Are You A Plant Hoarder – Top 10 Checklist Of Things To Watch Out For

By Nikki Tilley | January 14, 2020
Image by Nikki Tilley
by Nikki Tilley
January 14, 2020

Okay, it’s no secret that gardeners love their plants. That’s a given, and I’m one of them. But how do you know when this passion has gotten out of control? As we begin a new gardening season, it may be a good time to reevaluate your inventory and avoid becoming a PLANT HOARDER.

I’ve been gardening for nearly thirty years and plants are, by far, my favorite source of pleasure. They bring me happiness and provide instant relief when I’m overly stressed. I never considered that my love of plants could lead to trouble. How on earth could that be? There’s nothing troubling about this pastime. Or is there?

Gardening, like many other hobbies, can become addictive – not that this is necessarily a bad thing (spoken by a tried and true plant junkie). When your favorite pastime begins taking over your life, you could have a problem, especially if passersby are mistaking your home for a plant nursery. So, could you be a plant hoarder? You might be plant hoarding and not even know it. Here are the top things to watch out for to find out:

  • Does your house become overrun with plants, taking up nearly every nook and cranny, including the kitchen table (who needs to eat there anyway?), when you bring them indoors for winter? Yep, that’s definitely me! When you have too many plants inside, more than you have room to put them, you might be a plant hoarder.
  • Do you have more plants outside than you know what to do with? (Um, can you really have too many plants?) Are your garden beds overcrowded and out of control? Do you find it necessary to create additional garden beds throughout the landscape to make room for new plants? GUILTY! You might need to seek help.
  • Does the thought of giving away surplus plants or tossing them out (who does that), including weeds (these are plants too), make you feel anxious? When pruning, do you find it necessary to keep ALL the clippings? Perhaps you use cuttings to start new plants for yourself (because there’s always room for more), or maybe you plan on selling them (so you can buy more plants) but then refuse to let go of them. If you find it difficult to part with plants, you may need to re-evaluate why.
  • When seed propagating, do you have a tendency to start far more plants than is necessary? Is your home, greenhouse and surrounding landscape overflowing with flats of seedlings? Do you have so many seeds and packets that you need a binder (well, yes, I do) or cabinet to hold them all? This may be problematic.
  • Are you overly obsessed with or possessive of your plants? If you get unusually upset when your beloved plants don’t thrive, get knocked over, or someone touches them without your permission, there’s another sign that you may just have an issue my friend!
  • Do you feel the need to buy plants EVERY TIME there’s a sale? When nearly all the plant nurseries know you by name (local and online) or you’re in the running for the MVP (Most Varied Plants) award in the neighborhood, it’s a good sign you may be acquiring too many.
  • When you spend more money on plants and gardening than you should, you may have a problem. If you buy a plant simply because you want it without regard to whether or not it’s even appropriate for your region, look out!
  • Do you stick plants in “holding” containers or other out-of-the-way places? Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that you’ll find a spot for them later, only to forget about them (and then become inconsolable once you remember the near-dying plants). Yea, been there, done that too.
  • Do you continually talk about the plants in your life? When you cannot carry on a conversation without mentioning your plants, this could signal a problem. If you talk to your plants more than PEOPLE, you definitely have a problem. Talking to plants is something many gardeners do (I do it all the time), but carrying on long conversations with them may be a bit much.
  • If you treat your plants like they’re your family, giving them more attention than the people in your life, you may need to consider joining Plants Anonymous. Gardening is great and all, but you still need to lead a normal life.
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  • cleanout express
    Comment added December 18, 2021Reply
  • Judi Bemister
    Comment added January 26, 2020Reply

    I was hospitalized for three months and could only arrange for two visits to water my babies. I have a beautiful purple shamrock plant that I treasure and was worried daily it wouldn't survive. When I got home everything looked dead so I went into rescue mode and managed to save all but one plant. I was so excited when I saw all the new shoots and now plan to take clippings and seeds to get more. I am definitely an obsessed plant hoarder. I had many people bring me plants in the hospital and they are new additions to the plant family.

  • Sharon Colbert
    Comment added January 23, 2020Reply

    Plants are people, right? They are rooted in history, sleep when it is night and open up to the sun in the morning. Some we cover with blankets when it is cold and shade them when the sun is too hot. My husband is worse then I am. When he does cuttings of his fruit trees, he saves them "for later". What? I always say if I precede him to the big eternal garden in the sky, he will not exactly bury me but put me in a nice pot and see if I sprout. I call myself an experimental gardener and my yard a laboratory. I can't think of a better obsession.

  • Annie
    Comment added January 22, 2020Reply

    An absolute Yes to all...(and well...I dont even think its a prob!)...except for plants being more important than my family.....never.....nothing is more important than my children...all my plants and yard and garden can die if my children need me....

  • Angel
    Comment added January 22, 2020Reply

    haha I wash and keep seeds from Everything, i mean Everything, and i try em all, lol, i get depressed when they dont do well and im so thrilled when they germinate and pop out! The Joy of it all, new life!
    keep me depression free in winter, yes i do start them in winter, you shold see how they respond come spring a joy to see,, its awesome for my mental health, hahaha so im always happy cos i always start more,,, i give them away and bring more joy to the infirm or elderly,,,,,, their faces, priceless god bless all gardeners for we are propagating his love to us all

  • Nora
    Comment added January 22, 2020Reply

    Thanks for was my morning chuckle! Yes, I have a lot of indoor and outdoor plants...doesn`t everybody? What's wrong with those people?? I think there is a group for that :)

  • Frank Meisner
    Comment added January 20, 2020Reply

    You described me to a T, Thanks, I did say before your article that I'm going to cut down,
    I've been giving plants to all the garden clubs for their sales on Mothers day, have a new batch of different flowers coming Hydrangea's, had loads of cone flowers, but I'm
    giving up on them, leave them up for the birds for winter & I had thousands to give away
    hydrangeas won't spread as fast & the people will love to have something new.

  • Alene Washington
    Comment added January 19, 2020Reply

    Yes, I most certainly am a hoarder.

  • Joan Fowler
    Comment added January 19, 2020Reply

    I confess! I’m a hoarder. ?

  • Susan
    Comment added January 18, 2020Reply

    Ah, dont get me started. I may need a 13-step therapy program!! I prefer animals and plants, over most people. People are selfish.

    • Linda
      Comment added January 20, 2020Reply

      We are kindred spirits! My Maltese loves hanging out with me if I'm gardening outside or taking care of ALL my indoor plants.

  • Tawny Leste-Carlson
    Comment added January 13, 2020Reply

    In answer to the hoarding questions ~ Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes.............?

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