Open Source Plants™

Welcome to the Open Source PlantsTM platform and its slogan: Grow-Share-Repeat.

At one level Grow-Share-Repeat is simply sharing free plants. If that’s enough for you, take a look at Plant Choices, follow us on Facebook, and have fun!

At another level Grow-Share-Repeat is a climate-friendly process to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, optimize carbon sequestration, and create resilient landscapes.

Des Moines Botanical Garden February 20th (1)-2


The process is very simple:

  • GROW selected plants until they are big enough to divide.
  • Divide a portion of the plants and SHARE them locally with friends, neighbors, acquaintances, or anyone nearby who is willing and able.
But Johnny Appleseed and countless others have shared plants and seeds since the dawn of civilization.
How is Grow-Share- Repeat different? What has changed?

First, plants and the supporting materials, such as peat-based potting mix, containers, fertilizers, pesticides, dyes, labels, and packaging are manufactured products that are traded globally.  Embedded carbon emissions arise from the manufacture and long distance transport of plants and their supporting  products.

Second, climate change brings a sense of purpose and urgency to change the way we distribute plants. There is urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to improve carbon sequestration, and create landscapes resilient to climate change. And there are opportunities to increase the scale of activities such as Grow-Share-Repeat through social media.

The key elements of Grow-Share-Repeat are sources and choices of plants.

  • Sourcing plants locally, in season, and from the ground, avoids greenhouse gas emissions from 1) the manufacture of plants and supporting products and 2) the long-distance transport of plants through typical commercial channels. The use of proven, field-grown plants also inherently guarantees adaptability to the most recent, local, environmental conditions.
  • Choosing certain plants (see Plant Choices) can further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester additional carbon, and improve resilience of gardens to climate change.

For encouragement to go local, here’s some inspiration from cut flower enthusiasts:

The 50 Mile Bouquet

Slow Flowers

Flower Confidential