Plants Map

Welcome to the Plants Map 2021 Winter E-Journal with updates on our My Tags ordering process, ideas for gifts from the garden, events to keep your spirits bright, seasonal winter articles, and a look at some gardening, horticulture and plant trends for the year ahead.  As we come to an end of 2021, we want to wish everyone a beautiful winter and Happy New Year 2022! 

NEWS & UPDATES

Update to My Tags Ordering: As of December 1, 2021 we are no longer producing the tags and signs ourselves. You will still be able to purchase tags and signs that link to your plant pages from other vendors. Learn more about these changes at Changes to Plants Map Tag and Sign Ordering

New Manage Payment Help: To update or make changes to subscription tier payments, there is a new Manage Payments section in your profile edit setting. Learn more at help.plantsmap.com/article/259-manage-payments

Congratulations: Plants Map profiles in the news 

Gifts from the Garden: There’s still time to make creative gifts from your garden for this holiday gift giving season. Learn more at Gifts to Grow from the Garden.  

Return of the Sun: On the winter solstice, learn what the length of daylight hours has to do with plants and why so many northern hemisphere gardeners celebrate the return of the sun – Daylight, Photoperiodism and Onions.

A Look Back: Take a virtual look at the Plants of the Year 2021 that took the top honors. We hope you’ll discover a winner to grow in your garden or landscape. 

Snow Day Activity: Winter is a great time to assess last year’s garden and to plan and dream for next year’s garden. Learn how to use My Plants Map to create your own wish list or plan a vegetable garden.

Plant A Seed: National Seed Swap Day is January 28. Here are some of our favorite resources on saving, sharing, and starting seeds. 

See more posts from the Plants Map community news feed  

Winter Events: Keep your spirits bright with these future celebrations.

See more events on Plants MapLearn how to add your events

Seasonal Articles: While your garden sleeps, there are always things to do

More to Explore

Christmas Fern
by Above the Briery

Annuals
by Manna Soup Kitchen

Kendrick Arboretum
Sheridan, WY


Our Winter 2021 cover photo feature is
Winter Trees by Tracy Woods Blevins

Looking Ahead: Plants and trends for 2022

Winter Recipes: ‘Tis the season for nuts, fruit and eating for good luck

Popular Topics


New Help Article: Have you ever seen an unexpected 500 page error on Plants Map? There are a few bugs on the site that might trigger this. If you have encountered this, here are some steps to take

Help Desk: Our archive of help articles, videos and other support materials can be found at help.plantsmap.com.   

We hope you enjoyed our E-Journal. Plantsmap.com is more fun with others! Please share this E-Journal and invite friends, staff, volunteers, visitors, and customers to follow your profile or connect with your organization.

Thanks!

Tracy Woods Blevins
The Plants Map Team

Buy It Plants: Plants Map Resource members have been actively adding Buy It Plants that can be delivered to your door to enjoy in your garden. More than 1,300 plants are now available! Learn about becoming a Resource and our Buy It plants service


Plants Map – Connecting People With Plants®

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Plants Map UpdateChanges to Plants Map Tag and Sign Ordering [November 29, 2021]

Since 2014 we have enjoyed printing your tags and signs in our office here in Virginia. We provided high quality signs at affordable prices but the rising costs of aluminum, labor, engraving equipment and repairs have led us to take the decision to stop manufacturing tags and signs ourselves.

Over the next four weeks we’ll be promoting the launch of a new site that we have been building for organizations with plant collections to raise funding for their trees, plants and conservation work. In light of this new project, we want to let you know of changes we’re making on December 1, 2021 to prepare for this new feature to launch. You can read about the new project here.

You will still be able to purchase tags and signs that link to your plant pages.

Over the years we have referred larger custom tag and sign orders to Lark Label. Karl Miller and his team are ready to continue printing tags and signs that link to your plant pages on Plants Map. Lark Label carries many types and sizes of material for tags and signs and stakes as well as other related products. We know you will be very happy with their work.

We will link to LarkLabel.com on our help page for tags and signs. We may add other printers when we learn about businesses that can deliver high quality work at affordable prices.

We will print and ship all of the current orders that have been submitted through Plants Map.

On December 1st we will edit the My Tags page so that you can continue to use the page to organize your printing order and lines of text on your tags and signs but instead of submitting the order and paying us, you can download the spreadsheet and send the file to Lark Label or any other sign and tag manufacturer for printing.

Some users paid to have their own logo turned into a print-ready file for their tag and sign templates. We have saved all of the custom logos and templates we have designed and printed in the past. If you would like your files to give to a new printer, email us at help@plantsmap.com and we will share those with you.

Plants Map users with more than 24 plants will still need a subscription to host your plant pages. If you would like to edit your subscription or change your credit card information you may do that by editing your profile and scrolling down to the account management section at the bottom of the page.

As we look to the future, launch new products and continue to grow Plants Map, we want to also remember where we’ve been and genuinely thank you, our wonderful users, who have helped us evolve into the premier digital documentation and educational outreach tool for sharing information about plants.

Over the next four weeks we will be sending several emails announcing our new project which we expect to launch in beta on January 1, 2022. You can read about the new project here.

As always, email us at help@plantsmap.com with any questions.

Thank you again!

Bill, Tracy, Wendy & the Plants Map Team


Plants Map Connecting People With PlantsPlants Map

Plants Map Connecting People With Plants

Welcome Autumn!

It’s easy to fall in love with Autumn. The blue skies seem more brilliant, the air is refreshingly crisp, and every leaf adds to a vibrant blanket of color. Let us share with you some ways to enjoy this season of abundance and gratitude by celebrating heritage trees, exploring beautiful fall foliage, creating gifts from the garden, and more.  

NEWS & UPDATES

Heritage Trees: Historic preservation efforts are typically focused on architecture—but think about the stories that can be told through a century-old tree. The Bloom and Grow Garden Society in Winter Garden, Fla., is doing just that through its Winter Garden Heritage Tree Tour: Trees tell the story of “old Florida” community by Emily Freehling

Leaf Peeping: It’s not Autumn without some time spent leaf peeping. Plan a getaway or a day trip excursion with these Fall Foliage Prediction Maps from around the country

Boo-tiful Plants: Looking to add wicked fun to your garden for Halloween or maybe create a theme garden leaves a haunting impression? Try these Hauntingly Boo-tiful Plants for Halloween and Beyond.

2022 Perennial Plant of the Year: The Perennial Plant Association recently announced Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) and cultivars as their 2022 Perennial Plant of the Year selection.

Keep Growing: Many crops perform and taste better when grown in cooler temperatures. Try these 15 AAS Winners for Fall Gardening from All-America Selections.

Garden Gifts: Get a jump start on the season of giving by harvesting some gifts from your garden.

See more posts from the Plants Map community news feed  

Fall Fun:

See more events on Plants MapLearn how to add your events

More to Explore

Eastern Redbud
by Tree Streets Arboretum

The Resilience Garden
by San Francisco General Hospital

Draves Arboretum
Darien Center, NY


Our Autumn 2021 cover photo feature is
Rudbeckia American Gold Rush

Goodbye Summer Friends

Harvest Recipes

Seasonal Articles

Popular Topics


Garden Savvy: We have joined the recently launched Garden Savvy community. Please consider visiting our Plants Map listing and leaving us a review. Thank you! Learn more about Garden Savvy.   

New Help Article: Have you ever seen an unexpected 500 page error on Plants Map? There are a few bugs on the site that might trigger this. If you have encountered this, here are some steps to take

Help Desk: Our archive of help articles, videos and other support materials can be found at help.plantsmap.com.   

We hope you enjoyed our E-Journal. Plantsmap.com is more fun with others! Please share this E-Journal and invite friends, staff, volunteers, visitors, and customers to follow your profile or connect with your organization.

Thanks!

Tracy Woods Blevins
The Plants Map Team

Buy It Plants: Plants Map Resource members have been actively adding Buy It Plants that can be delivered to your door to enjoy in your garden. More than 1,300 plants are now available! Learn about becoming a Resource and our Buy It plants service

PlantsMap connects plants collectors with plant vendors


Plants Map – Connecting People With Plants®

About | Explore | MapE-Journal | My Plants Map | Sign Up

Bloom and Grow Heritage TreesPlants Map

Bloom and Grow Heritage TreesHistoric preservation efforts are typically focused on architecture—but think about the stories that can be told through a century-old tree.

The Bloom and Grow Garden Society in Winter Garden, Fla., is doing just that through its Winter Garden Heritage Tree Tour, a 2-mile, self-guided walking tour that tells the city’s story through some of its oldest heritage trees.

The garden club will officially unveil the tour at an Oct. 22 event that will bring together community groups focused on horticulture, art, history and healthy living.

The garden society has used Plants Map’s website and interactive plant tags to organize information about the more than 50 trees on the tour. Participants can use the QR codes on the plant tags to access historic photos, stories and other information about the trees kept within the Plants Map database.

“We realized we could tell the story of Winter Garden and its people through the trees,” said Katy Moss Warner, chair of the Bloom and Grow Garden Society’s tree fund.

Winter Garden has developed a reputation as a time capsule of “old Florida” amid the burgeoning Orlando metro area.

The city got its start as a citrus town, with two railroad lines running through the center of town to carry produce to market. Located on the southern shore of Lake Apopka, Winter Garden in the 1920s developed a reputation as the “large-mouth bass capital” of the U.S.

In the 1960s, pollution of the lake and the construction of major highways brought decline to Winter Garden’s downtown. Revitalization efforts got a boost in 1999 with the opening of the West Orange Trail, which transformed the former path of one of the railroad tracks into a 22-mile paved trail that has become a destination for bikers, tourists and visitors. Winter Garden’s downtown historic district is now recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.

A community that values plants

With a name like “Winter Garden” and a main thoroughfare named Plant Street, it’s no surprise that this city has embraced horticulture as a means of building its profile as a pleasant place to live and visit.

Warner notes that the head of the city’s department of parks and recreation is a professional horticulturist.

“This is a booming town that has really used horticulture as its draw,” she said.

The Bloom and Grow Garden Society was founded in 1997, just as efforts to revitalize Winter Garden were gaining steam.

“The garden society was started with a real commitment to enhance the community through horticulture,” Warner said.

One of the group’s first projects was the Path of Life Garden, a public garden that transformed a former landfill site and continues to draw visitors today. The garden society has documented the garden on its Plants Map page with the Path of Life Oak, one of more than 100 heritage trees the group identified before planning the tree walk.

In 2020, the group gathered more than 200 volunteers to plant 1,000 bald cypress trees at Tucker Ranch—a 209-acre tract of land that the city purchased for conservation and use as a park. The project was named, “1,000 Trees for 1,000 Years,” because of bald cypress’ long lifespans.  The Tucker Ranch Oak tells that story.

Warner said the idea to identify heritage trees was inspired by the garden club’s participation in America In Bloom’s Growing Vibrant Communities program. This program encourages volunteer partnership with local government to promote beautification that supports community vitality and environmental stewardship.

Warner and fellow Bloom and Grow member Mary Cappleman Zahl proposed the idea of cataloging heritage trees, and city leaders agreed to partner on the project.

The garden club’s 130 members were asked to nominate trees that met one of two categories:

  • Historic Trees – Trees with a trunk diameter of 30 inches or more, indicating a long life.
  • Specimen Trees – Smaller mature trees that represent the quintessential character of their species.

Volunteers played an important role in managing the project. Zahl and other members contributed historic information for the plant stories, and the Winter Garden Heritage Society contributed archival photos to fill out the online plant pages.

Club member Vickie Parrish and her husband, Wes, a professional, horticulturist, visited, photographed and measured every single tree in the Heritage Trees collection.

“They have been remarkable,” Warner said.

As the number of nominated heritage trees grew, Warner and her fellow club members noticed that quite a few were located in the Winter Garden historic district. That sparked the idea to map out a walking tour.

“Our intent was to walk down streets where people have beautiful front gardens, and also to walk by some of the houses lived in by key figures in the community—mayors, artists, people who have made a contribution—and then to end up at the lake to tell its story,” Warner said.

The 2-mile walk begins at City Hall, takes visitors to Lake Apopka and ends at the Winter Garden Heritage Museum, located in a 1918 train depot in the center of town.

Empowering partnerships

The Winter Garden Heritage Tree Tour has caught the interest of both City Hall and volunteer groups within Winter Garden.

Because walking is an active pursuit, the project caught the attention of Healthy West Orange, a local nonprofit that seeks to promote active living, and the group signed on as a sponsor for the tree walk.

The Winter Garden Heritage Museum has offered to conduct guided tours of the walk because of its value in telling the city’s history. The Winter Garden Art Association’s SoBo Art Gallery will be having an art exhibit on trees when the tour launches at the Oct. 22 event, providing a fitting art component to the day’s celebrations.

By getting so many diverse groups involved in a project that tells the city’s story through plants, Warner hopes the walk and the heritage trees inventory will be living projects that continue to grow in future years.

“There is no question that there is an opportunity for us to keep discovering new ways that we can use the information we have and deliver it to people,” Warner said. “We hope that residents and tourists alike will become more knowledgeable and appreciative of the trees in our city, and that together we will know, love and protect our trees.”

To learn more, visit the Bloom and Grow Garden Society on Plants Map.  


Plants Map Sign Up and Getting Started Tips

Plants Map Connecting People With Plants

Plants Map Ejournal Summer 2021 Connecting People With PlantsPlants Map

Plants Map Ejournal Summer 2021 Connecting People With Plants

Summer has arrived! How is your garden trending? As things are heating up outside, let us take you on a celebration of plants of the year, perennial gardening, sunflowers, flower shows and trials, summer recipes, pollinator week, and more. 

And looking ahead to the end of summer, we are pleased to share that we are a sponsor of the ArbNet 10th Anniversary Virtual Conference, September 14-16

Have some tea, find some shade and take a moment to sit back in your garden while we connect you with summertime plants, gardens, and events. 

NEWS & UPDATES

Plants of the Year: Take a virtual tour of this year’s recipients of 2021 Plants of the Year distinction including bee balm, wisteria, buttonbush, beautyberry, and more. From annuals to perennials, roses to wildflowers, there is sure to be a winner that you will want to try in your garden this year. 

Perennial Inspiration: June is Perennial Gardening Month, an educational campaign established by the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) to encourage the use of perennials in gardens. Find ways to discover new perennials by learning more about Perennial Gardening Month

What’s the Buzz: This year Pollinator Week is June 21-27. This outreach initiative from the Pollinator Partnership celebrates pollinators and shares ways to help protect them by encouraging pollinator friendly habitats and practices. Get buzzed during Pollinator Week

Red, White and Bloom: American Flowers Week, June 28-July 4, was launched in 2015 as an event to highlight U.S.-grown cut flowers. All flower lovers are invited to celebrate the beauty, sustainability, and joy of local and seasonal flowers grown across the U.S. Learn more about American Flowers Week

Sunflower Fun: National Garden Bureau is celebrating sunflowers as their annual of the year. Sunflowers are easy to grow and have so many uses. It’s not too late to start some for a late summer flower show in your landscape. Learn how to plant a sunflower house and enter the #YearoftheSunflower video contest from National Garden Bureau.

AAS Winning Recipes: During the summertime who wants to cook? It’s hot! Cool off with these easy and fresh AAS Winners Recipes. 

See more posts from the Plants Map community news feed  

The Flower Show Must Go On: If you didn’t have the chance to attend the Philadelphia Flower Show this year during the new dates and venue, we have gathered together some virtual experiences for you to enjoy. 

CAST 2021: The California Spring Trials are now the California Summer Trials and will be held  June 23 through Sunday, June 27. One of the most important industry events of the year, CAST is the best opportunity for breeders to showcase their full lineup of new perennials and annuals to brokers, growers, and retailers. Follow updates about new plants being introduced at CAST 2021.  

More Summer Events 

See more events on Plants MapLearn how to add your events

Plants to the Rescue: Seed Your Future and Scholastic are proud to announce the winners of the Plant Mash-Up 2021 Contest. The “Plants to the Rescue! Plant Mash-Up” engaged middle-school students in imagining and illustrating their own plant hybrid. See the creative contest winners at Seed Your Future

 

More to Explore

Calamintha 'Montrose White'

Calamintha ‘Montrose White’
by Rare Roots Nursery

The Monarch Project
by Bloom & Grow Garden Society

Baker Arboretum
Bowling Green, KY


Our Summer 2021 cover photo feature is
Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle Limetta® 

Seasonal Articles

Popular Topics


New Help Article: Have you ever seen an unexpected 500 page error on Plants Map? There are a few bugs on the site that might trigger this. If you have encountered this, here are some steps to take

Help Desk: Our archive of help articles, videos and other support materials can be found at help.plantsmap.com.   

We hope you enjoyed our E-Journal. Plantsmap.com is more fun with others! Please share this E-Journal and invite friends, staff, volunteers, visitors, and customers to follow your profile or connect with your organization.

Thanks!

Tracy Woods Blevins
The Plants Map Team

Buy It Plants: Plants Map Resource members have been actively adding Buy It Plants that can be delivered to your door to enjoy in your garden. More than 1,300 plants are now available! Learn about becoming a Resource and our Buy It plants service

PlantsMap connects plants collectors with plant vendors


Plants Map – Connecting People With Plants®

About | Explore | MapE-Journal | My Plants Map | Sign Up

2021 Plants of the Year

2021 Plants of the Year

It’s time once again to share with you plants that have received an honorable distinction as a ‘plant of the year” as recognized by various gardening, horticulture, and conservation entities.  

Plants included here are selected based on redeeming characteristics and criteria as determined by each organization listed.  If we have missed any, please let us know. 

Let’s take a virtual tour of this year’s Plants of the Year, and we hope you’ll discover a winner to grow in your garden or landscape as well. 


2021 Plants of the Year

All-America Selections Winners – As determined by All-America Selections judges, these are chosen each year as the best new varieties of vegetables and flowers that are grown from seed or young plants. See all the 2021 AAS Winners

2021 TPIE Cool Products Awards winners:  The 2021 TPIE Cool Products Awards is a collaboration between TPIE 2021, the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) and The Garden Center Group. See all of the TPIE Cool Products Awards Winners.

  • Rose – Brindabella Crimson Knight
  • Mandevilla ‘Sun Parasol Sunbeam’
  • EARTH ANGEL™ Hollywood Hibiscus
  • Colorful Classic Cannas
  • Jurassic Rex Begonia
  • Yucca Rostrata Collection
  • Vriesea Happy Yellow
  • Aglaonema Ultra Pink
  • Mellow Yellow Aglaonema

Canada Blooms Flower of the Year for 2021: Aurora Borealis™ Rose from Vineland Research and Innovation Centre’s 49th Parallel Collection

Annual of the Year from Proven Winners – Supertunia Mini Vista® Pink Star

Annual from National Garden Bureau –  2021 Year of the Sunflower

Bulb from National Garden Bureau –  2021 Year of the Hyacinth

Conifers from the American Conifer Society – Collector Conifers of the Year 2021: Cedrus libani ‘Hedgehog’, Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Bess’, Pinus banksiana ‘Schoodic’, Pinus mugo ‘Jakobson’, Pinus sylvestris ‘Green Penguin’, and Taxus baccata ‘Silver Spire’. 

Cut Flowers of the Year the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers: Hellebore Ice N’ Roses series, Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’, Ranunculus ‘Cloni™ Hanoi’, Baptisia x variicolor ‘Twilite Prairieblues’. 

Daffodil John and Gertrude Wister Award from the American Daffodil Society: Narcissus Marieke

Dahlia Stanley Johnson Award from The American Dahlia Society: To be announced in September.

Daylily Stout Silver Medal winner awarded by the American Hemerocallis Society: ‘Mayor of Munchkinland’

Edible from National Garden Bureau –  2021 Year of the Garden Bean

Herb Notable Native Herbs from the Herb Society of America: Sanguinaria canadensis 

Herb of the Year™ from the The International Herb Association: Parsley Petroselinum 

Holly of the Year by the Holly Society of America: Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’

Hosta of the Year by the American Hosta Growers: ‘Rainbow’s End’

Hosta of the Year™ from Proven Winners:   Shadowland® ‘Wheee!’

Hydrangea of the Year™ from Proven Winners:  Hydrangea serrata Tuff Stuff Ah-Ha®

Iris The American Dykes Memorial Medal from The American Iris Society: ‘Daring Deception’ and ‘Reckless Abandon’  

Perennial Plant of the Year™ by the Perennial Plant Association: Lesser Calamint – 

Perennial from National Garden Bureau: 2021 Year of the Monarda

Perennial Plant of the Year by the Garden Club of America: Buttonbush – Cephalanthus occidentalis 

Perennial of the Year™ from Proven Winners: Nepeta ‘CAT’S PAJAMAS’  

Roses from the American Garden Rose Selections™ –  

  • Brick House™ – Bred by Meilland®. Introduced by Star Roses & Plants.
  • Brindabella Purple Prince™ – Bred by Sylivia E. and John C. Gray. Introduced by Suntory Flowers in partnership with Dig Plant Company.
  • Easy to Please™ – Bred by Christian Bédard. Introduced by Weeks Roses.
  • Sweet Spirit™ –  Introduced by Star Roses & Plants.
  • Top Gun™ – Introduced by Weeks Roses.
  • Tropica – Bred by Ping Lim. Introduced by True Bloom™ Roses.

Roses from the American Rose Trials for Sustainability®:  Each of the A.R.T.S.® Local Artists winners are recognized for their superior performance in one or more climate regionsSee the complete list of 15 winners.  

  • Bay™ Cottage® 
  • Cherry Frost
  • Elaine Paige™ HT Poulsen®
  • Oso Easy® Double Pink
  • True Bloom™ True Romance™
  • Brindabella Purple Prince™
  • Coral Knockout®
  • First Editions® Campfire™
  • Top Gun™
  • True Bloom™ True Sensation™
  • Canyon Road™
  • Easy Elegance® Chi™
  • Flower Carpet Pink Supreme
  • True Bloom™ True Grace™
  • White Knock Out®

Rose of the Year™ from Proven Winners: OSO EASY Italian ice®

Shrub – Landscape Shrub of the Year™ from Proven Winners:  KODIAK® ORANGE Diervilla 

Shrub – Flowering Shrub of the Year™ from Proven Winners: PUGSTER BLUE®  Buddleia 

Shrub – Shrub Madness Winner from Proven Winners: Wee Bit Grumpy® bigleaf hydrangea 

Tree Urban Tree of the Year by the The Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA): Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)  

Wildflower of the Year by the NC Botanical Garden and the Garden Club of North Carolina: American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) 

Wildflower of the Year from the Virginia Native Plant Society:  American Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) 


What’s your favorite plant of the year? Add your favorite plant to Plants Map and share it’s story with our community and on social media. Remember to use our hashtag #Plantsmap. 

Also See:


Cover Photo:  Monarda punctata, Cephalanthus occidentalis Fiber Optics™, and Wisteria frutescens ‘Amethyst Falls’ by Tracy Woods Blevins

PPlants Map

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Welcome Spring! We are wishing you a beautiful, fresh start to this season. We are ready to get started growing again too. Let’s dig into some spring gardening ideas and resources, from planting a seed to documenting your plants in photos. 

NEWS & UPDATES

Sharing Seeds: Saving seeds and sharing them is one of the greatest joys known to many gardeners. Learn more about how to Save and Share Seeds for a Seed Swap.

Decoding Seed Packets: If you are new to gardening, starting seeds can be a bit confusing. In this video, Tracy Woods Blevins discusses keywords to look for and phrases to understand as you begin your seed starting this year. 

Garden Tools: As the gardening season begins, now is a great time to talk about garden tools.Tracy Woods Blevins shares some of her Favorite Garden Tools and How to Care for Them.  Also see the Garden Tool Care Virtual Workshop from April 2020. 

More Spring Gardening Links: 

Hidden Treasures: Growing sweet potatoes has increased in popularity due in part to being a healthier and easier alternative to ‘regular’ potatoes. From the National Garden Bureau, learn how to grow your own superfood, sweet potatoes

Tomato Types: The modern age of the tomato was ushered in by hybrids such as Big Boy, which is still offered today. Thousands of hybrids have followed. From All-America Selections, learn all about growing tomatoes and the different tomato types of AASWinners.

ACS Scholarships: The American Conifer Society has recently updated and expanded their scholarships, awards, and student member benefits. The ACS scholarship awards application deadline is April 1. Visit our Green Industry Scholarships page to learn more.  

See more posts from the Plants Map community news feed  

Virtual Cherry Blossoms: The National Cherry Blossom Festival 2021 begins on March 20. This year many activities are virtual and online based, so you can enjoy attending them from anywhere. Bloom Watch: The National Park Service has predicted this year’s peak bloom period as April 2 – April 5. Updates will be posted at Bloom Watch – nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/bloom-watch.

Landscape Design Awards: Entries for the 2021 PPA Landscape Design Awards are due by March 26. The Perennial Plant Association Landscape Design Awards program recognizes design projects that are exemplary in use of herbaceous perennials to help create balanced and beautiful landscapes.

April is Citizen Science Month. Learn more about free resources and support to help plan and promote a Citizen Science Month project in April. You can then invite your community to participate from home. It’s a great way to focus on something positive, help advance research, and make a collective impact. 

Arbor Day: April 30th is National Arbor Day in the United States. Learn more about the history of Arbor Day and activities to celebrate this year.  Also see our Celebrate Arbor Day Webinar (April 2020) and Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day Everyday.  

See more events on Plants MapLearn how to add your events. 

More to Explore

Magnolia stellata
by W. Gordon Belser Arboretum

Street Tree Exhibit
by John A. Finch Arboretum


Our Spring 2021 cover photo feature is
Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Gold Finch’

Seasonal Articles

Popular Topics


Green Jobs: Connecting People With Hort Jobs has been recently updated with new resources for students, internships, job seekers, and employers.   

Buy It Plants: Plants Map Resource members have been actively adding Buy It Plants that can be delivered to your door to enjoy in your garden. More than 1,300 plants are now available! Learn about becoming a Resource and our Buy It plants service

Help Desk: Our archive of help articles, videos and other support materials has moved from info.plantsmap.com/help to help.plantsmap.com. If you can’t find the information you are looking for, or would like an online getting started demo, you can still email us at help@plantsmap.com.  

We hope you enjoyed our E-Journal. Plantsmap.com is more fun with others! Please share this E-Journal and invite friends, staff, volunteers, visitors, and customers to follow your profile or connect with your organization.

Thanks!

Tracy Blevins
The Plants Map Team

PlantsMap connects plants collectors with plant vendors


Plants Map – Connecting People With Plants®

About | Explore | MapE-Journal | My Plants Map | Sign Up

Plants Map

Saving seeds and sharing them is one of the greatest joys known to many gardeners. 

We love to share seeds from our plants so that others may experience the magic transformation from seed to seedling known as germination.

Once you start growing plants from seed, I guarantee you will never lose that childlike anticipation, wonderment, and excitement of watching that seed sprout to life. I still exclaim ‘they’re alive!’ and jump for joy every single time my seedlings emerge.  

I hope the information and resources I’m sharing with you here will encourage you to attend a local seed swap and to begin saving some of your own seeds to share with others. 

Most seed swaps do not require you to bring seed, especially if you are a beginning gardener or new to saving seed. So view them as an opportunity to learn. And know that those of us that do bring seeds usually bring a lot to share because it is our way of introducing you to the joys of growing plants. 

So even if you have never saved your own seed, I highly encourage you just to attend a seed swap to learn and gather information and maybe pick up a few seeds just to try. 

Why do we need to save and share seeds? 

Starting plants from seed can be more economical. I can start more plants from seed than I can afford to buy as plants. And I can keep saving them, like an investment, year or after year. 

One of the main reasons to save seeds for many gardeners is just the act of being able to share them. Sharing seeds is an easy way to spread the love of gardening or a particular favorite flower, vegetable or plant with someone. 

Saving seeds is also an important activity to preserve and protect genetic diversity of seeds and varieties available for the future. The reason we have some awesome heirloom varieties today is because someone selectively saved the genetics, or traits of a plant, they thought should be carried forward. Think about all those wonderful heirloom tomato varieties. Saving seeds today ensures the enjoyment of those plants for generations to come. 

I also learned during a presentation on seed libraries, that sharing seeds and growing gardens together are one of the first steps in the process of establishing a community. It was once vitally important for this process to happen as simple as it seems. People that needed to survive together learned to share seeds, grow gardens, and learn from each other to strengthen and build their group, society, or civilization. 

What is a seed swap and when did Seed Swap Day begin? 

Seed swaps occur at different times of the year and vary in how they are organized. Some include daylong agendas, presentations, workshops while others are more simple come and go on your own during a shorter open period of time.  Thinking about hosting a seed swap? Learn How to Organize A Seed Swap from the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library. 

The first official Seed Swap Day was organized in 2006 by Kathy Jentz of Washington Gardener Magazine. It was such a popular idea that more events were soon organized by others all over the country. The last Saturday in January each year is now known as National Seed Swap Day.

Seed Saving Do’s and Don’ts for a Seed Swap

Check with your local seed swap to see what types of seeds you can bring. 

Generally you are encouraged to bring seeds that are saved by open pollination. This means seeds that will grow “true” from plants that are either self-pollinated or pollinated by another representative of the same variety or species. Basically this is how nature makes wildflowers. It’s really that simple. Examples are perennial species like coneflowers (Rudbeckia) or milkweed (Asclepias) or annual species like zinnias (Zinnia) or sunflowers (Helianthus).  

Heirloom seed varieties are highly sought after at seed swaps. Heirloom seeds are plant varieties that have existed for fifty or more years. These are genetically stable varieties that have been open-pollinated or varieties created through selective breeding. Many vegetables, and also some flowers, have very long-lived and popular heirloom varieties such as the Mortgage Lifter tomato, Blue Hubbard squash, Moon and Stars watermelon, Mammoth sunflower, Envy zinnia, etc. 

In general, most seed swaps will encourage you to bring extra store bought or commercially packaged seeds that you may have that are still viable. This means to check the ‘year packed date’ required on commercially sold seed packages. 

In general seeds that are older than four years should not be shared. How long seeds can be saved varies by the type of seed. The older the seeds, the lower the germination rate success of the seed by each year. 

Store bought packaged hybrid seeds are usually fine to bring. However, know that you can not bring seeds that have been saved from a hybrid plant that you grew. Those seeds will not be “true” to that plant that you grew. That means the seeds saved from it will not always represent the best characteristics of that plant. And oftentimes these days, hybrid seeds are also protected by plant propagation laws. 

Bring only what you can identify. The seeds should be packaged and labeled with the full common name. However, many seed swaps have an ‘intake’ process and won’t allow seeds into the swap if they don’t have a botanical name as well. Some swaps want you to bring your seeds ahead of time so they can research the botanic names while others will have an ‘intake’ table to add the botanical name. This is not necessarily true for vegetables that only go by their common variety names or well known annuals such as marigolds or sunflowers.  

Generally, most people save and share seeds of plants that they have grown for years and become familiar with overtime. If you are saving wildflowers and want to learn how to identify them, see this article on Learning to how to use ‘keys’ to identify a plant

Do not bring invasive plant seeds. Another reason a seed swap wants only well identified plants is because they do not want anything that is potentially invasive. Each state has a list of invasive plants usually through the state’s department of conservation. 

Invasive Resources: 

Tips on saving and sharing seed

When to save seeds depends on the plants. For instance, with many vegetables, you want to save seed from the first and best example of that vegetable. This is to preserve the best qualities a plant is known for, such as the taste, size, color, etc. 

However, with many annuals, perennials, and wildflowers, you want to save the seeds near the end of that plant’s life cycle or growing season. This helps to ensure the full viability of that seed. One clue to watch for is when you see birds going for those seeds, you better start saving some for yourself soon.

Choose the healthiest and most vigorous plants to save seed from. You can pass some plant pathogens (such as a virus) from the seed. And again, you want to select seeds that best represent that plant. If the flowers are not the best size, color, or form then you do not want to save those seeds.

I generally save seed from favorite annual heirloom flowers or native perennial wildflowers that are familiar to me. At the end of their season, I will go around with scissors and cut off the dried flowers at the end of the stem and save them in a small paper bag that I label. Sometimes I will use a bucket if I have a large flower or amount to collect. 

I let them dry out well over the fall and winter and store in a dark, cool area. Before a seed swap I will then extract the seeds from the dried flowers. Sometimes it’s as easy as shaking them well in their paper bags. Some require a little more effort and you may have to research the best way to get the seed from the flowers.  

Exactly how to save seeds can be specific to the type of plant. Saving tomato seeds is different from saving flowers seeds for instance. Here are a few seed saving specific resources:

Avoid plants that tend to cross-pollinate easily, especially if they have not been grown with saving the seeds in mind. For instance, corn is pollinated by wind and can cross-pollinate with other corn easily so that you may not get the best representation of that variety of corn. Note that cross-pollination is actually required for some fruit and nut tree species for instance. But not favorable in other plants to preserve the quality or characteristics of a variety. 

Learn more about how cross-pollination affects seeds in these resources: 

Best practices on labeling your seed 

First and foremost, the information should be easy to read and understand. 

You may want to choose to type up and print stickers or labels as a faster means of labeling a lot of plants. I print my ‘label stickers’ out on paper and tape to the seed packet. Then you will have the information saved and ready to print again and again.

For most of my seeds I prefer to use small to medium size coin envelopes and I create my own labels that I print and tape to the envelopes. You can also use regular envelopes or learn to fold your own envelopes. There are also small plastic jewelry bags that work well. 

Some seed swaps want you to individually package them before bringing while others allow you to bring them in bulk and let people make their own envelopes. Again, check with your seed swap to see their preference on this. They may even give you a template for the labels.  

Labeling: 

  • Common name or a botanical name is required. Having both is preferred but some seed swaps will help you determine the botanical name when you bring your seeds. 

Other information that is helpful and encouraged:  

  • Life cycle: is the plants an annual (one life cycle) or perennial (returns each year).
  • Light requirements: does it prefer full sun or shade. 
  • Size: what is the average height and/or width of the plant
  • Description: what is the color of the flower or a characteristic of the vegetable.
  • Sowing information: if possible, include information about timing such as sow indoors 4 weeks before frost or after direct sow outside after frost. 

One last tip on saving and sharing seed is to start small, simple, and early. The easiest way to get started saving seed for a seed swap is to choose just one of your favorite flowers or vegetables. 

As you begin your growing season, think about what flowers, plants and vegetables you have enjoyed the most and make a plan to remember to save some of those seeds for yourself and for others. 

I hope this information encourages you to explore the possibilities of saving seed from your own garden and attending a local seed swap.  

Tracy Woods Blevins
plantsmap.com/tracy-blevins
info.plantsmap.com/about-us


Also See:


Plants Map Connecting People With Plants December 2020Plants Map

Plants Map Connecting People With Plants December 2020It’s been a year of challenge, change, courage, and compassion. And through it all, a welcome respite was found outdoors in the nature, landscapes, and gardens that surrounded us.  

As this year comes to close, we wanted to share with you some of your most viewed plants, collections, and organization profiles from our Plants Map community. 

Thank you for continuing to grow with us. We look forward to Happy New Year 2021. 

Most Viewed Organization Profiles

Most Viewed Collections

Most Viewed Plants

Most Engaging Plants on Instagram – @Plantsmap www.instagram.com/plantsmap 

NEWS & UPDATES

2021 Perennial Plant of the Year: Calamint has been selected by the Perennial Plant Association as their 2021 Perennial Plant of the Year. Learn more about Calamint from Tracy Blevins.  

New AAS Winners: The latest 2021 AAS Winners recently announced include a Zinnia Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor, a pure white Leucanthemum Sweet Daisy™ Birdy, a beautiful and great tasting Echalion Creme Brulee Shallot, and a compact Pepper Pot-a-peno F1 Jalapeno. Learn more about all the current 2021 AAS Winners on Plants Map.

2021 NGB “Year of the” Campaigns: Each year the National Garden Bureau selects one annual, one perennial, one bulb crop, one edible and one shrub as our “Year of the” crops. 2021 will be the Year of the Sunflower, Monarda, Hyacinth, Garden Bean, and Hardy Hibiscus. Learn more about the 2021 crops at ngb.org/year-of-plants-2021.

ANCA Virtual Exchange: Have you ever thought about exploring the different environments of North America? Learn about the Association of Nature Center Administrators newly launched Virtual Program Exchange of monthly events

Threading a (pine) needle: From VT Daily, Virginia’s Big Tree Program finds balance between tree science and community engagement. Learn more about the Virginia Big Tree Program.

The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show: A new and exciting outdoor Philadelphia Flower Show experience will be coming to you in June 2021. Tickets go on sale in January. 

First Day Hikes: On New Year’s Day, America’s State Parks will once again celebrate with First Day Hikes that have been adapted to include smaller groups, virtual hikes, self-guided hikes and trail challenges.  

MANTS January 6-8: The Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show invites you to kick-off the new year by attending the 2021 MANTS Online Business Hub filled with commerce, connections, and direct access to over 550 exhibiting horticulture companies.  

Houseplant Day: Did you know there is a day to hug your houseplants? Well you don’t really have to go that far, but you can learn about ways to celebrate them on January 10th, Houseplant Appreciation Day.

See more events on Plants MapLearn how to add your events. 

Green Jobs: Connecting People With Hort Jobs has been recently updated with new resources for students, internships, job seekers, and employers.   

Plant A Seed: From Seed Your Future, explore educational DIY project videos that bring the exciting world of plants into your home, classroom, or virtual classroom. 

Buy It Plants: Plants Map Resource members have been actively adding Buy It Plants that can be delivered to your door to enjoy in your garden. More than 1,300 plants are now available! Learn about becoming a Resource and our Buy It plants service

See more posts from the Plants Map community news feed 


Our December 2020 cover photo feature is
Cryptomeria japonica ‘Rasen’

Seasonal Content

Popular Topics

COVID-19 Resources


Help Desk: Our archive of help articles, videos and other support materials has moved from info.plantsmap.com/help to help.plantsmap.com. If you can’t find the information you are looking for, or would like an online getting started demo, you can still email us at help@plantsmap.com.  

We hope you enjoyed our E-Journal. Plantsmap.com is more fun with others! Please share this E-Journal and invite friends, staff, volunteers, visitors, and customers to follow your profile or connect with your organization.

Thanks!

Tracy Blevins
The Plants Map Team

PlantsMap connects plants collectors with plant vendors


Plants Map – Connecting People With Plants®

About | Explore | MapE-Journal | My Plants Map | Sign Up

Plants Map Connecting People With Plants November 2020Plants Map

As November ends, we hope you are enjoying all that this season of gratitude has to offer. Each day we appreciate the opportunity to meet and work with more people that feel the same as we do about connecting people with plants. Thank you for your continued support and for being a part of our community. 

We hope you will also take a moment this season to appreciate all that nature is providing to us each day. 

“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.” – Camille Pissarro

NEWS & UPDATES

Opt Outside: This year we want to encourage you to not only Opt Outside on Black Friday, but throughout the holiday season as well. Find resources to help you take a mindful hike outside.

Look Up: Mistletoe Day is December 1st. Learn more about this hemiparasitic plant and the curious evolution of its origins as a holiday plant. 

Giving Tuesday: December 1st is #GivingTuesday. Learn about this initiative created to encourage a day of giving and collaboration via social media

Poinsettia Season: Did you know December 12th is Poinsettia Day? Explore the history of poinsettias and tips on how to care for them

Garden Inspired Gifts: Look to your garden and landscape for nature inspired gifts that you can create from your garden such as ornaments, decor, ways to share your harvest, and more.  

Thankful for Trees: We certainly are thankful for trees. And here are some great reasons to hug a tree.  

Green Jobs: Connecting People With Hort Jobs has been recently updated with new resources for students, internships, job seekers, and employers.   

Plant A Seed: From Seed Your Future, explore educational DIY project videos that bring the exciting world of plants into your home, classroom, or virtual classroom. 

Looking Forward: Reflections on New Plants As We (Hopefully) Move on From COVID-19 from Dr. Armitage  

See more events on Plants MapLearn how to add your events. 

Buy It Plants: Plants Map Resource members have been actively adding Buy It Plants that can be delivered to your door to enjoy in your garden. More than 1,300 plants are now available! Learn about becoming a Resource and our Buy It plants service

See more posts from the Plants Map community news feed 


More to Explore

Camperdown Elm
by Olympic College

Surry County Historic Courthouse Collection
by Surry County Master Gardeners

Enfield Shaker Museum
Enfield, New Hampshire


Our November 2020 cover photo feature is
Viburnum nudum

Seasonal Content

Popular Topics

COVID-19 Resources


Help Desk: Our archive of help articles, videos and other support materials has moved from info.plantsmap.com/help to help.plantsmap.com. If you can’t find the information you are looking for, or would like an online getting started demo, you can still email us at help@plantsmap.com.  

We hope you enjoyed our E-Journal. Plantsmap.com is more fun with others! Please share this E-Journal and invite friends, staff, volunteers, visitors, and customers to follow your profile or connect with your organization.

Thanks!

Tracy Blevins
The Plants Map Team

PlantsMap connects plants collectors with plant vendors


Plants Map – Connecting People With Plants®

About | Explore | MapE-Journal | My Plants Map | Sign Up