Heirloom Houseplants Half 1: Tips on how to discover pre-loved / previous vegetation (and the best way to revive them)


Previous vegetation usually, or heirloom houseplants extra particularly are a subject you might need heard me point out earlier than. Fairly a number of years in the past, I wrote about peoples’ plant tales – principally their connections with specific vegetation of their properties. After that, a bunch of us on social media began a bunch and a hashtag to have a good time these heirloom houseplants (#heirloomhouseplants), or vegetation with histories additional.

On this two half blogpost, in Half 1 I’ll provide some tips about how one can go about buying some previous/heirloom houseplants of your personal. When welcoming these vegetation into your assortment, they may require some care and a spotlight to get settled in. I’ve gone by means of some key tips that could implement which is able to assist with bringing such vegetation into your private home.

In Half two, I can be sharing extra about my very own heirloom houseplants and the tales of the oldest vegetation in my assortment. This can be up subsequent weekend.

Tips on how to discover previous / pre-loved or heirloom houseplants

In case you are new to the pastime of houseplants or don’t have any household which might be into plant rising, concern not! There are different methods you may get your palms on some potential heirloom vegetation of your personal. These pre-loved, generally previous vegetation, are an excellent option to discover vegetation with persona and sometimes fascinating tales in addition. Listed here are some ideas:

Take a look at native newspapers

Newspapers (on-line or in print!) are a superb option to discover commercials for all types of issues individuals need to eliminate.

Create your personal advert or discover

In case you don’t discover something being marketed for some time, take into account making your personal advert. Other than individuals seeking to eliminate issues, you can even write an inventory ‘on the lookout for…previous houseplants’ and many others.

Phrase of mouth

Earlier than I moved final 12 months, I had developed my very own community of houseplant lovers by means of promoting vegetation within the store. Common clients knew I used to be a fan of rescue vegetation or previous vegetation and a few would convey me cuttings or divisions!

The plain side to notice is that earlier than you head on-line to widen your search, see if you may get in contact with the those that distribute a group publication. We get one by means of the door from time to time and it’s a great place to attach with plant lovers in your locality. Native networks will imply that you just’ll most likely have the ability to choose up the vegetation too – so that they gained’t must journey far!

Plant teams/societies, native allotments…

Following on from above, connecting with any native plant societies or gardening teams are an effective way to present individuals a heads up that you’re on the lookout for previous vegetation. Pop all the way down to your native allotment too – there could be a possibility to unfold the phrase.

Botanic gardens gross sales

I’ve discovered some beautiful vegetation in botanic backyard gross sales, a lot of which are sometimes divisions of their very own vegetation rising within the glasshouses. Many of those can have been in situ for a few years and taken care of properly. Spring and Summer time are sometimes the time these happen – my native one has gross sales a number of occasions a month. The bulk could be backyard vegetation, however in case you are eagle-eyed you’ll be able to typically hunt out the houseplant part! Listed here are two of mine that got here from a glasshouse sale, an Aglaonema and Snake plant I’d been on the lookout for:

Plant swaps

A gaggle of us began an internet site to facilitate the swapping of cuttings again in 2018: houseplantswap.com. Since then, plant swap occasions have additionally been rising in reputation over the previous couple of years.


On-line, there’s a wealth of locations to look and I’ve discovered some nice issues on ebay over time. As I additionally gather classic furnishings I’m fairly used to scouring the web to seek out what I’m on the lookout for, however previous heirloom houseplants may also be discovered on-line.

Property gross sales/home clearance

Relying in your location, you can additionally preserve a glance out for property gross sales and home clearances and many others. as you may properly discover vegetation listed right here.

College dorms/halls of residence discover board

There’s an ever-rising reputation of houseplants with college students. A few of whom can have accrued an abundance of vegetation and are quickly to be transferring away. Ask when you can pin an advert on the dorm block discover board in direction of the top of the tutorial 12 months asking for any undesirable vegetation to come back your manner!

Issues to think about when bringing previous vegetation into your private home

Listed here are some pointers to assist make the transition as easy as doable…

Plant quarantine

As with all new plant acquisitions, I at all times quarantine any new vegetation I’m bringing into my area. This doesn’t must be anyplace fancy – I exploit my studio area for this. I do that for a number of weeks earlier than introducing them to my different houseplants with out fail. On this time, I give the plant a correct inspection, underneath a vibrant mild. If the plant has dense progress or crevices (like snake vegetation) I’ll additionally use a torch to verify issues over. These exhausting to see locations are fairly more likely to be the place pests congregate.


Other than protecting new houseplant additions separate for a number of weeks, being in a gentle setting over this time interval also can assist the plant(s) acclimatise. Your property setting will most likely differ to an extent from its earlier place so it’s a good suggestion to maintain your plant out of direct mild + keep away from heavy watering or repotting right now. If the plant is excessively dry, incrementally enhance watering step by step as an alternative of drowning it all of sudden.


When you have collected the plant from somebody who listed it on-line to ‘eliminate’, it would properly be affected by a interval of neglect too. If somebody has mentally parted with their plant – for instance, in the event that they knew they’d be transferring quickly and many others., they may not have cared for it properly for a number of weeks. This can imply {that a} pep up is so as! Nothing fancy, however some diligent leaf cleansing will help revive a plant shortly. I’ve bought a blogpost on that right here FYI. Mud and dirt can construct up on foliage vegetation over time and be notably conscious of houseplants which have residue on the foliage as this may take a number of classes to wash up sufficiently. For instance, vegetation that may have been in kitchens the place grease constructed up may very well be clogging the vegetation’ stomata (pores).


If the previous/heirloom houseplants are wanting a little bit worse for put on and you believe you studied pest pressures, it’s necessary to determine what and the place the issue is located. Vegetation which have suffered intervals of neglect, inconsistent watering, low humidities and many others. could be prime targets for pests. When the plant is weakened in a roundabout way, you must proceed with warning and be vigilant for a number of weeks. Hold your plant away from others on this time too – see Plant quarantine above. Decide the problem and preserve it remoted as you perform remedial therapy. Don’t be afraid to chop again broken components of the plant at this level. Additionally take into account taking cuttings of wholesome stems as a part of the method – extra on this in Pruning beneath.


With maturity, it’s widespread for previous vegetation to have massive root techniques. Except the roots have been frequently pruned, or the plant repotted, it’s widespread to find that your plant could be very root-bound. This implies the roots can have ‘outgrown’ their present pot. You may discover they appear confined and are circling the underside of the planter, or may even be rising roots out of the drainage holes! Gently elevate the plant by the bottom out of the pot to find out if repotting is required. I choose to attend a number of weeks to let my vegetation acclimatise, as detailed above, earlier than carrying this out.

Potting combine

The opposite side it would be best to take into consideration along with your new (previous) houseplants is the present potting combine. All of us have our personal preferences in relation to potting combine – it may be fairly a private alternative based mostly in your environmental situations. I’ve beforehand been given vegetation (very kindly after all!) that have been simply planted in ‘backyard muck’! Relying on how lengthy it’s been within the pot, it might very properly be in want of a refresh. Particularly if it’s been there various years! Over time, compacted earth will give rise to watering points and the plant can start to undergo. As above, I like to attend a number of weeks for my plant to acclimatise earlier than doing a soil change. I’ve bought a blogpost on my houseplant potting combine right here if you wish to see the combo I like to make use of.


From the outset, it’s value being ready that you just may must do some chopping or propagating to revive the brand new (previous) plant. If the plant is recovering from a pest downside, taking cuttings is a wonderful ‘again up plant‘ technique to implement. In any case, make sure the cuttings are wholesome and at all times use a sterile blade. There’s a put up right here with extra on taking cuttings. Succulents are notably good at bouncing again and may deal with fairly extreme pruning and trailing vegetation could be remodeled with a haircut! When you have inherited a severely overcrowded planter, propagating by division and separating the plant into clumps may give it a brand new lease of life. I did this with my nan’s Aspidistra whose roots have been severely taking on its previous jardiniere!


Gardeners and plant fanatics are notoriously beneficiant so I encourage you all to proceed to take part in that custom too! Share cuttings and divisions as random acts of kindness – vegetation make nice presents (I’ll hyperlink my propagation information right here). Aspect be aware…this may additionally assist to maintain your assortment manageable when you have heaps! Additionally, when you see a bedraggled wanting plant that appears prefer it might do with a serving to hand, take into account giving it a house. Or give it to a pal who would love it.

Hope you loved celebrating some previous vegetation with me in as we speak’s put up! I’ll hyperlink one of many associated blogposts right here when you fancy studying extra about this topic. You may additionally get pleasure from one other piece I wrote too – A conscious method to protecting houseplants. Heirloom Houseplants Half 2 can be up subsequent Sunday.

Listed here are some pins to save lots of or to share with with somebody that may get pleasure from it: