EDMONTON -- Some Edmonton plant enthusiasts are joining together to purchase rare plants from around the world.

‘Edmonton Plant Group Orders’ is a Facebook group that began when plant hobbyist Bonnie McRobb made an order for 100 plants.

“It was just going to be a temporary group and I guess everybody wanted more afterwards,” said McRobb.

The group started in February and quickly became busy and permanent. They support their passion for plants by making bulk international orders on unique types that would otherwise come with a hefty price tag.

“We can’t keep up with our hobby especially on rare plants if we go to the local stores and they’re $200-$300. If we import plants from Indonesia they’re $30,” McRobb said.

The group has imported plants of all patterns, shapes, and sizes from places such as Indonesia, Ecuador and Thailand.

With plants coming overseas, McRobb says exporters must provide certification that the plants are free of disease and pests. Importers also must have a permit in order to pick the plants up directly from Canadian Border Services.

“Sometimes the Canadian Food Inspection Agency wants to inspect them and to make sure they’re all legal plants,” said McRobb.

Not all plants purchased by Edmonton Plant Group Orders are sourced beyond the border. They’ve also ordered plants from Canada and even sometimes local sellers who offer wholesale deals.

McRobb says local plant stores are welcome to join the online group if they’re looking to get in on the purchases.

“If you’re a store and you have a discount you can offer for wholesale prices you’re welcome to come in and offer that to us ‘cause we love deals.”

So far, the group has already spent around $100,000 on plants imported from outside of Canada. Some members have found a way to earn cash by reselling their plants and clippings, while others are content just keeping their collection to themselves.

“Some people spend their money on purses or shoes or whatever, but we spend our money on plants,” said McRobb.