We have so much to share! Maine Audubon’s online plant finder and curbside plant sales are up and running, and ready to help you get started restoring ecology and habitat at home this summer. We spent the spring growing plants, teaching webinars, building a new website, and creating systems for contactless sales. Our amazing team has made incredible things happen on all those fronts. Please read details carefully, as everything is new for all of us.
Maine Audubon wants to make it as easy as possible to research, find, and grow native plants, even though our facilities remain closed. We have officially launched our new online plant finder, the first website of its kind that is specific to Maine plants. At mainenativeplants.org, you can find the native plants best suited for specific sites, that provide the greatest ecological function and benefit, and which will complement your landscape design. Using this online tool, you can search by bloom time, sunlight, plant height, caterpillars hosted, and benefits to wildlife. You can also follow along as we highlight a different Maine native plant each day on Instagram.
Many of the plants featured in the Maine Native Plant Finder are now available for sale, although we unfortunately cannot allow in-person browsing or advice. Due to the pandemic restrictions, the fifth annual Native Plant Sale & Festival scheduled for June 13 is cancelled and our horticulture operations are closed to the public. Instead, starting June 8, you will be able to place orders online and pick up plants curbside at the farmhouse at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth. (Pickups will be scheduled for Thursdays and Fridays at Gilsland Farm.) Visit maineaudubon.org/plants on June 8 for the link!
We have also started selling select plants at our Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden, and those orders should be placed via phone or email to Fields Pond. Click here for complete details about our Field Pond plants sale.
Species for sale now include perennials such as milkweeds, asters, bee balms, ferns and goldenrods, as well as shrubs and trees such as oaks, maples, viburnums, and dogwoods. The list of roughly 80 species also includes several species that are listed by the state as threatened, endangered, or potentially extirpated (meaning regionally extinct). Maine Audubon prioritizes plants that are ecologically critical, but also easy to grow and well-suited for small spaces and properties in town.
The plants for sale at Maine Audubon have been sourced from reputable, like-minded vendors who share a commitment to “straight species” (those that have not been modified or selected via cultivation), natural propagation (grown from seeds, not cuttings or cloning), and sustainable growing practices (no systemic use of fertilizers or pesticides). Maine Audubon also now grows many species from seed onsite at Gilsland Farm. Herbaceous perennials are sold in 4″ pots for $10 each, 5” pots for $12 each, and most trees and shrubs are 3 to 5 years old, 12 to 18” tall, in 1-gallon pots, and range from $10 to 25 each.
By growing more native plants in our gardens, yards, and neighborhoods, we can restore the ecology and other values that make Maine landscapes so special for birds and other wildlife. Native perennials, shrubs, and trees have served as the foundation for habitat that has attracted and will support more wildlife for thousands of years. We can’t do it without you, so thank you for your support of this initiative!