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AIBU to give away a plant given for Xmas?

(30 Posts)
Comedyusername Fri 06-Jan-17 14:50:16

I was given an orchid for Christmas by my MIL (this isn't a MIL bashing thread BTW). I don't like the responsibility of plants, I don't like them cluttering up the house (we have more than enough clutter!), and I don't actually like orchids.

So AIBU to give the plant away to someone who would look after it properly, and probably offend my MIL who will spot that it's gone? Or do I suck it up and live with it?

category12 Fri 06-Jan-17 14:53:34

If you're likely to kill it by neglect or whatnot, I would give it away - and say you killed it grin. By mistake obviously. I'm hopeless at keeping house-plants alive so people who know me know better than to give them to me.

BIgBagofJelly Fri 06-Jan-17 14:55:05

If you can keep it alive for another month then give it away would MiL forget by then? I honestly think it's a bit rude to keep tabs on presents you've given people, turns it into more of a chore than a gift.

Aridane Fri 06-Jan-17 14:56:00

I treat orchids like a bunch of flowers, but longer lasting. Hey, they are pretty while they last for a few weeks, and then you chuck them out like any other bunch of flowers past its best.

Have never understood people who try to resurrect orchids and keep them going past their first (and last) flowering - well, not unless they have a mini patch of rain forest or wherever it is where orchids flourish...

Magzmarsh Fri 06-Jan-17 14:56:39

My mil gave me a poinsettia. Like you I hate houseplant responsibility and regifted it to ndn whose front room is like Kew Gardens. She was delighted grin

DanielCraigsUnderpants Fri 06-Jan-17 14:57:11

agree with category or can't you say you're keeping it in the spare bedroom,( or a room she never checks) as it gets most light in there.

orchids an notoriously difficult to keep alive

EvansOvalPies Fri 06-Jan-17 14:57:57

No, you're not being unreasonable. Just tell your MiL that it died, despite your very best efforts, as you are absolutely hopeless at looking after houseplants.

I don't understand why people buy gifts for people they know well, that they surely must know will not be an appropriate gift for the recipient. Maybe she was given it and didn't like it and passed in onto you?

monkeywithacowface Fri 06-Jan-17 15:00:47

Keep for a few weeks and then claim it died. Personally I quite like them. I've had both mine for over 3 years and other than a small amount of water once a week I don't do anything with them, they just re-flower after a short time.

I feel the same about toiletry sets and knick knacks and have had no qualms about sending them off to the charity shop.

Comedyusername Fri 06-Jan-17 15:32:55

Thanks all. She's coming over next week so I'll keep it until then and then subtly remove it. It wouldn't bother me if someone regifted my presents, but I hope I know my audience a bit better

RB68 Fri 06-Jan-17 15:42:36

They tend to look after themselves after the occasional mist with water. Can't see the hardship myself but if you want a grateful recipient...

monkeywithacowface Fri 06-Jan-17 15:47:23

I know what you mean Comedy. I don't drink wine ever and I can't use scented bath products so it always feels slightly insulting when people I've known 15 years gift it to me.

Comedyusername Fri 06-Jan-17 15:49:09

I think I'm just overwhelmed by clutter post-Christmas and the plant could be a quick win. RB68 you'd be doing me a favour!

Comedyusername Fri 06-Jan-17 15:52:29

Oh no Monkey! I'd be fine with wine, no long term responsibility required there grin

PavlovianLunge Fri 06-Jan-17 16:10:17

DP can get orchids to flower year after year, whereas I couldnt even grow a wart.

I'd say definitely give it away, and if you know someone with green fingers, all the better.

JustSpeakSense Fri 06-Jan-17 16:24:11

I can kill any houseplant and I do, so If I was given an orchid it would be as good as dead.

I'd rehome it and tell MIL it died unfortunately.

KurriKurri Fri 06-Jan-17 16:35:33

I doubt she'd buy 'it died' they last ages with very little care. We've had one flowering constantly (and making more flowers) since October. DD just flings a bit of water at it occasionally.
I've had ones that lasted years and reflowered - they liked being in the bathroom.

But it's really about the clutter isn't it - not the ability to keep alive a relatively easy plant? I might ask MIL if she wants it back as you don't want it. She presumably likes plants if she gives them as gifts.

dollydaydream114 Fri 06-Jan-17 16:47:38

I might ask MIL if she wants it back as you don't want it. She presumably likes plants if she gives them as gifts.

The OP is worried her MIL will be offended even if she quietly notices the plant has gone, so I don't think "I don't like this present. Do you want it back?" is really the kind of solution she was looking for.

I would just keep it until she's seen it in the house when she visits next week and then give it away. If she asks outright what happened to it, say "Oh god, I'm really sorry, but it died. I did try and look after it but I've always been a bit of a curse on houseplants to be honest with you."

KurriKurri Fri 06-Jan-17 17:00:43

The OP is worried her MIL will be offended even if she quietly notices the plant has gone, so I don't think "I don't like this present. Do you want it back?" is really the kind of solution she was looking for.

That's fine - I thought it might be better to be honest, and put an end to unwanted plant giving, than go with an unconvincing lie. You'd have to water an orchid with weedkiller to kill it in the three weeks since Christmas.

And local care home or somewhere like that might like it - the one where my Mum is always likes gifts of plants they can put out for the residents to enjoy.

TheMortificadosDragon Fri 06-Jan-17 19:14:08

They really are tough and thrive on neglect, so don't say you killed it anytime soon. Otherwise next year's thoughtful gift is likely to be a book on the care of houseplants.

Stick it on a windowledge and forget about it for 6 months or so.

YelloDraw Fri 06-Jan-17 19:27:51

I love house plants and especially orchids. I'll have it!

Comedyusername Fri 06-Jan-17 20:11:11

If they thrive on neglect, maybe she does know me better than I thought grin

To the window sill it goes...

TheMortificadosDragon Fri 06-Jan-17 20:14:50

I have a couple I was given years ago, I just put a bit of rainwater on them very occasionally, and once or twice a year at random a new flower spike appears.

TheMortificadosDragon Fri 06-Jan-17 20:16:43

If you actually want to kill it, keeping it soaked in tapwater might do it.

Pikmin Fri 06-Jan-17 20:29:47

My bathroom windowsill is an orchid sanctuary & they flower every few months. I'm usually hopeless at plants but I like flower photography so it's worth it for me.

PotatoVegetable Fri 06-Jan-17 20:47:24

Have you got a cat? While not toxic, it can give cats tummy aches if they eat them....

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