Summer's heat is drawing near, and many sun-loving plants are just beginning to thrive.
Take a look around your garden to see if you can make room for a few more plants in need of a good home. Several local gardening and native-plant nonprofits sell plants ideally suited to our arid climate.
• The Tucson Botanical Gardens' Weird Plant Sale on June 8 offers a variety of distinctive cacti.
Arrive early to get the best selection, advises Michael Chamberland, the Gardens' director of horticulture.
Some of the more unusual plants will be succulents like living stones, totem pole cacti and adeniums, also known as desert rose.
Some plants are so unusual that only a single plant is available. "Those will go first," said Chamberland.
"For most people who come to our sale, the specific thing they are looking for is that thing which they don't already have," jokes Chamberland.
"At the Weird Plant Sale, we have both weird plants and handmade, unusual pottery, and some people use the opportunity to match up plants and pots at the same time," he said.
Garden experts advise waiting to plant. June is Tucson's warmest and driest month, which makes planting then too stressful for the plants.
• Tohono Chul Park's popular Monsoon Madness Plant Sale is scheduled for July 26-27.
• For those who missed Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society's Spring Rescued Cactus Sale on May 4, additional sales are scheduled as needed, so watch for another sale in a month or so. Inventory usually includes barrel, pincushion, hedgehog, cholla and prickly pear cacti, but it may also include the rarer ocotillo, saguaro, agave, sotol and night-blooming cereus.
If you want to buy a barrel cactus and know what color blossoms you'll have, watch for the Blooming Barrel Sale, anticipated to be Aug. 18. Prices for barrel cacti run $1.50 per inch of diameter or height, whichever is greater.
The society works with development projects to gather cacti and succulents that would otherwise be bladed off and sent to a landfill.
Proceeds from the plant sales pay for required collecting permits and educational programs.
• Learn more about pond options at the Tucson Water Gardeners' annual Aquatic Plant Sale next Sunday at Reid Park.
Desert-adapted water lilies, bog plants and oxygenating plants will be on sale.
If you go
Tucson Water Gardeners annual Water Plant Sale
• When: 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. next Sunday.
• Where: Southwest corner of Reid Park at 22nd Street and Country Club Road.
• More info: tucsonwatergardeners.org
Weird Plant Sale
• When: 4:30-7:30 p.m. June 7 for members only; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 8, open to the public.
• Where: Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way.
• More: www.TucsonBotanical.org
Monsoon Madness Plant Sale
• When: 4-8 p.m. July 26; 8 a.m.-1 p.m. July 27.
• Where: Tohono Chul Park, 7366 North Paseo del Norte.
• Details: www.TohonoChulPark.org
Blooming Barrel Sale
Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society expects to hold its Blooming Barrel Sale Aug. 18, but check website www.TucsonCactus.org for details. Contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified about the sale.
Contact Tucson freelance writer Claire Rogers at email@example.com Admission is free to all events.