Bainbridge Island Land Trust Native Plant Sale is Back! October 8, 2022

BILT Native Plant Sale 2022 courtesy of BILTLocation: Bainbridge First Baptist Church (8810 Madison Avenue NE) Saturday, October 8, 2022

-Early access for Land Trust members from 9am to 11am*
-General public access from 11am to 4pm

What’s new this year? Aside from the Bainbridge Island Land Trust’s regular native plant offerings, they’ll be joined by community speakers and vendors!

Why a fall plant sale? In 2016, the Land Trust held its first ever Fall Native Plant Sale. Due to its success, they have transitioned their annual sale from spring to fall in order to offer nursery-grade plants at optimal planting time! Planting during the wetter fall months helps increase plant vigor by reducing transplant shock and watering requirements. The Land Trust’s native plant collection includes a variety of ground covers, shrubs, and trees.

Native plants are best suited to our unique northwest environment. They are built to withstand our long, wet winters, and our dry summers and are more resistant to disease. They require less maintenance overall and help improve habitat and water quality across the Island.

Plants range in price/size from $5.00 for 4” plants to $10.00 for 1-gallon plants. To view the available plants, along with information on potential full-growth sizes and best growing conditions,  click here for the 2022 Plant Category.

General Plant Care Information

When to Plant:

  • Continue to water plants in pots prior to planting in the ground.
  • Plant in ground mid-October through late-November when soil is moist and temperatures mild. This allows plants to get established in wetter months, removing the need for immediate watering. Watering may need to occur during the first couple of summers, especially if there is lack of precipitation.

Plant Holes and Spacing:

  • Dig holes two – three times bigger than the plant container size to loosen soil.
  • Ground covers, plant 1-3 feet apart
  • Shrubs, plant 3 -5 feet apart
  • Most Trees, plant 10-15 feet


  • Remove anything attached to the plant. This includes bamboo stake, tags, and twine.
  • Remove the plant from pot by gently rolling the pot from side to side on the ground then tipping it upside down.
  • Locate the root flare (outward curving base of plant where it joins roots). Don’t plant too high or too low, the root flare should sit right above ground level.  A buried root flare will rot over time, leading to the failure of the plant. This is a very easy thing to avoid, but it can only be done at the time of planting.
  • Loosen the roots. Straighten any circling / girdling / j-roots. It’s better to cut a root that’s circling than to leave it. Circling roots will continue to grow in that pattern, eventually strangling and killing the plant. Again, an easy thing to avoid that can only be done at the time of the planting.
  • Dig hole only as deep as the root ball, 2-3 times wide. Note that digging the hole is not the first step! You want to know how deep the root ball is after you’ve loosened the roots and located the root flare. A hole that’s dug too deep means the plant will sink over time, burying the root flare. Do not loosen the soil at the bottom of your planting hole—this will prevent the tree from settling.
  • Place the plant in the hole. Make sure root flare is above ground.
  • Fill in the hole. Pack soil around plant firmly but not aggressively (no air pockets). Use the same soil from the hole to plant. Don’t add compost or fertilizer to the hole, which can actually kill the young plants and cause its roots to circle. Press out air pockets as you fill the hole.
  • Water it in. If the soil is not saturated, watering helps eliminate excess air pockets and reduces the stress of transplanting.  You shouldn’t have to water for the rest of winter.
  • Mulch. Once you’ve planted, spread a nice layer of mulch around the base of the plants at 2-4’’ deep. Be sure to keep the mulch a hands-width away from the trunk and avoid mulch volcanos, which can rot the base of the plants.

Ongoing Care:

Provide water and mulch around plants for 2 to 3 years after planting to ensure their best chance for survival. After 3 years they should be well enough established to survive independently.

For more information, check out the Planting Tutorial:

*Non-members are welcome to come peruse plants, however if you’d like to purchase in the “early access” timeframe, you can make a donation or sign up for membership —Not a member? Join or renew at the sale or online by clicking here!

BILT_Logo_LinearLockup_GreenDrawings_RGBWant to volunteer? Sign up here or email Lexi at the Land Trust.

*Content and images provided by and used with permission from the Bainbridge Island Land Trust

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