How Thrifty People Fill Their Flower Gardens For Less Money


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April showers bring May flowers, but first you have to have flowering plants in your gardens.

How Thrifty People Fill Their Flower Gardens For Less Money.


Flower gardens can quickly get expensive unless you know of ways to cut costs. Over the years our thrifty family has found several ways to save money on flowers.

8 Ways Thrifty People Plant Thriving Flower Gardens

1. Ask for Cast-offs

Avid gardeners clean out their flower gardens every year–and they don’t just remove leaves and weeds. Most years, gardeners tear out plants that have overgrown their area of the garden and are threatening to take over. Most gardeners are more than happy to give these cast-offs away for free to other gardeners.

I had a friend who simply shared in a Facebook status how she desperately wanted some plants to fill in a new flower garden she was creating. She ended up with more than enough free cast-offs from local gardeners to fill her new garden. All she had to do was drive around town collecting her free plants.

2.Wait Until End of Season

Most of the perennial flowers that can be found in the flower gardens at my home were purchased for 50-75% off in end of season sales. In our area these sales take place in late September. I take the plants home and plant them right away and hope that they will put down good enough roots to last the winter.

So far I have done this with dozens of plants for a handful of homes and have only lost two plants (it might be more, but I can only remember losing two).

This tactic does mean you will have fairly empty flower gardens the first year you move somewhere, but it sure does save a significant amount of money.

How Thrifty People Fill Their Flower Gardens For Less Money.

3. Grow Mostly Perennials

Annual plants bloom for one season and then die, never to bloom again. Perennials bloom year after year and often grow to take over such a large area that you can then be the giver for the person using the first tip in this post.

Still, I do love a few annual flowers so I keep two flower boxes full on our front porch each year. I make my annual plants a mother’s day gift from the kids. It is a tradition for one or all of them to come to the flower garden store with me to pick them out every Mother’s Day weekend for the last several years.

All the other flowers in my yard are perennials. So think thrifty, make annuals your sprinkles, but perennials your icing.

4. Use Discount Gift Cards

I buy our annuals every year from a locally owned garden center so I can’t use this tip for them. However, the place where I buy our deeply discounted perennials each year is a chain hardware store, so I do save an additional 5-7% by purchasing a discounted gift card from Cardpool a week or two before I know the sale is going to happen. is a fairly new option on the discounted gift card market where you could also purchase a gift card at a discount.

How to fill your flower beds inexpensively.

5. Look in Unexpected Places

We have flowering trees in our yard that came from Aldi and I have also seen them carry bulbs for spring tulips and daffodils from time to time.

Aldi might not be the first place you think of buying flowers from, but they certainly are an inexpensive source of flowers when they carry them.

6. Shop Yard Sales

I held a yard sale with a friend who has an amazing green thumb one year and she did really well selling the plants she tore out of her garden the day before and placed in pots from the annuals she had just bought for her front porch flower pots.

I have also purchased flower garden accessories and tools at yard sales such as a rose trellis, a garden spade, and flower garden edging.

Flower beds for less!

7. Shop Local

Often local gardeners will band together and hold a local plant sale. Sometimes the money is given to charity. The plants are usually sold for inexpensive prices and since they all came from local gardens you know that they are flowers that do well in your climate.

Local garden centers are also great places to buy your annuals each spring as the plants generally have been started from seed in green houses in the garden center, meaning they have not been shipped miles and miles and therefore are generally hardier–at least that has been my experience.

My local garden center owners and their workers also provides me with much more help answering questions such as “what grows well in a shady area” or “what soil do I need” or “how often should I water?” The answers to these questions ensure my annuals will survive through the season, protecting my investment.

8. Think Long-term

In general, most of us live in our homes for several years and therefore we will have several seasons at least to work at our flower gardens.

If you think long-term, you can save money as you can leave your flower garden a bit sparse–allowing plants to fill out the spaces naturally. You can wait for end of season sales because you know you are going to be able to enjoy the blooms in following years. You can ask each year for cast offs and slowly fill your flower garden for free over the years.

These 8 tips will help you create a wonderful flower garden full of blooms without robbing your wallet.

Do you have any money saving tips for flower gardens? If so, I would love for you to add them in the comments below!

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  1. These are such great tips for getting low cost or free plants!

    I get plants is to start them from seed. Super cheap, or free if you save the seeds from plants you or a friend is already growing.

    Another way I have gotten really expensive plants for a few dollars is to visit the local garden center’s “dead pile” as my friend and I call it. They discount perennials that are on their way out, and with a little patience and TLC, these plants can be revived.

    Most of my perennials have come from me “shopping” my friend’s and family’s gardens! We all do it, so it’s expected to have someone drop by with a trowel and empty pots asking “What do you have that I can dig up?” I think the best one was when I got some iris from my aunt. She had originally gotten the plants from my mom, who had planted them in the garden at the house that I now own. The iris are cocoa brown, and not easy to find! Over the years, the plants that were in my yard disappeared, and it was so nice to get them back in the garden where they belonged.

    • Victoria says:

      I LOVE that you got the flowers that once grew in your yard back again! That is really neat. And thanks for the tip about the seeds.

  2. rose steffy says:

    here’s 1 important place you forgot. the woods. i have for yrs gotten daffodills from the woods and wild tulips and mint tea too. free to take.

  3. I used to work in the nursery of a chain hardware store and although its up to each store’s discretion, we would mark six packs of annuals as low as $0.25 because they had one dead flower and we couldn’t sell them. 5 cents a plant isn’t too bad compared to $3 a six pack normally. I can’t speak for other areas but in the North East the clearance racks are an awesome places to find discounted fruit bushes and greenery like arborvitae and tall grasses as well!

    • Victoria says:

      Thanks for the great tip! I haven’t seen them marked down that low where I am in Indiana that is an awesome deal!

  4. Autumn says:

    Organize a plant exchange. Everyone digs up their perennials that need dividing and bring as many as you like on the day of the exchange. You take home different plants from someone else’s garden. It’s lots of fun and it’s a great way to get a variety of plants.

  5. One thing that helps me is taking clippings and rooting them. I’ve great luck with sweet potato vine, coleus, and pink-polka dotted plants.

  6. Great tips! I use most of them but I learned a few things.
    I have good luck at Walmart in their clearance plant section. I look for perenials there. I saw tulips and daffodils in April (they were dead but the bulbs are still good! Leftover Easter plants). You are right about in September other perenials go on clearance. I’ve had good luck too.
    Also, I look at local dollar stores for seed packets. One dollar store owned by a local family in my area has seeds 6 for $1. I’m never too careful with seeds I get cheap- I plant them and figure whatever comes up does and I’ve had good luck. I get garden seeds (like peas and lettuce- I wouldn’t buy things like tomatoes from seed) and flower seeds.

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