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Do you dream of filling your home and garden with lush, beautiful plants? Who doesn’t love being surrounded by gorgeous flowers, bushes, and trees?
Unfortunately, quality plants can come with a hefty price tag. But don’t let that deter you from creating your ideal green space. With a little effort and creativity, you can get wonderful plants completely free of charge.
This post will explore the many ways you can get free plants to beautify your indoor and outdoor spaces. Read on to start growing your free plant collection!
Ways to Get Free Plants Near You
Let’s explore strategies for getting free plants close to home. With a little effort and networking, you can find many free plant sources right in your community.
Ask Friends and Family for Cuttings or Extra Plants
One of the easiest ways to get free plants is to ask green-thumbed friends and family members.
Most gardeners end up with extra seedlings or are happy to take a few cuttings from overgrown houseplants.
Let your network know you’re looking for free plants, and they’ll likely offer you their extras!
Taking cuttings from plants like succulents, African violets, herbs, and other houseplants is an easy propagation method.
Though it takes patience as cuttings root and mature, watching a tiny cutting grow into a whole new plant is exciting!
If you want larger plants, perennials like raspberries or lilacs grow well when propagated from cuttings too.
Friends with vegetable gardens always seem to have extra tomato seedlings as well. Don’t be shy to inquire about their extras!
Divide and Propagate Your Own Overgrown Plants
Take a look at plants you already have at home and outside. Are there any that look overcrowded and need dividing?
Plants like aloe, peperomia, lemon balm, and more will often have pups or offshoots at their bases that can be gently removed and repotted.
Herbaceous perennials, including daylilies and hostas, benefit from division every few years. You can split them into several new plants. Not only will dividing them give you new plants, but the original plant will thrive better too.
Bulbs like daffodils and irises should be dug up and divided every couple of years as well. As the bulbs multiply, they become crowded, which inhibits bloom production.
Dividing them allows them to bloom abundantly year after year.
Join Local Gardening Clubs and Attend Plant Swaps
Joining local gardening clubs and attending plant swaps is a fantastic way to get new plants. Club members are always eager to share their gardening knowledge and are usually happy to take cuttings or divide their plants to share with you.
Many clubs also organize plant exchanges where members can trade seeds, seedlings, cuttings, and divided plants.
It’s a great way to discover interesting new plant varieties brought in by various members. Even if you have nothing to trade the first time, you’ll likely go home with new plants!
Check Community Boards Like Craigslist or Facebook for Free Offers
Community boards sometimes have postings from people giving plants away for free.
For example, if someone is moving and can’t bring all their garden plants, they may offer them up to anyone willing to dig them up and transport them.
Others may be redoing their landscaping and deciding to remove some trees or shrubs.
Keep an eye on Craigslist, Nextdoor, Facebook Marketplace, and community pages specific to your town or city.
There are often people happy to let you take plants off their hands rather than tossing them in the garbage when they remove them.
Visit Yard Sales and Ask For Leftover Plants at the End of the Day
Stop by neighborhood yard sales, especially at the end of the day on the last day posted. Sellers are often willing to let leftover items go for free or very cheap just so they don’t have to pack everything back up again.
Politely ask if they have any leftover garden plants they’d be willing to part with. You may be able to snag leftovers for just a dollar or two, or even score some free plants the seller is happy to get rid of.
Look for Volunteer Plants Popping Up in Your Yard
Volunteer plants are ones that grow on their own, usually from windblown seeds or underground rhizomes. Free plants gifted to you by Mother Nature herself!
Tomatoes, strawberries, and herbs often pop up thanks to seeds from the previous year’s plants. Trees like maple and cottonwood can also sprout up volunteering due to windblown seeds and seed pods.
Keep an eye out for these pleasant surprise plants. You can gently dig them up once established and transplant them to a spot where you want them to grow.
Ways to Get Free Plants By Mail
In addition to finding free plants in your local community, many national programs send out free seeds and plants by mail. Take advantage of these programs to grow beautiful flowers, trees, and other plants from free seeds.
Sign Up for Free Seeds from Organizations Like Alt National Park Service
Many conservation organizations distribute free seeds to help wildlife, pollinators, and native ecosystems thrive.
These plants provide vital food and habitat for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
Simply visit their websites, fill out a request form with your mailing address, and they’ll ship free seeds right to your door.
Other organizations like Live Monarch have similar free seed programs.
With just a little online requesting, you can get native wildflower and meadow seeds to help ecosystem restoration efforts and grow beautiful flowers.
Request Free Milkweed and Wildflower Seeds to Support Pollinators
Expanding on the previous point, getting free milkweed and wildflower seeds helps replenish critical food sources for our struggling bee and butterfly populations.
Since you don’t need a large amount of seeds to grow a small pollinator-friendly garden, most organizations are happy to mail them to you for free.
Every garden should have some wildlife-friendly plants. Be sure to choose native species when possible, as native wildflowers, milkweeds, and other plants are best adapted to support local pollinator species.
Avoid aggressive exotic wildflowers as well, as they can escape gardens and crowd out natives in local areas.
Join Seed Exchange Programs to Swap with Other Gardeners
Seed exchange programs connect you with other gardeners across the country.
You can request seeds you’d like to try, then once your plants mature and go to seed, save and send seeds back to the group for someone else to try.
It’s a great way to experiment with plant varieties you may not find at your local stores.
Some exchanges welcome small donations to cover shipping, but the seeds themselves are free. As a beginner, you can even just request seeds for those first few seasons until you have plants maturing and producing seeds to share with others.
What an exciting way to try unique plant varieties from gardens nationwide!
Use Seed Library Services to “Check Out” Free Seeds
Similar to a regular library, seed libraries allow you to check out seeds, plant and harvest them, and then return some of the subsequent seeds from your harvest.
This way, the library collection continues circulating in the community.
Seed libraries encourage beginners without seeds to donate by allowing them to “check out” seed varieties, grow the plants, and return newly harvested seeds.
Ways to Get Free Plants Online
The internet opens up an endless world of plant giveaways, special offers, and unique plant groups. Here are some ways to score free greens online:
- Join Facebook Plant Groups: Facebook has tons of dedicated plant trade and giveaway groups. Members often post when they’re thinning out overflow or have pups to give away.
- Check Reddit: Reddit has an active freebie community. Follow forums like r/gardening, r/houseplants, and r/seedswap, and check for occasional plant giveaways.
- Look for Contests and Giveaways: Entering plant-related contests and giveaways on Instagram, blogs, brand websites, and more can result in free plants when you win!
Getting Plants for Cheap
In addition to getting plants completely free, you can also get very low-cost plants with a savvy eye for deals and plant sales.
Here are some tips for scoring plants on a budget:
Shop Clearance Racks and Buy Discounted Plants to Revive
Check the clearance section at garden stores for discounted plants.
You can often find plants marked down because they are root-bound, have yellowing leaves, or look leggy and worn down after a long season.
With a little TLC, these plants usually bounce back beautifully!
Give them some transplanting into fresh potting soil, some pruning of dead material, and a thorough watering.
In no time, you’ll have lovely, healthy plants that cost just a fraction of the original price.
Check Flea Markets, Estate Sales, and Auctions for Deals
Flea markets, tag sales, estate sales, and auctions are great places to look for inexpensive plants. Vendors at flea markets often sell plants and are willing to bargain, especially toward the end of the day when they don’t want to have to pack unsold items back up.
Stop by neighborhood or multi-family yard sales as well. And be sure to check estate sale listings in your area. The garden plants of a homeowner who passed away are often sold very cheaply by the estate company.
The same goes for auctions; you can sometimes bid on entire garden lots or landscaping plants from commercial businesses going under.
Use Coupons and Promo Codes When Ordering Plants Online
Speaking of getting plants shipped right to your door, you can save big on online plant purchases by using promo codes and coupons.
RetailMeNot and other coupon sites have codes for major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, and more.
Browser extensions like Honey can also automatically apply applicable coupon codes to your order at checkout.
And don’t forget to check the company’s website directly too; many have promotions for joining their newsletter or email list.
Ask for Gift Cards to Garden Stores as Gifts for Birthdays/Holidays
Around the holidays or your birthday, let friends and family know you’re hoping to get some new plants for your garden.
Gift cards to local garden stores or online retailers like Mountain Crest Gardens, Leaf & Clay, and Bloomscape make it easy for loved ones to pick out a gift for you.
Gift cards allow you to choose plants and supplies that work for your specific needs. And any leftover balance works toward future plant purchases too! It saves your loved ones the trouble of choosing specific plants so you can pick your favorites.
As you can see, you can fill your indoor and outdoor spaces with beautiful plants without having to pay for every single one! With so many methods of getting free plants or scoring deals on low-cost plants, anyone can grow their ideal garden oasis.
Start asking friends for cuttings, check community boards for free offers, take advantage of seed programs, and keep your eye out for plant sales and discounts. In no time, you’ll be surrounded by a thriving green life to uplift your mood and feed your soul.
The journey of gradually collecting new plants to expand your garden landscape is incredibly rewarding. Get growing and enjoy the tranquility, creativity, and abundance that plants provide in your life!