Plants for Members

Affordability and selection – that classic combo of marketing – epitomize the Greater Philadelphia Chapter’s Plants for Members program. You can’t beat the prices, and as for choices, there are scores of desirable and otherwise hard-to-find cultivars.

This is achieved by volunteers helping to propagate plants at a cooperating nursery, starting roughly a year in advance. The Chapter’s meeting in September is dedicated to the sale of the year’s new crop of rhododendrons.

Founded by members Dan Layman and Bob Wilkinson, the P4M Program initiated its first sale in 1987. Cuttings of rhododendron shrubs were taken the previous year and prepared for rooting. Those that set roots – it’s not always guaranteed - were grown on and sold at a chapter meeting. The program has continued annually since then.

Among the goals of our P4M Program, as espoused by founder Dan Layman, are to locate and distribute garden favorites and to encourage members to try new varieties. To accomplish this materials for propagation are collected from various gardens and from hybridizers, who seek to produce new and exciting varieties. We usually offer plants that are not in commerce. These are mostly elepidote and lepidote rhododendrons.

Another objective of the program is to involve members in a venture that is both a learning experience and fun. Thus volunteers gather cuttings for propagation and meet at a scheduled time to stick them in trays for rooting under commercial nursery conditions. This is open to all members and we encourage new people to participate. After the cuttings are rooted, we again join together to transplant them to larger pots for growth. The plants are maintained over the growing season and then selected for sale. Members have expressed great appreciation in being involved in the P4M activities and being able to purchase plants they had a hand in propagation.

Since 2010 we have begun to propagate rhododendrons by grafting on unrooted understock. Difficulties in propagation of some cultivars by rooting cuttings led us to this new venture. Again, volunteers help with these efforts by preparing the grafts and transplanting the successfully rooted plants in the Spring. The plants are grown on for one or two years before being offered for sale. Grafting rhododendrons is giving an exciting dimension to our Plants for Members Program.

Our 35th Plants for Members sale will be held on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. at the Morris Arboretum (Bloomfield Farm section).

The site is the maintenance complex of Morris. The entrance is on Northwestern Avenue directly opposite the entrance to the public garden. The driveway forks twice. At the first fork, bear left; at the second fork bear right and you will come to a parking lot on the right.

The event is in the middle of the maintenance complex and is considered an outdoor event, which means we are limited to 50 people.

Lists of 2021 PFM one gallon plants and 2021 PFM Rooted Cuttings are given below. To print the P4M Listings , click download on the respected attachment below; open and print.