ATTENTION!!! PLEASE don’t throw away your ‘dead’ potted flowers that you get for Easter, Mother’s Day, or any other reason. First of all, many of them are harmful to animals if eaten. If you leave them out with the garbage, someone’s cat or (more likely) dog could decide to snack on them and get very sick – or worse. Many flowers are perennials, self-seeders, or growing from bulbs. They can be planted when ‘dead’, and will come back year after year to provide beautiful, fragrant flowers for humans and pollinators to enjoy. Our bee friends need them! And we need our bees!
Plus, it helps keep those flower pots full of soil and ‘dead’ plants out of the landfills.
(note: if your pets eat plants, especially flowers, check with your veterinarian right away – they might need immediate medical attention to make sure they will be okay)
So, you have a ‘dead’ flower, and don’t have the time, space, or inclination to plant it? Donate it! I’ve heard that some businesses will accept them. Some ideas are schools, nursing homes, group homes, or even cemeteries. I’m sure some small businesses would appreciate something free to spruce up the outside of their office! Make sure to call first.
We have some parks and wooded areas where I live. I’m not sure if the township or neighbors planted them, but there are patches of flowers (snowdrops, daffodils, etc) around. It’s so nice to see them there. Maybe you can call your local township building to see if they want your plants or if you are allowed to plant them there yourself. Again, make sure to call first.
If you don’t have the time to call businesses, you can also check with your neighbors. You never know who might want a free plant.
I definitely plan to always look around for discarded flowers. Last year, I found some discarded ‘dead’ chrysanthemums. I took them home, trimmed off the dead foliage, and watered them. Sure enough, new flowers appeared. They later ‘died’ again, but are coming back now that it’s spring time and getting warmer. Not only did I save the mums, I potentially saved someone’s pet! Mums are toxic to cats and dogs.
A few years ago, I was leaving work and saw that someone had thrown away a flower pot with a ‘dead’ plant in it. I recognized it as an amaryllis bulb, so I took it home. It has put out leaves every year (which later die), and this year, it’s getting ready to bloom!
I love plants, and think that sharing them with others is a wonderful thing. It’s good for people, and great for the planet.