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How to Get Plants for Free

Two potted snake plants against a teal wall

Want to take up the plant hobby but discouraged by how expensive new plants can be? Don’t be. There are lots of ways to enjoy indoor gardening without spending a lot of money.

In fact, sometimes you don’t have to spend any money at all to get new plants.

Here are a few ideas on how to get plants for free…

Take cuttings from your existing houseplants

The majority of ways to get plants for free include propagating from some kind of existing plant. Let’s say you only have one houseplant, and you want to fill your place up with more plants. You can simply take a cutting from the plant you already have and grow it in a new pot or container.

Monstera plant in a white pot against a white wall

Bam! Now you have more plants, and you didn’t have to pay anything for them.

Take cuttings from other people’s houseplants

But what if you don’t even have one houseplant already? No worries.

If you don’t already have a houseplant you can take cuttings from, you can ask around with people you know. Do your parents, siblings, friends, or co-workers have houseplants? They may have plants that can be propagated from cuttings.

Various succulents in terra cotta pots sitting near a window

Plants that can easily be propagated into new plants, and are fairly common among houseplant keepers, include:

  • Pothos
  • Spider plant
  • Snake plant
  • Chinese money plant
  • Aloe vera
  • Cactus
  • Most other succulents

Want some even better news? Not only are these plants easy to get for free, they’re also super easy to take care of.

Find plant droppings to propagate

So you have no plants of your own AND you don’t know anybody with houseplants you can mooch off of? Still no problem. Many plants drop leaves or shoots that can actually be grown into a whole new plant.

Where do you find these plant droppings?

You may actually be able to find them at your local plant nursery. If you see propagatable leaves that have fallen off plants, check with the staff to see if it’s okay to take them home with you. Some nurseries even set up tables for taking and leaving cuttings.

Look for plant pups

In addition to cuttings and droppings, some potted plants will actually produce new plants right in the soil next to them. These baby plants are called pups, and they can be harvested and put into their own container to grow a whole new plant.

Go to plant swaps

Plant swaps are meetups where people bring cuttings from various plants and trade them with each other. Of course, you’ll probably need to acquire at least one cutting of your own in order to have something to swap.

But after a few visits, you’ll have a house full of plants and plenty of your own species to swap.

Fig tree leaves

Even if you have no cuttings to swap, don’t be discouraged. You can also swap other plant-related items, such as containers, shelving, or even plant-themed jewelry.

Check out trading groups online

You can also find places to trade plants and cuttings online, such as Facebook groups, Craigslist, or Freecycle.

So, don’t let your budget stop you from getting started in the houseplant hobby. Stay tuned for an article on precisely how to propagate plants from cuttings!