Before you discount the idea of free funeral plants, bear with me on this one. Getting free plants from a funeral home is possible. However, you may have to step out of your comfort zone for this trick. Even those of you who consider yourselves outgoing might feel a bit odd about using a funeral home as a free plant source (This is one of the main reasons I left it out of Ways To Get Plants For Free).
Funeral homes are an excellent place to get free plants because almost everyone has the same initial reaction as you did. Ultimately, this means that in a nation where there is competition for virtually everything, this is one area where hardly a single person is taking advantage.
Almost every town has at least one funeral home and most funerals involve flowers and plants. Years ago, I became aware that many families leave plants and flowers at the funeral home for various reasons. Often, it’s because many people just don’t have the space for all of them at home.
How to Get Free Funeral Plants
Here’s how to set up a local funeral home connection.
The first step is to call the funeral home, introduce yourself, and explain your offer to them. You can solve their problem of what to do with the plants—at no cost to them. If they express any interest at all, leave your name, phone number, and email. You should promise to pick up any plants within 24 hours of a phone call.
If you don’t sense a positive reaction to your offer, ask to speak to a supervisor or owner, and repeat the offer. If that call doesn’t garner some interest, thank them and move on to the next name on your list.
You might be surprised when you get your first return phone call. At this point, ask for specific directions as to when and where to pick up the plants. Follow them to the letter. After the first pick up, follow up with a note to the funeral home, thanking them and giving them your contact information again.
What to do With Your Haul
Once the plants are at home, do some sorting and decide which plants can go outdoors and which are going to become houseplants. Depending on the time of year and the weather in your zone, you can either get your new plants in the ground or treat the whole batch as house plants until you can safely plant them outside.
There may be a few plants in the bunch that has seen better days by the time you get them home. This is nothing to fret about. You can add the plant to your compost pile, put the soil in your container of potting mix and clean up the pot so you can put it to good use.
All in all, you stand to gain many plants for very little effort. It’s all a matter of getting over that first hurdle most people have about dealing with a funeral home.
Steph Coelho is a freelance writer gardening in zone 5b. She is a certified Square Foot Gardener and has taught various garden-related workshops. When she’s not digging in the dirt or writing, she’s cooking up fresh produce, running, or listening to her favorite podcasts.