globe Globe- shaped onion with firm white flesh popular used either raw or cooked. It is considered a moderately short storage type onion.

Norstar Onion Bred especially for northern, cool regions. Stores into early winter. Forms a perfect globe-shaped bulb with light brown skin and mild flavoured white flesh.

Storage Onion Genesis An early maturing hybrid that produces uniform globe shaped bulbs with golden brown coloring. Boasts good tolerance to both pink root and fusarium.

Sweet Spanish Utah Yellow Large, 3″–6″ globe-shaped bulbs with a mild, sweet flavor.

Pansies & Violas

Pansies were actually derived from violas, so technically all pansies are violas but not all violas are pansies. Because pansies do have much larger, more noticeable blooms than violas, they can create a bigger pop of color in your garden. Violas tend to tolerate frost more than pansies. Full sun to part shade. Although listed as annuals, violas can also be classified as perennial. They also reseed themselves so they tend to spread.


not available until May 8

Curled parsley is used as a garnish or in salads. It can also be used in fruit smoothies.


Full sun to part shade. Keep the soil consistently moist until the plants are established. Thereafter, water whenever the soil is dry. Pinch the tips of young plants to promote compact, bushy growth. Continue as needed whenever the plants begin to look long and leggy. If the plants look tired or blooming slows in midsummer, cut them back a few inches to about half their length. The plants rebound quickly. Deadhead blooms as soon as they fade to promote continued blooming.

Salvia (Lighthouse purple and Lighthouse red)

Select a location in full sun in a well-drained soil. Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. “Deadhead”, remove spent flower heads to encourage continuous flowering and prevent seed development. Tall, bushy plants display long-lasting color in the garden. Ideal for low-maintenance landscapes and large patio containers. Spacing: 8 – 10″ (20 – 25cm). Height: 60 cm Spread: 25cm

Sorrel (Red Veined Sorrel)

Full sun. Edible leaves resemble beet leaves – lime green highlighted by deep red veins. The leaves can be harvested to add a tart lemony flavor to salads, soups or other food items. Plants will regrow after cutting. Leaves are best when young and tender less than 15 cm height.

Spider Plant

Indoor/Outdoor Plant. Spider plants can be grown outdoors after frost threat has passed. Plant in shade or partial shade – the plants will not do well in full sun. The plants will look great in containers, but can be used in flower beds where they will spread. The plants can be taken inside for the winter. Needs to be out of direct sunlight. Does best with rainwater.


Strawberries were provided by Dr. Ieuan Evans.


Tomatoes are a gardener’s reward – you may remember the John Denver Home Grown Tomatoes

All tomato varieties require full sun (at least 6 hours per day), a sufficient pot size to support the growing plant, consistent watering, good drainage, and appropriate fertilizer application. The following website provided good information regarding fertilizer requirements for container-grown tomatoes. Some of the other information provided may not be as relevant to local conditions.

There are a number of diseases common on tomato plants. The following video provides a good explanation of blossom end rot and underscores the need for appropriate containers, soil, moisture and nutrients.

Tomato Selection

Choosing the correct tomato for your specific gardening space is important. Tomatoes are heavy
feeders, they need plenty of water especially when they have fruit.

Two types of tomatoes are determinate and indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes or “bush” tomatoes are compact in size and generally grow maximum 3’- 4’ height in a season. They stop growing when the top bud of the plant sets its fruit. These plants are great for growing in containers on patios, decks or gardens, are easy to stake or cage with the tomato cages you can purchase at any garden centre or hardware store. Indeterminate tomatoes can grow 6’ to 10 ‘ in a season. They just keep growing and growing until they die from the first frost, all the while blooming and setting fruit. Be prepared to stake these tomatoes, they can quickly become huge! Fruit production is usually plentiful.

Tomatoes Available May 1st.

Evans Extra Early

Red, well flavoured fruit. Medium sized fruit, Large yield. Determinate. Maturity: 57 days

Sub Artic Plenty

Produces many clusters of small 5cm, 2 inch red fruit. Determinate (Bush). Maturity: 55-65 days

Sub Artic Maxi

Scarlet colour fruit 2 inch round. Determinate (Bush). Maturity : 48 days

Tiny Tim

Red miniature fruit 1 inch diameter. Sweet. Determinate. Maturity: 70 days


Hybrid-Sweet Million: Small, red, sweet flavour. Indeterminate. Maturity: 65 days

Manitoba: Medium, red, well-flavoured. Determinate. Maturity: 60 days

Larger Sized Tomatoes

Beefsteak: Red with exceptional flavour. Indeterminate. Maturity: 73 days

Better Boy: Red with classic tomato flavor. Indeterminate. Maturity: 72 days

Big Beef (Beefsteak): Red, beefy fruit, exceptional flavour. Indeterminate. Maturity: 73 days

Brandywine Heirloom Tomato: Pinkish red flesh, sweet flavor. Maturity: 78 days

Centennial Rocket: Red, well-flavoured. Determinate. Maturity: 50 days

Lemon Boy: Yellow, mild Flavour. Indeterminate Maturity: 70 days

Ponderosa Pink: Pink, tasty Flavour. Determinate ( Bush). Maturity: 65 days

Perennial Plants for Sale


Do not confuse it with choke cherry. The chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) is a tall shrub with dark glossy leaves and a rounded form. White flowers in 1-2 cm clusters have showy pink anthers in the spring. Height: 1 – 2 m Spread .6-2 m

Cotoneaster ‘Cranberry’

Low-growing cotoneaster variety, rising only knee-high, but spreading three times that wide. Glossy green leaves with tiny, pinkish-white blossoms. Berries, the size and color of cranberries give the plant its name. The berry crop covers the entire shrub and remaining well into winter.


Full to Partial sun. Daylilies are very hardy perennials that require very little attention. The flowers are borne on tall stocks – beautiful for only a day. Multiple blooms keep the colour going for weeks. The beautiful green strap-like foliage covers a lot of ground and helps keep weeds under control. A must have perennial in every garden.

Bela Lugosi

Purple flowers with a lime green throat

Daring Deception

Cream-pink self with a large, dark purple eye and green throat

Dessert Icicle

Yellow spider-shaped flowers with gold throats

Gentle Shepherd

Creamy white with a green throat

Ruby Spider

Dark red with a golden throat

Eastern White Cedar

Evergreen. Averaging 12 m (40 ft) high. Crown is conical, dense, layered and compact.. Trunk strongly tapered, often gnarled with thin reddy-brown bark. Branchlets yellowish-green, forming flat, fan-shaped sprays.

Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra)

Full to partial sun. Black Tower Elderberry has burgundy colored foliage with pink flowers. The berries of Sambucus nigra can be harvested for making elderberry wine and jam, or left on the plant to attract birds and other wildlife. Height 2 – 2.8 m Spread 1 – 1.5 m

English Daisy (Bellis Perenis)

Bellis English Daisy seeds produce compact, versatile plants that are hardy to Zone 3. The pom pom like flowers can be deadheaded when they fade to prolong the flowering period. Plants stay very compact at only 15-20cm (6-8″), so they are great for tucking into containers or any little empty spot near the front of flower beds. (From West Coast Seeds)

German Iris

A Bearded Iris that blooms from early spring to early summer. Divide plant every 3 -4 years, after flowering.

Ancient Echos

Tall bearded iris has gold standard ( center ), brownish – red outer petals. Large fragrant flowers. Green narrow spiked leaves. Height 75 to 80 cm, spread 45 cm.


Tall bearded iris, lightly ruffled dark maroon red beards, sweet fragrance. Height up to 2 m.


Hostas are easy to grow, are long lived and grow in shade and sun or combination of both. Once tube shaped blooms are spent ( dead) cut at base and enjoy the foliage.

Captains Adventure

Partial shade. Medium to large size up to 1 m wide. Variegated leaves .

Brother Stefan

Medium to dark green leaves with golden – yellow centers. Corrugated appearance. Height 30 – 60 cm.

Emerald Ruff Cut

Shade. Bright golden leaves have a wavy dark green margin. Spread 40 – 80 cm.


Invincibelle Ruby Hydrangea (Proven Winners)

The dark burgundy red flower buds of Invincibelle Ruby open to a two-toned combination of bright ruby red and silvery pink. The foliage is extra dark and stems are strong, making this new hydrangea a gem in any garden. It is a strong rebloomer that will be an excellent addition to any garden. Like other smooth hydrangeas, it flowers on new growth and so blooms every year without fail. (From Proven Winners) Height 1 – 1.5 m Spread 60 – 90 cm

Mock Orange (Snowbelle)

Full sun to part shade. ‘Snowbelle’ is a compact mockorange with abundant blooms of fragrant, double white flowers in late spring to early summer. Citrus-scented flowers are approximately 2 cm in diameter. This is a multi-stemmed shrub that typically grows to a height/width of only 1 – 1.4 m.


Pink Hawaiin Coral

Fragrant double flower. Petals change in colour from rose-coral to a very light coral or cream with a yellow heart. Erect stems—no staking necessary.

Sanguisorba (Little Angel Burnet)

Spreading, evergreen, green and white variegated foliage topped with maroon button flowers on strong, slender stems in late summer. The leaves are in fact edible, best when young, lending a slightly nutty or cucumber flavor to salads. Full Sun or partial shade. Height 60-70 cm Spread 30-60 cm

Viburnum (Blue Muffin Arrowhead – Proven Winners)

Full sun to part sun. White spring flowers with blue fruits in autumn. Height .4 – 2 m Spread .4 – 2 m