House Plant Sanctuary*


I’d like to know if there is a place where you can bring house plants when they are too big for your place or you can not take a good care of them any more. I’ve had plants which were 12-15 years old grown too big for my house that I gave to some friends and the plants died within few months because they have forgotten to water them. I have a few plants now which may need a better place for this winter (they are outside now), is there any place or person who would “adopt” them but I would also know that they will be treated well and with the respect (plants are not much different from animals, why do we treat them as decorative objects, they are alive too).
Thank you very much.


Hello Gardener,

Thank you for writing — your question is one that is often asked, and for which there has never been any one answer. It is a shame that your beloved, mature plants that you have given to others have not thrived, but that is, in fact, at the heart of your quandary. You have nurtured and cared for your house plants — most likely tropicals — and have hoped that your friends would love and care for them as you did. Unless a new caregiver is as fond of, and prepared to devote knowledgable attention to your plants as you have been, there is no guarantee that they will thrive: as you know, all tropical plants growing indoors need savvy and attentive care. Soil, nutrients, water, air, temperature and sunlight comprise all the elements of good stewardship, and, understandably, you are looking for adoptive owners who will maintain your plants in good form.

There was one time, several years ago, when Allan Gardens, in city-centre Toronto, would accept donations of tropicals, only after being scrutinized and quarantined for any evidence of rogue pests or infections, so you might wish to inquire if this continues to be the case. Please visit: Allan Gardens Conservatory for quick reference, their phone number is: 416-392-7288.

And remember, you may still find that one of your friends is very interested in, and able to, care for a few of your plants: maybe with some help and encouragement they could become excellent new owners.

Best of luck!