You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘gross stuff I’ve found in plants’ tag.

First, I’m going to lull you into a false sense of security with pictures of pretty flowers:

That’s nice, right? Pretty!

La la la…la la la…la la la.

Pretty, pretty, pretty. (Whispers “you are getting sleeeeeeeeepy.”)

Then I’ll show you some not-so-gross stuff I’ve found around the plants, like food:

And the omnipresent cigarettes:

That’s not too gross, right? Riiiiiiiiight.

Now bam!

That’s right, gross-0-rama!

From another angle:

Haha! I know it’s supposed to be a houseplant blog, but sometimes I just can’t resist¹. People make it too easy!


¹You’re welcome for only posting two of the dozens of photos I took of this puke.

Step One: View plants as trashcans and not magical, living, breathing creatures.

(Ok, that headline is harsh – “thoughtless human being” would be more apt.)

Hello all my radishes out there in the world, and Happy Wednesday! Hope today finds you well!

As most of you know, I have a small plant care business, Good to Grow, here in Albuquerque. There are lots of perks to being a plant lady. For one, it’s fun to eavesdrop on other people’s office politics, and then get to leave without being affected by them. Also, plants don’t talk back. Another perk is that I have a flexible schedule – as long as I visit each client once a week, it doesn’t really matter when I’m there.

Of course, for each of those perks, there are downsides. For one, plants don’t talk back, and I often wish they could (think of the gossip they could tell me about the employees or the bosses!). Also, when someone walks up to me and says, “Are you here to water the plants?” I have to smile and resist the urge to say something like, “Was the water bucket I’m carrying your first clue?” Clients tend not to like the snarky comments (don’t even ask how I’d like to respond when people ask – and they always do – “will you water me, too?”).¹

The biggest downside of caring for plants is having to deal with the humans who thoughtlessly and carelessly interfere with my work. The most common problem is that people use plants as trashcans. It’s true! Littering is my number one pet peeve as it is, and this is littering indoors. It really gets my leaves furled!

Gum, tissues, food, crayons, wrappers, plastic, bandages, soda cans – if it’s small and meant for the trash, I’ve probably seen it in a plant container. It’s not just that it looks bad – it can also be dangerous. At one of the car dealerships I had as a client, the salesmen would throw razors into the plants when they were done using them to scrape stickers off car windows. Luckily, I knew they did this and was always very careful. I carry scissors with me everywhere so I don’t actually have to touch any of the trash I find, and believe me, I sterilize the crap out of the scissors routinely.

To give you an idea of how gross this indoor littering is, I’ve assembled some photos I’ve taken of some of my finds. I wish that I had carried my camera with me everywhere in the past – I missed so many great finds. But I do carry it now, so I’m going to add to this photo gallery in the future. Lucky you!

Please be forewarned, some of these may bother you (most won’t, however).

Splenda wrappers in this Snake plant. Coffee-related trash is very, very common. Sugar wrappers, empty little creamer cups, stir sticks. It kinda blows my mind because the coffee pots are in kitchens, and every kitchen I’ve ever visited has had a trash can.

Soda can hidden below a layer of Spanish Moss. I check this plant every time I visit because it’s right outside a child therapist’s office. Often, the kid has to sit outside in the lobby while the therapist talks to the parents inside the office.

A LOT of the trash I find in plants is from kids – I know this from the amount of crayons and food I’ve found over the years. I don’t get upset when I can tell a kid put the trash there – kids don’t know any better. Adults, though? They should all know better! It’s not like plants can water themselves – someone is going to come along to water and find that trash!

Some trash makes me laugh. These rubber bands are evidence of an office-wide rubber band war. Very funny employees. But it’s still trash that I had to clean.

That’s a chunk of pretzel that someone felt compelled to dispose of in the soil of this Ficus tree. Super – I just love finding food in my plants.

French fries – super duper.

Ok, now is where it gets really gross.

This is one of the few times I had my camera with me long ago. I was at UNM’s Cancer Center taking care of the plants. I should mention here that they let me go about 6 months ago, opting not to have plants in their brand new environmentally friendly multi-million dollar facility – the patients’ loss, and mine. I know the nurses miss me, so when I posted about my new marketing idea – an adorable basket of baby plants – I was thinking how cute they would look on their desks. Keep your fingers crossed for me that my ploy works and they hire me back!

Oh, sorry, I digressed. I do that sometimes. Back to the photo. It looks innocent enough. Just a tissue, right?

Until I turned the plant around. EEEEEWWWWWWWWW!!!!!! That’s a bandage inside the tissue! A dirty bandage! (Really, think about it – who throws away an unused bandage?)

Sadly, dirty bandages in plants were not uncommon at the cancer center. When I first started doing the plants there, I thought the patients would really love and appreciate the plants. And so many of them did. But others, well, they used them as trashcans. I am not saying any of them were terrible, rotten people – not at all! I just wish they could’ve considered the plants’ perspective. If the human had paid attention to the plant and not used it thoughtlessly as a trash can, maybe the plant would’ve said, “I would hug you if I had arms,” or “Give me the cancer so you can go on being human.” If they could talk, that is.

For the record, I think plants can communicate without words if we would only listen. I know lots of us are listening, and I’d bet that anyone still reading after that gross bandage is a person who believes that even though plants can’t talk, doesn’t mean they don’t have personalities and wish they could shout for joy.

I told you dirty bandages were not uncommon – you didn’t think I was going to let you get away with only one gross bandage photo, did you? Hahahahahaha. I’m drunk on power.

Just think, if I win the cancer center account back, I can show you so many more dirty bandages, and other fun stuff, too, like syringes, which are also surprisingly popular. Wait, do I even want that account back? Well, the nurses were awfully sweet.

That does it for today’s allotment of grossness. Thanks for reading all my green beans out there. I’ll be back tomorrow with a Plants 101 post. Until then, happy gardening everyone!


¹ To be fair, people are just trying to be nice when they make comments like that. Small talk is polite, but some people just aren’t very good at it. If you are one of these  people who struggles to find the right words, try saying this, “hello.” Hello is perfect because it doesn’t generate any urges to be snarky.

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About Me

Hi! My name is Liza. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting! I'm a Midwestern gal now living in Arizona, after many years of living in and owning a plant care business in New Mexico.

Plants are living, breathing creatures, and if they're indoor plants, they are 100% dependent on human care. They cannot water themselves.

I can beautify your home, office, or patio with plants and flowers. I have 13 years of experience growing plants, and friendships.

Please let me know if you have questions or if you would like help with your plants or garden. You can reach me at lizatheplantlady (at) gmail (dot) com or follow me on Twitter, Lizawheeler7.

All photos are mine unless otherwise noted. All content is also entirely my hard work. If you'd like to use any content or photos, all you have to do is ask. If you take without asking, you are a thief. And thieves suck. So don't suck. We have a deal? Good.