The Burden of Houseplants

We recently moved from a large house with large rooms to a tiny bungalow (which, actually, cost $30 000 more than the large house. Oh, Toronto vs. outlying suburb housing prices, you so silly.) Admittedly, the large house was a little too large for the three of us who were used to living in doll-house like spaces, and the extra space was useless and left empty after my grandfather went to a home.

We’ve managed to rid the house of most of the superflous furniture, but there’s still one problem that’s become a bit of a hassle. The houseplants.


What do you do with them? There are only a certain amount of spaces in front of the window where they can thrive.

The ornamental orange was from a clipping my mom brought back from Florida over 20 years ago. The one on the bottom in the second picture was from a clipping another mother gave us when I was in first grade. The palm was one we picked up from Ikea to stage the old house.

It took me a while to get used to scrapping plants at work. We only sell the “best quality” product, so if a plant is wilting a little or maybe just needs a repotting or a little TLC, we usually just wind up throwing them out if no one’s buying. I hated it at first. We scrapped 50 potted Ranunculus in the spring, I remember. The leaves we a little yellow and they were getting scraggly, but still, give them a chance. Maybe I’m just a too much of a softie. (I’ve personally adopted two orchids that had already lost their flowers and two scraggly burning bushes that were brought back by perfectionist customers.)

What do you do with unwanted houseplants? Throw them out? Give them away? Sell them at garage sales? (I actually vividly remember my mom doing this as a kid. Damn spider plants, can’t stop them!) Stores don’t take them.

But, at home, these plants have been a mainstay in our home for as along as I can remember. After seeing so many houseplant returns and customers’ complete failures at maintaining them, I have to respect the skill my mom must have put into getting some of these to thrive for so long.

Maybe tripping over the jungle of houseplants once and a while isn’t so bad. It could be worse. My mom could be trying to over-winter a $2 geranium and some mums in ugly, half-dead states. Oh, wait. She is.

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2 responses to “The Burden of Houseplants

  1. I’m like you…it is hard to get rid of a plant if it has any hope of living. Have a Merry Christmas.