Linn County Master Gardeners sell plants grown in the Lowe Park Greenhouse during a Winter Gardening Fair. The master gardeners annual spring plant sale is moving online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

MARION, Iowa — Gardeners who rely on local plant sales for gorgeous blooms and bountiful harvests are still able to make their purchases, even in the wake of coronavirus social distancing recommendations.

The Linn County Master Gardener plant sale will move its sales online for the first time in the annual event’s 38 years.

Gardening enthusiasts can order plants, grown in the Lowe Park Greenhouse in Marion and by master gardeners in their own gardens, from May 8-18 at the Iowa State University Extension & Outreach website.

The announcement comes just as the Indian Creek Nature Center began taking online orders for its Annual Spring Plant & Art Sale.

Related: Indian Creek Nature Center Spring Plant Sale goes online

The Linn County Master Gardeners annual Charlene Woeste Memorial Plant Sale is named in honor of the longtime master gardener who chaired or co-chaired the plant sale for 14 years, and died in 2014.

Learn more about the online sale from the Linn County Master Gardeners:

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Linn County Master Gardeners (LCMG) annual Charlene Woeste Memorial Plant Sale will be held online this year. The LCMG have held a plant sale for 38 years, and this is the first time it has been done online.

The sale opens on May 8 at 8 am and will close at 4 pm on May 14 at Plants purchased may then be picked up at Lowe Park in Marion May 18-21 at specified times. For safety, there will be five stations spaced around the parking lot, and staggered pick up times.

Plants for sale have been grown in the Lowe Park Greenhouse by Master Gardeners, and from their own personal gardens. There will be a variety of lawn, garden and house plants for sale, including succulents, hosta, tomato and peppers, and day lilies.

Typically there have been approximately 3,000 plants available for purchase each year. Buyers will come to Lowe Park parking lot to pick up the ordered plants which will be placed in the buyer’s trunk. To minimize personal contact, only check or credit card orders can be processed; no cash will be accepted. The plant sale is one of the main funding sources for the Master Gardener program.

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach carries Iowa State’s land-grant mission throughout all 99 counties of Iowa. Master Gardeners provide education and partnerships designed to solve today’s problems and prepare for the future by feeding people, keeping them healthy, helping their communities to prosper and thrive, and turning the world over to the next generation better than we found it. Master Gardeners are passionate about serving their communities and sharing gardening best practices. It is the acquisition of knowledge, the skill in gardening, and giving back to the community that distinguishes a Master Gardener from other gardeners.

More: See photos from the Linn County ISU Extension Master Gardeners 2020 Winter Gardening Fair.