Prepping for a Plant Swap

A few years back I attended my first plant swap. It was a small one with a only a handful of people, but it was an INSTANT HIT for me. I was completely hooked.  I now I wish I had started attending them earlier in life. I've missed so much!

I do remember trying to prepare for my first plant swap and how nervous I was because I was clueless on what to do.  Questions flooded my mind like, "What do I bring?" "How do I package things like seeds, plants cuttings etc.?" "What is the trading etiquette?" and on and on. It was a bit scary trying figure it all out. But, once I got the hang of it though it was easy-street all the way.

This week I'm in the process of preparing for my next official plant swap this coming weekend. Yippee! After a looking through my garden and seeing what I can divide, I determined that the artemisia, red castor bean and violets are what I will trade. I like going ahead and potting them up and tagging them for trading. It makes it easy AND the plants get a day or two to perk back up from the transplant.

Plants for the upcoming plant swap
To give you an idea of how to prepare here is a quick list:
  1. If you have seeds to share - divide into envelopes and label them 
  2. Small plants are best if potted and labeled (keyword LABELED)
  3. Large plants like cannas, work better if dug at the last minute before the swap - bring them in a big bucket of water. High water need plants are good this way.
  4. If you have irises and bulbs, they can be laid out on the ground on cardboard or in boxes. No water needed
  5. When in doubt, I pot the plants up or put them in water. Wilted plants are not good.
  6. Again, labeling is the key no matter what you bring.

Recycled pots and popsicle sticks make it easy

Once you get there, depending on how the swap goes, set up up your station (if there is one) with your plants. Trading almost immediately starts and you just have to jump in and start gathering from station to station.

This is what I like to bring with me for gathering:
  1. Plant flats for the back of your car
  2. Plastic bags
  3. Large bucket(s)
  4. Ideally a small wagon or basket to transport plants to the car
  5. Small notebook - write down names of plants if not labeled (trust me, trying to remember all of the names of each plant is difficult. I then can look up the profile and care for that plant when I get home)
  6. Any type of covering for your car floor where plants will be carried is good
Remember, it goes really fast... like within minutes. Be courteous, feel free to ask questions and move fast. 

Once home, be prepared for lots of planting!
Here is an example of what I've brought home in the past:   Fun At The Plant Swap 


  1. I've never been to a plant swap, but you've inspired me. I've got a Cuban oregano that's running rampant; I should think about getting some plants started!

  2. must be peaking through my computer as I'm preparing for an upcoming plant swap. I've only been to one plant swap and it was a lot of fun and the hostess had some stunning flower and veggie gardens.

    You've provided some details that I'd never thought about. One is the bags under the pots so you don't get any soil leaking or water leaking out in your car. I had started my own list to myself this morning. You gave me more ideas..Thanks for sharing. I started preparing on Saturday morning before Irene appeared and next year, I will start a month earlier so the transplanted plants can get a good start and look good for the swap. Have two that I dug up and transplanted that I'm thinking they have transplant shock. Today I put them in the only shady spot I have, under a dogwood tree and under the eave of the house, back by A/C unit.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...