Nature’s Free Seedlings

When you think about adding to your garden, it’s natural to assume you’ll need to spend some money. I’m not talking about the vege garden this time, I mean your whole garden, trees, shrubs and all. People building houses from scratch often leave the landscaping until way after their house is completed as this part is usually such a drain on the budget.

If you visit a plant nursery it’s easy to see why the money adds up so quickly. Even if you find a low-cost $7 plant, if you need 20 of those it’s suddenly not so cheap. Now what if I told you there’s a free plant nursery right in your neighborhood? That’s right, and she’s called Mother Nature. Surprisingly (except not really), nature is managing to continue reproducing seedlings without human help.

They’re literally everywhere*, all you need to do is look!

*if they’re on private property or council land etc, you should definitely ask permission before taking them.

Here’s a perfect little camellia growing under the parent bush.

Free Seedlings
Camellia Seedling

Hebes spread super well. Look for a big hebe bush and there are bound to be seedlings underneath.

Hebe
Free Seedlings
Hebe Seedling

If you’re looking for big plants to take up some space, flax bushes are multiplying kings! One flax bush splits itself into loads of little ‘uns that you can (with some force) rip apart and re plant.

Free Seedlings
Multiple Flax from one Parent Flax

Just check that each new plant has some roots at the bottom. When replanting, cut all the established leaves down to about 15 cm high. This let’s the plant use it’s energy to establish new roots instead of directing it into the leaves.

Replanted Flax

When replanting any seedlings, it’s good idea to give their roots a soak in Seasol plant tonic first to avoid transplant shock. Use Tui Garden Mix when replanting and keep your seedlings well watered while new roots establish.

This post is focusing purely on replanting already rooted seedlings. There’s a whole other world of free plants out there when we head into the world of propagating- but that is a post for a different day!

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