St. Louis-area plant swaps on Facebook (2024)


St. Louis-area plant swaps on Facebook (1)

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As her collection of prolific perennials seeded and spread, Jana Goeke shared extra plants with friends and family before deciding to offer them to users of Craigslist. That was a dozen years ago. Since then, she’s found a better fit with the Kirkwood Area Swap & Sell Facebook Facebook group, where members live near her own home in Des Peres and group moderators are able to weed out people who don’t follow the guidelines set up by the online community.

“Gardening is my therapy. I think for a lot of people, it’s both a hobby and therapy, so it makes me happy that I can provide healthy plants that do well,” she says. Every year, says Goeke, she offers somewhere between six and seven different types of perennials to members of the group.

We gathered a sampling of similar Facebook groups whose users will sometimes sell plants but more often will offer them for free, along with advice and camaraderie. If you don’t see a group that fits your geography or gardening speciality, search “plant swaps near me” on Facebook or consider starting your own online community.

St. Louis-area plant swaps on Facebook (2)

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Webster Plant Swap & Help

This is a members-only group for residents of the Webster Groves School District. Members receive offers of free plants and advice. Plant sales and other promotional posts aren’t permitted on the site and members typically arrange their own swaps.

South St. Louis House Plant Lovers

This members-only group is for residents of South St. Louis city neighborhoods, including Benton Park and Tower Grove, and specializes in house plants. Participants post photos, offer and receive advice. The group is for people who want to both give away or sell plants.

Kirkwood Plant Swap

Both indoor and outdoor plants are featured in this Facebook group for residents of Kirkwood and other nearby suburbs. Plant lovers must be members to swap, give away or pick up plants. Porch pickups are typically arranged. “However, some plants are best dug up fresh when a swapper arrives, so this offers the chance for the swap to be more of a personal interaction,” says group founder Heather Albers.

Plant Lovers of Metro STL BST (Buy Sell Trade)

This group for members only covers a wide geographical area. Swapping and selling the group’s speciality–houseplants–is allowed, although group rules explicitly prohibit “flipping” plants by purchasing them solely to divide them for resale. Group rules ask members to specify three details in their posts: location, whether pick is available or not, and if, and where, they’re willing to ship plants.

St. Louis Native Plant Swap

This public Facebook group exclusively offers plants native to Missouri. Contributors frequently solicit and offer advice about native plants and share information about events, including plant swaps and sales. “Plants are not for sale on the page although plant sales may be announced,” says Besa Schweitzer, the group’s administrator. “A lot of people give away plants, not expecting swaps in return. The page has expanded to offer lots of information about native plants and rehoming plants.”

This past spring, the group organized four member swaps. Plant enthusiasts gathered in one yard and dropped off or picked up the plants they wanted. “Most individual swaps are arranged on the group page and one member goes to the other members’ house for a porch pick up or will come into their yard and dig up the plant,” says Schweitzer.

Buy Nothing 314 Plants

As its name implies, rules state that no money should be exchanged for plants offered through this members-only group in the St. Louis metro area. Created in September of 2022, this fast-growing group already has more than 1,600 members.


St. Louis-area plant swaps on Facebook (3)

Courtesy of St. Louis Audubon Society

Coneflowers in a native plant garden

Coneflowers in a native plant garden

STL Free Plant Swap (South County/West County/Jefferson County)

Members share plant clippings and swap advice, plants, and other gardening necessities through this group, which was launched in April. Items offered are free and rules prohibit private messages between members to arrange sales.

STL Area Plant People

Members are invited to swap cuttings and plants, as well as share care tips and plant-related finds. Both swaps and sales are allowed. Group administrators advise members to set up meetings in public places.

Missouri Gardening Swap Shop

This is a public group where anyone on Facebook can see who's in the group and what they post. Gardeners swap, sell, or exchange seeds. Participants are also invited to sell vegetables, flowers, or any plant that’s legal in Missouri. Recent posts include free horehound available for porch pick up and garlic seed for sale from Gateway Garlic Farms.

Various General Swap & Sell Groups

A Facebook group doesn’t have to be exclusively devoted to plants to offer great flower and foliage finds, especially in the spring and summer. General groups like Kirkwood Area Swap & Sell, Lindbergh Swap and Sell, and many others offer plants and are a good alternative for those who want to keep pick ups close to home or don’t want to join a group solely for plants. Depending on the listing, plants might be free or offered at prices far below those you might find at local nurseries. “I shop around and I like a good bargain,” says Goeke of Des Peres. She recently offered tall garden phlox for $5 per pot on the Kirkwood Area Swap & Sell Facebook group. “I feel like I’m offering a good deal and it’s locally grown. A lot of times, things are shipped in and forced to bloom. Mine are from my garden and the pictures that I post are pictures of the actual plants.”

Charlene Oldham

Oldham is a freelance writer and Teach For America alumna who has taught middle school, high school, college, and adult education classes in the St. Louis area.

Read more by Charlene Oldham

St. Louis-area plant swaps on Facebook (2024)
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