Break out the garden gloves and get new (and free) plants in the process. Plant swaps parties are our favorite way to expand a garden (with the help of some friends, of course!).

By Jenny Krane
September 04, 2018

Maybe your houseplant collection is the envy of all your friends, or maybe you've been eyeing your neighbor's spider lily in their kitchen window. Free up a Saturday and invite your girlfriends over for some plant trading, snacks, and cocktails. Plant exchanges are the perfect way to try a new pre-loved houseplant. Who knows, you may find your new best (plant) friend!

What is a Plant Exchange?

You may have heard of cookie swaps or book swaps. Plant swaps are essentially the same idea—events where people can trade full plants, plant cuttings, or seeds. Go all out at your plant swapping party with botanical-themed gifts, games, and snacks or keep it simple—the choice is up to you.

If you'd like to join a plant swap, start on social media. Look for Facebook events hosted at local plant stores or try searching #PlantSwap on Instagram to find a plant exchange in your area. Local coffee shop bulletin boards may be a safe bet, too. If you're a plant swap newbie, try perusing PlantSwap.net for all the information you need to know about plant swaps.

Hostting a Plant Exchange

Whether you're inviting your best friends over for some weekend fun or looking to meet new people, plant swaps are the way to do it. While some plant swaps are strictly guests trading plants, others may use a bidding system. Some hosts may charge a few dollars per person to go toward snacks, supplies, or prizes for games. 

Some important materials to have on hand at your plant swap include plant tags, seed envelopes, small pots, and garden tools. If you don't have all these on hand, feel free to have guests bring the supplies, potluck-style. Get your hands dirty with old and new friends and learn about the latest addition to your plant collection—the goal is to make the transition into plant parenthood as enjoyable as possible!

Propagating Plants and Collecting Seeds

While some plant swaps are the exchange of full plants, others are more of a propagation party. Propagation is a free and easy way to share your plants at your plant swap—all you need is a pair of scissors. If you have a Tradescantia that is getting leggy, snip off the ends of the long stems and place them in water to root. Have hens and chicks overflowing with pups? Remove the small sprouts and replant them in their own pot.

Some swaps are strictly for plant cuttings and pups, and others are an exchange of seeds. If you're going the seed route, be sure to mark the seeds you're sharing so people know what they're taking home. The last thing your guests want is a mystery plant in their vegetable garden!

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