Tips for Plant Sale

BCGC Plant Sale

Thursday, May 9, 2024, at  9 a.m. to noon
Farm Women’s Market, downtown Bethesda

This public sale is our biggest event, a chance to share our love of gardening with the community.
We aim to sell interesting plants that fill a variety of garden needs.
Enthusiastic buyers arrive early and plants sell out quickly!

How can you help?

Donate beautiful plants from your garden: Your plants make the sale! Divide and pot your plants in April. Your plants need time to recover before the sale. Assure that each pot is labelled with the plant’s name, flower color and light requirements. Keep the pots watered, especially as the weather warms.  Scroll down for more details about donating plants.

Sign up to volunteer: There’s something for everyone!
Put up flyers in appropriate public places.  Load and unload cars at the donation drop off site. Transport plants from the drop off site to the sale. Provide food for volunteers at the sale. Set up and cleanup at the sale.

How to sign up: email blasts from the Plant Sale Committee will link to SignUp Genius.

Spread the word: A printable copy of our flyer is included in the April newsletter and on SignUp Genius. Get printed copies of the flyer at the April general meeting. Tape the flyer on your car window. Post on your neighborhood listserv.  

Which plants to donate?

We aim to offer interesting plants that fill a variety of garden niches.

We cannot accept: unidentified or wilted plants; and nonnative invasive plants like English ivy, common orange day lily, pachysandra and vinca minor. New this year: We cannot accept more than 5 each of green hostas, day lilies and liriope from each donor.

If you don’t know what it is or if it’s a good candidate for donation, ask us.

Dig and pot your plants for the sale

Pot up plants in April

Gather your pots, soil and plant labels when you do regular spring maintenance. Pick up pots and plant labels at the homes of Barbara Collier, Susan Lass, and Judy Termini. Please contact them before showing up in person.

We sell plants in three pot sizes: medium (6-8 inches diameter); large (9-12 in.) and “shrub” (larger than 12 in.). Special plants (e.g. trillium, jack in the pulpit) may be sold in 4” pots, but ask us first.

 Water the plant to be dug the night before. 

Dig your plant by removing the full root ball.  

Look at the foliage and root ball to determine how to divide the plant and what size pot to use. One full pot sells better than two skimpy pots. 

Use a sharp spade to divide the plant into pieces.

Pot the plant by placing some leaves in the bottom of the pot, then cover with a little soil. Transplant each piece into a pot, surrounding with potting soil at the same height as when it was in the ground. Fill the sides of the pot with soil and press down.

Water well and keep the plant in the shade for the first few days after potting.

Label each plant as shown in the top two examples in the photo.  Include common and Latin names, flower color and symbols for light requirements. Note if plants are native to the eastern U.S. Please use a weatherproof pen!

Use these symbols for light requirements: (left to right) shade, part sun/part shade and sun.

Label each plant with its botanical and common names, flower color and light requirements, as shown in the photo. If you know the plant is native, add that to the label. Symbols for light requirements also are shown.

Would you like some help?

Are you a newer member in need of plant ID or a digging and dividing demo? Contact us!

Questions? Ask the committee!

Judy Termini (, co-chair
Elaine Hope (, co-chair
Joan Black
Barbara Collier
Mary Horan
Karin Kelleher
Susan Lass
Janis Long
Carolea Logun
Janine Trudeau