Our Plant Exchange shares plants to save plants!
The annual, free Plant Exchange allows members to share rare or unusual plants with each other. By distributing plants round the country we can re-establish plants in danger of being lost. Members can grow something rare or unusual and we encourage all to propagate and pass these plants on again.
2024 plants offered and plants wanted - list will be published early January 2024!
How does it work?
All Plant Heritage members are welcome to take part in the Plant Exchange. Put in what you can offer and/or choose what you'd like to receive.
• you can offer one plant, or more
• you can request one plant, or more
• or you can both offer and request plants
Offers of plants are matched to requests, and local coordinators collect and bring all the offered plants from their area to our Members Day - in 2024 this will be in Dumfries & Galloway. Sometimes a plant on offer may have many requests, so this plant is then allocated randomly. Hence you may not receive all the plants you have requested, but we will do our best!
Is my plant rare enough to put in?
If you know the name of your plant, check the RHS Plant Finder and if it has two or fewer suppliers listed then it qualifies for the Plant Exchange. Do contact your local exchange coordinator if you are not sure about the plant or can't find it listed.
See below for contacts so you can take part.
September - November: Send the names of plants that you can offer, or any that you are looking for to your local coordinator by 24th November.
December: a complete list is compiled and checked, ready for circulation to all members.
Early January: the list of offers and wants is sent out through our Plant Exchange coordinators and published here on our website (see links above). This is your chance to put in your bids for plants.
February: all requests for plants must be submitted by 29th February, along with any offers for plants on the wanted list
March: By the end of March, plants will have been allocated and the local coordinators will start to assemble the plants offered in their area to bring to the exchange. If more than one member or local area requests a plant, it is assigned at random.
May: Plants are all brought to one location, as part of our Member's weekend (10-12 May 2024) and exchanged between groups. They are taken back to their new regions and distributed to the member's taking part.
What do I do with any plants I get?
• Grow and enjoy them!
• Record them in the Plant Guardian scheme - they are likely to be eligible
• If you wish, you can propagate and share them, or make them available through local group plant sales. Make sure they are not covered by Plant Breeders’ Rights though.
Plant health and passporting
For anyone taking part in the Plant Exchange, we recommend that you read this guide to biosecurity produced by the National Trust.
As it currently stands, it seems that plant swaps organised within clubs and societies are not covered by plant passporting regulations. Presume that any plant you receive will not be passported and take appropriate biosecurity measures as in the link above. We keep a record of where plants have come from and go to, to ensure traceability in case of problems.