Tips for saving money on plants as suggested by the ThriftyFun community.
I use the fall to add any plants or shrubs when the nurseries are having 50-75% off. Last year I wanted to add a Magnolia tree to my yard and normally they are expensive but I went in September and bought one for half the cost. The person at the nursery told me it is fine to plant, you just put in ground but don't fertilize to promote new growth. My tree came back beautifully in the spring. Our nursery also guarantees all their plants for a year no matter what time of year you plant. I went this weekend and bought several plants and shrubs all for half off.
The best ways I know of to save money on plants is to save your own seed and to spend wisely when buying plants. I spend good money on fruit trees, they are a wonderful investment. It is worth saving seed from vegetables to re-use. Why buy new seed when your plants will make it for you?
I save parsnip seeds and sprinkle it around, also turnip, radish, carrot, lettuce and rocket. I also keep broad bean, scarlet runner beans, green beans, pumpkin, cucumber. In fact, now that I think about it, the only seed I need to buy is corn, I do like the flavor of hybrid corn best and if I run out of seedd or forget to save it. I need to get more Turks turban pumpkin as I didn't plant it last year.
I love finding little surprises all over the place, like lettuces growing in between the pavers on the back veranda and parsnips down the driveway. If you throw around enough seed you will rarely have to buy seed, or plant it. I grow wallflowers and let them seed, also sweet peas, nasturtiums, cornflowers, and foxgloves. That's about all the flowers I have, just because I mostly love vegetables and they also have magnificent flowers. The carrot flower is spectacular.
The other way to save money is to take cuttings. I have successfully planted lavender, rosemary, thyme and geranium cuttings. Every now and then I have a success with daphne. I take cuttings from cape gooseberries, runners from strawberries and pepino cuttings, also raspberry and loganberry as well as globe artichoke starter plants.
If you know someone who is successful with taking cuttings it will be much cheaper. I think it is a great idea to swap too. If I have an excess of anything I will offer it to someone in exchange for their excess. It makes it OK to ask for someone else's excess if you have something to offer. It will save you an unbelievable amount of money. This year I have swapped dried tomatoes and zucchini for day old bread, potatoes for chestnuts, pepino cuttings for horse manure, potatoes for grape cuttings, broad beans for fresh fish, potatoes for plums and music for wine. It's very addictive, this bartering thing and will save you heaps. Good luck!
My mother used to pocket handfuls of deadheaded flowers, seed pods and cuttings from any yard or park she would visit. She then would scatter them in her yard and wait to see what would happen.
You can get little plants at the 99 cent store! Good for inside and out in our climate. The 99 cent store occasionally has bare root roses, which my old landlord used to plant a rose garden around the front wall.
I throw out tomato seeds into the garden and they make beautiful plants and produce all of our tomatoes. It is a cheap and inexpensive way to grow tomatoes. I also plant pinto beans for they grow like crazy. Hope this helps!
By Robyn Fed
We live in Zone 4, it gets well below zero. I buy and plant geraniums and pull them up in the fall. I store them in large cardboard boxes in the basement. Do not water, I leave them alone until early February . I take them outside on a mild day and clean off all the dead stuff then cut them back to about 1 inch. I dip the roots in a pail of water to soak them up, then re-pot them in gallon tin cans, with drain holes, and set the cans in something to catch the water. Give them a window and water and replant them outside in May. They get bigger every year and I get lots of compliments on them. Best of all, they are free! Seed geraniums do not work for me, only Zonal, so they cost a little more in the beginning but look what you get. I've been doing this for 10 to 12 years.
Save your poinsettia plants after the holiday season. They are native to Mexico and can be replanted outside to eventually form a bush, or for greenery inside. We have nice non-hot house blooms on a poinsettia in the front piece of garden. Not as flashy as the forced blooms, but quite nice in their own way.
Contact your neighbors and share extra garden plants with them. How many times have we all weeded our gardens and have thrown out numerous plants.
I was recently looking for prices on dogwoods and came across the Arbor Day Foundation. They have very reasonable prices on trees and will make sure they are suitable for your region. Best of all, if you become a member (I think it is $10), they will send you 10 trees for free. I know that there was a flowering tree package with dogwoods and other pretty trees.
I have nursed plants back to health that I have found discarded by gardeners, you can also try discard piles of nurseries. There just was a documentary on Sundance TV about a man who made his garden bloom with discards.
You can also get cuttings. Any kind of succulent will root from a simple cutting. So you can trim a jade plant from your garden (or a friend's) and then just stick in the ground to root! Spider plants are also extremely easy to propagate as you can root the little "baby" spider plants in pots or in the ground, both inside and out (I am in balmy Southern California).
I have also gotten cuttings from geranium plants which flourish here. I also read about the fabled old Afro-American sisters who put the ends of all their cut flowers into the garden - as some of the seeds actually took. An interesting idea.
There are also plants like mint which are very invasive, so you can take cuttings from when they are trimmed.
For indoor green plants, like Golden Pothos, sometimes you have to clip them, as the stems may get too long. Use these stems (with leaves still attached) and place in a clear container with water or plant directly into a pot with pot soil. Over time, the clipping will grow new roots and create a new plant! I have 5 beautiful Golden Pothos plants in my home that started from just one.
If you have any more ideas to share, feel free to post them below.
I posted a notice in my apartment building that I was seeking residents' plants that were near death. I told them that it was an assignment I was trying to fulfill to attempt to bring these plants back to life, [NO LIES here - it was my personal assignment - if they wanted to read into it that it was a college class - that's for them to do]. I gave them my apartment # and the next day the plant ER came alive right in front of my door and down the hall! I was able to save 85% of them. Unless a person placed a note that they'd like the plant back if I was able to redeem it, I didn't know WHERE they came from so they were mine!! After bringing many back to life, I gladly donated some to the lobby area [I water them] and everyone can enjoy the cleaner air, the excitement of seeing something living in the middle of January and the beauty of decorating with plants. (03/14/2009)
Some seeds are really easy to grow, just make sure you water them daily. You can plant them outside when the weather is right.
Flowers: daisy family, spiderwort, daylily, iris, yarrow, mints (spreads rapidly!), 4 o'clock (japonica?).
Veggies: cilantro (used in salsa, the seed is called coriander), chives, onions, garlic, leek, beans, peas, basil, squash, cuke, zucchini.
I just tossed a packet of daisy seeds on top of wood chips, and they grew great! I just kept them watered.
I have also gotten native wild pea (unedible but I like the flowers) seeds from empty lots. Pick the pods that are plump and brown. These plants are used to the hot dry summers in my area (Michigan), unlike most other pea plants, which are cool weather plants. I'll be planting those this spring.
If you look hard you can get other seeds from empty lots like: butterfly weed (not butterfly bush), yucca, daylily. These are a few I've seen in my area.
Ask at your local supermarket for the tulips and other Easter plants that have gone by,and if they will discount some. The bulbs can be planted and will bloom next year. Sometimes the store will give them to you rather than throw them in the dumpster. (03/18/2009)
Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!