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HomeIdeasGet Free Plants for Your Garden and Home NOW: 18 Effective Ways

Get Free Plants for Your Garden and Home NOW: 18 Effective Ways

Since fourteen years ago, I have resumed gardening. That first spring, I spent hours preparing a vegetable garden that would offer enough food for the entire summer, as well as produce for canning and pickling.

I was going to save us a lot of money by preserving my harvest for the winter. Then, we visited a garden center.

I realized I had just spent all of the money I intended to save after purchasing a trunk full of nursery starts, seed packets, a few berry bushes, and a couple hundred dollars.

The cultivation of a vegetable garden might be expensive. The expense of landscaping your property might easily reach thousands of dollars. And if you prefer houseplants, they may be rather expensive as well.

However, having a green thumb does not have to be expensive.

You can easily obtain free plants if you are ready to do a little extra legwork, have a little more patience until a clone matures, or spend a little extra time searching the Internet.

And you’ll end up with a verdant garden and a home filled with lush vegetation.

Here is a list of proven methods for obtaining free plants.

1. Cuttings


My propensity of requesting leaf and stem cuttings from pals is responsible for the jungle-like appearance of my living room.

Most people are willing to give you a few cuttings of a plant you admire. Rarely do you need more than a small amount of leaf or stem to initiate growth. And it is an excellent approach to acquire uncommon houseplants.

A single leaf from an African violet will result in a new plant that is identical to the original.

When searching for plants such as raspberries, blackberries, lilacs, or other berries and floral shrubs, cuttings are the way to go.

This method of acquiring plants requires some patience, as it can take weeks or even months to obtain a fully grown specimen. However, your patience will be rewarded by the vast array of plants that may be reproduced from a single leaf or stem cutting.

Herbs such as mint, sage, and rosemary can be propagated via plant cuttings.
Even tomatoes can be cloned using stem cuttings.

2. Saving Seeds

Saving Seeds

Each year, saving seeds is a frugal method to plan and manage a garden. It’s also relatively simple to accomplish. The only requirement is healthy plant seeds.

Allow them to air-dry in a single layer on a screen for a couple of weeks after a thorough rinsing. Make certain they are not touching. Then, place them in an airtight, dry container. A little coating of wood ash on the seeds will help preserve them. Using this method, seeds will remain viable for two to three years.

When saving seeds, one must abide by the norms of genetics. Species of plants are crossed to produce hybrid plants with desirable characteristics. Oftentimes, the new plant is sterile, or if it grows, it will not yield the same effects as the original plant.

I recommend sticking to heirloom or open-pollinated kinds when saving seeds.
Also, remember to share! You’ll be amazed at how many seeds one plant produces.

3. Ask Friends and Family

Ask Friends and Family

If you start your own seedlings, you’re going to have a lot of plants in the spring.
Inform your friends and family that you need plants, and they will remember you if they have an abundance of tomato or eggplant seedlings.

There may even be a generous friend who is prepared to cultivate extra plants just for you if you ask nicely enough and in good time. Every February, a great friend of mine posts a list of what she’s growing on Facebook. Friends and relatives can always count on her to plant a few extra seeds in the ground for them.

If you let your friends, relatives, neighbors, and coworkers know that you’re looking for plants, they’ll keep you in mind if they happen to have any spare.

4. Facebook Groups, Craigslist, Freecycle

Classified ads in your neighborhood can be found all over the internet. If you’re looking for specialized gardening or houseplant-related organizations to join, they are usually a wonderful place to seek for free plants.

If you want plants for your vegetable garden, search for “free plants” or “free seedlings” in the spring. You can find strange houseplants all year long at these locations.

It’s a good idea to submit your own ad on these websites if you’re looking for free plants. To ensure that you get the plants you want, use this method.

5. Divide Larger Plants

Lemon balm can quickly take over a garden in just a few years. Perhaps your aloe plant is overflowing with new pups. Plants that have outgrown their pots should be divided and replanted or repotted.

With more plants and a stronger original plant as a result, this is a win-win situation for all parties involved! Don’t forget to divide flowering bulbs every few years as well.

After repotting a Peperomia caperata recently, I was surprised to discover six additional plants. Each of my neighbors received one of the six newly sprouted plants as a result.

In return, I received a jar of raspberry jam and a chocolate cake on my doorstep. There are numerous advantages of distributing plants with others!

6. Gardening or Horticulture Clubs

Gardening and horticultural clubs can be found in your area. Plant swaps and garden tours are offered by several of these local clubs.

Take advantage of free plants and plant knowledge by signing up for the event. There is a variety of gardening information to be found at these local groups, and they often provide classes to members.

7. Self-Sow Volunteers

Observe your garden or yard regularly for freebies. Tomatoes, ground cherries, radishes, and dill are just a few of the garden plants that are sure to provide helpers.

As soon as they’ve grown large enough to be moved, just keep a look out for them in the spring and do so.

Volunteer seedlings are also a terrific way to receive trees for free. Keep a look out for these young fellas surrounding their larger parents in your yard, and you can nurture one in particular until it is big enough to be transferred somewhere else.

8. Local Retailers’ Out-of-Season Plants

In a hardware store yesterday, the manager told a plant wholesaler that they tossed away $300 worth of plants last year since nobody bought them.

Local garden shops, hardware stores, and big-box retailers are all too familiar with this type of mishap.

You can profit from their misfortune. Ask near the end of the season or after Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Easter.

There are several stores that will allow you to get your hands on plants that are about to be thrown out. Make a point of keeping an eye out for plants that could use a little extra tender loving care. Plants can be given out for free as long as you ask for them. Just be careful not to carry infected plants back to your garden, as you don’t want to spread it there.

9. Curbside Shopping

When the weather is nice, take a drive around your neighborhood. If you get to the end of a driveway, you’re almost certain to come across uprooted plants. You can reap the benefits of someone else’s landscaping project if you keep your eyes open.

10. Landscaping and Building Firms

A few local landscapers or construction companies can be contacted. To make room for new plants and buildings, many of them are removing existing plants off their sites.

Plants can be saved for you if you know you’re looking, rather than thrown out in the trash. You can find established bushes and trees by taking this route.

Contacting construction and landscaping professionals is an excellent way to get bigger plants like shrubs and flowering trees.

As a courtesy to the workers, remove the plants as soon as they are accessible. If you build a good name for yourself as a reliable and on-time service provider, you might even find that they contact you when they have plants available.

11. Extension Office

Reach out to your local extension office. They may offer homeowners free plants as part of a special promotion or grant. If you ask around, gardening clubs in your area often hold plant sales where you can score freebies.

12. In the Wild

In the wild, you can locate beautiful plants for your garden that you can use. Naturally, I am not advising that you start collecting rare species from National Parks, but it is easy to find plants like daylilies that grow in profusion beside the road since they are readily available. In fields, wild roses can be found growing in profusion.

Day lilies grow wild on many country roads. A bucket and a little trowel are all you need for a quick harvest.

Do your homework and make sure you have permission before entering any property, especially parks or game areas, where you might need to obtain an official permit or special approval.

13. Host a Plant/Seed Swap

Host your own plant swap if you can’t find one in your area. Use Craigslist or Facebook to post an ad in your area. Set up a couple card tables and provide some inexpensive refreshments. Invite your loved ones and your neighbors to join you. The variety of plants and seeds you discover may astound you.

To obtain a diverse selection of plants, hold one in the spring and one in the fall. An annual plant and seed swap is an excellent way to get to know your neighbors and meet new people. I’ll be there if it’s a barbeque!

14. Seed Catalog Promotions

It is common for catalogs to include free seeds as part of an order. Depending on the promotion, you may have to pay some money at first.

15. Yard Sales and Flea Markets

Do you enjoy a good flea market as much as I do? Even though it’s not the first spot that comes to mind when I’m seeking for plants, it turns out that they can be found there nonetheless. Many exhibitors are prepared to give plants out for free since they don’t want to load everything back up at the end of the sale.

Take a trip around at the end of the last day if your neighborhood is having a local yard sale weekend. To your surprise, you may come upon plants that have been given away.

16. Churches, Schools, and Volunteer Organizations

You may be a member of a church, school, or other group that employs plants as a decoration. There are several churches that put up lilies and poinsettias for Easter and Christmas. For a significant occasion, schools may decorate. It’s also possible that you’re a member of an organization that frequently decorates with plants.

Ask whether you can take home an unwanted plant at the end of the season or event. Easter lilies and poinsettias can be replanted in your yard and encouraged to blossom again following year.

You may be able to grow a new plant from leaf or stem cuttings, depending on the other plants utilized.

17. Arbor Day Foundation

Join up the Arbor Day Foundation.

Ten free trees are included in the $10 membership fee. In addition, you’re contributing to a worthy cause.

They ask for your zip code when you sign up so that they may provide you with a list of trees that do well in your area. Shipped to you at the suitable time for planting, the trees are then delivered to you.

18. As a Gift

plants GIFT

When you ask for plants as a gift, you make it easier for people to buy for you on special occasions.

A larger specimen or something more difficult to come by can be a good candidate for a gift if you’re looking for it. Birthdays, Christmas, and Mother’s/Day Father’s are all excellent times to request a plant as a gift.

An online or local nursery gift voucher makes it even easy for the present giving and allows you to make your own selection.

Free plants may be found all over the place if you are ready to put in a little more effort. Family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers frequently come through quickly when news gets out that you’re in need of plants. You’ll be able to check off all of the plants on your “to-do” list in no time.

Don’t forget to share while you’re dividing your plants, preserving seeds, or growing new plants from cuttings.

If you’ve received extra plants from others, take sure to return them to their original locations. By doing this, you’re ensuring that gardening remains a popular pastime for the general public.

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