Frequently Asked Questions

How do I buy plants?

Best way is to save the plants you want to your Plant request, then contact the Grower from the plant request. This way the plants in question will be automatically attached to the message you send.

Alternatively, you may contact the Grower by message or phone (if they give a number) on their Grower page.

How do I swap plants?

This topic is well covered in the Grower Tips section: Selling and swapping plants and Swapping best practice.

How should I pay for plants?

Growers specify their preferred method(s) of payment on their Grower pages. They will expect payment when you place an order or when you collect the plants.

How do I list plants for swap or sale?

You first need to complete your Grower page. This creates your 'shop front' in the service. Once you have done this you may add plants for swap or sale at any time.

How many plants may I list for sale through the service?

As many as you like, but do take care only to list plants you have in stock and update your listings when they sell out, so you do not disappoint customers.

How many plants may I list for swap through the service?

As many as you wish, but do ensure to update your listings as above.

May I list bulbs or seeds?

Not just now. GreenPlantSwap is currently designed for selling and swapping plants of all sizes, but not bulbs or seeds.

What if I don't know the plant name?

Don't worry. Many of us don't know the full names of plants. First step is to check your plant against the Plant Finder. Most likely you will be able to find it there and be able to match your plant with the Plant Finder plant. You can then simply click on the 'List your plant' button on the Plant Finder plant record page to list your plant.

If that doesn't work, then a second way to list is by clicking the 'Plant name not known' button on the 'List your plant' form. Provided you know the genus, which is the first part of the name (e.g. Hosta, Hebe or Rosa), your plant may be listed against the genus record in the Plant Finder.

Finally, even when you have found or named your plant, how sure are you that you have got it right? On every plant listing we ask you to say whether you are 'sure', 'fairly sure' or 'not too sure' of the plant identification. What you select will then be shown on your plant listing. In our view, it's OK to be less than certain and good to be upfront about this. Other gardeners should understand. Many will not mind, as long as it is a nice plant and some may even help you one way or another with the identification.

What if I know the name of plant, but cannot find it in the Plant Finder?

You can still list your plant. On the 'List your plant' form simply click the 'Plant name not found' button and you will be able to list the plant with the name you have against the genus record for the plant in the Plant Finder.

How do I decide the price of a plant?

The price you charge is up to you. A good way to decide is to look at the prices other people are charging for the same or similar plants in the service. As a rule though always ask what you would be prepared to pay and take into account the condition and maturity of the plant. If you have just potted up small plants into larger pots then they should be priced lower than plants that have spent longer in the same size pots and developed stronger root systems.

How do I sell plug plants?

You can sell trays of plug plants using the same 'List your plant' form. All you need do is calculate the litre volume of the individual plug cells using the handy pot-size calculator on the form (these will obviously be a fraction of a litre e.g. 0.15 litre), then input the number of plugs in each tray.

What if I do not have litre-sized pots?

Pots are unfortunately measured in all kinds of ways: diameter of top, volume, inches, centimetres. So GreenPlantSwap has adopted a simple litre volume system for all. If your pots do not give the litre volume size (usually found on the bottom of the pot), then you can simply enter the dimensions of your pot in the pot size calculator on the 'List your plant' form next to where you enter the size.

Where can I get good value litre-sized pots?

Pots in garden centres can be very expensive. Best prices are online. Most economical are poly pots for as little as c. £5 per 100 1L pots, from suppliers like:

All these come in GreenPlantSwap litre sizes, from 0.5L to 50L. They also sell good value plug plant trays.

What if I am selling plants that are not in pots?

You can still enter the size of pot the root would need by putting the rough dimensions of the root and accompanying soil, with reasonable room for growth, in the pot size calculator.

How should I supply images of my plants for sale?

Upload good quality, high resolution images, 2mb files are ideal. Whether portrait or landscape, these will be automatically cropped to a square format. So do ensure the area of the plant you want shown is in the centre of the image.

Where there is already a Plant Finder image of the plant, you do not have to add a picture of your plant. But it is always good to do so, as this will give potential customers confidence in the actual plants you offer. If there is not a Plant Finder picture of the plant to list against, then Growers are required to add a picture of the plant they have.

May I use 3rd party-owned images to promote my plants?

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the right to publish the images you upload to the service.

How will the images I upload be used?

All images uploaded by members to the service may be used at any time in any part of the service by GreenPlantSwap unless you specifically contact us to say that you would prefer your images not to be used for any other purpose than the one specified when uploading the image.

Should the prices I charge include VAT?

All prices quoted should include VAT where applicable. You only need to add VAT if you are a VAT registered business. If your income from VAT taxable goods or services (which includes plants) is below the HMRC threshold of £77,000 in the last 12 months, then you do not need to register for VAT or charge it on the products you sell.

For more information, see the HMRC web-site

What about Plant Breeders' Rights?

Plant Breeders' Rights (PBR) are a form of intellectual property legislation designed to protect new plant varieties. These rights allow the original breeder to register a plant as their own property if it meets certain criteria. Once PBRs have been granted, the owner will license companies to grow these varieties and collect a royalty on each plant sold.

Plants may be protected under UK Plant Breeders Rights or under European Plant Variety Rights. Plants with PBR cannot be propagated by anyone other than those given a licence by the PBR owner.

In the Plant Finder we have indicated which plant cultivars we know to have PBRs. This is not exhaustive as the list of plants with PBRs is constantly evolving and there is no definitive UK database of botanical plant names with PBRs that we have found. We are not alone in finding this frustrating!

If you have a plant that you know to have PBRs, and you do not have a licence to grow it commercially, you should not propagate it for swap or sale.

However, if you are in doubt about the identity of your plant and whether it might be a PBR cultivar, then you can always list the plant against the genus with the name 'variety unknown' (e.g. Hosta 'variety unknown') and there should not be a problem.

Plants that are species rather than varieties (i.e. plant names completely in italics) cannot be registered for PBRs and may be freely propagated for swap or sale.

Who is responsible for the plants I offer?

The condition and description of the plants you swap or sell are your responsibility. It is for you to handle any subsequent customer complaints regarding those plants and offer replacements or money back, if they are not completely satisfied.

What if I wrongly identify a plant?

Don't worry, you won't be alone. Identifying plants is never easy and they are quite commonly wrongly identified, even by professional nurseries. Whether selling, swapping or buying plants be prepared to stand corrected or help another gardener, so they make a positive identification next time. What is important is the good spirit in which the identification is discussed. We can all learn more.

What if a customer complains about the quality of a plant or it dies?

There is a lot of sense in the old retail maxim 'the customer is always right'. What you want is a satisfied customer who recommends you to others. So our advice is always be prepared to offer replacements or money back, even where you may have doubts about the reasons for poor plant's subsequent demise!

How should I host visiting members when they come to my garden?

With the kind of reception you would hope to receive visiting theirs. It is up to you, and them, whether the visit is simply to pick up and pay for the plants in question, or whether more time is spent browsing other plants and/or the garden.

What if another member has an accident when visiting my garden?

In the unlikely event a visitor to your house or nursery has an accident, providing the injury was demonstrated to be your fault as the landowner or occupier, it may be possible for your visitor to bring a personal injury compensation claim against you. Such claims should be covered by your homeowner's insurance or, if a nursery, public liability insurance. It is your responsibility to check this.

What if I have a question not covered here?

You are free to email us through the Contact Us page with your question and arrange a call back if preferred.

How do I contact other members?

Other members can be contacted through the GreenPlantSwap messaging service or through members' phone or address details where they provide these on their Grower pages.

How quick should be my response to other members?

In your Grower page you are invited to advise other members how quick your message responses will be. It's best to be consistent with this.

How may I cancel my membership?

You may cancel your membership at any time on your Account page.