Top Tips for Buying Plants on a Budget

This guide will take you through some handy steps to save money when you buy new plants.

A wooden garden table with potted plants and gardening gloves
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Whether you’re shopping for some new houseplants or garden plants, it’s pretty easy to splurge. That’s why I’ve compiled these top tips for buying plants on a budget so you can save some cash. 

Plan ahead

A notepad with a lavender flower on one of the pages

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It’s so tempting to buy loads of plants when you’re at a garden centre or homeware store as they look lovely on display. This makes it really hard to restrain yourself from picking them all up! That’s why it’s a good idea to have a clear plan before you go shopping. Get your notepad ready and write a list of what you want and make sure you stick to it. It’s a good idea to work out how much space you have and what types of plants you’d like to fill that space, and it’s also worth setting a budget to make sure you don’t overspend. 

If you’d like to find out about some of the cheapest houseplants and cheapest garden plants we’ve covered that already to help you choose some of the most budget-friendly options.

Start small

A vibrant green leaved plant in a cream plant pot

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There’s no need to rush when buying plants, you can just buy one or two each shopping trip and keep adding to your collection over time - it’s a great way to spread the cost. If you’re new to gardening, it’s especially important to take your time when buying plants as you need to work out whether you actually like gardening and it’s something you’d like to do lots of or if you’d rather have fewer plants that are low-maintenance and don’t require much work. What’s nice about building up a collection over time is that you really appreciate each plant that you buy!

Buy plants that are multipurpose

A herb garden with rosemary, mint, basil and parsley

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It’s nice to have lots of pretty plants around the home and garden, but why not pick some plants that have other uses? Growing your own herb garden, planting some fruit trees and growing your own fruit and vegetables can really save you money over time as it means you don’t need to buy so much when you do your grocery shopping. 

As well as growing your own produce, there are other handy plants you can buy. For example, aloe vera gel can be used for skin care and dried lavender can make scented oils, lotions and scented drawer sachets.

Buy evergreen and perennial plants

A garden full of evergreen shrubs

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Even though there are some absolutely gorgeous annual plants, they die out after only one growing season, so if you want them each year, you have to rebuy them. If you want to get the best value for money, invest in some evergreen and perennial plants as they’ll either stand loud and proud in your garden all year round or will return each year during their flowering season. There are so many varieties of evergreen and perennial plants that you’ll find plenty of options to fill the space. 

Purchase seeds

Plant pots with seeds growing

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Buying packets of seeds is a really cheap way to get plants, although it does require a bit of extra work to take care of them. However, it can be really satisfying to watch your seeds grow into full-grown plants! A great benefit of seed packets (as well as them being super cheap) is that you don’t need to plant all the seeds in one go, you can store them up and use them at a later date. 

Choose plants that are easy to propagate

Rosemary growing in pots

(Image credit: Getty)

Want great value for money? Buy plants that are easy to propagate and plants that you can collect the seeds from. This will result in you getting loads of plants over the years just from one parent plant. Jacobs ladder, lavender, rosemary and spider plants are just some examples that are of great value in this regard. Even if you end up getting more plants than you want or have room for, plants make excellent presents so you can always give away any spares you have to fellow plant lovers. 

Make price comparisons

A laptop on a table with a coffee mug and mobile phone also on the table

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It’s well worth doing a bit of research before purchasing your plants as prices can vary greatly. If you’re shopping online, these retailers often have excellent discount codes and sales to help you save some money: 

For garden plants:

For houseplants: 

Buy out of season

A garden centre with rows of plants

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According to our best time to buy calendar, August is the cheapest time of year to buy gardening items as this is when garden stores are trying to clear their stock for winter. With this in mind, it’s a great time to check out your local garden nurseries or your favourite online gardening stores to snap up some great deals. 

Choose plants that don’t require additional costs

A row of houseplants on a windowsill

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Some plants can be hard work, and require additional costs after you’ve bought them. For example, some need to be repotted regularly if they grow quickly which would require you to buy a lot of plant pots (and these aren’t always cheap!) and some plants will need specific plant food which can be costly over time, or lots of water which will add to the cost of your water bills. However, with a bit of research, you’ll find that there are loads of very low-maintenance plants out there that can pretty much be left alone and don’t require costly extras. 

Chat with local gardeners

An allotment with the sign 'Community Garden'

(Image credit: Getty)

It’s worth chatting with some of the keen gardeners that you know who might have some spare seeds, plants or gardening equipment they can give you as well as advice on how to care for them. If you live near an allotment, this is a great way to meet new people who are passionate about gardening, and are more than likely happy to help any new gardeners! 

Emma Webber

Hi, I'm Emma! I've been working at MyVoucherCodes since January 2022. Before joining the MyVoucherCodes team, I had already been working in the savings industry for a good few years so I have a lot of knowledge on how to be a savvy shopper, and I love sharing my top money-saving tips. 

In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and being out in the countryside, dancing my heart out at festivals, painting, gardening and running. I also adore animals and since 2021, I've been a Website Editor and Social Media volunteer for a cat charity, writing about cats that are ready for adoption, happy rehoming stories and fundraising events.