Houseplant Buying Guide: Cheap Edition
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Being a plant person doesn't have to be expensive! Let's eliminate the boujee plant jungle stereotypes and discover what makes plant parenting fun, easy, and affordable.
We have all seen the lush gardens and houseplant jungles that flood Instagram and TikTok. I want to break that intimidation factor and say hey you got this! I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be intimidating or intense if you don't want it. Remember it's your plant jungle.
Starting an indoor plant jungle does not have to be expensive and it does not have to be complicated. The deals and freebies are right under your nose you just don't know it yet!
You're probably asking okay Sav whatever you say now show me how you do it! Alrighty then let's get into the nitty-gritty. We are going to be talking about how to get your plant jungle off the ground by spending as little money as possible.
Where To Find Cheap and Sometimes Free Plants!
Finding affordable, yet trendy houseplants can be super simple if you know where to look. I am not lying when I say this if you are paying $25 for a small cutting of Monstera Deliciosa off Facebook Marketplace...they are ripping you off! You can find plenty of rare and beautiful plants at little to no cost! Plus you'll have fun origin stories for your plants.
I'm sure y'all have been in one and have seen the flower or plant section. Grocery Stores have the jackpot and they don't even know it. That's the key part - grocery stores usually don't know that they have gold. When I say gold I mean it! I have seen huge Monstera Deliciosa plants for $20 at local food stores before.
So why would you pay more for a small cutting when you can just take the whole damn plant!
Another reason why I love grocery stores for plant shopping is they give big discounts for plants that are wilting or "dying". A lot of times these are succulents that are not being cared for at the store so eventually, they look kinda ugly! The store will have a harder time selling these "unwanted" or "ugly" plants so they will price them super low to try to get rid of them. This is where you come in! You, the smart plant person that you are, can come and take those "ugly" plants off their hands at little to no cost.
I also suggest pointing out the flaws on the plant to the clerk to try to get a lower price or even a free plant out of it. Trust me it doesn't hurt to ask!
Then you can take that wilting plant home and give it the love and care that it needs. Watch it come back to life before your eyes!
Chain Garden Centers
A lot of people get their plants from large garden centers like Home Depot and Lowes. I found these garden centers to overcharge on certain plants. To counteract that I scrounge the store to find the dying plants or cuttings that have fallen off. You can also find heavily discounted plants that just need some love and care to come back to life!
Most of these garden centers supply hundreds of plants and some of those house plants never find a home. No matter how great of caretakers the employees are plants are going to outgrow their pots, not get enough attention, and or eventually die there. Usually, in the outdoor plant area, there will be a heavily discounted rack of dying plants. If you know what you are doing you can get a really cheap or even free plant and all you have to do it bring it back to life - that's the fun part.
These garden centers also have plenty of succulent or cacti leaves and cuttings that have fallen off of their mother plants. If given proper care they will grow a new plant. Bring the cutting up to the register and ask "How much is this?" and show them your findings. They will probably look at you like you are absolutely insane, BUT they don't know the treasure you hold in your hands so they let you have it for free. Take home your lil plant treasure and watch it grow roots and new leaves.
You just found and made yourself a free plant buddy.
Plant Trades and Swaps
A great way to connect with your plant community and get some new greenery in your life is through plant trades or swaps! Facebook has hundreds of plant trade groups ranging from cities to the whole United States. Group patrons will post cuttings or plants they are looking to trade or get rid of for free. If you are interested you can swap a plant you currently own or cuttings for theirs. Plant trade groups also share a lot of wonderful information for new plant parents. One of my favorite plant groups is Plant Purge USA. Join in and maybe we could trade some plants with each other!
Ask For Cuttings
Sometimes the cheapest plants are right there in front of you! Does your mom, neighbor, friend, or colleague have a plant you are completely jonesin' over? Well, ask them if you could have a cutting from their plant! They will probably be flattered and want to share their plants with you.
Some people don't like to trim their plants or just don't know the benefits. Explain to them that pruning house plants promotes new growth and the cutting that was trimmed can be used to make a new plant through propagation! This is a great opportunity to share some knowledge and compliment a fellow plant person's jungle!
Be on The Lookout for Freebies
People leave plants on the side of the road or behind buildings all the time. Businesses put dying plants by dumpsters, big box stores throw away truckloads full of plants when they don't sell them, and even community gardens need to get rid of plants during certain seasons. You get a free plant(s) and your new plant baby will see you as a hero!
Be sure to check these plants for pests and other issues before bringing them into your home. I suggest quarantining the new houseplant you found until you think they are good to mingle with your other plant babies.
If you know where to look building your plant jungle can be affordable and fun! You will have a sense of pride from growing something from nothing or bringing back a dying plant.
Now get out there and save some money and plants!!