We live in a throwaway society where it’s easier and quicker to replace rather than repair. We’ve moved so far away from the make do and mend mentality of previous generations to the opposite end of the scale. We chuck away everything, plastic, faulty appliances, clothing and plants that are deemed to be ‘imperfect’. A culture obsessed by perfection leads to millions of healthy plants being discarded. For years I've been rescuing plants destined for the bin and documenting their recovery to show that with a little extra care these plants will flourish and thrive.
Sarah Gerrard-Jones is the author of 'The Plant Rescuer - The Book Your Houseplants Want You to Read' (Bloomsbury 2022) and writes for magazines, newspapers and websites including Grazia, Bloom Magazine, The Spruce and Apartment Therapy. In 2022 Sarah set up the Plant Rescue Box Scheme with the aim of reducing plant waste.
Our aim in creating The Plant Clinic for The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is to educate houseplant owners on how to reduce the stress our plants experience in our homes and how to increase plants' health and well-being. A lack of knowledge and improper care can contribute to the cycle of buying and killing plants - The Plant Clinic aims to break this cycle by demonstrating simple adjustments and additions which can increase the health and longevity of plants - such as the correct substrate, light, humidity and plant food. Increasingly, houseplants are being viewed as short-lived disposable items, much like a wilted bunch of flowers but with some basic care they can live for decades and even become heirlooms. The aim of the Plant Clinic is to help people do this.
THE PLANT CLINIC
PLANT RESCUE BOXES
Those of us who buy plants like to think of our hobby as being ‘green’, but plant production has a large environmental footprint, made even greater by our unwillingness to accept anything but absolute perfection. Plants considered unsuitable for sale because of an 'imperfection' are thrown away in their millions. Most of us agree that throwing away vegetables because they’re wonky shouldn’t be an acceptable practice, and yet plants are being discarded on a massive scale for the same reason. It's this senseless waste that the Plant Rescue Box aims to address.
You can give plants that would be destined for the bin a second chance by buying a plant rescue box from the retailers below. The plants are heavily discounted to reflect their condition, and are non-refundable, but with proper care many will thrive. Click on the shops below to buy a box.
JOIN THE INITIATIVE
BECOME A PLANT RESCUE BOX STOCKIST
Are you a plant retailer? You can lead by example and take a stand against this unacceptable practice by selling Plant Rescue Boxes. Not only does this stop the needless discarding of plants, it also allows you to recoup lost earnings, shows that you are part of a movement committed to reducing waste, improves your eco credentials, and allows those on a limited budget to access plants that are normally unaffordable. Click the button below or email email@example.com
THE PLANT RESCUER BOOK
The book your houseplants want you to read
Whether you have one or many houseplants, this is the book they need you to read. A practical toolkit covering all aspects of plant care, it offers clear advice on choosing plants for your home, dealing with unwanted pests, and even multiplying your collection through propagation. You’ll understand how to pick up on your plants’ cries for help and remedy the problem before it’s too late. Learn how to help your houseplants not only survive but thrive.
Sarah, also known as @theplantrescuer, is a self-taught houseplant obsessive who firmly believes every plant deserves a happy life. Her determination to see beyond the ‘perfect plant’ and to rescue unloved plants makes her the go-to guide.
Published by Bloomsbury 28th April 2022
The Plant Rescuer - Recommended Products
Over the years of testing & trialing products, and becoming friends with like-minded people and organisations I am happy to recommend the following products which can benefit the health of your plants