Maybe it\\u0027s the challenge presented by the desert environment that helps to make gardening and horticulture such popular pastimes in Arizona. Those plant lovers looking to add some variety or perhaps more challenge to their gardens will have an opportunity at the Tucson Botanical Gardens Weird Plant Sale.

Every year, the Tucson Botanical Gardens gathers together an array of plants that share only one thing in common - they are plants from off the beaten track, and not ones that are usually found growing in a window box or indoor array.

Although the plants themselves originate from all over the world, Michael Chamberland, the Gardens' director of horticulture, says that care is taken to choose plants for the sale that are well-adapted to the Southwest environment.

And virtually all of the plants in the sale are acquired from Arizona growers, many of whom attend the sale to dispense advice about proper planting and care.

Chamberland says that houseplant novices need not be intimidated by the exotic menagerie that is on display.

"Most of these plants actually thrive on neglect. The trick is finding out the right amount of neglect to give them," he jokes.

The Weird Plant Sale focuses on rare, unusual or downright strange-looking cacti and succulents. A selection of offbeat, locally hand-made pottery is also available, as the Gardens' employees encourage visitors to "pick the perfect weird pot for your weird plant."

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Photo: AZPM

An example of one of the hundreds of different varieties of plants that will be available at the Tucson Botanical Gardens Weird Plant Sale.

The sale starts with a members-only sale on Friday, May 4th from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Gardens will then be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 5th.

Garden hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week, year round, except July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. It is located at 2150 N. Alvernon Way, near Grant and Alvernon.

More information is available from Darlene Buhrow, the Gardens' director of marketing and communications, at (520) 326-9686, Ext. 35, or at communications@tucsonbotanical.org.