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How to get houseplants on the cheap

Updated on January 31, 2012

One of the best things about growing plants as a hobby is that you can grow plants regardless of income. Rich or poor, there are always plants you can get for free, grow from seed, or trade with a plant enthusiast.

When I first started getting into indoor gardening, I looked online at several tropical houseplant sites and thought "oh no! I can't afford half the things I'd like to get!" but as I got further into this hobby, I was able to find all kinds of ways to get plants for little or no money. Check out the tips below to get bit by the frugal indoor gardening bug!



Cuttings!

A cutting is simply a small piece of a plant, which can be a leaf, stem, a leaf and stem, vine, or small branch that you plant into a pot with soil (or just in water) and water moderately until it forms roots, which produces a whole new plant!

If you know anyone who grows lots of plants, chances are that they will have several plants which will reproduce from a cutting. Don't be afraid to ask! Most plants need grooming of some kind anyway, so most plant growers are delighted to find a happy home for the trimmings they take from some of their plants.


Believe it or not, with enough light you can get a beautiful bloom from a prickly cactus!
Believe it or not, with enough light you can get a beautiful bloom from a prickly cactus!

Visit a Plant Club

There are LOTS of plant clubs out there! Clubs for Cacti and Succulents, clubs for African Violets, Bromeliads, Orchids, you name it. One of the best and easiest ways to get free plants is to be a guest at one of their meetings. Usually there is a monthly meeting for a plant club or society, you can ask to join in for their next meeting and usually there will be someone either with extra plants to give away, or would be willing to trade.

Below are just a few of the many plant societies with websites you can checkout. If you find one you really like, go ahead and see if they have a local club meeting near you! Being an African Violet fanatic in a small town, I was completely shocked to find that there was a huge club only a couple miles away from me! I ended up with many beautiful African Violets after visiting and several new friends. :)



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African Violet leaves are very inexpensive and because there are over 20,000 varieties of African Violets, you are bound to fall in love with a few!  This one is called "Rare Tapestry" This African Violet variety is called "Alchemy Antique Bells".This African Violet variety is called "Sugarfoot"
African Violet leaves are very inexpensive and because there are over 20,000 varieties of African Violets, you are bound to fall in love with a few!  This one is called "Rare Tapestry"
African Violet leaves are very inexpensive and because there are over 20,000 varieties of African Violets, you are bound to fall in love with a few! This one is called "Rare Tapestry"
This African Violet variety is called "Alchemy Antique Bells".
This African Violet variety is called "Alchemy Antique Bells".
This African Violet variety is called "Sugarfoot"
This African Violet variety is called "Sugarfoot"

Seeds

One of the cheapest way to grow new plants is to order seeds off the internet. Ebay is a great and easy way to find seeds for all sorts of plants (you can also get cuttings too).

I used to spend a lot of money buying lots of pansies to put on my balcony during the fall and hope they would last the winter. I wasn't able to purchase very many pansies, so my balcony only had a few. Once I began buying pansy seeds and growing them for the balcony, I was able to fill every available space on my balcony with pansies. The entire winter I had the most floriferous Texas balcony in the whole city! I spent a total of $10 dollars for 250 pansy plants!

Although pansies are outdoor plants, you can take the same idea for indoor plants, and between cuttings and seeds have more than enough of air-purifying plants for your home.





Plant Sales at Your Local Hardware Store

Big hardware stores, like Lowe's and Home Depot, often have HUMONGOUS indoor plant sales during the fall and winter. Many times these stores are trying to clear out plants to make room for the spring. Plants that I had looked at and wanted but couldn't afford suddenly became 50% percent cheaper when Lowe's had a greenhouse sale.

Here's the Catch!

Many times people miss the huge sales at these stores because employees don't do a very good job of advertising it. If you check carefully in and around the greenhouses at these stores, including the sliding doors, the sides of the walls, the sides of plants stands, etc you may find a small sign saying everything is 50% off! Who knew!



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    • profile image

      mario miguel 3 years ago

      how too prosses buying house

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Beautiful! You did a great job here:) Welcome to HP! I love African Violets and I have two that I have had for years now. I don't seem to have a very green thumb but I try - so far I swore no more plants until I could stop hurting them! lol The violets are hanging in though!