How to Get Free Plants and Seeds: A Gardener’s Guide

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Gardening can be an expensive hobby, especially when you’re starting out. Fortunately, there are many ways to get free plants and seeds for your garden. Whether you’re working with a tight budget or looking to expand your plant collection, this guide will help you find free plants and seeds in your community.

Swap Plants and Seeds with Other Gardeners

One of the easiest ways to get free plants and seeds is by swapping them with other gardeners. You can start by reaching out to friends, family, and neighbors who share your love for gardening. You can also join local gardening groups or clubs, where you’ll meet other gardeners who are often happy to share their plants and seeds.

Online Plant and Seed Swaps

There are also many online platforms that allow you to swap plants and seeds with gardeners from all over the world. Some popular online swap sites include:

  • Seed Savers Exchange
  • Garden Web
  • The Free Seed Exchange
  • Plant Swap

Local Plant and Seed Swaps

In addition to online swaps, many communities also host local plant and seed swaps. Check with your local garden center, botanical garden, or gardening club to see if there are any swaps in your area. These events are a great way to meet other gardeners, learn about new plants, and bring home some free plants and seeds.

Look for Free Seed Offers

Many seed companies offer free seed sample packets that you can request online or by mail. All you need to do is sign up for the company’s mailing list, and they’ll send you a packet of seeds for free. While the packets are usually small, they can be a great way to try out new varieties without spending any money.

Some popular seed companies that offer free sample packets include:

  • Burpee
  • Johnny’s Selected Seeds
  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
  • Park Seed

Join Freecycle and Craigslist

Freecycle and Craigslist are online communities where people give away items they no longer need for free. While these websites are not specifically for gardeners, they can be a treasure trove of free plants and seeds. Check the “free” or “garden” sections regularly to see if anyone is giving away plants or seeds.

Visit Local Botanical Gardens and Arboretums

Many botanical gardens and arboretums offer free plants and seeds throughout the year. Some even offer seed exchanges or plant giveaways during special events. Check with your local botanical garden or arboretum to see what freebies they offer.


Getting free plants and seeds is a great way to build your garden without breaking the bank. Whether you swap plants with other gardeners, look for free seed offers, or visit local botanical gardens and arboretums, there are many ways to get free plants and seeds in your community.

FAQs About How to Get Free Plants and Seeds

Can I really get free plants and seeds?

Yes! There are many ways to get free plants and seeds, including swapping with other gardeners, looking for free seed offers, and visiting local botanical gardens and arboretums.

Is it safe to get free plants and seeds from other gardeners?

It’s generally safe to swap plants and seeds with other gardeners, but it’s important to inspect the plants for pests and diseases before bringing them home. For seed swapping, make sure you’re only swapping with reputable sources to avoid getting invasive or contaminated seeds.

What are some other ways to save money on gardening?

In addition to getting free plants and seeds, you can save money on gardening by starting seeds indoors, using compost instead of fertilizer, and shopping for plants at the end of the season when they’re discounted. You can also consider sharing tools and supplies with fellow gardeners to save money.


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