Plant Sale FAQ

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FAQ:

Why does NANPS hold these sales?  
The sales are NANPS primary annual fundraiser.   They provide most of the funds needed to run the organization for the remainder of the year.  They also serve as an educational vehicle allowing NANPS to showcase hundreds of native species and to introduce thousands of native plants into GTA gardens.  Because we feel that it is important to help people choose the RIGHT plants for their location we have knowledgeable volunteers on hand to answer your questions. 

So wouldn't it be cheaper for me to buy my plants elsewhere?
Even though this is a fundraiser, our prices are very competitive.  Consider that when you buy from stores, it can be difficult to find out exactly where the plants came from. NANPS brings together plants from several LOCAL specialized growers so that you know they're suitable for planting in the GTA. By bringing together their inventories in one location you don't have to drive from nursery to nursery to find the plants you want. By buying from NANPS you're also supporting a great cause!


What happens if some of my pre-ordered plants don't arrive?
Despite our best efforts, there are always last-minute cancellations.  If we know a few days before the sale that some of your order won't be arriving, we will send you an email asking you to select alternatives.  Late cancellations will be posted on the entrance doors so you can peruse the sales floor for replacements before collecting the rest of your order.


Can I get a refund?
This is a charitable fundraiser.  We count on advance order sales to help us decide how many additional plants to bring for the sale.  In the unlikely event that a large portion of your order isn't available, and you really can't find any other plants at the sale that you'd enjoy having in your garden, we'd appreciate your accepting a charitable donation receipt in place of a refund.  


I'm new to native plants. How do I find out more?
You can spend some time browsing through our online database for information about individual species. The database is sortable by plant type, light, soil and habitat conditions.  If you still have questions feel free to ask any of our helpful volunteers at the sale. 


Where does NANPS get the plants offered at the sales?
NANPS has inspected and developed a relationship with many local, highly ethical, native plant nurseries.  We also accept plant donations from our members. Donated plants are sold at a special donations table.  If you have plants to donate please contact   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for details.


Why aren't all species available for advance ordering? 
Some species are only available in very small quantities from our growers.  Others are difficult to grow or are generally late to emerge in the spring.  Our growers are proud of their plants and generally refuse to ship plants that they aren't confident will survive.  Rather than disappointing you when you arrive to collect your order, these plants are only available on the sales floor (assuming they arrive at all). It's important to note, that while some species are only available on the sales floor, others are only available via advance ordering since they may have limited commercial appeal and we don't have the ability to hold over unsold plants for future sales.


Why do you charge a handling fee?
NANPS is a volunteer-operated society but assembling these orders often takes many hours, diverting our volunteers from other activities and sometimes necessitating working late into the night before the sale.  The small fee (less than taxes paid at retail outlets on most orders) goes toward providing refreshments for these hard working individuals and other incidental costs of providing this service.  


I'm not a member.  Can I still pre-order?
The plant sale is open to all, but only members can pre-order.  Simply join the Society when you place your order.  You'll be given that option after you finish selecting your plants.  Advance ordering is one of the benefits that we offer our members along with a 16-page quarterly newsletter, information sheets, and discounts to other NANPS activities like seminars and excursions.


Why do some plants seem small?
NANPS plants are grown by native plant nurseries which operate a bit differently from more commercial 
sources.  They are grown according to local conditions, not pushed along in heated greenhouses for earlier sale.  The majority of the plants are also grown from seed rather than being cloned or hybridized for standardized growth. As a result there can be considerable variability within a single species.  Perennials also emerge at different times. Some emerge later and may only be showing the beginnings of growth on the day of the sale.  Others may have already passed their peak. Spring Beauties (Claytonia), for example, usually have already bloomed and are entering dormancy by early May (for improved transplanting success). The few plants that are in full flower at our sale are usually snapped up quickly, but all the plants, given time, will eventually have their day.


How does NANPS benefit from my advance order?
By placing your order in advance, NANPS knows that these plants are guaranteed a home.  It also helps us to gauge which plants may be popular on the day of the sale so we have a better idea what to order from local growers.  Remember, we are not a full-time nursery and we don't have facilities to house plants leftover at the end of the day.  By ordering ahead of time, we know that your plants will be going to a good home!

How else can I help?
We always welcome volunteers!  Please contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to offer your services for the plant sale or other activities.  You provide the enthusiasm.  NANPS provides the experience.