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Growing the Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox

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Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox logo

The Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox is a one-stop shop for plant information that contains more than 4,700 plant profiles, each featuring cultural requirements, suggested landscape uses, IPM information, images from multiple seasons, and QR codes that can be added to signs, labels, and educational materials. You may search for plants by their common or scientific name, or use the Find a Plant feature to select the perfect plants for your landscape conditions and needs. In addition, there are over 100 garden galleries showcasing mature plant combinations and inspiring hardscapes.

Just like our gardens, the Plant Toolbox continues to grow with help from NC State Extension Master Gardener volunteers. Thirty-six volunteers contributed over 1,000 service hours in 2023 to enhance and maintain the site, working under the leadership of Plant Toolbox project manager Scott Zona on tasks that included gathering images, writing descriptions, researching and entering data, and proofreading entries.

Screenshot of purple coneflower profile from the Plant Toolbox

Purple coneflower profile from the Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox.

In addition to supporting development of the site, Extension professionals and Master Gardener volunteers across the state are taking full advantage of the QR codes found in each Plant Toolbox plant profile by adding them to plant labels in Extension demonstration gardens.

Plant label displaying the plant's common and scientific name as well as a QR code to its profile in the Plant Toolbox.

New plant labels at the Freedom Park demonstration garden in Charlotte include QR codes for their Plant Toolbox profiles.

Extension Master Gardener volunteers in Mecklenburg County recently added QR codes to over 100 plant labels at the Freedom Park demonstration garden in Charlotte. Scanning the QR code with a cell phone conveniently leads each visitor to full and accurate information found in the Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox.

Explore the Plant Toolbox to find great plants for your yard!

Infographic with statistics for the NC State Extension Master Gardener program.

The NC State Extension Master Gardener℠ program is a statewide network of volunteers and Extension educators working in N.C. Cooperative Extension county centers and on NC State campus. Through education and outreach, we connect people with the benefits of gardening and empower North Carolinians to cultivate healthy plants, landscapes, ecosystems, and communities. 

Explore stories from our 2023 Annual Report, which celebrates our work to help North Carolinians improve their lives and grow our state.

Join, support, or connect with Extension Master Gardener volunteers in your community.