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Question
My house plants are outgrowing our home: fig tree, dracaenas, norwegian pine, and dieffanbachia. They are getting too big to move. Does there exist an adoption site for houseplants? These plants would be lovely in a two-story foyer. I live in Northern Virginia.

Answer
Enjua,

No, I do not know of an adoption agency for plants. But you can cut them in half. For starters you should never repot a plant into a larger pot if it is already as big as you have room for. You can every 3 years unpot it outside and 1-3 inches off of the rootball all the way around then repot it with fresh soil. Then you prune at least 4 to 10 inches off the top of the plant and it will have room to grow and stay happy and healthy.

Your plants are already too large so you have 2 options. You can literally prune half of the plant off and throw the part you cut off out then you unpot the plant in your garage and if your plant is in a pot with a 14 inch diameter cut at least 4 inches off the rootball and put the plant in a 12 inch pot. In another year you can do the same thing again and reduce the size of the plant again.

Your second option is to air layer off the tops of you plants and create a second plant. This is a way of rooting the top of the plant before you cut it off. Then after you have air layered off the top you can reduce the root ball like I instructed you above.

Directions for air layering are at the following websites:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggxFE6lHY5E

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/publications/pm268.pdf

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/houseplants/propagation_airlayer.cfm

http://www.houseplantsforyou.com/how-to-propagate-plants-by-air-layering/

This process will turn 1 plant into 2 and you can keep the original or the air layered one. You can give the other away or run an add and sell them.

If this doesn't sound like something you want to try you can call up several churches in your area and offer the plants to the churches. They are usually large and have room for oversized plants or offer them to an area botanical gardens or to a bank. You might even call some flower shops and ask them if they take care of plants at local businesses. If they do they may be interested in the plants as replacements in businesses or for new businesses. It is worth checking. Let me know what your do. Good luck!  

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Darlene K. Kittle

Expertise

I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.

Experience

I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Organizations
Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

Education/Credentials
I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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