Tips and advice for saving money on houseplants shared by the ThriftyFun community.
Cuttings are an easy way to save money. I plant the clipped pieces directly in soil, then water really frequently every 3-4 days for about 3 weeks. The plants are kept in a south window in my classroom, which adds atmosphere, plus ideal growing light.
People love to receive a flourishing plant as a gift. I've even given cuttings of bamboo to those who don't have classrooms with a natural light source.
My favorite way to save on houseplants is to develop friendships with people who have plants I want! :-) Actually, I use clippings from my own plants and do sometimes get clippings from friends. I also buy "distressed" plants at stores where people don't seem to know how to care for them. I bought 3 African Violets this spring that were almost gone. I've fed, watered, and cared for them and they are blooming their little hearts out right now! I had no idea what colors they were but they're all a deep purple, my favorite!
I live in Florida, down on the southwest gulf coast, so my houseplants live outside almost year 'round. My spider plant, Christmas cactus, Moses in the cradle, pregnant onion (also known as sea onion) have all made seeds. I plant the seeds in newspaper pots inserted into plastic bags for humidity. When the seeds have sprouted and are a good size, I give the plant away. I have also shared and swapped seeds.
I see a lot of houseplants at yard sales, especially if it is a moving or estate sale. This is also a good resource for pots and other houseplant supplies.
"Lovethosehounds" mentioned 'newspaper pots'. What exactly are they?
I call my local funeral directors and ask if there are any plants left over from a funeral. People send alot of dish gardens for funeral viewings and alot of the families are small or they just don't want the plants. Some of these dish gardens and peace plants are just beautiful and I know they cost alot of money, so I give them a home.
You might want to join Freecycle in your local area. Sometimes I see people giving away cuttings or plants. Or you can post a request on Freecycle to ask for plants or cuttings, etc.
By far the best and cheapest way to save on plants that I've found is to have a circle of friends you can all "swap" cuttings, seeds, etc. with. Over the years, I've given and gained such a great variety of outdoor/indoor plants this way. Plus, since we all live in the same general geographical area, we share all our best growing "how to's" & "not to's" for the 'new' plants. One girlfriend and I alone, have shared Canna, Iris, Freesia, Rubber, Japanese Maple, Gardenia, Spider, Rosemary, Lemon Thyme, Lavender, Orchid Cactus, Christmas & Easter Cactus plants, bulbs, tubors, trees & herbs. We both just LUV our gardens!
I use equal parts of peat moss and perlite which makes wonderful soil mix for house plants. Un of Calif at Davis recommended this mix 30 years years ago. It's clean, easy to mix and plants love it. You can buy bale of peat moss and a bag of perlite for about $17 each at any Home Depot store. It will last you for several years depending upon your planting. It is sterile (no diseases), light weight. Mix in a plastic tub ratio 1 to 1 and store it dry. When ready to use, just put the mix into your container and add water and any kind of house plant fertilizer. The perlite lets plant roots have oxygen and the peat maintains moisture and adds a little acid to the planting mix. I've been using it for twenty five years and the results have always been excellent. Also it is a clean mix to work with--no dirty hands after wards--just use a dry, clean rag for cleaning your hands.
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