During these difficult times, bringing your community together is more important than ever. If you love all things plants, reconnect with others and host a free neighborhood plant exchange swap — sharing is caring!
Plant swaps are a rewarding method of promoting inclusivity within your neighborhood and allow you to share the love of plants with other green thumbs. A neighborhood plant swap can be anything from a small gathering in your backyard to leaving some flowers, seeds, or plants by your neighbor’s door.
Read more to explore plant swap best practices and ideas to host the perfect neighborhood plant swap of your own!
Four Benefits of a Plant Swap
There are many benefits to hosting a plant swap, such as helping the environment, learning more about gardening techniques, and most importantly connecting with others.
A plant swap isn’t just about growing plants, it’s about growing a community as well. Here are the top four reasons you should plan a plant swap of your own:
1. Learn From Other Green Thumbs
Aside from the obvious benefits of taking home a new plant baby, plant swaps can help you learn more about organic urban gardening and techniques from fellow green thumbs. Not only will you swap plants, but you’ll trade information about how to take care of your plant, what plants grow well in your area, and other cool tips and tricks they may know.
2. Encourages Wellness
Plant swaps can help encourage wellness for a community and the planet. No matter how small your space is, the simple act of gardening or adding a plant to your home can do so much for the environment. For example, planting more flowers can encourage bee pollination. Also, adding air-purifying plants to your home can improve the quality of the air you breathe and can boost your mood by reducing stress and improving productivity.
3. Promotes Inclusivity
An event such as a plant swap is a great chance to bring together the community, get to know your neighbors, share ideas, and bounce projects off one another.
4. Opportunity for a New Tradition
Perhaps your first plant swap is a huge success and it becomes a tradition within your neighborhood! Having a tradition like this can help create a sense of comfort and belonging within your community, especially in uncertain times.
With these benefits in mind, here are some tips to help you get started planning your first plant swap.
Tips for a Successful Plant Swap
To host a successful plant swap in your neighborhood, there are a few things you need to consider as you plan.
Reach Out to Your Neighbors
This step is important to gather interest from your community and seek out other plant lovers who may want to join your swap. To get the word out, try posting in a community newsletter or social media page if you have one or leave flyers at their doors!
Everyone has something they can contribute, so be sure to include others in the planning for more ideas and suggestions to make planning easier.
Plan the Specifics
Once you get a feel for what kind of swap your neighborhood will be interested in, start planning out the details. Whether you want to host a virtual plant swap or a small get together over dinner, you’ll want to make sure the location, date, and time are set!
Then, you’ll want to set some guidelines so those attending your neighborhood plant swap are on the same page. Here’s a simple set of guidelines:
Everyone must have at least one plant or seed packet to trade.
All swapped items must be labeled with the type of plant and care instructions.
Swapping plants must be pest-free and healthy.
These guidelines are perfect for any type of swap and will ensure the event will run smoothly and fairly.
Best Types of Plants to Swap
Popular houseplants for a swap include jade, spider plants, pothos, succulents, and dracaena stalks. However, picking the type of plant will also depend on the time of year you plan to host your swap.
Plants come in many shapes and sizes, so encourage many different types like cuttings, also known as “starts” and baby plants “pups”. Keep in mind these plants can either be potted or bare-root. Trading seed packets also puts a unique spin on your swap since your neighbor can grow their plant themselves!
Prepare to Share
Now that the details are confirmed, prepare to share! If you’re hosting the plant swap at your house, make sure you have enough table space for the plants the guests will be bringing. If this is an event where not everyone knows each other, name tags and markers will be helpful to get to learn each other’s names.
Printable Plant Care Tags
An essential for all plant swaps to have are plant care tags. These let the recipient know what type of plant they’re taking home and how to care for it. Print out these fill-in-the-blank plant care tags for the final touch of your neighborhood plant swap event.
Plant Swap Ideas
Now that you know the basics of organizing a plant swap, you can have fun with trading plants with those in your neighborhood. Here are some of our favorite ideas of how you can get creative:
Host a Plant Swap Dinner Party
Keep your event indoors with a dinner party. Invite a small group of plant-loving friends together or a few people from your neighborhood. Have an extra table set up where your guests can place the plants or seeds that they bring. Set your dinner table up with some name cards if you have newer guests and trade plants over a nice home-cooked meal!
Backyard Plant Swap
Take your plant swap outdoors this summer with a small garden party. Get your green-thumbed neighbors together to trade plants, swap tips, and enjoy a snack or two. You can even set up your space like a mini nursery for your guests to enjoy.
Book Exchange Style Plant Swap
Just like you would for a book exchange, set up a box or structure outside where you can leave a plant and take a plant. This is a great way to bring the neighborhood together through sharing. Consider leaving smaller plants such as succulents in your box since these usually require less water and sunlight and can stay outside for a longer period of time!
Virtual Plant Swap
If you want to mix things up, arrange a virtual plant swap! Set up a group on social media or other platforms and invite your friends and neighbors to post pictures of plants that they have to swap. Once everyone has chosen their plant, they can leave them at the recipient’s doorstep for a fun surprise!