Tuesday, September 08, 2020

13th Annual DC Plant Swap

UPDATE - the event is at capacity and registration is CLOSED.

13th Annual DC Plant Swap Details

hosted by Washington Gardener Magazine

What: A Plant Swap -- bring and receive free plants to expand your home garden and houseplant collection

Why: Free Plants and Fall is a perfect time to get them in the ground!

Date: Sunday, September 20

Time: starting at 11:00am bring your plants for sorting by category (shade perennial, groundcover, herb, houseplant, etc.) -- swap starts promptly at 11:30am -- do not be late (the swap goes fast and can be over in a matter of minutes!) - we plan to conclude and be cleaned up by 12:00noon.

Place: U.S. National Arboretum - exact location provided in confirmation note. (We will stay socially distanced and park vehicles with one space between them. If you bike there or get dropped off, you will also occupy one parking space with an open space left between you and the next vehicle/person.)

Weather: This event is rain or shine. In case of a bad storm, we will reschedule for the following Sunday.

Who: anyone is welcome and it is FREE! You must register in advance. We are strictly limiting this event to 50 participants. EACH PERSON attending must provide a name and email for our entry security list and contact tracing records.

~ a facemask to wear at all times
~ pen and paper - you will want to take lots of notes during the preview phase
~ plants to swap - pot them up NOW -- the longer they can get settled in their pots, the better their chance of success and survival
~ labels - fully label all your swap plants with as much info as you have - optimally that will include: common and scientific name, amount of sun needed, amount of water needed, any other special care notes, and color of the blooms (if it is not currently in flower)

What kind of plants to bring: you can bring houseplants, native plants, vegetable plants, ornamental garden plants, water garden plants, annuals, perennials, biennials, shrubs, trees, cuttings, seeds, etc.

What NOT to bring: common orange daylilies* and any invasive species - use this list (http://www.mdinvasivesp.org/list_terrestrial_plants.html) to screen your plant offerings
*Hybrid daylilies are fine and totally welcome, but the common orange ones (aka "Ditch Lilies") usually end up with no takers and we are stuck having to throw them out as yard waste.

How: On arrival, you will place your plants into the marked categories. Then, we will have a preview period so you can see what is available. Finally, individuals will be called to take turns picking out plants in selection rounds until all the plants are taken.

AFTER the Swap: Enjoy the beauty of the US National Arboretum's plant collections.


  1. This is great! Is there a point system to the swap? Like people who bring more plants or rare plants get more points? Or is it a mad free for all?

    1. Hi Caroline - No point sytem - folks just bring what they want to share, we put them out by category, and then we do rounds of picking. Some folks bring a lot and rare items, do bring a few common ones - it all equals out in the end.


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