Not all plants work the same. Some are very easy-growing, seemingly apt to thrive in just about whatever soil or climate. Other plants have extremely specific requirements and won’t do much more than suffer in the wrong situation. The best thing to do as a lazy gardener is to find the plants that just work.

Once a collection of suitable plants has been identified (look for perennials), a great money-saving tip is to buy a specimen plant of each and replicate it, again and again, to fill the garden space with free plants. There are several different ways plants can be replicated, many of them with rapid results and high success rates.

Again, different plants will work differently in terms of replication. Some don’t replicate well. Others will take root and produce flowers or fruits in the same season. Others still will replicate themselves once put into the position to do so. Finding these plants is a fine way to build up a full, lush garden for next to nothing.

Source: Volunteer Gardener/YouTube

Root Cuttings

Many plants can be replicated from root cuttings. These are plants with which pieces of root will readily grow a brand-new plant. This is done by taking sections of the root from an existing plant, planting those in the soil, and keeping the root orientated vertically the way it came off the plant. (A root cutting that’s upside down won’t grow.)

Here are some of the plants that can be propagated from root cuttings: blackberry, black locust, horseradish, comfrey, sea kale, phlox, hardy geranium, fragrant spring tree, Japanese anemone, mint, and more.

Source: The Survival Gardening Channel with David The Good/YouTube

Herbaceous Cuttings

For certain plants that don’t have woody stems, it is possible to cut off small side branches and root them to create new plants. This can be true for lots of perennial flower plants, as well as culinary herbs and annual vegetable plants. Usually, this is done by either taking the cutting and leaving it in water until roots begin to form on the bottom or putting the cutting in moist soil (or peat moss) until they grow roots. Then, they can be planted.

Here are some of the plants that can be propagated from root cuttings: oregano, mint, basil, lavender, rosemary, sage, lemon verbena, lemon balm, tomatoes, squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, peppers, nasturtium, dahlia, gardenia, boxwoods, and more.

Source: Garden Fundamentals/YouTube

Softwood/Hardwood Cuttings

Softwood and hardwood cuttings are taken from trees and shrubs that have wooden stems and trunks. Softwood cuttings come from new growth, and hardwood cuttings are taken from mature stems during dormancy. In this case, the cuttings are treated with a root hormone, put into a growing medium, and kept moist while they develop roots.

  • Plants that perform best with softwood cuttings: azalea, basswood, blueberry, crabapple, elderberry, forsythia, ginkgo, hydrangea, lilac, mulberry, hibiscus, serviceberry, willow, wisteria, etc.
  • Plants that perform best with hardwood cuttings: fig, grape, goumi berry, hawthorn, kiwi, quince, pomegranate, mock orange, currant, rose, jasmine, etc.

Source: GrowOrganic Peaceful Valley/YouTube


Some plants grow in large clusters, expanding outward as the year pass. They are often called clumping plants, and they can be multiplied by a method called division. Division is just digging up a portion of the plant and planting it elsewhere, leaving the other portion to begin expanding again.

Here are some of the plants that can be replicated via division: phlox, catmint, black-eyed Susan, sedum, geraniums, coral bell, daylilies, irises, Japanese anemone, beebalm, coreopsis, Hosta, yarrow, peonies, clumping bamboo, aster, daisy, and more.

Source: Suzy Dingle’s Garden/YouTube

Self-Seeding Plants

Lastly, there are lots of annual plants that, once established, will reseed themselves year after year, operating much like perennials in the garden and usually spreading around like mad/weeds. Different wildflowers and garden flowers are especially good at this. The biggest thing the gardener has to do is simply leave the plant alone, and it goes to seed after it flowers.

Here are some of the best flowers for self-replicating: poppies, nasturtium, columbine, foxglove, forget-me-nots, bachelor buttons, calendula, nicotiana, verbena, hollyhocks, primrose, pansies, lupine, echinacea, sweet pea, and more.

Our list here is dozens of beautiful plants, most of which grow well throughout much of the United States. These are plants we can find in nurseries or possibly even in a neighbor’s garden, where we might be able to replicate them for free. Then, we can have amazing cottage gardens teeming with flowers and fruit and vegetables and foliage. And, it won’t cost loads of money, and it’ll last and grow for years.

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