What’s Growing On: Florida Museum Spring Plant Sale

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:27 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - This year’s Earth Day Theme is “Invest in our Planet”, and many North Central Florida organizations are facilitating that message.

And that includes bringing some colorful creatures to your landscape.

The Florida Museum of Natural History is celebrating Earth Day by hosting their Spring Plant Sale starting this Friday.

The sale is offering over 200 varieties of plants, and from all different classifications, whether you’re looking to bring butterflies to your yard or have vibrant, tropical colors greeting you at home.

Accent plants such as Calatheas can be added to your yard for vibrant colors and noticeable patterns.

But for some of nature’s most beautiful creatures to stop by, accent plants won’t always suffice. Manager of the museum’s Butterfly Rainforest, Ryan Fessenden, adds many people think they should simply “plant flowers to attract butterflies, well that’s half the story. Butterflies also need something to lay their eggs on and it’s specific to each species.”

You need plants that are pollinator friendly, or “plants that are very attractive to these types of animals. If you want to encourage them to your yard and to increase their habitat, you want to plant these specific plants.”

That’s where host and nectar plants come into play because “they have nice little clusters of flowers that are very attractive to various pollinators, specifically butterflies and other insects and other birds like hummingbirds.”

Fessenden adds they will have many of these types of plants for purchase this weekend, but he “always recommends pentas or the egyptian star-cluster as a butterfly attracter. It blooms almost year-round. It’s a nice cluster of small flowers that will attract large and small butterflies. It’s very easy to care for. It is the quintessential anchor plant for any butterfly garden.”

Proceeds from the plant sale are put directly back into the museum’s Butterfly Rainforest to display exotic butterflies from all over the world.

Plant sale hours are:

Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM

Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM

Sunday, 1 PM to 5 PM

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