Plant sale raises funds for greenhouse from propagations


Katarina Rothhorn/NW

PLANTS FOR SALE — Three student greenhouse technicians help operate the NMU greenhouse plant sale. All the propagated plants were planted by the students and the funds from the sale support future greenhouse projets.

Katarina Rothhorn

Throughout this week, the NMU greenhouse is having its annual plant sale in the Lydia M. Olson Library. Colorful carts filled with a large variety of plants – including oregano, purple heart, snake plants, agave, yuca, vermillion, citronella and different kinds of succulents – are for sale for only a few dollars.

“We’re here to have plants be sold for super cheap compared to what you would get for retail,” said Sarah Kunitser, senior botany major and greenhouse technician.

The NMU greenhouse is run by professor Donna Maki along with the help of five student greenhouse technicians. All of the plants being sold have been propagated by the students in the greenhouse, who assist in the care of the plants grown for educational and research purposes.

“Mostly I go in [the greenhouse] for pest management and killing bugs,” said Adam Stoner, senior botany major, greenhouse technician. “We all have weekly meetings and just talk about what we need to help out with.”

Both Stoner and Kunitser are assisting with the plant sale to raise funds for the pots, soil and other necessities required for the greenhouse. 

“We make propagations to sell in the plant sale so that we can get funds to put more into the pots and the soil, and more plants, because the teaching side uses them for labs and other purposes,” Kunitser said. “And so we also just make propagations because who doesn’t love plants.”

The greenhouse is divided into two sections, the research side and the teaching side. The research section of the greenhouse serves as a lab for graduate students, medicinal plant chemistry students and others working on botany-related research. The teaching side focuses more on labs and is where the propagated plants in the sale originated from. 

“If people go in for a class to research mosses, for example, we have a bunch of moss samples,” Stoner said.

The plant sale will continue on Thursday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Friday, Dec. 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All sales can be conducted through cash and Venmo. 

“Within one single pot, it’s like an entire little world,” Stoner said. “So being able to help out with that is really a big honor.”