How could anyone “hate” house plants? I know, I just made some enemies. As I have come to know over the years, your house plants are these docile, often forgotten looking, affectionate things in random containers throughout your houses. Many of these “family members” have stayed with you over the years, moved with you, been gifted to you by mothers-in-laws, given to you by neighbors, and are almost invisible comforting treasures you don’t even really think about. The fact that you don’t think about them is evidenced by at least half of them looking like they almost died last week, two weeks ago, 3 months ago, and frankly, are probably almost always on the verge of dying, except for the last minute watering that revives them and reminds you they are special little things to be loved and cared for.
I say all of this in pure judgement, finger pointing accusation. The only flaw in my argument is that I am one of you. Maybe not to the extreme of some, but I too have 1 house plant I cannot part with. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It is a giant spiky leafy plant/tree (don’t even know what kind) that moved in 12 years ago and since then has made a permanent mark on my wood floor, is outgrowing its pot, the leaves are always half brown and when I finally water it, it reaches out and hugs me, so I keep it . In addition, my husband Mike has 5 or 6 in our home at one time depending on how well the resuscitation goes each month. His plants live with plastic containers under them to keep from staining the ledge they sit on. For those who argue that plants give oxygen, I’m not sure these particular plants are fully up for their intended duties.
Here’s where the tough part comes in. You call me to sell your home. I come over as any good Realtor and we talk about “Getting the home ready for market.” One of the tasks is de-cluttering, and turning the house from a home into a product for maximum appeal. It’s fairly easy for me to talk you into putting away the toaster, the 35 spatulas in the utensil holder, and the kitchen sponge that has been in the family since your first child was born. But for some reason…..the house plants always cause for pause. Surely I don’t mean ALL the house plants do I? Yep, I do. All of them. Here’s why.
Home buyers are starting their home search online. To help sell your home we hire a high-end photographer to take pics and videos that highlight the home and give tours through the home. Pictures are 2-D and any medium objects such as house plants block the view of the room, the view between rooms, or the view outside. In addition, the smaller plants look like do-dads in pictures, which are distracting. The goal is to help the buyer purchase the space, not the items in the space.
Unfortunately there is a genuine cause for alarm. What do you do with house plants that you can’t have in your house? If you have natural light, and a warm garage, you could put them in there. If that doesn’t work, it will need to be part of the strategic planning, along with things such as Fido and kiddos. One tactic might be to ask a friend to watch your kids and your pets, and when they hesitate, offer the house plants instead….they will gladly care for them while you get your house sold.