How to Buy Plants with EBT

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Did you know that you can buy plants with EBT? Well not all plants but the kinds that produce food.

That’s because the food stamps SNAP program is all about helping low-income people eat. So, it’s food-centric.

In fact, you can use SNAP EBT to pay for seeds, too — as long as those seeds are designed to grow food you can eat.

growing tomatoes in the garden
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.

Buying Seeds and Plants with SNAP EBT

I’ve been writing a lot about SNAP EBT, including farmers markets that take food stamps, meat markets and butcher shops that accept SNAP EBT and even surprising things you didn’t know you could buy with SNAP EBT.

It was while writing this latter article that I discovered that the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture), which oversees SNAP EBT, allows you to use those benefits to purchase certain food-producing plants, trees and seeds.

With this in mind, I decided to write this article to help you locate not only what kinds of gardening items you can buy with SNAP EBT but also where.

Finally, here are some of the reasons that the USDA supports SNAP EBT recipients buying plants and seeds to grow food:

“For every $1 dollar spent on seeds and fertilizer, home gardeners can grow an average of $25 worth of produce. Growing food from seeds and plants makes SNAP benefits last longer, allowing recipients to double the value of their benefits over time. Supplementing SNAP with homegrown food makes it possible for families to buy food products that they wouldn’t normally be able to afford.”


Plants you can buy with SNAP EBT

Some of the plants you can buy with EBT include:

  • tomato plants
  • pepper plants
  • bean plants
green beans from the garden
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.

However, this is hardly all of them. Basically, any plant that can produce food should qualify under your state’s SNAP program. This includes plants you grow indoors as well as outdoors in your garden.

For example, it’s really easy to grow lettuce in container gardens, as I did with the lettuce here.

growing lettuce in a container
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.

Also, you have to shop at stores that accept SNAP EBT. One of those retailers is Walmart.

The Walmart near us always has a great selection of tomato plants and other vegetables we want to grow in our garden.

Sadly, it appears Home Depot does not take SNAP EBT so forget getting plants or seeds there.

Buy seeds with SNAP EBT

seeds to grow food
Photo credit: Canva Pro.

It’s the same with seeds that you buy to grow food. As long as you buy them from a retailer that takes SNAP EBT, you can buy seeds.

So, for example, do you like to start your spring vegetable garden inside during the winter? Well, if you want seeds to get started before spring planting, you should be good to go using your SNAP EBT card.

a bunch of seed starters in pots inside
Photo credit: Leah Ingram.

Herbs count

If you want to purchase herb plants to use in the kitchen, then you can use SNAP EBT.

Here are tips to start an herb garden.

Buying seeds and plants on Amazon

You may be surprised to learn that you can buy SNAP EBT-eligible plants and seeds on Amazon. But it’s true.

For starters, you’ll want to register your SNAP EBT card on Amazon. This will make your shopping much easier.

Next, you can search on Amazon using the following term: “SNAP EBT plants.” When I did this, I got great results.

This included seeds packets from Burpee and live vegetable plants from Bonnie.

snap ebt plants amazon

You’ll notice that the sugar snap peas and red beet seeds are listed as SNAP EBT eligible. So are the herb plants and the Swiss chard plants — these vegetable plants are SNAP EBT eligible, too.

Let me know if you have any additional questions about how to buy plants and seeds with EBT to grow your own food in the garden.

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