Learn about native plants at the 8th Annual Native Plant Festival in Wilmington, then shop for native plants to grow at home.

At the 8th Annual Native Plant Festival on September 16, 11 plant growers from six counties will offer attendees the chance to buy native plants and learn how to care for them. The Native Plant Alliance will host the festival and provide educational exhibits and presentations at the New Hanover County Arboretum. Native plants will be for sale at five different locations throughout New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties. Plants will not be for sale at the arboretum.

Where to Learn

The Arboretum will be the site of hands-on activities from 19 educational exhibitors, including Friends of the NHC Arboretum and New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick Extension Master Gardener Volunteers.

The Arboretum will host hourly in-person presentations by native plant experts in its Education Center. Topics will be the Nature at Home certification program, eco-friendly alternatives to harmful ornamental plants and Stormwater 101. At noon, Keynote Speaker Justin Robinson, special projects botanist from the N.C. Natural Heritage Program, will present on the botanical history of the United States.

Visitors can walk through the Arboretum’s Native Plant Demonstration Garden to see plants that thrive in our coastal climate and soils and visit the Seed Swap booth to pick up free seeds. Extension Master Gardener Volunteers at the Arboretum Plant Clinic, at Shelton Herb Farm and at Pender Pines can answer gardening-related questions.

Garden Club Wilmington Plant Sale

Where to Buy

Native plants from 11 regional vendors will be for sale at five sites:

Blooms+Branches Garden Center, 5523 Oleander Drive, Wilmington

The Garden Shop on Moss (2 vendors), 1942 Moss Street, Wilmington

Shelton Herb Farm (5+ vendors), 340 Goodman Road NE, Leland

Wild Bird and Garden (2 vendors), 3501 Oleander Drive, Wilmington

Pender Pines Garden Center, 20940 U.S. Highway 17, Hampstead

Maps of all festival sites will be available at all festival locations, and online at bit.ly/3Cu9htX. Note: Not all vendors can accept credit cards.

Plants and Bees Wilmington NC

“The 2023 Native Plant Festival is a wonderful event for all types of gardeners,” says Nancy Laffey, co-chair of the SE Coastal Chapter of the N.C. Native Plant Society. “The NHC Arboretum’s education sessions and exhibitors will provide information about native gardening, including how-to support on designing, selecting and maintaining native plants. The vendors will allow for purchasing native plants from growers from six counties. The 2023 festival has the largest selection of native plant vendors to date. Come out on September 16 to enjoy the Native Plant Festival’s informational and purchasing opportunities!

The Native Plant Alliance is grateful for the support of its primary sponsor, the Friends of the New Hanover County Arboretum.

Want to go?
8th Annual Native Plant Festival
September 16, 10 am to 3 pm
New Hanover County Arboretum, 6206 Oleander Drive, Wilmington
(910) 798-7660

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