Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How About A Pound For Plants - Where They Can Be Rescued And Adopted?

I just found a home for five containers of  cymbidiums from my mother's yard.  The first cymbidium came into my mother's possession on Mother's Day in 1958 or 59 or 60.  I carried this magnificent plant with three or four sprays of orchids.  My mother kept them alive for all these years.  Well, I can't guarantee these are the same plants.  But I know over the years she repotted them.  She also acquired new ones as gifts.

One of the pots had a beautiful spray right now.  A couple of others had stunted sprays of a couple of flowers budding.  I knew these plants weren't going to survive and went looking for a good home.  Fortunately I know some retired greenhouse owners living in LA and so I offered them to their daughter.  She'll get good help with them.

[Since I used this photo in a post the other day, I ran it through the dry paint filter in Photoshop for this one.]

Most of the other things in my mom's yard are pretty resistant to drought or they wouldn't have survived all these years - like the walls of jade plant and pencil plant.

But it made me think that there should be a pound where people can take plants to be adopted by new owners.  Looking on line I've found someone named Trina Studabaker in Aloha, Oregon who takes in plant orphans.

There are some organizations that do something like that.

The US Department of Agriculture has a Plant Rescue Center for plants that have been confiscated.  

There's the Williamsburg Native Plant Rescue
Williamsburg Native Plant Rescue (WNPR) is a group of volunteers located in Williamsburg and Hampton Roads, Va. The volunteers transplant native plants from construction sites prior to development, usually relocating them in public spaces, such as local parks and schools. However, recent interest in landscaping with native plants has led to projects involving replanting at the rescue site after it has been developed.
The Benson Plant Rescue in Omaha, Nebraska is in . . .
". . .  their 16th year of rescuing plants and recycling them with proceeds benefiting the Omaha Public Library by buying children's books. They distribute thousands of overstock and end season plants free of charge to low income gardeners.

Here's part of PlantAmnesty's mission:
PlantAmnesty, established in 1987, is a 1000-member mock-militant nonprofit organization whose purpose is to end the senseless torture and mutilation of trees and shrubs caused by mal-pruning. We have a sense of humor and a mission. We specialize in using the media to alert the public to crimes against nature being committed in their own back yards, specifically tree topping and the nuisance shearing of shrubs. Once we have the public’s attention, we supply all the solutions: a referral service of skilled gardeners and arborists, classes and workshops, and YouTube videos and how-to literature on selective pruning in English and in Spanish. And we host volunteer pruning events for needy and deserving trees and gardens, including the Arbor Day Tree Prune and Volunteer Yard Renovations.For our work on pruning reform we have won several awards including three Gold Leaf Awards from the International Society of Arboriculture, the Arbor Day Foundation’s Education Award, and Washington State’s Urban Forest Stewardship Award.

Bixapedia says there used to be a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Plants.

Antilandscaper also plays with that idea.

And Earthly Perfect also has a plant rescue addiction.

And there is an organization called P.C.A.P. (Pee-Cap) Prevention of Cruelty of Animals and Plants.

The Bureau of Land Management has a program for people to adopt Joshua Trees in the El Mirage Recreation Area.

You could find people to adopt your plants on Craigslist, but more likely it's about selling.

Freecycle is the best I can find so far.  It's a site where you can give away anything - not specifically plants.

While I didn't find exactly what I was looking for online, I think there's enough interest here for this to become a thing in the future.  Just have to figure out how to keep things healthy and pest free.  And I'm hoping readers might point out some examples where this is already happening.


  1. Steve, folks in England are rightly known for being garden passionate. Something that is commonly done when people die or plan to move house, is to invite loved ones and friends to take cuttings, root stock, seed or grafts to enjoy a cherished plant. I know people who speak lovingly of plants started as gifts from friends, parents, grandparents and even greats!

    A valued plant, then, doesn't go unwanted or lose its connection to the person who first cared for it. Lovely sentiment and very practical as well.

    All this assumes one is 'rooted' in a community to share one's green gifts, of course. I know your situation is quite different. Best of luck in your finding a home for your mother's best.

    1. I guess I would fit right in - at least with that part of British culture. The begonias from my mother-in-law (who died over 20 years ago) were blooming at home when we left Anchorage. Thanks for enlightening me on these customs.


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