Annual Plant Exchange
What is the Plant Exchange?
The Plant Exchange is a Plant Heritage members-only facility designed to increase the diversity of cultivated plants and to re-establish plants in danger of being lost – and it’s also an excellent way for members to increase their stocks of unusual and rare plants, free of charge.
Once a year members submit lists of rare and unusual plants they have to offer and also request plants which are difficult to obtain or which have disappeared from the horticulture trade. Members can then bid for the plants offered and they are exchanged free of charge at our National AGM each year.
You don’t need to contribute a plant in order to be able to take another from the exchange. This isn’t about swapping, it’s about protecting biodiversity, so the more people who are willing to look after a rare plant, the better.
Why should I get involved?
It’s a great opportunity to find some rare plants, ones that you might not be able to find anywhere else. If you manage to grow something successfully, then you could propagate it and pass it on, to help secure its future.
Do I have any rare plants to offer?
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. If you’re unsure, please contact your Plant Exchange Co-ordinator, via your local group, for advice. It could also be considered for the Plant Guardian Scheme if it meets the ‘threatened criteria’, so consider registering it.
What happens if the plant I’ve received dies in my care?
Absolutely nothing – except that it will give you the space in your garden to try again next year. We wouldn’t be proper gardeners if we didn’t accept that plants can be very fickle. Even if you think you have the ideal spot for your new plant, a pest attack or a sudden change in the weather could see it off quicker than you can blink.
Have a look at this blog post about taking part in the Plant Exchange from one of the Plant Heritage Membership Administrators, who was lucky enough to acquire a beautiful, and rare, snowdrop.