Q: What are some of the featured plants that will be sold at Mercer Botanic Gardens’ upcoming March Mart Plant Sale?
A: Mercer Botanic Gardens’ annual March Mart Plant Sale is a gardening utopia for plant lovers. Shoppers will find row after row of unique plants. Some of the most sought-after plants are an array of “Mercer-Grown” Texas natives, gingers, shade plants, vegetables and a wide assortment of annuals and perennials.
Mercer-Grown Texas native plants include pollinator-friendly species like milkweed (Asclepias species) for monarch butterflies and other garden favorites that provide leafy food for caterpillars and flower nectar for butterflies. Look for the black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) with its sunny, yellow daisy blooms that will brighten any garden.
Shoppers will be delighted by the well-adapted gingers grown onsite at Mercer. Two outstanding Dancing Lady varieties, Globba ‘Perfect White,’ and ‘Perfect Purple,’ have dramatic white or purple bracts, yellow flowers, and purple-hued foliage. These spectacular selections are exquisitely elegant with slender stems that hold the long pendant blooms and may produce bulbils along the inflorescence, ultimately creating a colony of these striking beauties.
Mercer-Grown shade plants include the Acanthus ‘Whitewater,’ a vigorous, variegated plant with bold leaves with deeply cut, white margins. It forms a large clump with 4-feet-tall, pink-and-cream flower stalks in the summer. Bred for vigor and outstanding hardiness, the Whitewater is tolerant of the South Texas heat and humidity.
Among the ample varieties of annuals and perennials grown at Mercer: the Forsythia Sage (Salvia madrensis) is an unusual yellow-flowered species with 12-inch-long spikes that bloom from August through frost. It is a good specimen for the back of the border as it may reach 6-8 feet tall and has excellent cut flowers, perfect for bringing color into your home.
Brazilian Buttonbush (Centratherum intermedium), also called Pineapple Sangria, emits a pineapple fragrance when the leaves are rubbed. It thrives in the summer with 1-inch, lavender-blue, thistle-like blooms and can grow 1-2 feet tall with a 2- to 4-foot spread. Use this tender perennial as a soft-textured ground cover or let it cascade over rocks to attract lots of pollinators.
If you have a locavore in your home, look for Mercer Grown all-organic vegetables and try your hand at backyard farming.
Mark your calendars for March Mart on Friday, March 20, and Saturday, March 21. Some plants are limited in quantity and may sell out quickly. Want to shop early? Join The Mercer Society at the VIP level for a private event and sale preview on Thursday, March 19. Visit hcp4.net/marchmart for more details.