10 cool plants you’ll find at Johnston garden center

The State Press John Johnston tends to his plants at the Johnston Garden Center in Tempe. Weed plants, such as the one above, are often mistaken for herbs by first-time plant buyers.

Johnston Garden Center has been in business for about 30 years. The State Press Johnston Garden Center’s logo is displayed on the store’s window. John Johnston has always had a love for plants. He often refers to them as his friends, and he would have it no other way. His garden center, which started out small but is now quite popular, catered specifically to plants and gardening needs. “I’ve loved plants ever since I was a kid,” Johnston said. “I had this one spot that I used to hang out at by myself just because my parents wanted me out of the house.”

Here are 10 cool plants you’ll find at johnston garden center.


A bridge over water with a city in the background

Coleus is a favorite of many gardeners. Its leaves have been used as a substitute by florists for flowers that aren’t in season. It comes in a variety of leaf colors and can be purchased at Johnston Garden Center for around $1.49 per plant.


Johnston said carnations are one of the most popular flowers, especially among those who receive them on Valentine’s Day. These plants cost about $1 to 3 each based on size and can last up to six months, he added.

Rainbow chard

Rainbow chard has been growing in popularity over the past few years, Johnston said. Customers prefer this type of beet because it’s more colorful than the red chards they’re used to seeing. Johnston said they’re best when cooked and add a nice touch to salads and savory dishes.


Johnston has been growing sunflowers since 1989, he added. These flowers come in different colors such as yellow and maroon, but many prefer orange because of its warmth. You can buy one at the garden center for $9 each.


Peonies are considered royalty among flowers by Johnston: “They cost like a king,” he said. They also only last right before Mother’s Day until mid-June. For those who can’t make it in time for this short window of opportunity, there are sun-peony hybrids that flower year-round at Johnston Garden Center for $15 per plant.


Monstera is a plant that originated in Central and South America, Johnston said. Its dark green leaves grow large and broad so it’s usually placed on the sides of couches or as centerpieces at parties because it can hold a lot of water. One costs around $34 each and will last up to three months.


Marigolds are known for their bright colors: orange, yellow and red, Johnston said. They’re also very versatile plants you can use in many different ways such as adding them into salads or using their petals as ashtrays when smokers go outside to light up (just make sure to remove the pollen). You’ll find them at Johnston Garden Center for $1.49 each.


Zinnias are a great flower to plant in the summertime and can be found in different shades of pinks and oranges, according to Johnston They’re easy to take care of by just planting them into rich soil, leaving them exposed to plenty of sunlight. One typically costs around $4 each at the garden center.


Oregano is one of Johnston’s favorite plants because it has many medical benefits that he said would surprise people if they knew about it For instance, it helps reduce inflammation due to its antioxidant properties while also aiding patients with certain heart conditions because of its calcium content. These plants cost around $5 each.

French potatoes

Last but not least, Johnston’s Frenchman potato comes from different regions in France and has been a hit here in the Sacramento region thanks to its purple coloring and taste resembling that of a sweet potato. These plants cost around $7 each at Johnston Garden Center and can be cooked just like a regular Idaho potato.


Gardening can be an enjoyable hobby to have at home, so it’s good to know some of the options you have available as a consumer. These plants are just a few of the many choices Johnston Garden Center offers, so stop by and check them out.

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