I never said you were doing it wrong O_o. I was just staying since you wanted hiding places for your girls I suggest using stem plants because they really do provide great cover and they grow fast enough that they will spread in your tank.
I have slowly built up to this as well, nothing happens over night, heck this was my first attempt at a sorority:
And that worked. Over the next 5 months I was able to get more and more plants just from having them grow and I am starting to throw out plants weekly.
I was telling you that you're doing a good job and to keep up the good work! Please don't think I was telling you off.
I got most of my plants from an online source such as plantedaquariumscentral.com They even have a 10% coupon code BETTAFISH. Plants can have a large upfront cost but will be worth it because you will constantly be given more and more as they grow.
People in this forum are also known to have great deals on plants and the like in the classified section. I've seen great selection and I have seen some people give out plants for free, these guys are really nice people.