If you loved your plant once, and you had a beautiful thing, but you moved away or did not have the time to care for it, you can’t keep it. No matter what the case, there are plenty of things you can do with an unwanted plant that can be as simple or complex as you like. Plant ownership means you love mother nature and want to be responsible for the environment in the way you terminate plants.
You can do 6 things with unwanted indoor plants depending on how much care you give the plant and how eco-conscious you are about your removal of unwanted indoor plants. Among the options one can take are donating them, creating compost, engaging in crafty pastimes, or simply disposing of the shrub.
No matter what you do, this guide will teach you the ethical way to dispose of your unlovable plants so you can rest easy knowing they’ve gone to a better place. You won’t find yourself in plant heaven, but we have plenty of equally great ideas! There will be some of these that are practical, and others that are purely for fun. The rules are yours, right?
6 Things to Do with Unwanted Indoor Plants
The plants we grow require sunlight, water, and stable environments to grow. If I keep them without stability for more than 10 days, they will not be able to retain their nutrients, so I had to let go.
In the beginning of my research, I asked myself the question, “What are you supposed to do with an unwanted plant,” or in my case, a plant you want but cannot keep. One can find unlimited answers on Google, along with uninformed suggestions. The most popular ideas appeared to be composting or throwing away waste.
Plants become very important to people because of the ambiance they provide in their homes. There were reviewers who had a similar co-dependency issue with their plants and refused to let go. It has even been 20+ years for some who have maintained the same plant!
It is intended as a list of things that can be done that are ethical for the environment as well as something your moral little heart can agree with. We now come to the wonderful list of whimsy!
Donate Your Plant
Most companies do not have budgets for plant décor, but they would love to have some indoor plants to brighten up their office. There are several places where you can donate your beloved plant, including:
- A local church
- A community center or public places
- An acquaintance you trust
- A local business
- A family member or some stranger
- Your local veterinary office, etc.
The feeling of giving back without receiving anything in return is good. If you stop by with an unexpected plant, you may make someone’s day. I know I’d be ecstatic if that happened! But if you’d rather make a little money for the time, energy, and gas you spent, then you should consider something more lucrative. The plant does not have to be donated and may be sold instead.
Post Your Plant for Sale
In the same vein as donating your plants, here is the bonus of knowing where your plants will be used and making some money on top of that. Plants can be brought to a community center or church, but you cannot be sure they will be cared for properly.
As a result, you may want to consider donating or selling the plant to a friend. There is someone, at least through some online connections that seem trustworthy to you. You may feel more comfortable giving it to someone you adore rather than a stranger on the street. The gratification could possibly be much greater, but it all depends on how you look at it.
Consider selling your bonsai tree instead of donating it if it is a specialty bonsai tree that cost thousands. You don’t have to give them the full price, but you should let them know how much of a discount you are offering.
By doing this you’re making some good money and will also know who you’re investing in. Even if you don’t know them personally, if your family or friends recommend them, they’re probably a good egg. The bottom line is that you get paid, so don’t worry about a plant you’re leaving in the dust (pun not intended).
These are some of the best places to post your plants for donation or sale:
Another option is to organize a plant swap, but that might be counter-productive if you’re trying to shake one tree and then get rooted in another. These are all excellent options for online sites where you can recoup some of your investment. Also, they allow free donations and can at least tell you where the money goes.
This is by far the most popular option discussed online and is great for people who grow their own food! Despite your green thumb, you might not have space for this indoor beauty. To maximize your return on investment even further, put it in your compost or outdoors.
Composting is a wonderful project since you will not be wasting something that could provide nutrients for soil and food. Choosing a location as well as collecting biodegradable materials from your yard and garden is the first step.
When you do it correctly, you will be able to feed yourself and grow a thriving garden. As a bonus, your soil will become more fertile and you will also be able to use garbage that you would otherwise discard.
If you want to start your composting journey, here are the basics:
- Pick a spot. Because it may smell, you should usually keep it outside. Besides getting more natural sunlight, it also won’t become reliant on an indoor environment.
- Build or purchase the bin you plan to grow in. A square yard will be sufficient. In order to grow there, you need it to be deep enough, but small enough to not take up the entire yard. Even if you find a spot on the ground, the bin and container will keep unwanted pests and critters out.
- Collect kitchen scraps that are biodegradable. Mini compost bins can be kept inside the house so that you can collect kitchen scraps for the compost bin.
Composting fruit and vegetable scraps is the most beneficial way to dispose of kitchen waste. In addition to having nutrients that you want in your garden and future food, they also break down quickly and do not attract rodents/insects like animal products. Many compost owners opt to plant a fruit and vegetable compost garden instead of a meat and dairy one.
- To keep the compost fresh, combine scraps with quality soil every two weeks. The compost may require a few months to become ready for growing. Keep it moist.
- Your compost bin should have a layer of compost at the bottom within a few months. When you begin planting, you will have multiple batches of compost all year long.
Things you should never compost include:
- Meat and its scraps
- Oil or fat residuals
- Any bones of any kind
- Fish and fish bones
- Animal or human waste/feces (except for manure of herbivorous creatures such as rabbits and horses)
Composting is a serious commitment, and it isn’t for everyone. Feel free to choose something easy to do with your plant if you find this all too daunting. Think creatively.
Become a Plant Artist
Here’s one for all you creative makers out there (you know who you are). If you’d rather produce and make, rather than purchase and be fake, this one’s for you. Those rhymes were intentional because I knew you would appreciate them! On Pinterest you can find so many ideas for what you can do with Mr. Plant. Here are some of the best ones I’ve seen:
- Start an Etsy Shop – this could be the side-hustle you’ve been looking for. Plants are one of your favorite things, and you can weave a beautiful plant hanger. It’s your passion to weave and sew and you love a woven basket, rug, or any type of home décor!
- Make a Mask – there are hilarious masks on Pinterest which a user created out of milk jugs and plants. The handle of the jug is the nose, whereas the top of the bottle has a hole that the plants come through. Decorate your garden and liven up your home with this. When you see how cute the plant looks as the hairdo for the Mrs. Milk Jug face you painted on the bottle, you may want to keep it! The more leaves, the bigger the hairstyle!
- A Plant Wall – this is a more simple idea, but it’s also something that businesses will pay for. Did you ever go to that charming café with a whole wall of shrubbery that just made your heart sing? There has to be someone who makes those! Maybe you are the one.
Even if Mr. Plant is destined to die anyway, it would be nice if you reincarnated him as a beautiful plant wall to honor his memory. No matter how chic or minimalistic you like, it can be done. This could be used as décor in your home or for gifts to loved ones, or it could be sold to a business.
We live in an age of murals and wall-tagging, so the plant wall is also genius. Your Ivy-wall creations could sell in a big way by people with money to spend if you create a beautiful plant wall that people pose next to during an event or party.
Move it Outside
As well as keeping it simple, you can make it interesting. The kiss rule tells us to keep it simple and stupid. In case you are tired of all the more “involved” suggestions, you may just want to plant it outside. You’ve been looking for this place all along. Nevertheless, it will be determined by the type of plant, as some won’t survive outside in the harsh elements.
It’s a wonderful option that many people recommend when discussing how to dispose of unwanted plants. Give them a chance to experience life outside the home, and you may be surprised at how well they do. It is time for the plants to be freed! Trying to grow them outdoors may yield some results, but not all. It is worth a shot to give them a real and vibrant outdoor life, which they could not have achieved on that shelf in your apartment.
You can get rid of your plant friend by digging a hole in a patch that could use some cheering up, planting it, watering it, and saying goodbye. Thank Mr. Plant for all he has done for you, and leave with a heart of gratitude. Your service to him has been commendable, and now you are giving him a shot at real life. It seems better than tossing him in with the garbage if he isn’t going to survive the change in environment, right?
Just Throw it Away
This was my last option, because it is the worst!
People chose to just throw it out, which I personally find to be the most laziest, most tragic, and just the most boring option. Your plant still has so many wonderful lives ahead of it. It doesn’t have to end here, in the garbage can. Plants deserve better, and you know it.
The above tips will hopefully discourage you from doing this, but if you must, do what you have to. If you don’t want to give it up, perhaps you can consider donating it to a center where people can enjoy it. It’s a sad sign of what we’re doing to the planet to leave plants on the side of the road, as I am sure you will agree if you originally bought a plant for its beauty.
You owe it to yourself and the planet to do better. This is all I can say about it.
Letting Go of Mr. Plant
Even letting go of a plant you’ve nurtured for years can be difficult, especially when you’ve developed an emotional attachment. They may not be able to join us sometimes, and that’s okay. You know that, if they are in a better place (such as Aunt Martha’s backyard), they’ll be taken care of.
You will come across other plants throughout your life and care for them as well. There’s no way to get rid of the green thumb, so I hope you never will. Now it is time to bid farewell.