Plant Choices

Joshua Mayer

So, you have plants that can be divided and shared for Grow-Share-Repeat.?

But should they be?

And which one’s are most climate-friendly?

Required characteristics

  • Long-lived perennial
  • Deep-rooted (if soils allow)
  • Easy to grow and maintain
  • Easy to propagate
  • Low inputs (fertilizer, water, etc)
  • Native; or adapted to local environment

Characteristics that add value

  • Shade
  • Windbreak
  • Food source for humans
  • Other ecosystem services (examples)
    • Erosion control
    • Food and shelter for wildlife
    • Host for pollinators


  • Invasives: Plants that are invasive or otherwise harmful to the local environment should not be used. Information about invasive plants, including state-by-state guides for the United States, are available at the National Arboretum.
  • Quarantines: Transfer of plant material is regulated to prevent transfer of insects, pests and diseases. Regulations differ by state and country. Grow-Share-Repeat involves the local sharing of plants, so transfer across state or country lines is unnecessary. In those cases where transfer across state or country lines is contemplated see APHIS for more information.
  • Patents: Unless you have permission, don’t propagate plants for Grow-Share-Repeat that you know are patented.

Climate Ready Plants

The plant sync is headquartered in Central Iowa, U.S.A. See Climate Ready Plants for a few examples of plants that meet the criteria above and are currently adapted to Iowa. Plant choices will vary by geography, of course. For assistance in choosing a resilient, climate-ready plant to divide and share in your local area within the U.S. contact the Cooperative Extension Service.  The county extension offices can provide locally-relevant, unbiased, research-based information about gardening and plants that meet the criteria for Grow-Share-RepeatYour local county extension office can be found at Questions can also be directed to AskanExpert.

See the links here for more general information about climate-friendly gardening and plant choices.