Gardening can get expensive. I think that the easiest way to garden on a budget is to first have patience.
Gain a collection of plants that are simple propagators; for example Sedum. You can break a piece of this off of the mother plant and just plunge it into the ground and it will stay green and thrive, and the following year will bring you a hardy new plant with multiple stalks to fill out more and more with each year.
I also like to buy hardy plants that can be safely split, like day-lilies already bloomed (these often get discounted after the flowers are gone so if you don't mind guessing the color) Take it home and slice it in half and plant it you will have two fuller plants the following year, and it may re-bloom late summer.
Forsythia will bud roots in water in a few weeks so take your neighbors clippings that they have to take off and sprout the roots and replant! Also if you take clippings in the house in winter you will force bloom them and they will be that beautiful spring yellow early. It brightens the wintry day.
Rose of Sharon produces tons of offshoots. Ask others for some and they will grow like crazy up to 6 feet in poor soil.
You can buy one marigold flower plant and as the heads die and dry pull them off, roll it in your hands these are the seeds and they are very hardy, spread them where you need low lying flowers they will sprout the same year and probably next year too, and since its seeds the color may be different and unpredictable, and dead heading the plant will help more flower heads to come.
If you have the patience, seed saving can be very fun. Seeing something come up that you dropped seeds for is amazingly gratifying. You could find info about where to find the seeds of a plant by googling "where are the seeds on (flower name)" some may not have viable seeds but if they do not, then you could propagate by clippings or by root cuttings.
Last but never least are bulbs; they are beautiful, they are typically cheap, you get multiple bulbs that will create multiple plants for a small price. There are bulbs for each season so you can plan out something new coming up all year long. If you wait until just before the season for planting (Spring and Fall) you can get these at a discount at the home stores. As long as they are not so dry they break in your hand, they are still good. They should also not have an odor, take these home and get them in the ground immediately and next year you will have new colorful flowers. Don't forget to look for the word perennial here so you do not have to buy every year.
Basically you can save a lot of money by asking for clippings, buds, or seeds from friends and family or by purchasing one plant and having some patience if possible.
By Gina from Collegeville PA
Thanks for all the great ideas! My hubby is an edible plant nut. He grows lemons, tangerines, and any seeds he comes across. Avocado and peach pits, mangoes and he even started a banana from seed!!! I can't help but laugh when we go to a restaurant, I order ice water with lemon and he wraps the tiny seeds in a napkin and brings them home to plant! He just started some roses and happily showed me 17 plants sprouting. I am so proud. lol
Thanks so much for the info on forsythias. I do a lot of flower gardening indoors and out. Cher
Thanks for sharing. My yard is so large that I need all the plants that I can get.
What other plants can you break off and just plant? I have tried finding a list and I can't. I am a new gardener and I need all the help I can get : ) Thank you
ALL sedums propagate very easily. So do mums, Asiatic lilies, Oriental lilies, irises, tulips. alliums, or any bulbs, corms, and tubers. Creeping plants such as Wooley Tyme, Creeping Jenny (Moneywort) and Periwinkle will root anywhere they touch soil. If you live in a climate that is warm year round, many "house" plants will easily self propagate, such as Spider plants, Diffenbachia and other "canes", and Ivies. The possibilities are endless. Of course, there are seeds, root division, and in the case if woody plants such as shrubs and vines, including climbing roses, if you cut an angled slice into a long stem, use a toothpick to keep the slice open, then either bend the stem down and pen it to the soil with a stake, or pack some moist soil around the stemand cover it with plastic wrap, the stem will sprout roots at the open cut.
Then you can sever the rooted part of the stem and plant it in it's own spot. With some plants you can put cutting in water to sprout new roots. This is easy to do with plants such as Coleus and many other annuals. But they seed easily, too. I have created a jungle in a very tiny RV space in our Mobile Home Park, as well as shared with many neighbors. I really enjoy the whole process and hope everyone who posts here will too.
And to katklaw777. Has your husband ever tried to grow his own garlic and chives. If so, you must get him to try GARLIC CHIVES! It is delicious on baked potatoes, salads, in soups, etc, etc! And boy! Does it propagate itself! Not to mention , the blooms are very pretty and attract many pollinators.
Give it a try. Pat T in Nevada
Hydrangeas do very well with cuttings. I had started them with great success at my old house but I need to do that here.
Don't forget to check Craigs list. I have posted free volunteer flowers for 2 years now. My flowers keep spreading.
Maybe it is an old wives tale or a superstition - but I always heard never "ask" for a plant - wait til your friend/relative offers it to you! If you ask for a cutting, plant, seeds, they are not supposed to thrive.
One side benefit is that you make friends with like-minded gardeners. You are a lady after my own heart!
Cleome (spider plant) is another plant that is like a week. It produces an abundance of gorgeous flowers year after year - very tall plant to a good background for your smaller summer plants. It is hardy in almost any soil and will grow in direct sun, partial shade or? If you let the seeds fall and do not collect them from the flower in the fall, you will get re-seeding and can then transplant the abundance of seedlings. Most will survive if you take a root ball with the seedlings. You can separate out the white flowers from the pink and other colors and they make a great statement in a night garden.
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