What To Do With Unwanted Houseplants?

Acquiring a sudden love for houseplants is a hobby that can get out of control pretty quickly. Once you start collecting different types of plants, it can be difficult to stop. But inevitably, there comes a day when you know it’s time to part ways with a plant. Maybe it’s not doing well in your care and you can’t figure out what it needs, or you feel like you have too many plants. Or maybe you’re simply not feeling it anymore.

This article will talk about what to do with your unwanted houseplants and whether it’s a good idea to throw them away. 

How Do I Get Rid of Plants I Don’t Want?

how do I get rid of plants I don't want

If you haven’t been taking care of plants for a long time, it’s hard to figure out what to do when you don’t want one anymore. With time and experience comes knowledge of more resources available to you, and exposure to other plant lovers. 

The great thing about the plant community is that the old cliche is true: one person’s trash is truly someone else’s treasure. Here’s how to give your plant a second life (outside of yours):

Give Your Plant To a Loved One

Before you get rid of a plant, see if any of your friends or family might want to take it. Maybe someone you know has been looking for a similar plant, or they know someone who would love it. You never know until you ask.

Post Your Plant For Sale

If your plant is in good condition or if it’s a commonly sought-after plant, you might want to sell it online. This is a great way to recoup your loss, especially if you’ve sunk a lot of time, resources, and money into the plant.

Some popular platforms for selling houseplants include:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Buy/Sell/Trade Groups
  • Etsy
  • Amazon 

Trade an Unwanted Plant 

If you’d like to replace the plant you don’t want with a different one, see if you can find a Facebook group for plant trades in your area. Depending on the plant, you might be able to separate your plant into several clippings and get more plants in return. 

Try Your Luck Outside

If you have a struggling plant that you’re about to give up on, and you can’t find anyone who wants to care for it, you might want to try putting it outside, depending on your climate. There’s nothing wrong with placing a plant back in nature and wishing it the best of luck before parting ways. 

If your plant lives and thrives outside, then great! If not, that’s okay, too. Mother nature knows best, after all. 

Compost Your Plant

If all else fails, and the plant is doomed without a home or a will to live, consider composting it. If you make your own compost or have been meaning to try it, this is a great opportunity to add a quality ingredient. 

If you don’t do your composting but you know someone who does, chances are good that they will gladly add your unwanted plant to their pile. This will ensure that your plant doesn’t go to waste – it will live on in the earth, giving outdoor plants valuable nutrients.  

If you want to learn more about composting, check out this YouTube video:

Is it Cruel To Throw Out a Plant?

If you’ve ever fallen out of love with a houseplant but can’t bring yourself to toss it, you’re not alone. It’s normal to feel a weird sense of guilt about it, too. 

On the flip side, it’s also totally normal to want to chuck it without a second thought. When it comes to the ethics of throwing away houseplants, it’s a polarizing question that does not have a right or wrong answer.

People who are against throwing plants out may argue these points:

  • It’s a living thing that needs to be cared for, therefore it’s cruel to throw it out.
  • Throwing a houseplant out when others might want it is wasteful. 
  • Contributing to landfills unnecessarily is immoral. 

Here’s the other side of the argument:

  • Houseplants are not a precious resource, and there’s no shortage of them in the world. 
  • They will be the most biodegradable, organic thing in the landfill, and could potentially provide food for wild animals. 
  • Keeping a plant should not be at the expense of your mental health. 

In the end, one thing is for sure: it’s your plant. Try not to worry about what everyone else thinks, and do what you feel is best for you. 

Where Can I Donate My Houseplants?

where can i donate my house plants

One of the most rewarding ways to get rid of a plant you don’t want is to donate it. So many people and organizations would appreciate a free plant – you just have to find them. Here are some ideas for where to donate a plant you don’t want:

Long-Term Care Facility

Older adults who live in nursing facilities sometimes have limited possessions due to having to leave them behind when they moved into long-term care. Those who are plant lovers often end up giving up their houseplants when they can no longer care for them at home. 

You can give your plant a second chance and bring some much-needed garden therapy to someone in need by bringing your green friend to a nursing home. Call around to local facilities to ask whether they would accept a donation first.  

A Community Center

Call your town’s local community center and ask if they could use a free plant(s). Your plant could either add to the aesthetic, teach children about plants during youth activities, or brighten up someone’s office. 

A Local Facebook Page

If you’re part of any local groups on Facebook, such as community groups or buy/sell/trade pages, you should have no problem finding someone to take your plant.

Many plant lovers who don’t have the budget for store-bought plants or simply want to expand their collection like to keep an eye out on Facebook for giveaways.

A Local Business

If you have any local office buildings or businesses that are just starting out in your town, there’s a good chance that at least one of them would appreciate a free plant. You may end up making someone’s workspace a little happier by adding some green. 

Final Words

It can be difficult for a plant lover to get rid of a plant. The feelings of guilt are tough to deal with, especially for people who are passionate about caring for others.

But you can rest assured that whatever you decide to do with an unwanted plant will be fine – you’re not hurting anyone, and you’re helping yourself. 

3 thoughts on “What To Do With Unwanted Houseplants?”

    • Some plants actually carry a fairly hefty price tag, which is why it is always worth trying to sell them on rather than throwing them away or composting them! Even some of the more standard plants will be snapped up by someone, so have a go at selling them – it will make you more pennies to buy more plants!


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