Rising costs of plants may keep you from adding flowers and plants to your landscape. Instead of spending money, use some simple strategies to get free plants for personal use or to share.
Clone Existing Plants
Take stem cuttings from plants you already own, dip them in a rooting compound and stick them into a sterile growing medium. Treat the cuttings like you would a new seedling. When the cuttings have rooted, put the free plants them where you want them.
Let your flowers go to seed and collect them after the seed pods dry. Spread the seeds out onto a screen or paper towel to dry completely. Store the seeds in airtight containers until planting season the following year. One flower seed pod contains more than enough seeds to grow an entire flat of free plants.
Share Your Extras
Share extra bulbs and prolific plants with family, friends and neighbors and maybe they will share free plants with you. Ask the people you know to inform you when they are cleaning out their flower beds. Arrange a swap of your chocolate mint for their cleomes or what ever free plants are available.
Contact the local gardening clubs in your area and form a free plant swap in the spring and fall. Host the swap at a local park and have guests bring a covered dish. Gardeners are a friendly bunch and like to spend time talking about their hobby. Take three or four potted plants and any extra seeds you have so you can swap with other gardeners for other free plants.
Gather Native Plants
Many herbs and wildflowers grow along back roads and in fields and pastures. Take a drive on back country roads and don't forget to bring your shovel. Take care to dig up the entire root ball so you don't damage the plant. Plant and water the free plants as soon as you get them back home. The less stress the free plant undergoes, the healthier the plant will be. *Warning: Some native plants are illegal to harvest from their habitat. Check with your local Division of Wildlife for details on which plants are protected from harvesting.
Remember that hybrid plants are patented and are illegal to clone or grow from seed. Only propagate plants that are considered public domain.
Did you know? It's a fact that seeds that are genetically modified seeds made by Monsanto are highly illegal to grow unless the seeds are purchased directly from Monsanto. Farmers abroad as well as farmers in the U.S. who have had seeds blown into their crops by nature have had to pay fines to this company for growing crops that were not welcome in the first place. Monsanto is anti-organic and when these seeds mix with organics they destroy the organic gardeners organic status. Hybrids and genetically modified seeds contain products that do not have to be exposed to the public.