in , ,

Gardener Lashes Out After Sister-In-Law Destroys Her Expensive Plant Collection While Plant-Sitting

A woman works in her garden

Many people take plants and gardening very seriously.

Over the generations plants have become more than just greenery.

Besides careers and hobbies, they are used as comfort tools for therapy and are considered children for many.

So when they are destroyed it is a devastating loss.

Case in point…

Redditor plantmomaita wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for screaming at and banning my S[ister] I[n] L[aw] and niece from my home after they DESTROYED my houseplants?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Years ago I got really into houseplants and started to collect them.”

“Over the years I’ve had up to 70, but whittled my collection down to about 35, just the ones I really love.”

“My niece Jenny (14 F[emale]) has developed an interest in plants and will come over and we will talk about them and she helps with propagation and repotting.”

“I had to go out of town for two weeks to take care of some work stuff so I asked my SIL and Jenny if they could plant sit for me.”

“I told Jenny I would pay but also give her a few cuttings as a trade off.”

“They agreed and when they came over I gave a tour and explained the care needed, and also showed off a few prized plants.”

“SIL asked how much a few of them ran me and I did share.”

“This didn’t seem weird because the family knows and I’ve gotten some plants as gifts.”

“Well I returned from my trip and was horrified.”

“They watered and gave the right amount of light, but they also decided to give a lot of my plants haircuts. Big ones.”

“My prized cebu blue pothos mother plant was destroyed.”

“The climbing one too.”

“My manjula pothos had been done the same.”

“My golden that I trained up my stairwell.”

“My string of pearls, hearts, and ruby necklace all destroyed.”

“My silver stripe philodendron.”

“The worst was that my pink princess philo had been reduced to two leaves.”

“And my albo monstera is down to three.”

“I don’t even think they got nodes necessarily.”

‘These plants are expensive and prized.”

“I basically broke down and when they came to meet me to give back my key I screamed and screamed at them.”

“Jenny started crying saying I said I would give her cuttings so she thought it was okay.”

“I screamed at her to go home and get what she stole from me and bring it back NOW because SHE KNEW I DIDN’T MEAN SHE COULD DESTROY MY F**KING PLANTS!!”

“SIL got between us and said ‘What’s done is done.'”

“I’m sorry I don’t know why my one edit is gone!!”

“AHHH and half the original post. please read my comments!!”

“I said no way, you’re returning EVERYTHING!!”

“Jenny said ‘Mom already sold most of them on marketplace.'”

“I lost it and just screamed and screamed at them until Jenny was crying and her mom got in my face and told me I was having a tantrum over plants.”

“I told her to get the f**k out of my house and don’t EVER come anywhere near me or my home again.”

“I called my brother (SIL husband) and he was shocked and said they told him I said it was all okay.”

“He brought me the stuff she hadn’t sold yet and apologized.”

“I told him I never ever want either of them in the same room as me again, they’re horrible, AWFUL, irredeemable people and that I hope they both burn in hell where they belong.”

“He told me he gets that I’m upset but that I’m taking it too far and that family means not holding grudges.”

“I told him to leave, and I cried for the rest of the day.”

“I am posting because I need to know if my edict is over the top and if I’m overreacting.”

“So AITA for telling them that they are NO LONGER WELCOME in my home and not even wanting them in the SAME ROOM?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA – this wasn’t a misunderstanding.”

“Your SIL knew exactly what she was doing and making a profit of it.”

“I’m surprised your brother didn’t realize something was amiss.”  ~ TreadingLife1038

“I would demand 100% of their ‘profits’ too.”

“Not just what they haven’t sold.”

“Tell your brother that is the only way you’d even think about healing the relationship with your niece in the future.”

“His wife should remain dead to you.”  ~ Born_Rhubarb5372

“Forget that. Niece is 100% a little thief too.”

“Take ALL the profits they made to replace the plants with and still f*ck them both off for ever.”  ~ Wasps_are_b**tards

“More like unraveling the blanket that Beloved Grandmother crocheted right before she passed away, and then using the yarn to make cheapy trinkets that were sold on e-Bay.”

“Oh, and graciously leaving bits of the fringe scattered on the couch.”

“OP is definitely NTA, and should file a police report in any case.”

“If there’s any proof of the cost of the plants, that should definitely be included.”  ~ Snoo96130

“Not OP but some of those plants are worth potentially hundreds of dollars, depending on maturity and location.”

“Even the nodes (tiny chunks of the stem that can be used to grow a new plant) can go for crazy high prices.”

“Replacing a fully grown plant could easily cost $1000 or more.”

“It might seem extreme but I would absolutely follow this up with a police report or insurance claim.”  ~ bewildflowers

“NTA…The part about ‘being sold already.'”

“This was planned. This was about money.”

“A 14 year old knows better than to steal someone’s hard work and sell it.”

“As a plant lover myself.”

“I am so sorry this happened to you.”

“It must have been devastating.”

“Edit: OP has had further conversation in the comments.”

“They clarify a couple of things.”

“1- Niece lied to her father when asked about the cuttings in the first place.”

“She told him that ‘Auntie said it was okay.'”

“She lied because she knew they had both done something wrong.”

“2- The niece… has been in trouble for stealing before.”

“This is super important to know.”

“This girl was not influenced by her mother… because she very clearly knew stealing is wrong.”

“They BOTH planned this TOGETHER.”

“She is not a clueless, completely impressionable girl.”

“She is a 14 year old who graduated to stealing small petty items from strangers, to grand larceny of a family member.”

“Maybe the graduation is because people excused her behavior the first few times she stole?”  ~ JustJessJ_Art

“For the people that don’t understand the gravity of this- just do a quick google search of some of her plants that she named.”

“And you can see that a SINGLE leaf off of one of her plants can go for several hundred dollars.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if SIL and the niece profited thousands off of what they stole.”

“It’s going to take OP months if not at least a year to recover the losses from this.”

“And that’s just explaining the monetary losses- not the simple fact that they destroyed something SO personal to OP- it’s like going in an artists home and cutting up their canvases of artwork.”

“OP what they did is beyond horrific- I am so unbelievably sorry that this happened to you.”

“Especially that it was done by people that you trusted in your own home and to care for your most prized possessions.”

“Add to the obvious- NTA!!”  ~ Ok_Championship9466

“NTA. Some of those plants can cost/bring in several hundred dollars.”

“I have lots of plants as well, most were under 30 dollars.”

“If anyone cut them up I would freak out.”

“I have put so much care and time into them that it would feel disrespectful.”

“It’s a form of stealing.”

“Also I understand my plants and if/when they are ready to propagate and how to do so without causing issues to them.”

“I would kick anyone out who messed with my plants.”

“I would never let them back in.”  ~ jazzy_flowers

“I am so sorry this happened.”

“I had to look up what a pink princess was.”

‘OMG! Just that plant alone is several hundred dollars.”

“Seems to me that your SIL and niece took advantage of the situation to profit by it.”

“These two are thieves.”

“The niece knew that not only were you going to pay her but that you would give cuttings to her upon your return.”

“Send brother/SIL/niece an invoice of what was taken and needs to be replaced.”

“Take pictures of everything.”

“Only text these ‘family’ members.”

“If you are very serious, take them to court. NTA.”  ~ Careless-Image-885

“They stole her plants to sell on marketplace for money.”

“This wasn’t Jenny wanting one of her own.”

“This was theft to make money.”

“They butchered OP’s plants to pieces to sell them off like a chop shop does to cars.”

“OP you should seriously consider pressing charges, even if it’s only in small claims court.”

“This wasn’t a child who did not know better.”

“This was an orchestrated robbery that was premeditated by your SIL, which is why she was asking about their cost. NTA.”  ~ AmazingDoomslug

“Did anyone else gasp to read they’d been sold on Marketplace?”

“I did not see that coming.”

“And NTA. I’m sorry, OP!”  ~ REDDIT

Well OP, Reddit is with you.

Your house, your rules.

For many plants, like pets, are considered family.

Though it won’t be the same, hopefully you can rebuild in a new way.

Sorry for your loss.