Take a Peek at the Garden's Onsite Nursery | Desert Botanical Garden


Ever wonder what it takes to organize and run Desert Botanical Garden’s semiannual plant sale. Organizing the event is a monumental task with preparations that are ongoing throughout the year.

The fundraising sale has become one of the Garden’s biggest undertakings — attracting some 6,000 shoppers in the spring and fall and boasting more than 30,000 plants in inventory.

To help ensure there is a great selection of succulent plants, the Garden created an on-site production nursery in 2023 that includes a dedicated staff member and volunteers to support the nursery.

The idea for the creation of the nursery came from the Garden’s current Strategic Plan (2019-2025) and focuses on testing new strategies to ensure the success of the plant sales. The nursery allows space to propagate plants grown specifically for the needs of the sale, as well as a space for the ongoing care of plants left over from previous sales.

Bursera fagaroides

Pachycereus weberi seedlings

Choosing what to grow at the nursery has become a fun and exciting task that is ever evolving. Since the inception of the nursery last year, two unique plant lines have been developed. The first is the Garden Signature line that offers one-of-a-kind access to the Garden’s plant collections. All Garden Signature plants are grown from Garden seed, cuttings or divisions. Look for orange-colored pot labels at the sale to identify these plants.  Some of them include Fouquieria columnaris, Aloidendron dichotomum and Aloidendron ramosissimum.

Aloe dichotoma

The second is the Garden Preferred plant line. These plants have been specifically selected and grown in the Garden’s nursery exclusively for the plant sale because of their uniqueness, rarity or lack of availability in the trade. Look for the green-colored pot labels at the sale to identify these plants. Some examples include Pachycormus discolor, various Adenium species, Agave hybrids and some interesting Pachypodium species.

Adenium arabicum

Myrtillocactus geometrizans fma. cristata cuttings

The Garden has also partnered with local growers, providing them Garden seed to grow plants specifically for the sale. Utilizing the expertise of these growers allows us to expand our ability to provide unique plants for the sale and also helps support these amazing growers. As the Garden’s nursery continues to evolve, keep a lookout for more unique and unusual plants at each sale. It takes time to grow these plants, so each sale will bring its share of new and interesting items. 

Ferocactus pilosus

Join us for the Garden’s Spring Plant Sale on March 14-17. Admission is free, but guests need to reserve their spot online.

Heat Advisory: Please be prepared for extreme heat. Bring water, stay hydrated and seek shade when possible.