Vegetable seedlings are among plants that will be offered at local plant sales in Eastern Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

(UPDATED May 21, 2019, with Native Plant Sale)

You know gardening season has arrived when local plant sales begin.

Local sales offer a great way to jump-start your gardening efforts, with plants grown by master gardeners and others with expertise for Iowa’s conditions. Vegetable seedlings, fruits, herbs, perennials and more are sold for just a few short weeks at the beginning of the gardening season.

Related: Czech legend warns against early planting

Of note this year,  Project GREEN is segueing from its large-scale annual sale at Carver-Hawkeye Arena to selling plants at the Iowa City Farmers Market. Project GREEN volunteers will be at the markets, in the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp,  from 5-7 p.m. Wednesdays and 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays, in both May and June.

At the same time, new plant sales have popped up in both Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Those sales, and other 2019 Eastern Iowa plant sales, are in the following list.

Leave a message, below, if your organization offers a local plant sale to add to this list.

EcoFest Seedling Sale

Saturday, April 20
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids

Echollective Farm and Feed Iowa First are teaming up for a plant sale fundraiser at this year’s EcoFest. Celebrate Earth Day and a greener CR by purchasing a variety of plant starts including: vegetables, herbs, pollinators, and heirlooms. All of the seedlings have been raised by Echollective Farm using organic practices. A portion of the fundraiser’s total sales will be given to Feed Iowa First in support of their mission of increasing fresh food access for all Linn County residents. Come aboard the new Feed Iowa First Veggie Van to get your seedlings, sign up for the Echollective Farm summer veggie subscription(CSA), or just pop by to chat with us about farming, gardening, volunteering and local food!

Edible Plant Sale Fundraiser hosted by Backyard Abundance

Saturday, April 27
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center, 220 South Gilbert St., Iowa City

Happy plants: 100% local, 100% organic.

• Vegetables, herbs, berries and pollinator-friendly plants.
• Experts carefully researched each variety.
• Worms for vermicomposting bins may be available.
• Purchases help fund environmental education events.

 For more information, visit

Plant Sale aka Garden Garage Sale

Sunday, April 28
10 AM – 2 PM
1003 Ginter Ave., Iowa City

This year Echollective Farm will be hosting a pop-up plant sale (aka garden garage sale) at our “farmhouse” in town. We’ve got a variety of tomatoes (cherry, red, yellow, paste, purple, lots of heirlooms etc), peppers (sweet and hot), eggplant (Italian, Asian, etc), kale, cabbage, lettuce (many varieties), cucumbers, squash, basil, sunflowers, herbs and more! We’ll be accepting cash or checks.

Most plants at this sale will be $2-$3 dollars with most 2-3 inch plants such as peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, and herbs selling for $2 and 4 packs of plants such as kale, lettuce, broccoli, and cabbage selling for $3. We will also have a selection of pollinator and native plants such as echinacea, sweet alyssum, calendula, and columbine. Lastly, we plan to have a variety of hanging baskets available: nasturtium, strawberry, variety of basils (lemon, Italian, Lime, Thai) and lettuces.

We use organic potting soil that is purchased from Beautiful Land Products, which is a locally-owned small business. We never have and never will spray any of our plants with synthetic chemicals, and the seeds we use to grow your plant starts come from smaller US-owned companies, many of which are family or employee owned. Many of the heirloom and specialty varieties that we grow are not available at your typical plant store. We aim to do right by people and the planet and our goal is to make our plants and food affordable for all.

Indian Creek Nature Center, Spring Plant Sale

Saturday, May 4
9 a.m. to noon
Indian Creek Nature Center, 5300 Otis Rd. SE, Cedar Rapids

The Friends of the Nature Center are ready to fill your yard and garden with a variety of beautiful wildflowers, hostas, geraniums, perennials and prairie plants at their annual Spring Plant and Art Sale. Select beautiful hanging baskets and planters or choose individual plants to create your own masterpiece. You’ll also find a selection of vegetables ready to transplant into your garden. Gardening experts are on hand to answer your questions and make suggestions about what plants will work best for your individual situation. And if you’re looking for garden art and accessories, vendors are ready to provide unique and attractive pieces to help you create a charming garden showcase in your yard. The Spring Plant and Art Sale is one of two annual fundraising events benefiting Indian Creek Nature Center put on by the Friends of the Nature Center group, along with Nature’s Noel holiday market in December.

Heritage Farm Plant Sale

Saturday, May 4
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Seed Savers Exchange, 3074 N. Winn Rd., Decorah

Discover rare heirlooms, storied varieties, and beloved favorites to plant in your own garden at the Heirloom Plant Sale. This is the kick-off for spring transplant sales at the Lillian Goldman Visitors Center.

See the list of available plants

Big Grove for Good: Friends of Hickory Hill Park

Tuesday, May 7
5-8 p.m.
Big Grove Brewery & Taproom, 1225 S Gilbert St, Iowa City

Ten percent of all Big Grove sales from 5-8 pm will go directly to Friends of Hickory Hill Park. Proceeds will support park upkeep & maintenance, including equipment purchases, trail work, prairie restoration, and bridge repair, among other things.

Additionally, you will have early access to the annual Friends of Hickory Hill Park Plant Sale – beautiful milkweeds and other native plants ideally suited to our landscape and climate!

Friends of Hickory Hill Park is dedicated to preserving Hickory Hill Park (Iowa City) as a natural sanctuary within an urban environment. Our mission is to permanently protect and preserve the park’s unique qualities as urban park land. Hickory Hill’s woodlands, fields, and waterways provide habitat for a variety of wildlife and provide citizens the opportunity to enjoy a natural setting within city limits. Friends of Hickory Hill Park is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 organization. See more on their upcoming plant sale on this list.

Matthew 25 Spring Plant Sale

Saturday, May 11
9:30 a.m. to noon
Cultivate Hope Urban Farm, 437 G Ave. NW, Cedar Rapids

Support Matthew 25 and fill your garden at our annual Spring Plant Sale. We will have a variety of organic vegetable and herb starts read to find a home in your garden, including some rare and unusual plants. EBT/SNAP can be accepted for all edible plants purchased. We will also have a selection of annual and perennial flower starts and hanging flower baskets. Hanging flower baskets are $25 each and quantities are limited. Varieties include:

Mixed flowers

All proceeds support Matthew 25’s Cultivate Hope Urban Farm.

Cedar Valley Iris and Daylily Society

Saturday, May 11
8 a.m. to noon.
Environmental Learning Center, 3300 Cedar St., Muscatine

Spring public plant sale at the Gazebo at the Environmental Learning Center, 3300 Cedar St., Muscatine. This is a great chance to pick up some very nice registered hybrid daylilies and iris as well as some perennial plants. More information available at

Johnson County Master Gardeners 12th Annual Plant Sale and Flea Market

Saturday, May 11
8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Johnson County Fair Grounds, Building B, 4261 Oak Crest Hill Rd. SE, Iowa City

Johnson County Master Gardeners will be holding their 12th Annual Garden Sale and Flea Market. The sale will include perennials, annuals, vegetable plants, tools, and garden yard art. Proceeds from the annual sale support 4-H Awards, Kirkwood Community College Horticulture Scholarships and JCMG program support and operations.

The Good Earth Garden Club, 2019 Plant Sale

Saturday, May 11, and Saturday, May 18, 8 am to 4 pm, and Sunday, May 19, 9 am to 5 p.m.
740 Old Marion Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids.

Find a wide range of shade and sun perennials and annuals, including native plants and edibles. See a listing of many of the plants for sale.

Linn County Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale

Saturday, May 11
8 a.m. to noon
American Legion, 625 31st St., Marion

Pick plants for your garden from many kinds of perennials (both for sun and or shade) and many varieties of hosta and daylilies, also wildflowers, herbs, groundcovers, house plants,  ornamental grasses, annuals and more. These plants come from our Master Gardeners’ gardens and the Lowe Park greenhouse, where they were carefully dug and potted, and tenderly taken care of until the sale day. Best of all, they are priced for anyone who likes a bargain. Take Master Gardener plants home, grow them and enjoy them for years to come. In addition, a variety of vegetables, including heirloom tomatoes, will be available. Master Gardeners will help you choose the plants right for you and will answer your gardening questions.

Friends of Hickory Hill Park Monarch Madness & Plant Sale

Sat. May 18 and Sun., May 19
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Bloomington Street Entrance to Hickory Hill Park, Iowa City

The sale offers prairie and other donated plants, including a number that encourage monarchs. Monarch Madness will feature live milkweed plants for sale to home gardeners. Donations go to park stewardship and conservation projects.

Native Plant Sale

Wednesday, May 22
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
USDA Service Center, 891 62nd St., Marion

The Linn Soil & Water Conservation District will be having their Native Plant Sale/Pickup on Wednesday, May 22nd, at their office. Blooming Prairie Nursery will be here and will have more plants for sale that day! Some of the varieties will include:
Canada Anemone
Swamp (Rose) Milkweed
Whorled Milkweed
Prairie Coreopsis
Midland Shooting Star
Purple Coneflower
Rattlesnake Master
Bottle Gentian
Southern Blue Flag
Button Blazingstar
Great Blue Lobelia
Wild Bergamot
Wild Sweet William
Mountain Mint
Coneflower, Yellow
Showy Goldenrod
Spiderwort, Ohio
Blue Vervain
Hoary Vervain
Common Ironweed

Harshbarger Hosta Society Hosta Sale (tentatively scheduled for June)

Noelridge Garden, Collins Road and Council Street NE, Cedar Rapids

Find numerous hosta shade plants for sale at the Noelridge Hosta Shade Garden from local gardens of members of the Harshbarger Hosta Society.