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Plant Care Horror Stories

Elizabeth Durham — Oct 24, 2022

Gardening can be intimidating—even scary! We asked our Instagram followers to share their spookiest plant care horror stories to see if our experts could help, and we sent our favorite storytellers a free plant. (Follow us @fastgrowingtrees to participate in future plant giveaways!)

Some stories were funny, some were icky, and some made us jump with fright! But in the end, most of these plant care issues have the potential for a happy ending. With the help of our resident plant expert Meredith, we’re going to discuss a few haunting tales and how you can solve these ghastly problems in the future.

Attack of the Bunnies

The Problem: “I planted hundreds of lilies and tulips, and bunnies ate every single one!”

Black bunny amidst devoured lilies and tulips, depicting the attack of the bunnies

The Solution: Oh no! Well, you can always get a dog (kidding!). But in all seriousness, you’ll need to set up some physical barriers, like chicken wire or low fencing, to protect them. If you’re not a fan of the wire look, you can also shop for a fence style that suits your garden aesthetic. 

Rest in Peace, Brunnera

The Problem: “No matter how many times I’ve planted brunnera, I just can’t keep it happy in my Georgia climate. RIP.”

Brunnera plant with vibrant, veined leaves in a lush garden.

The Solution: When your climate’s not working for your plants, consider container planting! When you plant a tree or shrub in a container, you can better control the soil, moisture levels, temperatures, and light. Brunnera likes morning sun and afternoon shade, moist and rich soil, humidity, and warmth. 

Plant your brunnera in a container that has drain holes and use fertile soil rich in organic matter. Place it in a part-shade spot on your patio, terrace, or doorstep so it’ll benefit from the warmth that escapes from your home. Finally, be sure to keep its soil consistently moist—but not soggy.

Creepy Crawlies in My House Plants

The Problems: Both these gardeners had a problem that could be fixed the same way:

  1. “My beautiful hibiscus house plant had centipedes living in the pot!” 
  2. “My snake plant had a mud ball on it. When I went to pull it off, it popped, and a dead maggot fell out!”
Person holding a vibrant, healthy Snake Plant in a pot.

The Solution: Fortunately, although they might make your skin crawl, centipedes and maggots are not harmful to your plant. They care more about the wood in your soil mix. Simply remove your plant from its pot, shake out the roots (outside!) to remove the critters, and repot with new soil—problem solved!

Garden of the Living Dead

The Problem: “My aloe plant…that thing is a zombie. Not quite alive. Not quite dead.”

Close-up of a dark green aloe plant with spiky edges

The Solution: Aloe can grow quite slowly, so that may be why it seems a little dead. However, if you’re worried that it’s just not thriving, you can always start a cutting to make a new plant—that’s if you want to revive it! This works for a lot of other succulents, too.

Extra Horror Stories—Without a Happy Ending

We received a few unsolvable stories that were worth sharing. Be warned, some of these might keep you up at night!

“I lifted a potted plant from the ground to find baby snakes.”

“I bought a Pink Guava Tree from a sketchy seller on Facebook Marketplace just for the plant to die a week later.”

“I woke up to find that my cat chewed up my brand new plant. Again.”

“When I was little, my mom had a coffee plant. Little me thought I was eating coffee beans…turned out to be maggots.”

Check Out the Resource Center for More

Our Plant Care Resource Center is full of helpful tips for all things plants. From landscape design and seasonal recommendations to care information and deep-dive gardening guides, our website has lots of solutions to explore. Visit the Resource Center to learn more, and sign up for our newsletter to get deals and plant advice sent straight to your inbox.

Elizabeth Durham

Though cursed at birth with a black thumb, Elizabeth always dreamed of being a plant person. Turns out she just needed a little guidance—now she’s the proud mama of nearly a dozen house plants! After joining FastGrowingTrees.com as a Content Strategist, she’s expanded her knowledge tenfold and learned how to keep her plants alive…most of the time.

As a newbie in the plant world, Elizabeth understands the struggles of beginner gardeners. And as an experienced writer, she loves creating content that makes difficult concepts easy to understand. In her free time, she enjoys immersing herself in nature through daily lunchtime walks, weekend hikes, and visits to the park with her dog Fred.

Questions? Contact Elizabeth at information@fastgrowingtrees.com.

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