INPAWS Plant Sale & Auction

This popular free event is INPAWS’ biggest fundraiser and our most effective way to reach the public. It takes place annually on the Saturday before Mother’s Day.  

2016 Native Plant Sale & Auction
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Park Tudor School Gymnasium, Indianapolis

Pre-sale presentation starts at 9:30 for a $10 fee, which entitles ticket holders to hear a talk, begin shopping 15 minutes before the general public, and receive a $10 discount on any auction purchase. Plant sale and book sale open 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Live auction begins at 11:15 and continues until every general sale plant is sold.

Volunteer for this event 

Print a flyer to post in your neighborhood

Print handouts for your local garden event


Snapping up native plants from the sales tables


What to Expect

Watch a Video about the Plant Sale & Auction

The Saturday morning of the sale, people line up to get in, many carrying bags and boxes in which to spirit away their treasures. When the doors burst open at 10:15 a.m., their behavior resembles a swarm of locusts. Admission is free.

Tables around the room carry native plants in all sizes of containers, individually priced, and organized by whether they need shade or sun. INPAWS volunteers are on hand to answer questions and tally up the takings. Refreshments are available for a nominal fee.

Shoppers can also browse the Book Sale for handbooks and references on native plant gardening. A portion of the proceeds goes to INPAWS.

When the auction commences, competition for the rarest specimens can be heated. As INPAWS’ erstwhile auctioneer Rolland Kontak used to say, “There are no friends at an auction!”

The best part of the auction is learning about all the native plants you never heard of but just gotta have! Each auction plant is introduced by volunteer experts (thank you Hilary Cox, Kevin Tungesvick, and Sue Nord Peiffer, who have played this role for years) while the auctioneer keeps things under control (thank you Michael Stelts). The action winds down by about 12:30 p.m. with leftover sale plants auctioned off table by table.

Between shopping and learning, the INPAWS Plant Sale & Auction makes for a day well spent. 

Pre-Sale Presentation

For several years now, the Plant Sale & Auction has been preceded by a 30-minute talk on a topic related to gardening with native plants (e.g., rain gardening, attracting pollinators, landscaping for birds). The nominal fee for this presentation entitles you to enter the sale 15 minutes before the official opening, plus gives you an offsetting credit on your purchases. 

Bidding is lively at the INPAWS auction


Where the Plants Come From

Many native plant sale items are donated by individuals and local nurseries specializing in native plants. Others have been rescued by INPAWS volunteers from natural areas that are undergoing development.

Donations may be dropped off at the venue the Friday evening before the sale between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m. or the morning of the sale between 7:00 and 9:30 a.m. They will be sorted and priced by volunteers. Clear labels are appreciated! The best specimens and rarest plants are set aside for the auction.

Commercial operations wishing to sponsor or donate to the sale should contact by April 1.

Our thanks to these vendors who donated plants to our 2015 sale. Please patronize them when considering future purchases. 

Cardno JF New, Walkerton

C.M. Hobbs Nurserymen, Plainfield  Rick Haggard, 317-664-1653, wholesale prices to INPAWS members

Holeman Landscaping,  849-3120 call Richard Blankenship for tour/pricing

Native Plants Unlimited,  

Spence Restoration Nursery, Muncie,  wholesale only, call Kevin, 765-286-7154

Woody Warehouse Nursery, Lizton, call Pete Berg, 317-994-5487

And thanks to Rene’s Bakery, Broad Ripple, Indianapolis, for providing baked goods